Sara’s Story: A Baby and a Cancer Diagnosis

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Sara Erzen was at the start of her second trimester of pregnancy when she was diagnosed with breast cancer – invasive ductal carcinoma. The news was a shock to the 35-year-old wife and mother of two daughters – she was young and had no family history of breast cancer.

The lumps in her breast – dismissed for months as dense breast tissue during pregnancy – now required immediate treatment.

That’s when a family member suggested that Sara, a Lansing resident, travel to Henry Ford Cancer Institute at Henry Ford Health System for a second opinion.

During her first visit to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, she was met by a team of cancer specialists: oncologist Haythem Ali, M.D.; breast surgeon David Nathanson, M.D.; and radiation oncologist Eleanor Walker, M.D.

The Henry Ford Cancer Institute’s Tumor Board had already reviewed Sara’s medical records before she arrived and mapped out a comprehensive plan to treat her breast cancer both during and after her pregnancy. Two rounds of chemotherapy at Henry Ford Medical Center – Columbus in Novi while pregnant since Sara’s baby was past a critical developmental phase, followed by mastectomy surgery and radiation therapy soon after her baby is delivered.

Working alongside Sara’s oncology team, obstetricians Brent Davidson, M.D. and June Murphy, D.O., were by her side throughout her treatment to monitor her pregnancy.

And, on March 6, 2014, Sara’s baby, a third girl named Adeline Faith, was delivered by a team of Women’s Health experts at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

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