Take Charge

Karen's Story

January 20, 2016

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Karen Lifshin lost her mother and aunt to breast cancer so she always knew that preventative care and frequent screenings would be crucial for her health. Karen had received her annual mammograms and breast ultrasounds, and even met with a genetic counselor - all showing no signs of cancer. As a breast MRI tech at Moffitt, Karen decided to have her own MRI imaging done to completely rule out any sign of disease, but was slightly caught off guard when the results revealed stage 3a breast cancer. Karen had a single mastectomy and immediately underwent six months of chemotherapy and radiation.

Karen continued to work at Moffitt where she saw patients every day. She said it was refreshing to help patients going through a similar journey as her own.

“My advice to someone going through this is to have an optimistic attitude,” said Karen. “Moffitt is so good at keeping things positive and not discouraging its patients and their families.”

Karen enjoys coming back to Moffitt to visit her old colleagues and to remind herself that she is lucky to live in Tampa where one of the top cancer centers in the country is located, where her life was saved.

“Something that really impressed me is that Moffitt always had something to offer. They treat the entire patient – their mind and body. They zoomed in on my specific disease and treated me and not just my tumor.”

Karen is cancer free and comes to Moffitt every six months for checkups. Her husband has been her rock and she thanks him and her entire family for the support and encouragement provided during her cancer journey.