When I was given the news on December 28, 2009 that I had Breast Cancer, the days that followed were a blur. All that was going through my mind was they are wrong, I can’t have breast cancer, I’m only 29, and who is going to take care of my 2 yr old son. Then I had my appointment with Dr. Geils who made me realize my life was not done. Dr. Geils was very compassionate and very thorough about my diagnosis and my options. Dr. Geils made me see that although my life was changing, it was not over. I started chemo soon after that conversation with Dr. Geils and I was still scared to death. Just the thought of me getting chemo was horrifying, but again Dr. Geils and the nurses explained what was happening and how I would feel. They all checked on me through the whole chemo process. They made me feel comfortable and at home. It’s like having an extended family. Cancer and chemo are probably the scariest words that anyone could ever hear, but everyone at Charleston Hematology Oncology Associates PA made me realize I was not alone. I would definitely recommend them to anyone. Not only are the doctors and nurses great, but the front staff is amazing too. Just look for me.
Jenny Childs - Breast Cancer, CHOA Employee
In January 1986, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and three collapsed vertebrae. Dr. Geils said it couldn’t be cured but would be put in remission. I was in two years of chemotherapy and clean for two years. It then came back. I was then given chemotherapy for another 1 ½ years and I have been clear of multiple myeloma since! In 2000, I believe it was, they found a spot on the middle lobe of my left lung which turned out to be cancer. They removed the spot and I had another six months of real intense chemotherapy. If it had not been for this doctor and this great practice, I would not be alive today. The people here go out of their way to help and try to make you feel comfortable. I have recommended this place many times.
Joseph Horn - Myeloma
I am currently 59 yrs old and 8 years ago I found a lump in my left breast while taking a shower. I immediately saw my family doctor and she referred me to a surgeon. After MRI’s and biopsies it was determined that I did have breast cancer. I had a mastectomy and reconstruction done at the same time. At a follow-up visit with my surgeon, he informed me that he liked to pair patients with oncologist based on their personalities. He said that he thought Dr. James Orcutt might be a good match for me. My husband and I met with Dr. Orcutt and he mapped out a plan for me. I had a port inserted and then I began chemotherapy treatment. I had eight treatments, one every two weeks. Thus I began my journey with Charleston Hematology Oncology Associates. I would have an appointment with Dr. Orcutt and then go to the infusion suite for chemo. All the nurses were wonderful and my surgeon was right, Dr. Orcutt was a perfect match for me. Every time I saw Dr. Orcutt I would have a list of things that I wanted to discuss with him. He was always so patient, giving me all the time I needed. On one particular occasion I pulled out my list and began asking Dr. Orcutt about every little thing that was going on in my body. It didn’t matter that I was seeing other specialist for problems; I wanted Dr. Orcutt’s opinion. My husband looked at me and said “Dr. Orcutt can’t be your everything”. I looked up from my list and I pointed at Dr. Orcutt and said I want him to be my everything. He just smiled and about that time he had to leave the room for an emergency phone call. Moments later he returned and he looked at me and said “I can be your everything”. That said it all! He’s such a compassionate and caring person. He’s so much more than just my doctor, he’s my friend. When I bump into him outside of the office, he calls me by my name. He knows who I am and for that I am very grateful. I’m also a very active volunteer with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Over the years I have helped mentor and educate many woman about breast health. Dr. Orcutt and Charleston Hematology Oncology Associates have always been very supportive of these efforts. I would definitely recommend Dr. Orcutt and his staff to anyone looking for a wonderful oncologist! Who knows, he just might be their “Mr. Everything”!
Bonnie Hancock - Breast Cancer
I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer following a routine annual mammogram performed in April 2009. The team hospital team responded quickly by notifying me immediately and scheduling a biopsy later in the day. The following day when I received the news that the mass was indeed cancer I was referred to another doctor who performed additional test and a lumpectomy before the end of the following week. After some research and a visit to the office of Dr. George Keogh, I decided I wanted him and his staff to manage the next phase of treatment. I received 30 weeks of chemo which included participation in a clinical trial. I chose to have a surgically implanted port to receive these drugs. The nurses in the infusion center are very competent, informative and supportive during those stressful months. Radiation treatments were scheduled for about 7 weeks when the chemo was completed. Dr. Keogh has monitored me closely for adverse reactions and response to treatments. He always responds to my questions and concerns in a very concerned, supportive manner. The nursing staff returned calls, scheduled many tests and facilitated my care for almost two years now. While cancer has changed my life, I believe I have a good support team to help me win this battle!
Anne Beck - Breast Cancer
I have been a health care worker for 43 years, in as well as outside the US. When I was diagnosed with cancer 3 ½ years ago, I put myself in the hands of Dr. Keogh and his staff because I know treatment is much more than just drugs.

