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Austin Peay radiation therapy graduate publishes case study in national journal

Annette Garcia

(Posted on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022)

Annette Garcia

A recent graduate of the radiation therapy program at Austin Peay State University is celebrating the publication of her paper in Radiation Therapy: Journal of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists.

For Annette D. Garcia – who graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology from the Department of Allied Health Sciences – the publication represents the passion and hard work she has put into her career.

“As a student, I overcame a lot of obstacles – being a mom of five children, working part-time and being a student full time,” she said. “I worked on believing in myself and being a role model to my children. Being able to publish my case study meant a lot to me because this study not only expresses my passion for caring for cancer patients but also shows all the hard work that I put in to get to where I am today.”

Garcia’s paper was a case study of a 60-year-old woman who received a diagnosis of Hailey-Hailey disease, which is an acantholytic skin disorder. The woman underwent a trial of electron beam radiation therapy to treat her lesions.

The therapy eliminated existing and subsequent lesions, allowing the woman to remain in remission for 30 months at the time of the paper, Garcia noted in the article, concluding that electron beam radiation therapy could be an effective treatment for the disease.

The journal promoted the case study on the front page of its Fall 2022 edition.

“Although the patient received multiple treatments for six years, she was grateful for the quick recovery and impressive healing after (the therapy),” Garcia writes in the article. “She reported an ability to live more comfortably. The erythema and itching resolved, as well as her moderate pain.”

‘Believe in yourself’

Garcia credits her professors at Austin Peay with much of her success.

“All the professors that I had in my four years at Austin Peay played a huge role in my success,” she said. “The amount of help I received as student would never go unnoticed. Every professor had an open-door policy, and I was able to ask for help anytime I was struggling with any of the curriculum.”

Garcia named several professors who helped:

Roehm, allied health sciences, and Cather, mathematics, are adjunct faculty at Austin Peay. Lebkuecher is a professor in allied health sciences. And Catalano was an assistant professor in allied health sciences before starting at Duke University in May.

In a 2019 student spotlight, Garcia said she came to Austin Peay after two of her sisters-in-law were diagnosed with cancer and she developed an appreciation for radiation therapy. Before that, she worked as a certified nursing assistant and medical assistant for over 15 years.

Garcia works in a pro re nata (PRN) position as a therapist at the EC cancer center in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and in a PRN position at Murray-Calloway County Hospital Regional Cancer Center in Murray, Kentucky.

“I want to thank my husband,” she said. “If it weren’t for him and all his motivation, I couldn’t have managed all I had on my plate at the time.

“To all reading this who has any doubt,” Garcia said. “You can do anything you put your mind to. Believe in yourself. If I can do it, you can do anything.”


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