Shadyside resident shares her story advocating for her own medical care

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

Shadyside, Ohio (WTRF) – A local woman from Shadyside is speaking out about her experience after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and she’s encouraging everyone to make sure they are their own advocates.

Susan Falbo was diagnosed with Mesothelioma at the age of 59, and was told by doctors her only option was chemo and radiation therapy…but even with that, she would be lucky to live another 12 to 18 months.

Susan wasn’t satisfied with that answer, so she started doing her own research and speaking to more doctors.

She was eventually connected with a thoracic surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, who put her on a new treatment plan, which over time, drastically improved her condition.

And so I say to people don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself, and ask lots of questions. And I’m sure there are times where I drove Dr. Carbone crazy, but you know, he’s used to me now, and ask a lot of questions and advocate for yourself. You know, if the chemo makes you really sick see if there’s something else out there.

Susan Falbo, Shadyside Resident

That something else was a combination of drugs called “ipilimumab” and “nivolumab.”

Within just 3 months of treatment her tumors started to shrink, and most of them are non-existent now.

Falbo stresses that importance of making medical decisions that increase one’s quality of life.

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