Last summer, Andrew Crockett, 52, noticed a spot on his lower shin had started growing, and went to his primary care provider, Katherine Alatorre, DO, at UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine – Westdale, to have it checked out. He was referred to a dermatologist, received a biopsy, and on August 11, 2021 he got the results: stage three melanoma.
Crockett was referred to the Nassif Community Cancer Center’s Advanced Melanoma & Skin Cancer Clinic where John Vander Zee, MD, plastic surgeon, removed the cancerous area and the Community Cancer Center team began working to coordinate his care.
“Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer treated in this area,” says Dr. Vander Zee. “The Advanced Melanoma & Skin Cancer Clinic offers patients have one place to go where services come to them. It is seamless, centralized and convenient.”
The rest of Crockett’s care team included Connie Dietiker, RN, care coordinator at the Nassif Community Cancer Center, serving as his constant point of contact throughout the cancer journey, as well as Sanggyu Bae, MD, oncologist at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, who is overseeing Crockett’s immunotherapy treatment.
“Connie has been more than amazing helping me through this journey,” said Crockett. “And Dr. Bae has been great to work with and always open to any questions I may have.”
Crockett’s advice to readers? “Take sunscreen seriously. And if you find a spot get it checked out as soon as possible.”
For more information about the Advanced Melanoma & Skin Cancer Clinic, as well as our wide range of support services available to cancer patients and survivors, call (319) 558-4876 or visit communitycancercenter.org.