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Cancer Patients Support Each Other and the Community

Forever Fighters: Stage IV Breast Cancer Patients

Friends, Jet Mitchell and Kelly Trolia, aren’t letting Stage IV cancer diagnoses slow them down.

In fact, their diagnoses actually brought them together.

And now, the Comprehensive Cancer Centers patients are bringing a powerful message of love, unity and support to fellow survivors and the broader Southern Nevada community.

Jet was diagnosed in 2015 with Stage IIIB breast cancer and again in 2016 with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Kelly was diagnosed in June 2017 with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer that spread to her bones. She recently underwent a double mastectomy, radiation treatment, removal of her ovaries and will have breast reconstruction just in time for her 50th birthday.

According to BreastCancer.org, approximately one in eight U.S. women will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In Nevada, the American Cancer Society projects that 2,190 residents will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. A Stage IV diagnosis is serious, with a five-year survival rate of approximately 22 percent. While breast cancer death rates declined nearly 40 percent between 1989 and 2016, the quest for a cure continues.

In addition to the life-saving treatments that exist and are still to be explored, there is no denying the power of human connection.

Jet and Kelly were first connected when Kelly asked if there were any support groups for metastatic breast cancer fighters, or forever fighters, in the area. We immediately thought of Jet, who is part of a “Metavivors” group among several other inspirational community and personal endeavors which includes being a member of the Pink Paddlers Dragon Boat team, a group of breast cancer fighters that meet at Lake Las Vegas every other Monday for rowing and support. Since her cancer diagnosis, Jet has also run a half-marathon in all 50 states and has a passion for supporting American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and other advocacy efforts throughout the state, country and world.

While Kelly was equipped with the spark of a forever fighter, she needed to connect with someone that fully understood her situation.

She found that connection and more in Jet and with the Metavivors group. The group is comprised of Stage IV metastatic breast cancer fighters and convenes to discuss not only the treatments that individuals are undergoing, side effects, and assistance available, but they also celebrate the positive moments of life too.

Since their initial meeting, Jet and Kelly’s friendship has blossomed, and the dynamic duo has been on the frontlines of several fundraising and awareness events in the community.

In May, Jet and Kelly were recognized during the Mission Moment of the Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic, which raises awareness and funds for cancer and cancer research. In January, they dropped the ceremonial puck at the Ice Vegas Invitational and in December, the friends were honored on-court and alongside other survivors and patients at T-Mobile Arena during the annual Coaches vs. Cancer basketball tournament. In October 2018, Jet and Kelly were part of a moving event where several patients of Comprehensive Cancer Centers helped shave Vegas Golden Knights star Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s head to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Jet and Kelly are both fun, intelligent and inspiring women. While they are both on a serious path, they are having fun along the way, seemingly making the most of each and every minute.

They are living proof that Stage IV cancer fighters can continue to lead active lives, sometimes in the most amazing ways possible through building friendships and a sense of community.

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Comprehensive Supports Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic

Coaches vs. Cancer and Comprehensive Cancer

Comprehensive Cancer Centers is proud to support the Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic May 19-21. The event brings to Las Vegas the biggest names in college basketball coaching, and features the return of former UNLV head coach, Lon Kruger. Kruger, who now coaches at the University of Oklahoma, has remained a popular fixture in the Southern Nevada community with Coaches vs. Cancer. Additionally, Lon’s son, Kevin Kruger, was hired as an assistant coach for the UNLV men’s basketball program in April of 2019. Kruger, who was the point guard on UNLV’s 2007 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team as a senior under his father.

Comprehensive partners with Coaches vs. Cancer’s golf tournament, as well as Coaches vs. Cancer college basketball games in November and December (LINK 1). These games and tournaments are part of a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities and organizations to make a difference in the fight against cancer. Coaches vs. Cancer is going to raise more than $1 million net in 2019, which means they will have raised more than $5 million net over the event’s 12-year history.

This initiative, supported by Comprehensive, leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of coaches to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities and advocacy programs. Since 1993, the program has raised more than $100 million for the American Cancer Society.

