YOUR HEALTH MATTERS: Mapleton man finds success with aggressive melanoma treatment

Chuck Dean's doctor used immuno-oncology to treat his spreading cancer

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - He says he has more of a life now than before he got cancer. A local man is sharing his amazing story about an aggressive type of cancer treatment and his doctor says this approach is changing the way we look at melanoma.

Chuck Dean of Mapleton got to golf 18 with his doctor before the weather turned colder. Not a surprise just looking at this 77-year-old, but a modern miracle when you consider not long ago he was given just a few weeks to live.

Chuck Dean says, "I couldn't have gone out and played golf, I couldn't have shoveled snow in my yard, I couldn't have gone out and mowed the lawn."

Chuck was diagnosed with melanoma a few years ago. It spread to one of his lungs, completely collapsing it and forcing him to be on oxygen constantly. But, his oncologist, Dr. Donald Wender at the June E. Nylen Cancer Center suggested an aggressive treatment called immuno-oncology. Chuck would take a duo of drugs intravenously every two weeks that would activate his own immune system to fight the cancer. 

Dr. Donald Wender says, "He had no side effects from the treatment at all, and it opened his lungs up, and his lung is still open to this day. I know there are a lot of guys who wouldn't have used the combination on him, because they thought he was in too bad of shape, but I wanted to give him the best chance and that best that's out there."

Immuno-oncology is working for Chuck... and it's benefits for melanoma patients are being researched further through clinical trials at the June E. Nylen Cancer Center.

Chuck hopes others will see his experience and know melanoma isn't a death sentence... in fact, he's living his best life now.

Chuck says, "I take life one day at a time; I don't worry about yesterday, I don't worry about tomorrow, I take today, and I'm glad to have it."

Melanoma continues to be an increasingly common cancer. Incidences have been steadily increasing over the past 30 years. If it's caught early, 5-year survival rates are very high, so Chuck says don't wait to get checked out.
 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Get to Know the Anchors
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Mr. Food
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Siouxland Closings and Delays
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Siouxland Community Events
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Contests
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center