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Doreen Perrino, of Smithtown, NY, trusted her instincts when she felt a potential lump on one of her breasts. She called her gynecologist the next day.

“He said it was probably nothing to be worried about since I have cystic breasts,” said Doreen. “Even so, he ordered a mammogram and sonogram, and I’m glad he did.”

The original lump she felt on her own was actually not cancer. But the mammogram and sonogram showed two left breast masses and a left axillary abnormal lymph node.

The day after her breast cancer diagnosis, Perrino met with Dr. Jana Deitch, Director of the Breast Health Program at Catholic Health’s St. Catherine of Siena Hospital in Smithtown, NY.

Dr. Deitch performed a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and guided Perrino through her treatment plan: a lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy, surgical removal of some lymph nodes and, finally, radiation.

Perrino, who works as program director of the Smithtown Senior Citizens Department, went to St. Catherine of Siena Hospital every Monday for chemotherapy. This was followed by 33 days of radiation.  

“It was a good experience along with the horrible experience of having cancer,” she said. “It was a whirlwind—sometimes I felt I needed a second to breathe. I had all the tests. I had a scan of my brain and every part of my body to make sure it was nowhere else. The service I received from them was just phenomenal and so caring.”

Perrino’s cancer was caught in the early stages and her prognosis is good. Now, she makes a point to remind anyone she encounters about the importance of mammograms.

“I’m always encouraging people to get a mammogram and talking about why they’re so important,” she said.

Read more about the recommended mammogram guidelines. Talk to your physician about when to schedule yours. Mammograms help detect breast cancer in its earliest stages when it is most treatable.

Learn more about breast cancer services at Catholic Health. Call 844-86-CANCER (844-862-2623) for more information.


Light the Tree Pink Ceremony at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital

For October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the hospital held an inaugural Light the Tree Pink ceremony. Doreen, joined by Dr. Deitch, shared her breast cancer story and the importance of mammograms.

st. catherine of siena hospital staff with patient
(L-R): Jim O'Connor, president, St. Catherine of Siena Hospital (SCSH); Doreen Perrino; Dr. Jana Deitch, MD; Dominick Pernice, SCSH Chief Operating Officer; and Mickel Khlat, DO, SCSH Chief Medical Officer


st. catherine of siena pink lighted tree for breast cancer awareness month
The tree is lit in honor of all breast cancer survivors and those lost to breast cancer.

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