Banner oncologist offers hope to 72-year-old battling cancer


While most skin cancers are diagnosed because of a visible skin lesion, for E. Blake Hastings, now 72, it was a case of pneumonia that resulted in a shocking diagnosis of stage IV melanoma in late 2018. A biopsy revealed a cancerous tumor located between his lungs, too close to his heart to be removed surgically.

Blake’s pulmonologist and cardiologist both independently recommended he see Dr. David Paul, hematologist/oncologist and Physician Executive for the newly opened Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center on the campus of Banner - University Medical Center in downtown Phoenix.

Filled with trepidation, Blake says Dr. Paul immediately put his fears to rest. “I had my wife and my daughter with me at that first visit, and I was expecting to discuss chemo, I expected to have to stop working, I was ready to be bombarded,” Blake recalls. “But Dr. Paul had such a calm demeanor about him. He said to me, ‘you have cancer, we can deal with it.’ My daughter started crying and Dr. Paul said, ‘we have a leaker in the group!’ It broke the ice and allowed us all to laugh.”

Dr. Paul then embraced the family in a group hug, Blake remembers, adding that, “in all my life, no doctor has ever done something like that for me and my family.” He says “Dr. Paul is the kindest physician in a very difficult profession. I’ve never met a doctor like him. It was fate that I got a doctor like this. God was watching over me.”

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
on the campus of Banner - University
Medical Center in downtown Phoenix.

After a year of treatment with the immunotherapy drug Keytruda, Blake’s cancer is now in remission—and he feels deep gratitude and affection for Dr. Paul and everyone on his team at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Would you consider supporting this level of compassionate, expert cancer care with a gift that helps us treat cancer using the latest discoveries and technology, conduct groundbreaking research, and support families on the cancer journey?

With your support, we can continue Banner MD Anderson’s promise to Make Cancer History, giving more patients like Blake hope for the future.

Banner-heart_white  GIVE TO CANCER PROGRAMS