Affiliated Organizations
  HN Medical Partners   School of Nursing   HNH Fitness   Villa Marie Claire   Simulation Learning   Haiti Health Promise
Medical Partners Offices
Cardiovascular Specialists University Orthopaedic Pulmonary Specialists Obstetrics & Gynecology North Jersey Heart North Jersey Surgical Surgical Specialistss Primary Care Specialty Assoc. Urologic Specialties Women's Health Care

Jorge Oropeza

Cancer With No Symptoms

Holy Name Cancer Center - Jorge Oropeza

Jorge Oropeza had a good life with his wife and four children. Well, maybe he worked a bit too much, but still, everyone was healthy and happy. Or so it appeared.

Unbeknownst to Jorge, he had kidney cancer. It wasn't causing any symptoms – he wasn't any more tired than normal, had no bleeding, nothing that would indicate something insidious was developing in his body.

But when Jorge, 44, was in a New York hospital for an unrelated injury, physicians detected a tumor in his right kidney. They told him to see an oncologist.

"At one point, I just stopped listening," Jorge said. "It was too much."

Following a recommendation, Jorge sought out Dr. Raul Parra, an internationally known urologic oncologist and Chief of Urologic Oncology at Holy Name Medical Center. Dr. Parra explained how he would treat Jorge's cancer and told him that if the disease had not spread Jorge would only need surgery, and no additional treatment.

"He was so calming and made sure I understood everything," Jorge said. "Then when I had the surgery at Holy Name, everyone was so nice and made sure we had everything we needed. The hospital was so clean, the food was good and everyone was professional and gentle at the same time. I told my wife that if there was a beach I would have thought we were on vacation."

During his diagnosis and his consultation, Jorge listened to Dr. Parra but said he also heard "an inner voice that said I was going to be fine and I immediately felt better. I knew that God would help me through this and I would survive."

Dr. Parra told Jorge after his surgery that they caught the cancer while it was still in stage 1; it was contained within the kidney. But the disease did infiltrate the entire organ and would have soon spread beyond the kidney if the surgery had been not happened when it did.

"I remember the moment Dr. Parra told me I wouldn't need any other treatment," Jorge said. "It was an affirmation that I'm staying and not leaving this world. I was so relieved."

Jorge was elated to be able to share the good news with his four children. He still had a long recovery head of him, but he would be around for his family.

It helped offset the despair he had felt telling them he had a life–threatening illness. He was especially anguished over his 13-year-old son, thinking how difficult life would be for his youngest to grow up without a father.

"I knew I had to be especially strong for him," Jorge explained while wiping tears. "He was asking me why I had to go back to the hospital after the accident and it was so wonderful when I could tell him I was going to be fine."

Jorge's recovery was slow at first, as expected. His movement was restricted because of pain and he still has a neck brace from the unrelated injury, but in a few weeks he was walking easily. He slowly built up his strength and developed a more healthy lifestyle – watching his carbs and salt and avoiding processed food. Jorge has found so much to be grateful for in his life.

"Since my kidney surgery, my life has changed for the better in so many ways – emotionally, spiritually – and I'm enjoying spending time with my family," he said. "And being in Holy Name made the whole experience so much easier. I've already told a woman I know who was diagnosed with cancer to go to Holy Name. I would recommend them to anyone."

Learn more about Jorge Oropeza's Urologic Oncology doctor today