Main content

    Patient Stories
    Sutter Cancer Centers

    Melvin B. - At 77 Melvin is Kidney Cancer-Free

    Melvin B. -
    Melvin B. - At 77 Melvin is Kidney Cancer-Free

    Melvin Bennett had been actively monitoring several nodes in his lungs since their sudden appearance a few years earlier. During one of his annual exams, the team imaged farther down Melvin's torso and discovered a growth on his right kidney. He was immediately scheduled for further tests.

    Melvin's primary care physician referred him to David S. Yee, M.D., M.P.H., urologist and director of minimally invasive robotic surgery at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Additional imaging tests revealed that the golf ball-sized tumor on his kidney was likely cancerous.

    I was scared to death," said Melvin. "My wife and I did a lot of research and brought a huge list of questions and concerns to our appointment with Dr. Yee. He addressed every one of our questions before we even had a chance to ask them. He really put us at ease."

    Dr. Yee felt the best approach would be to remove Melvin's entire right kidney to ensure the cancer didn't spread. He recommended a robotic assisted laparoscopic nephrectomy, a minimally invasive method of removing the kidney.

    The surgery took place at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Through three small incisions, Dr. Yee inserted a camera and instruments and removed the kidney. Thanks to the minimally invasive procedure, Melvin made a swift recovery, despite the fact that he also has congestive heart failure. He was up and walking with his wife about a week after surgery. "At 77, I feel like my recovery was very fast," he adds.

    It wasn't long before Melvin was back out on his acreage in the Sierra Nevada foothills, working on his property. Today, his congestive heart failure is improving and doctors have determined that no further monitoring is needed on the nodes in his lungs. In the two years since his surgery, Melvin has seen Dr. Yee every six months for follow-up exams to monitor his progress and check for recurrence of the cancer. Because Melvin has been cancer-free since his surgery, Dr. Yee now only sees him annually for follow-up exams.

    "We really felt like we were in good hands from the first time we met Dr. Yee," commented Melvin. "He was very thorough and put everything in layman's terms for us. I had complete trust in him."


    Back to top | More Patient Stories