Valerie Dean had no symptoms and no signs of cancer

March 31, 2014
Valerie Dean had no symptoms, no signs of cancer. "I went to my gynecologist for a routine Pap smear," says Valerie. "They found something the size of a pencil eraser and diagnosed it as stage 1B cervical cancer." The first step in treating Valerie's cancer was a radical hysterectomy. This can be a difficult surgery, but Valerie's doctor, Gynecologic Oncologist Richard Friedman, M.D., of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, is highly skilled at performing radical hysterectomies laparascopically. "The real advantage is it allows a faster recovery for the patient," says Dr. Friedman, one of a handful of surgeons who perform this procedure. "It is a minimally invasive procedure and shortens the patient's hospital stay." Valerie also received care from two renowned oncologists at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center to ensure a full recovery. Raul Mena, M.D., Medical Director of Cancer Services, supervised her care while she received weekly low-dose chemotherapy for six weeks. Radiation Oncologist Christopher Rose, M.D., provided external beam radiation therapy five days a week during the same period. "It was one of the best experiences of my life, not only because of the way the doctors cared for me, but also because I met so many other cancer patients who were so inspirational in how they handled their cancer treatment," says Valerie. Three years have passed since Valerie's surgery and treatment. She remains cancer free.