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'cancer' posts

Health Disparities and Breast Cancer

Just as all breast cancers are not alike, the impact of breast cancer is not the same for all women. African American women are less likely to get breast cancer than Caucasian women, but they are about 40% more likely to die of it when they do get it. African American women are also more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age than Caucasian women and to have more advanced cancers at diagnosis.

There appear to be multiple reasons for these disparities - including cultural beliefs / misperceptions about screening and cancer; lack of access to screening; inequities in healthcare delivery and treatment; concerns about being exposed to racism by healthcare institutions; and biological differences in the cancers themselves.

Let’s look at some of these more closely.

  • Cultural beliefs / misperceptions about ....

Help! My lung cancer is progressing after a great response on targeted therapy. Now what?

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Is there a role for post-operative chemotherapy in early stage lung cancer?

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Is there an age cap for chemotherapy?

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Redefining Cancer: New Targets and New Treatments

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Woman Donates Bells to Swedish Cancer Institute on the Issaquah Campus for Patients to Ring in Celebration of Treatment Milestones

ISSAQUAH, Nov. 1, 2012 - A Snoqualmie-area resident treated for her cancer at Swedish/ssaquah recently donated two large, wall-mounted bells to the Cancer Institute at that campus. Cancer patients who reach treatment milestones and/or finish their treatment can ring them as a way to signal and celebrate the momentous occassions. 

Are you or someone you know at risk for lung cancer and should you be screened?

As lung cancer awareness month approaches us in November, we think about what lung cancer risk means to ourselves, friends, family members, and our patients. Many don’t know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., far surpassing the rates of other cancers like breast, colon, and prostate.

What’s the risk of getting lung cancer?

The health risks from cigarette smoking are considerable and pose the largest risk for lung cancer; more than any other risk factors combined. Men who smoke are at 23 x the increased risk and women at 16 x the risk for lung cancer. This lung cancer risk is directly correlated with the concentration of (numbers of cigarettes smoked each day) X (number of years smoked).

Fortunately, the number of those who have quit smoking is growing, but sadly, more than half of all newly diagnosed lung cancers today are occurring in former smokers or non-smokers. People who have quit smoking remain at continued risk for lung cancer and there is also concern about lung cancer in second-hand smoke exposure.

The positive news on lung cancer is that two large multicenter research trials have been conducted in the past 12 years. The Swedish Cancer Institute was a major study site for one of these trials in association with Seattle Radiology. These trials have very clearly and consistently shown significant benefit in the early detection of lung cancer with low dose CT scan, reducing lung cancer mortality by 20%.

Who should be screened and how?

Understanding who is at risk for lung cancer is helpful but identifying...

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