Learning to smile after triple-negative breast cancer treatment

Hashmat Effendi has spent much of her life organizing teams of medical professionals from the United States to travel to various developing countries. The teams perform surgeries for children with congenital deformities and severe burns. Though she’s used to supporting others through difficult times, she never thought that she’d be the one in need. In September 2015, she set off for a medical mission trip to Pakistan, but this journey proved to be anything but ordinary. The lump that led to a breast cancer diagnosis For more than 20 years, Hashmat diligently checked her breasts for any changes. During her Pakistan trip, she did her exam in the shower. She didn’t feel anything but still had a bad feeling that something was different. She then did the exam while lying down and found a small lump. Part of her wanted to ignore it altogether. Since she has always been active, has no family history and has never taken hormones, she didn’t think it could be breast cancer. Still, Hashmat coordinated with the local host hospital and was able to get a mammogram and then a biopsy while in Pakistan. The diagnosis was stage III triple-negative breast cancer. Three weeks later, she returned to Houston, where she saw an oncologist who recommended chemotherapy. Her son encouraged her to come to MD Anderson for a second opinion. Triple-negative breast cancer treatment at MD Anderson Hashmat was impressed with the caring and supportive attitude of her MD Anderson team. “It is hard to believe everyone can be so nice,” Hashmat says. “From the surgeon to valet parking, I experienced love, peace and...

Learning to smile after triple-negative breast cancer treatment

Hashmat Effeni has spent much of her life organizing teams of medical professionals from the United States to travel to various developing countries. The teams perform surgeries for children with congenital deformities and severe burns. Though she’s used to supporting others through difficult times, she never thought that she’d be the one in need. In September 2015, she set off for a medical mission trip to Pakistan, but this journey proved to be anything but ordinary. The lump that led to a breast cancer diagnosis For more than 20 years, Hashmat diligently checked her breasts for any changes. During her Pakistan trip, she did her exam in the shower. She didn’t feel anything but still had a bad feeling that something was different. She then did the exam while lying down and found a small lump. Part of her wanted to ignore it altogether. Since she has always been active, has no family history and has never taken hormones, she didn’t think it could be breast cancer. Still, Hashmat coordinated with the local host hospital and was able to get a mammogram and then a biopsy while in Pakistan. The diagnosis was stage III triple-negative breast cancer. Three weeks later, she returned to Houston, where she saw an oncologist who recommended chemotherapy. Her son encouraged her to come to MD Anderson for a second opinion. Triple-negative breast cancer treatment at MD Anderson Hashmat was impressed with the caring and supportive attitude of her MD Anderson team. “It is hard to believe everyone can be so nice,” Hashmat says. “From the surgeon to valet parking, I experienced love, peace and...