Breast cancer survivor connected with doctor via social media - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Breast cancer survivor connected with doctor via social media

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KENNEWICK, Wash. – Kennewick resident Connie Morelock says she was in total denial when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had no family history of the disease and was looking for a second opinion when she came across the Facebook page of Brian Lawenda, M.D., radiation oncologist, integrative oncologist and medical acupuncturist at Northwest Cancer Clinic.

“Some coworkers sent me a link on Facebook to a video with Dr. Lawenda. I commented on the post and, surprisingly, he commented right back. The next day I was sitting in his office with a care plan laid out for me; something I had been searching for the past three months. It was like divine intervention or something out of a movie,” said Morelock.

Morelock was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), stage 1 breast cancer.

“DCIS is a non-invasive cancer where abnormal cells have been found in the lining of the breast milk duct,” explains Dr. Lawenda. “With DCIS the atypical cells have not spread outside of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue.”

Although the exact treatment for DCIS varies from person to person, guidelines help ensure quality care Morelock would undergo 15 radiation treatments. She says Dr. Lawenda and the staff at Northwest Cancer Clinic held her hand through the entire process, making sure that she didn’t fight cancer alone.

“Dr. Lawenda is a unique quality of a human being, with all the caring and compassion you expect and hope for in a doctor when you hear the ‘C’ word,” Morelock said. “He just doesn’t treat with radiation; he treats the whole body and person - not just the disease. I learned more in one hour about my cancer than I had since I was first diagnosed. He showed me information on the computer, explained things in lay terms I could understand, and came up with a recommendation.”

Morelock has now completed treatment and has a successful prognosis. Her advice for other cancer patients? Find the right doctor, and you’ll find the right attitude.

“When you have cancer, you want to know answers. That is what they gave me,” explains Morelock. “You can’t afford to sit around and think ‘Oh, this is the worst thing.’ You have to stay positive, and that paired with a great doctor and care team will get you through.”

Northwest Cancer Clinic is an affiliate of 21st Century Oncology.

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