with Cancer

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					          S P E C I AL A DVE RT IS ING S E CT IO N

a guide To PreVenTion, diagnosis and TreaTMenT

     with Cancer
LIVING                 on The coVer: Breast cancer survivor Patricia Dent

         with Cancer

                           Clinical Trials
     Research helps pave the way for future medical treatments
                                 The iMage of a clinical Trial             trial sponsored by the Accelerated

                                 might bring to mind scientists hud-       Community        Oncology      Research

                                 dled over beakers and microscopes         Network after her 2006 breast can-

                                 attempting to discover the next           cer diagnosis.

                                 medical breakthrough.                        The Phase 2 trial was created to

                                   But the truth is, a vast majority of    help determine if a different treat-

                                 clinical trials are conducted through     ment regimen would increase cure

                                 physician offices. Once the initial Phase   rates for Ms. Adams’ type of breast

                                 1 trials, which are often conducted at    cancer. Although Ms. Adams has

                                 research universities, are complete,      completed her cancer treatments,

                                 Phase 2 and 3 trials are usually moved    she knows she’ll be followed for the

                                 to physicians, such as Mark Keaton,       rest of her life as part of the trial.

                                 M.D., a medical oncologist who prac-        Ms. Adams decided to join the trial

                                 tices at University Hospital.             after speaking with her physician and

                                   It’s there that industry- and gov-      Pam Anderson, program coordinator

                                 ernment-sponsored trials are offered      of University’s Cancer Services and

                                 to patients in the hopes that these       the Breast Health Center. “All of the

Some things that are             experimental treatments will lead to      therapies I received were proven ef-

now standard treat-              better, stronger and faster treatments    fective against breast cancer, and be-

ments for breast can-            for most patients and the next gen-       cause this was the second phase of

cer were used as part            eration of patients, while helping the    the trial, I felt more confident that this

of clinical trials right         test subjects as well.                    was the best choice for me,” she said.

here in Augusta.                   “We try to keep clinical trials as a      The 30-35 trials open at Dr.

-Mark Keaton, M.D.               treatment option for most patients        Keaton’s office along with other phy-

                                 and types of cancer,” Dr. Keaton said.    sicians affiliated with University run

                                   Kathi Adams, a 39-year-old oper-        the gamut of potential treatments –

                                 ating room nurse, joined a clinical       drug-based or device-based; spon-

46     University Health Care System
                                                                                   Q   Why are there clinical trials?
                                                                                       A clinical trial is one of the
                                                                                       final stages of a long and
                                                                                       careful    cancer     research
                                                                                       process. Studies are done
                                                                                       with cancer patients to find
                                                                                       out whether promising ap-
                                                                                       proaches to cancer preven-
                                                                                       tion, diagnosis and treat-
                                                                                       ment are safe and effective.
                                                                                       Source: National Cancer Institute

                                                                                right here in Augusta.”

                                                                                  There are a number of resources

                                                                                for those interested in learning more

                                                                                about clinical trials, including Univer-

                                                                                sity’s Web site,

                                                                                clinicaltrials. The government Web


                                                                                has an extensive list of more than

                                                                                8,000 current trials from which

                                                                                to choose. An easy-to-use search

                                                                                function lets people search by can-

Kathi Adams joined a clinical trial sponsored by the Accelerated Community      cer, location and treatment type.
Oncology Research Network after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006.
                                                                                  Carole Ehleben, director of Hu-
sored by pharmaceutical companies       cancer drugs on the market today.       man Subject Research and Institu-
or the U.S. government.                   Herceptin, an effective antibody      tional Review Board administrator,

  “These are advanced studies, so       that targets cancer cells that make     also suggested talking with your

they’re Phase 2 and 3, which are        too much of a protein called HER-       physician about any clinical trials

much further along in develop-          2, was the focus of just one of the     you might have an interest in. ❖

ment,” Dr. Keaton said. “It’s because   clinical trials conducted through Dr.

of these trials that we have access     Keaton’s office.                          Talk to your physician if you have

to some drugs that are not acces-         “We probably had a half doz-          questions about clinical trials, or

sible to the general public.”           en patients in that trial,” he said.    log on to

  Past trials Dr. Keaton has con-       “Some things that are now stan-         clinicaltrials. you also can find more

ducted have helped get approval for     dard treatments for breast cancer       information at the government Web

some of the most-effective breast       were used as part of clinical trials    site

                                                          er                  47
      with Cancer

Prostate Cancer
Early prostate cancer screening can help save lives

                                                         dePending on Where you turn,

                                                         you’re likely to get conflicting in-

                                                         formation about prostate cancer


                                                           Some researchers dispute the

                                                         need for the prostate-specific an-

                                                         tigen (PSA) blood screenings in

                                                         addition to digital rectal exams

                                                         (DRE), but physicians who practice

                                                         at University Hospital say the addi-

                                                         tional test is needed to help catch

                                                         prostate cancer earlier, which helps

                                                         both treatment and recovery from

                                                         the disease.

