Posts in: Cancer
Nurse Highlight of 21st Century Oncology
By: Susan Burnell
21st Century Oncology of Jacksonville Nurse Manager Terry Santa sees her team go the extra mile every work day and sometimes even on their days off. “Every nurse here is committed and engaged,” she says. “Nurses from 21st Century Oncology participate in the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life, for example. They also set up tables outside the chemo unit to help raise awareness for different types of cancer.”
“Most of all, the nurses here are very compassionate,” says Santa. “They sense when a patient is not feeling well, or just needs extra attention. They will take the time to sit with them to listen and comfort them. It gives me peace of mind to know that every one of our patients is well taken care of, just as if they were a member of our family.”
(Sidenote: Terry is also a nominee of the Inspiration Award for Healthsource’s annual Celebration of Nurses!)
Men, Get Healthy – We Dare You
By: Nita Crighton
The expected lifespan of the average woman is 5 to 10 years longer than that of the average man, and 85 percent of adults over age 100 are female. Although there are various theories on women’s longevity edge over men, men’s cavalier attitude towards their health could be partly to blame.
Women are far more likely to schedule preventive medical and dental appointments than their male counterparts. A recent study showed men were 25 percent less likely than women to have seen a doctor within the past year, and one-third of men in their 40s report skipping medical check-ups altogether.
“Manly” men appear to be the biggest healthcare neglectors. Boys taught to develop a “shake it off” attitude often carry this macho mentality into adulthood.
Middle-aged tough guys are 50 percent less likely to pursue preventive healthcare than men overall. Surprisingly, the higher the job status of a masculine man, the bigger the decline in preventive healthcare. When men do seek medical care, they are more likely to have a serious condition.
So where does that put all those dads, husbands, sons and other men we love and care about? Often, at the top of the risk category for a number of diseases:
Heart Disease – The number one cause of death in men (and women) is heart disease. Men are at higher risk of heart attack than women and attacks tend to happen earlier in life.
*Cance*r – Men are more likely to get cancer and to die from it than women. The American Cancer Society says men have a nearly 1 in 2 lifetime risk of developing cancer, compared to women with a 1 in 3 chance. Prostate cancer is number one, but among cancers affecting both sexes, over a 30 year period one and a half to two times more men than women died from leukemia, colon, rectal, pancreas and liver cancer.
High Blood Pressure – Up until age 45, high blood pressure is more prevalent among males. The risk levels out between ages 45 and 64. After that, women lead the pack.
Stroke – Men are more likely to suffer a stroke than women, although more women actually die as a result of stroke. Still, it’s still the fourth leading cause of death in men and a good reason to pay attention to cardiovascular health.
So this June, as we celebrate men’s health month and fathers everywhere, guys, we’re begging you – Take better care of yourself! If you won’t do it for your own sake, here’s food for thought for all you macho types…*Do you really want to be beaten by a girl?*
TomoTherapy—The New, Advanced Radiation Therapy
Technology Remains a Game Changer in the Fight against Cancer
By Cheryl Lock
At 21st Century Oncology in Jacksonville, radical things are being done to eradicate cancer in patients—and to help make their quality of life as fantastic as it can possibly be.
Helical TomoTherapy is a relatively new, highly accurate technology that uses intensity-modulated radiation to deliver very precise beams targeting a tumor. The technology involves everything from the initial imaging prior to the treatment through the planning of treatment and the delivery of radiation and quality assurance. It’s a completely integrated technology at the leading edge of IG-IMRT radiation—and 21st Century Oncology of Jacksonville has been using it for about five years now.
“Over 1,000 patients have been treated with this technology here,” said Joanne Dragun, MD, FACRO, Director of Radiation Oncology at 21st Century Oncology of Jacksonville. “Each time this type of therapy is put head-to-head with other platforms in the same field, the goals are met in a more precise way with TomoTherapy every time. Today there are only about 300 units worldwide, using the advanced intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) technology for anything from routine to complex treatment, and even retreatment of cases that have previously received radiation.”
Combining state-of-the-art intensity modulated radiation therapy with the precision of computed tomography scanning technology, radiation oncologists using TomoTherapy create detailed, three-dimensional maps of the exact size and location of a tumor, and use those images to plot the tumor’s exact contours, as well as the organs that surround it and any sensitive tissue in the area. A precise dose of radiation is then prescribed, and a single radiation beam is divided into thousands of narrow “beamlets” to deliver radiation from all angles. Daily image guided radiation (IGRT) makes the treatment dynamic. “We can actually see on a daily basis if changes need to be made, if the tumor is shrinking, the patient has a change in weight, and so many other factors that require attention to precise detail”
While there are many advantages to the use of TomoTherapy, for Dr. Dragun and her colleagues at 21st Century of Jacksonville, the most important benefit comes in the form of improved patient care. “With this treatment, we have the ability to target a tumor, which minimizes the exposure of radiation to normal tissue in the area, as well as the ability to simultaneously treat multiple lesions on the body,” said Dr. Dragun. “We’re also able to reduce the toxicity of radiation, and the treatments can take a little as three to 10 minutes, which is another huge benefit.”
To read more visit the digital copy of “Healthsource Magazine:“http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/publication/?i=145307”
For more information on TomoTherapy at 21st Century of Jacksonville, visit their “website:“http://www.21stcenturyoncology.com/