At age 48, Diana had sharp pains in her lower abdomen. Referred to David M. Boruta, MD, a gynecologic oncologist in the Vincent Department of OB/GYN, she presented with a 7-inch pelvic mass.

Treatment

Within days, Diana had surgery, performed by Dr. Boruta with a technique he pioneered — laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (LESS). Working through one incision at the belly button, he removed the uterus, ovaries and other affected tissues. Pathology tests showed she had stage IIIA2 ovarian cancer, a serious disease, so Diana was advised to have chemotherapy.

Extraordinary supportPatient 1 Diana (A) 2nd from left

The day after surgery, Diana returned to her home in Salem, MA. A steady stream of support began, someone dropping by every day with flowers or nutritious food. Her mother and friends from Puerto Rico came. When Diana had chemo at the Mass General Cancer Center, friends stayed with her in the infusion room, wearing T-shirts designed with slogans to cheer her on.

Flying colors

“They treated me like a diva,” says Diana. Three days after her final infusion, she and her friends participated in the North Shore Cancer Walk & Run. They wore “Team Diva Diana” T-shirts, colored teal for ovarian cancer. When lab tests showed she carried the BRCA2 gene, putting her at 80 percent risk of breast cancer, Diana elected to get a double mastectomy. She came through with flying colors. “There was so much love to pull me through.”