                                                           “I tell patients that both PSA and

                                                         DRE are warranted,” said Benjamin

                                                         Kay, M.D., a urologist who practices

                                                         at University Hospital. “Together,

                                                         they are more reliable than just one

                                                         or the other.”

                                                           Local firefighter Robert Szoncin-

                                                         ski, 51, is a believer in the benefits of

                                                         the PSA screening.

                                                           A PSA blood test was just one part
                                     Robert Szoncinski
                                                         of a head-to-toe physical the then-

48   University Health Care System
48-year-old had in November 2006.

  “I thought I was healthy; I had ab-

solutely no problems,” he said.                                                    Those men with risk
  Elevated     screening      numbers                                              factors should be
prompted Mr. Szoncinski to get                                                     screened because of a
further testing, and to his surprise,                                              relatively higher chance
he was diagnosed with early stage                                                  of developing prostate
prostate cancer.                                                                   cancer. Because prostate
  “Because of the screening, the can-                                              cancer is prevalent in
cer was caught very early,” he said.                                               those populations, I do
  Dr. Kay said men with prostate                                                   think early screening is
                                                     Benjamin Kay, M.D.
cancer risk factors – such as a fami-                                              warranted.
ly member diagnosed with prostate

cancer or being an African Ameri-

can – need to be vigilant in keeping

up with their screenings.                    Early screening, which must in-       ■ Less blood loss and transfusions

  “Those men with risk factors             clude both the PSA blood test and       ■ Smaller scars

should be screened because of a            a DRE, is so vital when it comes to     ■ Faster recovery

relatively higher chance of devel-         prostate cancer because there of-       ■ Quicker return to normal activities

oping prostate cancer,” he said.           ten are no symptoms in the early          Dr. Kay warned, however, that not

“Because prostate cancer is preva-         stages. A quicker diagnosis can         every patient is a candidate for ro-

lent in those populations, I do think      lead to earlier treatment, which can    botic or any other type of surgery.

early screening is warranted.”             improve survival.                         “There are a number of options

  University Hospital teams up with          If you are diagnosed with pros-       available for the treatment of pros-

Lowe’s Home Improvement stores             tate cancer, you should know that       tate cancer, but not every man is a

on Sep. 12, 19 and 26 to provide free      University Hospital offers the latest   candidate for every option,” he said.

PSA screenings to men. Check the           surgical treatment technology – the       Every   cancer    is   different,   so

Healthy U Calendar, in The Augusta         da Vinci® Surgical System.              take time to talk with your physician

Chronicle and The Aiken Standard             The da Vinci® robotic surgical sys-   about your treatment options to de-

on the third Sunday of the month,          tem allows physicians to perform        termine what will work best for you. ❖

for locations and times.                   more precise surgical procedures,

  “This has changed my life dramat-        and the system also offers many         for more information about pros-

ically,” Mr. Szoncinski said. “I totally   patients added benefits including:      tate cancer, call university’s can-

support PSA screenings and encour-         ■ Shorter hospital stay                 cer answer line at 706/828-2522

age other men to get them, too.”           ■ Less pain                             or toll free at 866/869-2522.

                                                               er             49
          with Cancer

Knowledge is Power
Screenings can help
catch colorectal
cancer early
Teresa MoXley is The PerfecT

eXaMPle of always listening to

your mother. In 2001, when she was

just 51 years old, Ms. Moxley was

suffering recurrent rectal bleed-

ing, but was hesitant to contact her

family physician.

  Her mother’s prodding finally con-

vinced Ms. Moxley to get checked

out, and after the results of a fe-

cal occult blood test, was given a


  The results were devastating –

Stage III colon cancer.

  “It had already spread to my pelvis

and was in 17 of the 21 lymph nodes

they removed,” she said. “It was the

biggest shock to me and my family;

we knew nothing about cancer.”

  Nearly 150,000 men and women

were diagnosed with colorectal

cancer in 2008 and nearly 50,000

died of the disease, according to

the National Cancer Institute.

  Those numbers might be reduced        Teresa Moxley and her mother

50      University Health Care System
        Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer
        According to the National Cancer Institute, researchers are unsure why most people develop colorectal

        cancer – excluding the small number of patients with hereditary genetic syndromes that lead to a high rate

        of colorectal cancer – but studies have shown that there are risk factors for the disease. They include:

        ■ age: Colorectal cancer is more likely to occur as people get older. More than 90 percent of

          people with this disease are diagnosed after age 50. The average age at diagnosis is 72.

        ■ colorecTal PolyPs: Polyps are growths on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. They are

          common in people over age 50. Most polyps are benign (not cancer), but some polyps can be-

          come cancer. Finding and removing polyps may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

        ■ faMily hisTory of colorecTal cancer: Close relatives (parents, brothers, sisters, or children)

          of a person with a history of colorectal cancer are somewhat more likely to develop this disease

          themselves, especially if the relative had the cancer at a young age.

