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Tuesday November 4th, 2014

Posted at 10:16am

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Until this summer, Julie Teti was completely healthy.  The  35 year old registered nurse works at St. John Providence Health System in Detroit.  She is married to Domenico Teti, who also grew up in Windsor, they met during high school while working part-time at the Caboto Club. They have four children 12 year old  Josie, 10 year old  Madeleine, 8 year old Domenico and 5 year old Allisyn.

This spring Julie begun experiencing some abdominal complaints and fatigue, however she and her family were overwhelmed in caring for Julie’s mother, Christine, who sadly passed away from lung cancer in June.

In late June, Julie’s symptoms became more severe and culminated in a visit to the emergency department in early July. She had a CT scan which showed extensive tumours in the abdomen. Initially, her physicians suspected a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. She underwent an extensive operation to remove as much of the cancer as possible at the end of July at London Health Sciences Centre.

When the pathology results from her operation came back, they were consistent with a diagnosis of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer, and not the ovarian cancer that was initially suspected. As a result of the new diagnosis, the entire plan for treatment had to be reconsidered.

Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that arises from the lining of the abdomen and it represents one third of all types of mesothelioma. The incidence of mesothelioma is approximately 1 per million, and for peritoneal mesothelioma approximately 1 in 4-5 million. Although the worldwide incidence has been increasing, mesothelioma is commonly associated with asbestos exposure, with a 25-70 year latency between exposure and diagnosis of cancer, however the link between asbestos and peritoneal mesothelioma is less robust. Julie is very young to have this type of cancer, and she has no known asbestos exposure. Due to the rarity of this condition, and the fact that so few patients are young and without comorbidities when diagnosed, there is very limited information about disease progression, effectiveness of therapy and overall prognosis. There is no link between lung cancer and mesothelioma, and Julie does not have any history of asbestos exposure, so the diagnosis is completely unexpected and extremely uncommon.

Julie and Domenic have lost Julie’s income and have already incurred significant expenses related to travel/hospital visits. 

A pasta benefit will be held to help Julie and her family on November 9th from 2pm to 7pm at the Caboto Club and the entire community is invited out to support Julie.

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