From the Magazine: What Happens When One of the World’s Leading Breast Cancer Doctors Gets Breast Cancer?

After treating and advocating for breast cancer patients for more than a decade, Dr. Marisa Weiss received a diagnosis of her own



One afternoon in late April, Marisa Weiss got a call at home in Wynnewood from her doctor.

“I’m concerned,” the doctor told Marisa.

“O-kay … How concerned?”

“I’m … concerned.”

Earlier that day, Marisa had gone in for her annual mammogram, and now her doctor at Lankenau Hospital was looking at the results. Marisa knew that her breasts were difficult to read.

Her doctor had seen something, but wasn’t sure what it was.

Marisa Weiss — Dr. Marisa Weiss — wasn’t an ordinary patient. She’s a breast cancer physician herself, at Lankenau. So Marisa could have gone back in to the hospital that night and gotten the ball rolling quickly on a diagnosis. She was unsure what to do, though — which is unusual for her. Marisa usually pushes forward, fast, toward an answer. But she was tired. She’d already had a long day of work.

So she decided to wait until morning. What she was hearing from her doctor wasn’t exactly new — in the past, she’d had to go back for additional evaluations to make sure there were no problems. Her breasts were quite dense, and mammograms yield a high number of questionable results.

Continue reading