Roger Yates

Pancreatic Cancer Patient Stories

Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm - (Involving Entire Pancreas)
Roger Yates

Roger and Judy Yates, enjoying a recent cruise.

Roger Yates was no stranger to pancreatitis, a condition that results in an inflamed or infected pancreas. Roger had been treated for pancreatitis in 2004 and again in 2005, but never expected it to turn cancerous. When his local doctor in Delaware finally sent him to Fox Chase Cancer for further testing, Roger had a feeling that his doctor knew something that he didn't. "He probably didn't want to be the bearer of bad news," said Roger. "So he left that job to the experts at Fox Chase."

At Fox Chase, Roger and his wife, Judy, met with Oleh Haluszka, MD, a gastroenterologist who ordered further testing to learn the cause of his blockage. "That's when we learned I had a mass on my pancreas. It was a shock to me!" Roger added. The diagnosis was intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) which is a tumor that grows within the ducts of the pancreas. When left untreated, these tumors typically progress into invasive pancreatic cancer.

"Roger's surgeon in Delaware highly recommended Fox Chase."

"Once we talked to Dr. Haluszka, we decided right then and there that we wanted to have the surgery at Fox Chase," Judy shared. "Plus, Roger's surgeon in Dover, Delaware highly recommended Fox Chase. We knew we were in the best hands."

"We were at the right place with the best doctors."

The surgeon, James C. Watson, MD, also met with the family. "Dr. Watson sat down with my wife and daughter - both of whom are nurses - and explained the procedure," said Roger. "They were so impressed and easily convinced we were at the right place with the best doctors."

"Dr. Watson has an unbelievable bedside manner. He is always friendly and knows just what to say."

Just to be sure, Roger and Judy went on the Internet and read all about Dr. Watson. "Pancreatic cancer is a scary diagnosis. The more we learned, the more confident we were in our decision. Dr. Watson has an unbelievable bedside manner. He is always friendly and knows just what to say." Although Roger tried to explain his health history to Dr. Watson, it seemed he already knew everything. Dr. Watson had read all of the reports before they met. "He is in the loop all the time. That's what we like in a doctor."

Roger was considered surgically cured - and still is three years later.

In November 2006, Dr. Watson performed the complex surgery to remove the involved portion of the pancreas. Because of the diffuse involvement, a total Whipple pancreaticoduodenectomy was necessary, but no further treatment was required. "The nurses were super - especially in the ICU, where I spent two days," Roger noted. "Everyone at Fox Chase is excellent. I had no problems and was home less than ten days after my operation."

"I am enjoying life knowing that I'm cancer-free," shared Roger, who has since retired from a 38 year career at Dow Chemical. Before that, he was in the Air Force. "Today, I spend time traveling, gardening, caring for the yard, camping and watching car races."

"I would strongly recommend Fox Chase for anyone who has cancer."

"I would strongly recommend Fox Chase for anyone who has cancer. The care that you get is excellent from all points," added Roger, who referred his neighbor to Fox Chase for prostate cancer. "Like me, he's also doing well today!"