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Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Archive for December 22nd, 2012

December 22nd, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Family Pressure Brings Timely Treatment

By Margaret Shepard

Tom Sherrard and his dog.Tom Sherrard often told his wife, Kris, that they really needed to spend more time in Minnesota. Tom has vacationed in Northern Minnesota ever since he was a youngster. Today he, Kris, and daughters Megan and Sarah continue to vacation at the family summer home, where they enjoy boating, fishing, and all the lake has to offer. During 2006, they did spend more time in Minnesota, but it was farther south, at Mayo Clinic.

Tom first noticed a pea-sized lump on his neck in August of 2005. When he first felt it, he thought perhaps it was a swollen gland that would go away. Because his daughter Megan was to be married in a couple weeks, he didn't want to sidetrack the family from the wedding plans. So he put off seeing a doctor.

He finally made an appointment with his primary care physician in September, but ended up canceling because work got busy. He remained aware of the lump, which wasn't going away, and family members were asking about it. Finally his daughter Megan became very persistent, insisting that he needed to do something about it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: American Indians, Dr. Ian D. Hay, Dr. Robert L. Foote, Dr. Scott H. Okuno, Mayo Clinic, radiation therapy, thyroid cancer, Tom Sherrard


December 22nd, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Forever a teacher

By Margaret Shepard

Cynthia AmendtWhether instructing art classes or modeling for students, Cynthia Amendt has always been a teacher. When she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma — a deadly brain tumor — Cynthia thought her teaching days might be over. Then she joined a clinical trial at Mayo Clinic and now realizes she's received her most important teaching assignment ever — helping medical researchers learn about a drug that has recently demonstrated potential for extending the life of patients with glioblastoma multiforme.

Nearly four years ago, Cynthia was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, the highest grade glioma (grade 4) tumor and the most common and aggressive type of primary brain tumor. Glioblastomas account for 52 percent of all primary brain tumor cases and 20 percent of all intracranial tumors. Despite being the most prevalent form of primary brain tumor, however, in Europe and North America glioblastomas occur at a rate of just 2 to 3 cases per 100,000 people. Although these tumors can occur at almost any age, they're most common after 50 years of age. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Brain Tumor, Cynthia Amendt, glioblastoma, Jan Buckner M.D., Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Cancer Research