        ■ geneTic alTeraTions: Changes in certain genes increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

        ■ Personal hisTory of cancer: A person who has already had colorectal cancer may develop

          colorectal cancer a second time. Also, women with a history of cancer of the ovary, uterus or breast

          are at a somewhat higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

        ■ ulceraTiVe coliTis or crohn’s disease: A person who has had a condition that causes

          inflammation of the colon for many years is at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

        ■ dieT: Studies suggest that diets high in fat (especially animal fat) and low in calcium, folate, and

          fiber may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Also, some studies suggest that people who eat

          a diet very low in fruits and vegetables may have a higher risk of colorectal cancer.

        ■ cigareTTe sMoKing: A person who smokes cigarettes may be at increased risk of developing

          polyps and colorectal cancer.

        Source: National Cancer Institute

if more people had recommended            practices at University Hospital.           don’t have any symptoms, the

colorectal cancer screenings.               Dr. Keaton noted that even with           overall prognosis is going to be

  “Screening will help prevent 90         risk factors, many people with col-         very good.”

percent of colorectal cancers, so it’s    orectal cancer won’t have any no-             Ms. Moxley had a very long and

important that people start having        ticeable symptoms.                          arduous road to recovery, but had

colonoscopies at age 50, unless you         “By the time you have symptoms,           nothing but praise for her treat-

are in a high-risk group that would       the disease is fairly far along,” he        ment at University Hospital, noting

require earlier screening,” said Mark     said. “If the cancer can be picked          “I just had the best care – the best

Keaton, M.D., an oncologist who           up on a colonoscopy when you                team of doctors.” ❖

                                                               er             51
           with Cancer

                                                                                  can be quickly viewed by the tech-

                                                                                  nologist to ensure she got the shot.

                                                                                  Because the image is digital, it can

                                                                                  be stored and sent electronically,

                                                                                  allowing viewing from wherever it

                                                                                  is needed. Software programs can

                                                                                  help the radiologist manipulate the

                                                                                  images to highlight problem areas,

                                                                                  giving greater flexibility in mam-

                                                                                  mography interpretation.

                                                                                    Glenda Chears, 60, has always been
                                                                                  diligent about getting her scheduled

                                                                                  mammograms and found that the

                                                                                  convenience of the Mobile Mammog-

                                                                                  raphy Unit made it especially easy to

                                              Glenda Chears                       get in and out in a timely manner.

                                                                                    It was on the unit in June 2009

Take a Picture
                                                                                  when a spot on her digital screening

                                                                                  mammogram concerned her radi-

                                                                                  ologist. Mrs. Chears was referred to

Technology keeps mammograms looking sharp                                         a surgeon for a biopsy.

                                                                                    “It was a very small lump, and I

Technology is eVer-eVolVing,              film, which is fine for most women,     was diagnosed with Stage I breast

with new ideas and new products be-       but doesn’t work as well for women      cancer,” she said.

ing produced at a dizzying rate. That’s   with dense breast tissue. The tech-       The digital Mobile Mammogra-

true at University Hospital, too.         nologist would have to take the film    phy Unit offers women the added

  University’s Mobile Mammogra-           and develop it while the woman          convenience of getting a mammo-

phy Unit went digital in 2008 as a        waits – taking around 10 minutes to     gram off site. With a mobile unit, the

way to get faster, crisper images         find out if the image is clear enough   center is able to take breast health

that eliminated the need for chemi-       to use – and once developed, the film   care to underserved populations, to

cal development.                          could not be changed much. Under-       working women at business and in-

  The differences in the technology       or overexposure couldn’t be fixed.      dustrial sites, and to community and

are hard to miss:                         digiTal. With digital mammogra-         church groups throughout the area.

TradiTional. In traditional mam-          phy, an image is taken and stored       These mammograms are the key to

mography, the image is created on         directly into a computer, where it      early detection of breast cancer. ❖

52       University Health Care System
                                  Breast Health Center
                                  Facility is a haven for the comfort, education of women

                                  BreasT cancer changes a                  feel so much better when I left. It’s

                                  WoMan’s life in the blink of an          a godsend, really.”

                                  eye. Suddenly work, family, friends        The Breast Health Center offers

                                  and home have been supplanted by         a wide range of education materi-

  Melba Holland                   physicians, treatments and, most         als and support, from the Cancer

                                  likely, fear.                            Research Room to the employees

                                    University’s Breast Health Cen-        who work at the center.

