Displaying items by tag: Colon - Facing Cancer Together Facing Cancer Together invites anyone to join the conversation as we connect stories and lives of people touched by cancer. http://facingcancertogether.witf.org Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:00:47 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb The basics of Colorectal Cancer http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/expert-journal/the-basics-of-colorectal-cancer-32415 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/expert-journal/the-basics-of-colorectal-cancer-32415 The basics of Colorectal Cancer

Smart Talk Tuesday, March 24, 2015

One in twenty people will develop colon cancer at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, colon cancer has the second-highest cancer death rate in Pennsylvania. The good news is that there are preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk.

Family history makes a difference but so do diet, physical activity, and smoking and alcohol use.

Many people may feel nervous about having invasive preventative tests, but with the right lifestyle habits and regular screenings, colon cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and doctors all over our local region are encouraging their patients to get screened for colon cancer.

On this episode of Smart Talk, physicians Dr. Ray Hohl, director of Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, and Dr. Walter Koltun, chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, will discuss the causes, risk factors, symptoms, treatments and what we're learning about colon cancer.

Colorectal Cancer 3.24.2015.jpg

Dr. Walter Koltun and Dr. Ray Holh

]]>
Expert Journal Tue, 24 Mar 2015 15:53:08 +0000
Keeping the faith while fighting cancer http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/living-with-cancer/keeping-the-faith-while-fighting-cancer-62912 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/living-with-cancer/keeping-the-faith-while-fighting-cancer-62912 Keeping the faith while fighting cancer

(Hanover) -- More than 20 years ago, Lynn Eib was a busy, young mother to three small daughters. Then, her doctor delivered some devastating news: She had stage III colon cancer. Now, Eib's cancer-free and working as a cancer patient advocate to help others who are going through what she once did.

50-days-of-hope-lynn-eibShe's also written a new book, full of inspirational and spiritual stories to help cancer survivors find hope each day.

As part of witf's multimedia Facing Cancer Together project, Megan Lello recently spoke with Eib about her book, 50 Days of Hope: Daily Inspirations for Your Journey through Cancer, and how her faith helped during a difficult time in her life:

{mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/fmnews/lynn-eib.mp3{/mp3remote}

How has your faith played a role in your journey facing cancer?  Please leave a comment.

Learn more about Lynn's story in the video below:

]]>
Living with Cancer Fri, 29 Jun 2012 19:11:14 +0000
Men's Health: Playing an active role in creating better health http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/expert-journal/men-s-health-playing-an-active-role-in-creating-better-health-53012 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/expert-journal/men-s-health-playing-an-active-role-in-creating-better-health-53012 Men's Health: Playing an active role in creating better health

“I don’t need to go to the doctor.  I’m fine.”  Isn’t that the script we often hear from men about our health and our need for medical services?  And, this is the first hurdle to overcome when talking about men’s health issues.

men-health-generationsWe need to at least be able to have that conversation – to overcome the perception that going to the doctor is a waste of time and a sign of weakness.  I don’t have any new or great ideas on how to get over this first hurdle, but I do know that if we can clear the hurdle there is a lot of benefit down the path.  So, let’s just assume that you have made the decision to seek advice and actually ask questions about your health.  What are some of the topics to cover with your clinician?

There are some topics important to men’s health that are age-specific while there are others that span all age groups.  Some of the topics that are more universal include nutrition, activity, weight, stress management, drug, tobacco, and alcohol use, safety issues, and Advance Directive planning.  Other topics such as certain cancer screening recommendations are more age or race or even family history based.  Your primary care clinician is trained to give you accurate information on each of these topics and to engage you in a conversation about addressing these and other issues of importance to you.

african-am-man-dr

For each topic there are general guidelines and recommendations, but no one guideline or recommendation fits every person.  A great example is the current discussion about prostate cancer screening.  There was a recent recommendation from the US Preventive Services group to stop all routine prostate cancer screening.  Yet, there may be times when screening and testing is appropriate for a particular patient.  

