One Patient, Two Cancers: ‘Each Day is a Gift’

Three days before she was scheduled to begin radiation treatment for breast cancer, Fran learned she had endometrial cancer.

But minimally invasive da Vinci robotic surgery at Rush University Medical Center enabled the retired schoolteacher to quickly begin the radiation treatment.

“We felt that if we can go ahead and do the robotic aspect of her endometrial cancer first and the recovery is short, then we can proceed with radiation to her breast,” said Alfred Guirguis, DO, a gynecologic oncologist at Rush.

Fran was admitted on a Monday and left the hospital on a Wednesday with only five small incisions. And she was able to proceed quickly with the radiation treatment for her breast cancer.

Within a week, she was back on her feet doing everything she was doing before surgery. “Complications were really none,” he said.

“A lot of women, I think, are not informed that this is a possibility – that they could have their hysterectomy this way,” Fran said. “And it was so much better, so much better.”

She said she’s grateful to the Rush team, noting that not all hospitals offer robotic surgery.

“I appreciate every day. I appreciate all kinds of things I always did before but so much more now,” she said.

“Each day is a gift, and I feel pretty lucky. I had two cancers and they got them early.”

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