My Knight Cancer Story

At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, we offer cancer care as unique as you are. These stories about our patients’ experiences show how our personal cancer care sets us apart. From medicines that work with individual DNA, to advanced surgery and lifesaving transplants, you’ll learn how our compassionate cancer experts work together to design the right treatment for every patient.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma story

Brianna with camera
I was 24 when I learned I was going to have to drop everything and start making a documentary about what it was like to have cancer. It wasn’t exactly the subject matter I’d always dreamed of tackling – but there it was. Read Brianna's story

Melanoma story


I grew up in a small town north of Seattle and, with all those cloudy days, never used sunscreen; in fact, my goal was to get tan as fast as possible whenever the sun did shine. In 2007, I began my seven-year fight against skin cancer when I first noticed an itchy mole on my back.

Read more about Shon’s story

Colorectal cancer story


I had my first colonoscopy when I was 53. They said I didn’t need to return for 15 years, but several years later, I wasn’t feeling right, so I asked for another. I was glad I did: I had colon cancer. 

Read Ron's story

Colorectal cancer story

Michelle Barnes and baby

Michelle Barnes was a bit more than 20 weeks pregnant when she noticed blood in her stool. At just 29 years old, colon cancer was the last thing on her mind... 

Read Michelle's story

Head and neck cancer story


Getting diagnosed with tongue cancer was especially scary news for a competitive singer like Lorraine. When she met with Peter Andersen, M.D. he assured her he would do everything to preserve her vocal cords so she could sing again.

Read Lorraine’s story

Breast cancer story

Amy - My Knight Cancer StoryDuring my treatment for breast cancer, I had the opportunity to select a new oncologist. I chose Dr. Jacqueline Vuky: I liked that she was affiliated with the OHSU Knight Cancer Insitute and had a special interest in breast cancer.

Read Amy's story

Breast cancer story

A forester's work pays off in research

My Knight Cancer Story - NancyI had just finished a run last October when I noticed a lump in my breast. It turned out to be a benign tumor, and I had surgery to remove it. At my follow-up appointment, however, I learned that there was invasive breast cancer next to the benign tumor that had been removed. Read Nancy's story

AYA story

New in town and facing colon cancer

Caron Blau Rothstein Caron Blau Rothstein had just moved to Portland when she found out she had colon cancer. She was only 35. Thanks to treatment with Knight Cancer Institute’s partner Pacific Oncology and help from the Adolescent and Young Adult program, she recovered her health and found a supportive community. Read Caron’s story

Breast cancer story

Feisty reporter takes on breast cancer

Shellie Bailey-Shah For years, TV reporter Shellie Bailey-Shah has fought for consumers’ rights. But when she learned she had breast cancer, she was the one who needed advice and support. At Knight Cancer Institute, she met nurse navigator Martha McInnes and a team of breast cancer experts who helped her win the fight of her life. Read Shellie’s story

Colorectal cancer story

Stage 4 colon cancer is treatable

Angie LaRoche Angie Laroche thought her intestinal symptoms were just part of getting older. When she finally mentioned them to her doctor, a colonoscopy revealed she had Stage 4 colon cancer. After surgery and chemotherapy at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Angie is telling other people to speak up about their digestive health. Read Angie’s story

Liver cancer story

Could your poodle diagnose liver cancer? Knight Cancer Institute team gets pet owner back to health

Debbie Hansen and MauriceDeborah Hansen knew something was wrong when her toy poodle refused to leave her side. Her constant pain wasn’t just another symptom of her fibromyalgia -- it was liver cancer. Her Salem oncologist sent her to the Knight Cancer Institute for personal cancer care from a team of experienced surgeons. Read Deborah’s story

Sarcoma story

Finding hope -- and the right specialist to treat a rare cancer

Sisters MountainFive years after she was diagnosed with an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma, Patricia Beck hopes to dance at her children’s weddings. She relies on James Hayden, M.D., and other Knight Cancer Institute specialists to give her the best future. Read Patricia’s story

Chronic myeloid leukemia - Gleevec’s impact

Gleevec’s scientific impact is continuing to pay off. It’s human impact is counted in new birthdays.

Meet a few patients helped by Gleevec

Gleevec has helped countless patients live with a disease once thought to be a death sentence. Watch a few inspiring video interviews with CML survivors:

Judy Orem has been taking the drug longer than any other patient.  Every day she makes medical history.

Rob Shick was diagnosed with CML at 44. Read more about Rob’s story

Doug Jenson was an early participant in Gleevec's clinical trials.