S P E C I AL A DVE RT IS ING S E CT IO N a guide To PreVenTion, diagnosis and TreaTMenT LIVING 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 dled over beakers and microscopes Network after her 2006 breast can- attempting to discover the next cer diagnosis. medical breakthrough. Oncology Research 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 practices at University Hospital. Ms. Adams decided to join the trial 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 now standard treatments for breast cancer were used as part of clinical trials right here in Augusta. experimental treatments will lead to therapies I received were proven ef- better, stronger and faster treatments fective against breast cancer, and be- for most patients and the next gen- cause this was the second phase of eration of patients, while helping the the trial, I felt more confident that this test subjects as well. was the best choice for me,” she said. “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 approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment 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 University’s Web site, www.university.org/ clinicaltrials. The government Web site www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials 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 Oncology Research Network after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. cer, location and treatment type. sored by pharmaceutical companies man Subject Research and Institu- or the U.S. government. cancer drugs on the market today. Carole Ehleben, director of Hu- 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 “We probably had a half doz- questions about clinical trials, or en patients in that trial,” he said. log on to www.universityhealth.org/ 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 www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. to some drugs that are not accessible to the general public.” www.universityhealth.org/canc er 47 LIVING with Cancer Prostate Cancer Early prostate cancer screening can help save lives dePending on Where you turn, you’re likely to get conﬂicting information about prostate cancer screenings. Some researchers dispute the need for the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood screenings in addition to digital rectal exams (DRE), but physicians who practice at University Hospital say the additional 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 Szoncinski, 51, is a believer in the benefits of the PSA screening. Robert Szoncinski 48 University Health Care System A PSA blood test was just one part of a head-to-toe physical the then- 48-year-old had in November 2006. “I thought I was healthy; I had absolutely no problems,” he said. Elevated screening numbers prompted Mr. Szoncinski to get further testing, and to his surprise, he was diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer. “Because of the screening, the cancer was caught very early,” he said. Dr. Kay said men with prostate cancer risk factors – such as a fami- Benjamin Kay, M.D. ” Those men with risk factors should be screened because of a relatively higher chance of developing prostate cancer. Because prostate cancer is prevalent in those populations, I do think early screening is warranted. ly member diagnosed with prostate cancer or being an African American – 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 Healthy U Calendar, in The Augusta da Vinci® Surgical System. Every cancer is different, so 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, 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. “This has changed my life dramat- www.universityhealth.org/canc er 49 LIVING 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 bleeding, but was hesitant to contact her family physician. Her mother’s prodding finally convinced Ms. Moxley to get checked out, and after the results of a fecal occult blood test, was given a colonoscopy. 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 50 Teresa Moxley and her mother 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 become 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 colorectal cancer screenings. practices at University Hospital. Dr. Keaton noted that even with “Screening will help prevent 90 risk factors, many people with col- percent of colorectal cancers, so it’s orectal cancer won’t have any no- important that people start having ticeable symptoms. don’t have any symptoms, the overall prognosis is going to be very good.” Ms. Moxley had a very long and 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.” ❖ www.universityhealth.org/canc er 51 LIVING with Cancer can be quickly viewed by the technologist 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 mammography interpretation. Glenda Chears, 60, has always been diligent about getting her scheduled mammograms and found that the convenience of the Mobile Mammography Unit made it especially easy to Glenda Chears Take a Picture get in and out in a timely manner. It was on the unit in June 2009 when a spot on her digital screening mammogram concerned her radiologist. Mrs. Chears was referred to Technology keeps mammograms looking sharp a surgeon for a biopsy. 