WEEI>On Demand>>OMF - Arthur Van Tassell, 72, lung cancer, with Dr. Christopher Lathan, Faculty Director for Cancer Care Equity and thoracic oncologist, Dana-Farber

OMF - Arthur Van Tassell, 72, lung cancer, with Dr. Christopher Lathan, Faculty Director for Cancer Care Equity and thoracic oncologist, Dana-Farber

Aug 30, 2016|

Arthur was diagnosed first in 1998 with small cell lung cancer. He went into remission, but then his cancer returned in 2013. He's been treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and in his words, "lots of prayers!” He likes to travel with his favorite spots being Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, and when able, Las Vegas. Arthur's family includes five adult sons ages 54, 50, 40, 34 and 28. Arthur believes he is here telling his story today because of Dana Farber, and doctors like Dr. Lathan, who gave him the gift of life. He says, "I was told I was ‘terminal’ and had maybe 1 year to live by an oncologist elsewhere. I never heard that word at Dana-Farber and I am well past that one year. I am ‘living the dream’ every day, all days, bad or good days, happy or sad days because I am still breathing!” Dr. Christopher Lathan is an oncologist who specializes in cancers of the chest, including lung cancer. He sees patients and has published many research papers, mainly on cancer disparities for minorities. As Faculty Director for the Cancer Care Equity program at Dana-Farber, Dr. Lathan is committed to providing better access to cancer care and education to Boston communities.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Are their van tassel was 72 years of age from Nashua, New Hampshire is doctor doctor Christopher late in the series the faculty director. For cancer care equity and thoracic oncologist. I hear it Dana Farber it's great to meet both the view aren't huge lung cancer what happened. Not had a twice. Started in 1998 richest company and any my right shoulder. And one on one candidate traders diagnosed as being. As cancer in new history to a month. And the result was to have the upper right side of my line remove. And lots of chemotherapy 27 re creations. Then went through the rule remission. Finally get deeply cancer free. On fifteen years. Look in the life. Noon in an annual physical. That they just haven't it came back. So I had lung cancer in which in lower. Mirant London which left. Another tomorrow. And this time McCain Dana. I was advised them that Dana the reputation and gain it proceeded so. With me having this disease I was in a state of shock. Being unlucky enough to get a two times but I'm one of those guys I can pull off an idea each spot. It's her cancer yet except I was treated with chemotherapy and natural under the direction of Dana. He and if did not do the job it. Ended up with not apologist Alan that was terminal. And I probably had one year or less to live. I could be put on a mild in the course of time. And then it indeed in my car fessed up and down here. So called terrorists appointment. In him and I started off missed. To try to make something where it was now first and foremost analysts he had no time in my treatment at Dana. Did I hear the word turmoil. And that is critical to anyone that says this disease. In any form a chance that congress what did you think when you heard terminal a here and we actually use that word was terrible. It was terrible. Because I'm a liberal like Obama really work I'm doing it in after surviving at the first time when you know long. You really appreciate it. So apply to pull it off toys. Was destruction of America and I'm not gonna sit here today and it was just to unify us a lot of prayers. Tremendous amount of prayers vehemently. On nine yeah but. Mixed into the big scenario was this man right here. I see him as much of a friend as I do physician. I really and truly. Being treated by a mine Julie visiting room. He's got a great personality. Is to read people's skills helped me immensely. With the psychological high of about. And to try to shot not a scenario. He suggested. That I try experimental radiation program. Where instead it gained 27. Shots. Shots of radiation media which points that we I would yet a massive dose or five times. That'd be formed fit to a table land of the mattress made. I had to point to a whole scenario. Laying on the table. The 45 to fifteen minutes willow moved. No moving apple. And received history and I had four goals. I don't know how much radiation to note that that was it for treatment. In. Went back into the results. They couldn't find anything. Uncle dog others out there go from hearing that he's got one life when you're live in terminal two blocking and Dana Farber and you. Oh she putting a different treatments just is this more your disposal at the unifier Borough or talk what that mental side as far as damaging term. Certainly I think. Tuesday he's cramp yeah a lot of days when you here to tells you among cancer and they tell you that it's incurable. You know I think I think sometimes that. Sometimes at these people shut down. I think the essence and treating doctors think we have any options the whole point of coming to a place like the far burned and really supported by. You know all the money that agrees here in all the people who raise money for the Geneva India Favre is because we have some innovative approaches and outside the box thinking. And that's BK is specialist not only do like it. That's I'll do as well I've been doing for over fifteen years so my view of this when he comes in my dorm looking at him under different lands because I