Who We Are

Saving a Life – Twice!

“If it were not for Dr. Laura Klein’s persistence, I would not be here today.”         

Breast cancer is a rare diagnosis in men, so when Harold Sylvester was diagnosed a few months before celebrating his 80th birthday, he and his wife Kitty were very surprised.  Only 1 percent of all breast cancers are found in men.

In 2011, Harold had noticed a growth on his chest.  He was provided care at another area hospital, which failed to detect any abnormalities when a core needle biopsy was conducted.  To remove this seemingly benign lump, Harold was encouraged to consult a surgeon.  Fortunately, this roundabout search eventually landed Harold in the female-dominated offices of The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center, meeting with the Medical Director, Laura Klein, M.D.

Valley Health System devotes considerable resources to delivering the highest quality cancer care.  With Dr. Klein at the helm, Valley’s Breast Center, in particular, has developed a proud reputation for excellence.  The Joint Commission has awarded the coveted Gold Seal of Approval to Valley’s breast program.  No hospital in the nation has more Gold Seals in cancer care than Valley.   

And for the third consecutive year, the Women’s Choice Award program has named Valley’s program one of America’s Best Breast Centers.  The Women’s Choice Award is the only program that identifies the nation’s best in healthcare based on female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence and what women say they want when it comes to treatment and a quality medical experience. 

With this distinction, it’s no wonder that Harold’s story unfolds as it does.  Dr. Klein ordered another biopsy, and the Valley team did not overlook the cell abnormalities.  Since it was apparent that disease had spread into the surrounding breast tissue, Harold was being pressured to have an immediate double mastectomy.

“Dr. Klein was extremely persistent.  The office kept calling me.  They wanted me to waste no time,” Harold recounts.

Confident in Valley’s competent team, Harold did as he was instructed and scheduled the surgery, followed by radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  Much to Harold and his wife, Kitty’s relief, tests indicated no evidence of disease. 

So for Harold’s 80th birthday that July, friends and family were invited for an intimate gathering near their home in Glen Rock, and Dr. Klein was an especially welcomed guest at this momentous occasion.  In lieu of gifts, guests were encouraged to make a donation to Valley’s Breast Center.    

Vigilant monitoring was prescribed, which meant regular physical exams, blood tests and imaging.  After two years in remission, cancer returned to his lymph nodes.  Because of periodic monitoring, the returning disease was discovered early and wiped out once again.

“Dr. Klein saved my life, twice,” Harold added.  “Without her and the rest of the team at Valley, I am certain I would not be alive today.”

Without a doubt, the sustained watchful approach this team of skilled Valley clinicians took towards Harold’s breast cancer made all the difference.   Valley Health System is committed to excellence and consistently providing this level of world-class patient and family centered care to each and every patient who walks through its doors.