Rita Allison, 59, of York, was in her last year of teaching at Dallastown’s Loganville-Springfield Elementary when she was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. Her treatment plan required two surgeries followed by 33 radiation treatments. Prior to beginning radiation, the team at WellSpan’s York Cancer Center informed her of her eligibility for a clinical breast trial to determine if radiation therapy is more effective with or without Herceptin in preventing subsequent occurrences of breast cancer. Allison was selected to be part of the control group for the study.
“I think it is great,” says Allison. “I am thrilled to be part of something that has the potential to advance breast cancer treatment.”
As part of the clinical trial, Allison receives check ups and mammograms every six months for five years.
“I feel safer because of the regular check ups,” remarks Allison. “Once you finish radiation, it’s like—now what? But being part of this study has allowed me to help advance treatment and get very regular monitoring. I feel safer.”
Allison was so grateful for the care that she received at the York Cancer Center that she and a friend started volunteering at WellSpan.
“I am so fortunate to be where I am today and be able to give back. I split my time between volunteering in pediatrics and at the cancer center. I just love it. I am blessed.”