Amazing patient with sebaceous carcinoma

by | Feb 28, 2019

This is me with one of my amazing patients. She is 96 years old and going strong!⠀

She had a sebaceous carcinoma, an uncommon but serious type of skin cancer, on one of her lower eyelids. She was very reluctant to undergo surgery due to her age, but letting this cancer grow risked a threat to her eye as well as possible spread to other parts of her body. ⠀

This woman is truly remarkable. She was a teenager in Vienna as Hitler was coming to power and Jews were getting sent to concentration camps. Her life was uprooted as her family fled on short notice with whatever they could carry, first to France and then to the United States. Many of her family and friends weren’t as fortunate.⠀

This woman was strong enough to escape Hitler and we weren’t going to let a treatable skin cancer ruin her. Even though her surgery involved removing and reconstructing one of her lower eyelids almost in entirety, she is back to her usual, perky self a few months after surgery and without any signs of recurrent cancer. You can see she has a beautiful smile. I also love standing next to her because she makes me feel really tall. 😄⠀

As health care providers, we are privileged to take care of so many amazing people. We are often so busy that we treat people as a disease or a condition and not as real people. I am the first to admit that I am guilty. Our jobs are so much more satisfying when we get to know our patients and take the time to hear their stories! My sincere gratitude goes out to this patient for letting me share her story and for inspiring me to be a more compassionate doctor.⠀

Wellesley Private Practice

873 Worcester Street, Suite 4
Wellesley, MA 02482
(978) 393-5437 (phone or text)
[email protected]

Boston office at Tufts Medical Center

Tufts Medical Center
Biewend Building, 11th floor
260 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 636-7771 (phone only)
[email protected]