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Cancer
"Top Secret" Cancer Facts Worth Sharing
Mar 23, 2015 By Edith Brutcher, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP, Lead Advanced Practice Provider for Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

cancer secretsIt’s time to stop being embarrassed about the 3rd most commonly diagnosed cancer and the 3rd leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. More than 140,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and nearly 50,000 will lose their battle to the disease according to The American Cancer Society. It's colon cancer awareness month – share the facts about how a colorectal cancer screening could save your life. A study, published in JAMA Surgery and recently reported in the NYT, showed that incidences of colorectal cancer have been decreasing by about 1 percent a year since the mid 1980s. Simply said, more people under the recommended screening age of 50 are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Colon cancer is not embarrassing. There's simply no sense in keeping secrets from your physician. If you have a history of colorectal cancer in your [...]

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Cancer
Taking a Stand in Favor of E-Cigarette Regulation
Mar 18, 2015 By Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, deputy director, Winship Cancer Institute

e-cigarette regulationIt has taken us over 50 years of careful regulation with tremendous pushback to strip the tobacco companies of their ability to aggressively and falsely market cigarettes as safe products. The advent and popularity of e-cigarettes could wipe out much of that progress and endanger an entire generation of young people who are attracted to the slickly packaged cartridges, marketed to a youthful generation as a safe alternative to tobacco burning cigarettes. I firmly believe that the United States Food and Drug Administration should have full authority to regulate e-cigarettes; the same full authority the agency currently has to regulate regular tobacco products. E-cigarettes are not made up of benign compounds. In fact, some of the ingredients such as formaldehyde are known carcinogens. With recent introductions of e-cigarettes from big tobacco companies such as Philip Morris, I [...]

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Cancer
Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle
Mar 9, 2015 By Tiffany Barrett, MS, RD, CSO, LD, Registered Dietitian at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Eat Healthy with CancerThe Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes March as National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” encourages everyone, including individuals undergoing cancer treatment, to adopt plans focused on making informed eating choices and getting daily exercise to improve overall health. A healthy eating plan limits foods with added fats, sugars, and salt and emphasizes nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, nuts and seeds. Nutritional needs should be met primarily through consuming food, not supplements, because whole foods provide a variety of other components that are considered beneficial to health. A healthy lifestyle is also more than just choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables. Age, gender, family history, and current health condition play a role in [...]

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Cancer
Cancer Clinical Study Leads to Video Tool for Prostate Cancer Patients
Mar 6, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

At Emory, research plays a key role in the mission to serve our patients and their families. Medical advances and improvements to patient care have been made possible by research and volunteer participation in clinical trials. More than 1,000 clinical trials are offered at Emory, making a difference in people’s lives, today. Recently, a clinical study initiated by Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, found that providing prostate cancer patients with a video-based education tool significantly improved their understanding of key terms necessary to making decisions about their treatment. The breakthrough study was led by three Winship at Emory investigators; Viraj Master, MD, PhD, FACS; Ashesh Jani, MD; and Michael Goodman, MD, MPH; and is the feature cover story of this month’s Cancer, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. In 2013, Master, [...]

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Cancer
When Your Partner Fails You
Mar 5, 2015 By Wendy Baer, MD

Cancer Support(This blog was originally posted on Friday, February 20, 2015 on the WebMD website) Along with the worries, sadness and frustrations of dealing with cancer, many patients experience the heartbreak of their loved one failing to support them. How could a life partner or spouse fail you during cancer? There are many ways, some more obvious than others. Jan’s husband never came to any appointments, ever. He never learned about her diagnosis, her treatment plan, the side effects of the medicines or the recommendations for how she might improve her energy and strength. He blamed the lymphedema in her arm after her surgery on her “lazy lifestyle.” He told her that support groups were for “wimps” and even took some of her pain medicine for himself. Sally’s partner came to every appointment – he would never let anyone else bring her. He kept a medical notebook with [...]

