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Prostate Cancer Patient Gives Piano Concert

Originally published November 1, 2021

Last updated December 5, 2022

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USC Health Magazine 2021 #1

2022 Issue #1

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Prostate cancer patient Patrick Palomo plays piano

Patrick Palomo, an accomplished jazz pianist, thanked the hospital staff at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital by sharing his lifelong passion.

A handwritten card. A flower arrangement. A box of doughnuts. 

For Patrick Palomo, none of these options seemed like enough to thank the clinicians and staff at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital after his treatment for prostate cancer.

So the celebrated jazz pianist did what he does best. He played a concert at the hospital.

“Even though I have been blessed to record my own music and perform for years, when we put this concert together I didn’t want to give the impression that I’m just trying to show off,” Patrick says. “I wanted to share what I’ve done my whole life with the hospital staff.”

Prostate cancer patient Patrick Palomo plays piano in front of a projected image of himself playing the piano
Patrick Palomo shared his lifelong passion with the USC-VHH team who treated him (Photos by Catherine Pradt)

A musician’s journey to expert prostate cancer care

Patrick grew up in Guam as the son of two educators who shared their love of music with their six children. Patrick found success playing the piano, composing music, recording albums and performing around the U.S. and Asia.

A few years ago, his doctors in Guam found his prostate-specific antigen levels were rising. They began diligently monitoring his health, keeping a close eye on these PSA levels.

At the beginning of 2021, they told him it was time to get treatment.

That’s when he found René Sotelo, MD, a urologic surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC who is an expert in advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgeries.

I just felt that everything that happened to me was such a blessing.

Patrick Palomo, patient, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

After arriving in March for his surgery, Patrick would stay until June to make sure he could be seen at USC-VHH throughout his recovery and cleared to return to Guam.

Once word of his upcoming treatment spread, residents of the U.S. island territory gathered to support Patrick, raising money to help with the costs of his treatment as well as the time he would spend in California.

“I just felt that everything that happened to me was such a blessing,” Patrick says. “It felt like the hand of God was on me while I was taking this journey, from the very start up through the point where everyone I was meeting at Keck Medicine was nothing short of impressive.”

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Melissa Masatani
Melissa Masatani is a former managing editor of USC Health.

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USC Health Magazine 2021 #1

2022 Issue #1

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