Our Stories 

We’re very proud of what we do. But nothing is more rewarding — or more humbling — than when someone tells us that we’ve changed his or her life. Some of those people share their amazing stories here. There are more to come, so please return to be inspired by their strength, courage, and honesty.


They had a plan to make me whole again.
    – Adam J.

When Adam first came to the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, he had cancer throughout much of his body. What started as testicular cancer had moved up to his kidneys, his lungs, and his brain. His condition was critical and his treatment needs were complex.

There are very few places in the world where Adam could have found the care he received here. His case demanded that multiple sub-specialists – including lung surgeons, brain surgeons, urologists, and cancer surgeons – coordinate their work over a long period of time. Fortunately for Adam, all the care, expertise, and dedication he needed resides right here at the UNM Cancer Center.

Today Adam is cancer free. His recovery required him to relearn some basic motor skills, but he accomplished that – and much more. Now he’s back in college and pursuing a career in music. Rock on, Adam!

“Oncology is different than other specialties in that the patient and the doctor
have a common enemy ... and that's the cancer,”

Richard Lauer, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer, UNM Cancer Center & Adam's Physician


Meet Adam's Team at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center


I’m living proof that cancer does not define your life.
– Judy V.

Judy V. has been living with ovarian cancer for over 20 years and across three states. A fighter with a bright and determined spirit, she moved back to New Mexico two years ago – and was diagnosed with breast cancer. She turned to the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center to help fight this next cancer battle.

We’re inspired by Judy and her unwavering positivity. Her cancer journey has been a long one, and she has received treatment from cancer centers in other states – but she says none has been better than the care she receives right here at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. Thanks Judy; we love you too!

“She never ceases to amaze me. Judy V. had two surgeons in the same day. One performed her double mastectomy and the other began her breast reconstruction.”

Zoneddy Dayao, MD, UNM Women's Cancer Center Expert, Hematologist/Oncologist


What would Aracely say to women who face a cancer diagnosis? “Stay strong for yourself and your family. You can fight, and you can win!”

When Aracely was first diagnosed with breast cancer, she was frightened. Would she find treatment? Would her family support her? Fortunately, she found support and hope – and the best cancer care – at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. Thanks to them, she’s here today, encouraging all women to know their bodies and seek help when something seems wrong.

With love and assistance from her family, Aracely is fighting and winning her battle with breast cancer.

The UNM Cancer Center gave me a second chance at life.
– Aracely
Everyone at the UNM Cancer Center treats patients like family.
This time it happened to be true.
– Judy L.


When Judy L. first received her breast cancer diagnosis, she felt numbed by the news. So she did what many people do in such moments: She called her family. One call was to her brother James, who is a Patient Navigator at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has considerable experience guiding patients through their cancer journey, and he immediately insisted she should come to the center for a second opinion.

Judy’s treatment was successful and much less invasive than the option she was presented with elsewhere. She also gained a new appreciation for her brother’s work, as she witnessed firsthand the way he guides patients to and from their appointments and treatments, delivering a level of care that makes each patient feel like family.

State Helping New Mexico Women Get 3D Mammograms

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New Device Makes Breast Cancer Surgery Easier for Everyone

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UNM Cancer Center Nutritionist Talks About Eating During Treatment

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Meet Our Breast Cancer Team

Call for an Appointment or a Second Opinion 505-272-4946