Posts Tagged ‘md chats’

Takeaways from the Pancreatic Cancer Live Chat at Winship

Pancreatic Cancer Chat

Thanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, May 12th for the live online pancreatic cancer program chat at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University hosted by Drs. El-Rayes & Kooby.

Drs. El-Rayes & Kooby answered several of your questions about pancreatic cancer risk factors, symptoms and therapy. There are a variety of treatment options for pancreatic cancer; for some patients, a combination of treatment methods may be used. Check out the conversation by viewing the chat transcript! Here are just a few highlights from the chat:

Question: Who is at the most risk for pancreatic cancer?

David Kooby, MDDr. Kooby: Pancreatic cancer can affect anyone. People with a family history of pancreatic cancer in first degree relatives have an increased risk. Smokers are at risk, as tobacco appears to be a causative factor. Other groups who have an elevated risk of getting pancreatic cancer are those with new onset or long-standing diabetes mellitus and those with one of several uncommon genetic syndromes: BRAC2, HPSS, FMS, Peutz Jegher. Other associations include age over 60, chronic pancreatitis, and obesity. Many of the symptoms for pancreatic cancer are vague, which makes this a difficult disease to diagnose.

Question: When surgery is not an option, are there any treatments beyond chemo and radiation?

Bassel El-Rayes, MDDr. El-Rayes: A number of novel therapies are currently on clinical trials and those include drugs that stimulate the immune system or drugs that target specific molecular abnormalities in cancer (targeted therapies). In addition, in certain situations there are options to use therapies that ablate (physically destroy the tumor). These include nano knife.

 

Question: Are qualifying patients given the option to participate in these trials Dr. El-Rayes?

Bassel El-Rayes, MDDr. El-Rayes: When we evaluate patients in the clinic, we always discuss with them the different options of therapy, including, standard therapy vs. clinical trials. For patients to participate in clinical trials, they have to meet predefined criteria. If patients are interested in clinical trials, we will screen them to determine whether or not the meet these criteria.

 

Question: My sister and brother have both been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within months of each other. There are three remaining siblings. Can you address how we can be tested?

Bassel El-Rayes, MDDr. El-Rayes: The first step would be to see a genetic counselor to look for a possible genetic link. There, they can test for specific genes that might indicate a higher risk in the family.
David Kooby, MDDr. Kooby: If the genetic testing doesn’t yield any abnormality, the second step would be to consult with a pancreatic cancer specialist. These specialists are either gastroenterologists or medical oncologists. Currently, there are no set guidelines on how frequently family members of current patients should be tested. Your specialist can outline a plan that works best for you and your family. Researchers at institutions like Winship are actively working on better methods for screening for pancreatic cancer.

If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript. For more information go to the Pancreatic Cancer at Winship Cancer Institute website or 404-778-7777 to learn more from a registered nurse.

If you have additional questions for Drs. El-Rayes & Kooby, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

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Prepare Yourself for Summer – Join us for a Web Chat on Melanoma & Other Skin Cancers

Skin Cancer Online ChatIf not caught early, melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers. One-in-fifty Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma. It develops from changes to the DNA of skin cells, which can happen when skin is over-exposured to ultraviolet light from the sun or from extended tanning bed use. Also, certain viruses can cause DNA changes that lead to skin cancer.

To prepare yourself and your family for the summer and protect yourself from any form of skin cancer, join Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University physician, Keith Delman, MD, Wednesday, May 29th for an online web chat at 12 noon.

Dr. Delman will be able to answer questions such as:

  • How to prevent melanoma and skin cancer
  • What causes skin cancer and melanoma
  • Signs of melanoma and skin cancer
  • Treatment options for melanoma and skin cancer
  • The latest research on the horizon

33% of All U.S. Cancer Deaths Linked to Diet & Exercise

Nutrition to Fight CancerStudies consistently show that a good diet and regular exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, but did you know you can also reduce your risk of cancer by eating well and regularly exercising? Our genes play a large role in whether we develop cancer (some cancer types more than others), but studies show, and our experts at the Winship Cancer Institute confirm, we can take action to lower our risk of developing many cancer types. By avoiding tobacco products, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and staying active, you can dramatically reduce your risk of dying from cancer.

I hosted an online chat on the topic of healthy eating during the holidays this week, and in it we covered lots of topics related to nutrition, health, exercise and wellness. Below are some of the most important takeaways from the chat for you to apply not just during the holidays, but year round!

Exercise: 

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. We may tire of hearing it, but maintaining a healthy body weight is essential to your health.
  • As many as 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths are linked to excessive body weight. Obesity is clearly linked with increase in several types of cancer, including breast, colon and rectum, edometrial, esophageal, kidney and pancreatic cancer.
  • Regular physical activity is critical to your health and wellness. Physical activity can help reduce the risk of breast, colon, endometrial and prostate cancers.
  • Adults should try to exercise for either 75 minutes per week at high intensity, or at least 150 minutes at moderate intensity each week. The latter equates to just two and a half hours of walking.
  • Children should exercise one hour each day at moderate intensity, but 3 days a week at high intensity, and limit sedentary activities such as sitting, lying down, playing video games, watching TV, etc.

Nutrition:

Maintain healthy eating habits by emphasizing consumption of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. As I mentioned in the chat, all fruits and vegetables have protective and preventive cancer benefits. Here are some guidelines to consider when it comes to nutrition:

  • Eat at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Choose whole grains as opposed to refined grain products (such as white rice).
  • Limit red meat and processed meat.
  • If you can’t get fresh produce, opt for frozen fruits and veggies over those in a can. Frozen produce is typically less processed and contains less sodium.
  • If you’re looking for protein options other than meat, try beans, nuts, soy, eggs, yogurt, cheese, milk, and whole grains such as barley and quinoa.

Lifestyle:

Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol is a known risk factor for cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast.

  • Women should limit themselves to one drink a day.
  • Men should limit consumption to 2 drinks per day.

For more from our chat, you can view the chat transcript here. Although we can not totally prevent cancer, we have the ability to reduce our own risk by taking action. Winship wants to help you win the fight against cancer by arming you with as much knowledge as possible! If you have additional thoughts, questions, or tips to share, please do so using the comments below.

Tiffany Barrett, MS, RD, CSO, LDAbout Tiffany Barrett, MS, RD, CSO, LD

Tiffany Barrett provides personalized nutritional advice to Emory Winship patients who are undergoing cancer treatment. Ms. Barrett also consults with patients who have completed treatment and wish to continue to build a strong and healthy diet. She earned her Bachelor of Science at Florida State University and a Master of Science at University of North Florida. Tiffany is a Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and completed a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management.

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