October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness month and there are a lot of community activities that will bring attention to cancer education, prevention and treatment. Baptist Health Care recently announced that it is part of the Mayo Care Network. The collaboration allows physicians to plan local cancer treatment using the research knowledge of the Mayo Center with their own expertise.
Dr. DeJoubner says doctors at Baptist are utilizing the relationship with Mayo to treat cancer patients in our community in a number of ways. She says ooncologists include several disciplines in treatment planning. They meet weekly with Pathologists, Radiologists, Surgeons and other specialists to determine what the best treatment plan is for patients.
With the Mayo collaboration, doctors can also use multiple disciplines to review a patient’s diagnosis and talk about a treatment plan. Ttwo teams of physicians, local and the Mayo network, put their expertise together and decide how to best treat the patient locally.
Dr. DeJoubner says since the relationship was formalized in August, they have already requested second opinions for more than 20 patients from the Mayo network. With the Mayo relationship, if the best treatment plan is for the patient to actually receive treatment at Mayo, the patient is already in their system. Diagnostic images, pathology results and lab results have already been shared with the Mayo system allowing for easy, coordinated transfer of care.
Dr. Adams says new treatments are available for liver and prostate cancer patients in the Radiation Oncology Department. For metastatic liver cancer, there is a relatively new treatment being offered for patients who can't undergo surgery. It's called Selective Internal Radiation Therapy, and tiny radioactive beads are placed directly into the liver. He says it's a minimally invasive treatment plan, takes less than 30 minutes and most patients go home the same day. Clinical trials have shown the treatment offers increased survival without affecting the patients quality of life.
Dr. Adams says another new treatment being offered in Radiation Oncology is using a drug that treats advanced prostate cancer. Using an IV catheter, a drug that contains radioactive radium is in injected. The drug seeks out and kills cancer in the skeletal system. The drug decreases cancer in the bones caused from prostate cancer and increases survival. There are minimal side effects with this treatment and can be more effective than traditional radiation for the prostate. Early detection is crucial in effectively treating any type of cancer.
Early detection and education on breast cancer prevention is the focus for the Month of October. Dr. DeJoubner says many different professional Oncology groups come together nationally to remind women to be screened for breast cancer and raise money to advance breast cancer treatment.
The American Cancer Society recommends women over the age of 40 start having mammograms annually. For women who are a higher risk for getting breast cancer, they should discuss with their physician when to start getting mammograms. Mammography can show breast cancer before the women can actually feel anything which gives us an earlier diagnoses and better outcome for treatment. One in eight women have a chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, but there is a 98% survival rate if it is detected and treated before it has spread.
Dr. Adams says there are several local activities you can participate in to help with the fight against breast cancer. In October, there is the “Bras Across the Bridge” event held on Bob Sikes bridge going to Pensacola Beach. The money raised at this event is used to provide free mammograms to women who do not have insurance or cannot afford to pay a mammogram.
There is also the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Last year this event raised more than $500,000 for treatment research and resources for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
For more information on Baptist Health Care, please visit http://www.ebaptisthealthcare.org/Homepage/.
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