Dr. Keogh and his staff practice complete and total health care. They get the health part out of health books and the care part out of the “GOOD” book. That is what makes this practice the best

David Davis - Colon Cancer
In 1989, I was diagnosed with cancer by Dr. Christian… and I have been a survivor since that time. She is a wonderful doctor who is a very caring, devoted and a hard working physician. Dr. Christian SAVED my life! CHOA has always made me feel comfortable and that I was receiving the best treatment possible. My experience with CHOA and their new facility has been remarkable. When you go there you feel comfortable. There is great boutique on the first floor that you can browse through. It’s a very life-lifting and motivational shop. I recently had blood work and I was able to go to the nice café’ and get something to eat while I waiting for my appointment. I would recommend this practice – to anyone who is going through the cancer experience! They have saved my life.
Sarah Johnson - Breast Cancer
I was diagnosed in September of 2009 and I did not expect it….at all! I had a mammogram every year and I always went to Roper St. Francis. After my biopsy, a doctor called me and told me that she had bad news. I was referred to a surgeon then he referred me to Dr. Saylors with Charleston Hematology Oncology Associates. It is an overwhelming thing to have happen to you. Everyone with CHOA is so nice and the care here has been wonderful! The nurses during the chemotherapy process were always so understanding and always available to me. I can always call the office anytime for problems.

I am very pleased with CHOA, and I would recommend Dr. Saylors and his office to anyone that needs it.