                                  ter works to ease those fears by           Herself a breast cancer survi-

Where can you                     offering women and their families        vor, Ms. Anderson said having that

                                  the education and comfort they           first-hand knowledge is an impor-
get a digital
                                  need to get through cancer. From         tant message to newly diagnosed
mammogram?                        diagnosis to treatments to recov-        women.
university’s Mobile               ery, those who work at the Breast          “They listen to me because I’ve
Mammography unit
                                  Health Center offer guidance and         been through it and I’m still here, so
Open to the public for women      clarity to support patients physi-       they do understand that it’s not a
40 and over. Appointments
                                  cally, mentally and emotionally.         death sentence,” she said.
required. Call 706/ 774-4149 or
toll free 866/774-4141. Log on      Pam Anderson, Cancer Services            Ms. Anderson noted that the cen-
                                  and Breast Health Center program         ter follows patients through the en-
calendar to see an updated list
of scheduled stops.               coordinator at University Hospital,      tire disease process – from diagno-

                                  said the first thing her staff does is   sis to recovery – and that can mean
Brown & radiology associates      try to change their perception of        everything from explaining a proce-
(two locations)
                                  breast cancer.                           dure to scheduling an appointment.
818 St. Sebastian Way               Melba Holland, of Augusta, knows       And sometimes, it’s as simple as of-
Ste 100
                                  that firsthand after she was diagnosed   fering a hand to hold. ❖
Augusta, GA 30901
706/722-3574                      with breast cancer in July 2008.

                                    “When you hear that word ‘can-         for more information about uni-
4350 Towne Centre Drive
Suite 1000                        cer’, there’s a fear that comes inside   versity’s Breast health center, call
Evans, GA 30809
                                  of you,” she said. “I could go into      706/774-4141 or toll free 866/774-
                                  the Breast Health Center and have        4141. you can also log on to www.

                                  all my questions answered, and I’d

                                                     er              53
          with Cancer

               Portraits of Life
                   Ten breast cancer survivors tell their stories

Patricia Dent
Hephzibah, Ga.
Diagnosed in August 2004
Just six weeks after her son, Nevin,
was born in 2004, Patricia Dent
                                   3    Ida M. Jenkins
                                        North Augusta, S.C.
                                        Diagnosed in May 2000
                                        It’s not often that a person can say
                                        breast cancer gave them a second
                                                                                         Carol Buchanan Vernon
                                                                                         Martinez, Ga.
                                                                                         Diagnosed in August 2002
                                                                                         When Carol Buchanan Vernon was
                                                                                         diagnosed with breast cancer in Au-
was dealt an enormous physical          chance at life, but then there’s Ida             gust 2002, she knew she was going
and emotional blow – she was di-        Jenkins.                                         to beat the disease – she knew she
agnosed with breast cancer.                Overweight and depressed, Ida                 wasn’t done living yet.
  The young mother of two had           was not the picture of health when                  “After something like this, you re-
found the lump under her arm, and       she was diagnosed with breast can-               ally look at your life and say, ‘I’m go-
after going through all her treat-      cer in May 2000.                                 ing to be one of those people who
ments, was devastated to discover          But during her cancer treat-                  gives back now,’” she said.
that the cancer had returned and        ment, Ida rapidly lost more than                    Carol’s chance to give back even-
metastasized to her brain and liver.    50 pounds, which concerned her                   tually came – but at a devastating
But the news didn’t shake her faith.    physicians, but thrilled the then                personal price. Her sister died of
  At an appointment in January,         46-year-old.                                     heart attack, leaving two young
Patricia got the news she had been         “It really changed me to not worry            daughters without a family.
waiting to hear. “They told me that     about small things,” she said. “This                “I really think God let me live so
there’s no more cancer in my brain,”    had to happen to get me to really                that I could take care of those chil-

2                                  4                                                 6
she said. “And I said, ‘It’s God.’”     look at the big picture.”                        dren,” she said.

Melinda Armstrong                       Emma J. Smith                                    Sherry Scott
Evans, Ga.                              Lincolnton, Ga.                                  Evans, Ga.
Diagnosed in May 2007                   Diagnosed in March 1989                          Diagnosed in May 2008
People say you never know how           “When you’ve always had insur-                   Sherry Scott’s job as a nurse in Uni-
many friends you have until you re-     ance; always had a good job, you                 versity Hospital’s labor and delivery
ally need one.                          never think about ‘what if?’”                    unit lets her be a part of the joyous
   Melinda Armstrong would add             Emma Smith said she had good                  beginnings of life.
that the kindness and support of        insurance, but when she was diag-                  That is a stark contrast to the fear
strangers also is a key ingredient to   nosed with breast cancer in March                she felt when she was diagnosed
surviving breast cancer.                1989, she found out firsthand how                with breast cancer in May 2008,
   Diagnosed in May 2007, Melinda       fickle fate can be.                              but she said her family, her friends
said she was often surprised by            Emma’s insurance refused to pay               and her faith gave her the strength
well-wishers who did everything         for her cancer treatments, saying                to battle a foe that at times seemed
from send cards and e-mails to go-      she had a pre-existing condition                 insurmountable.
ing to treatments with her.             since she went through a number                    “It’s a rollercoaster, and you just
   “I don’t normally put myself out     of surgeries for benign tumors.                  have to take it one small step at a
there and want people to know              That experience led Emma to go                time and you can make it through,”
things, but I looked at people who      to work for the Health Department,               she said.
had been through this before me         where she ultimately became the
and got encouragement from              first patient navigator in the state.
them,” she said.                           “It’s not a job, it’s a calling,” she said.
                                        “Women need to know there’s help
                                        and hope out there.”

