• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Individualized cancer treatment through Mayo Clinic Care Network

March 25, 2018

Andrew McFadden wasn't sure what to do when he found out he had a rare and aggressive form of cancer. But working together through a unique partnership, his physicians helped him develop a treatment plan and find a way to move forward.

Andrew McFadden has always been a fighter. He spent 22 years in the U.S. Army with one tour in Iraq. He battled a rare type of cancer in his chest called thymic carcinoma that, after surgery and radiation, remained in remission for more than a decade.

But then in April 2017, as Andrew was getting ready to go to St. Stephen's Baptist Church in Marion, South Carolina, where he's a pastor, he noticed a lump the size of an egg in his neck. He was evaluated at a local emergency department and told to see his primary care physician as soon as possible.

His doctor referred him to a surgeon who did a biopsy and diagnosed neuroendocrine cancer. A patient of Carolinas Hospital System in Florence, South Carolina, part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Andrew had a consult with oncologist Ziad Skaff, M.D., in May 2017. Imaging tests revealed a mass in his neck and another near his ribs and diaphragm.

"These tumors are a rare and aggressive cancer that has a poor prognosis," Dr. Skaff says. "I told him the cancer — a relapse of the first cancer that had mutated — would spread. He has a 9-year-old daughter, and because he said he felt fine and had no symptoms, I was very concerned that he wouldn't pursue chemotherapy." Read the rest of the story.

This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.