Laura Matthews - Breast Cancer
“I have a dear friend and many years ago her husband was treated for cancer. His doctor was Dr. James Orcutt. I remember the comments Lynne made about Ronnie’s doctor. Lynne spoke so highly of Dr. Orcutt so I knew when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, I wanted her to see Dr. Orcutt. I asked her to consider him as an oncologist. He was the first and last oncologist we consulted with. We knew instinctively, from our first visit, we were in the right place. I watched Dr. Orcutt as he treated my mom with the utmost compassion and respect. I thought he was extremely intelligent and also very patient. He answered our nonstop questions and never made us feel that our questions were unimportant or “stupid”. He explained things in a very professional manner and in a way that we could understand. He never minded sharing information with us or trying to “educate” us without overwhelming us. There were so many times I could literally see the care and compassion he had for my mom. I have no doubt all of his patients see this same level of care. So, at the end of 2005 and for the first several months of 2006, my mom and I became a part of the Charleston Hematology and Oncology Associates’ family. We mastered the routine rather quickly. Check in with the front staff – a very efficient and capable group. Then, off to the lab to Ms. Lavern and the rest of the “stickers”. I must admit – if you are going to get stuck, you might as well let them do it – they are great “stickers”!! Next, on to see Dr. O for the lab results and the chemo orders. You know where we went next – the chemo suite. The chemo suite was a world of its own. The staff was so passionate and capable. I knew my mom was in good hands. They did their jobs carefully. They were so observant. I watched them as they assessed every patient – I could them thinking and reacting. I knew my mom was well taken care of. If I noticed something different with my mom, they listened and they made adjustments or consulted with Dr. Orcutt. At the same time, I could see their care and compassion. They were friendly and positive – never impatient. Finally, my mom completed her treatment and “normal” life returned. My mom was getting better and stronger. Our family was moving on. Then we hit a small bump. Ten months after my mom’s diagnosis, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Oh well. At least I knew who my oncologist would be – Dr. Orcutt! The first time I saw him (as a patient), I could see the same care and concern I grew to know when he treated my mom. Since we already knew each other, I definitely took advantage of that. At times, I wasn’t the best patient with the best attitude. I tried really hard every day and I fought hard, but for some reason I felt very comfortable letting Dr. Orcutt know how much I hated his chemo and hated what it was doing to me. He listened. He cared. He understood. And, he sympathized (briefly). Then he let me know I needed to stop my whining and complaining and get back to work and finish the fight. Somehow he did this without making me mad or making me feel bad for the way I was acting. He really helped me put things into perspective and I’m not sure he is even aware of this. I guess what I am saying is that Charleston Hematology and Oncology Associates will always be successful and state of the art as long as they have doctors like Dr. Orcutt and the capable staff they employ. I never hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Since my mom’s treatment and my treatment, my dad has been treated by Dr. Saylors. All I can say is he must have been trained by Dr. Orcutt. WOW. What a great guy and I have the utmost respect for him and how he treats my dad. He is definitely an asset to the practice and represents everything good I already thought about CHOA. Thanks everybody at CHOA!! You are the best. YOU ROCK!!”
Rene Wall, Marion & Troy Mitchum -Breast Cancer
“In 1994, my treatment for Lymphoma began. For the first 5 months I was infused with chemotherapy. It has been 16 years since the first diagnoses and treatment took place. There have been 2 other episodes of lymphoma. In 1998, I experienced MALT lymphoma behind my right eye. I underwent surgery and then received radiation with Roper. Dr. Ellison continued to monitor everything during this time. In 2003, Dr. Ellison treated me with chemotherapy after my gastroenterology doctor found I had a large lymphoma growth in my colon. This ended up being a 6 month cycle of treatment. CHOA has been diligent in checking my blood levels frequently and running scans when deemed necessary. I feel that CHOA has given me the necessary medical treatment for my lymphoma during the 16 yrs that I have been a patient. The staff is always willing to answer any of my questions and listen to any of my concerns. I have full confidence in the care and treatment this center provides!”

Barbara Green - Lymphoma
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2009. This was completely out of left field… like it usually is but immediately started my search for the right team that was going to help me survive. I had surgery scheduled for the next morning and the night before at 5:30, I called the surgeon and told him we were going to cancel surgery. I felt that I needed to get second opinion. That led me to Dr. Ellison’s office. When my husband and I parked in the parking lot, we had already made an appointment with M.D. Anderson in Texas and we decided when we parked that no matter what happened in his office that day, we were going to still keep our appointment at M.D. Anderson. We went in and met with Dr. Ellison. It was a very late afternoon appointment. He had definitely squeezed us in after office hours. He did not act rushed or aggravated. He sat us down and described what kind of cancer I had, what my options were and pros and cons of each option. He answered every one of my questions and made me think about things I might not have thought about if he had not prompted me with certain things. We left there and immediately knew after the appointment was over, that was exactly where we needed to be. We ended up cancelling our appointment with M.D. Anderson and within 48 hours of my appointment with Dr. Ellison, I began chemotherapy. My father who was a farmer for 30+ years, one of favorite actors is John Wayne who was the ultimate cowboy. In the office, there was a saying by John Wayne that said “courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” When I saw that quote on the way, it just made me feel like I was being directed to the right person and office and that I was in good hands. I never changed my mind throughout my six months worth of treatment. Chemotherapy, surgery and radiation were over in December of 2009.

I see him every three months since that time. I absolutely dread the day he tells me I am not his patient anymore. I was melancholy when I took my last chemotherapy treatment just because I made such good friends there with the other patients and nurses. I became very fond of the oncology nurses while undergoing treatment and have the utmost respect for them for eight hours daily, five days weekly, 52 weeks yearly, they treat cancer patients with concern, patience, humor and compassion. They are always friendly, smiling and doing things for their patients that I’m sure is not in their job description. I fell in love with the other patients going through chemotherapy with me. My weekly infusion sessions became my unofficial support group meetings. I miss that camaraderie that we had. Some of the patients were regulars, some I only saw once. Sadly, a few of them appeared in the obituary pages but most patients I met finished treatment and returned to their normal lives and healthy. All patients were unbelievably brave souls and I respected each and every one of them. Community is very important when you battle any type of cancer. They were definitely my community. My opinion of Dr. Ellison is that he is nothing short of genius. He seems to take responsibility for his patients’ welfare very seriously and always appeared completely confident in his treatment decisions. I did a lot of research on my own and then would come back to him with questions. I never asked him a question that he did not immediately know the answer to.

