John Sansone discovered he had kidney cancer back in 2012 when he noticed blood coming in his stool and a sharp pain at his side. He went through a surgery which removed the tumor growing on his kidney. He was relieved, but nine months later, he noticed blood in his coughs. Consequently, his reports showed the cancer to have reemerged, reaching his lungs.
The diagnosis had come right after 9 months of his marriage and served like a death call for Sansone. He believed he wouldn’t live for as long as none of the treatments quite worked on him, except for a short while. He was left nauseous and weak and utterly hopeless. But then he recalls his treatment at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, at the hands of Dr. Sharad Chandrika.
Dr. Chandrika was a beckon of hope for Sansone who helped him stay optimistic while she decided how to treat him. Sansone calls the treatment center as “Cheers Hospital” because of the humble staff who would know his name and not treat him like a number. Sansone knew his tumor was the size of a lemon, that blocked his airways, he recalls feeling like choking and being unable to breathe. Dr. Chandrika grew more worried when she discovered in the regular Bronchoscopies (inspection of the lung through a camera-tube), that Sansone had developed pneumonia and was required to be given two to three liters of Oxygen constantly.
Dr. Chandrika knew she had to try something new and that’s when she was introduced to photodynamic therapy (PDT). An extremely photosensitive chemical called Porfimer is injected into the patient’s body in this therapy. This chemical was easily absorbed by the cancers cells, thus making them highly sensitive to light. PDT had not been used on many works but Dr. Chandrika had to give it a try since no other treatment worked.
Two days after Sansone was injected with the chemical, a fiber optic cable attached with laser light was put into his body. The light when shined on the tumor, caused it to swell and blood vessels to break down, which is how cancer cells die. Within 2-3 sessions, the treatment was finalized by removing the dead cells. Later, Sansone got off from the oxygen, had no pneumonia and no requirement for bronchoscopies!
Sansone message to all cancer patients is to hang in there, as doctors are now coming up with so many new effective treatments!