Pictured above from left: Dr. Elizaveta Ragulin Coyne, Julia Wooldridge and Dr. Kimberly Brennan
Fifty-three-year-old Julia Wooldridge of Westford thought about rescheduling her August 2020 mammogram at Emerson’s Hermel Breast Health Center in Westford due to the pandemic. She had no family history of breast cancer. As the appointment neared, “I was in the shower and felt a deep lump in my armpit. So I kept my mammogram appointment and mentioned the lump to the tech. When the radiologist reviewed the scans, she recommended I make an appointment with a breast surgeon at Emerson.”
A few days later, Julia sat with Elizaveta Ragulin Coyne, MD, FACS, Emerson surgeon and director of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Emerson Hospital, to review her results and discuss the care plan together. Her diagnosis: triple-negative breast cancer, which accounts for nearly 15 percent of all breast cancers.
“Dr. Coyne was so knowledgeable and kind. She explained everything and wrote down the main points. That really helped. I still use those notes,” Julia says.
Julia was in the best of hands. Emerson’s Breast Health Center recently received recognition by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers for meeting rigorous quality and safety standards. Patients like Julia have peace of mind knowing that leading-edge breast cancer treatment is provided in collaboration with the Mass General Cancer Center at Emerson Hospital – Bethke. Cancer care at Emerson is provided by Mass General oncologists who have access to the latest cancer treatments and trials.
“The last thing I wanted to do while diagnosed with cancer was travel far to get care," explains Julia. "I had all the expertise, equipment, and support I needed right here at Emerson.” After further testing, including a CT and bone scan, biopsy, and echocardiogram, Julia's multidisciplinary care team reviewed the information and determined the treatment plan.
“My medical oncologist is Kimberly Brennan, DO, with the Mass General Cancer Center at Emerson. She explained the process and was there for me every step of the way," says Julia.
In the same surgery, Dr. Coyne removed the cancer and Dr. Joanna Ng-Glazier, a plastic surgeon, performed reconstructive surgery to reduce scarring and enhance the aesthetic form and appearance of her breast.
"I credit my entire Emerson team for giving me the best possible care. Emerson has a family feel, with the right people working together to provide the most advanced treatments. There is support at every level, which is critical to sticking with the treatments and healing well. My caregivers call to check on me — this is the beauty of Emerson. I am so happy I chose it. I would not consider going anywhere else.”
Complete, Convenient, Personalized
Julia’s care involves many aspects of Emerson’s Comprehensive Breast Health Center, which includes:
Emerson Hospital's breast cancer services combine expert diagnostic and cancer specialists with state-of-the-art technology in a comfortable setting close to home. We are proud to offer comprehensive breast health services to the communities we serve.
Health Works Here Podcast
Listen as Dr. Joanna Ng-Glazier explains different breast reconstruction options after undergoing breast cancer surgery and treatment.
Visit our podcast page to find the latest episode or subscribe to the Health Works Here Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and wherever podcasts can be heard.