“At Comprehensive Cancer, we’re proud to partner with Coaches vs. Cancer to help raise awareness about cancer treatment and research,” said Jon Bilstein, Chief Executive Officer of Comprehensive Cancer Centers. “These events allow us to share the stories of our patients, survivors and their families to help demonstrate the reason why supporting cancer research is so important.”

For this year’s golf tournament, Comprehensive is sharing the story of two patients who formed a bond through their diagnosis and who have been on the frontlines of several fundraising and awareness events in the community.

American Cancer Society – Improving Health & Wellness

American Cancer Society provides tips, tools, and online resources to help people set goals to improve health by quitting smoking, eating healthier foods, and maintaining an active lifestyle.  These resources are shared at local events, in schools and through other methods such sites at hospitals and treatment centers where the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program provides one-on-one guidance to people facing cancer through every step of their journey. This type of patient support, paired with the compassionate cancer care provided by the team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers, ensures patients are well cared for in all areas of treatment.

Supporting American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society has phone lines that are open anytime, day or night, to connect people with the answers they need. Each year, the organizations provide support to nearly one million individuals who call us at 1-800-227-2345.  The organization offers help through social media channels, as well as through its website, cancer.org, which offers access to the latest information and news on cancer care and helps people locate programs and services in their area.  Also found online is a support community for cancer survivors and caregivers to share their stories and find support including finding transportation to and from their treatments, and the organization may offer free lodging to cancer patients and their caregivers.

In addition to the Coaches vs. Cancer events, Comprehensive Cancer Centers has worked very closely with American Cancer Society for many years. The local affiliate provides our patients with social services, including rides to and from treatment, volunteers at our treatment centers and workshops of their Look Good, Feel Better program. We are grateful for our relationship with American Cancer Society and are proud of the work they do in our community to support cancer patients. We are especially proud of all the work they do to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

Comprehensive Cancer in the Community

Comprehensive has built a unified team dedicated to helping those in need throughout the Southern Nevada community. The practice’s cancer care team and providers regularly participate in several community events annually that raise awareness about research and support for many worthy causes. Each year, members create company-sponsored teams for Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure as well as the St. Rose Regatta Dragon Boat Race, which supports the St. Rose Dominican Hospitals’ R.E.D. Rose Program.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for patients with cancer, blood disorders, breast health conditions, pulmonary disease and sleep disorders. We also offer genetic risk assessments through cancer genetic counseling and groundbreaking treatment options through clinical research.  To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

 

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Comprehensive Explains Nutrition’s Impact on Health

Diet and Cancer

An important part of Comprehensive Cancer Center’s patient and community outreach efforts include providing information designed to help people eat healthier foods. Diet is a significant factor in maintaining good health, and assisting in recovery during cancer treatment, as well as in helping the body do its best to prevent illness and disease. Healthy food provides the body with nutrients necessary for cellular growth, repair and maintenance.

Comprehensive consistently updates its blog with nutritious (and tasty) recipes that are easy to prepare. The blog also offers commentary on ingredients and even trends regarding food preparation.

Should a patient be in the practice’s care, good eating can prevent weight loss and malnutrition by proving the right amounts of food rich in calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Comprehensive’s doctor, nurses, and/or a registered dietitian are all there to help patients identify and follow nutrition goals during their courses of treatment.

Staying Informed About Food and Nutrition

To help provide smart insights about diet and nutrition, Comprehensive Cancer Centers stays informed by keeping up-to-date on new information about food and nutrition through science and research. One part of this puzzle is found by monitoring good resources such as the FDA’s Total Diet Study (TDS).

The Total Diet Study is an ongoing program that monitors levels of approximately 800 contaminants and nutrients in the average American’s diet. To conduct the study, the FDA buys, prepares, and analyzes about 280 kinds of foods and beverages from representative areas of the country, four times a year. The study is aimed at helping people eat well to live healthier lives, while lowering risk of illness and disease, such as cancer.

Using data, the FDA estimates how much of the contaminants and nutrients the entire U.S. population, some subpopulations, and each person consume annually, on average.  Because eating patterns change over time, the FDA updates the list of foods to be analyzed about every 10 years. The list of food to be tested is revised to account for trends in what consumers eat, and how much of those foods’ consumers eat. FDA uses the TDS results to suggest potential areas of focus for our food-safety and nutrition programs.

