April 27, 2017 BUFFALO—A groundbreaking cancer vaccine is being tested just down the Thruway. The treatment may actually prevent lung and other cancers or at least stop them from spreading. Lung cancer kills more people every year than prostate, breast, colon and pancreatic cancer combined. Only 17% of those diagnosed with it, survive for more than 5 years. Those are scary statistics but doctors and researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo could soon change that.
“I just had a fluke shoulder injury,” recalls Larry Hebeler of Buffalo. He went to his chiropractor for what he thought would be a pretty routine appointment but then he got a call that changed his life, “I had no symptoms, there was none of the usual suspects to say there was anything wrong with me,” but in his mid-40’s and in otherwise great health, the x-ray uncovered that Hebeler had lung cancer.
After three months of chemotherapy, a surgery to remove part of his lung, a month of radiation and then another three months of chemo, doctors at Roswell Park believe his cancer has been removed. But knowing the statistics, he can’t live worry free. Hebeler comes back for scans every 6 months, “2-3 weeks beforehand, you start getting a little keyed up and start worrying about it a little bit. I really don’t worry about it so much for me, I worry about it more for my wife, because what’s going to happen is going to happen and I won’t be here but she still will and she is what’s really important so that’s what I worry about,” he says.