He not only knew the answer but went far beyond giving me an answer and explanation of why that was the best decision. The thought and advanced planning that apparently went into this new Roper Cancer Center make it evident that CHOA is completely dedicated to treating and curing cancer while putting patient needs in the forefront of their decision making.”

Lynn Lee - Breast Cancer
there was a cancer research facility in Washington, DC at Walter Reed Medical. They started me on hormone therapy for a year. I later retired from the military. Once out of the military, I was able to go out on my own and get my own insurance. I then started seeing a local Urologist in here in Charleston and he referred me to Dr. Orcutt. This began my journey with Dr. Orcutt. At this point I was only 42 years old and Dr. Orcutt realized that simply treating the symptoms would not be good enough – we had to go at this thing aggressively. Dr. Orcutt recommended chemo treatments and I agreed this was the best option. We went through the chemo treatments and I handled it pretty well. Since then I’ve had no symptoms for a recurrence. I’m currently still – I’ve been under Dr. Orcutt’s care for going on 9 years now and I couldn’t possibly ask for better care. Between Dr. Orcutt and his staff, they make a good team. I am just so thankful for him.”
Brian Smart - Prostate Cancer
“When Dr. Orcutt started seeing me in January of 2004, I had stage four non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Dr. Orcutt told me that I should start getting my affairs in order because he was only giving me 3-6 months to live. Never underestimate a stubborn Dutchman because it’s now been 7 years. I’ve been back and forth on chemo for many years and even sought a second opinion from MD Anderson. I am currently still a patient of Dr. Orcutt’s and see him for follow-ups. He has become a friend! After seeing a physician for 7 years, he has become more than just someone that prescribes medicine. He has a personal interest in me and my ability to defeat all the statistics.”

Dr. Anton Vreede - Lung Cancer
Almost four years ago I was told by two doctors that I was in perfect health although I was suffering from an unusual earache. Because of the expert attention by Dr. Brian Lingerfelt, it was learned that I had throat cancer. Through his guidance I managed to handle several sessions of chemotherapy at CHOA. I shall always feel such a close and cherished association with Dr. Lingerfelt. I am now considered to be in excellent health which is due in large part to his expertise and continued interest in my behalf. He truly deserves to be an honored member in the highly specialized fields of Oncology Medicine.
Dr. Lingerfelt - Carol Walker
“I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer at the age of 33. Never thought that I would have something like this happen at this age.

I had pains that did not feel right and went to the family doctor (Doctor Noblet) to get an evaluation. I expected it to be just a typical problem, but continued on to see another physician for further tests (Doctor Sampson). After all the tests were done, it was determined I had some type of cancer. At this point you think your life is going to be cut short. I was sent to CHOA shortly after and met with Doctor Gene Saylors. It was then that I found out I had Testicular cancer.

All in this time my wife and I were set to head to China to adopt our new daughter. It was quite a whirlwind of emotions with so much going on. I was told that I needed to start Chemo immediately in order to start shrinking the tumors. I was scared out of my mind and probably my wife/family more so. The comforting thing was that everyone at CHOA made it seem as if there was nothing to worry about. They always made it seem like this was just a bump in the road and that we were going to beat the disease and life would keep going on as normal. Life was extremely difficult through all the treatments, not just the physical aspect, but the emotional day to day part of it.

Friends and family were very supportive and CHOA was there the whole way. I have now been cancer free for nearly 2 years and can’t thank everyone that surrounded me during that enough. Life is never easy and everyone has bumps in the road, it’s just how you are able to cope with those bumps and having the support around you that enable you to overcome anything in front of you. My wife and I went to China that week to adopt our daughter and are enjoying every minute of life. Thank you to everyone that helped through this time.”

