Las Vegas Woman's Family History of Breast Cancer Leads to Potentially Life-Saving Early Diagnosis and Treatment

October 27, 2016

Las Vegas resident Nancy Ghilardi had a family history of breast cancer. Because she stayed vigilant about her breast health, she received timely cancer treatment at 21st Century Oncology in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review-Journal chronicled her journey in the story below. 

A family disease: Centennial Hills woman, 77, faces breast cancer after losing mom and watching daughter go through chemo


When Centennial Hills resident Nancy Ghilardi was diagnosed with breast cancer, it didn’t come as a shock.

Her mother died from breast cancer, and her daughter is a nine-year survivor.

The 77-year-old Ghilardi didn’t cry, nor did she get mad. Instead, she decided to face her illness head-on.

“When I received the diagnosis, I proceeded to handle it and move on,” Ghilardi said. “I’ve always been aware of what could happen, and I have always been very cautious in regards to breast cancer. To be honest, it didn’t frighten me as much as it would frighten other people.”

As her mother died when Ghilardi was 29, she has made it a point to do monthly self check-ups and get regular mammograms.

Her journey with breast cancer began in October 2013 after she pulled down a box of Halloween decorations, which hit her on her left breast. She soon noticed a bruise formed that wouldn’t go away.

She didn’t take any chances and had it checked out. After doing a 3-D mammogram, a lump was discovered, which a biopsy later proved to be invasive ductal carcinoma — the most common form of breast cancer.

When caught early, patients have an 84 percent chance of survival, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Ghilardi was referred to 21st Century Oncology, 2851 N. Tenaya Way, and placed under the care of board-certified radiation oncologist Susan Reisinger.

A lumpectomy was scheduled on March 19, 2014, and Ghilardi was put on aromatase inhibitors for five years, which are hormone therapy drugs that can slow or stop the growth of hormone receptor-positive tumors.

To further prevent the cancer’s spread, Ghilardi chose to do a series of 16 radiation treatments. She finished treatment on July 7, 2015.

“We were able to give her more radiation each day to get her treatment done early,” Reisinger said. “Her anatomy allowed us to do it.”

Click here to read the rest of the story on the Las Vegas Review-Journal website. 

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