Marina’s Road to Cancer Recovery
Marina Bazhenova was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 1996 by her local doctors in Chelyabinsk. To receive the best treatment possible in Russia, she travelled to Moscow for brachytherapy. Fortunately, this initial treatment saved her eye and her road to cancer recovery had begun. Yet four years later, the cancer recurred and brachytherapy had to be repeated. Following the second round of treatment, Marina was able to return to her normal life.
Unfortunately, Marina’s cancer was not gone for good. 17 years after the original diagnosis, she began to feel sick and started coughing persistently. Her doctor sent her for an X-ray, which revealed metastatic cancer in both lungs. Usually, ocular melanoma metastasizes to the liver, so her physicians were surprised by this diagnosis. With no time to waste, they decided to perform surgery on the first lung. After the procedure, Marina recuperated in the intensive care unit for three days before spending an additional month in a regular hospital ward.
“The recovery period was extremely difficult,” Marina recalls. “I knew that if I had the second operation in Russia, I simply would not survive.”
At this point, Marina’s doctors were at a loss as to how to continue her treatment. They discussed the options and were leaning heavily towards recommending chemotherapy. Marina seized the opportunity to consult with other international specialists, and her research into the best cancer center to treat her disease led her directly to Sheba Medical Center in Israel.
In Israel, Marina underwent a full examination with advanced testing procedures to help design the most effective treatment program for her condition. Her Sheba doctors decided to carry out the second lung surgery without delay, and Prof. Alon Ben-Nun acted as the chief surgeon. One day after the operation, Marina was able to walk. By the third day after her surgery, she was discharged.
“The nurses never left my side, they were all very kind to me,” Marina says. “My cancer recovery was quick and easy.”
Marina returned to Russia and resumed her day-to-day life. At the beginning, she came to Sheba for a routine inspection every three months and then every six months. One year later, she was instructed to return for a PET CT scan, but she decided to undergo this examination in Russia. Sadly, this proved to be a huge mistake because her local doctors did not detect that she had developed vaginal carcinoma.
It was only when Marina noticed a bloody discharge that she immediately booked an appointment with a different medical team. Yet, by the time they diagnosed her with vaginal carcinoma, the tumor had grown very large. In May 2019, Marina journeyed urgently to Sheba Medical Center.
After initial examinations, her doctors in Israel prescribed chemotherapy and radiation simultaneously. This treatment regimen lasted three and half months, and initial results showed the therapy had been effective and the recovery had begun.
Seven months later, in December 2019, Marina returned to Sheba for a scheduled follow-up examination, and she is happy to report that she’s feeling well.