Lloyd found the HIPEC cancer care he needed

Lloyd Beckman portrait

When Lloyd Beckman needed a rare kind of cancer treatment known as HIPEC, he chose University of Iowa Health Care, which has the only dedicated HIPEC program in eastern Iowa.

UI surgical oncologist Carlos Chan, MD, PhD, performed the operation in February 2016. More than two years later, Lloyd remains cancer-free and lives a normal life.

“I can do everything I used to do,” says Lloyd, a retired boom crane operator from Sterling, Illinois, who enjoys spending time with his seven grandchildren.

HIPEC is a type of specialty care that very few hospitals offer. It’s a long, difficult procedure to remove certain kinds of tumors in the abdominal area that can’t be reached by conventional chemotherapy treatment.

Cancer expertise, closer to home

In late 2015, Lloyd had emergency surgery at his community hospital in Sterling to remove a tumor on his appendix.

The surgeon discovered that the tumor had spread to other parts of the abdominal area. He told Lloyd that HIPEC would be needed to remove those tumors and keep the cancer from spreading further.

“They said if I didn’t have it, I probably had under five years,” Lloyd says.

Finding a hospital with expertise in HIPEC was not easy. Lloyd’s surgeon originally recommended a hospital in St. Louis, but Lloyd didn’t like the idea of traveling that far.

“I told him I’d rather find some place closer,” Lloyd says. “He called around and found Dr. Chan in Iowa City.”

‘Phenomenal’ care from a fellowship-trained specialist

Chan, who received his fellowship training in HIPEC at Harvard Medical School, had only recently joined UI Health Care when he was contacted by Lloyd’s surgeon. Chan had just begun building a HIPEC program to give doctors a local option to recommend to their patients with confidence.

“When I came here in 2015, we didn’t have a dedicated person or official program for HIPEC,” Chan says. “I wanted to start a program to serve this region, especially eastern Iowa.”

By early 2018, 30 patients had received the treatment. Lloyd was the first.

“I feel blessed that he was my first patient and that he has had no recurrence,” Chan says. “That’s what really matters.”

Lloyd’s recovery was excellent. He spent just one day in intensive care instead of the usual three days. He calls Chan a “phenomenal” surgeon who patiently explained every detail of the process in a way that Lloyd understood and trusted.

“He told me it was probably going to be a 16-hour procedure, but he gave me a break,” Lloyd says with a laugh. “It was only 12 hours.”

Sterling, Illinois