Pancreatic Cancer Patient Stories

  • Janice GaNun

    Janice GaNun

    In 2008, Janice GaNun was halfway to her goal of section-hiking the Appalachian Trail when she hit a bump in the road. This active 57-year-old experienced GI symptoms and sought medical attention. Just hours after an ultrasound of her lower GI region, Janice received a phone call from her doctor, who delivered the frightening news that she had a large mass in her pancreas. “My doctor urged me to go to Fox Chase Cancer Center for diagnosis and, if possible, surgery,” she recalled. Janice saw medical oncologist Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, a member of the Fox Chase Cancer Center gastrointestinal cancer treatment team.

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  • Barbara Lanza

    Barbara Lanza

    Pancreatic Cancer

    In January 2010, Barbara Lanza had just turned 52. Like many women her age, she was trying to lose weight and even tried green tea pills. She began experiencing stomach problems and attributed it to the pills, along with a stressful and physical job working in a dog kennel. Still, she took a family trip to Florida and visited the emergency room four times during her 10 day trip. “I was told it was pancreatitis because my cancer marker levels were too low for concern,” shared Barbara. By the time she returned home, Barbara's pain continued and she made an appointment with her family doctor. 

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  • Michael Laurenzi

    Michael Laurenzi

    It's possible that a  tick bite might have saved Mike Laurenzi’s life. In May 2013, at the age of 54, Mike ran a high fever and landed at the Emergency Department near his home in Media, PA. “They examined me, said it was probably just a bug, and sent me home,” he recalled.  Two days later, his fever was still 104.  He returned to his local hospital and was admitted.

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  • Baha Malik

    Baha Malik

    Pancreatic Cancer

    In 2007 when Baha Malik started experiencing back pain, he ignored it. “You know – that macho thing we do,” said the retired data specialist, who turned 75 in 2013.  “Finally it got so excruciating that my wife demanded I go to a hospital. When I did that, a biopsy revealed that I had cancer of the pancreas.  That’s when my primary physician made arrangements for me to go to Fox Chase Cancer Center – which was a real blessing.”

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  • Stephen McNamara

    Stephen McNamara

    Raised with 12 siblings in Ireland, Stephen McNamara enjoyed his childhood and his country. However, in 1949, when the opportunity presented itself to come to America, he acted on it. Mary, a nursing student whom he met in England, followed her heart and came to America to marry Stephen. They settled in the Philadelphia area and raised their own family with 5 children. During this time, Stephen was drafted and served stateside during the Korean War. Not long after, he became a citizen of the United States. "I just fell in love with America," shared Stephen. "I had a great job at General Motors and a wonderful family."

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