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Teacher survives rare cancer

Keith Foster is a cancer survivor

In 2005, high school teacher Keith Foster saw his doctor about a persistent cough, figuring he’d soon be on his way with a prescription for antibiotics. Instead, the visit led to surgery to remove his right lung and a tumor the size of a football.  

Foster’s medical journey wasn’t without complications, but today, he sees his doctor at The University of Kansas Cancer Center only for an annual checkup.

“The doctors at The University of Kansas Cancer Center saved my life,” Foster said. “At every step of the way, I was astounded by the level of care I received. I knew everything was going to be OK.” While the loss of his lung has meant significant changes in his lifestyle, Foster continues to teach high school media production and pursue his passion for photography.

25% better survival rate

Foster’s story is just one example of the excellent outcomes at the cancer center, which received National Cancer Institute designation in 2012. Studies show that patients treated at NCI-designated Cancer Centers have a 25 percent better survival rate, on average, than those treated elsewhere.

“The excellent outcomes of our cancer program are due to the collaboration between leading-edge cancer research and outstanding cancer care,” said Terry Tsue, MD, physician-in-chief of The University of Kansas Cancer Center. “Our staff members provide compassionate, personalized care for our patients and their families every day.”

Greater access to clinical trials

As the only NCI-designated Cancer Center in the region, our patients receive the benefits of state-of-the-art drug discovery and development from clinical trials unavailable at other cancer programs. “Through our research, we are committed to delivering more advanced cancer prevention and early detection and treatment options,” said Roy Jensen, MD, cancer center director.

“Every member of the cancer center team is devoted to reducing the burden of cancer in the region,” said Peter Van Veldhuizen, MD, hematology and oncology program director. “Our care goes beyond battling the disease. We take care of the whole patient and help our patients achieve the highest quality of life possible.”

National recognition

National recognition for our cancer program by U.S. News & World Report also sets us apart from other programs. We have more than 50 medical, surgical and radiation oncologists treating cancer patients from across the region.

Learn more about the advanced care at The University of Kansas Cancer Center.