'My calling': Surgeon and breast cancer survivor empowers patients beyond diagnosis
A Hudson Valley woman is using her own experience with cancer to help make a difference in the lives of others during National Cancer Survivor Month.
A little more than a decade ago, Lisa Curcio was a new mom and surgeon when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She went from being a provider to a patient, quickly undergoing a mastectomy to remove and beat breast cancer.
"I started reflecting on why breast cancer happened to me. And really, I came to realize that it was really my calling to dedicate the rest of my career to taking care of breast cancer patients," she says.
Curcio became a breast surgical oncologist in the mid-2000s, helping thousands of lives ever since.
"That to me is such a gift. To be able to walk someone through this journey a little less afraid and a little more empowered and feeling like the people that are taking care of them are really their warriors in this battle they have," she says.
She is now treating patients in the Nuvance Health System after moving to the Hudson Valley last fall from California. She is looking to empower each one beyond their diagnosis.
"We can always look back and get a message from that journey and become stronger on the other side, and that's where I feel like we become thrivers. Not only survivors, but actually thrivers," she says.
Curcio encourages everyone to seek early detection and genetic testing to help find and treat cancer early.