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El Camino Hospital and Me

Karen & Roger's Story: Three Cancers

A single diagnosis of cancer can send a family reeling, but three bouts in five years is more than most can bear. That's why Karen and Roger are so grateful for the care they got from their extended "family" at the Cancer Center at El Camino Hospital.

Karen and Roger Sutter

Several years ago, Roger was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. Then, later on, Roger contracted a second cancer in his throat, which was completely unrelated to his blood disorder.

By 2011, both had completed their chemotherapy and radiation treatments and were doing amazingly well.

Roger, who turned 71 in 2012, says he is back to playing singles tennis twice a week and goes to the gym five days a week. Karen walks every morning for at least two miles with her friends. And she volunteers at the Cancer Center as well.

So far, their checkups have been terrific. "My wife just had a PET Scan," says Roger. "And she's doing great."

"I still go in every three or four months for blood work, but that's okay. For me, going to see [radiation oncologist] Bob Sinha or [medical oncologist] Shane Dormady is like going to meet a friend," adds Roger. "I always look forward to seeing them."

Karen and Roger credit the incredible diligence of the entire cancer team — from the front desk to the nurses and doctors — for their amazing outcomes.

"The level of service and human interaction is par excellence," notes Roger. "In fact, they ought to send customer service trainees over to El Camino to watch these guys operate!"

Roger says he never felt like just a number when it came to his treatment at the Cancer Center. He was always treated as a human being, and a friend. And, because of that, he now recommends the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center to just about everyone he meets.