When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it can be an overwhelming experience. The experienced team of physicians and nurses at Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers take pride in assisting patients in the transition from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. As advocates for the patient and their ultimate recovery and healing, see how Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers have made a difference in these cancer patient's lives.

  • Cancer survivor, Deanna Owens smiles with her husband on a dinner date.

    Annual Mammogram and Award-Winning Care: A Healthy Combination

    May 16, 2024

    Deanna Owens has believed in the importance of regular medical care for her entire life. The 83-year-old says she probably hasn’t missed an annual mammogram since she began yearly screening many decades ago.

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  • Dr. Mark J. Pidala, MD and Kathryn Moseley

    Alarming rise in colorectal cancer among younger adults

    February 19, 2024

    According to a 2023 report published by the American Cancer Society (ACS), nearly double the number of adults under the age of 55 are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer now than a decade ago—despite a drop in the incidence of CRC in the general population.

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  • Patient with Nurse

    Staying the Course: How Nurse Navigators Help Patients on Their Treatment Journeys

    October 27, 2023

    “With nurse navigators, patients have someone they can reach out to, who can answer their questions and make sense of this whole treatment process, which can be confusing,” says Sherrill. “And if there are scheduling problems or other barriers to treatment, we can help with that...

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  • Dr. Angel Blanco, MD and Victor Rosario

    Radiation Therapy Helps Keep 9/11 Firefighter’s Prostate Cancer at Bay

    August 25, 2023

    As a firefighter in New York City during 9/11, Victor Rosario battled the ravages of terrorism to protect the lives of his fellow citizens. Now, as a seven-year FDNY retiree, he’s fighting a new battle—against prostate cancer.

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  • Evelyn Hidalgo

    Evelyn Hidalgo Benefits from Multidisciplinary, Integrated Breast Cancer Treatment

    July 24, 2023

    One night in February 2022, Evelyn Hidalgo was awakened by a sharp pain in her left breast. “I did a breast self-exam and felt a little bump near the nipple,” she says. “I promised myself I would call my gynecologist in the morning.”

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  • Dr Gajjar and Natalie Davis

    Natalie Davis: Surprise Colon Cancer Diagnosis

    February 27, 2023

    “Cancer” was not what Natalie Davis was expecting to hear. After all, she was 50 years old. She had no history of colon cancer in her family. The colonoscopy—her first—was routine. And she felt perfectly fine.

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  • Family on beach shore

    Mother of Three Surprised by Colon Cancer Diagnosis

    February 16, 2023

    Jill Schwertner doesn’t fit the profile of the average colon cancer patient. The 42-year-old resident of The Woodlands is healthy, doesn’t smoke, eats healthfully and doesn’t have a family history of colon cancer.

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  • Patient with doctor

    Breast Cancer Patient and Daughter Treated by Same Physician Two Years Apart

    October 5, 2022

    “I thought cancer skipped a generation.” These are the words Vernita Eddins spoke when she received her breast cancer diagnosis.

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  • Doctor and Patient

    72-Year-Old Not Slowing Down After Retzius-Sparing Surgery for Prostate Cancer

    September 9, 2022

    Having a 50-year career in sales and marketing, Kriss Woodbury’s job is to get messages out to consumers. But it was a message from his physician that stopped him in his tracks—“You have prostate cancer.” Before the diagnosis, Woodbury didn’t have any symptoms. But a...

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  • Doctor with patient

    Prostate Cancer Patient Now Cancer-Free After Radical Prostatectomy Using Robotic Technology

    September 8, 2022

    Orain Penson was proactive in this health and enjoying life. As a facility director for a housing corporation, he also managed his A/C business on the side. He spent much of his days helping others. At 57, he thought he was too young to get prostate cancer.

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  • cancer survivor standing with doctor

    Pancreatic Cancer Survivor Celebrates 5-Year Milestone

    May 2, 2022

    Two weeks later, J. Steve Bynon, MD, professor of surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, who is affiliated with Memorial Hermann TMC, performed a procedure known as the Whipple procedure (also known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy) on Byerly. During the complex 5-hour surgery, Dr. B...

