ACS CAN RI Research Breakfast: Event highlights importance of cancer research

November 30, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) -- Josue Flores's story of survival was just one of many shared at the Cancer Research Breakfast in Providence Friday morning.

Patients, physicians and public health advocates attended the fifth annual breakfast hosted by the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network.

The event was a forum for all to discuss what's been working in Rhode Island and nationwide in the fight against cancer.

Flores, 20, was diagnosed with Stage 4 testicular cancer last year.

"Knowing how much cancer can do to a family, like for me, I thought I was done for. My family was brought down financially, emotionally," Flores said.

Dr. Thomas Renaud, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, helped treat Flores at Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Renaud said Flores' road was challenging, but thanks to research in the last five to 10 years, he knew to take a certain approach.

"It's become very clear that young people, young men his age who have the kind of cancer that he had, do need to be treated more like according to adult protocols instead of according to pediatric protocols," Renaud said.

Research also helped Renaud find the then 19-year-old the right kind of care team.

"Most importantly, got him surgery by a medical surgical oncologist who has experience in the kind of somewhat uncommon surgery that he needed to remove the remaining disease that he had," Renaud said.

Flores is now cancer free. His story is just one reminder of the need for continued cancer research that the American Cancer Society and its Cancer Action Network participate in.

"All the research, they knew how to think quick, with what's the next step and all that, and they just made me feel better," Flores said.

Flores is continuing to receive regular check-ups, and isn't slowing down anytime soon.

He said plans to attend boot camp with the Rhode Island Air National Guard in hopes of eventually joining the police academy.