Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Cancer

June 25th, 2016

‘How’d We Get So Lucky?’ — Proton Beam Therapy Available at the Right Time for Jackson

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Proton beam therapy was available at the right time for Jackson Fisher. Jackson Fisher went to lacrosse practice after school and was exhausted afterward. He'd had worsening headaches, double vision, nausea and weight loss over the previous two weeks. So the next day, his parents took him to the emergency room. There, the doctor ordered a CT scan, which showed a large mass in his brain.

Jackson was immediately take by helicopter from Des Moines, Iowa, where his family lives, to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The next day he had surgery to relieve pressure in his brain and biopsy the tumor.

“We told his neurosurgeon, Dr. Daniels [David Daniels, M.D., Ph.D.], and oncologist, Dr. Rao [Amulya Nageswara Rao, M.B.B.S.], ‘Whatever you need to do, do it,’” say Jackson’s parents, Michelle and Patrick Fisher. “It’s Mayo Clinic — we brought him to the experts to help him. We said, 'He’s your child now.' And we handed Jackson over to them.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr. Amulya Nageswara Rao, Dr David Daniels, Dr Nadia Laack, Nancy Heinzelman, Proton Beam Therapy, Randy McKeeman


June 9th, 2016

An Answer for Luis – Surgeons Remove Polyp-Riddled Colon, Restore Function and Hope

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Luis Coriano meets with his medical team. Deciding to undergo a surgery to remove your colon is not a decision to be taken lightly, but it was one that Luis Coriano faced earlier this year. And he and his family wanted to make sure they made the right call.

Luis is affected by a rare genetic disorder called familial adenomatous polyposis that causes thousands of polyps to grow in the colon and ultimately leads to cancer. He knew that a prophylactic surgery to remove the diseased organ was the only way to prevent cancer from ravaging his body.

As daunting as the surgery was, however, more worrisome to Luis, was what came after the surgery. Namely, living with a stoma and an ostomy bag.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: colorectal surgery, Dr Eric Dozois, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, Colon Cancer


June 4th, 2016

Moving Beyond a Painful Decade – New Technology Offers Respite From Debilitating Leg Pain

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Gary Sorcic found relief for extreme leg pain.In the fall of 2014, Gary Sorcic was desperate. Severe, unrelenting pain in his legs had tormented him for 10 years. He was ready to take extreme measures.

"I told my doctor that if he had to cut my spinal cord and put me in a wheelchair to get rid of the pain, that's what I would do," Gary says.

Fortunately, that was not necessary. Instead, Gary found and enrolled in a clinical research trial at Mayo Clinic studying the effectiveness of a new technology to relieve nerve pain such as his. It made a tremendous difference. "I never imagined my legs feeling this good again," he says. "The study was a godsend for me." Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: chronic pain, clinical trial, Dr Charles Loprinzi, nerve pain, Pain Rehabilitation, Scrambler Therapy


May 31st, 2016

Mayo Physician Is One of the First Proton Beam Patients in Arizona

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Dr. Leslie Milde was one of the first proton beam therapy patients in Arizona. People often don't hear the phrase, "You are the most important person in my life today," especially from those other than family. However, Leslie Milde, M.D., has heard it often — from her patients. She is well aware of the significance of her role in the operating room, and the apprehension felt by patients about to undergo surgery.

Now the tables are turned, and as one of the first five patients undergoing proton beam therapy at the newly opened Mayo Clinic Building in Phoenix, Dr. Milde, former chair of Mayo's Department of Anesthesiology in Arizona, is relying on key people in her own life — the team of specialists treating her spinal meningioma, a condition where tumors arise from the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona campus, Dr Leslie Milde, Dr Naresh Patel, Dr Sujay Vora, Proton Beam Therapy, Spinal Meningioma, oncology, radiation therapy


May 21st, 2016

Discerning Physician Turns to Mayo Clinic for Cancer Care

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Dr. James Biles turned to Mayo Clinic after his cancer diagnosis.  Jim Biles, M.D., understands cancer treatment. A urologist who specializes in cancer surgery, he has spent his career focused on helping people receive the cancer care they need. So at age 72, when Dr. Biles received his own diagnosis of an aggressive type of cancer, he knew how critical it would be to get treatment from someone with experience and expertise.

"When I found out I had a bone tumor, I started hunting around to see who could do the surgery. It turned out that there are very few people in the world I would trust with it," he says. "Not many do it, and even fewer have the experience that Dr. Sim does. He is the kingpin."

Dr. Sim is Franklin Sim, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Mayo Clinic's Rochester, Minnesota, campus. After a consultation with Dr. Sim, Jim decided to go through with a complex surgery at Mayo to treat his cancer.

