In many cases, people who have had colonoscopy will say that the procedure itself was fine, since it is performed while the patient is under sedation. However, people tend to feel less favorable about the prep involved prior to the procedure. I recently had my first colonoscopy and decided to document my personal experience of the prep process on video to share with others.
This month the FDA approved the use of the PCA3 assay to aid in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. This is good news for patients with an elevated PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test who are concerned about their risk of having prostate cancer. The PCA3 test is used on urine samples from men after a prostate exam has been performed. It measures the number of copies of a prostate cancer related gene, and compares it to the number of copies of the gene for PSA. Studies have shown that the use of this assay can help sort out who is at higher risk for prostate cancer. This can help patients and urologists decide who would likely benefit from a prostate biopsy.
The FDA specifically approved the PCA3 assay for men who ...
November is associated with two significant cancer awareness efforts that have meaning to all of the staff at Swedish Thoracic Surgery.
First, and most important to us, November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Each year for the last 6 years we have suported this important cancer with an event for the public. Lung cancer is the most common cancer and remains the deadliest of all cancers. Yet, is is always shrouded in secrecy because of its association with smoking. But, many of the patients quit smoking some time ago or were never smokers and must still face this deadly disease.
This year, a public event - Shine a Light on Lung Cancer - will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2001 at 5:30 pm at Gilda's Club on 1400 Broadway. Anyone who has been touched by lung cancer is encouraged to attend.
Second, November is also becoming known as Movember. This movement has been to support men's cancer initiatives and prostate cancer with the LIVESTRONG Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation. The men at Swedish Thoracic Surgery have come out in support of both of these important issues and are participating in Movember. As of November 1, 2011 - all of us were clean shaven.
What stage is my cancer, doc?
This is often the first question we get asked when meeting with a patient newly diagnosed with lung cancer. In this blog, I would like to briefly review the notion of lung cancer staging and its implications.
Staging allows us to define the extent of a cancer and determine its best available treatment. It also allows us to statistically estimate the prognosis of the cancer. Finally, adequate staging allows us to group patients with cancers of similar extent across different institutions or even countries and evaluate the efficacy of the treatment strategies and compare with new ones.
Staging can be clinical or pathological. Clinical staging is based on the information we obtain from X-rays and scans as well as from procedures where samples (biopsies) of different tissues are obtained in an effort determine what structures may be involved with the cancer. Pathological staging is only available when the cancer has been removed by surgery: i.e. when the pathologist has measured the size of the tumor, its extent and whether or not any lymph nodes were involved with cancer. One should be aware that pathological and clinical stagings don’t always concord 100%. Sometimes clinical staging under-evaluates how extensive the cancer may be, and at times it over-evaluates it, particularly when clinical staging is based only on X-ray information. This is particularly true with the evaluation of lymph nodes that drain the area where the cancer has come from. The role of your lung cancer surgeon in adequately gathering that information to develop the best treatment plan cannot be emphasized enough.
The system we use to define a stage is called the TNM system.
Robotic surgery - the term implies some futuristic concept, a la the “Jetsons” or Isaac Asimov. As someone who was a science fiction fan growing up, I never thought I’d actually spend every day of my professional life answering this question.
As a gynecologic oncology surgeon, this is a question I now ask myself every time I pick up a patient’s chart. And the answer more times than not is YES! Why?
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our new web site, www.seriouslykickingcancersbutt.com.
Since opening the first cancer-radiation treatment center west of the Mississippi more than 80 years ago, Swedish has helped more people fight cancer than any other provider in the region. Even today, we are committed to ensuring that our local community has access to the most advanced tools and treatments, and the nation's leading experts in cancer care. Click here to learn more about the Swedish Cancer Institute.
Also, read other blog posts by physicians, nurses, and staff from the Swedish Cancer Institute:
Genetic Counseling – what it means for cancer patients and their families
GERD and Esophageal cancer – why you should talk with your physician about GERD
If you were diagnosed with cancer or another disease, wouldn’t you want your treatment and medicines to be as unique as you are?
This is a growing trend in medicine where the type of treatment a patient gets depends on their DNA.
The usual treatment for breast cancer may be surgery, followed by chemotherapy, possibly radiation and as a last resort, a clinical trial.
The I-SPY clinical trial turns that thinking upside down by actually extracting DNA from a tumor to figure out which new drug will likely work best, then giving it to the patient first, even before surgery.
"The goal of the I-SPY trial is really to develop a faster and cheaper way to develop new drugs for breast cancer . We're hoping that this is a new paradigm that will work for other kinds of cancer too," said Dr. Kaplan.