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Karmanos cancer survivor and board member is living proof that specialized treatments prolong life

Watch the interview online

Robert Morris, M.D., leader of the Gynecologic Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center and Lil Erdeljan, executive board member of the Karmanos Cancer Institute, were recently interviewed by WXYZ Channel 7 about the importance that women with ovarian cancer be seen and treated by an oncology specialist for the best possible care.

Erdeljan is a two-time cancer survivor of ovarian and breast cancers. She was treated by Dr. Morris, who is one of the first physicians in Michigan trained in robotic surgery. In addition to performing highly precise robotic procedures on Karmanos patients, Dr. Morris also trains high-level gynecologic surgeons so they can bring advanced surgical techniques to patients across the region.

The story on Channel 7 was inspired by a recent New York Times article reporting that most women with ovarian cancer receive inadequate care and miss out on treatments that could add a year or more to their lives, according to a new study that was recently presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology in Los Angeles. The story mentions that about 22,000 news cases are diagnosed annually and most of them are discovered at an advanced stage and in need of aggressive treatment.

The study shows that only a little more than a third of patients receive the best possible care from specialists who know how to appropriately treat the disease. What works best, as described in the Times article, is ‘meticulous, extensive surgery and aggressive chemotherapy’ to fight ovarian cancer – something that Erdeljan received at Karmanos.

In her interview with WXYZ, Erdeljan said that she could have gone anywhere to receive treatment but knew she didn't have to go any farther than Karmanos. She wants other women to know that a cancer center of excellence exists right here at Karmanos! 


Lil Erdeljan, two-time survivor of breast and ovarian cancers, and executive board member of Karmanos Cancer Institute, joins her oncologist Robert Morris, M.D., leader of Karmanos’ Gynecologic Oncology Multidisciplinary Team, in an interview with WXYZ Channel 7. The interview stresses the importance that women with ovarian cancer be seen and treated by an oncology specialist for the best possible care. Photo by Patricia A. Ellis
© 2014 Karmanos Cancer Institute Pencil
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