Well-known sports personality Les Shapiro credits our Dr. Dave Opperman for saving his life!
Updated: Dec 26, 2018
Lung cancer is no little thing. And Les Shapiro's story could have taken an even more tragic turn if it weren't for our Dr. Opperman!
Les Shapiro is a major Denver media figure, and many of us have tuned in to his voice fro decades to learn what's going on at CBS4, ESPN Radio Denver and his current gigs at Mile High Sports Radio and Fox31. He covers The Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, and Denver Nuggets among other sports teams and events.
And lately? He says, ""I started losing my voice. It was getting really raspy, and that concerned me even more, because talking is my business."
"I had a debilitating cough. I was having trouble speaking at length and would start coughing — and of course, that doesn't make great radio. It was easier for my show on Fox31 because once the red light came on the camera, I was able to suppress the cough. But during the commercial breaks over the first few months, I was hacking my head off."
Obviously, that won't do for a professional who relies on his voice. Shapiro made an appointment here at Colorado Voice Clinic with his ENT, Dr. David Opperman.
"He did a laryngoscopy — put a camera down my throat — and found a paralyzed vocal cord," says Shapiro. "He seemed curious about it, and to make sure it wasn't anything more than that, he sent me to get an ultra-sound — and they found cancer in my neck. It wasn't a tumor, but a bunch of rogue lymph nodes. When I went for a full body scan, they found it in my chest and determined that I had stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to my neck."
Fortunately, stage 4 cancer is not the "death sentence" it once seemed to be. Dr. Opperman referred Shapiro to an oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and for several months, with an assist from an oncologist based at Denver's Porter Adventist Hospital, Shapiro has been on medication and seeing improvement.