Swedish News Blog

Swedish Medical Center Foundation Receives $10.1 Million Gift from The Robert and Jean Reid Family Foundation

Swedish News

With its largest gift, the Campaign for Swedish surpasses $128 million

 

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

Contact: Clay Holtzman, Swedish, 206-386-2748, clay.holtzman@swedish.org

SEATTLE – Dec. 11, 2013 – The Swedish Medical Center Foundation announced today that it is receiving a gift of $10.1 million from the estate of Robert and Jean Reid that will support advanced cancer and cardiac care at Swedish. Funds from the gift will be distributed to the Swedish Foundation over many years through The Robert and Jean Reid Family Foundation.

The gift — the largest made during the $100 million Campaign for Swedish — will help to establish a core component of the Swedish Cancer Institute’s (SCI) Personalized Medicine Program: The Robert and Jean Reid Family Innovative Therapeutics & Research Unit. The Reid Family Innovative Therapeutics & Research Unit will aim to evolve cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment through advanced clinical research. For example, Swedish will test patient genes to better understand how a cancerous tumor might respond to a specific treatment. This is one step toward personalizing treatments and improving patients’ lives and outcomes.

“The new Reid Family Innovative Therapeutics & Research Unit will help position SCI as a national and international thought leader in personalized, molecular-based cancer prevention and therapy,” said Dr. Thomas Brown, executive director of the Swedish Cancer Institute.

Radiosurgery treatment for brain metastases reduces risk of memory loss and improves survival

Sandra S. Vermeulen, MD

When a person has metastatic cancer, the brain is one of the organs that cancer cells can migrate to. If this happens, the condition is called brain metastases. The brain metastases will have the same cancer cell type as the primary cancer, such as lung or breast cancer.

If this occurs, radiation treatment is often used to control these areas of disease. Research is finding that utilizing stereotactic radiosurgery as the initial treatment for people with four or less brain metastases is associated with improved survival and reduced risk of memory loss compared to whole brain radiation. Stereotactic radiosurgery ....

Bisphosphonate medications and Osteonecrosis of the jaw

Namou Kim, MD, FACS

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

Bisphosphonate use has been increasing in recent years.  This is a class of medications that is used to solidify bone mass and prevent fractures.  They fight osteoporosis, but also prevent many cancers from spreading into skeletal bones (bone metastases).  Many patients with metastatic cancers (breast, prostate, renal cell, multiple myeloma, etc.) will require these medications to counteract the devastating consequences of bone metastases.

Bisphosphonates were described as early as the 19th century, and were approved by the FDA in the 1990s for human use.  Fosamax was the first FDA approved bisphosphonate in the USA.   The medications come in an oral (pill) form and an IV version.  Other commonly prescribed bisphosphonates include:

  1. Zometa  (Zolendronate)
  2. Actonel  (Risedronate)
  3. Boniva  (Ibandronate)
  4. Aredia  (Pamidronate)

An uncommon but significant potential side effect of bisphosphonates is the development of Bisphosphonate-associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BONJ).  This is primarily associated with...

Resources and social support for dealing with cancer

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
Health Navigator

Here at the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI), we understand that individuals cope in their own unique ways, and that receiving personalized education and support is important in the healing process. For this reason, the SCI is devoted to providing complementary supportive services for newly diagnosed patients, those undergoing treatment, and those who have completed treatment, as well as their caregivers.

The SCI offers programs that promote education, hope, and healing. Many of these programs are offered free of charge, while others are offered on a sliding scale. These integrated care programs include:

  • American Cancer Society Patient Navigation: The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator helps patients find resources related to financial assistance, transportation, access to wigs and prosthetics, and much more.
  • Art Therapy: Art therapy is a confidential, supportive, and individualized experience for examining health issues through visual and verbal self-exploration.
  • Cancer Rehabilitation: Cancer rehabilitation integrates medical management of cancer treatment-related side effects with a variety of exercise therapies.
  • Health Education: The Swedish Cancer Education Centers offer complementary educational materials, innovative learning opportunities, and patient education classes.
  • Genetic Counseling and Testing: Genetic testing is available for individuals to determine their risk for developing certain cancers.
  • Massage Therapy: Massage therapy may help with cancer-related pain, fatigue and nausea.
  • Naturopathic Medicine: Combining modern science with natural remedies, naturopathic doctors are available for consultation and treat¬ment through coordination with the patient’s oncologist.
  • Nutrition Care Services: Nutritionists are available to help patients and caregivers make healthy dietary choices during cancer treatment.
  • Psychiatry: Psychiatrists help patients and caregivers maintain the emotional and mental well-being needed to cope with stresses of cancer.
  • Oncology Social Work: Licensed oncology social workers provide patients and caregivers ongoing counseling and assistance.
  • Support Groups: Support groups for patients and caregivers are offered weekly, creating an environment for people to share their feelings with others going through similar experiences. 

Patients often hear that it’s important to find a strong support system during and after treatment; this may include a partner, sibling, parent, child or close friend. These are ...

Swedish Ballard Offers Open House Tonight for Expanded Oncology and Treatment Center

Swedish News

The Ballard community is invited to a sneak peek of the new Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) Medical Oncology and Treatment Center from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. tonight - Tuesday, Nov. 12 - at Swedish Ballard, 5300 Tallman Ave. N.W., 2nd Floor.

Swedish Ballard has been providing cancer services to the community for more than 35 years. As a part of the continuing mission to provide world-class cancer care close to home, we are expanding our cancer treatment services at Ballard through the new Swedish Cancer Institute Medical Oncology and Treatment Center. This new space is an impressive 8,000+ square foot integrated facility that includes:

  • Clinic space for 5 medical oncologists
  • 13 infusions bays
  • 2 private rooms with hospital beds
  • Convenient, street-level access
  • Patient drop-off location

Medical oncologists and staff will be available to answer questions. We look forward to seeing you!

What should I do about a thyroid nodule?

Gabriela Sanchez, MD

Gabriela Sanchez, MD
Otolaryngologist

Thyroid nodules are extremely common and studies have shown that about half of us have at least one!

Fortunately, most of these nodules do not pose any health risks. Not all thyroid nodules are benign, however, and in a minority of cases (about 5-15%) may contain a cancer.  The challenge, of course, is figuring out which nodules are cause for concern and which ones are not.

With increased use of high-resolution imaging, more nodules are being identified today than ever before.  It is also not uncommon for someone to learn they have a nodule “incidentally” after a CT scan, MRI or ultrasound that was performed for some other medical reason.

If you think you may have a thyroid nodule, or if one has been found incidentally by medical imaging, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. Your doctor will likely take several steps, including:

Breast cancer awareness is about information, not a color

Shannon Tierney, MD

Shannon Tierney, MD
Breast Oncology Surgeon

In recent years, the colors of October seem to have changed from red, orange, and gold to pink, pink and more pink. I have always loved pink, well before becoming a breast cancer surgeon, but like many of us, I find the pink of October overwhelming, especially at this point in the month.

I appreciate and endorse the continued focus on breast cancer, but often the important information is drowned out by the rah-rah-rah of the awareness campaigns. Many women (and men) are “aware” of breast cancer, but never truly become aware of what it really is, what it really means, until they find themselves dealing with the cold terror of a palpable mass or a call-back after mammogram. They need information, not just pink blenders. 

Breast cancer is ...

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