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Published on September 12, 2016

An overwhelming diagnosis made easierAn overwhelming diagnosis made easier

Anita Caruso is a firm believer in donating to support health services, especially Cape Cod Hospital. She has suffered the loss of a step granddaughter to sarcoma and has a step grandson who is bravely fighting the same type of cancer. Her children work in the service sector supporting health, the senior population and homeless families.

“I think it’s necessary to donate to support services and keep them going,” said Caruso. Little did she know that she would be needing the many services she supports to help her through her own diagnosis of cancer.

Last July, Caruso had her annual mammogram and received a call-back request. She was told she had calcifications in one breast that were questionable and she needed a repeat mammogram. The results indicated cancer and she was referred for a biopsy and treatment.

Her next step was to meet with Kathyrn Dalton, MD, a general surgeon who specializes in breast surgery at Cape Cod Hospital.

“My daughters and I met with Dr. Dalton for an initial consultation and we fell in love with her right away,” said Caruso. “She was very good at explaining my situation and giving us a plan of treatment.”

“It’s a gift for me to help patients through their cancer treatment, I feel honored that they entrust their lives in my hands,” said Dr. Dalton. “Patients like Anita keep me inspired with their positive outlook and outcome.”

Caruso had a biopsy and was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, Stage 1 cancer of the breast. Following a lumpectomy and sentinel node removal, and a period of healing, she started radiation treatment five days a week for five weeks. She completed treatment in October 2015.

A noted author and not one to stay still for long, Caruso put the final touches on her soon- to- be published book, Brayden’s Magical Carousel Horse. This is the second book in her children’s series, Brayden’s Magical Journey Books, based on the adventures of one of her great grandsons and his cousins.

Caruso’s positive outlook and her appreciation for the care she received at the Cuda Women’s Health Center and the radiation oncology department at Cape Cod Hospital has motivated her even more to promote support for Cape Cod Healthcare.

“When I found out I had cancer, it was overwhelming, but with the help of the staff at the Cuda Women’s Health Center, I felt more comfortable,” said Caruso. “I tell people it’s important to donate because you want the best of care and you want to support the services that you may need yourself one day,” she added.

Dr. Dalton encourages people to help financially and emotionally.

“I encourage people to donate because some patients are under-insured and need financial assistance, especially for breast reconstruction surgery, said Dr. Dalton. “ I also encourage women who have gone through breast cancer to support other women on their journey, too.”