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Sarcoma Patient Stories

Patricia Cantwell

Head & Neck Cancer;  Sarcoma

Patricia Cantwell

Head & Neck Cancer;  Sarcoma

Patricia Cantwell was 33 years old when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the jaw. Her oral surgeon referred her to Fox Chase Cancer Center, where she first underwent four cycles of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor and prepare her for surgery. However, the tumor increased in size after the first two treatments, leading Patricia's team to decide to go straight to surgery. Following surgery, Patricia needed physical therapy as well as a course of radiation to prevent a recurrence. Though she was now physically healthy, Patricia was not confident about how her face looked because it had an indentation. She decided to undergo reconstructive surgery, which transferred thigh skin and fatty tissue to Patricia's cheek to reconstruct her face, mouth, and lips. Today, she is cancer free and happy that she looks like her old self again. "I was very pleased with the results, and I looked like myself before the cancer," she said. "Thanks to the talents of Dr. Topham, my self-esteem returned. I was able to eat anything and could speak with no problem. I was running around with no pain and felt great."

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