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David Juall - Patient Story

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"Dr. Uzzo’s has a calm demeanor and his approach is straight-forward, which I appreciate."

— David Juall, Kidney Patient

In 2006, at age 51, David Juall was a healthy, active attorney, and a pilot, who enjoyed traveling and outdoor fun.  During a court proceeding in Bucks County, he had a medical emergency and was taken to a local community hospital. It turned out he needed an emergency appendectomy. As part of his treatment, CT scans were ordered. One of the doctors discovered a suspicious spot on one of his kidneys.

The radiologist at the community hospital suggested that after David recovered from surgery, he should seek the opinion of Robert G. Uzzo, MD, FACS, chairman of the department of surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center.  Dr. Uzzo specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques. “Dr. Uzzo has a calm demeanor and his approach is straightforward, which I appreciate,” shares David. “Dr. Uzzo said ‘you’re young and healthy. Let’s take care of this.’” 

Dr. Uzzo performed the complex surgery to remove the cancerous mass from David’s right kidney while salvaging the organ and preserving its function. Once pathology evaluated the tumor, David was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma.  

Over the next several years, David continued to be monitored periodically. During a follow-up CT scan, doctors identified four growths on the muscle near David’s spine and two on his lungs. Because Fox Chase physicians believe in a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, Dr. Uzzo recruited three of his colleagues to join the team, including Elin R Sigurdson, MD, PhD, FACS, chief of the division of general surgery; the chief of division of thoracic surgery; and  a urologic medical oncologist. Together, they were able to treat the tumors using a combination of surgical treatment and chemotherapy.

“All of my doctors are compassionate, capable and experienced,” David says.  “Above all, they are centered on cancer care. They treat cancer all day, all week and all year. This dedication to cancer treatment means a lot to patients.”

Since 2011, David’s scans have been clear, however his physicians watch him closely with quarterly follow-up appointments. With each visit, David feels confident in his choice of selecting Fox Chase.  “I feel like I’ve been blessed,” he shares. “If I didn’t have that appendectomy, who knows if the cancer would have spread. Dr. Uzzo found the cancer in the back of my kidney and monitored me through the years to keep me healthy. For that, I am very grateful.”

In 2015, at the age of 60, David enjoys traveling with his wife, Bonnie. They have been married 23 years.  “We enjoy sailing and doing almost everything together,” he adds. “I don’t take my life for granted, that’s for sure. I feel grateful for each day.”

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