Swedish News Blog

World Cancer Day 2015: Not Beyond Us

Damarise Navarro, MPH

Damarise Navarro, MPH
Health Education Specialist, Swedish Cancer Institute

World Cancer Day is an initiative created to give the entire world an opportunity to fight against the cancer epidemic together.

Cancer is the uncontrollable growth and spread of cells.  The cancerous cells originate in one area and have the potential to invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize/spread to other sites through the blood and lymph system. There are different types of cancers such as carcinoma, sarcoma, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and the central nervous system. Avoiding common risk factors such as smoking can help reduce the risk of developing cancer.  Based on the time of diagnosis, cancer may be treated using surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

World Cancer Day occurs the 4th of every February. The primary goal is to significantly reduce the illness and death caused by cancer.  In order to prevent the loss of millions of lives, this initiative aims to raise awareness and education about cancer as well as motivating government entities and individuals to take a stance against the disease.

One patient's story on her experience with art therapy

Jolyn Hull

Jolyn Hull
Health Education Specialist, Swedish Cancer Institute

Art will continue to play an important role in my staying healthy
– Mary Stevens-Zarich, art therapy participant & patient at the Swedish Cancer Institute


The Swedish Cancer Institute offers a variety of Supportive Care Services for patients, families, and caregivers to enhance and individualize your care. We want to meet your needs at every step along the way. One of the many services we offer is art therapy.


Our art therapist, Nicole Stiver, has been with us for 10 years in August. She has been described as sensitive, professional, present, and tactful by her patients and patients use a variety of art methods in her sessions.

Mary says, “For the past two years, a weekly session with Nicole Stiver has been central to my healing emotionally, and by extension, physically, from a difficult treatment and (statistically) grim prognosis. That experience was shattering, but it gave me the opportunity to become stronger and more alive by exploring the places that had limited my life up until then.”

Patients ...

Winter 2015 Classes: Registration Now Open

Jolyn Hull

Jolyn Hull
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. Our wide variety of classes include topics of things like chair yoga, hair alternatives, music therapy and more.

The classes we offer are meant to be interactive, educational, and offer you tools to assist and prepare throughout you or your loved one’s journey. These programs 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.

What's next after breast cancer?

Damarise Navarro, MPH

Damarise Navarro, MPH
Health Education Specialist, Swedish Cancer Institute

The Swedish Cancer Institute offers several groups for patients and their caregivers, one of which being ABC-After Breast Cancer: What’s Next?  The breast cancer survivorship class has positively impacted the lives of many individuals and has shown to be extremely beneficial and of great interest to breast cancer patients.


ABC is a free eight-week supportive educational series for women to learn practical life skills to help rebuild after active breast cancer treatment is completed. During the eight-week program participants have the opportunity to make peace with the impacts of cancer treatment, reduce the stress cancer places on relationships, overcome the fear of recurrence, and renew hope and increase resilience.  Individuals who are preparing to complete or have completed breast cancer treatment are invited to sign up for the class. The program provides a sense of community amongst breast cancer survivors.

Donation provides wigs for Swedish patients with cancer

Shannon Marsh

Shannon Marsh
American Cancer Society Patient Navigator

Earlier this year,  Kerensa Corlett discovered a lump in her breast that turned out to be breast cancer.  She had no family history of breast cancer and was not due for her first mammogram until January 2015, when she turned 40.  Kerensa feels very lucky because she caught it early. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Swedish, but you would never know it because she is always positive and has a smile on her face. When asked, she tells her story in the hopes that she can help save a life, promoting early detection.

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

Patricia L. Dawson
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 ...

Importance of swallow exercises during throat cancer treatment

Namou Kim, MD, FACS

Namou Kim, MD, FACS
Medical Director, Swedish Head & Neck and Reconstructive Surgery

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 ...
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