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May 30, 2018 · Florida man flies his plane to Rochester to thank Mayo Clinic surgeon in Chest Surgery

Page and Allen Meeting

Photo courtesy of KTTC News

Full Story/Video at KTTC News

How would you show gratitude to someone who saved your life?

One young man flew thousands of miles on Tuesday in a small plane to give thanks in person.

Twenty-two year-old Calvin Page of West Palm Beach, Florida said if it weren’t for Dr. Mark Allen, he wouldn’t be able to continue pursuing his dream of flying.

Just last year, Calvin Page was treated at Mayo Clinic for infectious pneumonia. During his treatment doctors found a rare birth defect called bronchopulmonary sequestration.

Dr. Allen performed the surgery to remove the abnormal lung tissue.

Since then, Page and two friends set out on a quest to break the Guinness World Record for flying to each of the contiguous 48 states in the shortest amount of time.

“I was here just a year a go under very different circumstances,” said Page. “So when we were planning our route and saw that Minnesota and the Rochester area would be an efficient stop, we were really excited to hopefully meet again to thank him for, you know, giving me the opportunity to do something like this.”

Continuing reading at KTTC News 

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Mar 7, 2018 · Meet Dr. Mark Allen in Chest Surgery

Dr. Mark Allen (1)Dr. Mark Allen is a General Thoracic Surgeon at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Allen shares how Mayo Clinic is a place to care for patients with complex medical conditions and have remarkable outcomes. Dr. Allen has a special interest in diseases of the trachea and is fortunate to have the opportunity to develop that practice at Mayo Clinic.

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Feb 7, 2018 · Refusing Surgery for Esophageal Cancer May Cause Severe Consequences for Patients in Chest Surgery

Dr. mark Allen

Press Release from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

“I often see patients with esophageal cancer back after receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy and they ask if they now need surgery to remove their esophagus,” said Mark S. Allen, MD, general thoracic surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, who was not directly involved with this research. “I intend to use the information presented in this paper when I explain to them that surgery will likely significantly increase their chance of cure, so yes, it is worth going through with the operation.”

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Nov 13, 2017 · Lung Cancer Awareness Month in Chest Surgery

Lung CA AwarnessPhoto courtesy of Zazzle.Com

November is lung cancer awareness month.  It is useful to have a few statistics about lung cancer. Unfortunately, lung cancer remains the # 1 cancer problem in the world and in America over 160,000 people die yearly of lung cancer.  Almost a third of all the cancer related deaths will be from lung cancer. The number of deaths from lung cancer is higher than the combined deaths of the 3 next most common cancers, colorectal, breast and prostate.  Each day, approximately 433 people die the United States from lung cancer. That is the equivalent to a 747 airplane crashing every day and killing all on board, day after day, year after year.

Although breast cancer gets a lot of publicity, 2 times as many people die from lung cancer than breast cancer.  The funding for lung cancer is also lower than it should be. For fiscal year 2015, the National Cancer Institute spent $ 4.9 billion dollars on research, only $256,000,000  (5.2%) went towards lung cancer research.  The American Cancer Society of the $390,000,000 they spent on cancer only, $26,000,000 (6.6%).

The problem  is there is a stigma associated with lung cancer.  People think that it is caused from cigarette smoking, so victims deserve their disease.  This is no longer true.  Many lung cancers are caused by air pollution, radon exposure, second hand smoke or other causes that are unknown and not related to smoking.  Lung cancer usually presents as a very advanced disease, with over 75 %of patients presenting with stage IV cancer.  Unfortunately, the survival rate for a stage IV cancer is very low. If we could screen patients earlier and find a cancer in a curable stage we may be able to provide a surgical treatment that is known to be very successful with high cure rates.

Screening can be done by serial low-dose CT scans of the chest.  There are also experimental techniques under development, including a blood test that looks for circulating tumor DNA or a breath test to detect volatile organic compounds that may indicate malignancy. Smoking cessation is a key factor in preventing lung cancer.  If you smoke now, please stop. At Mayo Clinic we have an excellent smoking cessation Clinic and screening program if you are interested in either of these please contact us and we can arrange it.

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Statistics provided by The Bonnie J. Addario Lung cancer Foundation (ALCF)


Oct 30, 2017 · My doctor did a lung cancer screening CT scan and found a mass - now what? in Chest Surgery

Since I am a smoker, a pack a day for the past 30 years, my family doctor did a screening CT scan and they found a mass on my lung.  Now what do I do?

Lung cancer revealed by CT lung screening

First of all, relax.  Although lung cancer is a very deadly disease you may have been relatively lucky since it was found in an early stage.  Unfortunately, most people with lung cancer are not diagnosed until late in the course of the disease.  This is because there are very few symptoms of lung cancer until it is too late.  Your doctor correctly obtained a screening CT scan, so yours was found early and it is curable.

The first step in the evaluation and management of lung cancer is to stage the cancer.  This will help the physicians recommend the correct treatment and give you an estimate of the cure rate.  Staging usually involves a history and physical exam, and PET scan. These tests may lead to others, but hopefully you have a stage I cancer, which means the cancer is confined to the lung and does not involve any lymph nodes.  Once the staging is complete, your doctors will assess your fitness for surgery, usually with pulmonary function testing and an electrocardiogram.  You need to stop smoking immediately as well, for patients that are smoking up to the day of surgery have a marked increase in the complications after surgery.

Once your evaluation is completed, you’ll see a surgeon who will likely recommend a minimally invasive procedure that will remove the mass in the lung along with some surrounding lymph nodes.  This can be done with a very low chance of complications and almost no chance of death.  The hospitalization is usually around 4 days and you can resume normal activities (NOT smoking) in about 2 weeks.

If it is a stage I lung cancer, you don’t need any other treatment.  No chemotherapy or radiation therapy are necessary.  You would have surveillance CT scans at 6 months and then yearly thereafter to look for any recurrence or another cancer.

There is quite a bit of variability in the care of lung cancer patients, so it is recommended that you go to a center that sees a large volume of patients with this problem.  They would be up to date on the newest diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, thus giving you the best outcome.


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Oct 16, 2017 · Your Thoracic Surgery Team in Chest Surgery

TeamDr. Mark Allen, General Thoracic Surgeon at Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota, describes the team-based approach to surgical care at within the thoracic surgery team. Your surgery team extends beyond the surgeon but also includes residents/fellows (surgeons in training) and nurses as part of a cast people that will interact with you during your hospital stay.

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Apr 5, 2017 · 3D Printing Paves the Way for Precision Surgeries in Chest Surgery

3D Printing Team including Dr. Mark AllenIn late 2016, Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeon Mark Allen, M.D. was part of a surgical team that used a 3D printed model to help them prepare to remove a rare, intrusive pancoast tumor. The tumor had grown in the chest of a patient, between his ribs and among the vessels just above his lungs.

By demonstrating precisely where the tumor was in the body, and its proximity to neighboring structures, the 3D model permitted Dr. Allen to remove the tumor in a way that preserved the surrounding vessels and facilitated a successful reconstruction of the patient’s thoracic cavity.

“When you have a 3D model, you can hold it and rotate it around. It gives you all the relationships with everything and where things are located,” Dr. Allen says. “Within a millimeter of accuracy, you see the same things you will find internally.”

Read the full story at Sharing Mayo Clinic

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