Chip’s Story: Recurring Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment

75-year-old Chip has fought cancer a few times before. After working as a precision machinist for thirty-seven years, Chip battled basal skin cancer, and later on, prostate cancer. While taking a shower one day, Chip discovered a new pea-sized lump in his groin. This discovery prompted the Bay Area native to make a doctor’s appointment quickly. After several tests, it was confirmed to be a recurrence of prostate cancer and a new finding of pancreatic cancer. As he has done throughout life, Chip approached this discovery head-on, with a positive attitude, and sought an immediate treatment solution, “Cancer is not going to get the best of me,” Chip recalls.

After some discussion, Chip’s care plan included surgical removal of the cancerous tumors, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments with Epic Care Cyberknife. The surgical oncology team at UC Davis performed the surgery, and soon after, Chip met with Epic Care’s Medical Oncologist, Dr. Ernest Lo.

After several months of chemotherapy, most patients understandably reach their limit, but Chip shared, “Don’t get me wrong, the side effects are tough, but the more that’s poured into me, the better I feel. I wasn’t going to stop. I was ready for the sixth round and would continue until I made it through round twelve.”

Chip did just that, but after the series of chemotherapy was complete, a new spot was discovered on Chip’s liver. “Thankfully, no rock goes unturned with my Epic Care crew!’, he says.  Chemo began again to ensure the metastatic liver cancer did not grow, and Epic Care’s team of doctors agreed CyberKnife would be the appropriate next step.

Chip’s first CyberKnife treatment with Radiation Oncologist Dr. Gautam Prasad was on his birthday. “It was the greatest birthday gift.”, recalls Chip. And best of all, Chip’s treatment was painless and completed in three short sessions. Soon after CyberKnife treatment was complete, Chip returned to the Walnut Creek CyberKnife Center to review his results. Dr. Prasad showed two images; one where the tumor was and another where it used to be. “The cancer was gone,” Chip exclaims!

After returning home, Chip remains in close contact with his Epic Care team and is provided frequent updates to track his tumor markers. According to the American Cancer Society, “Tumor markers are substances found in the blood when cancer is present and are used to help detect, diagnose, and manage some types of cancer.”

Since CyberKnife treatment, “I am staying busy, doing things around the house, enjoying time with my lovely wife, and making sure grass doesn’t grow under my feet,” Chip says. He continues chemotherapy treatments with Dr. Ernest Lo, and keeps a picture of the CyberKnife machine in his wallet to share with friends, and remind them of the incredible treatment options in our community that may help them, too!

Chip has some advice for others who are beginning their cancer journey. “Keep pushing, enjoy life, and get up on the right side of the bed every day. There has been incredible progress made that can give you years of life and help you beat cancer. I’m not ready to check out yet, and thanks to Epic Care, I don’t have to.”