There are other guidelines that may be difficult to understand and require more detailed discussion and thought, such as completing an Advance Directive document so that in case of a need for family or loved ones to participate in care decisions there is clear direction from you.  

Finally, there may be areas of health that you are not ready to address but that at least need to be highlighted such as tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, a poor diet, or even making that appointment for your colonoscopy.

The most important element to understand with any encounter with your primary care clinician is that the visit is an opportunity to participate in decisions about your health.  You need to take an active role in discussing what is important to you to achieve better health and to avoid illness.  

men-health-blood-pressureSome important questions to answer as you discuss health issues with your primary care clinician are:

  1. Do I think this is an issue that might impact my health?
  2. Am I interested in making changes to improve my health in this area?
  3. If I am interested, what changes am I willing to make?  
  4. What help do I think I need to be successful in making changes?

I have chosen to not go into great detail about specific topics of men’s health here.  Rather, I have deliberately chosen to challenge the men who read this to take that first step – recognize the need and benefit of visiting your primary care clinician to have a conversation about health issues.  Is your health important to you?  What steps do you see you need to take and are ready to take to improve and preserve your health?  If you can answer ‘Yes’ to the first question and are ready to make some changes, then pick up the phone and schedule an appointment to have that conversation with your clinician to start the process of change and better health.  I already know that those who care about you and love you want to see you optimize your health.  

Now it is up to you.

drcincotta-copy

Written by
Dr. Cincotta, Medical Director of the PinnacleHealth Medical Group

PinnacleHealth

Dr. Cincotta is the current Medical Director of the PinnacleHealth Medical Group. Dr. Cincotta graduated from Hamilton College in 1971 and from Upstate Medical Center in 1975. He completed Family Medicine Residency at Harrisburg Hospital in 1978. Dr. Cincotta served as Medical Director of Heritage Medical Group 1998 – 2012 and has been a practicing family physician at Shepherdstown Family Practice since 1979.

Related stories:

 

]]>
Expert Journal Mon, 11 Jun 2012 14:44:00 +0000
Colorectal cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/cancer-and-treatments/colorectal-cancer-prevention-diagnosis-and-treatment-32812 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/cancer-and-treatments/colorectal-cancer-prevention-diagnosis-and-treatment-32812  Colorectal cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment

(Chester, PA) -- The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 50,000 Americans will die from colorectal cancer this year, and another 143,000 cases are expected to be diagnosed. March also marks National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

As part of our multimedia Facing Cancer Together project, witf's Megan Lello spoke with Dr. Immanuel Ho, chief of gastroenterology at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Chester, Delaware County, about colorectal cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment:

{mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/fmnews/fct-dr-ho.mp3{/mp3remote}

cancer-scans-doctors-personalCancers of the colon and the rectum are the third most common cancer in US men and women.  The American Cancer Society estimates that 143,460 people will be diagnosed in 2012.  And, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States- an estimated 51,690 will die from the disease.

But, there’s good news.

The rates of this disease have been decreasing steadily over the past 20 years due to cancer screenings that help to detect cancer early.  Caching it in an early stage increases the success of treatment.  

Learn about "The progress we've made: Fighting the 3 most common cancers," an Expert Journal blog titled by Lancaster General Health's  Dr. Wendy Chen.

Regular colorectal cancer screening, such as getting a colonoscopy, is also one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colorectal cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease.  Why? Because during the cancer screening, doctors are able to remove small non-cancerous ployps from the colon before they have a chance to become cancerous,  Watch this video to learn how a colonoscopy can prevent colon cancer.   

Yet, only 4 out of every 10 adults will get screened for colon cancer.   Dr. Brooks, the director of prostate and colorectal cancers for the American Cancer Society shares a list of common colon cancer screening "Myths & Excuses."

colon-polypOver 50 and haven't been to the doctor for your screening this year?  What's your excuse?

