Monday, March 10, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
By: Dr. Gigi Chen
February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month and it is important for women to remember that if they experience changes with their body, to contact their physician. A change in your body doesn’t automatically mean you have cancer, but some symptoms should not be ignored either.
10 Cancer Risks to Pay Attention to:
- Breast Changes: Remember to check for any lumps or bumps. Even if your mammograms are normal, you should routinely perform breast exams and have your doctor examine any new lump. Also remember to check your skin for discoloration or discharge.
- Irregular Bleeding: After you have reached menopause (defined as 12 months without a period), if you have any bleeding that occurs, request an exam from your doctor. Also, if you have not reached menopause yet but experience irregular bleeding or spotting outside of your regular periods, contact your physician.
- Rectal Bleeding: If you have any rectal bleeding at all, contact your doctor. Colon cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in women and a common symptom is rectal bleeding.
- Discharge: If you have foul smelling vaginal discharge, your doctor will need to perform an exam to determine is the discharge is due to in infection or something more serious.
- Bloating: Bloating, feeling fuller quicker while eating, a change and urination/bowel habits and lower back/pelvic pain are the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer. It is not unusual to have a few of these symptoms after a big meal, but if you have 2 or more of them for longer than 2 weeks, you should contact your doctor.
- Unexplained Weight Loss/Gain: Though major unexplained weight loss in women is most commonly caused by a thyroid problem, major unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more can be the first signs of pancreatic, stomach, esophageal or lung cancers.
- Persistent Coughing: A cough that lasts more than 2 or 3 weeks that is NOT due to an upper respiratory infection/allergy, or produces blood, should be checked by your physician.
- Change in Lymph Nodes: Swollen lymph nodes often occur when your body is fighting off an infection. However, if you feel enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or under your arm you should be seen by your doctor.
- Fatigue: If you are often fatigued, see your doctor. Fatigue may be caused by a thyroid condition, however extreme tiredness that does not seem to get better with rest, could be a result of blood loss which occurs in colon and stomach cancers as well as leukemia.
- Skin Changes: Call your doctor right away if there are any changes on your skin that concern you. A simple biopsy done at your doctor’s office can determine if the lesion is cancerous. Also, mouth sores that don’t heal should be examined by your doctor.
3 Ways to Lower Your Cancer Risk
- Know your family history
- Know your BMI and stay a healthy weight
- Schedule regular screenings
Gigi Chen, MD is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist practicing at Diablo Valley Oncology, located in the California Cancer and Research Institute, Pleasant Hill.
By Sarah Buenviaje, NP
Diablo Valley Oncology and Hematology Medical Group has received reaccreditation by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The QOPI® Certification Program provides a three-year certification for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet the highest standards for quality cancer care.
Our goal is to provide the highest level of care to every patient, every day - this recertification from ASCO and QOPI recognizes our commitment to delivering excellent cancer care. Our practice was the first practice in Contra Costa County to achieved QOPI certification in February 2011, recertifying for another 3 years is very gratifying.
“Practices that choose to apply for recertification through QOPI demonstrate their continued commitment to the pursuit of clinical care excellence,” said ASCO President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP. “The QOPI Certification Program helps such practices assess the level of care they provide to their patients and demonstrates their commitment to maintaining quality and lifelong learning.”
QOPI is a voluntary, self-assessment and improvement program launched by ASCO in 2006 to help hematology-oncology and medical oncology practices assess the quality of the care they provide to patients. The QOPI Certification Program (QCP) was launched in January 2010, with more than 190 practices already certified nationwide. This certification for outpatient oncology practices is the first program of its kind for oncology in the United States. Oncologists can achieve certification by demonstrating practice consistent with the highest standards of care. The QCP seal designates those practices that not only scored high on the key QOPI quality measures, but meet rigorous safety measures established by ASCO and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).
Diablo Valley Oncology / Hematology Medical Group, located at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill, provides comprehensive cancer care to patients by bringing together medical oncology, hematology, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, diagnostic imaging, clinical trials, oncology rehabilitation and supportive care all in one convenient location. For more information call 925-677-5041.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Blankies for Grown-Ups is an all volunteer based organization in Walnut Creek, California. For 15 years they have been hand making quilts and afghans for seriously ill adults and adult oncology patients. Blankies for Grown-Ups provides fabric, batting, patterns and lots of support to all their volunteers, all FREE of charge. Depending on donations, they can also provide yarn for knitters and crocheters and they can often provide sewing machines and other tools.
Most blankies are distributed through John Muir Health and Contra Costa County Health Services and through state - or community - funded programs. Blankies are also distributed to male and female oncology patients in local hospitals and clinics such as Kaiser, Alta Bates, Contra Costa County Hospital.
Volunteers meet at John Muir Medical Center Concord in the Concord Rooms four times year. Please contact the Blankie Project Coordinator Susan Gray Mason if you can help!
Donations are always welcome:
- Good quality cotton fabrics (no scraps)
- Sewing Machines
- Saturday - Feb 15
- Saturday - May 3
- Saturday - August 2
- Saturday - -November 1
Blankie Project Coordinator
Susan Gray Mason