Blog

Meet Your Team: Michelle Vieira, MSW

July 10, 2017

Michelle has been in the medical social work field for over 4 years, with experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She earned her masters degree in social work with a clinical concentration in mental health from Boston College. Her goal is to provide support to patients, families, and caregivers as they navigate cancer by offering practical resources, referrals, and counseling. Michelle sees patients at the Compass Tualatin and West locations. To schedule an appointment, please call 503-384-9952.

Learn more about Michelle

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Meet Your Team: Jamie Newell, MSW, LCSW

July 10, 2017

“I am so moved by the grace and strength, as well as the vulnerability, that people have in dealing with this foreign world of cancer treatment. It’s an honor to be able to support them through this time.”

Jamie Newell is an oncology social worker and helps lead program development of Compass palliative care services. The program’s goal is to help patients and their loved ones live well with cancer through additional symptom management and support. Dealing with
the upheaval and uncertainty of cancer is no easy task and Jamie is committed to walking with her patients every step of the way. She offers counseling to address the emotional and spiritual health of patients, family members and caregivers that is so important during
treatment. She is a resource and an advocate, helping to bring clarity to issues and connecting patients with critical resources. Jamie has particular expertise in helping parents navigate the complexities of parenting while dealing with their cancer diagnosis.

When not working, Jamie loves spending time with her family and enjoying the outdoors.

Learn more about Jamie

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Meet Your Team: Lydia Mills, MSW, LCSW, LICSW

July 10, 2017

Lydia has been with Compass Oncology over three years, providing a supportive presence for patients and families through counseling, emotional support, and referrals to community resources. She has worked in medical social work for over 10 years, including adult and pediatric oncology and hospice care. Lydia earned her masters degree in social work at Portland State University. Lydia sees patients at the Compass Rose Quarter and Tualatin locations. To schedule an appointment please call, 503.528.5212.

Learn more about Lydia

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Meet Your Team: Virginia Hill, LCSW, LICSW, OSW-C

July 10, 2017

Virginia earned her masters degree in social work from Portland State University and has been a licensed clinical social worker for more than 20 years focusing on counseling and medical social work. Her goal is to ease her patients and their families’ journey through challenging times by providing them with both emotional and practical support. Virginia sees patients at the Compass Vancouver location. To schedule an appointment please call, 360.773.8630.

Learn more about Virginia

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What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

June 12, 2017

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer. Accounting for less than 5% of all breast cancer diagnoses, the cancer forms in the cells that line the breasts’ milk ducts, but quickly spreads to nearby lymph nodes and sometimes other tissues in the body. The cancer is called “inflammatory” because the cancer cells usually block the lymph vessels in the breast. This causes fluid to build up, which leads to inflammation that is usually red and tender.

How is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Different than Typical Breast Cancers?

Compared to slower-growing forms of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer progresses and spreads through the body quickly – sometimes in a matter of weeks.

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Compass Radiation Oncologist co-authors article

June 8, 2017

Compass Oncology's Dr. Ravi Chandra is co-author of a research article about the enhancement of drug delivery to tumors.

The article is published on ScienceMag.org.
 

Culling cancer by vacating the vasculature

Although it is important for blood vessels to maintain barrier function under most conditions, in cancer therapy, vascular permeability enhances drug delivery to tumors. Miller et al. used intravital microscopy and computational modeling to show that a single, low dose of radiation therapy could induce transient, dynamic, and localized vascular “bursting”—increased permeability, coinciding with extravasation of fluid, cells, and nanoparticles from blood vessels in tumors. Along with vascular bursting, radiation enlarged blood vessel volume and the number of tumor-associated macrophages in mouse xenografts and patient tumor biopsies. These tumor-associated macrophages took up drug-laden nanoparticles, inducing greater drug delivery to tumors. This study demonstrates an alternative strategy for improving targeted nanotherapy delivery by modifying the local tumor microenvironment rather than the nanoparticle itself.

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Radiation Oncology Questions Answered by Ravi Chandra, MD, PhD

June 2, 2017

In my first of an occasional series of Blog posts, I wanted to take a few moments to answer questions that frequently arise for patients referred for radiation therapy.

What is radiation and how does it work?
Radiation therapy uses high energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. Precisely focused X-rays damage the DNA inside cancer cells causing them to die, either right away or when they try to grow. There are even new data suggesting that radiation may help the body’s immune system (the same system that fights infections) attack cancers. Cancers in any part of the body can be treated, and in any age patient.

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Could Your Skincare Products Make You More Prone to Sunburns?

June 2, 2017

Male or female, young or young at heart, if you use skincare products it’s safe to assume you’re committed to keeping your skin healthy and attractive. However, some of the products you rely on to achieve those goals may actually increase your risk of sunburn – which can put you at a greater risk of developing skin cancer. It can also make your skin show more wrinkles, sunspots and other signs of premature aging.

Below are four types of products you may be using that could increase your likelihood of sunburn, especially if you’re not using SPF.

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World No Tobacco Day - 5 Helpful Tips for Tobacco Users to Reduce Lung Cancer Risk

May 22, 2017

The Compass Oncology lung cancer specialists encourage everyone to take a moment on May 31st to observe the World Health Organization’s “World No Tobacco Day.” This day focuses on the health risks of tobacco use, including smoking, as a part of our practice’s efforts to reduce the number of lung cancer cases diagnosed each year. According to the National Cancer Institute, that’s close to 700 cases each year in the Portland-Vancouver area[1].

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What You Should Know About Participating in a Cancer Clinical Trial

May 10, 2017

Learning you have cancer, or that cancer has returned, is shocking news. After you begin to wrap your mind around it your main focus is probably, “How can I beat this?” In most situations your oncologist begins treatments using established, proven cancer treatment protocols based on the specific type of cancer you have been diagnosed with. For some people, the most commonly effective cancer treatments don't work as expected, and in these cases your cancer specialist may recommend enrolling in a cancer clinical trial. Should you do this? Find out more about cancer research done right in your community.

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