Viewing 1-4 of 4 result(s).

Cervical cancer breakthrough

Written by Community Health Network on 6/13/2014 11:30:00 AM

Two women with cervical cancer who went through immunotherapy are now in remission.

For Arrica Wallace, age 37, of Manhattan, Kansas, her diagnosis with stage III cervical cancer in 2011 was a shock. She had gone for regular Pap smears and all her tests had been normal. Cervical cancer is typically caused by the HPV virus and transforms normal cells into fast growing tumor cells - often caught in a Pap smear.

The mother of two shared her story with NBC News, “In all, I had 32 rounds of chemo, I had 25 days of radiation and I also had brachytherapy, internal radiation treatment before the trial treatment,” Wallace said. “My doctors … were pretty aggressive because I was young and healthy enough to handle the treatment side-effects.”

Yet after all that, the cancer prognosis was not good.

Christian Hinrichs, MD, National Cancer Institute recruited Arrica Wallace to be part of a small cancer immunotherapy trial. Through a new approach, Henrichs and his colleagues find T-cells and amplifies the body’s own immune response to cancer. T-cells are important because if we have enough of them our body can control the cancer. Immunotherapy enlarges the impact of T-cells and in this trial helped a third of the patients and two patients, Arrica being one, experienced remission.

National Cancer Institute team says the results are really startling.

Dr. Hinrich added that, “It’s possible this approach may work against other cancers caused by HPV, including head and neck cancer. NIH researchers are recruiting patients now for relevant trials.

Read the full story >>

Source: Presented by Dr. Hinrichs at ASCO May 3,1 2014 and covered by NBC News 


Stacy's story: Part I

Written by Community Health Network on 6/10/2014 7:00:00 AM

“Is there anything I can do to help you? Maybe take the kids out for a few hours?” Those are the types of things that can really help. What you don’t want to say to a (breast) cancer patient is “How are you feeling today?”

When Stacy Costa was 18 and her aunt, age 31, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she remembers thinking to herself that she was going to get cancer too.

“It was just a feeling because four people on my mom’s side had cancer,” said Costa.

Knowing her family history, Costa stayed conscious of her breast health and very self-aware of what felt normal and what did not. Part of that included performing routine self-exams. It was one of those routine self-exams that told her a lump in her breast was different and it shouldn’t hurt to touch. She acted quickly and called her family doctor.

It started with an ultrasound and moved onto the radiology department where she had a mammogram screening and was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Upon receiving the diagnosis Costa reached out to her mother, a former nurse and pharmaceutical representative, who put her in touch with Community Breast Care Center.

“I made the call to Community and got in quickly,” said Costa. “I asked my mom to come with me, not so much because she was my mom, but because she could translate all the medical-speak. But Dr. Goulet (breast surgeon) spoke to me so plainly that I didn’t need to worry. He was so good at giving me all the information and letting me take time to make decisions.”

Costa said she wasn’t surprised by her diagnosis and that she would need surgery and chemotherapy. But she did wonder if the family history was a factor, so Dr. Goulet did a gene test. continue reading ...


Olympic figure skating great Dorothy Hamill recalls chemotherapy side effects

Written by Community Health Network on 2/15/2014 10:15:00 AM

In 1976, Dorothy Hamill trademarked the "Hamill-Camel", a figure skating spin, and won gold at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. Instead of retiring from the sport when she was at the top of the podium, she went on to compete in the next year’s World Figure Skating Championship—and won. Dorothy applied those same guts when she was diagnosed with cancer.

In 2007, the figure skating champion was diagnosed with breast cancer. After extensive chemotherapy and treatment she was declared cancer-free in 2009. But even a few years after her last chemotherapy session, Hamill still felt drained from all of the treatment.

“I don’t have a lot of energy,” said Hamill in a 2010 interview with People magazine. “I get really tired. Even when I’m not skating I get tired.”

Christina Kim, M.D., an MD Anderson Cancer Network™ certified physician at Community Health Network, specializes in breast surgery. She says there are common long-term side effects from chemotherapy. continue reading ...


Refuel like an Olympian before your next cancer treatment

Written by Community Health Network on 2/7/2014 12:30:00 PM

Cancer treatments can leave you fatigued and physically drained. What can you do to re-energize? If we think of food as fuel, then what we eat will make a difference. Like the Olympians in Sochi who use food to fuel for performance, cancer patients must also use food for fuel. You can use your diet to help prepare your body to fight the disease.

Here are five tips for making fueling post-treatment delicious, easy and healthy.

Eat breakfast.

Whether you are a figure skater, bobsledder or cancer patient, breakfast is important. Blood sugar is at its lowest levels in the morning, so eating easy-to-digest carbohydrates like whole-grain toast or oatmeal will help you get a good start. You’ll get your metabolism working and start the day off energized.

Stay hydrated.

Drink water. As a cancer care patient, you’re going to be juggling the side effects from chemo and radiation therapies. Drinking water is always recommended, especially to help prevent constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, and nausea.

You can also try jazzing it up with a spritz of lemon or citrus flavors. Try this citrus-infused water recipe >>

Avoid diet extremes.

Being treated for cancer may mean you need extra calories and protein to keep your strength up. But this can be hard when appetite is low and some foods aren’t tolerable. continue reading ...


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