Harvey Goodman

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Michael J. Hall, MD, MS

Duodenal Carcinoma Patient Stories

Duodenal Carcinoma
Harvey Goodman

Harvey and his wife, Sheila.

Harvey Goodman was in shock. He had just heard from his oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center that he had an incurable, rare form of cancer called duodenal carcinoma of the small intestine that had metastasized to his liver.  It was stage 4.

“My initial thought was: Am I dreaming this?” he recalled. It was 2008, and 64-year-old Harvey had been married to Sheila for just twelve years. “I got my affairs in order and prepared myself for the worst,” said Harvey. “Little did I know that the next five years would bring me personal growth, excellent health and happiness well beyond any positive expectation I could imagine.”

"My team of doctors and nurses at Fox Chase is highly attentive and very professional."

Harvey’s medical oncologist, Michael J. Hall, MD, MS, is the director of the Gastrointestinal Risk Assessment program at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Dr. Hall prescribed an aggressive treatment regime included twelve rounds of chemotherapy at two week intervals.  His tumors decreased almost immediately. “To say I felt fortunate would be a gross understatement,” admitted Harvey. “Dr. Hall is easy to talk to. He sits and looks directly at you and you get the feeling he is there to answer all of your questions for as long as it takes. My team of doctors and nurses at Fox Chase is highly attentive and very professional.”

The next step was surgery, with James C. Watson, MD, FACS, a surgical oncologist who specializes in treating patients with gastrointestinal cancer.

“I liked Dr. Watson as soon as met him for his no-nonsense manner - and when I found out he was an avid Phillies fan I liked him even more,” Harvey added. The two-and-a-half hour surgery revealed that Harvey’s intestinal tumor had shrunk and his liver looked clear. Despite the positive results, Dr. Watson explained that there was a possibility the cancer would return.

“I realized I was still in a very serious situation, but maybe, I thought, I can deal with this as a chronic illness: one that could be managed,” shared Harvey.

"If you are being treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center, you are in a really good place."

In 2012, Harvey attended a seminar in Florida hosted by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s leading cancer treatment facilities. After the program, Harvey approached the president of M.D. Anderson and explained his diagnosis. “I asked if there was anything they offered that Fox Chase wasn’t,” recalled Harvey. “He looked at me directly in the eye and said softly, ‘If you are being treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center, you are in a really good place.’”

Harvey’s proactive approach to living with cancer included rethinking his diet.  He went from rarely eating fruits and veggies to regularly eating super foods like blueberries, kale and spinach, along with healthy fiber and green tea.

“I believe this plan has gone a long way to keeping me healthy,” he said. He also added a regime of vitamins and minerals into the mix. An avid tennis player, he continues to exercise and walk regularly. “Being on this positive track helped me recover and maintain an aura of total wellness in mind, body and spirit,” he said. “None of this would have been possible without the wonderful care and treatment I received at Fox Chase since my initial diagnosis in 2008, and the love and support of my wife, Sheila.”