Cancer 2018-10-19T14:05:02-05:00

Cancer Patient Stories


UAMS provides the most comprehensive cancer services in Arkansas. Along with our comprehensive care, we work to offer compassionate care for our patients. A measure of how well we succeed is hearing stories like these from patients who were treated at UAMS.

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      We Had Work to Do – Head and Neck Cancer

      When Northwest Arkansas businessman Cameron Smith was diagnosed with base of tongue cancer, he didn’t waste any time.

    • Taking Steps Toward a Cure – Breast Cancer

      Angel McVay took time for a breast self-exam last summer and went to a UAMS Neighborhood Clinic immediately after noticing a suspicious lump.

    • Beating Colon Cancer – Colon Cancer Treatment

      Former Arkansas Senator Paul Miller was treated quickly by surgeons at UAMS. Because his cancer was caught early, he didn’t need chemotherapy or radiation.

    • Angels in Disguise – Radiation Oncology

      When Korey Heath was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of 11, her medical treatment included radiation therapy at the UAMS Cancer Institute.

    • Beating the Odds – Breast Cancer

      For her fight with breast cancer, Stacy Sells chose the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Stacy selected UAMS in part because, “I didn’t just have an oncologist, but I had an entire team of five brilliant doctors.”

    • An Arkansas “Treasure” – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

      Dan Robinson came to the Longevity Center at UAMS for what he refers to as “a 100,000-mile check-up.” That routine appointment in May 2013 revealed the need for further testing.

    • Left Lung Removal Doesn’t Slow Cancer Survivor – lung Cancer

      He got his life back, he said, because he made it a priority to get to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

    • Family of Survivors – Breast Cancer

      Lindsay Hale-Bender relates, “Devon (her sister) and I had double mastectomies eight days apart, and we went through treatment and recovery together. Sharing this experience as a family at UAMS and being able to laugh and cry together has made all the difference in the world.”

    • Ray of Hope – Ewing Sarcoma

      3-year-old Asher Ray was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare cancer affecting only 225 people in the United States each year. Because of the treatment she receives from UAMS and ACH, she’s still in the fight. Asher’s parents have high hopes for her future. Her doctors wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Family Thankful for Child’s Progress Over Cancer – Brain Cancer

      Lexi Rawls can’t stop smiling. She’s a happy 4-year-old, who loves her family and her toys. The only difference is that Lexi is facing a challenge that no child should ever face: cancer.

    • Painting it Pink– Breast Cancer

      Lori Pitcock, Melissa Norris and Andee Pitcock are one group of best friends forever who want to help each other make that important date every year. While Melissa takes a lot of steps to take care of her health, including regular exercise as a runner, she was surprised to realize that while time was passing quickly, years had passed since her last mammogram.

    • Dumas Man on a Mission About Male Breast Cancer– Breast Cancer

      Breast cancer is not something most people even associate with men. “It’s kind of embarrassing to me because I’m a United States Marine, and Marines don’t get breast cancer,” UAMS patient Gerry Vickers said..

    • UAMS Doctor Finds Peace After Battle with Leukemia– Leukemia

      Tired, worn down and fighting off the routine rigors of an intense residency program, Samantha McKelvey, M.D., was too focused on the many tasks at hand to pay much mind to her own physical well-being.

    • Half-Century Breast Cancer Survivor Shares Perspective – Breast Cancer

      In 1961, when most of the country was focused on Vietnam, 27-year-old Joyce Faulkner was engaged in a battle with breast cancer. Now at 77, she is an inspiration for other women still in the fight.

    • Breast Cancer Survivor Keeps Hope Alive – Breast Cancer

      Breast cancer survivor Paula Rogers knows the difference that a simple act of kindness can make. “Dr. Klimberg took my hand and led the gurney to the operating room. I went to sleep with her holding my hand.”

    • Cancer Forces Runner to Make Tough Decision– Orthopedic Oncology

      For a year, Rhonda Ellis’ left hip popped and ached when she ran. The elementary school teacher and mother of two boys was too busy to have it looked at. Still, it nagged at her on her daily run as she logged up to 35 miles a week.

    • Two-Time Cancer Survivor Fights Back – Breast Cancer

      Fifteen years after undergoing a mastectomy to remove a cancerous tumor from her right breast, Sherry Tuminello thought her fight was over. Unfortunately, she was wrong.

    • UAMS Throat Cancer Patient First for Robotic Surgery– Throat Cancer

      The cancer in Pat Longinotti’s throat was in a surgical no man’s land – at the base of his tongue. Removing the small tumor the traditional way would require a risky, disfiguring operation, said Emre Vural, M.D., a head and neck cancer surgeon..

