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Dayton man finds cancer-fighting ally in new hometown

  • 08.08.2018

After a full career working for the State of California in the capital, Ralph Evans was ready for a change of pace. When he retired to Dayton, Nevada in 2016, he was looking forward to the quiet country and relaxing afternoons on his front porch. Unfortunately, he hit a detour on the way there.


It started with trouble breathing. Ralph thought it was the altitude of his new hometown. After all, Dayton sits at 4,400 feet, well above the sea level of his previous home, Sacramento. But the trouble persisted. Then he experienced significant weight loss. So, he consulted a doctor. Their first thought was COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), but several tests later, including a CT scan, they discovered nodes on his lungs and lesions on his liver. Ralph had stage IV lung cancer, which had spread to his liver.


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After a referral from his primary care physician – Dr. Dustin Riley, with the Carson Medical Group – Ralph started treatment with Dr. Jorge Perez at Sierra Nevada Cancer Center in June of 2017. “Dr. Perez is great, we just hit it off right away,” Ralph shares. “And I love the [Sierra Nevada Cancer Center] staff, they are super.”


Dr. Perez prescribed chemotherapy for Ralph’s cancer. Each year, about 650,000 people battling cancer receive chemotherapy in an outpatient clinic like Sierra Nevada Cancer Center. A year into his treatment, Ralph’s health has drastically improved with both his lungs and liver responding well to the chemotherapy. For the most part, Ralph has not experienced side effects or felt sick during his chemotherapy treatments. When he started feeling poorly and losing weight last fall, Dr. Perez who changed his medication. His symptoms have since subsided and he’s feeling great.


RELATED: Understanding the value and promise of chemotherapy treatment.


Today, Ralph no longer needs supplemental oxygen. His breathing has returned to normal and he’s gained back the weight he lost. He was even able to go to work at the local Lowe’s. And this past May, Ralph’s CT scan showed the nodes on his lungs had shrunk from larger than 1 cm to less than 7 mm. He continues to receive chemotherapy treatments at Sierra Nevada Cancer Center’s Carson City office every two weeks as he and his healthcare team work toward a full remission.


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Ralph has settled back into the peaceful retirement he was planning. He’s even back at the bowling lanes and is throwing more strikes than ever. He attributes his progress to Sierra Nevada Cancer Center and Dr. Perez. “If you have to go through it [cancer], I can’t imagine it being any easier or better than what Dr. Perez and his office do for me.”


Whether you or a loved one suffer from cancer or a hematologic condition, Dr. Perez and the Sierra Nevada Cancer Center team are here to help. Exceptional care and treatment is available throughout northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe. Call (775) 883-3336 for an appointment.


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