Related stories, information and resources about colon cancer:

Check out the "Screen My Colon" animation and share it with your family and friends as a reminder to get screened!

]]>
Cancer and Treatments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 15:35:00 +0000
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/expert-journal/march-is-national-colorectal-cancer-awareness-month-31312 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/expert-journal/march-is-national-colorectal-cancer-awareness-month-31312 March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and we'd like to encourage you to become proactive about your health and learn more about ways to detect and prevent colorectal cancer.  Your family history plays a large role in your risk for the disease, as your risk increases if a family member had colon cancer.  So, this month, take a positive step towards being healthy, educate yourself, start talking to your family, and share what you've learned.

Excerpt from the Expert Journal blog titled, "The progress we've made: Fighting the 3 most common cancers"
by Dr. Wendy Chen, Lancaster General Health

dr. chen oncologist

Cancer is undoubtedly the one word you never want to hear from your doctor, but the truth is that more of us are surviving the disease than ever before. Thanks to better detection methods, earlier diagnoses, and huge advances in treatment, survival rates are now 68 percent, an impressive improvement from a 50 percent survival rate 36 years ago.

In my own oncology practice experience, I am witnessing the growth of available cancer drugs each day to treat patients and, in the era of targeted therapy, provide good quality of life for patients while on treatment.

Let's take a look at the progress we've made in saving the lives of people diagnosed with colon cancer.

Colon cancer

The news is also good regarding colon cancer, where survival has jumped from 48 percent in 1975 to 65 percent.

The numbers could be much better if more people were screened as recommended, including a colonoscopy every 10 years for those 50 or older. Last year, the largest study to look at colonoscopy showed that for every one percent increase in colonoscopy use, the risk of death from colon cancer dropped three percent.

On the treatment side, we've marked progress in surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies:

  • Less invasive laparoscopic surgery is a safe alternative to conventional surgery for operable colon cancers.
  • Research into drug combinations began in the 1980s, leading to improved survival over any one drug used alone for patients with advanced cancer.
  • The targeted therapies known as cetuximab and panitumumab can extend survival or slow tumor growth, respectively, for some patients with advanced colorectal cancer. However, patients with a specific mutation do not benefit from these drugs.

Looking to the future, the National Cancer Institute plans to focus research on key genetic changes associated with how colon tumors begin, and progress and technology that will allow cancerous or precancerous cells to be found in the colon and killed before any growth is visible.

Screening and Prevention:

colon-cancer-preventionCancers of the colon and the rectum are the third most common cancer in US men and women.  The American Cancer Society estimates that 143,460 people will be diagnosed in 2012.  And, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States- an estimated 51,690 will die from the disease.

But, there’s good news.

The rates of this disease have been decreasing steadily over the past 20 years due to cancer screenings that help to detect cancer early.  Caching it in an early stage increases the success of treatment.  

Lancaster General Health gastroenterologist Dr. Daniel Connell talks about the importance of getting colon cancer screenings starting at the age of 50.  And, for those who have faced colon cancer in their family, like Shirley Wissler, he says the screening should start at age 40.   Scroll down to watch a video about the importance of early detection.

Regular colorectal cancer screening, such as getting a colonoscopy, is also one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colorectal cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease.  Why? Because during the cancer screening, doctors are able to remove small non-cancerous ployps from the colon before they have a chance to become cancerous,   

Yet, only 4 out of every 10 adults will get screened for colon cancer.   Dr. Brooks, the director of prostate and colorectal cancers for the American Cancer Society shares a list of common colon cancer screening "Myths & Excuses."

colon-polypOver 50 and haven't been to the doctor for your screening this year?  What's your excuse?

Related stories, information and resources about colon cancer:

Check out the "Screen My Colon" animation and share it with your family and friends as a reminder to get screened!

