Shadyside resident shares her story advocating for her own medical care


Shadyside, Ohio (WTRF) – A local Shadyside woman talks about her experience after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, and she encourages everyone to make sure they are their own advocates.

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

Susan was not happy with this answer, so she started doing her own research and talking to more doctors.

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

And so I tell people don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and ask a lot of questions. And I’m sure there are times I’ve driven Dr. Carbone crazy, but you know he’s used to me now, and asks a lot of questions and advocates for you. You know, if chemo is making you really sick, see if there’s anything else.

Susan Falbo, Shadyside resident

This other component was a combination of drugs called ‘ipilimumab’ and ‘nivolumab’.

In just 3 months of treatment, her tumors started to shrink, and most of them are nonexistent now.

Falbo stresses the importance of making medical decisions that improve quality of life.


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