Breast Cancer Survivor, Clare Parker

In July 2016, 66-year-old Clare visited her doctor to complete her annual mammogram. This time the visit wasn’t so typical: doctors informed her she had stage 1 ductile carcinoma. With no family history of breast cancer, Clare was startled and scared to hear the diagnosis.   After performing a lumpectomy, her oncologist recommended proton therapy at the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center. Proton therapy prevents unnecessary radiation to her heart, lungs and surrounding organs, resulting in fewer side effects.

Keeping up the daily routine

Her radiologist, Dr. Smith, asked Clare to participate in a trial for working patients. This meant coming to the center for one treatment and then returning for a second in the afternoon. Receiving treatment twice a day, Monday through Friday, for one week, Clare was able to complete her proton therapy treatment rather quickly,   “I was able to go back to work after each treatment,” Clare said.  This is a major convenience for patients that are still trying to maintain their day to day life. Having a treatment such as proton therapy available that has little to no side effects helps patients do just that, return to work, school, or back to time with their families.  For those of our patients that are traveling from other cities or countries to the Proton Therapy Center, little downtime between treatments allows them and their families the opportunity to experience the vacation side of Houston by getting to visit museums, the zoo, parks, and other attractions in Houston.

During her treatment, the Proton Therapy Center staff made Clare’s experience more than pleasant. She appreciated the emotional support and kindness from her medical team.  “They knew me when I walked in. They were so nice and wonderful,” Clare said.   Today, you can find the native Houstonian at home cooking chateaubriand and other tasty dishes.