WEB REVIEW – The story of a 3-time cancer survivor

Larry Zaruba, 59, a retired teacher of auto mechanics at Yoakum High School, Texas, has survived three battles against cancer during the past decade.

After smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes a day for 25 years, Zaruba quit cold turkey at the age of 41. However, he did not avoid the onset of three different cancers. “Smokers can retain damage several decades,” said Dr. William Morrison from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “But there’s always a benefit to quitting and the sooner, the better.”

In 2003, Larry was diagnosed with soft palate cancer. He had proton therapy five days a week for six weeks at the Houston cancer center. Then in 2007, his weight dropped, and he began coughing up blood. He had stage 2 lung cancer. After 3 months of chemotherapy, half of Larry’s right lung was surgically removed. It contained a tumor the size of a lemon.

Larry remained cancer-free until his vocal chord cancer in 2013, which was treated with 34 PT treatments. The process was complicated by his previous cancer. “Too much exposure is dangerous,” Dr. Morrison said. “A specialized treatment was designed for his unique situation.”

“This is miracle number three, and we’re done with cancer,” his wife Zaruba said. “You can’t take it for granted; life is too short,” Larry said. “You’ve got to take care of yourself.”