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Skin Cancer Awareness Month: An Unlikely Patient
Date:5/15/2013

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 15, 2013

When 60-year-old Edna Mayorga first accepted a job with the large cancer care provider, Los Angeles Cancer Institute, a division of 21st Century Oncology of California, she did not know she would eventually become a patient. In November 2012, the 16-year veteran Patient Care Coordinator was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma – skin cancer on her nose.

“It started with just a little bump. I thought it was a pimple, but it just kind of grew. Sometimes it would go away and get flat, other times it was like a little bump, and occasionally it would bleed,” Mayorga said. “That was my sign that something was not right.”

A visit to the dermatologist confirmed her suspicions: basal cell carcinoma, the most common cancer in the United States with 2.8 million people diagnosed each year. While this cancer is rarely fatal, if left untreated, basal cell carcinoma can grow into surrounding facial structures. Her dermatologist first referred her to a surgeon to perform Mohs surgery, essentially cutting the cancerous tumor out of her nose.

“I evaluated the benefits and drawbacks to the Mohs surgery and the cosmetic effects would be a nightmare for me,” says Mayorga. “I would end up with a flap then three scars on my nose. I knew there had to be alternative treatments with better cosmetic outcomes. That's when I talked to my own doctors about radiation therapy.”

After intense research, she made the decision to undergo radiation therapy with Board Certified Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Daniel Schiffner. Her workdays began to include her regular duties as well as radiation therapy at the Los Angel
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