54      University Health Care System
                                               4                         7
                                                   5                                               9
                                         3                                                                       10
        1                                                            6

Dana Davis Morris
North Augusta, S.C.
Diagnosed in January 2008
The median age for women to be
                                         of what, to many women, it actually
                                         means to be a woman.
                                            Amy Winn, who has worked in the
                                         health care industry for years, said
                                         that her busy lifestyle – as a wife,
                                                                                  ily – a rallying point for anyone
                                                                                  who questions the need for routine
                                                                                  mammograms, which helped pin-
                                                                                  point her own cancer.
                                                                                     “My church friends tell me, ‘If you
diagnosed with breast cancer is          as a mother and as a friend – didn’t     get mammograms, we’re getting
61, but that doesn’t mean younger        and couldn’t be put on hold after        them, too’,” she said. “And that’s the

women are immune to the disease.         she was diagnosed with breast can-       greatest gift of all.”
  Dana Davis Morris is living proof.     cer in June 2008.
  At a routine visit to the gyne-           “People think their lives are going
cologist when she was just 35, her       to stop while they’re going through      Mary Ann Unger
physician noted a lump in Dana’s         cancer treatments,” she said. “They      Martinez, Ga.
breast, but dismissed it as a fibroid    think, ‘I’ll get through this and when   Diagnosed in April 2004
cyst, mainly because of her age.         I get to the other side I’ll pick my     As a teacher, Mary Ann Unger
  “He handed me a piece of pa-           life back up,’ but there is meaning-     spent years educating students

per with the phone number to get         ful life during treatment as well.”      and molding the minds of future
a mammogram, and he told me I                                                     generations.
could go get one if I wanted,” she                                                  A breast cancer diagnosis in April
said. Dana decided to have the           Carolyn Moore                            2004 altered her educational mis-
mammogram done.                          Augusta, Ga.                             sion forever.
  “The Lord was looking out for me       Diagnosed in April 2009                    Mary Ann left her teaching job
because I’m really the type of per-      In the back of her mind, Carolyn         during her cancer treatments, but
son who doesn’t like to go to the        Moore admits she thought breast          never stopped thinking of ways she
doctor,” she said.                       cancer was something that hap-           could help others learn more about

                                         pened to other people. But after         the disease.
                                         she was diagnosed with the dis-            “I left teaching in May 2005 and
Amy Winn                                 ease on April 4, 2009, she realized      by October of that year, I was volun-
Aiken, S.C.                              cancer is the great equalizer and        teering at University’s Breast Health
Diagnosed in June 2008                   that no one is immune from its life-     Center,” she said. It was there that
No one ever expects to be diag-          changing effects.                        Mary Ann found her calling, helping
nosed with breast cancer. It is a dis-       Carolyn said she’s become a          schedule mammograms on the cen-
ease that strikes at the very heart      cheerleader for friends and fam-         ter’s Mobile Mammography Unit.

                                                            er              55
         with Cancer

                               Treating the
                               Chemotherapy symptoms can often be managed
                               The idea of cheMoTheraPy is             Chemotherapy is a cancer treat-

                               a looming threat that often strikes   ment that uses drugs to help de-

                               fear in the hearts of cancer pa-      stroy cancer cells, stop cancer from

                               tients. And really, the thought of    spreading and slow its growth. In at-

                               months of hair loss, pain and nau-    tempting to destroy the cancer cells,

                               sea is enough to scare anybody.       it may also destroy normal cells,

                                 But Silvana Bucur, M.D., a medi-    which are innocent bystanders.

When patients are              cal oncologist who practices at         It literally poisons the cells, and

able to maintain               University Hospital, said that de-    in doing so, poisons the body as

their weight, they’re          pending on the type of cancer and     well. In the past, the side effects of

able to keep their             therapy you have, your chemo side     these treatments have had the po-

strength, which helps          effects might be less overwhelm-      tential to literally bring patients to

them better deal with          ing than you think.                   their knees with weakness, fatigue,

-Silvana Bucur, M.D.

56     University Health Care System
By helping lessen or even avoiding the side effects of chemotherapy, patients are able to focus solely on
the healing process and the battle against their disease.

nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth         loss of appetite, there are a number        “We have a better understanding

sores and pain.                           of medications that can help.”            of how to pair medications and how

  But chemotherapy-related symp-            She noted that nausea and loss of       those medications work together

toms can now be tempered with             appetite were of particular concern       to help the patient through chemo-

more effective supportive therapies       to physicians because good nutrition      therapy,” she said.

such as medications, including anti-      is vital to cancer patients’ health.        Dr. Bucur noted that physicians

nausea,   anti-diarrheals,   appetite       “When patients are able to main-        work to monitor even those side ef-

stimulants, antidepressants, pain         tain their weight, they’re able to        fects that patient can’t feel.

medications, soothing mouthwash-          keep their strength, which helps            By helping lessen or even avoid-

es and ointments.                         them better deal with chemother-          ing the side effects of chemothera-

  “Depending on the kind of can-          apy,” Dr. Bucur said.                     py, patients are able to focus solely

cer you have, your side effects and         It’s been a learning process for        on the healing process and the bat-

the treatments will be different,”        physicians to find the perfect com-       tle against their disease.

