Richard Tullier, 74, is working and thriving again, following surgery at Tulane Medical Center to treat his kidney cancer, detected as a result of a routine dental appointment.
It all began when his dentist noticed a small bump located on his upper lip. The growth was removed for biopsy, and after various tests with his primary care physician, Tullier learned he had kidney cancer.
“It came as a total shock to me. I didn’t have any symptoms before I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. I had no pain, no warning signs, no urinary issues,” he said. “Three months earlier, I went for my routine physical that included blood work and urinalysis, and I was given a clean bill of health. The only symptom I had was a light cough.”
Tullier’s physician on the West Bank took immediate action and referred him to Tulane urologist Dr. Jonathan Silberstein, a nationally-renowned surgeon with extensive experience in kidney surgery. Dr. Silberstein removed Richard Tullier’s left kidney, which had a tumor “about the size of a softball” according to the patient.
Tullier is currently receiving auto-immune treatment therapy every month at the Tulane Cancer Center, and he appreciates the exemplary care provided by medical oncologist Dr. Pedro Barata, a leading expert in kidney cancer treatment and research.
“Dr. Silberstein, Dr. Barata and all the doctors, nurses and staff at Tulane Medical Center were terrific and very friendly. I was extremely pleased with the treatment I received at Tulane,” he said. “They treat you better than family. I would recommend Tulane to anybody. It was a terrific experience, and I was able to return home a day after the surgery.”
His advice to other patients?
“Be pro-active with your health. If you develop a cough, or start losing weight, or think something is wrong, pressure your doctor to take action.”