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Mother, Daughter Survive Breast Cancer Then Need Brain Surgery

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A special mother-daughter bond tops the Healthwatch on the day after Mother’s Day, and the race for the cure the fight against breast cancer is especially important for this family.

Health reporter Stephanie Stahl has their story and a new light therapy treatment being tested at Penn medicine.

Terry Guthrie and her daughter Sena hill try not to dwell on their bad luck.

It started with breast cancer, they were both diagnosed in 2010.

Sena Hill, who has two sons, had to have surgery, radiation, and chemo.

“My kids were like 10 and 11 and I was scared I was gonna die, you know the whole not knowing part of what’s going on,” she said.

Terry Guthrie, Hill’s mother said, “That was hard I just kept thinking it should be me, it shouldn’t be her.”

Even though Terry had a recurrence, and Sena had a more serious bout, it wasn’t the genetic kind of breast cancer.

Then last year fate struck again, they both had brain surgeries.

“It’s a little overwhelming, I just feel like how, like why in our family does this have to happen. Why do you have to get so much dumped on you,” Hill said.

Sena, who’s 46 had a benign brain malformation called Chiari, that was repaired surgically.

Then Terry thought she needed new glasses, but it turned out she had Glioblastoma brain cancer.

Penn Neuro Surgeon John Lee operated, using an experimental fluorescent dye. The illumination allows surgeons to more precisely remove the cancer, while sparing healthy tissue.

“It’s been a wonderful technology to find tumor, and then look for margins and improve outcomes,” said Lee.

“I was delighted to have it because I think he got most of the tumor out.” said Terry.

Sixty-nine year old Terry is who is facing bad odds, getting radiation, chemo, remains optimistic

She said, “I’m had a really good life. I’m okay with it I’ve done the things I want to do.”

The fluorescent technology Terry received was originally developed by surgeons at the Penn center for Precision Surgery to treat lung cancer, early results for brain surgery are positive so far.

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