Lisa Bronson’s story of diagnosis, treatment and recovery from breast cancer premiered on Lifetime Television’s “Speaking of Women’s Health,” a half-hour series hosted by Florence Henderson and Rachel Campos. Andy Warhol said, “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.” Lisa has already been in the spotlight twice as long.
What began for Lisa as an unexpected diagnosis became a journey that she’s now shared with millions of viewers across the U.S.
“When I was asked if I might agree to being filmed, it never occurred to me to say no,” Lisa recalls. “I figured that seeing my story might help personalize the disease and make it less frightening, or inspire more women to get a mammogram.
Early detection is clearly the key to surviving cancer.” For Lisa, national sales director for an upscale shoe manufacturer, an annual mammogram was just part of her healthcare routine. But early this year, her radiologist found an “architectural anomaly” in her breast, and called for another X-ray. Next, an ultrasound was performed. Finally, a core biopsy revealed the presence of cancer cells.
Her doctor, Nora Hansen, M.D., associate director of Breast Surgical
Oncology, had hoped Lisa would only need a minor procedure — but her treatment required a far more extensive series of surgeries and chemotherapy.
And every step of the way, Lisa and her oncology team were filmed for television.
“The camera crew was there for every procedure — the diagnosis, the surgery, the CAT scans,” Lisa says. “It was kind of surreal, but it took away some of the reality of what was happening. It ended up being a really positive experience.”
Rather than being obtrusive, the crew made special efforts to be respectful.“ They were so sensitive and caring, whenever there was bad news, they would just turn off the camera and walk away,” Lisa notes. “I felt they were rooting for me. In a way, they became part of my family.”
Lisa’s son Nick was just 16 when she was diagnosed. For a teenager, having a mom with cancer is hard enough — but do they have to put it on television? Lisa saw that when life turns upside down, you might as well go with it.