Pancreatic cancer survivor shares story - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Pancreatic cancer survivor shares story

Posted: Updated:

Pancreatic cancer claims so many lives because often it isn't detected until it's too late. Yet, it is the fourth most deadly form of cancer. Every year, 45,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 40,000 of them will die.

One of the fortunate few alive five years after her diagnosis shares her story.

"I did not have one single symptom, not one," Lessley Hynson recalls learning she had pancreatic cancer.

She had gone to the doctor because of headaches. During a ct scan it was discovered she had an abnormality in her pancreas.

"I knew it was a serious diagnosis, I didn't take it lightly," said Hynson. "It was significant that it was found that early. Because I was having no symptoms of anything being wrong."

The tumor was removed and Hynson went through chemo-therapy. She's now five years, into remission
her story is a rarity.

"By just having past the five year survival point, I am in the less than three percent in the world to be surviving," Hynson.

Dr. Sushanth Reddy, an oncologist at UAB's comprehensive cancer center says, "Because we have difficulty detecting it in the early stage, it's usually pretty far gone by the time we see it."

Reddy says, many patients don't know where the pancreas is located.

"The pancreas is an organ located in the back of your abdomen, it starts in the right side and goes to the left side behind the stomach," Reddy explains.

Reddy, says unlike breast and colon cancer, there are no specific screenings for pancreatic cancer.

Like Hynson's discovery, most are found through ct scans.

"Most people here get cat scans for a variety of reasons," says Reddy. "We find incidental, or non-expected abnormalities within the pancreas and we're starting to study to understand which of these abnormalities will lead to pancreatic cancer."

Reddy says, it's important to know the signs of the disease. However, once the signs show, the cancer has become advanced.

"If it's located on the right side of the pancreas, the most common sign is jaundice, where the patient starts turning yellow, the bile ducts back up and the patient becomes yellow," says Reddy. "If the cancer is on the left side of the pancreas, it's usually non specific abdominal pain, because it's gotten so big it's starting to grow into something."

The disease has many unknowns. Dr. Reddy says common risk factors for pancreatic cancer
include smoking, and family history.

"We don't really know why yet, we don't know the genetic linkage," says Reddy.

For Lessley Hynson, she knows each day is a blessing.

Now, she's sharing her story with others.

"It's been a wonderful journey, absolutely wonderful journey," says Hynson. "This is the absolute truth, I would not take it back. I would not take it back."

Dr. Reddy, with the UAB comprehensive cancer center says, as with any cancer, the best ways to cure are through, surgery, chemo-therapy and radiation therapy. He says three are really needed for any type of cure. Reddy says right now at UAB, research is taking place to work toward prevention and trying to catch these cancers at an earlier state.

Lessley Hynson still undergoes clinical trials at UAB to help researchers learn more about the potential causes of the disease.

She says, while it may not help her, it could help someone in the future.

 

 

  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:33:21 GMT
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.More >>
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.
    More >>
  • JeffCo schools approve hiring of deputy supt.

    JeffCo schools approve hiring of deputy supt.

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 4:46 PM EDT2014-07-22 20:46:34 GMT
    Jefferson county superintendent of schools Dr. Craig Pouncey wants to clarify the chain of command within the district. Dr. Pouncey expects to hire a deputy superintendent of school and community support. The position is intended to provide school administrators with a direct link to the district office. Pouncey says hiring a deputy superintendent ensures that board governance is determined and understood correctly. "I think that will link each community with representatives of the board," s...More >>
    Jefferson county superintendent of schools Dr. Craig Pouncey wants to clarify the chain of command within the district. Dr. Pouncey expects to hire a deputy superintendent of school and community support. The position is intended to provide school administrators with a direct link to the district office. Pouncey says hiring a deputy superintendent ensures that board governance is determined and understood correctly. "I think that will link each community with representatives of the board," s...More >>
  • Birmingham Mayor, Leaders applaud DNC site visit

    Birmingham Mayor, Leaders applaud DNC site visit

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:00 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:00:54 GMT
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell said Tuesday the site visit by the Democratic National Committee has been a success so far. A DNC team is on a two-day site visit evaluating Birmingham's capability of hostingMore >>
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell said Tuesday the site visit by the Democratic National Committee has been a success so far.More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:06:38 GMT
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.More >>
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:05:18 GMT
    William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
  • Heflin police: North Carolina man arrested with over 8 pounds of marijuana

    Heflin police: North Carolina man arrested with over 8 pounds of marijuana

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:04:33 GMT
    A North Carolina man was arrested Monday after Heflin police found over eight pounds of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.More >>
    A North Carolina man was arrested Monday after Heflin police found over eight pounds of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.
    More >>
  • Tuscaloosa Area NewsMore>>

  • Warrants issued to arrest Forkland mayor

    Warrants issued to arrest Forkland mayor

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:24 AM EDT2014-07-22 12:24:52 GMT

    Warrants allege: Theft of Property & Tampering Govt Records

    More >>

    Warrants allege: Theft of Property & Tampering Govt Records

    More >>
  • Tuscaloosa police on the look out for a murder suspect

    Tuscaloosa police on the look out for a murder suspect

    Sunday, July 20 2014 2:21 PM EDT2014-07-20 18:21:54 GMT
    At approximately1:40 am this morning Tuscaloosa Police responded to a reported shooting in the 4700 block of East McFarland Blvd (Motel 6). When officers arrived, they found the victim, 21 year old Jamarcus Marquez Roberts in his vehicle. Roberts had crashed into the shrubs at the entrance to the motel parking lot. Roberts was treated at the scene and transported to DCH-ED, however he died from his injuries. The victim appears to have been shot one time in the chest. Investigators were able t...More >>
    At approximately1:40 am this morning Tuscaloosa Police responded to a reported shooting in the 4700 block of East McFarland Blvd (Motel 6). When officers arrived, they found the victim, 21 year old Jamarcus Marquez Roberts in his vehicle. Roberts had crashed into the shrubs at the entrance to the motel parking lot. Roberts was treated at the scene and transported to DCH-ED, however he died from his injuries. The victim appears to have been shot one time in the chest. Investigators were able t...More >>
  • Tuscaloosa Police investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd.

    Tuscaloosa Police investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd.

    Sunday, July 20 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-20 18:09:31 GMT
    Tuscaloosa Police are investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd. at the Motel 6.  More >>
    Tuscaloosa Police are investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd. at the Motel 6.  More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...