Dr. Bucur said. “Well, for hair loss,     bination of therapies to help allevi-       “If patients know what to ex-

there’s nothing we can do for that        ate the side effects of chemo, but        pect, they’re able to deal with

except for things like wigs, but for      it’s a process that is well worth the     chemotherapy much better,” Dr.

others side effects like nausea and       effort, Dr. Bucur said.                   Bucur said. ❖

                                                               er             57
           with Cancer

Lowering your risk
factors can mean a
breath of fresh air
  Smoking rates continue to drop

in the United States, but that hasn’t

stopped lung cancer from being the

most deadly form of the disease.

  According to the U.S. Centers for

Disease    Control   and   Prevention,

more people die of lung cancer an-

nually than all breast, prostate and

colorectal cancers combined. Every

year, more than 160,000 men and

women die of lung cancer in the U.S.

  But there is good news on the

horizon: In 2007, the percentage of

U.S. smokers older than 18 fell below

20 percent for the first time. This is

a bright spot, but physicians note

that even though a vast majority of

lung cancers are caused by smoking,

around 10-15 percent of annual cases

are diagnosed in patients who have

never smoked.

58        University Health Care System
  “There are three or four potential

causes for people to develop lung

cancer if they’ve never smoked,” said                                      Nonsmoking lung cancers
Lynne Brannen, M.D., a pulmonary                                           are usually found earlier.
disease physician who practices at                                         If you’re not expecting
University   Hospital.   Secondhand                                        to have a cough, like you
smoke and contact with asbestos                                            might if you’re a smoker ...
and radon gas can increase your                                            then you’re more likely to
                                             Lynne Brannen, M.D.
risk for lung cancer. “And some                                            get it checked out.
people just have a genetic suscep-

tibility,” Dr. Brannen said.

  Part of lung cancer’s deadliness      quite large,” Dr. Brannen said. Larg-    agnosed with Stage I lung cancer.

can be attributed to its few specif-    er tumors often mean the cancer            But Dr. Brannen and other physi-

ic symptoms, which can include a        has advanced and possibly spread,        cians are hopeful that the prolifera-

persistent cough.                       which can greatly decrease the           tion of anti-smoking laws, includ-

  “The more significant symptoms        chances of survival.                     ing total public smoking bans, will

don’t occur until the tumors are          “If you present in Stage I, survival   eventually have a positive effect on

                                        rates are around 75-80 percent,”         the number of lung cancer cases di-

                                        he said. “At Stage II, that drops to     agnosed every year.

Risk Factors                            around 50 percent.”                        “Various charity groups and or-
for Lung Cancer                           Overall, Dr. Brannen said the sur-     ganizations have really pushed the

sMokinG and being around                vival rate for lung cancer is around     government to raise cigarette taxes
others who smoke
                                        20 percent, mainly because it’s dif-     and pushed for stricter smoking

thinGs aroUnd the hoMe                  ficult to catch in the early stages –    laws, which all could help in the fight
or work, such as radon gas,
                                        especially for smokers.                  against lung cancer,” he said. ❖
asbestos, ionizing radiation
and other cancer-causing                  “Nonsmoking lung cancers are
                                        usually found earlier,” Dr. Brannen      free fresh sTarT sMoKing
Personal traits, such as                said. “If you’re not expecting to have   cessaTion classes. sponsored
having a family history of lung
                                        a cough, like you might if you’re a      by the american cancer society
                                        smoker, that would really raise a red    with university hospital instruc-
aGinG. The risk of death from lung
                                        flag and you’re more likely to get it     tors,   these   four-week    sessions
cancer increases with age and is
greater in men than in women            checked out.”                            help people give up all forms of

                                          For comparison, Dr. Brannen not-       tobacco. registration is required.
Source: U.S. Centers for Dis-
ease Control and Prevention             ed that 40 percent of nonsmokers         call 706/774-8900 for dates and

                                        versus 25 percent of smokers are di-     to register.

