Suzanne was diagnosed with stage 4 vulvar cancer of the neuroendocrine cell type, and the origin was from the Bartholin glands. There were only 15 other reported cases worldwide, at that time, which made her case # 16. There are no specialized treatment guidelines, especially for rare types of vulvar cancer. And, survival time range from 1 week to almost 2 years from the time of diagnosis to time of death. Suzanne survived 2 years, 3 months, 10 days.
Suzanne felt a small cyst on her vulva 18 months prior to her diagnosis. She informed her primary doctor about this cyst then, during her yearly physical. Customary at that time
(and to this present time), doctors adopt a "wait and see" stance, instructing patients to call "if it gets bothersome!"
The cyst grew bigger and solidified. She immediately consulted with her primary doctor. On that same day, she was referred to a surgical oncologist who biopsied the cyst. Surgery was scheduled a few days after the biopsy result was received.
Suzanne was grateful - because she was afforded the chance to seek possible treatment consultations from leading experts in neuroendocrine cell cancer with the financial assistance of her employer ... consultations not paid by insurance.
She was also grateful for having a compassionate surgical oncologist who assisted in following through with these consultations and was willing to try "experimental" treatments. She often remarked how lucky she was and felt sad for women who "waited to die" from this diagnosis, because these "women were not as blessed".
The Suzanne Lee Prince foundation was established following her death with the vision to ReKindle Hope for Vulvar Cancer. SLPF is a 100% volunteer board organization - a public charity non-profit 501 (c) (3).
50% of all funds are utilized to accomplish our primary mission to promote awareness of vulvar cancer - specifically aimed to encourage women to be more proactive regarding their own health by empowering them with knowledge about vulvar cancer.
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