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Million-Dollar Lottery Winner Dies Of Stage IV Cancer Weeks After Jackpot

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Riding with Angels

Queens native Donald Savastano passed away at the age of 51 just weeks after winning $1 million in a scratch-off lottery. He was diagnosed with cancer shortly after winning the jackpot prize.

Merry Millionaire Scratch-Off

Donald Savastano, a self-employed 51-year-old had been saving enough money to get his bad back checked when he won the $ 1 million jackpot prize of the Merry Millionaire scratch-off lottery. Finally with enough money to go to the doctor, Savastano went in for the long overdue checkup.

Although he did not have any other symptoms or pain, Savastano was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, and was given just a few more weeks to live. According to his mother, Annette Savastano, the diagnosis was just too late, and that he was very sick. Just weeks after winning the lottery, Donald Savastano succumbed to the cancer and passed away.

'The Right Way To Do Things'

Savastano's loved ones remembered his life in an obituary where they honored the simple life that he led. He was born in Queens, grew up in Long Island, and learned to be a carpenter from his father. Although he had experience working for commercial companies, Savastano eventually became a self-employed carpenter who was known for his perfectionism, high-quality work, and his eagerness to teach anyone he could "the right way to do things."

He is survived by his mother, four brothers, girlfriend of over a decade and her two sons.

Stage IV Cancer

To determine the stage of the cancer, doctors often refer to the American Joint Committee on Cancer's TNM system, which stands for Tumor, Nodes, and Metastasis. Basically, they need to know how large the primary tumor is as well as its location, if the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes and how many, and lastly, if the cancer has already spread to other parts and if so, how much.

When a cancer is categorized as a stage IV cancer, it often describes a cancer which has already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body. As such, it is also called metastatic or advanced cancer. However, though most cancers can be categorized in four stages, some cancer types, such as nervous system, childhood, and blood cancers are often not categorized in the same way.

Cancer staging is useful in determining the treatment plan for a patient and predicting recovery chances, and may even be used to compare and contrast with populations with the same diagnosis to find a new, and perhaps more effective cancer treatment.

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