Young Woman with Breast Cancer Finds Reassurance

When Erin’s phone rang the night before her first visit to Dana-Farber’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, she was surprised to hear the voice of the oncologist she would see the next day: Ann Partridge, MD, MPH.

“She called to tell me it was going to be okay,” says Erin, who was 36 at the time. “That phone call meant so much to me.”

Young and Strong, young women, breast cancer
Erin with her sons.

Erin had triple negative breast cancer and carried the BRCA gene mutation. Her fear over her diagnosis was compounded by the fact that her husband had died five years earlier at age 32, and she had two young children. Under the care of Dr. Partridge, she underwent a double mastectomy, reconstruction, and chemotherapy.

Today, Erin is cancer-free. “I go for check-ups every six months and Dr. Partridge always makes me feel better,” she says.

Partridge, who founded and directs the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer at the Susan F. Smith Center, says that while all her breast cancer patients have issues and stresses, the younger patients often have the hardest time. “The program’s overarching goal is to help them feel that they are taken care of in the best way possible,” she says. “Each young woman who walks in our door should never have any regrets, and feel better than she would have, had she gone anywhere else.”

Learn more about the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer.