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Neck Cancer Survivor Michael Saum of North Muskegon Celebrates Life at Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Joins Fellow Cancer Survivors in Tree-Planting Ceremony

Zion, Illinois – June 11, 2010 – Michael Saum returned to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in suburban Chicago today to celebrate surpassing five years of cancer survivorship.  Saum was joined by doctors, hospital administration and the clinical support team in a tree-planting ceremony in his honor.  White doves were released at the conclusion of the event to commemorate each year of his fighting survival. 

Saum, 61 of North Muskegon, Michigan was a healthy, happy family man, rarely sick, never even had a headache and then one day in 2005 he received a cancer diagnosis – squamous cell neck cancer.  Saum sought several opinions and talked to many doctors about the best treatment approach.  A deeply faithful man, he prayed fervently for guidance, to help him answer the questions: where would he receive the best care and should he travel for treatment?

“At CTCA the radiation oncology center was far more advanced than I was offered locally and I had done a lot of research at that point on health. I knew after talking to the doctors and staff at CTCA regarding my treatment plan - the level of compassion, care, and the genuine interest in me – this place was for me,” he said. “The CTCA medical team spent time with me and proposed radiation and chemo first, and then surgery, if it was needed because it would be less disfiguring.  I was more informed about the process and expectations – obviously there was no guarantee, CTCA doesn’t perform miracles, but miracles are taking place there in the hands of the staff!” he stated.

Saum’s treatment plan also included supportive therapies like nutrition, naturopathy, mind-body and spiritual support.  “I primarily tapped into the nutritional support and that has really stayed with me. For instance, I eat apricot seeds now. They are a natural form of Laetrile which is high in vitamin B15.  I also take an immune enhancing, multi-vitamin, a mushroom extract, and digestive enzymes.  Because of the cancer, 80% of my salivary glands were eliminated.  So, the digestive enzyme supplement helps break down food. I don’t have any negative side effects other than voice restrictions.  I’m my most fit ever,” he said.

Now, after being a cancer survivor for more than five years, his advice to other patients is clear, “believe that you’re God’s choice, put your life in HIS hands and He’ll show you the way. If all you’re going to do is worry about it (cancer), it’s going to affect your healing! There’s a passage in Matthew 6:27: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” 

“I have a desire for silliness and fun. I’ll be 62 in a few weeks, and our kids’ friends say how much “fun” we are!  I’m the “old guy” and I’m water skiing, zip-lining in our woods, jumping on a trampoline.  I’m 16 years older than my wife.  I’m not ready to sit on the couch all day – God’s given me this second chance.”  Every Tuesday you’ll find Saum and his family at the Rosa Parks Center in Grand Rapids attending the Grand Rapids Original Swing Society (GROSS) where he enjoys swing dancing with his wife.

 This year, 156 CTCA patients are celebrating their five-year triumph over cancer with CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center. “At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, cancer patients and their families benefit from a fully integrated, personalized cancer treatment experience, known as Patient Empowered Care®, including state-of the art treatment protocols and complementary therapies delivered by an Empowerment team of cancer experts,” said Anne Meisner, president and CEO at CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center.  “We empower our patients to help them take control of their cancer and every patient is treated as though they were a member of our own family. We are so proud of our celebrants and honored to acknowledge and celebrate their journey and continued success,” she added.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc. (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals focusing on complex and advanced stage cancer. CTCA offers a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to cancer treatment and serves patients from all 50 states at facilities located in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. Known for delivering the Mother Standard® of care and Patient Empowerment Medicine®, CTCA provides patients with information about cancer and their treatment options so they can control their treatment decisions. For more information about CTCA, go to www.cancercenter.com.

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