When Dr. Gluck told Thomas he had early-stage prostate cancer, all Thomas could hear was the word “cancer.” Cancer had taken his brother’s life, and he had been helping his wife fight the disease for years. As Thomas tells it, hearing his diagnosis meant “for a second my body just shut down. I couldn’t think straight; my thoughts were all over the place.”
When he got the news, however, he wasn’t alone. His wife, Andrea, was sitting next to him and quickly snapped him out of his trance. Brought back to his senses, Thomas listened carefully as Dr. Gluck explained the diagnosis and treatment options.Read more
I was in kindergarten when my symptoms started. My hands would shake uncontrollably, and my worried kindergarten teacher told my parents that their son “shook a lot.”
At first, doctors thought my shaking was a reaction to the medicine I was taking to treat my asthma. I couldn’t just stop taking this medication, but this turned out to be just the first wrong diagnosis in a long line of them. Next doctors told me that the shaking wasn’t a side effect of any medication I was taking but was early onset of Parkinson’s disease.
In fact, it took nearly 13 years after the symptoms started to correctly diagnose the cause of the uncontrolled shaking in my hands, which was finally and correctly identified as essential tremor. While I was relieved to hear it was not Parkinson’s disease – which I had grappled coming to terms with for most of my adolescent years – I still wasn’t sure what this new diagnosis would mean for me.
With my correct diagnosis, a long discussion began about how to treat my tremors. First, I was prescribed medicine traditionally used to treat epilepsy. It succeeded in mitigating symptoms, but the treatment also made me feel horrible and listless. I felt like a zombie and decided to stop taking the medication and search for alternative treatment.Read more
For more than 80 years, April has been recognized as National Cancer Control Month. From President Roosevelt to President Trump, each President has spoken directly to the American people on the importance of raising awareness about the factors that cause or prevent cancer.Read more
This week, bipartisan Members of the House of Representatives took action to permanently repeal the medical device tax, which would take money away from American medical innovation and contribute to the unsustainably high cost of medical care in the United States.Read more
I’d always been a physically active person. Like so many others, staying active helped me keep a clear head and forget the troubles of everyday life–if only for the briefest of moments.
This came to an abrupt end in 2010. What I thought was a pulled muscle in my lower back turned into a pain that only worsened. As it spread, I started losing control over different areas of my body, beginning with my feet.
Unprompted, my toes would curl up under my feet, making it impossible to walk or even put shoes on at times. It became clear something was seriously wrong, so I decided to see a doctor.Read more
Nineteen years ago, President Clinton declared March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Increases in colorectal cancer screening have saved thousands of lives as colorectal cancer is often treatable when caught early. Research shows that people with access to less invasive forms of screening, such as CT colonography, are more likely to undergo testing.Read more
Fate took an interesting turn when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2016. For almost three decades I had practiced urology, helping patients navigate the uncertainty of a threatening but treatable disease. Now, as a medical professional, I knew all too well what the results of a biopsy showed: a small focus of cancer on my prostate.
I was fortunate to have it diagnosed at a very early stage. Since another family member had prostate cancer ten years earlier, I knew I was at increased risk of developing prostate cancer, so I made sure to have frequent PSA blood tests and prostate exams.
My choice of treatment was based, in large part, on quality of life issues afterward. I chose to avoid invasive surgery because in my 34 years of urology practice, I had seen many men who experienced life-altering side effects including erectile dysfunction and permanent urinary incontinence. I decided against radiation because of the potential for high recurrence rates. In the end, there was only one clear path forward for me: high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).Read more
My name is Tracey McQuillan Dedering. I am a mom to a crazy 10-year-old boy named Zachary and wife to my rock, Scott. I teach middle school Language Arts and am in my 18th year teaching 6th grade. I love to travel, read, and spend as much time as possible making memories with my little guy. I am also a colorectal cancer (CRC) “thriver”.
Two weeks after my 40th birthday in July 2014 I was diagnosed with stage IV CRC with metastasis to my liver, which might have been missed if a proactive doctor had not demanded a CT scan and a colonoscopy.
Doctors told me I was inoperable and terminal. With treatment they predicted I could live about 3 more years, saying that my liver would kill me before the cancer could. Thankfully, my incredible local gastrointestinal doctor who found my cancer also referred me to an amazing liver surgeon.Read more
In 2011, I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. While no one ever wants to hear that they have cancer, I’m glad my doctors caught it when they did because my timely diagnosis gave me a fighting chance. Battling that bout of colon cancer was one of the most daunting challenges of my whole life, but I persevered with the support of my family and an amazing team of doctors.
Thanks to months of treatment, my doctors finally declared I had no evidence of disease, and for seven years I was relieved that I was still without any signs of reoccurrence. That is, until last December.Read more
I remember the day I was told I had rectal cancer, not only because it’s such life-changing news, but it was also April Fool’s Day. How could a seemingly healthy 41-year-old, with no history of colorectal cancer have this disease? The week that followed my diagnosis was a barrage of tests and screening that helped determine my diagnosis of Stage III rectal cancer. This screening was what determined the plan of action my team of doctors would take to help me fight this disease. My treatment path included 28 rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, two surgeries, andmore chemotherapy.
I am so happy to say I am now cancer free. Even with my cancer in remission, I’m still receiving regular surveillance scans to confirm my cancer is has not returned.
After my diagnosis, I wanted to do something to make a difference for others affected by cancer. I started to get more involved in cancer advocacy work and educating others, especially young people, about the rise in colorectal cancer. I am a founding member of a Boston-area cancer support group and am currently helping to co-chair a charity event to raise money to support colorectal cancer research. I also told my story to more than 1000 people at a 5k held in Boston, helping to spread the word and educate others about early screening and signs of colorectal cancer.Read more