Diagnosis: Thyroid cancer
Seventeen-year-old Iza Alcorn was a busy high school student who wasn’t ready to be slowed down by a sore throat.
But when she began complaining of headaches and sensitivity to light, her mom knew something wasn’t right.
“When it comes to your kids, you know them the best,” said Norma Arauz, Iza’s mother. “Something inside told me to take Iza’s concerns seriously.”
A visit to the Bothell family’s primary care provider, Dr. Lilaine Leonardo at the Lakeshore Clinic, confirmed her mother’s intuition.
Dr. Leonardo detected thyroid nodules, which sparked a two-week, seamless coordination of care from biopsy to cancer diagnosis, followed by surgery to remove harmful cells from the active teenager’s thyroid and lymph nodes.
AN EMOTIONAL TIME
Though her prognosis was promising, the process was intensely emotional for Iza and her family.
“Hearing I had cancer was really hard for me and my family, but I knew I was in good hands and my doctors made me feel like I was going to get through this,” Iza described. “I knew complaining wasn’t going to help.”
Iza first saw Dr. Komal Patil-Sisodia at EvergreenHealth Diabetes & Endocrinology Care for a biopsy that confirmed papillary thyroid carcinoma.
Dr. Patil-Sisodia referred her to Dr. John Brockenbrough of EvergreenHealth Ear, Nose & Throat Care, who performed a successful surgery to remove the cancer.
Dr. Brockenbrough credits Iza’s positive attitude, along with crucial family support, as some of the most important factors that have contributed to her fast recovery.
“As a cancer care provider, I treat patients who understandably have a lot of apprehension,” Dr. Brockenbrough said. “Through this whole process, Iza has remained determined and incredibly optimistic. In her case, recovery has as much to do with her outlook on life as it does with the medical interventions we provided. Positive people like Iza tend to achieve better outcomes.”
TOO BUSY TO LET CANCER GET IN THE WAY
Looking back, Iza remembers being just too busy to let cancer get in her way. Even amid her diagnosis and treatment, she earned her best report card.
Now cancer-free, she continues to set a high bar for herself in her school work, on the soccer field and in preparing for college, where Iza hopes to study to become a nurse.
“I was thrilled to learn that she wants to enter the health care field,” Dr. Brockenbrough said. “She is going to be an exceptional provider, and Dr. Patil and I have already promised to give our input on her college essay. We know she’s going to do great things.”