Posts Tagged ‘national cancer institute’

Could Winship be Joined by a Second NCI Cancer Center in Georgia?

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory UniversityThere are 66 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers across the United States. Through their designation, these centers and their teams are charged with conducting and leading cancer research and putting that work into life-saving clinical practice every day.  The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is Georgia’s only NCI-designated cancer center.  But in a state where more than 15,000 lives are lost annually to cancer-related deaths, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is taking steps to help lower these numbers.

It is Deal’s goal to bring a second NCI cancer center to Georgia to help attract additional researchers and cancer research dollars to the state and at the same time, improve access to high quality cancer treatments for the Georgia community. According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Deal wants the General Assembly to commit $5 million toward the goal this year, but it will take tens of millions more — and years of work” to achieve bringing a second NCI designated cancer center to the state.

After years of effort and support from groups like the Georgia Cancer Coalition, the Winship Cancer Institute earned NCI designation in 2009. As a result of the growth leading up to the designation and the designation itself, grant funding for Winship from the NCI grew from $9.5 million in 2001 to $29.5 million in 2011. Throughout the multi-year process,  Winship brought elite researchers and faculty on board and built the infrastructure necessary to become one of the most sophisticated cancer research and treatment centers in the country.

This sophistication in cancer treatment available right here in the state of Georgia has allowed Winship to provide the Georgia community with local treatment options for even the most complex cancer cases. Furthermore, it has given doctors across the state a trusted team to collaborate with when a patient referral is needed get Georgia patients access to the most advanced cancer treatment options available.

Now that the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is considered a place Georgians can call home when they are fighting cancer, it’s time to advance that access. We look forward to seeing a strong push behind the need for a second NCI-designated cancer center in Georgia, and look forward to seeing the possibilities for cancer treatment in Georgia advanced as a result.

For more information on Governor Deal’s push for a second NCI-designated center in the state of Georgia, check out this article in the AJC.

Intro to Pancreatic Cancer Part I: Stats, Types, & Risk Factors

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Before we dig a bit deeper into pancreatic cancer in this two-part blog post, below are some important stats you should be aware of. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Cancer Society:

  • pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the U.S.
  • 1.41% of men and women born today will be diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas at some time during their lifetime
  • the median age for diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was 72 years old (based on data from ‘04-’08)
  • the median age of death as a result of pancreatic cancer was 73 years old (based on data from ‘04-’08)
  • 0.53% of men will develop cancer of the pancreas between their 50th and 70th birthdays compared to 0.39% for women
  • About 44,030 people (22,050 men and 21,980 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer Types

According to the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, “A pancreatic cancer type is based on the location of the tumor’s origin within the pancreas. More than 95 percent of pancreatic cancers are adenocarcinomas of the exocrine pancreas. Tumors of the endocrine pancreas are much less common and most are benign.”

  • Acinar Cell Cancers: Acinar cell cancers are tumors that form on the ends of the pancreatic ducts.
  • Adenocarcinoma: An adenocarcinoma is a cancer that begins in the cells that line certain internal organs and have secretory properties. In the pancreas, this is a cancer of the exocrine cells that line the pancreatic ducts.
  • Cystic Tumors: Cystic tumors derive their name from the presence of fluid filled sacs within the pancreas. The fluid is produced by the lining of abnormal tissues or tumors. These tumors may lead to cancer in some patients; however, most cystic tumors of the pancreas are benign.
  • Sarcomas: Sarcomas are tumors that form in the connective tissue that bonds pancreatic cells together and are rare.

Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors

  • Age:  Nearly 90% of those with pancreatic cancer are older than 55 years and over 70% are older than 65.
  • Gender: Pancreatic cancer incidence rates are higher among men than women, but it is possible that this can be attributed to higher tobacco use incidence rates among men.
  • Weight: According to the NCI, “In a pooled analysis of clinical data,  higher body mass index was associated with an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer, independent of other risk factors.”
  • Cigarette Smoking: According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer risk is 2-3x higher for smokers than non-smokers. About 20% to 30% of exocrine pancreatic cancer cases are thought to be caused by cigarette smoking.

Next week, we’ll follow up with more information on pancreatic cancer, including steps you can take to lower your risk (prevention), symptoms of cancer of the pancreas, and how pancreatic cancer is diagnosed and treated.

In the meantime, if you have questions about pancreatic cancer, please leave them for us in the comments below. All comment responses will be provided by physicians of Emory Healthcare and/or the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.