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Bethany's story

  • Author: Bethany Revak
  • Date Submitted: Oct 23, 2023
  • Category: Thoracic Surgery and Lung Center of Excellence

“ I was home after 3 days, straight from the ICU. I’m active again.”

Never in her 50 years has Dr. Bethany Revak of Jupiter smoked. Not a single cigarette, cigar, joint, or vape pen.

But in 2022, she underwent an MRI as a follow-up to a breast biopsy that was suspicious for cancer. The breast MRI happened to capture an image of tissue near the very top of her lung, and her cancer specialist spotted unusual tissue there, too.

After a lumpectomy to remove the breast tissue (which turned out to be noncancerous), Bethany returned to Jupiter Medical Center several weeks later for a comprehensive image of the lung.

The finding: some of the cells in her lung were suspicious for cancer.

“I never smoked in my life,” says Dr. Revak, 50, a family medicine physician and mother of three who manages a health plan. “But my dad smoked when I was growing up, and so did my uncle. They both had cancer in their 50s. I had no symptoms, no cough, no weight loss, or sweats, but my cancer was caught on imaging for something else.”

She credits the expertise and skill of Dr. K. Adam Lee, medical director of the Thoracic Surgery and Lung Center of Excellence at Jupiter Medical Center, Dr. Lee’s advanced practice registered nurse Lindsay Silas, and the center’s entire oncology team for her personalized, compassionate care and quick recovery from what she knows professionally as “very serious, very intensive surgery.”

Dr. Lee removed the cancerous lung tissue in May 2023 via a minimally invasive procedure called VATS, short for video-assisted thorascopic surgery. Through three small chest incisions, he removed only the cancerous segment of her lung, sparing remaining healthy lung tissue.

“I didn’t have a large incision, but I had chest tubes and drains, and constant blood pressure monitoring in the ICU. Lung surgery sometimes involves quite a slow recovery,” Dr. Revak says. “But I was so lucky. The Jupiter team did such a great job that I didn’t need much pain medication.

“I was home after three days, straight from the ICU. I definitely felt short of breath at first, but now I’m back to how I started. I’ve been active ever since. I play pickleball. I’m on a women’s kickball team. I walk four miles every morning with a friend. I do yoga. I got right back into everything.”

Dr. Revak knows that attention to detail by everyone involved in her oncology care helped spot the suspicious lung tissue early.

“Dr. Lee and his team members are very attentive, very compassionate, and very up to date on all the latest research and treatment methods,” she says. “As a doctor myself, I felt very comfortable with the Jupiter team. I feel very lucky. I don’t know that this cancer could have been caught any earlier. Dr. Lee’s team is excellent, and I am very lucky to have such a great outcome.”