Jo Francis Connolly

For Southeast Georgia Health System Cancer Care Center
Jo Frances Connolly SGHS Patient Story

Jo Frances Connolly, a lifelong Camden County resident, had been faithfully getting her annual screening mammograms for decades, so when she turned 75 years old in 2014, she thought she would make it her last. However, the mammogram revealed something suspicious.

She went to see T. Wayne Rentz, M.D., board-certified general surgeon, Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Brunswick General Surgery, a strategic affiliate of Southeast Georgia Health System, for a needle biopsy that revealed she had breast cancer. After Dr. Rentz performed a second surgery to remove the cancerous lump, she needed radiation therapy and chose to have her treatments at the Cancer Care Center on the Camden Campus. She says, “I had radiation therapy for my leg at the Camden Campus hospital several years ago, so I already knew how wonderful they are.”

Under the medical direction of Bruce Tripp, M.D., board-certified radiation oncologist, Cancer Care Center, she had an accelerated course of radiation treatment that she was able to complete in about three weeks. “I can’t say enough about the team at the Cancer Care Center, especially Brent Higgins, the radiation therapist, and Allison Kelley, the nurse. Not everyone can do this kind of work. It takes special people and that is what they are.”

Connolly finished her radiation treatments in June and is feeling good about the future. “I know cancer is a God-fearing word, but they are making so much progress with treatments. I think being optimistic helps with your healing. Even at my age, I still have a lot more I want to do.”

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month