have some different tools. And then and in addition to that as you mentioned it's not just what we do you it's also has to do a lot with him here he was willing to go through these extra treatment to kind of think outside the box and my colleagues at work radiation doctor doctor am and who did the radiation and we've crafted his plan specifically for him. And personalized past. That's advantage that we. They dot com. Complete right turn right now. That's what you known for center isn't Carl or Zion. And then rent is that it would ever told you you resemble Tony Gwynn. You know does not resemble that you actually done this guy holding hands now that I'm my mannerisms and everybody my dealer heavy air I people say that yeah. Yeah pentagon they never said yeah I sent a nice way to fake bananas overlay. Earlier the white city's great hitter as we did a great idea sir I don't to say here's what you elaborate right he's probably don't have this happen. He's right about the mannerisms did you. Another and everything else does that you know I love him like a good sport of golf is what he does yeah. I don't look at the start. Good luck may have you know big east you love you said your liberal lights then you know you. We're talking biggest box loads. Yeah oh yeah yeah. Yeah you want you probably won't admit this is like and I think he's the you'd have you invited him baby these trips boy until 5 o'clock left that's big is now are there to talk about it as we talked about it's about time. I think partly it's it's not an allied professionals that you whenever they hesitate about it at all I even thought that I. It is amazing Mottaki where you were talking about. Different you know cutting edge technology. Because of the research in the clinical trials that are being done yet I think that's the biggest difference you've dealing when you're dealing out somewhere else he. They don't have that capability the scientists the researchers are right here on our property it. That that that's where. That I'm seeing differences from one year to the next week come back here every year. And we're hearing of unbelievable. Advances. Absolutely I will say this you know when I started doing like cancer. You know there were only few treatments. We really had a only if you cheated but you'll hear later on I am now my boss doctor posse on humans drastic oncology program. He's really involved with some these targeted therapy now some people are able to take a pill. And I can target their cancer and and we have immune base there beaten up all kinds of approaches. In clinical trials and I'll see this okay this is something else we are also trying to take all this great work that we do at Dana Farber and bring it to the community's best we can. And that's chew some are satellites and that's Imus was it's as well and also you know T communities even in Roxbury it's unbelievable. Art. I would like to say that my second surgery. After fifteen years nineteen nanny of course by. And in the second senator gonna Brigham and woman's when he thirteen. Gigantic. Step forward. The whole process of Mason and him coming up with this polite here. A protocol type of radiation. Believe me I would decide to afford it's what his brain and use his thinking got to get media. I think that's why I'm here. And he looks like Tony Gwynn that's that's an that's a polish community with a lot of and that's a good. That's out of them and I have no idea is that you wanted to sing it now. Are exactly and thank you all here at the OK let me ask archer question do you know aid. Our cat arena. Van tassel. Katrina Katrina is eight years old from Thousand Oaks, California yes. I just got a contribution. I just got a contribution says a hundred dollar gift today pop movement nine. How's that eight year old when. That's wonderful. Underdogs all one. Being here today's one. If I urgency on not doing it Pia program the Jimmy Fund earning him doing the truth. The truth solution best and you get going soil. And I don't even know of the radiation treatment I took was funded by Jimmy Fund it's possible it was that's what this is all about. And I am gonna get. So much more active and I was. About Jimmy Fund because that has helped me so much and you know so many other critical and that is from the heart. It's it's a simple I I get it I McCullough simple thing I yeah I know you off I'm a client and I just story yes I'm getting. I get it they do great work I watched this all day yesterday I saw people live. The kids especially. I'd donate to saint Jude. Children's hospital cancer it's relentless. Attacks anybody anything race religion cult does not matter age does not matter. When I had cancer the first time has coached Little League Baseball. My catcher good news nine years old. He thought leukemia. And his mother came to where I was working ones. In suited you so much I don't know pollute panel. The meets so I didn't even feel sick and that kid I was looking was sick. Another thing hundreds somebody else about Dana when you go there. You're gonna drop I drive back and interest along right sometimes I feel like there because I see with my guys so much sickness. Much worse than me. And I need it makes you appreciate life more and respect the suffering of those that was it and I saw. Are through street you live alone and prospers thanks avenue and guys are receiving media guides grunt work you do we really are right so let's. I 82 o'clock this guy that hasn't did you get a picture with Tony K excellent. Thanks are we really appreciate it.

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