Recent Posts

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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Cancer
Why Winship?
Jan 14, 2015 By Catherine Williams, Senior Communications Manager for Winship Cancer Institute

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University“For every question that we answer or seek to answer, new questions arise.” Winship’s executive director, Wally Curran , MD, said that in answer to an interview question about Winship, and I think it provides insight on the incremental way that progress is made against cancer. It also helps describe the dedication of cancer doctors and researchers who are willing to keep pursuing answers to this vastly complex puzzle. The communications team at Winship has been asking another type of question lately: “Why Winship?” The answers we got are now the basis of a website, social media and poster campaign highlighting stories that show how our doctors, researchers and healthcare staff make discoveries and translate the latest breakthroughs in cancer research into better treatments for patients. The stories are told through the words and thoughts of people who have [...]

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Cancer
A Look Back at Winship Cancer Institute’s Extraordinary 2014
Jan 5, 2015 By Winship Cancer Institute

Since 1937, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has provided cancer patients throughout Georgia, the Southeast and beyond, with outstanding patient care and research, and 2014 was no exception. From several national recognitions to record-setting fundraising goals, Winship at Emory continues to be among the leaders in the state of Georgia and the nation in finding ways to defeat cancer. While we enter 2015 with excitement and expectancy, the administrators, physicians and researchers of Winship at Emory have taken time to celebrate the remarkable last year. Click on the “Year in Review” video below to see some of Winship’s highlights from 2014, including: Key 2014 milestones:

  • U.S. News & World Report ranked cancer care at Emory University Hospital through Winship among the 25 best in the country.
  • Nurses at Emory University Hospital and Emory Saint
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Cancer
Robotic Surgery Allows for Minimally Invasive Treatment of Colon and Rectal Cancers
Dec 29, 2014 By Emory Johns Creek Hospital

Robotic Surgery for Colorectal CancersColon and rectal cancer affects 140,000 Americans each year and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. For most patients, surgery is recommended at some point in their care as it is the only curative treatment, and tremendous advances in surgical technique have been achieved during the past 20 years. Most notable has been the dramatic increase in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery, and transanal endoscopic microsurgery. The advantages of minimally invasive surgery for patients include shorter hospital stays, less postoperative pain, more positive cosmetic outcomes, and shorter recovery time at home, allowing earlier return to work and normal activities. Importantly, minimally invasive techniques allow patients to resume their other postoperative treatments (i.e., chemotherapy) sooner, with less [...]

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Cancer
Progress and Thanks for Five Years of Phase I Clinical Trials
Dec 19, 2014 By R. Donald Harvey, PharmD, FCCP BCOP, director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University’s Phase I Clinical Trials Unit

Phase I AnniversaryPatients. Clinical trials. We cannot have one without the other. The Phase I Clinical Trials Unit at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University opened in 2009, a time when a significant expansion of clinical trial efforts was underway to support the National Cancer Institute cancer center designation. Over this rapid five-year period, a truly collaborative culture has led to a cutting-edge, early drug development program at a nationally recognized, top 25 cancer center. None of this has been possible without patients putting their trust in our physicians, nurses, scientists, and many others, to deliver optimal care while asking critical questions about novel drugs and approaches. When I think about the impact of our Phase I unit on patients and their families, I recall a recent conversation with a seasoned oncologist here at Emory. He said, “Donald, if I saw anyone [...]

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Cancer
Every Cancer is Personal
Dec 9, 2014 By Adam Marcus, PhD, Director of Emory School of Medicine-Winship Cancer Institute Integrated Cellular Imaging Core

As a cancer researcher, I've delivered plenty of lectures, but nothing compares with a talk I gave in October to an audience of 500 strangers. My TEDx address focused on how the treatment and diagnosis of cancer is becoming more personal. Scientists across the world are going all-in on determining the driving genetic changes for each individual cancer to better personalize treatment for each patient. In my talk, I tried to emphasize where hope lives for cancer treatment in the next 5-10 years based upon this approach and how my laboratory at the Winship Cancer Institute is contributing to this effort. Although I went into the day looking to impact others, I never expected the event to have such an impact on me. There were a dozen speakers that day with talks ranging from robotics and mathematics to tap dancing and beatboxing. The day of mass-education concluded with an impromptu [...]

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