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Healthy diet helps chef recover from rare cancer
by Staff Reports
September 11, 2013 04:24 PM | 2480 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Beard Foundation Award finalist and Miller Union Executive Chef Steven Satterfield was running a successful restaurant in west Midtown and preparing for the Charleston Food + Wine Festival when he was suddenly faced with Stage III testicular cancer and underwent treatment at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital in Buckhead, the hospital announced Aug. 27 in a news release.

A suspicious lump had led Satterfield to visit his Emory Midtown primary care physician, Jeffrey Rollins, M.D. Knowing he was out of the typical age range of 18 to 35 for testicular cancer, the 42-year-old wasn’t too worried at first.

“I thought it was a cyst,” said Satterfield. “But my primary care doctor was concerned and referred me to Dr. Gilbert Foster, a urologist at Piedmont West who was sure it was a malignant tumor.”

At the end of February 2012, Satterfield underwent surgery to remove the tumor and began chemotherapy to destroy the cancer that had already reached his lungs.

“Although Steven was out of the typical age range of those at risk for testicular cancer, there is a lesser known group of men age 40 to 45 that are at risk,” said Vasily Assikis, M.D., Satterfield’s oncologist at Piedmont. “Luckily, testicular cancer responds well to treatment even when it spreads elsewhere in the body.”

Satterfield, however, said the diagnosis was a complete shock.

“At first, I couldn’t wrap my head around what would happen to me,” he said. “In the restaurant business, we’re used to reacting to situations that come up and we buckle down to make it happen. So, that’s what we did.”

Satterfield turned to Cancer Wellness at Piedmont — which offers free services and programs such as yoga, cooking demos and counseling to anyone affected by cancer — for acupuncture therapy to help with nausea and digestion and to consult with a dietitian. As a chef who has spent his career dedicated to preparing locally grown foods, Satterfield received high remarks for his diet.

Now 43, Satterfield has been cancer-free for one year. He is working on a cookbook and has teamed up with Cancer Wellness at Piedmont to present his own cooking demonstrations, where he shares his expertise on the benefits of eating local and the link between nutrition and good health.

“I think all the fresh foods I eat helped me bounce back faster,” said Satterfield, who went back to work a week after finishing chemotherapy. “I want people to understand that nutrition and flavor don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and the benefits of combining the two can really make a difference in your overall health.”


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