                                                           er                59
          with Cancer

A Little Education Goes a Long
Way to Prevent Skin Cancer
ignorance isn’T Bliss – especially       for men have held steady.                  she said. “But just because you call a

when it comes to skin cancer. That’s       “Younger girls tend to use tan-          pizza low-fat, you have to know that

the finding of a medical study that      ning beds more, and mature women           it’s still not actually good for you.”

looked at how education materials af-    tend to do their tanning poolside,”          By educating women about the

fect the perceptions of young women      said Frances Florentino, M.D., a der-      dangers of excessive sun exposure,

when it comes to skin cancer.            matologist who practices at Univer-        Dr. Florentino said dermatologists

  According to the article in Can-       sity Hospital. “When they’re young,        might be able to help reduce the

cer, a peer-reviewed journal of the      women think they’re invincible, and        number of deaths from skin cancer,

American Cancer Society, even brief      they don’t really consider their skin      which kills more than 8,000 Ameri-

education pamphlets made a last-         cancer risks.”                             cans annually, according to the

ing impression on young women              Dr. Florentino said the tanning indus-   American Cancer Society.

and were readily remembered even         try lobby also has increased the num-        Dr. Florentino noted many older

months after reading.                    ber of people who tan year-round.          women don’t think of themselves

  This is good news for derma-             “People listen to what they want         in danger of skin cancer because

tologists since skin cancer rates        to hear, and if people are telling         they’ve stopped actively tanning.

for women have steadily increased        them that tanning beds aren’t dan-           “Skin cancer can have a delayed

over the years while the numbers         gerous, they want to believe that,”        effect – it’s cumulative,” she said.

                                                                                    “Women will say, ‘But I don’t go out in

                                                                                    the sun.’ Yeah, you haven’t been out

                                Skin cancer can have a delayed                      in the sun this year, but you’ve got 60

                                effect – it’s cumulative. Women                     years of sun exposure to consider.”

                                will say, ‘But I don’t go out in the                  Ultimately, Dr. Florentino encour-

                                sun.’ Yeah, you haven’t been out                    aged everyone to get checked if they

                                in the sun this year, but you’ve                    suspect a problem with a mole.

                                got 60 years of sun exposure to                       “We want people to feel comfort-

                                consider.                                           able coming to a physician if they’re
Frances Florentino, M.D.
                                                                                    concerned,” she said. ❖

60      University Health Care System
                    The American Cancer
                    Society recommends
                    applying sunscreen with
                    an SPF of 15 or higher
                    once an hour while
                    exposed to the sun. er      61
           with Cancer

Cancer Recognition

University’s Cancer Services receives prestigious award

cancer is a scary ProPosiTion;

one that involves not only the pa-

tient, but family and friends as well.                                   This is a wonderful achievement for
  University Hospital has taken that                                     University’s Cancer Services. It really
group approach to care and ap-                                           shows the residents here that there’s
plied it to its cancer services, and                                     no need for them to go outside of
that attention to detail has earned                                      Augusta to get top quality cancer
the hospital the American College                                        treatments. We’ve got it all right here.
of Surgeons Commission on Cancer                                         -Miriam J. Atkins, M.D.
Outstanding Achievement Award.

  University is the only hospital in

Georgia to receive the full designa-     search, community outreach and           sity Hospital for cancer treatments

tion, which recognizes those cancer      quality improvement. The hospital        know they’re receiving experienced

programs that strive for excellence      also received a compliance rating        care from some of the region’s top

in providing quality care to cancer      for the remaining 29 standards.          cancer specialists who practice at

patients, and only 95 programs – 19        “This is a wonderful achievement       University are continually looking for

percent of U.S. programs surveyed        for University’s Cancer Services,”       ways to improve that level of care.

in late 2008 – have achieved this        said Miriam J. Atkins, M.D., a medi-       “I think patients are pleasantly

level of recognition.                    cal oncologist who practices at          surprised when they come to Uni-

  After    undergoing    an    onsite    University Hospital and chairwom-        versity,” Dr. Atkins said. “Especially

evaluation, University received a        an of the hospital’s Cancer Com-         if they’ve gone somewhere else for

Commendation level of compli-            mittee. “It really shows the resi-       any kind of treatment.” ❖

ance with seven standards that           dents here that there’s no need for

represent the full scope of Uni-         them to go outside of Augusta to         for more information about uni-

versity’s cancer program – cancer        get top quality cancer treatments.       versity’s cancer services, call the

committee leadership, cancer data        We’ve got it all right here.”            cancer answer line at 706/828-

management, clinical services, re-         Patients who come to Univer-           2522 or toll free at 866/869-2522.

62        University Health Care System
Support Groups
Cancer treatments don’t happen in a vacuum. The same is true for the support cancer
patients need during their fight against the disease. With that in mind, here are some of
the many cancer resources you can find at University and the American Cancer Society:

BreasT healTh cenTer                    The PinK Magnolias                       ProsTaTe cancer

The University Breast Health Cen-       The   University   Hospital    Breast    Men and women concerned about

ter offers a comprehensive array of     Health Center hosts a breast cancer      prostate cancer are welcome at

well-coordinated breast health ser-     support group the second Monday          meetings of the Us-Too Prostate

vices, including education, diagnos-    of each month. This group is open        Cancer-Augusta chapter. Meetings

tic testing, treatment options and      to all women who have undergone          are held at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday

support. call 706/774-4141 or toll      breast cancer surgery or are going       of each month. Reservations are re-

free 866/774-4141.                      through treatment for breast can-        quired. call 706/868-8758 for res-

