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A Story of Hope and Support

Breast Cancer Survivor Tammy Wright Trusts Lakeland Regional Health’s Dr. Nguyen During Life’s Toughest Moments

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“I have had 16 surgeries in my life, and I can tell you there is no other doctor like Dr. Nguyen. He has changed my life.”

- Tammy Wright

After receiving a life-altering cancer diagnosis, Tammy Wright found herself leaning on Toan Nguyen, MD and the Lakeland Regional Health Hollis Cancer Center team for expert support and comforting care.

When Tammy Wright was diagnosed with breast cancer, she knew she needed a strong medical and support network to guide her through treatment and recovery. As someone whose voicemail greets the caller with “I missed your call because I am off having fun and loving life,” Tammy deeply values the personable care that Dr. Nguyen continues to provide. “During my visits, Dr. Nguyen never looks at his watch. He listens closely to each concern with an expert ear, but also kindness. He is so special.”

During Tammy’s diagnosis and treatment, she recalls the comforting measures that created community and connection within the Hollis Cancer Center. She looks back fondly on those small touches that brought solace to her daily. When she entered the Hollis Cancer Center for treatment to see Dr. Nguyen, she was greeted by a smiling team member ready to guide her to her appointment. “A smile matters, especially to people who are going through a difficult diagnosis,” Tammy says. “Each day I showed up to the Hollis Center, I would feel instantly relaxed as live piano music played softly in the background. Not to mention, I was able to see my favorite doctor, Dr. Nguyen, and I knew I would be leaving there with my spirits lifted.”

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About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2022, an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 51,400 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Nguyen changed Tammy’s life and he continues to care for her during her recovery. “My practice is patient-centered, always. I provide personalized care to support each patient and their unique health goals. I am in this with you, through each step,” says Dr. Toan Nguyen about how he approaches customized patient care. Both Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Prowler are leading providers in breast health. Dr. Vanessa Prowler is a fellowship-trained Breast Surgeon specializing in the treatment of benign and malignant breast diseases. She is a Trained Clinician in Cancer Risk Assessment and empowers her patients. She creates customized care for patients to decrease their risk of developing breast cancer and remain healthy. For patients with breast cancer, Dr. Prowler guides them to understand or overcome this diagnosis.

For Tammy, Dr. Nguyen has been the light guiding her throughout this journey. As a principal investiga­tor in breast health clinical trials at Lakeland Regional Health, Dr. Nguyen expertly provides his patients with the latest advances in care from cutting-edge technologies to pharmaceuticals to procedures. In fact, Dr. Nguyen was the first surgeon in Polk County to perform procedures such as Intraoperative localization, use of Biozorb, use of Magtrace, Axillary reverse mapping, and Lymphovenous bypass.

Even with expert care and support, Tammy knew that receiving a cancer diagnosis would create deep vulnerability and her medical team’s empathy and expertise would be crucial. Tammy went through both a lumpectomy (surgery to remove cancer or other abnormal tissue from the breast) and eventually needed to undergo a double mastectomy (surgery to remove both breasts).

During this deeply difficult time in Tammy’s life, she remained positive and confident in Dr. Nguyen’s care, trusting him to provide comfort and treatment tailored specifically to her. “He listens closely to the patient and their needs. He believes in me, he knows me, and he cares about my healing journey. He assured me no matter what, he would take care of me,” said Tammy.

Tammy was almost ready for reconstructive surgery, but she knew she would need to recover more. “I knew I would have to wait for my reconstructive surgery, which was stressful. Dr. Nguyen was so communicative and helpful during that period of waiting. I knew he had my back and always would.” 

Tammy lives her life each day with positivity and excitement. Recently welcoming a new puppy into her family, she is as active and busy as ever. She looks forward to her visits with Dr. Nguyen and even advocates for her friends and family to seek the expertise at the Hollis Cancer Center for their own breast health. “I reassure and encourage my community to seek out Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Prowler for their care. I love it, it fills me with great joy to recommend these two doctors.”

Hollis Cancer Center

Since 2003, the Hollis Cancer Center at Lakeland Regional Health has provided patients with a peaceful environment to receive high-quality care. Within the Breast Program, Dr. Toan Nguyen and Dr. Vanessa Prowler are dedicated to ensuring all patients feel supported during visits. 

If you or a loved one would like to visit our Hollis Cancer Center for your breast health needs or concerns, call 863.603.6565 today to learn more about the services we provide.

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