of us will reach our octogenarian years with as much vigor as Guido
Brassesco. Each day the 81-year-old Stockton resident rides a stationary
bike for half an hour and spends another half-hour on push-ups and
sit-ups. Then he goes to service club meetings, classes, or to visit
friends. Sure, his ankles are a little gimpy from some shrapnel
he caught in World War II, and he's got a touch of high blood pressure,
but all in all, life is good.
except for that kidney cancer scare a few years back. But thanks
to early detection and a sophisticated surgery that Brassesco underwent
at the UC Davis Medical Center, his only reminder of that experience
is a small, two-inch scar near his abdomen.
sought help a year ago shortly after he began passing blood in his
urine. His physician thought he had an infection, but subsequent
tests revealed a large mass on his right kidney.
scared the heck out of me," Brassesco recalls. "I couldn't
believe I had cancer, because I felt fine. How could I be sick?"
cancer strikes more than 30,000 people in the United States each
year, killing more than 10,000. Once disease spreads, it is hard
to treat. But when it's caught early, a surgery to remove the diseased
kidney and adjacent adrenal gland and fat - a procedure called a
radical nephrectomy - is effective without the need for chemotherapy
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nephrectomy is another way minimally invasive surgery helps cancer