Breast cancer surgeon, 55, dies just one month after being diagnosed w/ Pancreatic Cancer

A sad, unfortunate example of how deadly pancreatic cancer truly is:

Leading breast cancer surgeon, 55, dies just a month after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer


Tributes have poured in for one of North Carolina’s leading breast cancer surgeons who passed away from cancer at the weekend – just 33 days after she was diagnosed.

Dr. Teresa Flippo-Morton, 55, succumbed to the disease on Sunday, little over a month since she learned she had pancreatic cancer that had spread to her liver.

Former colleagues and patients – some of whom credit her with saving their lives – have paid tribute to the skilled surgeon and married mother on a Caring Bridge page she set up after her diagnosis.

She treated an estimated 2,300 women with breast cancer after completing her training in 1991, Dr. Richard White, a friend and colleague at the Levine Cancer Institute, told the Charlotte Observer.

‘This is a massive loss for our community,’ he told the newspaper. ‘She was loved by her patients. She was loved by her peers. She was loved by her students.’

The West Virginia-native, who worked at the Levine Cancer Institute, started feeling abdominal and back pain at the end of April and a scan revealed a mass on her pancreas on May 5. Further tests showed that it had spread to her liver.

She took a previously planned trip to the United Kingdom before she returned and started chemotherapy on May 21.

Following the diagnosis, she set up a Caring Bridge page to keep loved ones updated with her treatment. The page has now been visited nearly 20,000 times.

She thanked her family and friends for her support as she started her treatment.

‘I am completely moved by the cards,letters, texts, emails, and posts to this site!’ she wrote from hospital on May 20. ‘I felt immediately the warm all-encompassing love and support from everyone.’

Others took to the page to express their thanks to her.

‘You have touched the lives of so many people in so many ways as you learned and then practiced your calling,’ wrote Lee Ann McGinnis on May 31. ‘Your openness and honesty this past month is a reflection of the integrity with which you have always lived your life. You are a blessing to us.’

Another added: ‘You are the most compassionate and gracious doctor that I have ever met. You have truly touched so many lives for the better, as you have touched mine.’

On May 24, Dr. Patrick Connor, a fellow surgeon who first met Flippo 25 years ago while he was on his residency, expressed his shock and sadness at her diagnosis.

‘It is so difficult to get one’s arms around how someone so kind, caring and smart who has spent her entire professional life dedicated to the treatment and care of patients with cancer is now fighting the battle from a different perspective,’ he wrote.

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