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Makeup Artist’s Approach to Breast Cancer Inspires Staff at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital

New Lenox, IL (October 23, 2012)— Even after 36 year-old Darbie Day found a large lump in her right breast during a self exam, her initial thought was to stay positive and figure out what to do next. So after her gynecologist confirmed that a lump was present during her annual appointment, Day and her husband began their extensive search to research what institution offered the best cancer care – the result was the University of Chicago Medicine and its satellite - the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.

“Everything we researched online kept pointing my husband Elliot, a financial/insurance agent, and I back to the cancer program at the University of Chicago Medicine,” said Homewood resident Darbie Day, who is a professional makeup artist. “We were impressed that the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center was the only area program rated among the best in the nation and is the top-ranked cancer program in Illinois, according to U.S. News & World Report.” 

darbieday2_newsPhoto caption: Staff from the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital pose with inspiring breast cancer patient Darbie Day. Pictured from back left to right are Kimberly De Nardo, Lead Radiation Therapist; Stacey Perry, Patient Service Representative; Darbie Day; Darbie’s husband Elliot; Nicole Fender, R.N.; and Anne McCall, M.D., Radiation Oncologist.

In the fall of 2011, Day was diagnosed with Triple Positive Breast Cancer by Olwen Hahn, M.D., a medical oncologist at the University of Chicago Medicine In Hyde Park. “The biology of Darbie’s breast cancer indicates that it will respond to a targeted approach.  We considered this fact in recommending her treatment plan, a combination of chemotherapy, targeted therapy against the Her2/neu receptor, and endocrine therapy. ” said Dr. Hahn. 

“Dr. Hahn was wonderfully kind at explaining that these high levels of estrogen progesterone and Her2 proteins, were the things that fed the cancer,” said Day. “It was also explained to me that it could be possible that this type of cancer maybe due to the fact that I was never pregnant and I was on birth control for an extended period, but not totally proven.” 

Fortunately the cancer was not in her lymph nodes. So to treat the cancer, she had what is known as Neo-adjuvent Therapy. Since the mass was so large, she first had chemotherapy treatments which reduced the large tumor to small particles. Then her next step was to undergo radiation therapy. “Ironically as I was getting ready to have my radiation treatments, I received a brochure in the mail announcing the opening of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. My husband and I were thrilled that I could receive care so close to my home instead of traveling all the way downtown,” said Day. 

For 5 weeks, Day drove a mere 20 minutes from her home and received radiation treatments at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. Anne McCall, M.D., was Day’s radiation oncologist at the New Lenox campus. “When I first came to Silver Cross Hospital’s campus, I was so scared, but when Dr. McCall entered the room and gave me a big hug, I knew everything would be OK from then on and it was,” said Day. “All the staff of nurses, radiation therapists and receptionists were so personable and excited to see me. They treated me like a person – asked about my weekend – and not just focused on my cancer.” 

“Darbie is a wonderful example of how an upbeat attitude can positively influence treatment and recovery,” said Anne McCall, M.D., Medical Director for Radiation Oncology for the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital. “By using the most advanced TruBeam new-generation linear accelerator system, we were able to deliver precisely targeted radiation therapy to provide the best results for Darbie.” 

Reassuring Advice to Others

“I would highly recommend other cancer patients to seek treatment at both the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital,” said Day. “The care was exceptional and the staff were awesome!” said Day. 

“My advice to other patients is to remain positive and don’t dwell on the ‘what ifs’. I always tried to make myself feel good whether I put makeup on or wore a sassy hat, the little things, as well as a great husband really helped me stay upbeat,” said Day. “Be sure to live in the moment and do exactly what your physicians tell you to do. And rely on the loving support from your family and friends and most of all your faith to guide you through.” 

About the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital

The University of Chicago Medicine and Silver Cross Hospital’s $21.6 million outpatient cancer treatment center located at I-355 and Route 6 (1850 Silver Cross Blvd.) in New Lenox opened its doors on June 25, 2012. The 20,000-square-foot University of Chicago  Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital brings University of Chicago academic specialists and their advanced and investigational therapies into a community-hospital setting. The new facility provides state-of-the-art chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as access to hundreds of clinical trials. It also offers a brand new TruBeam new-generation linear accelerator system, which delivers precisely targeted radiation therapy to provide the best results. In addition, other services provided at the Comprehensive Cancer Center include cancer support services, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, infusion services, and preventative screenings. The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center maintains more active clinical trials for the treatment of cancer than any other program in Illinois. To schedule an appointment, call 1-855-UCM-1400. For more information about the new University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, visit www.ucmcancer-sch.org. 

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a 
Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years; one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers and was honored with an “A” Hospital Safety ScoreSM by The Leapfrog Group. With over 2,900 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices and recently opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

About the University of Chicago Medicine

The University of Chicago is home to world-class medical, research and teaching facilities where innovation has been a hallmark for decades. University of Chicago physician-scientists performed the first organ transplant and the first bone marrow transplant in animal models, the first successful living-donor liver transplant, the first hormone therapy for cancer and the first successful application of cancer chemotherapy. Its researchers also discovered REM sleep and were the first to describe several of the stages of sleep. Twelve of the 87 Nobel Prize winners associated with the University of Chicago have received the award for discoveries related to biology or medicine. 

The University of Chicago’s Biological Sciences Division and the Medical Center work together under the University of Chicago Medicine brand to teach and train future physicians, perform research and practice patient care. The Medical Center ranks among the best in the country in cancer treatment, digestive disorders, diabetes and endocrinology, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of the nation’s hospitals. The University of Chicago Medicine’s Comer Children’s Hospital also is among the nation’s leading children’s hospitals, particularly in neonatology, gastroenterology and pulmonology. And the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine was named one of the Top 10 medical schools in the United States in U.S. News’  2012 graduate schools survey.

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