                                        cer. A support group for women’s         ervations and information.

reneWal aT second                       spouses or significant others meets

To naTure BouTiQue                      at the same time. call 706/774-          reach To recoVery

Renewal    at   Second   to   Nature    4141 or toll free 866/774-4141.          For more than 30 years, the American

Women’s Boutique offers women                                                    Cancer Society Reach to Recovery

professional, certified fittings in a   focus on healing                         program has helped people (female

comfortable, private setting, and       This educational program through         and male) cope with their breast can-

is the CSRA’s only one-stop shop-       dance and movement for breast            cer experience. call 706/731-9900.

ping outlet for women with special      cancer survivors is sponsored by

needs. call 706/774-4155.               Walton    Rehabilitation      Hospital   road To recoVery

                                        and University Breast Health Cen-        Road to Recovery is an American

Buddy checK 6 PrograM                   ter, and is held on Tuesdays. call       Cancer Society program that pro-

Because early detection is so im-       706/823-5294.                            vides transportation for cancer pa-

portant, University’s Breast Health                                              tients to their treatments and home

Center has teamed up with News          oB/gyn cancer                            again. call 706/731-9900.

Channel 6 and area Dillard’s stores     This community support group

to bring you the Buddy Check 6 pro-     for gynecological cancers, such          for more information about uni-

gram – a community outreach initia-     as cervical, endometrial, ovarian        versity’s cancer services or Breast

tive designed to encourage women        and vulvar, meets at 7 p.m. on the       health center, call 706/774-4141

to take an active role in detecting     second Tuesday of the month. call        or toll free 866/774-4141. you can

breast cancer early. call 706/828-      706/821-2944 for more informa-           also log on to

2522 or toll free at 866/869-2522.      tion and the location.         

                                                             er           63
    Cancer                        The folloWing early deTecTion guidelines for people without
                                  symptoms are recommended by the American Cancer Society and en-

  Screening                       dorsed by University's Cancer Services program. If symptoms are present
                                  or a person is at high risk, then the frequency of the tests and examina-

                                  tions can change upon the advice of a physician. if you have any ques-
                                  tions or would like additional information, please contact the cancer
                                  answer line at 706/828-2522 or toll free at 866/869-2522.

   Early Detection                Breast CanCer
                                  (Women, ages 20+)

       Saves Lives                •	 Breast Self Exam (BSE): Monthly, starting at age 20
                                  •	 Clinical Breast Exam: Every three years, ages 20-39; annually starting at age 40
                                  •	 Mammography: Annually, starting at age 40

                                  ColoreCtal CanCer
                                  (Men and women, ages 50+)
                                  One of these five testing schedules should be followed. Your physician can
                                  help you decide which is best for you:
                                  •	 Yearly	fecal	occult	blood	test	(FOBT)	or	fecal	immunochemical	test	(FIT)	
                                  •	 Flexible	sigmoidoscopy	every	five	years	
                                  •	 Yearly	FOBT	or	FIT,	plus	flexible	sigmoidoscopy	every	five	years	
                                  •	 Double-contrast	barium	enema	every	five	years	
                                  •	 Colonoscopy	every	10	years	

                                  CerviCal CanCer
                                  (Women, ages 18+)
                                  •	 Screening	should	begin	approximately	three	years	after	a	woman	begins	
                                     having vaginal intercourse, but no later than 21 years of age.
                                  •	 Screening	should	be	done	every	year	with	regular	Pap	tests	or	every	
                                     two years using liquid-based tests.
                                  •	 At	or	after	age	30,	women	who	have	had	three	normal	test	results	in	a	
                                     row may get screened less frequently unless she has certain risk factors,
                                     such as HIV infection or a weakened immune system.
                                  •	 Women	70	and	older	who	have	had	three	or	more	consecutive	Pap	tests	
                                     in the past 10 years may choose to stop cervical cancer screening.
                                  •	 Screening	after	a	total	hysterectomy	(with	removal	of	the	cervix)	is	not	
                                     necessary unless the surgery was done as a treatment for cervical cancer.

                                  (Men, ages 50+)
                                  •	 Digital	rectal	examination	and	prostate-specific	antigen	test	(PSA)	of-
                                     fered annually starting at age 50 to men with a life expectancy of at
                                     least 10 years.
                                  •	 Men	at	high	risk	(African-American	men	and	men	with	a	strong	family	
                                     history or one or more first-degree relatives diagnosed with prostate
                                     cancer at an early age) should begin testing at age 45.

                                  CanCer-related CheCk-UP
                                  (Men and women, ages 20+)
                                  Examinations every three years from ages 20 to 39 years and annually
                                  after age 40. The cancer-related check-up should include examination for
                                  cancers of the thyroid, testicles, ovaries, lymph nodes, oral cavity and skin.
                                  Health counseling about tobacco, sun exposure, diet and nutrition, risk
                                  factors, sexual practices and environmental and occupational exposures   should be offered.

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