Cancer Survivor gives doctors at UConn Health a decision to find the answers

UConn was diagnosed with John Dempsey Hospital Emergency Department due to severe jaundice, and Jay Buth of Avon was diagnosed with a bile duct blockage. After further investigation, a stent was placed in his bile duct and his gall bladder was removed.

When the stent was removed from his gallbladder, he collapsed and ended up in the Emergency Department, where he underwent a CT Scan and, by the way, found a spectacular mass of Buth’s pancreas.

But he continued with Dr. Murali Dharan, an assistant professor of gastroenterology at UConn Health, who ordered a PET scan. PET scan indicated that the tumor was in a very early stage and gave a good prognosis of the pancreas.

“What I loved about UConn Health was that they kept looking and they weren’t satisfied until they found the right answer,” Buth says.

During digestion, your pancreas produces pancreatic juices called enzymes. These enzymes break down sugar, fats and starches. Your pancreas also helps the digestive system by making hormones. Pancreatic cancer is a type of pancreatic cancer and adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is the most common type of pancreatic cancer.

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Being overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace
  • Age – Almost all patients are over 45 years old. About two-thirds are at least 65 years old. At the time of diagnosis, the average age is 70 years.
  • Gender – Men are more likely to get pancreatic cancer than women.
  • Race – African Americans are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than whites.
  • Family history
  • Inherited genetic syndromes


  • Stomach pain radiating to your back.
  • Loss of appetite or unwanted weight loss.
  • Yellow skin and white eyes (jaundice)
  • Light colored stools.
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Itchy skin.
  • A new diagnosis of diabetes or more difficult to control for existing diabetes.
  • Blood clots.

Pragna met with Dr. Kapadia, an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Hematology and Medical Oncology at UConn Health’s Carole and Ray Neag Center for Comprehensive Cancer, and Dr. David McFadden, a professor and president of the Department of Surgery at UConn Health. determine its treatment plan.

Jay Buth and his wife as the final concert.

But it started with what would be the turn of eight chemotherapists, followed by a combination of chemo-radiation. He was fortunate because he did not experience any major side effects from chemotherapy, including five hours at the infusion center and another 48 hours at home.

“Apart from cancer, I was in the best shape of my life,” Buth says.

From there, Butth will undergo a Whipple procedure (pancreatic duodenectomy) this summer. It is the most common operation to get rid of pancreatic cancer. In this operation, the surgeon removes the head from the pancreas and sometimes the body from the pancreas. Surrounding structures such as part of the small intestine, part of the bile duct, part of the gallbladder, lymph nodes near the pancreas, and sometimes part of the stomach are also removed. The rest of the bile duct and pancreas are connected to the small intestine so that the bile and digestive enzymes still go into the small intestine. The final parts of the small intestine (or stomach and small intestine) are then reconnected to allow food to pass through the digestive tract (intestine).

Dr. Judith Cooney, a health psychologist and associate professor of psychiatry at UConn Health Cancer Center, specializes in health psychology, a specialty that applies psychological principles and evidence-based treatments to help manage the psychosocial impact of medical and health problems and change health behaviors. .

In health psychology, Cooney works with patients with cancer at all stages of treatment to help them fight cancer, assess and diagnose them, return to life in treatment and survival, and move forward after cancer.

“Survival is often the chapter of the cancer journey that gets the least support,” says Dr. Cooney. “It’s a transformative and frightening time for cancer to change lives.”

He has worked with Cooney Buth to help address the challenge of diagnosing cancer, and will continue the difficult phases of acute treatment and their work in the post-treatment phase.

“Sir. But it’s been amazing to learn how to manage stress and learn how to transform and grow through cancer,” Cooney says. “Her story is inspiring.”

But whoever sees the weekly Cooney says, “It’s amazing and it has helped me on many levels beyond cancer.”

But now he has a new vision of life, focusing on the little things, the important people in his life, and finding joy in everything. Cooney credits the “tool” he has given him with a positive outlook.

“If I hadn’t had a problem with the gall bladder that tried to kill me, we might not have found it so early, it really saved me,” says Buth. “We would have a very different conversation if it hadn’t been found so early now.”

“I’m on the moon with UConn’s focus, it’s global,” Buth says. “I love nurses and I can’t say enough about how wonderful they are – they do God’s work.”

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