Jordan Cannon - Testicular Cancer
Dr. James Orcutt has been my oncologist since 1999. He is a compassionate, sensitive, and wise man. Dr. Orcutt treats cancer patients every day and his attitude is always optimistic. Staying positive is what gets many people through cancer treatments. His upbeat attitude is often transferred to his patients and their families. Thank you for caring for me and making my difficult situations easier to cope. Because of Dr. Orcutt I am able to live a happy, healthy life.
Patricia Matysek, Dr. James Orcutt,
My name is Shirley Gail Gaston (mostly go by Gail). Late Nov. 2014 I had pleurodesis done which I found out I lung cancer in right lung. Since Dec. 2014 I have been under the care of Dr. Elizabeth Christian. My husband & I both have had exceptional care from her. She shows real concern for her patients.
She is one who you can trust to be up front & honest with you. One that you can have compete trust in. Her staff are ones who show the same concern & care. The closeness we feel for them is like a family. We love the all for the care they have given us.
Shirley Gail Gaston, Dr. Elizabeth Christian
On July 13, 2010, at age 47, I was diagnosed with breast cancer following a routine annual mammogram.

After several weeks, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. After receiving recommendations from friends and a visit to CHOA, I decided that Dr. Elizabeth Christian would handle the next phase of my treatment.

I underwent surgery to insert a port and immediately started chemotherapy. During that time, I had moments when I was scared and even distressed. Dr. Christian was there every step of the way as if I was her only patient. She was right beside my husband, sons and family encouraging me and helping me to deal with those fears.

Over the course of my treatment, I had many questions and needed help managing side effects. At every turn, I was given the answers I needed. Dr. Christian, her fellow doctors at CHOA, the nurses and staff treated me with kindness and never ending compassion.

I always feel confident in Dr. Christian’s ability to manage my care. I take comfort in the fact that she attends many cancer conferences and is up to date on the latest treatments. She has a vast array of oncology colleagues throughout the United States that she does not hesitate to call upon for opinions and did so for me several times during my treatment.

I am very grateful for the role Dr. Christian has played in my life. I am proud to call her my friend and blessed to have her as my doctor.

Maribeth Moody, Dr. Elizabeth Christian - Breast Cancer
When I was diagnosed with T4-N1 colorectal cancer at age 28, I was terrified. After recovering from surgery I met with Dr. Saylors and his staff. They were wonderful! Their kindness, sympathy, and willingness to help explain my diagnosis and treatment plan made coming to grips with what lie ahead much easier. For 6 months, I went every 2 weeks and had treatments. Dr. Saylors, his PAs, and the nurses became more like friends and family with each treatment. Hugs, tears, and laughter were shared on my last treatment, and the care and kindness continues each time I go to see them. Dr. Saylors and his staff not only saved my life, but helped me through an extremely difficult time. I am forever grateful for everything they have done!
Blaine Reed, Dr. Gene Saylors
On October 2014, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, upper left lobe of my lung. What a shock. I had never smoked, exercised, and tried to keep up with a healthy diet. Dr. Gene Saylors told me that this was treatable with favorable results. Within three weeks of my diagnosis at CHOA, I started my chemotherapy of R + CHOP, every three weeks for six rounds. The PET scan then showed the lung mass had reduced from the size a fist to the size of a thumbnail. Now was time for 15 radiation treatments. This was done so that the remaining nodules would have less chance for regrowth. I am now two years cancer free, and I owe this to my faith in God, prayer warriors, a wonderful husband and family. When I first visited CHOA I felt like I was in a safe environment. Dr. Saylors is informative, diligent, respectful and supportive. He also encourages me to be active in my health care decisions. He is a good listener and has a good humor. I rely completely on his knowledge; I have the greatest confidence in him. I must say the same applies for all of the CHOA team! I also give praise to the infusion nurses. Their care for each patient is tremendous; they are truly CHOA’s angels. After each treatment or office visit when I leave are no unanswered questions, doubts, or confusion. I love to visit and catchup with all my friends.
Tina Smith, Dr. Gene Saylors