Man in 80s still kickin’ after winning battle over 3 different forms of cancer


By Shin-Han Kwan, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — An 86-year-old who was diagnosed with breast, kidney and prostate cancer in the past three years had regained his health after intensive treatment and routine examinations, the Taipei Medical University (TMU) said yesterday.

In January 2010 and already suffering high blood pressure and diabetes, the patient, surnamed Huang, felt pain in his chest and discovered a hard lump there. He went to TMU for treatment and was surprised to be diagnosed with breast cancer. He took doctors’ suggestions, undergoing an operation to remove the tumor and taking a course of medication, the TMU said. “Breast cancer can occur in males, too,” said Dr. Chen Ching-hsiang (陳清祥) from TMU’s breast surgery department. Research has suggested that less than 1 percent of all breast cancer cases involve men. “Most male patients ignore the lumps until they begin bleeding or festering,” said Chen.

Even after beating breast cancer, though, Huang’s battle with cancer was not over. Ten months after his first operation, while taking an ultra-sonic exam, a 2-cm tumor was found on his right kidney. Concerned about his age, Huang’s medical team suggested he undergo a frozen section procedure, which lowers the heart risks posed by anesthesia.

Compared to breast cancer, which can be detected by chest lumps, kidney cancer is “silent,” said Dr. Wu Chen-cheng (吳政誠) of TMU’s urology department. “There are no symptoms in the first stage. It is not until the second stage or later that symptoms such as blood in urine or pain develop,” which means the cancer cells have already migrated to other organs, Wu said.

Again Huang beat the cancer, but his saga did not end there. When getting a routine check up in December 2011, the doctor found a lump in Huang’s prostate. Tests revealed that the cancer was in its third stage. After receiving the frozen section procedure again, Huang recovered from cancer a third time, and didn’t even report any after-effects such as incontinence.

Chen pointed out that patients who are health conscious, and routinely receive check-ups and, if necessary, immediate treatment have higher rates of recovery.

“If noticing anything abnormal, one should receive an exam as soon as possible,” he said.