Patient, Care Partner and Researcher Helps Other Patients Navigate Cancer Diagnosis

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Topics include: Living Well and Understanding

As part of our coverage from the 2017 ASCO survivorship symposium in San Diego, Patient Power catches up with Treasa McPherson, Director of Oncology of UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Treasa is not only an administrative director and researcher, but also a patient and care partner. Listen as Treasa shares her journey with cancer and discusses patient support from the time of diagnosis through survivorship.

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Treasa McPherson:

My husband and I both worked on the Human Genome Project at Washington University. That sort of projected us into this realm of being able to work on any kind of genome. We could work on plant genomes, human genomes, but what we wound up doing, and finally really caring a lot about, is cancer genomes and what is going on with human disease. In 2008, my mother presented with a diagnosis of small cell lung cancer.

I was able to go back home with her in Missouri and take care of her for the 8 months of her journey. She progressed exactly as planned to textbook. She passed away in January of 2009. I presented with a lump in January of 2010. That was the diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer with a lumpectomy and node negative. I had distance chemotherapy and radiation after that.

After that, when I was doing very well, I wound up finding my father-in-law had a diagnosis of esophageal cancer and on scan a secondary cancer of the lung. He had an esphagectomy and a right lobe removal of his lung, and he is doing fine.

During all of these cancer journeys that I was on as a caregiver,a patient and a researcher, I started finding that there are gaps in folks’ ability to get to care and to get to the services that they need—or to even find out about services that they don’t even know exists and the help that they can get—like, maneuvering through the insurance companies and getting the psychosocial support. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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Page last updated on February 28, 2017