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Cancer
Palliative or Supportive Care Can Improve Quality of Life for Cancer Patients
Feb 24, 2015 By Kimberly Curseen, MD, Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Services, Emory Healthcare

palliative cancer careI have been a dedicated palliative and supportive care specialist for the last seven years. When people ask me about palliative care, they often wonder if it is reserved for those patients who are dying. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Center for Palliative Care Excellence explains it this way: “palliative care provides relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis.” Simply put, I help people do and keep doing the things they love best for as long as they can. People with cancer are more than their illness. They have lives with responsibilities, hopes, fears, and dreams beyond their diagnosis. As supportive care specialists, we are trained to recognize and partner with individuals to help them cope with and manage the physical, emotional and spiritual distress that can arise during and after cancer treatment. Our team-based [...]

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Cancer
Working During Cancer Treatment
Feb 11, 2015 By Joy McCall, LCSW

Working with CancerTo work, or not to work, during cancer treatment is often a very real decision that patients must make. Some patients need to continue working during treatment for financial support, or to keep their insurance coverage, or just an overall desire to continue working. Working during treatment can be difficult depending on the type of treatment a patient receives, but also on the type of work a patient does. For example, a patient who can work from home may be able to continuing working whereas a patient with a job that requires more physical demands may be unable to continue working. Here are a few things to remember when working during cancer treatment:

  • Discuss your job situation with your medical team. It is important for your medical team to be aware of your desire or need to work during treatment. This may help in determining a treatment schedule that works best for you in
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Cancer
Fundamental Science Can Transform Cancer Care Worldwide
Feb 3, 2015 By Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, deputy director, Winship Cancer Institute

World Cancer Day is February 4, and it is an important reminder that cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, the number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% in the next two decades. This gives us all the more reason to recognize the progress that has been made because of discoveries by fundamental, or basic, cancer researchers. Our task now is to bring the benefits of that work to patients around the world. Check out this short video where Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, Deputy Director of Winship Cancer Institute discusses these discoveries in fundamental cancer research: The theme of this year’s World Cancer Day, “Not Beyond Us,” highlights solutions that are within our reach. In that spirit, we celebrate 2014 as a landmark year for cancer research, discovery, treatment and prevention. Important progress was [...]

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Cancer
7 Steps for Better Sleep During Cancer Treatment
Jan 26, 2015 By Wendy Baer, MD

Better Sleep with Cancer(This blog was originally posted on January 15, 2015 on the WebMD website) One of the most common complaints I hear working with people who have cancer is that they can’t sleep. We all know the misery of not being able to fall or stay asleep, and the misery that awaits the next day, including fatigue, irritability and foggy headedness. And being awake at night, especially when you have cancer, is lonely, scary and frustrating. All the worries about your diagnosis, treatment and future are at their most intense when you don’t have daytime light, noise and people to distract you. Call it the 3am Misery. Understandably many cancer patients ask their doctor for a sleeping pill like Ambien or Xanax. While this may be an easy solution, it might not be the right solution. So before you assume that sleeping pills are the answer, pause. Have you and your doctor talked about what is [...]

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Cancer
Plugging Cell Biology Into a Genomic World
Jan 21, 2015 By Adam Marcus, PhD, Director of Emory School of Medicine-Winship Cancer Institute Integrated Cellular Imaging Core

(This blog was originally posted on January 15, 2014 on the American Association for Cancer Research website) Personalized oncology epitomizes the concept of interdisciplinary research where pathologists, bioinformaticians, oncologists, and biologists work together to identify and ultimately target drivers of cancer. We gather at tables to collaborate across disciplines and try to speak the same language with the goals of advancing knowledge and helping patients. As a cancer cell biologist at the Winship Cancer Institute, I have been privileged to be a part of these conversations and to contribute to our efforts to understand tumor biology. When most researchers talk about personalized (or precision) oncology, genomics is usually an important part of the conversation. Genomic technologies can yield tremendous amounts of information in a relatively unbiased and high-throughput [...]

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