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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Gene Denn — Minnesota patient sought UC Davis expertise in eye treatment

Gene Denn

When Gene Denn, a retired Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), was diagnosed with left eye choroid melanoma at the University of Minnesota, he was given the following treatment options: enucleation, or removal of the eye; watchful waiting and monitoring the tumor’s growth; or radiation therapy administered by a small disc called a plaque, surgically placed on the posterior of the globe.

But, embarking upon further research, Denn decided to investigate proton therapy as an alternate treatment method — and discovered the top-ranked Eye Center at UC Davis Health System, one of only a handful of centers nationwide that offered this therapy. Within 24 hours of contacting the clinic, Denn was contacted by Dr. Susanna Park, who called to explain the procedure as well as to conduct a preliminary interview, which helped confirm he was a qualified candidate for proton therapy.

“I was immediately impressed with Dr. Park,” Denn said. “Not only did she call me after clinic hours, but her questions were poignant, her demeanor was extremely professional, and she provided me with a detailed description of the procedure and its outcomes.”

Within a month of his initial diagnosis, Denn flew from Minnesota to Sacramento for his first appointment. The clinic performed a series of required tests and then immediately administered the proton therapy. “The entire process, from the first appointment to the end of the treatment, occurred efficiently, swiftly and seamlessly,” Denn said, resulting in less travel time and fewer out-of-pocket expenses.

Denn is pleased with his post-treatment, complication-free experience.

“I promptly returned to an active lifestyle without restrictions,” he said. “I’m able to drive my cars and motorcycle, use machinery for household projects and woodworking, and read without difficulty.”

Although Denn could receive post-treatment care closer to home, Denn was so impressed with the care he received at UC Davis that he continues to travel here for all of his follow-up visits.

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