With regard to health risks from diet, such as cancer, Comprehensive is always looking at the impact of diet, and how to assess diet and cancer risk. Part of this process comes from monitoring foods and beverages, as well as the nutrients and dietary constituents they contain, and how they are consumed together, as they are never eaten in isolation of one another.

Working to Improve Dietary Patterns Research

Every five years, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and NCI collaborate to update a dietary tool called the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). This is another tool which assesses how closely an eating pattern, or any set of foods in the food supply chain, aligns with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines reflect a shift toward focusing on total diet. For example, the guidelines now stress an overarching approach to diet, such as following a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan; eating a variety of foods, with a focus on nutrient density and amount; and limiting calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reducing sodium intake. Comprehensive considers these guidelines when selecting recipes to suggest.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Tools like Total Diet and HEI are all part of the process in looking at how nutrition affects people, and how to eat well to lower health risks and improve treatment outcomes. Both are important to the team at Comprehensive and will continue to inform how we work to help the community live long and healthy lives. We are proud to offer our patients access to a registered dietitian for guidance on how to maintain a diet tailored to their specific treatment plan. To learn more about diet and nutrition or to find our featured cancer fighting recipes, visit our website. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, schedule an appointment by calling 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Importance of Cancer Genetic Screening for Cancer Treatment

Cancer Genetics at Comprehensive

Cancer genetic risk assessment is an important tool offered at Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Inherited cancers account for approximately five to 10 percent of all cancers. And nearly 50,000 newly diagnosed cancers can be attributed to an inherited gene.

Cancer Genetics 101:

Our bodies are made up of billions of cells which contain DNA. Our DNA is made up of genes, which you inherit from your mother and father.  According to the Genetic Support Foundation, our genes provide the instructions to build proteins for everything we need to grow and function.

One of those important functions is regulating how quickly cells grow and divide. Since cancer starts when cells begin to grow and divide out of control, it is important to identify individuals and families that have cancer susceptibility genes. By identifying susceptibility, we can be more aware of certain risks and identify treatment options before a cancer occurs.

Not everyone with a cancer gene will develop cancer, but their risk is greatly increased. Many people with these genes develop cancer at younger ages than the rest of the population. Genetic testing for those who are at high risk is now highly recommended and is becoming more of an expectation in oncology.

What if I have a family history of cancer?

It is important to know if you or your family members have a hereditary predisposition to cancer, as there are now options to reduce the risk of getting cancer. Management care plans can include specific cancer screening exams, medications and/or preventative surgery. Treatment options are tailored to an individual’s risks and lifestyle. If possible, the best person in the family to test is the person who already has cancer.

What happens during a genetic risk assessment?

Your family history is the foundation for a risk assessment and the basis for identifying those people who are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers. Both your mother’s and father’s history will be obtained as well as histories for your aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings and your children. We want to know who has had cancer, what type of cancer they were diagnosed with and how old they were when they were diagnosed. These histories will determine whether further discussion or genetic testing for a hereditary cancer syndrome is indicated.

If it is determined that testing is recommended, education on cancer genetics and hereditary syndromes will be provided. Counseling is another necessary step in the process and is critical to helping you make informed decisions about testing.

You will be provided with information on the specific test being performed, what the results mean, the psychological implications of test results, confidentiality issues, options for risk estimation without genetic testing, the risk of passing a gene mutation to a child, fees involved in testing, options and limitations of medical surveillance and strategies for prevention after testing and the importance of sharing your genetic test results with at-risk relatives.

How is the actual test performed?

The genetic testing performed in our office requires saliva (buccal) sampling. It is a simple procedure and takes only minutes. An oral rinse process obtains the DNA from the lining of your mouth, which is then processed in the laboratory for analysis.

How much does a genetic risk assessment cost?

Most insurance carriers cover genetic testing for hereditary cancer. A majority of patients have no out-of-pocket costs if their deductibles have been met. You can contact your insurance plan directly to determine the current status of your own deductible.