"Being a doctor, I was pretty picky about all the details being well managed," he says. "It was exceptional. I really couldn't have had a better experience."  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Cancer, Chondrosarcoma, Dr David Lewallen, Dr Franklin Sim, Dr Peter Rose, Hemipelvectomy, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center


April 1st, 2016

A New Weapon in the Arsenal for Patient With Stubborn Cancer: Proton Beam Therapy

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

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Audra Popp has a rare tumor – anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, also known as anaplastic PXA. Only a handful of people are diagnosed with this condition each year. Audra is the first person at Mayo Clinic with anaplastic PXA to be treated with proton beam therapy.

Audra had 20 proton beam therapy sessions to try to destroy fast-growing cells possibly left behind after surgery.

But proton beam therapy is just the latest step in the battle against Audra's tumor. She's had five craniotomies since 2001, and she has a scar from her right ear to the crown of her head as evidence. She had surgeries at Mayo in 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2015. She also has had three regimens of chemotherapy through the years and six weeks of radiation therapy at Mayo Clinic in 2007.

The tumor has become more aggressive. And each time her surgeons think they have it completely removed, it comes back. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: anaplastic PXA, clinical trials, craniotomy, Dr Jan Buckner, Dr Nadia Laack, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Proton Beam Therapy


March 31st, 2016

Lung Cancer Patient Survives With Help of Novel Procedure, Celebrates Next Generation of Innovation

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Raegan Cury

Raegan Cury didn’t worry at first when she developed a cough in early 2002 that wouldn’t go away. She was a healthy young woman, athletic, a former gymnast, and her initial chest X-ray showed what looked like pneumonia.

Even her husband, a pulmonologist, wasn't too worried, until she received a surprising diagnosis. “I never thought it was going to be bronchoalveolar lung cancer,” says her husband, Dave Cury, M.D.

Raegan, who lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida, had surgery to remove the cancer and woke up with just one lung, due to the extent of the disease. The surgery was followed by four rounds of chemotherapy, but in 2003, tests found cancer nodules throughout her remaining lung. 

That was a dark period for Reagan and her family. She and her husband started their two young children, Chandler and Davis, in grief counseling.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Cesar Keller, Florida Campus, lung cancer, lung transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center, Raegan Cury


March 23rd, 2016

Sarcoma Diagnosis Proves to be a Blessing for Young Mom

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Paige Douglas and her family on the family farm.Growing up on a farm in central Florida, Paige Douglas enjoyed a unique childhood, caring for a menagerie of animals, horseback riding, even barrel racing at local rodeos.

But, when she was 10, Paige inadvertently hit her left knee while bouncing on a trampoline. Though she had no visible cuts, pain radiated up and down her leg.

Later, Paige would say, “It felt like I had a BB pellet stuck in there.”

Her knee became so sensitive that the slightest touch or inadvertent bump would “bring excruciating pain, sending me to the ground, screaming and crying,” she recalls.

Paige visited countless doctors near her home in Ocala, Florida, trying different medications, topical treatments and steroid injections. The pain persisted. After an exploratory surgery in 2001, doctors told her she had a neuroma, an area of increased sensitivity and pain that often develops after physical trauma to a nerve. They said removing it should resolve the issues.

It did, but only for a short time. Then the pain returned. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Courtney Sherman, Dr Peter Murray, Dr Steven Attia, Paige Douglas, sarcoma, synovial sarcoma, patient story, Florida Campus


March 2nd, 2016

Resilient Young Woman Finds Hope Despite Hurdles, Shares Story at Fiesta Bowl

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

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Mayo Clinic's Kelly Curtis, M.D., and Megan LaChance at the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2016.

Megan LaChance used to dream of being a successful business woman. But a series of events, medical and otherwise, led her on a different path – an educational path that culminated with her sharing her surprising story at the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona on Jan. 1, 2016.

Even though she's just 24 years old, Megan has had a lifetime's worth of trials and tribulations.

When Megan was 19, she lost her mother to pancreatic cancer.

At the age of 21, just two months after Megan married her high school sweetheart, she was presented with another challenge. Nagging pain that she believed to be caused by sciatica turned out to be advanced bone cancerRead the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona campus, bone cancer, Dr Kelly Curtis, Li-Fraumeni syndrome


February 29th, 2016

Professional Outdoorsman Lives Life to the Fullest After Liver Transplant

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Steve and Maria Woodford are back to active lifestyles after transplant and cancer care at Mayo Clinic.Being diagnosed with bile duct cancer that eventually necessitated a liver transplant wasn't enough to keep Steve Woodford down for long. A South African native living in Utah, Steve is professional skydiving instructor, backpacker and canyon guide in Zion National Park. He has always lived on the edge with his active outdoors lifestyle. Getting sick unexpectedly during a backpacking trip to Belize two years ago seemed like just another challenge he had to overcome.

"My wife and I had just arrived in Belize to do some backpacking and visit the Mayan ruins, when I woke up itching, and noticed a yellow tint to my eyes and skin," Steve says. "I saw a local doctor for a blood test, urine test and ultrasound, and was told I had hepatitis C and needed to go straight home for immediate treatment. Little did I know what was to come after returning home to Utah."  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: bile duct cancer, Breast Cancer, Florida Campus, liver transplant, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


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