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- 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. ❖ The differences in the technology 52 University Health Care System “It was a very small lump, and I Breast Health Center Facility is a haven for the comfort, education of women Melba Holland 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- 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 get a digital mammogram? offering women and their families vor, Ms. Anderson said having that the education and comfort they first-hand knowledge is an impor- need to get through cancer. From tant message to newly diagnosed diagnosis to treatments to recov- women. university’s Mobile Mammography unit ery, those who work at the Breast “They listen to me because I’ve Health Center offer guidance and been through it and I’m still here, so Open to the public for women 40 and over. Appointments required. Call 706/ 774-4149 or toll free 866/774-4141. Log on to www.universityhealth.org/ calendar to see an updated list of scheduled stops. clarity to support patients physi- they do understand that it’s not a cally, mentally and emotionally. death sentence,” she said. Brown & radiology associates (two locations) 818 St. Sebastian Way Ste 100 Augusta, GA 30901 706/722-3574 4350 Towne Centre Drive Suite 1000 Evans, GA 30809 706/868-3940 Pam Anderson, Cancer Services Ms. Anderson noted that the cen- and Breast Health Center program ter follows patients through the en- coordinator at University Hospital, tire disease process – from diagno- said the first thing her staff does is sis to recovery – and that can mean try to change their perception of everything from explaining a proce- breast cancer. dure to scheduling an appointment. Melba Holland, of Augusta, knows that firsthand after she was diagnosed And sometimes, it’s as simple as offering a hand to hold. ❖ with breast cancer in July 2008. “When you hear that word ‘can- for more information about uni- cer’, there’s a fear that comes inside versity’s Breast health center, call 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 universityhealth.org/breasthealth. www.universityhealth.org/canc er 53 LIVING with Cancer 1 Portraits of Life Ten breast cancer survivors tell their stories Patricia Dent Hephzibah, Ga. Diagnosed in August 2004 3 5 4 6 Ida M. Jenkins Carol Buchanan Vernon North Augusta, S.C. Diagnosed in May 2000 Martinez, Ga. Diagnosed in August 2002 Just six weeks after her son, Nevin, was born in 2004, Patricia Dent was dealt an enormous physical and emotional blow – she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The young mother of two had found the lump under her arm, and after going through all her treatments, was devastated to discover that the cancer had returned and metastasized to her brain and liver. But the news didn’t shake her faith. At an appointment in January, Patricia got the news she had been waiting to hear. “They told me that there’s no more cancer in my brain,” she said. “And I said, ‘It’s God.’” It’s not often that a person can say breast cancer gave them a second chance at life, but then there’s Ida Jenkins. Overweight and depressed, Ida was not the picture of health when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2000. But during her cancer treatment, Ida rapidly lost more than 50 pounds, which concerned her physicians, but thrilled the then 46-year-old. “It really changed me to not worry about small things,” she said. “This had to happen to get me to really look at the big picture.” Melinda Armstrong Emma J. Smith 2 Evans, Ga. Diagnosed in May 2007 People say you never know how many friends you have until you really need one. Melinda Armstrong would add that the kindness and support of strangers also is a key ingredient to surviving breast cancer. Diagnosed in May 2007, Melinda said she was often surprised by well-wishers who did everything from send cards and e-mails to going to treatments with her. “I don’t normally put myself out there and want people to know things, but I looked at people who had been through this before me and got encouragement from them,” she said. 54 Lincolnton, Ga. Diagnosed in March 1989 “When you’ve always had insurance; always had a good job, you never think about ‘what if?’” Emma Smith said she had good insurance, but when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 1989, she found out firsthand how fickle fate can be. Emma’s insurance refused to pay for her cancer treatments, saying she had a pre-existing condition since she went through a number of surgeries for benign tumors. That experience led Emma to go to work for the Health Department, where she ultimately became the first patient navigator in the state. “It’s not a job, it’s a calling,” she said. “Women need to know there’s help and hope out there.” University Health Care System When Carol Buchanan Vernon was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2002, she knew she was going to beat the disease – she knew she wasn’t done living yet. “After something like this, you really look at your life and say, ‘I’m going to be one of those people who gives back now,’” she said. Carol’s chance to give back eventually came – but at a devastating personal price. Her sister died of heart attack, leaving two young daughters without a family. “I really think God let me live so that I could take care of those children,” she said. Sherry Scott Evans, Ga. Diagnosed in May 2008 Sherry Scott’s job as a nurse in University Hospital’s labor and delivery unit lets her be a part of the joyous beginnings of life. That is a stark contrast to the fear she felt