]]>
Expert Journal Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:42:59 +0000
Sleeping pills and increased cancer risk, lingering chemo brain, and other cancer news http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/cancer-and-treatments/sleeping-pills-and-increased-cancer-risk-lingering-chemo-brain-and-other-cancer-news-3112 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/cancer-and-treatments/sleeping-pills-and-increased-cancer-risk-lingering-chemo-brain-and-other-cancer-news-3112 Sleeping pills and increased cancer risk, lingering chemo brain, and other cancer news

A new study suggests that the 6 to 10 percent of Americans who use prescription sleep medications such as Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata are more likely to develop cancer, and far more likely to die prematurely, compared to those who take no sleep aids.

chemobrain-20-years-laterDutch researchers have found that women who are receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer may have tiny memory and thinking impairments, also known as “chemo brain,” more than 20 years after their treatment, compared with cancer-free women.

A judge on Wednesday blocked a federal requirement that would have forced tobacco companies in the U.S. to put large graphic images on cigarette packages to show the dangers of smoking and encouraging smokers to quit lighting up.

Cancer in babies is relatively rare, but one mother in Phoenix passed on stage IV cancer to her baby during pregnancy.

cancer-fighting-broccoliCancer-Fighting Broccoli: New Study Sheds Light On What Makes The Veggie So Super

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and colonoscopies continue to be a powerful weapon in preventing colon cancer deaths. 

Beating colon cancer: Routine screenings can save your life

Click here to explore more cancer news.

]]>
Cancer and Treatments Thu, 01 Mar 2012 19:09:41 +0000
What NOT to say to cancer patients http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/living-with-cancer/what-not-to-say-to-cancer-patients-2812 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/living-with-cancer/what-not-to-say-to-cancer-patients-2812 What NOT to say to cancer patients

Lynn Eib works as a patient advocate in Hanover, PA offering emotional and spiritual support to cancer patients and their caregivers. She knows a thing or two about what cancer patients are going through. That’s because she is a cancer survivor herself.

lynn-eib-on-what-not-to-say-webLynn faced a colon cancer diagnosis as a young mother of three and endured a tough treatment of chemotherapy. But, now she’s sharing the wisdom she's learned from her own journey to help others and provide them with the emotional care they need.

Lynn says that many times people want to offer patients support, but don’t know how. She says, “I’ve toyed with writing, the idea of writing a book: Really Stupid Things Not to Say to Cancer Patients and Their Family. People say things like, ‘Oh, you look so good,’ and I know they mean well, but you know, you want to say, like, ‘Well, how did you want me to look?’ Or, ‘How did you think I was going to look?’”

Scroll down to watch the video.

what-not-to-say-shh

She adds that the worst thing someone can do is to start telling you a story about someone they know who had cancer that didn’t make it. “Oh, my grandma, she had that kind of cancer, oh, she didn’t last six months.” Lynn suggests, “When someone starts a story about a relative or a friend with cancer, like your kind, look them straight in the eye and say, ‘Does this story have a happy ending?’ And if they say, ‘No,’ say, ‘Thank you. I don’t want to hear it right now.’”

“When I start to tell a story to someone, about someone I know with their kind of cancer, they know it’s a story with a happy ending. Either the person’s cured or the person’s in remission or the person’s doing better than anyone thought or whatever. I only tell those kinds of stories to people. Because you need to hear a hopeful story, not a sad story.”

More words of wisdom from Lynn: “I don’t assume I know how you feel. Just because I’ve had cancer doesn’t mean I know exactly how you feel.” And as soon as I say that, they appreciate hearing that.

Click here to learn more about Lynn, her personal story about facing cancer, her role as a patient advocate, and the support groups she leads.

]]>
Living with Cancer Fri, 10 Feb 2012 15:32:00 +0000
Cancer survivors look to the future with hope http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/living-with-cancer/cancer-survivors-look-to-the-future-with-hope-12712 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/living-with-cancer/cancer-survivors-look-to-the-future-with-hope-12712 Cancer survivors look to the future with hope

A special group of cancer survivors look forward to what life has in store for them.  And, many hope to use their own wisdom to help others navigate their experience with facing cancer.  Watch this video for inspiration and please let us know what you’re looking forward to in a comment.

bette-martin-chemotherapy-quiltScroll down to watch this inspirational video.  

