Our patient stories: Roberto
What happens when the roles are reversed and the doctor becomes a patient? What happens when a doctor is diagnosed with cancer? As for everyone, the diagnosis of cancer is devastating news. The whole world falls apart, and maybe for a doctor – who often faces other people’s diseases and suffering – the disbelief is even stronger. At the beginning Roberto, 68 years old, has mild headache, but as time goes by he starts suffering some short-term memory loss. After a few months, he undergoes a brain MRI, the most indicated radiology test for these kind of symptoms. Result: a low-degree malignant glioma in the right parietal-temporal-occipital (PTO) area. Gliomas are malignant neoplasms that can develop in any district of the central nervous system, so in the brain and, more rarely, in the spinal cord. Gliomas have heterogeneous features that vary according to the brain cells they originate from and tumor aggressiveness. Based on these features, prognoses can be the very different. The lower the aggressiveness, the better the prognosis.
The first thing to do is remove the tumor surgically. The surgery is successful and Roberto has a prescription for radiation therapy to support the procedure. He is referred to UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at Villa Maria. On his experience at the UPMC Advanced Radiation Therapy Center in Mirabella Eclano, Carlo says: “More than positive experience in terms of environment, professionalism, dedication, and reception. It is a unique center, not far from home, with all the guarantees of a specialty facility like this.” Roberto underwent 30 radiation therapy sessions, for a treatment cycle total duration of 6 weeks. The possibility of being treated in a specialty center provided with advanced technologies, not far from home, facilitated, at least from a logistical viewpoint, a complex situation like fighting cancer. Roberto is undergoing periodic clinical and instrumental follow-ups, which currently have not shown any recurrence of the disease. “Personally, and based on my experience as physician in the public sector for over 40 years, I can tell you that the UPMC Center in Mirabella Eclano is a blessing for the entire territory of Irpinia.”