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Deborah’s Journey With Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer

June 22, 2022

At age 35, Deborah Portzer got the news no one wants to hear: breast cancer. Thirty-three years and two recurrences later, her oncologist, Dr. Langerak, gave her better news. Here’s her story.

First Diagnosis

It’s 1989, and Deborah is working for an aerospace company in California and teaching ballroom dancing. She goes in for her first mammogram at age 35 because of a family history of cancer. The results aren’t good: she has an infiltrating ductal adenocarcinoma in her right breast, hormone receptor ER negative and node negative. During her scheduled lumpectomy, her doctor discovers the tumor is larger than he thought, and she ends up with a quadrantectomy.

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10 Myths About Genetic Testing

May 5, 2022

Most people have heard about genetic testing when it comes to cancer risk, but there is a lot of misinformation. Today, gynecologic oncologist Casandra Liggins, MD joins us to bust the myths about genetic testing and share the facts.

MYTH #1: Most Cancers are Genetic

FALSE. The majority of patients who develop cancer do not have a genetic predisposition. “Genetic inheritance plays a role in approximately five to ten percent of cancers,” Dr. Liggins explains. When it comes to breast cancer in particular, five to ten percent of breast cancer patients have an identified gene, although another ten to 15 percent of patients will have a familial correlation, even though the gene is not present.

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One of Our Own, Dr. Marshall Davis, shares his journey with testicular cancer

April 19, 2022

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. Approximately 1 in 250 men will develop testicular cancer at some point during their lifetime, and Caucasian men are four to five times more likely to develop testicular cancer than African-American and Asian-American men. Testicular cancer mostly occurs in men aged 20 to 35 years old. Approximately 6% of cases occur in children and teens, and about 8% occur in men over 55.

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Oncology Social Workers: Practical and Emotional Support On Your Cancer Journey

March 21, 2022

Oncology social workers are licensed clinical professionals who all have master’s degrees and   are able to assist patients and families when affected by cancer. They provide emotional support, counseling, and resource information.

March is Social Work Month. Kelly Huey LCSW, Manager of the Social Work department at Arizona Oncology, talks about how the social work team can be of assistance to patients and their families during this difficult time.

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Most Colorectal Cancer Patients Won’t Need a Colostomy After Surgery

March 18, 2022

March is colorectal cancer awareness month, so let’s talk about some things you might not know about this type of cancer.

According to

  • Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S.
  • Over 75% of colon and rectal cancers happen to people with no known risk factors. 
  • Younger and younger people are being diagnosed.

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