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College professor teaches tenacity in fighting breast cancer

Debbie Paine teaching students in her classroom.After receiving an abnormal result on her annual mammogram, college professor Debbie Paine met with physicians in her hometown of Valdosta, Georgia. The diagnosis was breast cancer, but Debbie cancer, but Debbie felt that her physician was prescribing a one-size-fits-all treatment, so on the advice of her husband, she sought a second opinion at UF Health.

From the moment she met with UF Health surgical oncologist Dr. Lisa Spiguel, Debbie knew she was in good hands.

“Dr. Spiguel made a plan that felt right for me,” Debbie said. “She listened to me, and I felt confident that the surgery and followup treatment developed by the team at UF Health were the right solution for me.”

Debbie’s breast cancer team at UF Health consisted of surgical oncologist.Dr. Lisa Spiguel, radiation oncologist Dr. Judith Lightsey, medical oncologist Dr. Coy Heldermon and nurse navigator Pamela Clevenger.

Dr. Spiguel and her multidisciplinary team created a customized treatment plan for Debbie that consisted of surgery and radiation therapy, avoiding the side effects of chemotherapy.

Debbie drove to the UF Health Radiation Oncology — Davis Cancer Pavilion from Valdosta every day for 28 days, a 228-mile round trip, logging well over 6,000 miles in her treatment.

“It was a drive worth taking. Now I can continue doing things that I had to put on hold,” Debbie said.

About the author

Jessica Barton
Marketing Coordinator

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Media contact

Peyton Wesner
Communications Manager for UF Health External Communications (352) 273-9620