“I’m looking forward to the next ten years, for sure,” says Norma Jean Warfel, a 10-year pancreatic cancer survivor.  She says that cancer has given her a new perspective on life.  “I make the most of what I have, and I’m thankful for every day that I get up.”  Watch Norma’s story and learn more about pancreatic cancer in this video.

Jay Snyder is another cancer survivor who is sharing wisdom gained from his own battle with prostate cancer.  Now that his life is “back to normal,” he is working to raise awareness among other men to get themselves tested for prostate cancer.  Hear more from Jay and other prostate cancer advocates in this video.

Bette Martin (pictured right) says that although her journey with breast cancer has at times made her sad, her hopes are that her journey will help others.  “I hope it will provide an opportunity for me to be there for others in a way that may help them on their journey.”  Click here for more of Bette’s story that she’s shared in personal blogs and videos.

lynns-daughtersRomeo LaMarco's son Joel was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  He compares the journey to climbing a mountain.  "Each step is like one tough step.  Tt's not the step to being cured, it's just a step to getting there.  And, once you're at the top, if you're lucky enough, you survive."  You can watch Joel's success story here.

“My little girls… I don’t want them to have to grow up without a mommy.”  That was colon cancer survivor Lynn Eib’s prayer through her treatments for the disease.  When she saw her youngest of three daughters graduate, she breathed a sigh of relief and told herself, “Yes! I did it.  I made it.”  She now has seen her daughters graduate from college and watch two of them get married.  And, she now has a grandson!  These are things Lynn says, “I never dared to hope and dream for.”  Hear Lynn’s story about facing colon cancer as a young mother in this video. 

]]>
Living with Cancer Wed, 08 Feb 2012 15:07:00 +0000
Little known facts about cancer http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/cancer-and-treatments/little-known-facts-about-cancer-122111 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/cancer-and-treatments/little-known-facts-about-cancer-122111 Little known facts about cancer

Dr. Roald Hempling, the Director of Oncology Services at WellSpan Health in York, PA, weighs in on some of the myths surrounding breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and prostate cancer.

The #1 myth today?  Dr. Hempling says that it’s believing that cancer is a death sentence.  More people than ever are successfully being treated for cancer, and surviving it.

Are night-shift workers at higher risk for cancer?  How about people who take over 25 antibiotics over the course of 15 years?

These and other questions answers in the conversation below.

{mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_December202011.mp3{/mp3remote}

breast-cancer-ribbonBreast Cancer:

It is true that breast cancer is highest in developed countries and lowest in less developed countries.  This could be due to the amount of industrialization.  However, people in developed countries have a longer life expectancy, and with age, comes an increased cancer risk.

The “Western Diet, high in fat and sugar may also be a contributing factor in the higher rates of cancer and other malignancies.

The biggest risk for getting breast cancer is age- getting older increases risk and lowers the body’s ability to ward off abnormal cell growth.  But what  about the 3-year old girl who was diagnosed with breast cancer?  Dr. Hempling simply says, “Cancer knows no rules.”

It is true that more Caucasian women receive a breast cancer diagnosis than African American women, but more Africa American women die of the disease.  Dr. Hempling is hopeful about the fact that better screening methods have decreased the number of deaths due to breast cancer overall.

Does breastfeeding lower risk for breast cancer?  This is true, although there is not much known about why this decreases risk.

Lung Cancer:

Lung cancer accounts for 28% of cancer deaths each year in the US, that’s 160,000 deaths.  So, why doesn’t it receive more research funds than it does?  Dr. Hempling talks about the exciting advances in screening methods for lung cancer and that catching it early is crucial in fighting this disease.  

