John had everything going for him in 2007. Married to the love of his life, Tina, he woke to run three miles every day. But while at age 42 he looked and felt as healthy as he ever had, during an annual physical, John’s primary care physician noticed an abnormal mass in his lung. A biopsy revealed it to be lung cancer. And not just any lung cancer — a very rare subtype, in an exceedingly difficult location. Doctors told him he would need to lose an entire lung — that is until he met thoracic surgeon Bernard Park.
At age 28, Caitlin, a receptionist living in Queens, faced a daunting decision: Should she have her breasts removed to slash her risk of developing breast cancer down the road? She’d inherited a mutation in the BRCA1 gene that made her much more likely than other women to develop breast and ovarian cancer. The surgery may not be the right choice for all women with this mutation, notes Memorial Sloan Kettering surgeon Mary Gemignani. But for Caitlin, it clearly was.