Baylor Health Care System Foundation

Patient Stories


Breast Cancer Survivor

Tina Danze

One of the hazards of being a mother is the habit of neglecting your own health while you’re taking care of your children and career. Not that Tina Danze had any cause to worry. She never got sick. But after her daughter headed off to college, it occurred to her that she hadn’t had a mammogram in years. And there was that nagging problem of her worsening PMS. When she casually mentioned this to Dr. Michele Ho, her internist, Dr. Ho recommended she get a sonogram.

The sonogram revealed a few errant cells in her breast. It wasn’t conclusive, so Tina scheduled a needle biopsy. Even the biopsy was inconclusive. Only a lumpectomy would reveal whether the cells were malignant. When the surgeon, Dr. Michael Grant, performed the procedure, he found a tumor the size of a lentil: stage 1 breast cancer. Afterwards, Tina’s oncologist, Dr. Joyce O’Shaughnessy, explained that the tumor was slow-growing, and that if it could be completely removed, she wouldn’t require a mastectomy.

Tina remembers how odd it felt to know she had cancer, but to feel lucky nonetheless as she learned more about it. Dr. O’Shaughnessy spent so much time explaining everything, including her options, that Tina actually became hopeful. She got a second lumpectomy and waited to hear if she was clear of cancer. While dealing with all this, Tina got more news from the first sonogram: she had stage 4 endometriosis and needed a hysterectomy. By this time, she began wondering if her body was filled with cancer. Days after surgery, she got a call. The cancer was gone.

Four years later, Tina is cancer-free. Her days are filled with her passion, writing about food, wine and cooking as a special contributor to The Dallas Morning News. Now, she finds life’s culinary pleasures sweeter than ever, even the extra fruits and vegetables she’s added to her diet.


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