Beating Cancer as a Kid, Only to Fight It Again as an Adult

Doctors took Quinn's right leg below his knee to prevent the cancer's spread. For years, Quinn was cancer free. But in 2007 Quinn once again began experiencing unusual symptoms in the form of what he believed to be panic attacks.

He saw a psychiatrist, who agreed that panic attacks were to blame for what Quinn calls "mad rushes" that he would get. His psychiatrist put him on anxiety medicines, which worked at first. But then the attacks got worse.

The true answer to his condition came when he visited his oncologist and had an MRI scan of his brain.

"Bam, there's a golf ball-sized tumor in there," he said.

In an operation that Quinn refers to as "round six" in his fight against cancer, surgeons at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Tex., delicately removed the areas of the tumor that they could without damaging critical areas of his brain. However, they were only able to eliminate 85 percent of this tumor. And while radiation and chemotherapy initially kept the remainder of it in check, Quinn said that his most recent scans suggest that this tumor may be growing once more.

"So that was round six, and I'm waiting for round seven," he said.

But along with the repeated encounters with cancer, Quinn said he also gained insight into his condition. He was eventually diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a condition which dramatically increased his risk of developing a host of cancers. But while he said that based on his experience, he would recommend that any childhood cancer survivor keep up with regular screenings.

"I either go in and have the checkup, or I live my life not knowing. The prior of these two leaves me with much more comfort," he said.

"If [the results] are good, I go on living my life," he said. "If it's bad, I start treatment and have a much better result."

MedPage Today's Michael Smith and the ABC News Medical Unit contributed to this report. To read stories from MedPage Today, click here.

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