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ACIBADEM TURKEY - From Despair to Hope: A Somali Math Teacher’s Victory Over Breast Cancer

Wednesday October 11, 2023
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Living over 1,500 miles away from her native home, 33-year-old Sagal, a mother and math teacher in London, faced an unexpected challenge. At an age when many women have yet to undergo their first screening mammograms, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. The malignancy had spread to the lymph nodes in her breast and liver. The shock was palpable. "I couldn't believe it; I was only 33 and had maintained a relatively healthy lifestyle," recalls Sagal.

The recommended immediate chemotherapy in London, a common approach for metastatic cancers, wasn't the specialized treatment that Sagal’s stage 4 condition demanded. It was a colleague who suggested she explore renowned hospitals abroad, opening doors to more advanced treatment options.

Sagal's search led her to Acıbadem Hospital in Turkey. With relatives in the country, the transition for treatment abroad seemed feasible. Her interaction with the hospital began online and was soon followed by a consultation with Assoc. Prof. Özge Gümüşay at the Acıbadem Senology Institute – a globally recognized center for breast cancer research and treatment.

Assoc. Prof. Özge Gümüşay, with her extensive experience, having worked at esteemed institutions like the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center and Stanford University, proposed a comprehensive treatment plan for Sagal. This plan comprised chemotherapy and targeted therapy, tailored to combat HER2-positive breast cancer - Sagal's specific type.

Sagal's journey from uncertainty to hope was marked by intensive chemotherapy cycles at Acıbadem. The targeted therapy, known as "smart drugs," specifically attacked the abnormalities within the cancer cells. This personalized approach led to a significant improvement – Sagal's liver lesions disappeared after four cycles.

With no evidence of active disease in the subsequent PET-CT scans, Sagal's victory over cancer was evident. Now, more than two years cancer-free, she reflects on her journey with deep gratitude. "I was lucky to find Acıbadem and Assoc. Prof. Özge Gümüşay. The professionalism and care I received were unmatched. Today, I am a living testament to their excellence," shares Sagal.

Assoc. Prof. Özge Gümüşay emphasizes the importance of seeking optimal treatment for those diagnosed with breast cancer. The advancements in targeted therapies and immunotherapies have revolutionized treatment outcomes, even for advanced cancer types.

Acıbadem Senology Institute stands as a beacon of hope, offering specialized care for complex breast cancer cases. For more information on their services, visit their website: http://acibadem.ir/


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