A New Mother's Journey: Overcoming the Challenges of Breast Cancer

Allison Boyanovski, a mother, chief surgical physician assistant at Jersey City Medical Center, and breast cancer survivor, underwent a life-changing experience over nine years ago when she discovered a lump in her breast. While this diagnosis was a frightening experience for a new mother, Allison remained steadfast in her determination to find the best cancer care possible. As she had worked with Dr. Amit Patel for years, she trusted him and chose Astera Cancer Care. The location was convenient, and she felt safe and comfortable throughout the process. “It was very convenient to get a lot of my care in a place where I already felt comfortable,” Allison said.

When Allison found out she had cancer, she also found out she was positive for HER2, which meant her cancer was more likely not only to spread but return. So in January 2014, Allison began treatment, which lasted for four months, during which time she participated in the Perjeta clinical trial. Despite the tough side effects, Allison stayed hopeful and believed the treatment was working. She continued to care for her daughter with the help of her husband Lior, family and friends, and upon her return to work, she was even more passionate about providing care to her patients.

When her treatment ended, Allison faced a difficult decision on whether to undergo a lumpectomy or double mastectomy. She consulted with four surgeons and ultimately decided on a double mastectomy. After surgery, her lymph nodes returned negative for cancer, and she is now eight years into remission.

Allison brought up the thought of having more children to Dr. Patel, and he asked her to wait five years after her treatment to ensure she was as healthy as possible, so that is what Allison did. After five years, she went through testing with the help of Astera but concluded that with her age and all of the treatment she went through, having another child was not in her cards. Even though undergoing cancer treatment prevented Allison from having more kids, she believes this happened for a reason. “I have my daughter, and she's amazing,” she said.

Throughout her breast cancer journey, Allison never lost faith in Dr. Patel and the Astera team, who supported her every step of the way. She remains grateful for the care she received and for Dr. Patel, who has since treated other members of her family. “He will take care of you in a way you truly need,” Allison said. And despite her challenges, Allison kept fighting to be there for her family. Her daughter is now ten years old, and they have been through so much together. "I'm still here to help her through every stage of life," she said.

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