Laurie's Story - Squamous Cell Cancer

Squamous Cell Cancer Patient Story
UCLA Health article

Testimonial: Squamous Cell Cancer, HPV Positive Treatment

“Dr. St. John is a specialist who will go the extra mile to treat and cure you of this cancer, may God bless her and her team at UCLA” —Laurie

I was diagnosed with early stage tonsil cancer in June 2019 after my tonsillectomy biopsy done by Dr. Wells my ENT revealed squamous cell cancer, HPV positive. I met with Dr Reeves a UCLA oncologist who referred me to Dr. Maie St. John, also of UCLA. I called on a Thursday and got in on the next Tuesday, due to a cancellation.

After reviewing my records, she suggested surgery to further remove cancer cells remaining, and a modified neck dissection to evaluate lymph nodes for cancer. I consulted with her team that day who further gave me answers to my questions. The team included a radiologist and psychologist. The surgery was scheduled for July 31, 2019, followed by a six-day hospital stay at UCLA.

Dr. St. John is a first-class specialist with extensive knowledge in her field. She was optimistic, kind, caring and reassuring. I had confidence I was in the very best of hands with a world-renowned surgeon. It was her hope I would not need radiation but unfortunately, the cancer had spread beyond the tonsil wall to the pharyngeal space; but had not gone to the lymph nodes in the neck.

I did do five weeks of radiation at the Hoag in Irvine, but no chemotherapy. Now I must do my follow-ups, but I feel very grateful to Dr. St. John and Dr. Wells for the excellent care I received. Dr. St. John is a specialist who will go the extra mile to treat and cure you of this cancer, may God bless her and her team at UCLA. I am forever grateful for my high cure rate.

If you have this serious cancer look no further than UCLA and Dr. Maie St. John. I could have gone anywhere in the country, all of the top centers were considered, as I wanted to survive this cancer and watch my grandchildren grow and thrive.

To conclude, I found this poem which epitomizes Dr. St. John’s can-do attitude and UCLA’s positive healing atmosphere:

“Real optimism is aware of the problems but recognizes solutions, knows about difficulties but believes they can be overcome, sees the negatives but accentuates the positives, is exposed to the worst but expects the best, has reasons to complain but chooses to smile.” By William Arthur Ward