• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Cancer is no match for 80-year-old dynamo

June 25, 2017

cancer patient Nancy Sills holding her dog

Nanci Sills lived her life by the book. She didn't smoke or drink. She exercised regularly and ate well. So when Nanci found out she had late-stage cancer in 2014, at the age of 77, she was incredulous.

"I was indignant, annoyed and angry," says Nanci, who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. "I was one of these extremely healthy people who just never got sick. It never even occurred to me that I could get sick."

At her initial appointments with physicians in the Department of Oncology at Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus, Nanci recalls that she'd sit with her arms folded across her chest, and say, "I've always played by the rules, and I can't have cancer."

That indignation ignited a fierce desire in her to get rid of the aggressive illness, which began as anal cancer. Today, following radiation therapy and chemotherapy, Nanci's scans and bloodwork do indeed show that there are no longer any cancer cells in her body. In addition to giving credit to her attitude, Nanci sings the praises of the attention and treatment she received from her Mayo Clinic care team for her positive outcome.

"I really do think they saved my life," she says. "I don't know that I could've gotten this care anywhere else. I am so high on Mayo Clinic — everything about it. You just know you're in good hands." Read the rest of Nancy's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.