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  • Don Pannell: Cancer-Free Following Innovative Robotic Prostatectomy

    September 29, 2021

    In the beginning, Don Pannell exhibited no obvious signs of prostate cancer. He had no issues with urination. No pain. And no family history of the disease.

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  • Cancer Survivor Peggy Setliff

    Peggy’s Story: Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia

    September 21, 2021

    In May 2019, Peggy Setliff had her first 3-D mammogram following a 4-year lapse in annual mammograms."My younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 54, and my father died of three different forms of cancer," says the 66-year-old, who works at Memorial Hermann-TMC. "I had become lackad...

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  • Karen Cole with Dr. Hook

    Treatment for Metaplastic Breast Cancer Dramatically Improves Patient’s Quality of Life

    September 20, 2021

    When Karen Cole finally sought medical care for the tumor growing in her right breast, the tumor measured 24 centimeters and weighed nearly 10 pounds. “I called it my monster,” says the petite 58-year-old from Montgomery, Texas. “I knew it was killing me, but I was upset and pan...

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  • Troy Griffin with doctor

    Multimodal Treatment of Aggressive Prostate Cancer in 58-Year-Old

    September 10, 2021

    During a routine physical in November 2020, 58-year-old Troy Griffin mentioned to his family doctor that he had been experiencing some minor urinary symptoms—a little stopping and starting of his urine stream and a bit of urinary urgency and frequency. His doctor performed a PSA test, which...

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  • A Double Diagnosis of Brain and Lung Cancer

    June 7, 2021

    Natascha Odom thought she might be coming down with COVID-19 when she began having trouble finding the right words. The 49-year-old fourth grade math teacher at Hubenak Elementary School in Richmond told a colleague who took her to see the school nurse. When Odom told the nurse that the curren...

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  • Daniel Begnaud

    Young Dad Beats Colon Cancer, Welcomes Second Child

    March 10, 2021

    In 2017, Daniel Begnaud’s world as he knew it came crashing down when he was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at the age of 30. A father of a 1-year-old son, he was initially told that it was unlikely he would ever have more children. On top of a cancer diagnosis, that was a hard pill to swal...

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  • Karen Echols

    Karen Echols: The Warning Signs Were There

    October 1, 2020

    Karen Echols doesn’t mince words: “I think a lot of people don’t like to talk about their poop.” The 52-year-old Houston hairdresser and mother of three, now a rectal cancer survivor, says she knows a lot about poop. But because she kept ignoring the warning signs, she came by that knowledge the ...

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  • Kristy Martin

    Kristy Martin: Atypical Presentation of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    June 5, 2020

    “My whole life changed. Everything changed,” she says. “But it has been such a positive journey. It made me realize what’s important and what’s not. Everyone worked together. It all worked out.”

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  • Joseph Park

    Joseph Park: Advanced Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Early Stage Lung Cancer

    December 1, 2019

    When 78-year-old Joseph Park was diagnosed with stage IB non-small cell lung cancer in December 2019, members of Memorial Hermann’s multidisciplinary tumor board met to discuss his case and treatment options. Despite being in generally good health, Park has a history of smoking—he says he quit w...

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  • Andrea Cain

    Early Detection of Tubular Breast Carcinoma Saves Andrea Cain’s Life

    May 3, 2019

    Women who get routine mammograms know the drill: Before the exam, you’re typically asked if you have experienced any changes in your breasts—including pain or changes in appearance—since your last mammogram. Those questions prompted 55-year-old Middle School Principal Andrea Deneé Cain to recall ...

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  • Read about Breast Cancer Survivor Skips Chemotherapy

    Breast Cancer Survivor Skips Chemotherapy

    November 5, 2018

    Sonya Lira has a strong family history of multiple cancers, but when she was tested for genetic mutations that might be linked to her breast cancer, there were none. “We did comprehensive genetic testing involving a complete gene sequencing of her DNA, testing for all known mutations,&rdquo...

