It's so rare we're talking about something that happens to one in a million patients. And it happened to a North Little Rock woman.
A couple of years ago, Alice Castleberry had a nagging cough but all test results came back negative.
"Then I began to lose weight everywhere except through my midsection," said Castleberry.
That's when she knew something was seriously wrong.
"I didn't have pain per say but I was very uncomfortable," said Castleberry. "It just felt like everything was squeezing me. There was no room left in my midsection."
She was then sent to UAMS.
"It's like getting a polyp of the appendix," said Doctor Brian Badgwell. "You know you can get polyps of the colon well this is a polyp of the appendix. As people know the appendix can burst and so in this situation it burst and then spread tumor throughout the abdomen."
So what's the treatment for that diagnosis?
What Doctor Brian Badgwell calls the biggest surgery a patient can undergo.
"A big incision. You have to take everything out of the abdomen that the tumor is involved," said Doctor Badgwell.
And by "everything" he means the appendix, uterus, tubes, ovaries, spleen and of course a large amount of the tumor had to be removed.
Then Castleberry had to endure two hours of heated chemotherapy infused directly into her abdominal cavity before she could be sewn back up.
Amazingly, ten days later, Castleberry had recovered enough to go home.
Her advice to others? don't wait when it comes to your health.
"To react fast. If you they feel like there's something not right, and I did. I knew there was something wrong. To get help as quickly as I could. To not wait," said Castleberry.
UAMS is the only hospital in the state that does this surgery.
And there's an upcoming fundraiser that helps make these kinds of medical advancements possible.
It's called The RockStar Lounge and it's a Rock 'n' Roll –themed party allowing groupies of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute to "band" together to raise "fans and funds" for the Cancer Institute.
It's an evening spent U2-style and with all your favorite hits as performed by Nashville's very own UZoo – The Authentic U2 Tribute Band Experience. Guests will enjoy an evening of great entertainment, food, specialty drinks and amazing door prizes. RockStar Lounge is an Envoys Advocacy Group sponsored event.
Tickets; $50, call 501-526-2277
Saturday, June 2, 2012 7:30 – 11:00 p.m.
UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
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