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'cancer' posts

Using a Gene Test to Assess Recurrence Risk for Women with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

Participants at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference were recently updated on the status of OncotypeDx for DCIS. 

Providers at the Swedish Cancer Institute have been using  this technology since it became available about 4 years ago. The test is done on the tissue after surgery to see if it might be safe to not add radiation therapy to lumpectomy / partial mastectomy for carefully selected DCIS patients.

There is now data on ...

New tool to help understand Tobacco Related Diseases

Tobacco and tobacco smoke affect our bodies from head to toe in complex ways. These affects can result in the development of diseases or conditions that are then considered to be tobacco-related diseases. In order to simplify the idea of tobacco related diseases, we have created a tool to help you understand where and how different diseases and conditions may present themselves throughout your body due to tobacco use. The tool will show male-specific, female-specific and gender-neutral consequences associated with tobacco use.

Importance of swallow exercises during throat cancer treatment

In the past decade, there has been a significant increase of “throat” cancers (tonsil and base of tongue squamous cell carcinoma) in younger patients, especially in non-smoking, Caucasian males. This type of cancer is caused by the high-risk HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and tends to have a better cancer survival than conventional tobacco-related throat cancers. This improved survival is aided by precision targeted radiation and transoral robotic surgery (DaVinci Robotic System). However, some of the side effects of these treatments can cause ...

Give Back with the 2014 Holiday Drive for Thrive

If you’re looking for a way to give back this holiday season, the Holiday Drive for Thrive is in full swing! Thrive Through Cancer is a group dedicated to helping young adults who were newly diagnosed with cancer. Thrive offers many great resources to young adults, but is well known for their Hope Totes. Hope Totes are filled with comforting and encouraging items and are given to young adults that were newly diagnosed with cancer. Join us in the distribution of hope and joy by participating in this year’s Holiday Drive for Thrive.

There are a few ways to get involved including ..

Swedish Lung Screening Program Meets and Exceeds the Standard of Care

Lung cancer screening is conducted by low dose CT scan and now widely accepted as a standard of care for those who are at high risk for lung cancer.  A low dose CT (LDCT) scan is about 8 times less the radiation exposure than a standard diagnostic CT scan and very sensitive to picking up something as small as a grain of rice in the lungs including an early stage lung cancer; this is when you want to pick up a lung cancer.  In fact, this sensitivity means there is a 24%-30% chance there will be abnormal findings on CT scan but largely, these findings will not be cancer or ever pose a problem.

This is an exciting and pivotal time for those at risk for lung cancer and those caring for patients on the front lines of healthcare.  This recent recommendation and understanding that LDCT screening in high-risk people saves lives and also means ...

Subtle, early symptoms of head & neck cancer

Patients often ask me how long they have had the cancers that they are consulting me for. This question is not intended to shift any responsibility nor accountability, but patients are genuinely trying to understand what they could have done differently. Although the treatment course would not have changed regardless, there were probably some early subtle symptoms that patients might have ignored:

Rising Colorectal Cancer Rates in Young Adults

Most people know that colorectal screening is on the “to do” list when they reach 50 years of age, barring any high risk concern for where screening would begin earlier.  Screening saves lives and prevents many colon cancers.  With the increase in public awareness and availability of colonoscopy screening, the rates of colon and rectal cancers have been declining and survival rates increasing for people between the ages of 50 and 74. This is great news for our mature population, but a recent study indicates a concerning trend of increased risk of colorectal cancer in young people, ranging from ages 20 to 34 and 35-49 year olds. 

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