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Published on March 21, 2011

Michelle Rheams & Breast Cancer

Michelle Rheams
Patient: Michelle Rheams, Charles County, MD

Location: Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital

Service: Breast Cancer

Doctor: Cynthia Plate, MD

“I don’t like doctors; I didn’t want to go,” says Michelle Rheams, a 45-year-old mother of three from Aspen Hill, explaining why she waited nearly six months after discovering a lump on her breast to see a doctor. “I should have gone the moment I thought something was wrong, but I was scared. I knew it wouldn’t be good.”

On Nov. 10, 2010, Cynthia Plate, M.D., a breast surgeon at Washington Adventist Hospital, diagnosed Rheams with breast cancer. Further tests confirmed it was Stage IV.

“Stage IV is advanced, invasive cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other areas of the body,” Dr. Plate says. “Surgery is usually the first line of attack against breast cancer, but because Michelle was already in this late stage, she needed chemotherapy first to destroy the cancer that had spread.”

The oncology team at Washington Adventist Hospital addresses every aspect of cancer treatment from prevention, early detection, pretreatment evaluation, treatment, rehabilitation and post-treatment monitoring. Both inpatient and outpatient services are available to accommodate a range of unique patient needs and preferences.

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