Swedish News Blog

Patient Education Classes at Swedish Cancer Institute

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
Health Education Specialist

I know how overwhelming it can be when someone is diagnosed with cancer. A wealth of information is presented to you and a lot of it can be hard to remember. Yes, resource packets are wonderful tools and information sheets are extremely useful but sometimes sifting through all of the documents can be cumbersome, especially when you have specific questions. For this reason, the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) wants to ensure that you have access to education and information in a way that works for you.

SCI offers education programs to assist you, your family members and your caregivers in making treatment decisions, managing your symptoms, and accessing programs to help your mind, body and spirit to heal.

One of the programs is patient education classes. These classes offer practical tips that you and your family members can take home with you. The classes are intended to complement your treatment here at Swedish but also provide an opportunity where you can ask questions in a safe and secure environment.

Whether you are interested in exploring how the healing powers of art-making can help during your experience with cancer treatment or learning how naturopathic medicine complements conventional cancer treatments (or maybe you want to gain skills and confidence in creating hair alternatives) – whatever the area of focus is, we have classes that fit your needs:

Two key questions to answer in a suspected cancer workup

Howard L. (Jack) West, MD

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

There are two questions to be answered if cancer is suspected:

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The Story Behind the Voice of 1-855-XCANCER (1-855-922-6237)

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
Health Education Specialist

Being diagnosed with cancer is the beginning of a difficult time. The entire process – from diagnosis to treatment to survivorship – can be exhausting. And, I am sure that when you have questions that come up, you would like to have them answered, respectfully and responsively.

As health professionals we want to ensure that you, your family, friends and caregivers have access to all resources available at the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI). For this reason, Swedish launched a customized phone line tailored to the Cancer Institute where callers can find out more information on services available.

Whether you want to know more about different treatment options, learn more about research studies or locate community cancer resources, I am here to assist you. If you are a new patient and would like to be seen by a provider at the Swedish Cancer Institute, I can help get the process started for you by connecting you with the most appropriate SCI specialist.

To put a story behind the voice over the phone, I would like to officially introduce myself to the Swedish community! I am Swedish’s Integrated Care Services Coordinator and Telephone Liaison for the Swedish Cancer Institute and True Family Women’s Cancer Center – which means I get to work with the entire network of Swedish campuses (including First Hill, Cherry Hill, Issaquah, Ballard and Edmonds) and can help you get connected to the appropriate areas of service that you may need.

I can help to answer any questions you may have, or connect you to the following:

Providing personalized care and individualized treatment plans for patients

Erik Torgerson, MD

Erik Torgerson, MD
Chief of Urology

Recently, I met with a patient who was diagnosed with localized prostate cancer at a local urology office. He came to Swedish seeking a second opinion for the treatment of his prostate cancer. In doing this, he explained to me that after the diagnosis of his prostate cancer, he was referred to a website to review the available options for the management of prostate cancer and was given very little guidance by the urologist who made the diagnosis. Unfortunately, this is a common scenario in situations where the diagnosing urologist may not have all of the available treatment options at his or her disposal. In discussing this with him afterwards, he felt that the urologist was only interested in making a diagnosis but had no concern over his treatment choice and he felt very confused.

The patient and I sat down together in a 45 minute consultation visit to discuss his diagnosis. As I do with all of my patients recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, we covered the diagnosis, the available treatment options, and the relative risks of each so that he could make an informed decision. I feel fortunate to practice in a place that offers state-of-the-art therapy for prostate cancer by multiple modalities. At Swedish, we have ....

Swedish/Edmonds to Offer Free PSA and Testosterone Level Tests at a Men’s Health on Sept. 20

Swedish News

EDMONDS, WASH., Sept. 10, 2012 - Free screening tests for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and testosterone levels will be available at Swedish/Edmonds on Thursday, Sept. 20 from 6-8 p.m. Learn more about men’s health topics from local urologists presenting at the event. These physicians will also be available to personally answer questions in an informal setting throughout the event.

You've been diagnosed with prostate cancer - now what?

Robert M. Meier, MD

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

Almost daily there are new recommendations for how to treat prostate cancer and an equal number of controversies surrounding the recommendations. What is a man to do when faced with the words, “you have prostate cancer”?

The good news is that there are many proven options to consider; but how do you choose the best one for you? The decision can be daunting and the controversies swirling in the news only increase the confusion when wading through the information. You may be considering:

  • Active surveillance (watchful waiting) is an option for those who want to closely monitor their cancer over short intervals. Intervention is considered if the cancer grows quickly, PSA scores increase or other situations arise warranting a more aggressive treatment plan.

  • Surgical options are available and with the advances in robotic technologies, the procedure is less invasive than in the past, recovery times are reduced and fewer side effects are reported. 

  • Radiation options are also available and treat the cancer either with external radiation beams or implanted radioactive seeds.

    • CyberKnife Radiosurgery uses robotic technology to track the prostate in real time and delivers high doses of radiation with pinpoint accuracy. This is an outpatient procedure where the patient comes to the center for five, one hour sessions over the course of one week. Long term side effects are rare and cancer free survival rates are excellent. (You can learn more here.)

    • Seed Implantation is another method of delivering radiation to treat prostate cancer. With this option, the radiation is delivered internally via tiny radioactive seeds which are implanted into the prostate. This too is an outpatient procedure and long term results are excellent and side effects are few. 

As a radiation oncologist specializing in treating prostate cancer...

KUOW Radio Airs Pieces on CyberKnife for Breast Cancer at Swedish, New Directions in Cancer Care

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