when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2008, but she said her family, her friends and her faith gave her the strength to battle a foe that at times seemed insurmountable. “It’s a rollercoaster, and you just have to take it one small step at a time and you can make it through,” she said. 4 2 7 5 8 9 3 7 Dana Davis Morris North Augusta, S.C. Diagnosed in January 2008 The median age for women to be diagnosed with breast cancer is 61, but that doesn’t mean younger women are immune to the disease. Dana Davis Morris is living proof. At a routine visit to the gynecologist when she was just 35, her physician noted a lump in Dana’s breast, but dismissed it as a fibroid cyst, mainly because of her age. “He handed me a piece of paper with the phone number to get a mammogram, and he told me I could go get one if I wanted,” she said. Dana decided to have the mammogram done. “The Lord was looking out for me because I’m really the type of person who doesn’t like to go to the doctor,” she said. 8 Amy Winn Aiken, S.C. Diagnosed in June 2008 No one ever expects to be diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a disease that strikes at the very heart 10 6 1 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, as a mother and as a friend – didn’t and couldn’t be put on hold after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2008. “People think their lives are going to stop while they’re going through cancer treatments,” she said. “They think, ‘I’ll get through this and when I get to the other side I’ll pick my life back up,’ but there is meaningful life during treatment as well.” 9 Carolyn Moore Augusta, Ga. Diagnosed in April 2009 In the back of her mind, Carolyn Moore admits she thought breast cancer was something that happened to other people. But after she was diagnosed with the disease on April 4, 2009, she realized cancer is the great equalizer and that no one is immune from its lifechanging effects. Carolyn said she’s become a cheerleader for friends and fam- ily – a rallying point for anyone who questions the need for routine mammograms, which helped pinpoint her own cancer. “My church friends tell me, ‘If you get mammograms, we’re getting them, too’,” she said. “And that’s the greatest gift of all.” 10 Mary Ann Unger Martinez, Ga. Diagnosed in April 2004 As a teacher, Mary Ann Unger spent years educating students and molding the minds of future generations. A breast cancer diagnosis in April 2004 altered her educational mission forever. Mary Ann left her teaching job during her cancer treatments, but never stopped thinking of ways she could help others learn more about the disease. “I left teaching in May 2005 and by October of that year, I was volunteering at University’s Breast Health Center,” she said. It was there that Mary Ann found her calling, helping schedule mammograms on the center’s Mobile Mammography Unit. www.universityhealth.org/canc er 55 LIVING with Cancer Treating the Treatment 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- When patients are able to maintain their weight, theyâ€™re able to keep their strength, which helps them better deal with chemotherapy. cal oncologist who practices at It literally poisons the cells, and University Hospital, said that de- in doing so, poisons the body as pending on the type of cancer and well. In the past, the side effects of therapy you have, your chemo side these treatments have had the po- effects might be less overwhelm- tential to literally bring patients to ing than you think. their knees with weakness, fatigue, -Silvana Bucur, M.D. 56 which are innocent bystanders. 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 sores and pain. of medications that can help.” “We have a better understanding 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. nausea, anti-diarrheals, Dr. Bucur noted that physicians appetite “When patients are able to main- stimulants, antidepressants, pain tain their weight, they’re able to 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- apy,” Dr. Bucur said. py, patients are able to focus solely “Depending on the kind of can- work to monitor even those side effects that patient can’t feel. 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- 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. ❖ tle against their disease. www.universityhealth.org/canc er 57 LIVING with Cancer Lung Cancer Lowering your risk factors can mean a breath of fresh air Smoking rates continue to drop in the United States, but that hasnâ€™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 annually 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 Lynne Brannen, M.D., a pulmonary disease physician who practices at University Hospital. Secondhand smoke and contact with asbestos and radon gas can increase your risk for lung cancer. “And some Lynne Brannen, M.D. people just have a genetic susceptibility,” Dr. Brannen said. ” Nonsmoking lung cancers are usually found earlier. If you’re not expecting to have a cough, like you might if you’re a smoker ... then you’re more likely to get it checked out. agnosed with Stage I lung cancer. Part of lung cancer’s deadliness quite large,” Dr. Brannen said. Larg- 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- chances of survival. ing total public smoking bans, will “The more significant symptoms don’t occur until the tumors are Risk Factors for Lung Cancer “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. “Various charity