One local cancer survivor bringing awareness to Cholangiocarcinoma
February is Cholangiocarcinoma Awareness Month and this year, one local woman is bringing recognition to the community after her own battle with the disease, sometimes called CC.
Tina Andera was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma in June of 2018 and is happy to report that as of last month she is now cancer free after eight cycles of chemotherapy. After her mother had a hereditary hole in her heart, Andera felt encouraged to head to the doctor plus she experienced some shortness of breath and occasional chest pain.
“[The doctor] calls me and she’s like ‘Tina, I hate to tell you this and I don’t want to do it over the phone but it was cancer,’ and it was Cholangiocarcinoma is what she called it and I was in shock,” said Tina Andera.
She then headed down to CU Anschutz where a doctor there removed 70 percent of her liver. According to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, CC is a rare but aggressive type of cancer also known as bile duct cancer that forms in the bile ducts that carry the digestive fluid. Each year about 8,000 people are diagnosed with this specific type of cancer.
Tina was recently able to go to a CC conference and met other survivors, doctors, researchers, big pharma companies, and a company working with mutations of the cancer.
Andera credits her team of doctors and support system for helping her through her cancer and is now working towards her nursing degree to help others going through cancer.
“I fought the good fight,” said Andera. “And I couldn’t have gotten through it without my church family and the faith that I have. He got me through all the rough times and my church family has been wonderful supporting me and my family during this tough time.”
To learn more about Cholangiocarcinoma, visit their foundation at https://cholangiocarcinoma.org/