When a husband and wife go through cancer together, they have each other to lean on, as well as radiation oncologist Dr. Sheila Rege with Northwest Cancer Clinic in Kennewick, WA. In the video below, Mr. and Mrs. Farris discuss their cancer treatment together on local news station KNDO-TV.
Northwest Cancer Clinic in Kennewick recently added a device called Optune to help fight brain cancers. Dr. Sheila Rege was interviewed by the Tri-Cities Journal of Business explaining the benefits of the device in the story below.
by Audra Distifeno
The Northwest Cancer Clinic in Kennewick is giving patients with glioblastoma brain cancers a new tool to battle invasive cancer cells — a device called Optune.
Northwest Cancer Clinic in Kennewick is affiliated with 21st Century Oncology, a national provider of integrated cancer care services. It was one of the first medical practices nationally to provide Optune.
“If you have a new weapon to fight the brain tumor – even if you’re prolonging survival – it’s a huge benefit because, like I tell my patients, then there may be something else that can help later,” said Dr. Sheila Rege, M.D., who has been an oncologist in the Tri-Cities for 18 years. “It’s been several years since we’ve seen something that can control glioblastoma. That’s why there’s so much excitement.”
St. Teresa Comprehensive Cancer Center in Stockton recently expanded its technology, adding Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) to its arsenal of cancer treatment options.
Dr. Dan Vongtama talked with local CBS affiliate KOVR regarding the benefits of this new technology. View the video below.
Dr. Mark Bloomston, surgical oncologist with 21st Century Oncology, was raised in Fort Myers, FL but left for Ohio to begin his clinical career. He returned home in 2015, just in time to help a pancreatic cancer patient in dire need of his expertise. Below is the story that appeared in the Fort Myers News-Press.
By Craig Handel
What is a pancreas, anyhow? I mean, I don’t know what the damn thing does for you, besides give you cancer.”
Tommy Lee Jones’ character of William ‘Hawk’ Hawkins in the film ‘Space Cowboys’
Never “in a million years” did Dr. Mark Bloomston think he’d return to Fort Myers as a surgical oncologist.
A call from a childhood friend piqued his interest. A Little League organizer with a memory for names reminded Bloomston that even though the area has evolved, the core of this community has remained the same. And he was needed.
So Bloomston came home again. He even lives in the same neighborhood he grew up in.
And Haley Sams-Casey couldn’t be more appreciative.
The persistent 41-year-old nurse was told surgery couldn’t be done for a tumor in her pancreas. She was given six months to live.
Three months ago, Bloomston removed the 3- by 5-centimeter tumor from her pancreas.
The life-saving surgery is becoming routine for Bloomston: It’s a procedure he has done more than 300 times before.
Patients and media have praised Bloomston. US News and World Report has rated him one of the top doctors in the nation, while his patients rank him in the top 10 percent in satisfaction.
He also has written 150 scientific articles and is on cancer committees.
“Between Lee and Collier County there are general surgeons but I don’t believe there is a surgical oncologist with his specialty in pancreatic cancer,” said Michele Moon Schumann, Bloomston’s childhood friend who sent him an e-mail asking if he’d be interested in coming back home. She’s now vice president of strategy and innovation for 21st Century Oncology.
“People who have that cancer either wouldn’t have it operated on or would have to go somewhere else.
“I’m glad he’s back.”
Dr. Brian Lawenda, radiation oncologist in Las Vegas, knows all too well that lung cancer can be difficult to spot early because of lack of symptoms. In the story below, he speaks with the Las Vegas Review-Journal on how to identify common symptoms and explains it’s always important to talk to your doctor.
By Linda J. Simpson
Lung cancer is a great pretender. It can hide quietly for years behind symptoms that are easily mistaken for minor ailments or exhibit no symptoms at all. By the time the majority of people go to the doctor with complaints, lung cancer has already progressed into the advanced stages of the disease, which decreases their chances of survival.
“I think it’s important that patients should be explaining to their doctors any new symptoms that they have,” said Brian Lawenda, board certified radiation oncologist and clinical director of 21st Century Oncology. “Either new shortness of breath — new cough, new sputum that has blood in it, for example — any of those symptoms or weight loss that’s unexplained are things that should definitely be brought up with their primary care doctor,” he said.
Lawenda estimates in his practice that only 10 percent of the lung cancer patients are diagnosed in the earliest stage of the disease. Oftentimes the cancer is found by accident while being tested for other medical conditions such as a blocked artery.
“Lung cancers, like many other cancers, take many years if not decades to develop and so you could have a small nodule that could be sitting in the lungs for many years without any symptoms going on until at some point when the tumor gets large enough to finally cause symptoms. That’s not uncommon,” Lawenda said.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the U.S. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.
Male breast cancer is an uncommon disease, but men deserve the same heightened awareness that women receive during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In the video below, Dr. Brian Lawenda and his patient discuss the challenges and treatment options for male breast cancer with 8 News Now reporter Paula Francis.
Dr. Brian Lawenda, board certified radiation oncologist and integrative oncologist, discusses the importance of exercising and eating healthy while undergoing cancer treatment.
Diet, exercise can increase odds of beating cancer
It may seem to be cliche, but that apple does apparently keep the doctor away, particularly if you are eating that apple while taking a brisk walk.
Diet and exercise before and after a cancer diagnosis can significantly increase your odds of beating the disease, said Michael Anderson, a board-certified radiologist with Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada.
“Diet and exercise is a very important part to cancer treatment for a lot of reasons,” he said. “You can recover faster from the side effects of radiation for one, and some recent studies have linked cancer to obesity and poor diet as a reason for the recurrence rate of breast cancer.”
Being in good physical and mental shape is better for a patient’s overall well-being and their ability to handle treatments.
“We feel it will be better to tolerate the treatment if they exercise,” he said. “A lot of women who do yoga will do better with radiation both physically and mentally than those who do something else, such as aerobics or nothing at all.”
The U.S. National Cancer Institute, American Institute of Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society each recommend that cancer patients and survivors get a good amount of exercise while maintaining a healthy diet of natural, not processed, foods.
“Exercise helps cope with stress, fatigue and numerous other side effects and symptoms commonly experienced by our patients during and after cancer treatment,” said Brian Lawenda, a radiation oncologist with 21st Century Oncology.
Dr. Constantine Mantz, board certified radiation oncologist and chief medical officer with 21st Century Oncology, was featured in the Fort Myers News-Press discussing how patients on tamoxifen can stay comfortable dealing with the heat.
In the story below, he explains ways to cope.
Helping breast cancer patients cope
By: Theresa George
For women who have undergone breast cancer treatment coping with the Florida heat can be a challenge.
According to Dr. Constantine Mantz, a radiation oncologist for 21st Century Oncology, this can be due to the medication Tamoxifen that blocks estrogen from binding to breast cancer cells and stops the growth of breast tumors.
“Tamoxifen is prescribed for women with breast cancers that have been tested positive for sensitivity to estrogen and is used to help prevent recurrence for curative cases and to slow down progression of breast cancer that has already spread,” Mantz said.