Happy 25th anniversary, Cancer Center! One long-term patient describes how his cancer was cured.


Clark Charnetski looks back on his cancer, part of our Happy 25th anniversary series at the Cancer Center.

Name: Clark Charnetski

Birthdate: Jan. 17, 1942

Diagnosis: Bladder Cancer

U-M Doctor: James Montie, M.D.

Age at diagnosis: 54

In the spring of 1996, Clark Charnetski had a backache. Initially suspecting a urinary problem, an X-ray with dyes found a tumor. Within a few hours, he had an appointment with James Montie, M.D., who diagnosed bladder cancer. That summer, Charnetski underwent chemotherapy and radiation to shrink the tumor before surgery.

“Chemo at the time was very difficult,” he says. “I was really sick, especially combined with the radiation. I was in a wheelchair by the end, just because I was so weak. I had to recover physically before surgery.”

Charnetski remembers turning to his one-person sailboat for exercise to get his strength back. He still sails the boat today. In surgery, Montie discovered the tumor was entirely encased in scar tissue. This was good news: it meant the chemo and radiation did its job to shrink the tumor. There was no cancer found in surrounding lymph nodes. After a 15-day hospital stay and several months of recovery, Charnetski remains cancer-free.

Read more about Clark’s s story in the fall issue of Thrive, as well as stories of other long-term patients.




Thrive magazine is a quarterly publication of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, offering inspirational patient stories, news and information on programs and services, tips on coping and living with cancer and more. Find Thrive in the Cancer Center or online.


CCC 25 years button150x150The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan for cancer patient care. Seventeen multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.