Written by on 7/15/2014 7:00:00 AM
According to the American Cancer Society, this year approximately 12,000 new soft tissue sarcoma cases will be diagnosed in the United States.
These cancers are considered rare, but found most often in adults. More than half are found in the arms and legs. Others soft tissue sarcomas are discovered in the abdomen, head and/or neck.
The most common symptom an adult will notice is a lump that continues to grow over the course of a few weeks or months. Most often these lumps do not hurt. continue reading ...
Written by on 7/12/2014 6:00:00 AM
This month is National Sarcoma Awareness Month. There are two common types of sarcoma: bone and soft tissue. Both are treated based upon the size, location and stage of the tumor.
Soft tissue sarcomas are often treated using surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Depending on the characteristics of the tumor and its grade (growth rate), a combination of all or some of these treatments may be used.
The treatment of bone cancer depends on the size, location, type and stage of the cancer. Chemotherapy with surgery is often the primary treatment. While amputation of a limb is sometimes necessary, using chemotherapy either before or after surgery has allowed physicians to save the limb and improve survival in many cases.
Radiation may be used in Ewing’s sarcoma if surgery is not feasible, or in certain select cases of metastatic disease.
Although very rare, in the two months that the new Community Cancer Center South has been open, the radiation oncology department has treated four patients with sarcoma.
"After a tumor is removed surgically, the radiation oncology team works with the patient to treat the margin of tissue left after resection, targeting microscopic cancer cells," said Dr. Darrel Ross, radiation oncologist at Community Physician Network. "The goal with this treatment is to avoid damaging healthy tissue and to promote wound healing after the grafting." continue reading ...
Written by on 7/8/2014 6:00:00 AM
Brazil may be hosting the World Cup now, but it will also host the Paralympic Games in 2016. And sarcoma survivor, J. Dee Marinko, a member of the U.S. Sitting Volleyball team plans to be there.
Marinko lost his foot to sarcoma, a rare cancer, in 2009.
At 28 years old, Marinko was working as an Air Force supply tech in Oklahoma when went to the doctor complaining of foot pain. An MRI image revealed a cystic growth in his foot. continue reading ...
Written by on 7/4/2014 6:00:00 AM
"We want to impart an attitude of happiness and joy here," says Donna Raker, oncology nurse, about Community Cancer Center South. "Cancer gives the impression of gloom and doom, but we find that our patients want to celebrate life every day."
Celebrate they do. The patients and staff in the radiation oncology department at Community Cancer Center South are notorious for hosting parties and themed events to make cancer treatment fun.
July 2, 2014 was no different. Red, white & blue bunting, balloons and the smell of barbecue filled the radiation oncology department.
"This patriotic party is our way of kicking off the Fourth of July holiday," said Raker. "It's the biggest one we have hosted in the two months that we have been at the new cancer center. We are making it home so why not celebrate with our patients." continue reading ...
Written by on 7/3/2014 6:00:00 AM
A cancer diagnosis can be extremely emotional, and making sense of health information can also be overwhelming. That is why Community has a dedicated cancer care team and oncology nurse navigators to help cancer patients on their journey.
We sat down with breast health navigator, Sharon Bronnenberg, RN, BSN, OCN, CBCN, to talk about the role an oncology navigator plays in a cancer treatment.
What does a oncology nurse navigator do?
I act as a guide, resource, advocate, educator and liaison for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their family. As an oncology navigator with a focus on breast health, my goal is to get answers to all of their questions so that we allay their fears.
I am a consistent caregiver throughout the cancer journey, coordinating appointments and schedules, and providing resources and information. But the most important thing I do is provide support and hope.
What should a cancer patient expect the first time they meet you?
When I meet with a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient I make sure they know their plan of care, as well as the other doctors that they will be seeing.
I also let them know that they will be very busy when they begin treatment, but that as a breast navigator I will try hard to go to all of their appointments with them. From the very first appointment, I educate and reassure the patient by taking notes and answering questions.
Continuity of care is vital for us in order to make the patient feel comfortable and earn their trust. We all have the same goal: To do everything possible to have the best possible outcome for the patient. continue reading ...