Swedish News Blog

Cancer control and survivorship

Dan Labriola, ND

I recently attended the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) meeting, a consortium of research institutions doing clinical trials on cancer. The conference highlighted how new research will remarkably affect cancer survivorship, quality of life (QOL), integrative care and our ability to predict and provide needed services more accurately and with greater cost effectiveness for cancer survivors. The tools for implementing cancer control are evolving quickly.

Here are some highlights from the meeting:

  • Biomarkers, which are any human characteristics that are measurable including everything from gene expression (or over-expression) to pain surveys, can potentially predict long term survival as well as the specific services that will most benefit patients.
  • Symptoms that are increasingly predictable by biomarker assays include fatigue, insomnia, pain, anorexia, nausea, depression and others. This means that we will soon be able to better predict the patients who will be affected by these problems and deliver interventions much earlier and more effectively.
  • Patient satisfaction is frequently not related to treatment outcome. Factors such as QOL and survivorship are important.
  • Lung cancer patients suffer inordinately high, long-term QOL deficits. Many of these respond well to interventions but interventions are frequently not provided to patients with lung cancer.
  • Symptom clusters ...

Quality of Life Following CyberKnife Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Robert M. Meier, MD

Robert M. Meier, MD
Radiation Oncology Medical Director, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

The Swedish Radiosurgery Center is the lead site in a national multi-institutional study evaluating CyberKnife for treating men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer (clinical stage 2). As the principal investigator of this study, I reported on the quality of life outcomes at the annual meeting of American Society of Radiation Oncology.

We now know that in low-risk prostate cancer patients (stage 1), active surveillance is a safe option. But men with intermediate-risk cancer have a significant risk of dying of their disease, so intervention is necessary. Conventional treatments (surgery, radioactive seed implants and external beam radiotherapy) can adversely affect patients’ quality of life.  We sought to determine if the unprecedented accuracy of CyberKnife treatment would translate into improvement in these patients’ quality of life.

We treated ..

Oncology social workers help patients with cancer

Tricia Matteson, MSW, LSWAIC

Tricia Matteson, MSW, LSWAIC
Oncology Social Worker

“What happens if my insurance won’t pay for all of this treatment?”
“How do I tell my young daughter about my cancer?”
“My spouse is really struggling, but I don’t know how to help him.” 
“How will I get to radiation every day if I can’t drive?”
“My friends and family call a lot, but I don’t feel like talking to them”
“I’m scared.”   “I’m angry”   “I’m sad”    “I’m confused”
“What’s a power of attorney…and do I need one?”
“Where can I find out about a support group? ”
“I wish I knew where to turn.”

If you are faced with a diagnosis of cancer, you may be asking similar questions and wondering where to turn for answers.  A good place to start is with an oncology social worker.  Oncology social workers assist with the non-medical issues that often arise when someone is diagnosed with cancer.  We have master’s degrees in social work, and are specially trained to provide counseling and assistance with services that can reduce stress for you and your family through all phases of your cancer diagnosis and treatment.  Social work services are available at the Swedish Cancer Institute at our First Hill, Edmonds, and Issaquah campuses, and are provided at no cost to our patients. 

We can help you:

Noninvasive Prostate Cancer Treatment Data is Maturing & Promising

Robert M. Meier, MD

Robert M. Meier, MD
Radiation Oncology Medical Director, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

Many of my patients are men seeking prostate cancer treatment they can undergo while continuing work and maintaining active lifestyles. Equally important is the cancer-free survival rate and long-term side effect profile. For over seven years we have been treating men with organ-confined prostate cancer using the CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery system. This sophisticated radiation delivery system uses a robotic arm to deliver precise treatment doses to the prostate in only 5 sessions so the men can keep up their normal routine while combatting their disease.

The data supporting this treatment option continues to grow and a recent study following men for 6 years reports patients had excellent biochemical control rates (based on...

Thrive Through Cancer Presents Chemo-Con at Swedish Cancer Institute

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
Health Education Specialist

Thrive Through Cancer is a non-profit organization that helps young adults with cancer and their caregivers find hope and thrive. Through support groups, social events and community forums, Thrive Through Cancer aims to engage young adult community members by providing support and resources during their fight against cancer.

On June 20, 2013 Thrive Through Cancer will host a social event for young adults, their families, friends and caregivers at the Swedish Cancer Institute: Chemo-Con!

Come meet Rose Egge, founder of Thrive Through Cancer, and join us for two educational and interactive workshops focused on issues commonly experienced by young adults affected by cancer.

  • Join Registered Dietician Julie Herbst for a conversation about healthy eating, maximizing nutritional intake and managing symptoms with foods. Recipe and sampling provided.
  • Jacci Thompson-Dodd, MA, MSSS will host a discussion about intimacy and cancer, and can help answer any questions you may have. 

You will also have the opportunity to learn more about community partners, resources and services available in areas near you from the following organizations:

New Cancer Center to Open April 1 at Swedish/Edmonds; Outpatient Facility to Provide Medical Oncology, Infusion Services Close to Home

Swedish News


 
 


  
Cancer-Center-Opening-2.jpg

Swedish Cancer Institute at Edmonds opens to the public at an April 17 ribbon-cutting ceremony on the Swedish/Edmonds campus. (Left to right) David Loud, aide from Congressman Jim McDermott, M.D.; Swedish Cancer Institute Medical Oncologist Richard McGee, M.D.; Swedish/Edmonds Chief Executive Dave Jaffe; and Swedish Cancer Institute Executive Director Thomas D. Brown, M.D., MBA, cut the ribbon during the event that attracted 250 visitors. The two-story facility, located at 21632 Highway 99 in Edmonds, provides high-quality and comprehensive medical oncology to patients through an infusion unit, laboratory, pharmacy, and access to Swedish’s electronic medical record system.
 
EDMONDS, WASH.
, March 21, 2013 – Swedish Health Services will open a new outpatient cancer center at the Edmonds campus on Monday, April 1, 2013 in response to the growing need for medical oncology and infusion (chemotherapy) services in the south Snohomish and north King County area. The new two-story, 17,102-square-foot facility is anticipated to handle as many as 175 patient visits each day and provide increased access to cancer-care services for people living north of Seattle.

A New, Effective Oral Treatment Option Before Chemo for Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer

Howard L. (Jack) West, MD

Howard L. (Jack) West, MD
Medical Oncologist, Swedish Cancer Institute

Discussing a new, effective oral treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer prior to receiving chemotherapy:

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