Cancer doctor battles same disease he works to fight - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Cancer doctor battles same disease he works to fight

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

More than likely you or someone you love has been affected by cancer.

In Alabama alone, 27,000 residents are expected to be diagnosed this year.

Doctors say cases are up nationwide.

A day in the office for Dr. Scott McDaniel is another chance to save a life.

"Your chances of being cured are much higher if you catch cancer at an early stage."

McDaniel started work at the Montgomery Cancer Center seven years ago.

Since then, he has seen the number of patients there increase.

"There are more people in the United States now than ever and the population is aging."

McDaniel says there are certain types of cancer that occur as someone gets older.

Thankfully, though, treatments have improved drastically--decreasing the death rate by 20%.

It's a statistic even McDaniel relates to. Ironically, the doctor, himself, became a patient.

"I was actually diagnosed three years ago this month [March]," he says.

McDaniel had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma--a common cancer of the lymph glands.

It was a shock...especially at age 36.

"These things just happen, none of us are immune to that."

He admits he feared death, but says that's part of it.

"It's almost like a grieving process where you know you want to be healthy, you want to be back, you want things back the way they were."

After 9 months of treatment, the cancer proved to be a blessing--most especially in the office.

"It has given me a different perspective. You know I've been there, when my patients are going through something I can talk to them.  I can relate."

McDaniel can't stress enough the importance of routine check-ups.

They can be the difference between life and death.

Organizations like the Cancer Wellness Foundation and the American Cancer Society assist financially with medication, transportation to treatment facilities and emotional well being.

Copyright 2013  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved. 

 

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