“Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: From Diagnosis to Treatment and Beyond”
A collaboration between Cancer Services and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Presented by Dr. David Zimmerman, Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology
Tuesday, April 19, 6-8 p.m. Healing Arts Center, Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana
The program will explore the subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The diagnosis process and staging system will also be explained so that patients and caregivers are better prepared to ask questions of their medical team, as staging can impact treatment regimen. New treatment options will be presented, in addition to available resources.
Reservations: Please call 484-9560 or toll free 866-484-9560
We are constantly looking for better ways to meet the needs of our clients and caregivers. Whether you are looking for a group of people with whom to share your cancer and treatment concerns and ask questions, or whether you have been told to exercise and are looking for a program that is helpful but not strenuous, check out what we have to offer.
Also, remember that hours are expanding starting January 10: open Mondays from 9:00AM until 7:00PM. Tuesday-Friday open from 9:00AM until 5:00PM.
Examples of new and revised programs for 2011:
- Tai Chi ..a 6 weeks movement program…. helps with relaxation and pain management. Starts Wednesday, January 5 at 5:30PM. Call to reserve your spot. Susan Swardenski facilitates.
- re-Energize! …an exercise program for people of any ability…restarts Tuesday February 1 and meets every Tue & Thursday at 6:00PM. Courtney Berger facilitates.
- The Whipple Group is changing its name to Pancreas, Gall Bladder, Bile Duct Cancer Support Group. The name better describes who the group is for and expands the number of people eligible. Whipple is the name of a surgical technique often used with these types of cancers, but not everyone with one of these diagnoses actually undergoes the Whipple procedure. Meets 3rd Wednesday at 6:30PM. Amy Solaro-Geraghty facilitates.
- Reminder of a general cancer support group: Turning Points. Meets 2nd Tuesday monthly at 5:30PM. Peter Albertson facilitates.
- Caring Touch massage program. Call to schedule an appointment.
All the above groups meet in the Healing Arts Center of Cancer Services, 6316 Mutual Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.
- The South Side Group …a NEW general cancer support group…for those people with any kind of cancer ( and their caregivers) who are looking for a support group on the south side of town. Meets at Lutheran Life Villages, 6701 S Anthony Blvd., entrance under the portico. Meets 3rd Wednesday each month, 6:30PM-8:00PM starting January 19. Helen Claire Ferguson facilitates.
Some of our cancer-specific support groups have disbanded, so we encourage individuals interested in attending a support group to try one of our general cancer support groups.
Please call Gail Hamm at 484-9560 or 866-484-9560 if you have any questions about these or other programs offered by Cancer Services or if there are other programs you would like Cancer Services to offer.
by Gail Hamm, program director
Holidays are notorious for too much food, too many relatives, and too little sleep for the cook. There’s too little time to clean the house, thaw the bird, and manage travel. Let’s be serious. Holidays can be very hectic and rarely are relaxing. But it’s important to your health to step back from all the hassle and refocus on yourself. This is especially true if you, or a loved one, are going through cancer treatment. It’s ok to give yourself permission to simplify. This may mean letting someone else host the affair this year. It may mean changing the menu from roasting a bird to ordering pizza. Perhaps it’s time to reduce the size of the guest list. Maybe you’ll decide to stay in your jammies and let the holiday slide on by, just this once. Whatever you do, you do not have to explain yourself. You do not have to feel like a failure. You do not have to feel guilty. You can say, “I am taking care of myself.” Who knows, you just might find a new way to celebrate!
Fifty years after the discovery of the first direct genetic link to cancer, scientists are assessing the state of so-called targeted therapy — with nearly 30 treatments on the market and a dozen or so more under study.
“We’re still not using the ‘C’ word, ‘cure,’” cautioned personalized medicine director Jeff Boyd of Fox Chase Cancer Center, who helped organized a meeting in Philadelphia today to mark the anniversary and examine the future of targeted therapy.
But, he added, “there is real potential to transform many cancers into chronic diseases.”
One next challenge is how to expand the number of targets to attack, in part by answering what the new chief of the National Cancer Institute calls the “big questions” about what makes this disease so intractable.
Questions like: What makes a tumor metastasize, or spread through the body? Metastasis is what kills, yet scientists don’t know why some tumors spread and others don’t, and what programs those tumor cells to invade, say, the liver instead of the bone or the lung — factors that undoubtedly could be new treatment targets.
Starting in October, Dr. Harold Varmus, the NCI’s director, will begin quizzing top researchers from around the country about which of oncology’s underlying mysteries should be part of his “Big Questions Initiative,” a new focus of government cancer research.
Answering those questions “would get you over a roadblock that keeps us from making better progress,” Varmus told a meeting of his scientific advisers earlier this month.
For Dr. Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society, such a project might finally offer clues to a huge problem facing patients today: How to tell who needs the most aggressive treatment, and who would be OK skipping the big guns.
A domino effect of genetic alterations is required to cause any of the 200 diseases collectively called cancer. Some occur in the person, making them more prone to illness. But tumors also have their own genetic signature — four to seven genetic changes that are critical to turning, say, a normal breast or colon or liver cell into a cancerous one, and a pattern of activity that signals how aggressive that malignancy will be. Those unique patterns also offer targets for treatment, drugs that zero in on the particular genetic pathways fueling the person’s cancer — and even vaccine-like therapies, a fledgling field that aims to train patients’ immune systems to recognize and fight their tumors.
It all started with the 1960 publication of what was dubbed the Philadelphia chromosome, a funny-looking chromosome that two scientists — one from the University of Pennsylvania, one from Fox Chase — spotted only in patients with a specific kind of leukemia. Fast-forward to the 2001 approval of the groundbreaking drug Gleevec, which has turned chronic myeloid leukemia from a fast killer into a disease that many patients today manage with a daily pill. It works by targeting the cancer-causing protein produced by the Philadelphia chromosome.
Gleevec wasn’t the first genetic targeted therapy for cancer — the decades of research sparked by that discovery actually paid off for some other cancers first.
Boyd predicts there will be more than 100 targeted therapies available within several more years, and the real quest is for targets that prove as crucial to holding cancer in check as Gleevec’s did.,
Generating particular excitement now are possible new drugs for hard-to-treat breast cancer, compounds called PARP inhibitors that block enzymes needed for cell growth.
by Gail Hamm, program director
Support Groups are great places to share information and support your fellow cancer sojourners. One night, Tom shared with the group that we could choose to be the pigeon or the statue. He wasn’t talking about the merits of flying versus being rock solid. He was talking about our choice to be either the victor or the victim.
There are certainly lots of times during cancer and the treatments when we may feel put upon. But the only way to survive is to fly like a pigeon. To be alive. To make choices. To not become the statue that all the pigeons roost upon.
Which is it for you? Will you be the pigeon or the statue?