Spring 2015 Classes: Registration Now Open

Damarise Navarro, MPH

Damarise Navarro, MPH
Health Education Specialist, Swedish Cancer Institute

The Swedish Cancer Institute Cancer Education Center offers educational classes that are open to patients, caregivers, family and friends. Topics include gentle yoga, hair alternatives, music therapy, tai chi and more.

These classes are meant to be interactive, educational and offer you tools to assist and prepare you throughout your or your loved one’s journey. They may also help you, your family, friends and caregivers in making treatment decisions, managing your symptoms and accessing complementary programs to help your mind, body and spirit to heal.

Thyroid Nodules: Deciding when to observe and when to intervene

Joseph C. Sniezek

The majority of thyroid nodules are benign (non-cancerous) and if they aren’t causing symptoms, such as pressure or swallowing difficulties, they can be left alone and monitored on a regular basis by ultrasound examinations. However, thyroid nodules can convert from a benign to a malignant state. If a patient elects observation of his/her thyroid nodule, a repeat follow-up and ultrasound examination should be performed. Six to 12 months is generally accepted as a reasonable period of time before repeating physical and ultrasound examinations. An ultrasound-guided biopsy, known as a fine needle aspiration (FNA) should be repeated if the nodule grows in size or any new concerning features appear in the ultrasound imaging. This biopsy is done with local anesthetic (similar to dental procedures). In our clinic, we eliminate the need for multiple visits by performing the biopsy during the same office visit as the ultrasound examination whenever necessary. We also understand how unnerving it can be to wait for test results to be available. We have our pathologist examine the biopsy sample while the patient waits so we can provide the results during the same visit. This reduces stress and the inconvenience of multiple appointments.

Country Music Artist Clay Walker Visits the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

Mallory Higgins

Mallory Higgins
Education Coordinator and Marketing Specialist, Swedish MS Center

Country music artist, Clay Walker, visited the Swedish MS Center last Tuesday, touring the clinic with medical director, James Bowen. Having been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS 19 years ago, Clay was interested in learning more about comprehensive care for MS. After researching MS Centers around the country, Clay decided to visit a handful of centers that offer the best comprehensive programs.

Walker believes an emphasis on non-medical aspects of the disease could benefit patients. He was particularly interested in learning about the MS Center’s physical rehabilitation program and wellness offerings including, gym access with specialized equipment for MS patients, exercise training, Pilates, and Yoga. Walker was also eager to learn about the MS Center’s emotional wellness offerings including psychology, psychiatry, support groups, music and pet therapy, and the annual art show. Other areas covered during his tour were elements of community wellness including social work, vocational counseling, workshops on stress management, and social events such as the MS Center summer BBQ and winter seasonal celebration. These programs assist with keeping individuals with MS involved in the broader community.

The country star’s visit happened to coincide with one of the MS Center’s regularly scheduled music therapy sessions.

Spring allergies strike early

Kevin Dooms, MD

Kevin Dooms, MD

Is your house filled with people sneezing, sniffling or rubbing their red, watery eyes? If so, you or a family member may have “hay fever,” also known as “allergic rhinitis” or “allergic conjunctivitis.”  With the unseasonably warm weather, the spring pollen season has arrived especially early this year.

Taking tobacco head on at Washington's capitol

Joelle Thirsk Fathi, DNP
On Wednesday, February 11, nearly 100 cancer patients, survivors and caregivers from across the state traveled to the state Capitol in Olympia for the annual American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Day. This year’s event was dedicated to meeting with Washington’s lawmakers about the need to restore funding for the state’s tobacco use prevention and education program. Advocates also voiced their opposition to an effort that would amend our state’s strong, comprehensive smoke-free law to allow the smoke back inside at cigar lounges and tobacconist shops across our state.

Senator Andy Hill with Joelle Fathi and District 36 Constituents

In Washington, 38,180 people are diagnosed with cancer every year and each year, 12,700 ...

Digestive Health Network Nurse Navigator receives 2015 DAISY Award

Amir L Bastawrous

We could not be more fortunate than to have Deb Cadiente, RN, as our Nurse Navigator. Not only does she bring 40 years of nursing to our Digestive Health Network, she is truly one of the most extraordinary caring people my staff has ever worked with.

There are many patient testimonials I could provide about Deb's work, but there is one that stands out. We recently had a young adult patient in our Colon & Rectal Clinic. He had many chronic illnesses due to a rough family life and being homeless. Deb could tell this patient was cold and malnourished. She asked the patient to come back the next day and she would have a warm blanket and several other items for him. That afternoon, Deb made several phone calls to find him shelter and get him enrolled in a job-training program. With Deb’s own generosity and hard work, she was able to rally many of the Colon & Rectal Clinic staff to help this young man. He went home with shelter, a blanket, clothing, gift cards and several other needed items. He is now also on the list for the Goodwill job-training program. Because of these acts of kindness, my staff, Reanna and Donna, nominated Deb to the DAISY Foundation for an award in Extraordinary Nursing.


HPV vaccination and risk of MS

Pavle Repovic, MD, PhD
As long as the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) remains unknown, it will be tempting – for patients and doctors alike – to search for an explanation among events that occurred before the diagnosis. This approach, known from antiquity as post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after the fact, therefore because of the fact), though sometimes successful, can also be misleading. History of science in general, and multiple sclerosis in particular, is rife with such fallacies. It is important to remember then, that this approach is best thought of as “brainstorming”, generating potential leads, but (almost) never the definitive proof.
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