On February 27, 2002, CBS National News (The Early Show with Bryant Gumbel and Jane Clayson) showed a report on Cushing’s disease highlighting Dr. Friedman and his patient, Camille, a news reporter from Phoenix. You can see the show on Dr. Friedman’s web site, goodhormonehealth.com, on the left side of the first page. Ten years later, on December 9, 2012, Camille and David tied the knot aboard a ship at sea. Dr. Friedman was the guest of honor at the wedding.
Camille’s story begins in 1998 when she noticed her jeans didn’t fit anymore. As a news reporter, Camille started investigating her condition on the Internet and thought her condition could be Cushing’s syndrome, an idea that her doctors in Phoenix dismissed. In 1999, Camille sought out Dr. Friedman, who suspected Cushing’s syndrome, but her initial tests and pituitary MRI were normal. Camille then went to the NIH who ruled out Cushing’s syndrome. However, Dr. Friedman was persistent and continued to test her. Eventually, her urine 17-hydroxysteroids, a test of cortisol metabolites, became positive and a hint of a tumor was seen on her pituitary MRI. By 2002, Dr. Friedman felt convinced she had Cushing’s disease and recommended pituitary surgery with Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., a skull base surgeon in Los Angeles. A tumor was found and Camille improved, but didn’t return to normal. Dr. Friedman continued to follow her, but again, her cortisol tests were normal. Camille’s condition persisted and by 2007 she was found to have elevated urine 17-hydroxysteroids, but no tumor was seen on MRI. Dr. Friedman referred her back to Dr. Shahinian who did not find a tumor, but scrapped out some cells at the edge of her prior surgery. Following this second surgery, Camille was cured with low post-operative cortisol values. She has lost over 100 pounds, her thinking has dramatically improved and she has much more energy.
This story has a happy ending. In 2011, Camille met the man of her dreams, David, and they were married a year later. Dr. Friedman says “Seeing Camille at her wedding makes it all worthwhile”.