Medical physicist Dana Rosencranz ('98 M.S., '02 Ph.D.) has overseen radiation for cancer patients for more than two decades, sitting alongside them as they endured their treatments. She has climbed mountains and ran 5Ks to raise funds for research, and even founded a cancer support group when she saw a need in her rural community of Paris, Texas.
But after years of helping others fight the disease that affects millions around the globe annually, the UNT physics alum received her own breast cancer diagnosis last year.
"Being a patient myself helped me gain some new perspectives," says Rosencranz, who serves as chief medical physicist at Texas Oncology in Paris and Greenville. "We are so narrowly trained. We know our job very well, but I realized how little I knew about the other aspects of dealing with this disease. I started asking more questions than I normally would on a regular basis, and I learned so much."
Thankfully, Rosencranz responded to treatment, but that's not always the case.
UNT biological sciences alum Amy Schade ('13) had a good friend she thought of as a sister who died from metastatic breast cancer. It's in her friend's memory that Schade is working to find new treatment options for the disease as a postdoctoral research fellow at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
"Lexi was involved in patient advocacy through the nonprofit METAvivor. I was really inspired by her strength at the time and how she used her platform to make a difference," Schade says. "When this job became available, it felt pretty perfect. This is something I could do to honor Lexi's legacy by working in breast cancer."
As the most diagnosed cancer among women in the U.S., breast cancer remains a top focus for researchers, with millions of dollars in funding allocated each year by top government agencies to learn more about the disease.
Some of that discovery is going on here at UNT and in labs and hospitals across the world occupied by members of the Mean Green Family.
During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, learn more about the UNT faculty, students and alumni who have made it their life's mission to further the understanding of breast cancer and are contributing to the foundational science that could lead to new treatments for the disease.
Read the rest of the story via UNT Research at: https://research.unt.edu/news/battling-breast-cancer-0