UW—Madison study trying to unlock secrets of breast cancer’s ‘exceptional survivors’

DE PERE – Tammy Mocarski remembers her surgeon leaning over her as she woke up in recovery after having what appeared to be a harmless, pea-sized tumor removed from the crease below her left breast.

“He wanted to be the one to tell me,” she said.

He didn’t like the tumor’s margins, so he took 15 lymph nodes. Four of the 15 had cancer cells. It was stage 2A breast cancer. And it turned out to be HER2-positive, which tends to be more aggressive and spread more quickly than other cancers.

“My first thought was I’m not going to see my kids grow up,” Mocarski recalled, sitting cross-legged on a recliner in her living room and choking back tears as she thought of her four sons, who were between the ages of 2 and 7 at the time. She was only 36.

Read the full article at: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/education/2017/08/01/uw-study-tries-find-secret-exceptional-breast-cancer-survivors/521213001/