Back to the Good Life


A world-renowned mule trainer, Flagstaff resident Roddy Lará wasn’t about to let cancer keep him out of the saddle. Fortunately for Lará, the Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare at Flagstaff Medical Center was nearby and ready to help.


When he was initially diagnosed, Lará (pronounced LaRay) sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale; however, he wanted to stay closer to his home and his mules. When he heard about the Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare – only 15 miles from his home – he decided to make an appointment. He met with Andrew David, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the Cancer Center, and was amazed at the treatment options that were available. 

“The Cancer Center had such a homelike atmosphere and the staff was so nice,” Lará said. “I came to know everyone really well, and I love them all. I would much rather be treated by people I know.”


Offering the Latest

In addition to the friendliness of the staff, Lará was impressed by the state-of-the-art treatment options at the Cancer Center. The center is the only one in Northern Arizona that offers intensity modulated radiation therapy and image-guided radiation therapy.These techniques allow physicians to increase the radiation to the tumor with pinpoint accuracy while sparing healthy tissue.

“The doctors at FMC really know their stuff,” Lará said. “I feel confident in them, and that’s half the battle right there.”


Caring for the Whole You

The Cancer Center offers a wide variety of support services to patients, including nutrition counseling, relaxation and art therapy programs, as well as a transportation service for patients who can’t drive themselves to their appointments.

“We provide a number of additional services so that we’re not just treating the disease, we’re treating the whole person,” said Jeff Axtell, director Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare. “We want to help patients cope personally as well as physically as they begin their lifelong cancer journey.”


Back to Life

Cancer has been a journey for Lará. He considers himself lucky to have Dr. David and the staff at the Cancer Center with him on his journey. Today, Lará is cancer-free, but he continues to drive 15 miles to the center for tests each year in case his cancer comes back.

“I’m lucky to be alive, and I owe it all to Flagstaff Medical Center,” Lará said. “I’m really thankful to the medical staff here, and I just can’t say enough good things about them.”