When you’re facing cancer, you quickly learn what matters in life—family, friends and the people providing your care.

Be part of what matters. Support Lipson Cancer Institute—because great care matters.

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Lipson Cancer Institute


Lipson Cancer Institute was founded on a commitment to provide comprehensive cancer care from one integrated program to treat the unique needs of each patient.

Each day, our highly trained and dedicated oncology teams use leading-edge medical technology to create and administer personalized cancer treatment plans for our patients.

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Meet the Believers


Black and white photo of Shannon

Meet Shannon


Mother
Stage 2 breast cancer survivor
Dr. Joel Yellin’s #1 fan

“Whenever I hear someone say they have cancer, I ask, ‘Did you go to Lipson?’ The doctors there are the best. The best.”

Read Her Story
Black and white photo of Paul

Meet Paul


Positive thinker
Prostate cancer survivor
Supporter of what matters

“One of the best things about being treated here was the people. They filled me with confidence.”

Read His Story
Black and white photo of Kathleen

Meet Kathleen


Breast cancer survivor
Mother of 2
Lipson believer

“The most important thing to me right now is to be here to see my kids grow old. I just want to live.”

Read Her Story
Black and white photo of Bajro

Meet Bajro


Stage 4 cancer survivor
Brother of Stage 3 cancer survivor
Lipson believer

“They were able to remove the tumor and the first thing the doctor said to me was, ‘Now you and your sister are cancer free … and let’s keep it that way.’”

Read His Story

Meet Shannon


Shannon Brean credits the medical team at the Lipson Cancer Institute of Rochester Regional Health for saving her life and making it possible to be the mother she wants to be for her young son. Her gratitude goes beyond the diagnosis and treatment of the doctors.

Shannon was understandably anxious after learning she had Stage 2 breast cancer in 2015, but Joel Yellin, MD, a surgeon at Rochester General Hospital, immediately put her at ease.

“He called me at 10 p.m. when he was on vacation and says, ‘Shannon, we’re going to take care of you.’ He then got me in to see him in a couple of days,” she says. “He had the best bedside manner and was always positive. He was the most caring man I’ve ever talked to in my life.”

Shannon was 45 and the mother of 6-month-old Berkley when she began a treatment that included chemotherapy to shrink the tumor in her right breast, a mastectomy, breast reconstruction and radiation. Berkeley, now 3, was her inspiration through it all.

“I just kept thinking that when this is over, he won’t remember that his mommy couldn’t pick him up or play with him or that she lost all her hair,” Shannon remembers. “I thank my doctors for that. They saved my life.”

Shannon credits her recovery to the team at the Lipson Cancer Institute, including Megan Carmel, MD, a Unity Hospital OB/GYN at Clinton Crossings who diagnosed the cancer and referred her to Dr. Yellin. Shannon had a full team caring for her, including Saad Jamshed, MD, an oncologist at the Lipson Cancer Institute and Center for Blood Disorders, Meri Atanas, MD, a radiology oncologist, and Mark Davenport, MD, a plastic surgeon. The multidisciplinary team of physicians coordinated all aspects of Shannon’s care. Under Dr. Jamshed’s direction, Shannon underwent six rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor and also kill cancer cells that had spread to the lymph nodes in her right armpit. Although she was cancer-free following chemotherapy treatment, she decided to have a full mastectomy, performed by Dr. Yellin, after testing positive for the BRCA breast cancer gene. Breast reconstruction was performed by Dr. Davenport, with a final round of radiation completing the treatment. Shannon’s recovery was truly a coordinated effort.

“I am cancer-free today,” Shannon says. “I feel good. I can play with Berkeley. And my hair is beautiful, if I do say so myself!”

Black and white photo of Paul

Meet Paul


When Paul Boylan was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he turned to the expertise of the Lipson Cancer Institute and its medical team at United Memorial Medical Center to guide his treatment. But it was something more than the expertise of doctors and staff that helped Paul, 78, maintain a positive attitude through 28 rounds of radiation.

“I’m a great believer that your mental attitude and strength has a great deal to do with how well you battle a disease like cancer. One of the best things about being treated at United Memorial was the people,” he says. “They filled me with confidence.”

Paul credits Meri Atanas, MD, chief of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rochester Regional Health, for not only making him aware of his choices, but easing his concerns. “Even though Dr. Atanas is responsible for all five facilities that are under the Lipson Cancer Institute umbrella, she still devoted time so that I saw her on a regular basis,” Paul says. “She is extremely competent, very experienced, and she is in tune with the latest techniques and treatments that are available for radiation. She exuded confidence and that gave me a great deal of confidence.”

That morale never waned through the course of Paul’s treatment. “You knew you were being treated for a disease, but it was not something you looked to with any kind of dread or apprehension,” Paul says. “I did not experience a single side effect, while the technicians who administered the treatment were extraordinarily competent and made everything as easy and simple as it could possibly be.”

After radiation treatments, Paul’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels dropped from 9.5 to 0.5, a 90 percent reduction, and he was pronounced cancer-free. Paul believes the positive attitude of the staff at United Memorial, especially his radiation oncology nurse, Chelsie Ikeler, helped carry him through. “She was the person I saw every day,” he says. “She kept me upbeat and feeling as though things were going to be just fine. At the same time, she was extraordinarily competent. She knew what she was doing every minute, but she did it with such a positive attitude. It was just a pleasure to go there.”

Meet Kathleen


When Kathleen Cook was diagnosed with breast cancer, the first question her son asked was, “Are you going to die, Mom?” It’s a hard question to answer for someone who felt she was at one of the healthiest points in her life. “I had been working out on a regular basis. I looked my best. I felt my best. I was not the typical poster child for any sort of a cancer. Especially with no family history.”

Kathleen was scared. She wondered if her kids would grow up without a mother, or if she would ever get to see those special “firsts” in their lives. She was looking for hope and reached out through social media for help in picking an oncologist and a surgeon. The responses she received from her post led her to Lipson Cancer Institute.

“My oncologist gave me such hope. I remember her telling me it was survivable.” Through the anxiety and fear, Kathleen credits her Lipson team with keeping her focused on doing what she needed to do to stay positive—and to live.

“The most important thing to me right now is to be here to see my kids grow old. I want to be here for their prom. I want to be here for their graduation. I want to watch them grow up and see what they become. I want to see their children. I want to be a grandparent. I just want to live.”

Black and white photo of Paul

Meet Bajro


It started with a feeling that something just wasn’t right. That’s when Bajro Rizvanovic decided to drive himself to the emergency room.

“They told me it was a tumor the size of a baseball in my colon. I had Stage 4 cancer.” Bajro was just 30 years old.

“He’s very young and healthy and vibrant… and we wanted to treat things in an aggressive way with the goal of curing the cancer,” explains Dr. Greg Connolly. “After several months of chemotherapy, we did scans that showed things had gotten significantly smaller. I think he was very happy when he saw those results.”

Bajro was on the road to recovery. But he was not alone.

“Shortly after I was diagnosed, Dr. Connolly suggested that the immediate family get checked out. And, what do you know, my sister was Stage 3 cancer,” reveals Bajro. “It was colon cancer, the same kind of cancer.”

Together, brother and sister found the care they needed through Rochester Regional Health and the Lipson Cancer Institute. Now, both cancer free, Bajro and his sister are at the forefront of Lipson believers.

“Me and my sister were awarded our lives back … and there’s no better feeling than that. You just want to give back in some way.”