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  • David Beck

    Saving a Linguist's Tongue

    July 17, 2018

    In summer of 2017, Beck had what he thought was a canker sore that was not healing. His dentist examined it and advised him to see a specialist for a biopsy if it didn’t heal in a couple of weeks. After a biopsy that fall, he learned he had stage 2 carcinoma of the tongue and was referred t...

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  • Angel Marie Fields

    Surviving Breast Cancer at a Young Age Angel Marie Fields Moves on to Help Others

    July 17, 2018

    Angel Marie Fields was out with friends when she noticed that her chest felt tight and heavy. She felt a lump but did not give it much attention. After all, she was only 26. When she checked it again later, it felt like one big lump. She made an appointment with her ob-gyn, Hany Ahmed, MD, w...

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  • Adan Rios

    Adan's Story: From Treating Patients to Becoming One

    January 31, 2018

    When Dr. Adan Rios was diagnosed with cancer, his physician, Dr. Karni, knew it was deeply personal. One morning, Adan woke up with the left side of his neck completely swollen and assumed he had developed a lymphoma. A biopsy revealed that it was sqaumous cell cancer. The next steps were imaging...

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  • Read about Robert Vasquez Esophageal Cancer Recovery

    Robert Vasquez Esophageal Cancer Recovery

    August 10, 2017

    Robert visited Farzaneh Banki, M.D., director of the Esophageal Disease Center at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital and professor of surgery at the McGovern Medical School, part of UTHealth in Houston.

    A lifelong machinist, Robert remembers being nervous because the surgery to treat his ...

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  • Leigh Rozell

    On Making the Breast Cancer Treatment Decision: A Personal Story

    July 19, 2017

    Leigh Rozelle found the lump purely by accident, just three days before Christmas. As she crossed her arms, she felt a golf ball-size knot on the outer side of her left breast. My family practitioner was able to squeeze me into her schedule the very next day,” says Rozelle, who is 38. “When she e...

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  • Carolos Velazquez

    Carlos Velázquez: Cancer Is Just a Word

    June 27, 2017

    Every other month, Carlos Velázquez and his wife, Mónica Costa, make the 12,500-mile round trip between their home in Asunción, Paraguay, and Houston, Texas, where Velázquez is undergoing an innovative treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The Paraguayan couple and their Texas Medical Cent...

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  • Mike Autrey

    Mike's Story - Lung Cancer

    February 23, 2015

    Jafri sent the slides to a specialist, who confirmed small cell lung cancer, a form that shares common neuro-endocrine features with carcinoid cancer, but tends to be extremely aggressive.

    For Mike Autrey, the treatment began with 12 weeks of chemotherapy given along with radiation to the ...

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  • Read about Marquita Spell

    Marquita's Story: Fighting Esophageal Cancer and Winning

    November 30, 2012

    In early 2010, Marquita Spell knew something wasn’t right. She was beginning to have difficulty swallowing and getting food down was becoming increasingly painful. “The discomfort was unlike anything I had ever experienced before,” Marquita explained. “I never had issues w...

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  • Tony Lentola

    Tony's Story: Tonsil Cancer

    Thanks to a referral to Ron Karni, MD, who routinely does surgery for oropharyngeal cancers using transoral robotic surgery with a CO2 laser, Lentola avoided the toxic treatments, the effects of which are particularly pronounced in head and neck cancer patients.

    "By combining the laser and...

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  • Mackenzie Wysong

    Mackenzie's Story: A Ray of Sunshine

    Mackenzie Wysong’s positive attitude and cheery outlook make the difference in how she approaches life and its challenges.

    Mackenzie had only been living in Houston a little more than a year when she received a breast cancer diagnosis in 2013.

    Mackenzie made up her mind to hav...

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