70-year-old Barbara Schapero of Peabody was bothered by a nagging dry cough, so she went to see her primary care physician to have it checked out. X-rays and a CT scan showed an abnormality in her left lung that turned out to be cancer. Despite a career as a nurse, Schapero reacted as any patient would when she got the news. "I lost my objectivity immediately and feared for my life," says the married mother of four and grandmother of seven. Because the tumor showed no signs of having spread and was caught relatively early, Schapero was a candidate for surgery. Dean Donahue, M.D., Chief of Thoracic Surgery at NSMC Salem Hospital and an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, removed the upper lobe of her left lung.
Barbara's comprehensive post-surgery treatment included a 12-week course of two cancer-fighting drugs based on new research showing that chemotherapy after surgery for lung cancer may reduce the likelihood of a recurrence. Through NSMC's affiliation with Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, NSMC Cancer Center is able to stay on top of the latest in research and care, including clinical trials. Today, Schapero credits her health to the care she received through North Shore Medical Center. "I feel so fortunate to have found these two wonderful doctors," she says, "and I'm so glad I was able to stay close to home when I received my care."