Linda Gage – Breast Cancer Success Story
A winning team – Linda Gage, breast cancer success story
An avid runner, Linda Gage knows that where she places in a race depends on how she prepares. So when she was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, she wanted physicians who shared her philosophy: Prepare well, perform well. She found them at the Breast Center at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.
One voice for the patient
Frequently, cancer patients receive only a glimpse of their course of treatment and the people making the decisions. But as Gage met one by one with her physicians from multiple specialties, she realized that this tight team cared about tailoring a plan just for her.
“I could tell they had talked and agreed on my treatment, which was reassuring for me,” she says.
Gage recalls meeting first with Martin Koonsman, MD, independently practicing breast surgeon on the Methodist Dallas medical staff.
“At Methodist Dallas, we have seen our multidisciplinary approach produce better outcomes and more positive mind-sets in our patients,” Dr. Koonsman says. “As soon as a patient realizes that we are a real team and talking weekly, she is reassured to know we are working together on her behalf.”
Multiple tests revealed that Gage’s cancer was stage III breast cancer. She opted for a breast-conserving lumpectomy, dense chemotherapy, and radiation.
“I had not missed a day of work in 10 years but opted for the more aggressive chemo,” Gage says. “It really helped having the opportunity to discuss all the phases of treatment ahead of time.”
Pretty — and powerful — in pink
Gage’s entire family was with her every step of her cancer journey.
“My oldest sister, Elaine, went to a lot of the appointments and treatments with me during her lunch break,” Gage says.
As Gage recovered with flying colors, the factor that had raised her risk for the disease, dense breast tissue, soon posed a stumbling block for the women she loved most.
Elaine Gatlin received her own breast cancer diagnosis in October 2011. Because of the teamwork and effort she’d witnessed at Methodist Dallas during her little sister’s care, she knew it was where she wanted to be treated. A few months later, when the girls’ mother, Kay Pitt, was diagnosed with a precancerous lump, she followed her daughters to Methodist Dallas for her care.
Breast cancer hasn’t slowed down the Gage women. Instead, it’s made them more aware and proactive, scheduling regular screenings to catch any cancer early.
And they’re all running for a cause: supporting other women on their breast cancer journeys.
From the fall 2013 edition of Shine magazine.
Watch a video about the experience at the multidisciplinary Breast Center at Methodist Dallas.
Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System or Methodist Dallas Medical Center.