Back Pain Led to Kidney Cancer Diagnosis for Survivor Turned Advocate

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Back Pain Led to Kidney Cancer Diagnosis for Survivor Turned Advocate

Back pain was an indicator of kidney cancer in one woman.

Four years ago, Merlinda Chelette was a hardworking ER nurse who suffered from excruciating back pain. When it became too painful to bear, she initially sought chiropractic care, but the pain got worse. Her search for relief eventually led to a radiologist, who found the surprising cause of her back pain was kidney cancer.

“The news was devastating. I had a tumor in my right kidney which had spread to the spine. Cancer had eaten away 80 percent of one of the lumbar vertebrae, and it fractured,” said Ms. Chelette. “I felt disbelief. No one in my family has cancer.”

Ms. Chelette was diagnosed with clear cell renal carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer. After completing her initial radiation therapy, she came to Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center to volunteer for a clinical trial and began treatment with sunitinib. She is now celebrating four years of survivorship.

“I’ve kept my nursing license up and I hope to go back to work. Meanwhile, I teach Sunday school to elementary and preschool students,” said Ms. Chelette.  “I’ve learned that I can still have a good quality of life during cancer treatment – and who knows how long that life might last.”

Read Full Article: Back Pain Led to Kidney Cancer Diagnosis for Survivor Turned Advocate

Read Full Article: Back Pain Led to Kidney Cancer Diagnosis for Survivor Turned Advocate

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