groups and or- around 50 percent.” Overall, Dr. Brannen said the sur- ganizations have really pushed the sMokinG and being around others who smoke vival rate for lung cancer is around government to raise cigarette taxes 20 percent, mainly because it’s dif- and pushed for stricter smoking thinGs aroUnd the hoMe or work, such as radon gas, asbestos, ionizing radiation and other cancer-causing substances ficult to catch in the early stages – laws, which all could help in the fight especially for smokers. against lung cancer,” he said. ❖ usually found earlier,” Dr. Brannen free fresh sTarT sMoKing Personal traits, such as having a family history of lung cancer said. “If you’re not expecting to have cessaTion classes. sponsored 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- ﬂag and you’re more likely to get it tors, checked out.” help people give up all forms of aGinG. The risk of death from lung cancer increases with age and is greater in men than in women Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Nonsmoking lung cancers are these four-week sessions For comparison, Dr. Brannen not- tobacco. registration is required. ed that 40 percent of nonsmokers call 706/774-8900 for dates and versus 25 percent of smokers are di- to register. www.universityhealth.org/canc er 59 LIVING 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- the finding of a medical study that ning beds more, and mature women 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- and were readily remembered even try lobby also has increased the num- months after reading. ber of people who tan year-round. This is good news for derma- “People listen to what they want ” pizza low-fat, you have to know that it’s still not actually good for you.” American Cancer Society. Dr. Florentino noted many older women don’t think of themselves in danger of skin cancer because tologists since skin cancer rates to hear, and if people are telling 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. Frances Florentino, M.D. 60 Skin cancer can have a delayed effect – it’s cumulative. Women will say, ‘But I don’t go out in the sun.’ Yeah, you haven’t been out in the sun this year, but you’ve got 60 years of sun exposure to consider. University Health Care System they’ve stopped actively tanning. “Women will say, ‘But I don’t go out in the sun.’ Yeah, you haven’t been out in the sun this year, but you’ve got 60 years of sun exposure to consider.” Ultimately, Dr. Florentino encouraged everyone to get checked if they suspect a problem with a mole. “We want people to feel comfortable coming to a physician if they’re concerned,” she said. ❖ The American Cancer Society recommends applying sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher once an hour while exposed to the sun. www.universityhealth.org/canc er 61 LIVING with Cancer Cancer Recognition ” University’s Cancer Services receives prestigious award cancer is a scary ProPosiTion; one that involves not only the pa- This is a wonderful achievement for University’s Cancer Services. It really shows the residents here that there’s no need for them to go outside of Augusta to get top quality cancer treatments. We’ve got it all right here. -Miriam J. Atkins, M.D. tient, but family and friends as well. University Hospital has taken that group approach to care and applied it to its cancer services, and that attention to detail has earned the hospital the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer 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 University are continually looking for patients, and only 95 programs – 19 “This is a wonderful achievement percent of U.S. programs surveyed for University’s Cancer Services,” 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- 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- After undergoing an management, clinical services, re- 62 Patients who come to Univer- University Health Care System ways to improve that level of care. 2522 or toll free at 866/869-2522. 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 The University Breast Health Cen- The 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. University Hospital ProsTaTe cancer reneWal aT second spouses or significant others meets To naTure BouTiQue at the same time. call 706/774- reach To recoVery 4141 or toll free 866/774-4141. For more than 30 years, the American Renewal at Second to Nature 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 www.university- 2522 or toll free at 866/869-2522. tion and the location. health.org/breasthealth. www.universityhealth.org/canc er 63 Cancer Screening Guidelines: Early Detection Saves Lives The following early detection guidelines for people without symptoms are recommended by the American Cancer Society and endorsed by University's Cancer Services program. If symptoms are present or a person is at high risk, then the frequency of the tests and examinations can change upon the advice of a physician. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the Cancer Answer Line at 706/828-2522 or toll free at 866/869-2522. Breast Cancer (Women, ages 20+) • 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. Prostate (Men, ages 50+) • Digital rectal examination and prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) offered 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. www.universityhealth.org/cancer 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.