Swedish News Blog

No Increase In Cardiac Mortality from Breast Radiotherapy

Vivek K. Mehta, MD
Patients that I see routinely ask me about the heart related side effects from breast treatment.

Today, I can provide them with even greater evidence that the techniques that we use today are safer and have less risk of cardiac injury.  According to a study published in the October 1, 2014 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (Red Journal), the official scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the survival from breast cancer is the same regardless of whether you were treated with radiation to your left or right breast mound.   

Many studies over many decades have shown that breast cancer patients treated with radiation therapy have improved local-regional recurrence, and breast cancer-specific survival after breast-conserving surgery and overall survival (OS) after mastectomy. The media has focused its attention on long-term follow-up of historic radiation therapy trials for breast cancer which demonstrated a potential increase in cardiac mortality. However, these studies used earlier modes of radiation therapy including Cobalt and orthovoltage radiotherapy, and did not employ CT-based planning, which allows for greater cardiac avoidance. Three recent studies suggest that ....

Physical activity and lung cancer

Kathy Witmer, DNP, ARNP

Kathy Witmer, DNP, ARNP
Thoracic Surgery Clinical Team Leader

Can physical activity help treat or prevent lung cancer? According to a 2007 study presented at the American Association for Cancer Researcher’s 6th Annual International Conference on Cancer Prevention, the answer is yes! 
 
Physical activity is linked with a lower risk of developing lung cancer. The benefits of physical activity extended to men, women, current smokers, former smokers and never smokers. The activities did not require hours a day or an expensive gym membership. Even gardening twice a week reduced the risk of developing lung cancer.
 
A growing body of research shows that it is safe for patients with lung cancer to exercise before, during and after treatment. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs have

Support social work services and Swedish Cancer Institute in Issaquah

Kylie Davidson, MPH CHES

Kylie Davidson, MPH CHES
Supervisor, Health Education, Swedish Cancer Institute

Come and join us for a handbag auction that supports social work services at Swedish Issaquah and bid on new or gently used designer handbags, sunglasses, and jewelry. The auction will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., at the Newcastle Country Club in Bellevue.
 
Every dollar raised will go towards funding the Cancer Social Work Services program at Swedish Issaquah. Social workers play a critical role in supporting cancer patients by providing a safe place for patients to talk about their emotions. In addition to ...

Bilateral Mastectomies: a patient’s personal decision

Claire L. Buchanan, MD, FACS

Claire L. Buchanan, MD, FACS
Breast Cancer Surgeon

Last week the Seattle Times reported that women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in one breast are choosing to have bilateral mastectomies to reduce their chances of getting cancer again, but recent research shows that that there is no survival benefit, even in younger women. Researchers at Stanford and the Cancer Prevention Institute of California evaluated the outcomes of over 190,000 women from the California Cancer registry who were diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast between 1998 and 2011. The rate of bilateral mastectomies rose from 2% to 12.3% over the study period, yet there was no survival benefit to bilateral mastectomies versus lumpectomy and radiation.

To those of us who work in the field, this data comes as no surprise; the trend of bilateral mastectomies is a known phenomenon. More than 10 years ago, I remember the chatter among surgeons at national meetings asking if others noticed that more and more, younger women were coming in asking for bilateral mastectomies. Back in 2007, Dr. Todd Tuttle authored a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that found that the rate of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy was on the rise, from just under 2% in 1998 to 5% in 2003. This week’s study only validates that this upward trend shows no sign of leveling off.

Why do patients choose bilateral mastectomies?

Many women ....

Swedish Cancer Institute Launches New Hematologic Malignancies Program

Swedish News

International hematology expert Dr. John Pagel recruited to expand Swedish’s treatment for, and research on, blood cancers

 

SEATTLE — September 8, 2014 — The Swedish Cancer Institute is launching a Hematologic Malignancies program for the expanded treatment and research of blood-based cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma. Newly recruited international hematology expert John Pagel, M.D., Ph.D., will serve as chief of the new program, which launches this month.
 
“Dr. Pagel brings with him a world-class reputation for research and excellence in patient care,” said Swedish Cancer Institute Executive Director Thomas Brown, M.D. “This new program will add to our existing strengths in caring for patients with hematologic malignancies and further develop our autologous hematopoietic stem cell program. These efforts allow the Swedish Cancer Institute to continue providing the most versatile and comprehensive cancer care in the Pacific Northwest.”
 
Dr. Pagel’s practice will include caring for patients with acute and chronic leukemias, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and myelodysplastic syndromes, as well as other myeloproliferative disorders. In addition to providing established treatments such as autologous stem cell transplants, the program will develop novel therapies for the treatment of blood-based diseases through research collaborations and studies initiated by Swedish Cancer Institute physicians.

Red Doors at Swedish Cancer Institute

Kylie Davidson, MPH CHES

Kylie Davidson, MPH CHES
Supervisor, Health Education, Swedish Cancer Institute

During the next couple of weeks, you will find various doors and walls at the Swedish Cancer Institute decorated in a beautiful red wrapping paper. This is a symbol of Swedish’ support for Gilda’s Club and their Red Door campaign.
 

The Red Door campaign was established to ...

Swedish Cancer Institute and community events in August

Nicole Filbert

Nicole Filbert
Health Education Intern, Swedish Cancer Institute

Can you believe the month of August has already arrived? Some may see the end of August as an end to summer, but it doesn’t mean the end of community events. Two particular events taking place toward the end of August are the American Cancer Society Relay for Life—Capitol Hill event and the Northwest Hope and Healing Alki Beach Run 5K. We are happy to announce the Swedish Cancer Institute will be supporting both!

On Saturday, August 23rd ...

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