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New breast cancer gene identified

Written by Community Health Network on 8/14/2014 10:00:00 AM

New breast cancer gene identified A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine identified a new gene mutation, called PALB2, that could lead to breast cancer. Individuals with the gene had a 30 percent chance of developing breast cancer by age 70. PALB2 is now the third gene mutation to be linked to breast cancer. The first two, BRCA1 and BRCA2, were identified in the the 90s.

Having a gene mutation does not mean that you will develop breast cancer, but it does increase your cancer risk. Breast surgeons and oncologists work with genetic counselors to determine the level of risk and what can be done to minimize that risk. continue reading ...


Early detection saved her life

Written by Community Health Network on 8/12/2014 6:00:00 AM


Chances for survival vary by stage of breast cancer. Non-invasive (stage 0) and early stage invasive breast cancers (stages I and II) have a better prognosis than later stage cancers (stage III and IV). And, cancer that has not spread beyond the breast has a better prognosis than cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes.

Catching cancer at its earliest stage only increases a patient's chances for survival. Courtney Larson, a Community Cancer Care patient, knows a thing or two about the importance of early detection of breast cancer: It saved her life.

Larson was performing a breast self-exam when she discovered a suspicious lump. Concerned, she followed up with her physician. A diagnostic mammogram was performed and revealed Larson had breast cancer.

After surgery to remove her cancerous tumor, six rounds of chemotherapy and thirty rounds of radiation treatment, Larson was declared cancer-free. But her passion to keep fighting cancer did not end there. continue reading ...


10 common lung cancer questions with Dr. Jack Wei

Written by Community Health Network on 8/4/2014 6:30:00 AM

Dr. Jack WeiWe sat down with radiation oncologist and certified MD Anderson Cancer Network® physician, Dr. Jack Wei, to discuss questions surrounding the relationship between smoking and lung cancer. 

  1. Is there a link between lung cancer and smoking?
  2. Yes, smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer. There can be other factors, but this is the number one cause.
     
  3. Are smokers at the highest risk for lung cancer?
  4. Yes, current smokers are the highest risk. Former smokers who’ve quit within the past 15 years, are between 55-80 years of age and have a 30 pack-year history of smoking are at a very high risk, too.
     
  5. Are people who have quit smoking still at risk for lung cancer?
  6. Yes, quitters are still at risk. Their risk is lowered when they stop smoking for an extended period of time, but it’s still recommended they get a lung screening to determine the health of their lungs. continue reading ...


Tackling bone cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 7/29/2014 6:15:00 AM

Mark Herzlich, NY Giants linebacker and cancer survivorNot only is Mark Herzlich number 58 and linebacker for the New York Giants, but a cancer survivor too.

As a college football player at Boston College, Herzlich was used to getting hit hard. But when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, that hit came harder than the rest.

In January 2009, Herzlich was coming off of a great football season, but was bothered by a lot of leg pain while sleeping. Soreness and pain was nothing new for the athlete, but this pain nagged him and did not go away. So, during a holiday break his mother made an appointment with his doctor.

An MRI revealed that he had a bone tumor on his femur and a biopsy that followed confirmed it was Ewing's Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. But like he tackled players on the field, Herzlich felt it was only right that he tackle his cancer too. continue reading ...

Tags: chemotherapy , radiation therapy | Posted in: Bone , Sarcoma

Cancer Center South, three months later

Written by Community Health Network on 7/25/2014 6:00:00 AM


Since the opening of Community Cancer Center South in April, the radiation oncology staff has been providing treatment to patients using state-of-the-art equipment. 

The TrueBeam™, a radiation therapy machine, brings something different to cancer treatment plans for Community cancer patients. Using TrueBeam's advanced imaging features, doctors can "see" the tumor and personalize treatments to a particular cancer - and treatments take minutes, not hours.

"The TrueBeam delivers an advanced form of radiation with pin point accuracy to a patient's tumor either in or on the surface of their body," explained Dr. Darrel Ross, radiation oncologist at Community Physician Network. continue reading ...


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