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Massillon resident is focus of Summa commercials, shares rare muscle cancer story

Date: 07.22.2011
Contact: Erica Rosenthal Phone: (330) 375-3052

Contact: Erica Rosenthal, Phone: (330) 375-3052, Email:

AKRON, Ohio, July 22, 2011– What if you almost lost one of your hands, making it challenging to perform daily tasks and do what you love in life?

Dale Kurzen, a Massillon resident, had to ask himself that very same question in 2006 when he was diagnosed with a rare type of muscle cancer called soft tissue sarcoma. This type of cancer accounts for less than 1 percent of cancer diagnoses in the United States, or approximately 2,300 new cases per year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Dale’s recovery was so impressive that he was selected to be featured in one of Summa Health System’s oncology commercials this year. The spots will run on local cable television channels.

Dale has been a motorcycle fanatic since he was 14 years old and a family man, traveler, farmer, Navy Seabee and Vietman veteran. When he found a lump on his arm that did not subside, he anxiously knew he had to seek help before it was too late.
Dale’s physician referred him to Scott Weiner, M.D., a specialist in orthopaedic oncology and chair of Summa’s Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Weiner is one of seven orthopedic oncology specialists in Ohio.

Dale underwent surgery with Dr. Weiner in October 2006 after 25 radiation therapy sessions. He then worked with Nina Njus, M.D. from Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center who specializes in surgery of the hand and upper extremities to help restore functionality in his right hand in 2007.

Since both surgeries, treatment and physical therapy, Dale went from having no movement or control in his right hand and wrist to almost full strength and functionality. He is cancer-free today and is back to repairing and riding the motorcycles he loves.
“I like bringing an old engine back to life,” Dale said. “Just like Summa did with my arm. They took that cancer out of there, and they brought me back to life.”

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at and Twitter at