Behind the Breakthroughs
The Your Stories Podcast

Hear candid conversations between people conquering cancer — patients, their family and friends, and doctors and researchers working to help us all.

Katie Coleman
Behind the Breakthroughs
From Shocked to Survivor
Being diagnosed with any kind of cancer is difficult enough. But what happens when you’re diagnosed with a type of cancer so rare that the number of recorded cases can be counted on two hands? And what if your doctor tells you the disease has spread to other parts of your body? Katie Coleman knows the answer firsthand. At 29, she was diagnosed with metastatic oncocytoma. Although oncocytomas have generally been studied, the metastatic form of the disease has received very little attention in cancer research because of its rarity.

Katie had to quickly learn the most effective ways for gathering information about this rare disease and the best approaches for navigating her cancer care. With enough persistence, Katie found Dr. Pavlos Msaouel, a three-time Conquer Cancer grant and award recipient who specializes in rare kidney cancers. Together, they took a collaborative approach to her care.

Today, Katie is a survivor and an active advocate who’s committed to helping patients to better navigate the numerous stressors that come with cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Your Stories
A Collaborative Approach to an Uncommon Cancer

Shock. Fear. Uncertainty. Isolation. These are just a few of the many emotions that patients may feel upon receiving any cancer diagnosis, let alone an ultra-rare form of the disease. Katie Coleman is no stranger to this experience or any of the feelings attached to it. At 29, she was diagnosed with metastatic oncocytoma, an extremely rare kidney tumor. With little information available online or in libraries, Katie took it upon herself to track down the knowledge she needed to effectively navigate cancer treatment and care.

In this episode of Your Stories, Katie speaks with podcast host and fellow survivor Brenda Brody about her journey from diagnosis to survivorship, including how she found support and guidance. She also discusses what the search for rare disease information taught her and the importance of supporting cancer research for every type of cancer.

To learn more about Katie's story, you can check out her social media platforms: @KatieKicksCancer (Instagram and TikTok) and @kaydaustin (Twitter/X)

I recognized how important research is and how much of an impact people can make for these rare cancers. That's something that I didn't necessarily realize before I was diagnosed, what a small group of people it can take to move these things forward, especially with rare cancers.
Katie Coleman