Raymond Bebak

Kidney Cancer Patient Stories

Raymond Bebak

Raymond and his 17-year-old daughter, Dominique, take time out for a bike ride in the summer 2009.

With more than 20 years experience as a mechanical engineer at Boeing, Raymond Bebak embraces new technology. So when Ray learned he had kidney cancer, he looked for a treatment facility with the most experienced surgeons who use sophisticated tools and the latest technology.

In the early summer of 2009, Ray had a "funny pain" in his side. After it worsened, he went to his family doctor who ordered a CT Scan, which revealed a mass on Ray's kidney.

"My research confirmed that Fox Chase was the place to go."

"Fox Chase was listed in U.S. News and World Report as a top hospital for cancer," said Ray. "Plus, I knew they had terrific doctors and state-of-the-art technology." Ray's sister had a physician friend who suggested he see Dr. Uzzo at Fox Chase. By taking this advice, Ray felt he maximized his chances for success.

Ray chose one of the country's top kidney surgeons, Dr. Robert Uzzo.

Robert Uzzo, MD, chairman of the department of surgery at Fox Chase, is one of the nation's top kidney surgeons. After meeting Ray, Dr. Uzzo recommended a nephrectomy due to many specific factors of the case. Ray agreed with the recommendation and Dr. Uzzo promptly and thoroughly prepared Ray and admitted him to Fox Chase for minimally invasive surgery to remove his kidney.

"As surgeons, we work hard to save the kidney, and in most cases, we do," explained Uzzo. "When it is not possible, the kidney should be removed, typically laparoscopically. Fortunately, our team has one of largest kidney cancer practices in the country." Experienced surgeons at Fox Chase are able to perform most kidney surgeries either laparoscopically or robotically.

"At Fox Chase, I took part in a state-of-the-art study that looks at the newest diagnostic tests."

"Everyone at Fox Chase was great," shared Ray. "My family was so pleased with everything. The staff was informative and so nice." Dr. Uzzo offered Ray the unique opportunity to enroll in a study, which Ray quickly agreed to. Fox Chase leads this international study.

Ray's next step at Fox Chase (in Fall 2009) involves meeting with Elizabeth Plimack, MD, a medical oncologist who specializes in treating patients with kidney cancer. She will determine if further treatment is recommended.

Ray only missed one month of work for his treatment. Days before his return to work, he enjoyed a 16-mile bike ride. "I love being outdoors and being active," admitted Ray, who likes to bike, golf, ski, camp and play ice hockey. "I am feeling great today thanks to the skills of Dr. Uzzo and the staff at Fox Chase."