Fight Back, Learn About Cancer

Sue Peterson, Breast Cancer Survivor

“The American Cancer Society research program saved my life.”

Sue Peterson was a perfectionist.  She had everything in her life under control, until her doctor told her she had breast cancer.  All of a sudden Sue simply did not know what to do.

“It was a shock. It was a blow.  It was the worst day of my life,” Sue remembers.  “I cried my eyes out, then pleaded with God for my life.”

Two weeks after her diagnosis, Sue had surgery to remove the tumor.  Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of her cancer journey.

The doctor recommended that Sue undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  She received chemotherapy for 4 months and once that was finished, she began 42 days of nonstop radiation. Sue was a fighter.  Unfortunately, so was the cancer.

Sue had an aggressive form of breast cancer, known as HER-2 positive.  her doctor put her on a one-year, intravenous treatment of Herceptin, that was genetically engineered to react with her HER-2 positive protein, and blocks its growth.  Dr. Dennis Slamon, working with private industry and partially supported by an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, developed Herceptin.

Today, Sue is a survivor.  According to her, Herceptin “can be a life saver for people like me who have HER-2 protein positive breast cancer.”  The American Cancer Society research program is Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.