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Richard Jones with dog
Richard Jones with his dog Molly.

Richard Jones, 76, of Dix Hills, NY, says he feels happy and blessed to have beaten pancreatic cancer. His journey began in early 2022 when he developed jaundice. A work-up revealed a mass in the pancreas, causing a blockage of his bile duct. He was examined by Christopher DiMaio, MD, Chair of Gastroenterology at St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® (Roslyn, NY). A highly seasoned Interventional Endoscopist, Dr. DiMaio performed an outpatient procedure allowing for both a biopsy of the mass and placement of a stent into the blocked bile duct. Once a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was confirmed, St. Francis Hospital’s multidisciplinary cancer care team sprang into action. 
Richard was evaluated by Gary Gecelter, MD, Chair of Surgery at St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center®, and an expert in complex pancreaticobiliary surgery, as well as Bhoomi Mehrotra, MD, Chair of Cancer Services for Catholic Health and Director of The Catholic Health Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital. After their initial evaluation, his case was presented at the St. Francis Hospital weekly Multidisciplinary Gastrointestinal Tumor Board, a group of oncologists, surgeons, gastroenterologists, pathologists, radiologists, radiation oncologists and genetics experts. The consensus was that Richard should first be treated with chemotherapy, to be followed by surgery to remove the tumor.
Richard underwent a three-month regimen of chemotherapy. Then, in the summer of 2022, Dr. Gecelter performed a pancreaticoduodenectomy—known as a Whipple resection. The surgery was a complete success, with the tumor being completely removed.  
“Richard recovered beautifully,” said Dr. Gecelter. “The procedure was effective in removing the disease from his pancreas.”  
Richard now spends time with his wife, son and Molly, his Wheaten terrier, often taking walks through their neighborhood. He is in awe of his care team at The Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital. “They truly are amazing,” said Richard. “When I talk about being blessed, they are part of my blessing.”
For Dr. DiMaio, the respect is mutual. “Richard is a remarkable person,” he explained. “From day one of his diagnosis, he has been overwhelmingly positive and optimistic, inspiring us all. He is doing extremely well and is now cancer-free for 18 months. Our entire care team couldn’t be happier for Richard and his family. And we were all very proud to take part in helping to get him through this ordeal and overcoming such a difficult situation.”
Learn more about The Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital. 

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