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Managing the Holidays with Cancer

December 1, 2016

Even people in perfect health often feel exhausted and overwhelmed during the holiday season; that feeling is often magnified when you’re battling cancer. You may not have the stamina to battle Black Friday crowds, deck the halls and entertain as lavishly as you have in years past, and that’s OK. If you’re a cancer patient try not to overexert yourself, but don’t isolate yourself either. Here are some ways cancer patients manage and even enjoy the holidays.

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Exercise and Breast Cancer: The Benefits and How to Get Started

November 18, 2016

As a breast cancer patient or breast cancer survivor, it’s important to stay active – even if you don’t feel up to it. In a recent study by Kerry Courneya, PhD, found that women with breast cancer that participated in a resistance training program during chemotherapy required less dosage and fewer delays in their chemotherapy treatments.  Of course, if you’re undergoing breast cancer treatment, you should first discuss exercise with your doctor. For most breast cancer patients, rigorous activity isn’t recommended, but regular moderate exercise, such as walking or strength training with light weights, can help you to feel better, and as strange as it may sound, you might even feel less tired than before you exercised.

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How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Lung Cancer

November 3, 2016

New cases of lung cancer in Oregon were down by 3% between 2009 and 2013. That's great news! But as one of the most preventable types of cancer, there is more work to be done.

At Compass Oncology, we're participating in Lung Cancer Awareness Month by helping raise awareness of this often preventable disease. Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer diagnosis in both men and women. We encourage you to educate yourself and join us in spreading the word about the prevalence of lung cancer and the best ways to reduce the risks of developing it.

Four Things You Can Do to Reduce the Risk of Lung Cancer

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Breast Cancer Care

August 11, 2016

While one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, dramatic advances have been made in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease. We can now test each patient’s tumor for molecular and genetic changes. This allows us to understand the exact biologic process taking place and better choose the medications and therapies that are targeted directly for that cancer. Some call this personalized medicine, some call it precision medicine and some call it targeted therapy. Regardless of the name, the result is breast cancer has an excellent survival rate when caught early.

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There’s No Such Thing as a Safe Tan

August 10, 2016

We Pacific Northwesterners love our sun. After a long wet winter, summer calls to us with all the beauty our great outdoors has to offer. Outside we go, many of us to soak up a little sun – but be careful, our region has one of the highest incidences of melanoma in the United States. We’re not quite sure why that is but we’re definitely sure everyone can reduce their risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers with some sun safe precautions.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. with 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people being diagnosed annually. That’s higher than the incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. It’s the 5th most common cancer in men and the 7th in women.

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Do Men Need to See a Genetic Counselor?

August 9, 2016

Some individuals are born with genetic mutations that increase the risk of developing cancer during their lifetime. These mutations may be inherited from either a mother or a father. While simply having a genetic mutation does not mean you will definitely get cancer, it does increase your risk. The good news is lifestyle alterations, medication and preventive surgery can reduce the risk for developing hereditary cancer.

Compass Oncology’s groundbreaking Genetic Risk Evaluation and Testing (GREAT) program is a leader in personalized cancer-risk reduction. Our goal is to guide you through the often confusing process of deciding if genetic testing is appropriate and help you determine if you have a genetic mutation that puts you at risk for cancer.

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Clinical Trials

August 9, 2016

Compass Oncology is a leading referral source for cancer specific clinical trials in the region. Clinical trials are research studies designed to develop new and better drug therapies. At any given time, Compass has more than 50 active trials, including many that are not available elsewhere in the community.

In this new era of targeted therapies, the role of clinical trials is more important than ever in providing patients with access to promising new therapies. They are responsible for many of the great strides that have been made in effective cancer treatment.

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When Should You See a Complex Breast Specialist?

August 8, 2016

If you’ve been told you have an increased risk for developing breast cancer, regular follow-up with a breast cancer specialist is essential and the first step to risk reduction strategies and active monitoring. Compass Oncology’s Complex Breast Clinic was founded to provide focused care for patients with inherited gene mutations and other complex breast issues including:

  • Dense breast tissue shown on imaging
  • A lump you can feel that doesn’t show up on imaging
  • Nipple discharge
  • Inflammatory lesions
  • Atypia (an accumulation of abnormal cells in the breast which increases the risk of developing cancer)
  • Adenosis (enlarged breast lobules with more glands than usual)

To schedule an appointment at the Compass Complex Breast Clinic, please call 503.297.7403 in Portland or 360.944.9889 in Vancouver. Learn more about Compass Breast Specialists.

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Oncoplastic Breast Cancer Surgery

August 5, 2016

Today, women undergoing mastectomies have the advantage of significant advances in reconstructive breast surgery and leading-edge oncoplastic techniques that allow the skilled breast surgeon to preserve the envelope of the breast and sometimes the nipple for exceptional cosmetic outcomes.

Oncoplastic breast cancer surgery combines the optimal techniques of breast cancer surgery and plastic surgery to give patients an appealing outcome. Women who undergo successful oncoplastic breast cancer surgery have higher self-esteem and a more positive self-image than women who have a traditional mastectomy. Oncoplastic techniques are also used in breast conserving surgery or lumpectomy.

Some of the benefits of oncoplastic breast cancer surgery include:

  • A wider margin around the cancer can be removed for better cancer control
  • Breast tissue in both breasts can be reshaped providing symmetry between the breasts
  • The nipple may be repositioned if necessary

All Compass breast surgical oncologists are highly skilled in oncoplastic breast cancer surgery. To learn more about your options for oncoplastic breast cancer surgery, call our Compass Breast Specialists team:

Portland – 503 297 7403

Vancouver – 360 944 9889

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Common Misconceptions about Breast Cancer Risk Factors

August 4, 2016

The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. There are numerous misconceptions about who is likely to get breast cancer out there.

Many women often think they can’t get breast cancer unless they’re old.
The fact is almost one quarter of women are diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50.

Women often think they can’t get breast cancer if it doesn’t run in their family.
The truth is the vast majority of breast cancers are not the result of an inherited gene mutation. That’s why it’s important to start mammograms at age forty and have them regularly. It’s the changes in the breast over time that help the radiologist find breast cancers.

Too many women put off having their mammogram because they are afraid of what they may find. The truth is when diagnosed early breast cancer has more than a 95% survival rate.

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