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Breast Cancer Survivor Appreciates Team Approach at Washington Hospital

Breast Cancer Survivor Appreciates Team Approach at Washington Hospital

Brentwood Woman Benefits from Latest Advances in Cancer Treatment

After battling breast cancer for nearly a year, Diana Sacramento was finally able to take her dog, Bella, on their regular walk last week. While she had exercised on a stationary bicycle and taken smaller walks during treatment, it was the first time she was able to resume what she calls “the big walk.”

Diana credits her team of caregivers at Washington Hospital and Washington Women’s Center, as well as the state-of-the-art cancer treatment she received, for her remarkable recovery.

“That feeling of realizing I had a whole team helping me through it was truly amazing,” she said. “I feel very fortunate to have access to the Washington Hospital Healthcare System, including the UCSF - Washington Hospital Cancer Center.”

Diana was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2021. Her chest hurt and she felt like she had the flu, so she went to see her primary care physician. After talking to her about her symptoms, he ordered a mammogram and then an ultrasound,

“I’m very healthy and I do all my routine screenings like mammograms, so I just thought I had the flu,” she explained. “But then I was watching the screen during the ultrasound and I could see a dark spot. I knew that wasn’t good. I was diagnosed with triple-negative, stage 3 breast cancer – a very aggressive form of cancer.”

She met with a nurse navigator, who guided her through her cancer treatment journey, making all the necessary appointments. Nurse navigators are provided to patients through the Washington Women’s Center, which has been accredited by The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization that has been established to identify and recognize breast centers providing quality care in the United States.

‘Wonderful Experience’

“I always had a wonderful experience at the Women’s Center,” she added. “My nurse navigator set up everything for me, and I felt like I had an entire team of doctors, nurses and technicians working on my behalf.”

First she had minor surgery to insert a port into her chest where chemotherapy medications could be administered. Diana then started a six-month regimen of chemotherapy at the Sandy Amos, RN, Infusion Center at Washington Hospital.

“The Infusion Center has an amazing team,” she said. “Everyone is so intuitive and knowledgeable. They explained everything that was going to happen.”

Next up was surgery, performed by Dr. William E. Dugoni Jr., an oncologic surgeon with Washington Township Medical Foundation and medical director of the Washington Women’s Center, followed by radiation at the Washington Radiation Oncology Center.

Thanks to a partnership with UCSF, Tri-City residents have access to some of the most advanced radiation technology available today close to home, including a linear accelerator, which allows radiation oncologists to provide more targeted therapies based on high-quality, three-dimensional images of the tumor and surrounding tissue. A dose of radiation can be delivered with multidirectional beams that not only improve the accuracy and effectiveness of the treatment, but also limit the dose and minimize injury to the surrounding tissues.

Diana said she felt supported by health care professionals as well as family and friends throughout her entire journey. Her two grown daughters and her husband were by her side, and her employer gave her the time off she needed.

“I’m a design gallery manager for Summerhill Homes,” she added “I love my company. I was able to work part time during chemo, and then when the treatments became too much, I took time off.”

Today she is looking forward to spending more quality time with loved ones and taking more long walks.

“I don’t think I’d be so well off today if I didn’t have this incredible team at Washington Hospital coordinating my care,” she said. “I was able to stay positive throughout the whole experience. I realize that all the training and hard work I did in my 20s to develop a positive mindset paid off. It’s been good really.”

To learn more about the Washington Women’s Center, visit For more information about cancer programs at Washington Hospital, visit