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Sharon Beck: A Lesson in Determination and Positivity

Sharon Beck

“It made sense that we were going to have to do something a little out of the ordinary since it’d spread throughout my body, but I was willing to do anything“

Sharon Beck
Breast Cancer

For most of her adult life, eighty-eight-year-old Sharon Beck was a teacher, molding young minds and providing valuable lessons in life. Little did she know, she would learn an unexpected and valuable lesson herself.

In 2021, Sharon was undergoing medical tests for a heart condition. Unfortunately, doctors found much more than a problem with her heart: possible cancer.  Sharon was referred to Suzanne McClure, M.D., PH.D.,medical oncologist and hematologist at Texas Oncology-Texas City.  Following a number of tests, a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer was confirmed. At that point, Sharon was having intense pain in her back and underwent radiation therapy.

“I was shocked, but I thought well, okay. The Lord and I are just going to have to work on this together,” Sharon said.

She then met with Dhatri Kodali, M.D., medical oncologist and hematologist at Texas Oncology-Deke Slayton Cancer Center, who discussed a clinical trial with her. Since then, Sharon hasn’t looked back.  Clinical trials provide access to leading-edge treatments. But studies from the American Cancer Society and others show that patients ages 65 and older rarely elect to participate due to many factors.

“I was amazed at Sharon’s willingness to participate in the clinical trial. It’s not something we see often with our older patients,” Dr. Kodali said. “She also had an incredible support system in her family.”  Sharon was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer with bone metastases. Dr. Kodali recommended that Sharon enroll in a clinical trial, a study evaluating once-daily amcenestrant, an investigational oral selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD), in postmenopausal women with ER+/HER2− advanced breast cancer. Sharon agreed to give it a shot.

“It made sense that we were going to have to do something a little out of the ordinary since it had spread throughout my body, but I was willing to do anything,” she says.  She finished the trial back in February of 2022 and remains stable while managing her ongoing illness.

“Sharon is fully aware of what she is up against, and yet continues moving forward, despite obstacles and limitations from her breast cancer,” says Dr. Kodali. “Like everyone, she has good days and bad days, but I am always blown away by her determination and positivity.”

Sharon emphasizes the importance of research in cancer and clinical trials. She says she would do it again if the opportunity presented itself and she’s thankful Texas Oncology gave her the chance to participate.  “Dr. McClure and Dr. Kodali listened. Tara Gray, my research nurse, listened.” Sharon says. “I felt like I was getting the help I needed to have more time with my kids, grandkids and great grandkids.”

The information included in this testimonial is based on one patient’s unique experience and is not intended to represent all patient outcomes or expectations.