When Mincin Golchini was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer at the age of 42, she struggled with many questions, including whether she would see her fifteen-year-old son grow up.

At the time of her diagnosis, her cancer had extended beyond the immediate region of the original tumor and had invaded three lymph nodes. The largest of the tumors was 6 centimeters in size.

Her outlook would change when she met Dr. Maria Nelson, an oncologic surgeon at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

For Mincin, the decision to come to the USC Norris cancer center was based on its research-led patient care and treatment. The cancer center also had a special place in her heart – it was where she had met her husband, Kevin, nearly 24 years ago while she was working as a coffee shop barista.

After meeting with Dr. Nelson, a personalized plan was set for Mincin. She would undergo six treatments of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and radiation therapy to destroy any cancer cells that might have remained after surgery. It was not an easy process, but the treatments worked.

She was cancer-free.

“When Dr. Nelson told me the good news, she was as excited as I was,” Mincin said. “I felt fortunate and blessed to have been treated by her and the entire staff at the USC Norris cancer center.”

As part of her recovery process, Mincin was also prescribed a medication that showed strong results in reducing the chances of recurrence – a medication that Dr. Nelson herself has researched extensively as a physician-scientist. This gave Mincin the ultimate confidence that her cancer would not come back.

Today, Mincin is living life to the fullest, going back to the things she loves most. When asked what life moment she was looking forward to the most, she responded, “My son’s high school graduation. It gives me great joy to know that I can share my life with my son again.”

Using the latest treatments, research and breakthroughs, our goal at the USC Norris cancer center is to give every patient like Mincin the hope and strength they need to battle cancer – at every step of the journey.

Everyone wants to find a cure for cancer. At the USC Norris cancer center, we aim even higher. We work daily to ensure that, one day, cancer will not need to be treated at all. We want it to become a disease of the past, so that future generations will never even hear the words, “You have cancer.”

Mincin said it best when asked about the gift that the USC Norris cancer center has given her.

“They gave me a chance at life again. What cancer?”