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Archive for December 11th, 2012

December 11th, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Partial nephrectomy preserves kidney function after kidney cancer

By Margaret Shepard

'I knew where I wanted to go'

Ruth Smith and granddaughterWhen doctors at her local emergency room told Ruth Smith they detected something on her imaging studies that looked like a kidney tumor, she said, "Are you sure it's cancer?"

"Never in a million years did I imagine my severe back pain was caused by cancer," says Smith, who was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. "I felt like I'd hit a brick wall, but I knew where I wanted to go."

Smith's go-to medical center was Mayo Clinic — more than 200 miles from her home in Crosby, Minn. "I worked at Mayo Clinic years ago and had 100 percent faith in the doctors," she says. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 11th, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Minimally invasive surgery for rectal cancer offers renewed hope

By Margaret Shepard

Monica Hansen and her son.

Her team of caregivers at Mayo Clinic gave Monica Hansen the information she needed to make a thoughtful decision about the cancer treatment approach that would be best for her.

When Monica Hansen of Minneapolis came to Mayo Clinic in March 2008, she needed answers, and she needed them quickly.

A 30-year-old first-time parent, Monica gave birth to a son in September 2007. As many women do, Monica suffered from hemorrhoids throughout her pregnancy. Except in Monica's situation, they didn't go away once her son was born. Following tests, consultations and one surgery with local physicians, Monica was stunned to find out she didn't have hemorrhoids at all. She had rectal cancer. The treatment options suggested to her seemed bleak, so Monica turned to Mayo Clinic for another opinion.

"When you have cancer, you want to know as soon as possible what's happening," Monica says. "Mayo was great. I was there for a few days and got all the tests I needed. I didn't have to wait weeks to get test results or schedule more exams. Then they told me what was going on and helped me make an informed decision." Read the rest of this entry »

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