This medical video shows how tissue transfer can help those with skin cancer.
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Jennifer Matthews: Dorothy Fahland grew up sunbathing -- first as a toddler, then as a teenager and young adult. Decades later, Dorothy had a skin cancer cut from above her eye, but the cancer grew back -- this time as a tumor behind her eye. Dorothy Fahland: I was told right from the beginning that I would lose my eye. I'm not self-conscious about it. Jennifer Matthews: Now, Dorothy swims to strengthen her abdomen -- that's where doctors took muscle and blood vessel to fill the cavity left after they removed the tumor and her eye. Dr. Mark K. Wax: We detach the blood vessel in the groin, and we take the muscle and the blood vessel, and we bring it up to the eye. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Mark Wax and colleagues used the free-tissue transfer technique on 43 patients. After two years, 58 percent were cancer-free. Dr. Mark K. Wax: Instead of having a big wad of tissue there you have something that at least molds in and looks more acceptable, and fulfills those functions of letting people breathe through their nose, or even drink and get food down." Dorothy Fahland: Well, I thought it was extraordinary, but in this day-in-age, modern medicine does wonders. Jennifer Matthews: It's been over two years since Dorothy had her surgery. She's adjusted to having only one eye, and she says it's a small price to pay for having her life. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.