Michael Sours - Patient Story

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"I really liked the collaborative environment at Fox Chase."

— Michael Sours, Independent Sales Representative

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In 2007, when I was in my late sixties, I discovered a lump on the right side of my neck while taking a shower. I waited a few days to see if the lump would disappear, but it did not. With a personal history of several diagnoses of skin cancer, I take my health care seriously and scheduled an appointment with an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor). The physician performed a biopsy and removed the enlarged lymph node. The results were alarming – I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.

When I found the lump on my neck, I didn’t wait too long, you can’t wait to see if it progresses. This stuff can spread, and spread fast. Don’t be afraid to see a doctor and get something checked out. By putting it off, it can only get worse.

After receiving the diagnosis report, I asked for a referral to a specialist to help understand the cause of the cancer. I met with a head and neck oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center. I was very impressed with Fox Chase. The oncologists are very professional, honest, compassionate and smart.

I was recommended a radical dissection. Several of my lymph nodes were removed to prevent the possible spread of future cancer and to try and detect the source. I was also recommended to see a Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Dermatology specialist at Fox Chase for a second opinion.

Mohs surgery is a highly specialized treatment for skin cancer using microscopic examination of all tissues removed surgically, as well as detailed mapping techniques to allow a surgeon to track and remove all of the roots and extensions of the skin cancer. Mohs surgery is most effective in treating skin cancers with growth patterns that have a high risk of recurrence or are located in cosmetically sensitive areas, such as the face, nose, ears and eyelids.

I really liked the collaborative environment at Fox Chase. It’s nice knowing that doctors respect each other and work well together. They were professional and never rushed me during appointments. Very nice and caring.

During the last few years, I have had several Mohs surgeries. I find the Fox Chase surgeons to be a very competent and a well-trained.

I now see my medical team at Fox Chase twice a year. The whole process – from the first appointment through surgery and my follow-up appointments – have been very good.  I have peace of mind knowing that I picked a hospital that specialized in cancer care.

I turned 73 in 2015 and continue to work as an independent sales representative in the leather goods industry. My wife, Sandra, and I have a son and a daughter. Together, we enjoy dining out, spending time with our friends and family, and frequenting New Hope and Lambertville.

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