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Survivor Spotlight

A special thank you to our Mission Moment Sponsor

Local Musician Battles Cancer,
Doesn’t Stop Fighting

A classically trained musician who is Associate Principal French horn with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, a working voice actor, and former radio personality, Beth Lano uses her lungs even more than most. They’re her livelihood.


In 2022, Beth was admitted to Sunrise Hospital due to breathing issues and extreme fatigue. Doctors diagnosed her with pericardial effusion, fluid around the heart, and she was rushed into emergency open heart surgery to drain the fluid as well as determine the root cause.


Doctors had to break ribs to reach her heart, but she survived the surgery. She unfortunately had little time to recover before suffering the next blow, as she was informed the cause of the excess fluid was stage 4 metastatic non-small cell lung cancer that had spread to lymph nodes in her chest and cervical spine.


As a longtime smoker, Beth admits that the diagnosis wasn’t entirely unexpected, but one can never be prepared for such news.


Her primary care physician Dr. Tom Peters at Sundance Medical Center wasted no time guiding her on the best course of action. He referred Beth to Dr. Anthony Nguyen of Comprehensive Cancer Centers and fought to ensure that she would be able to receive the world-class care that Comprehensive provides.


Dr. Nguyen established a treatment plan that included a combination of two kinds of chemotherapy and one immunotherapy that would be dispersed every three weeks for three months. There was also anti-nausea medication and steroids included in each infusion to mitigate any side effects. Beth was told the treatment would be palliative, a form of care used often with incurable cancer that aims to improve the quality of life for patients who have a life-threatening disease.


Three days after the initial treatment and still healing from the broken ribs, Beth found herself in intense pain. She received a chest X-ray and chest CT and, four days after that, she suddenly found the pain completely subsided. Furthermore, imaging showed nothing abnormal.


Her care team at Comprehensive attributed the previous pain she felt to malignant tumors in her chest lymph nodes attaching to chest scar tissue, causing pain as they miraculously began to shrink.


It was then recommended that Beth continue the infusions long-term, receiving secondary chemotherapy along with immunotherapy. Throughout the experience her main symptoms were fatigue and moderate weight gain.


After initially being told that her cancer was manageable, she had an amazing result from treatment. Beth was given wonderful news that her PET scan concluded that she was in remission.


Beth has continued treatment with great results and set a goal to return to public performances in April, just seven months after her battle began. And yes, she continued to play and teach online since her initial diagnosis.


When it comes to the “c-word”, cancer, people are often conditioned to expect the worst, but cases like Beth’s are a reminder that success stories do exist. With the right treatment plan, dedicated health care professionals, and maybe a little bit of good fortune, a diagnosis can deviate from the expected and become an anomaly.

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