UCLA Head and Neck Cancer Program - Sharon's Story

Patient Story Head and Neck Cancer
UCLA Health article

Sharon Haber was shocked when a lump on her face turned out to be cancer. The tumor was large, overwhelming the parotid gland and extending to both sides of the facial nerve. It was essential to remove the growth, but there was a very real possibility that to do so would require cutting the facial nerve.

And cutting the facial nerve would mean “that the whole side of my face would be paralyzed,” Sharon said.

Understandably, Sharon was anxious and worried. She sought help from Maie St. John, MD, PhD, of UCLA’s Head and Neck Program, whose gentle approach and hopeful prognosis helped when Sharon needed it most.

“Even though she was telling me [my diagnosis], and it was all very scary,” Sharon said of Dr. St. John, “she looked at me with such warm and caring…that I knew Dr. St. John would do everything she could.”

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