    • Tongue Cancer Doesn’t Slow Drummer’s Beat– Tongue Cancer

      The rock’n’roll lifestyle doesn’t allow a nagging sore on your tongue to slow you down, and it surely isn’t a very “punk-rock” detail to complain about. After all, Larry Massanet, 42, still had unhampered use of two thundering arms to pummel his drum kit with while keeping beat in two active bands in which he plays.

    • From Rocky Road to Baby Bump– Colon Cancer

      If you had seen Catherine Wood Burton jogging the trails of Allsopp Park in Little Rock, you would have thought she was the picture of perfect health. But Catherine’s journey from near death to new life began with an appendectomy that led to a cancer diagnosis and ended with the birth of a healthy baby girl.

    • Myeloma Patient “In Good Hands”– Myeloma

      Claudia Jessup’s life has taken her in many directions. Twenty years ago, she and her husband, Jonathan Richards, moved their young family from New York to Santa Fe, N.M. Jessup, an author, and Richards, a journalist and cartoonist, knew they could relocate their careers cross country with relative ease, while also giving their two daughters a safer and more child-friendly environment in which to grow up.

    • Breast Cancer Patient First for UAMS Lymphedema Surgery- Lymphedema

      UAMS is the first in Arkansas and one of a handful of medical centers in the country offering a new surgical alternative to treat lymphedema, the chronic arm swelling frequently associated with breast cancer treatment.

    • Cord Blood Transplant Gives 18-Month-Old New Lease on Life– Leukemia

      The weeks surrounding Valentine’s Day 2008 were heart-wrenching for Brian and Jennifer Odle. But because of an innovative use of cord blood and a strong-willed 18-month-old baby girl, the family’s memories of that winter soon evolved into a heartwarming affair.

    • Myton Wants World to Hear Her Story of Hope– Ovarian Cancer

      Debra Myton has a story of hope, healing and faith that she wants to share with the world. That’s why the 40-year-old ovarian cancer survivor has decided to share her saga with readers in the form of a book, which she intends to pen sometime this year. With the help of her physician, Juan Roman, M.D., associate professor in the UAMS Division of Gynecology Oncology, the happy ending is right on track.

    • Back From the Brink– Lung Cancer

      John King half joked that he should be the poster child for UAMS. At a healthy 6 feet 4 inches tall, he doesn’t quite fit the mold, but hes sure he wouldn’t be alive today if he hadn’t come to UAMS.

    • Unexpected Change of Plans– Myeloma

      Tickets were bought, reservations were made, an itinerary was planned and all that was left to do was say, “adios, America” and “hola, Spain and Portugal.” There was just that fateful routine check-up with her doctor in Shreveport, La., that was left to fit in before Mona Morgan and her husband, Eddie, jetted off to Europe for the vacation of a lifetime.

    • Changing Lanes- Prostate Cancer

      Many Arkansans will recall the havoc wreaked by the icy winter of 2000. Herman Davenport of Little Rock could deal with power outages and slippery streets, but when the second storm of the season delayed the results of hisprostate cancer biopsy, he struggled to keep his cool.

    • Family History– Breast Cancer

      When Rita James was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991, it stirred painful memories. Her mother died of breast cancer in 1969 at age 47. That’s just two years older than Rita was at the time of her diagnosis.

    • Myeloma Patient Travels From Germany– Myeloma

      In December 2003, Ines Plog left her home in Hamburg, Germany, to travel to Little Rock for treatment at the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy. Less than two years later she was in remission.

    • Survivor Now Helps Raise Awareness– Breast Cancer

      After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, Josetta Wilkins, Ed.D., became a tireless crusader in the fight against the disease.

    • Orthopedic Surgery Saves Life– Orthopedic Oncology

      “An orthopedic surgeon saved my life. When my local doctor identified a tumor of the pelvis, he said I needed an orthopedic oncologist. I first researched several nationally known medical centers. Then I met Dr. Nicholas at UAMS.”

    • Patient Sees UAMS as Best Choice– Prostate Cancer

      Mark Matthews was treated at UAMS when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He recommends when you get a cancer diagnosis: “When I was 49, my doctor discovered prostate cancer during a routine physical. Knowing that the Arkansas Cancer Research Center at UAMS had a great reputation, I decided that they were the best choice for me.”

    • Over the Hurdles– Myeloma

      When attorney Ken Stoll of North Little Rock was diagnosed in 1991 with multiple myeloma, many would have called it a death sentence. He now thanks his doctor who referred him to the then-fledgling program for multiple myeloma at UAMS.

    • Frequent Flier– Castleman’s Disease

      The walk from Greg Pacheco’s front door to his car is not a long one. But in 2003, the 30-year-old could barely muster enough energy to take those few steps.

Learn more about the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.