William Beason

General Sarcoma Patient Stories

Liposarcoma of the Shoulder
William Beason

When it comes to cancer, there's no margin for error. Which is why Bill Beason decided to consult James C. Watson, MD, FACS, a Fox Chase Cancer Center oncologic surgeon who specializes in sarcomas.

Bill's brush with cancer came at a relatively young age. The Bucks County resident noticed a small growth on his right shoulder back in 1994. His dermatologist removed it, without taking a biopsy, and Bill didn't think any more about it. A decade later, in 2004 when Bill was just 52, the small growth reappeared, this time putting pressure on nerves to the point that he lost feeling in his arm.

Bill was shocked to learn he had a rare cancer.

"When that happened, I figured something was going on," said Bill, who holds a demanding position as an inventory planner for a global manufacturer of parts for the automotive and industrial sector. His family doctor referred him to a surgeon, who removed the growth in late 2004, but this time, sent a tissue biopsy to the lab. It came back positive for cancer.

Because of the dangerous nature of this kind of cancer, with its possibility of recurring, and the chance of cell migration to the lungs, the surgeon referred Bill to Dr. Watson at Fox Chase. "My plan was for Dr. Watson to triple check that the margins were clean and everything was fine," he said.

Bill was impressed with Dr. Watson and the way he communicated a complicated diagnosis.

What impressed Bill most about Dr. Watson was his clear and concise explanation of what a sarcoma is, the dangers it can present and treatment options. "Dr. Watson is very good at translating to the laymen a complex medical diagnosis," said Bill.

"Dr. Watson seemed to anticipate my questions, and he took as much time as I needed to really understand everything about the procedure. I came away from our consultation with a good working knowledge of sarcoma and what my options were."

"At Fox Chase, I received outstanding care."

Bill underwent surgery in early 2005. Dr. Watson extracted all margins around the sarcoma site, and Bill went home the next day. "Fortunately, all of the tests came back negative, my arm was fine, and there is minimal scarring. At Fox Chase, I received outstanding care, and have been cancer free for 5 years. If I ever had another diagnosis, Dr. Watson is the doctor I'd see."