"I received a letter in April 2016 reminding me to get my routine endoscopy. That letter saved my life. When the endoscopy results showed precancerous changes throughout my stomach as well as an early gastric cancer, I was extremely nervous."
As a professional mental health counselor, I have years of experience helping others work through issues in their own lives. I know the importance of staying positive during difficult times and not letting negative thoughts cloud your mind, especially when important decisions need to be made. But it wasn’t until I went through a hardship of my own that I realized the true importance of that mindset.
After a diagnosis of metastatic adenocarcinoma of unknown primary, Michael Buzalewski decided to seek a second opinion from Dr. Sanjay Reddy at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Michael liked him immediately and felt he was in good hands being in Dr. Reddy's care. Dr. Reddy recommended surgery along with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), an innovative technique that delivers highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy treatment directly to the abdomen during surgery. This technique allows higher doses of chemotherapy to be administered directly to the tumor. "I believe I am here today because of Dr. Reddy and the medical oncologists at Fox Chase," Michael said. "The innovative treatments offered at Fox Chase have enabled me to return to work and continue to do the things I love to do... I will continue my care at Fox Chase because I am living proof that the dedicated team of doctors and nurses helped get me where I am today."
When I started experiencing chronic and uncomfortable digestive issues over the course of two years, my primary care doctor prescribed heartburn medication, and I made changes in my diet. During that period, I often had an achy, acidy stomach, and I was taking Tums all the time. When the symptoms continued, my doctor referred me to a gastrointestinal specialist who conducted an endoscopy to examine my digestive tract in 2015.
Barry Thomas was diagnosed with cancer twice. A patient at Fox Chase Cancer Center since 2003, he considers his team of doctors to be extraordinary. “I’ve had two surgeries, tests and scans, and follow ups, and I have attended support groups at Fox Chase for 13 years. Through these experiences I feel very confident at Fox Chase,” he says.