Markey Cancer Center Patient Stories: Pat Pryor
Pat Pryor, Lexington: Markey Lung Cancer Patient
"Celebrating another birthday with my supercharged grandchildren is a gift I wouldn't trade for anything! I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the hard work and dedication my care team at Markey Cancer Center has provided me. My medical oncologist, Dr. Susanne Arnold, and my radiation oncologist, Dr. Ron McGarry, are two of the very finest in their field."
Research trial a "real blessing"
Retired teacher Pat Pryor, 67, was diagnosed with Stage III lung cancer in January 2009. Her cancer was inoperable, having spread beyond her lungs. "This was an out-of-the-blue shock; I was always healthy as all get out," she said. "But I was fortunate to be at Markey Cancer Center. My medical oncologist, Dr. Susanne Arnold, and my radiation oncologist Dr. Ron McGarry, and the whole team there at Markey provided such great care - it's so true that they offer a team approach that is wonderful."
She was treated with aggressive chemotherapy and radiation at the UK Markey Cancer Center. While the treatment got rid of the cancer in the sites where it had spread, the primary tumor in the lung had only shrunk to half its original size. This made her a candidate for the only clinical trial in the country using stereotactic body radiosurgery to treat inoperable lung cancer. She was the 16th person to enroll in Dr. McGarry's research trial at Markey Cancer Center. High-dose, precise radiation beams removed the remaining tumor without a surgical incision. Mrs. Pryor says she had no side effects from the treatment, saying it was "quick and easy and it did the job."
She understands that she and her doctors will need to be vigilant to watch for signs the cancer has spread again to other areas, but says Dr. McGarry and the clinical trial "have been a real blessing." Her quality of life was restored with the removal of the primary lung tumor.
"I am so grateful this treatment was here for me," Mrs. Pryor said. "I'm back doing things I enjoy, like playing golf with my husband David - my number one supporter."
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