The earlier it is found, the more effective treatment will be.  Unfortunately, there are not many symptoms and usually by the time a person recognizes that something is wrong, it has spread throughout the body.

cancer-myths

Like lung cancer, ovarian and colon cancer are asymptomatic until its spread.  To this he says that being aware of your body and any changes is very important.  And, he tells physicians to really pay attention to what their patients are telling them.

If you stop smoking, it is likely to save your life.  Deaths from lung cancer are decreasing, mainly because of the decreased use of tobacco.  Many aren’t starting in the first place.

Prostate Cancer:

Rates for prostate cancer are higher in black men than other groups.  Is this because of higher testosterone levels?  Dr. Hemping says that that may be a sound reason, but there is not much evidence as to why this is the case.

He says that it’s key to know your family history as men with three relatives that have cancer are 10 times more at risk for prostate cancer.  This is also important for people with a history of breast and ovarian cancer.  It is especially difficult for adopted people because they may not have access to this information.  Also, men with a family history of breast cancer are at higher risk for prostate cancer.

He says that many people don’t like to discuss family history of disease, but it could be a life-saver.  He points to Gilda Radner as an example of someone who had a family history of ovarian cancer, but was never told the information until it was too late.
Watchful waiting may be a good option for those men diagnosed with a non-aggressive form of prostate cancer.  Carefully monitoring and observing may be an appropriate option in these cases.

sunscreenSkin Cancer:

Skin cancer is the #1 diagnosed cancer type.  Despite what we know about protecting ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays, there has been a 350% increase in cases since 1994.  Dr. Hempling says that we’re still attracted to the tan images in the media, and until that changes, he doesn’t see people wanting to make better choices for themselves.

Is sunscreen giving us a false sense of protection?  Dr. Hempling suggests that people follow the “slip, slap, slop” rule.  Slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, slop on sunscreen.  Even on a cloudy day and in the winter months, you’ll need more than sunscreen to protect from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays that can cause skin damage and cancer.

To hear more cancer myths, click here.

]]>
Cancer and Treatments Thu, 22 Dec 2011 20:18:00 +0000
Cancer survivors help and inspire others http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/living-with-cancer/cancer-survivors-help-and-inspire-others-12111 http://facingcancertogether.witf.org/living-with-cancer/cancer-survivors-help-and-inspire-others-12111 Cancer survivors help and inspire others

The Facing Cancer Together  tagline is, "Connecting Stories, Connecting Lives.”  What we've learned since the initiative began last Spring is those diagnosed with cancer battle through their treatments and the changes in their lives with support from family, friends and the doctors and nurses who treat them.  Making connections is a large part of that support.

lynne-eib-stillEvery cancer survivor we've met talks about the people they've gotten to know who helped them or inspired them to survive and beat the disease or to get back to a normal way of life.  Often, a survivor's experience motivated them to help others being treated for cancer.  Radio Smart Talk host Scott LaMar talks with two women who did just that -- they survived cancer and now they are there for others.

Listen to their conversation:

{mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_November302011.mp3{/mp3remote}

Colon cancer survivor, Lynn Eib, is a patient advocate who provides emotional and spiritual support to cancer patients.  She also runs several support groups to help people process their emotions and connect with other people on a similar journey.  Visit Lynn's website for more information.

vicky_darden_picVicky Darden is a courageous cervical cancer survivor with a mission.  She sold all of her possessions and is on the road, biking around the world for a year, delivering smiles to some of the 28 million cancer survivors out there.  Follow her journey and show your support at her blog.

Explore more inspirational stories in the Living With Cancer setion of our site.  Also, connect with others at the Facing Cancer Together Digital Quilt, and share your own personal story.  

What story can you share?  Are there inspiring cancer survivors you have met in your own life?  Please leave a comment below.

]]>
Living with Cancer Thu, 01 Dec 2011 15:34:40 +0000