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Dispelling a Cancer Myth

Dispelling a Cancer Myth

Throughout my practice as a radiation oncologist, I have noticed a recurring question that patients ask; “If the surgeon sticks a needle into the tumor or if they expose the tumor to air, will the tumor spread?”  The answer to the question is that realistically, the possibility is very low. In 2015, the Mayo Clinic analyzed 250 patients that had biopsies and found no risk of tumors spreading associated with the procedure. They went further and analyzed 2,000 Medicare patients with pancreatic cancer and found no significant difference in cancer spread between those that had a biopsy...

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The Importance of Exercise – Before, During and After Cancer Treatments

The Importance of Exercise – Before, During and After Cancer Treatments

Did you know that exercise is one of the most important actions you can take during your cancer treatment? It’s true! New research has shown that exercise before, during, and after cancer treatments can: Help alleviate side effects of cancer treatment, such as fatigue, pain, and bone and muscle loss Fuel your appetite Improve your quality of life by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression Reduce the risk of cancer recurrence Help sustain your heart health Maintain or improve your physical abilities Boost your self-image and confidence Help control your weight  This doesn’t mean cancer...

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Breast Cancer Misconceptions

Breast Cancer Misconceptions

Chances are you or someone you know has a close relative or friend that has been impacted by breast cancer and they may even be receiving breast cancer treatment at our facility in Phoenix. Busting these common myths about breast cancer can help you be informed about what's real when it comes to this disease. Breast Cancer Myth 1: Breast cancer only occurs in women. Though it is true more women are affected by breast cancer, it still can and does occur in men. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, over 2,000 men are diagnosed annually with breast cancer. It is...

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What I Learned from My First Colonoscopy

What I Learned from My First Colonoscopy

(Note: The recommended age to begin colon cancer screening for those at normal risk as been changed to 45.) I recently turned 50 which meant it was time for my first colonoscopy. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths and generally when caught early, has a good cancer prognosis. Yet, 30% of adults age 50 and older have not had a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer! However, getting your first colonoscopy doesn’t have to be scary, and you can prep to make the procedure go as smoothly as possible. Here’s what I learned from my first colonoscopy: Know the colon...

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People are Good for Dogs and Dogs are Good for People

People are Good for Dogs and Dogs are Good for People

I was enjoying my very busy life as a radiation oncologist, in a relationship, running, going to CrossFit daily, and taking care of three dogs, when my world changed with a simple blood test.   At 3:30 in the afternoon on July 9th, I saw my last new patient of 2013, and was admitted to the hospital at 8 am the next day. I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with multiple critical issues. I was not permitted to leave the hospital for 23 days. It took a village to come to my aid, providing care for my menagerie of pets,...

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Advances in Lung Cancer Treatment

Advances in Lung Cancer Treatment

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States , with about 222,500 new cases and 155,870 deaths each year. Fortunately, lung cancer deaths have begun to decline, due to a decrease in smoking. The field of cancer care has also advanced faster than most fields in medicine, and major progress has been made in lung cancer treatments, including surgery (delivered by thoracic surgeons), radiation treatments for lung cancer (delivered by radiation oncologists) and systemic therapies (delivered by medical oncologists)....

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Summer Sun Safety – What It’s About and Why

Summer Sun Safety – What It’s About and Why

Summer sun safety means you should focus on safe, outdoor fun while you protect your skin from damage, including dry and itchy skin, sunburns and skin cancer. Phoenix, Arizona typically receives 360 hours of sunshine in September, so you have plenty of opportunities to be outside. With a little planning, you can enjoy the summer sun and protect your skin at the same time. Why is Sun Safety Important? You might not think about it, but your skin is the body’s largest organ. It’s exposed to conditions that other organs are not because it’s on the outside instead of the inside of your...

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Skin Cancer Risks, Signs, Symptoms & Screening

Skin Cancer Risks, Signs, Symptoms & Screening

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Annually, there are more than 5.4 million new cases of non-melanoma skin cancers. While there are fewer cases of melanoma, the incidence of this cancer is on the rise. Many of these cancers can be prevented by protecting skin from excessive sun exposure and avoiding indoor tanning. Read more about skin cancer prevention tips.  Risk factors Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds Skin & hair color: People with fair skin, freckling or red or blond hair have a...

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Molecular Profiling and Breast Cancer

Molecular Profiling and Breast Cancer

By Robert Gin, MD The word profiling has been defined as the use of personal characteristics or behavior patterns to make generalizations about a person. Profiling is used in our everyday lives. When someone knocks on our door and we look through the peephole, we make a split decision on the person’s appearance to decide if we open the door or turn off our lights to show no one is at home. Dating sites and the internet collect data and use that information to present users with a compatible person or products.  However, profiling is not limited to just people. Think about walking...

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Skin Cancer Prevention Tips: How to Read a Sunscreen Label

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips: How to Read a Sunscreen Label

Exposure to ultraviolet light is the primary cause of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers and premature aging. Both of these can be largely avoided by protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays – whether from the sun or tanning beds. If you’re going to be outdoors one of the best things you can do to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen. Wearing protective clothing and avoiding the sun at the hottest times of the day (10 am - 4 pm) can also reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. With so many options, numbers and phrases on sunscreen packages, going to the store to choose the...

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