Pancreatic Cancer Patient Stories

  • Angela Fedele

    Angela Fedele

    In 1983, Angela Fedele was diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time she was going through a divorce. This 42-year-old mother of 4 felt that her whole life was crumbling apart. "I felt totally alone and full of despair," shared Angela, who put her health in the hands of her surgeon. After the mastectomy to remove the cancer, Angela tried to pick up the pieces of her life and move on. Little did she know this was just the beginning of a long journey with cancer that would span more than 2 decades.

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  • 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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  • Connie Jackley

    Connie Jackley

    In 1995, Connie and Michael Jackley experienced life's greatest pain as they lost their only child, Rachel, 21, to cancer. Several years later, when Connie was diagnosed with cancer herself, she did not have the desire to fight. Thankfully, Dr. James Watson, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, entered the picture and inspired her to keep fighting when she felt like she had nothing left to give. He performed multiple surgeries on Connie over the years to keep her alive and well. Connie now considers Dr. Watson a friend.

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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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  • 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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