How do I get my results?

We will schedule a follow-up appointment two to three weeks after you have been tested to review your results. We will offer guidance on how to share the results with family members and how your test results may affect them. There are many medical management options available to those who test positive and you will be referred to the appropriate provider for follow up.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Cancer genetic nurse practitioner, Barbara Caldwell, MSN, APRN, is one of only nine healthcare professionals in Nevada to receive their training from an intensive cancer genetic risk assessment program at City of Hope. She offers a thorough consultation and can put together a comprehensive medical care plan tailored to the individual and their family. Comprehensive Cancer Centers offers cancer genetic counseling services at the following locations:

  • Central Valley
    3730 S. Eastern Avenue
    Las Vegas, NV 89169
  • Northwest
    7445 Peak Drive
    Las Vegas, NV 89128
  • Southwest
    9280 W. Sunset Road Suite 100
    Las Vegas, NV 89148
  • Horizon Ridge Henderson
    2460 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy
    Henderson, NV 89052

Call 702-730-1746 to schedule an appointment or visit our website: https://www.cccnevada/cancer-genetic-counseling for more information.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Additional Evidence Suggests Even Greater Risks for E-Cigarette Users

Health Risks and E-Cigarettes

Comprehensive Cancer Centers always cautions against the use of tobacco products, as they’re the leading cause of countless health issues. For those who are smokers, the practice provides resources, such as the I Quit For Campaign, encouraging people to quit smoking.

A challenge in raising awareness about quitting smoking, or not starting smoking to begin with, has come from the growth of e-cigarettes. Many people see the product as being less harmful than cigarettes. This misguided belief has led to increase use of e-cigarettes to satisfy an urge to do something similar to smoking, without the user believing they’re incurring the same risks as tobacco smokers.

Smoking E-Cigarettes May Not Lower Exposure to Nicotine

Many who smoke e-cigarettes do so in hopes of avoiding the intake of nicotine, a well-known carcinogen found in tobacco products. Recent data has shown that e-cigarettes may not lower these risks as much as people would hope they would. The Truth Initiative published data regarding e-cigarettes and nicotine and found that nicotine levels in e-cigarettes are highly variable, with some reaching or exceeding levels found in combustible cigarettes. Their research also revealed that among younger users of a popular e-cigarette, only 37 percent knew that the product always contains nicotine. The study also revealed the following troubling insights:

  • Labeling is not always a reliable indicator of nicotine content, as studies have found mislabeling to be a common issue for e-cigarettes.
  • The way an e-cigarette is used or modified affects the delivery of nicotine to an individual user.
  • Some e-cigarette products deliver nicotine almost as efficiently as a cigarette, and some manufacturers even promote the fact that they can deliver nicotine nearly 3 times faster than other e-cigarettes.
  • A certain e-cigarette manufacturer claims the product has nicotine content like traditional cigarettes, and that it delivers the nicotine up to 2.7 times faster than other e-cigarettes, with the nicotine in a certain e-cigarette containing the same amount of nicotine in one cartridge as would be found in 200 puffs from a cigarette.

In addition to the health issues involved in using e-cigarettes, their use of nicotine can create addictions to the products, and perhaps serve as a gateway to increased use of nicotine through products such as standard cigarettes.

Increased Exposure to Different Sets of Chemicals

While e-cigarettes contain far fewer toxins than combustible cigarettes, they are not free of toxins and still deliver harmful chemicals.  At least 60 chemical compounds have been found in e-liquids, and more are present in the aerosol produced by e-cigarettes. Researchers have identified several substances, which are either harmful or potentially harmful to e-cigarette users, including delivery solvents and propylene glycol, which can cause dry mouth and upper respiratory infections.

E-cigarette flavors have not been studied for toxicity if inhaled over long periods of time. Many e-cigarette flavorings contain chemicals that are known to be respiratory irritants, and research has found that some flavors are potentially more toxic than others. Researchers found that exposure to increased cinnamon flavoring caused significant cell death, compared with other flavors. Additionally, mixing multiple flavors can be more toxic to cells than exposure to just one flavor at a time. The repercussions of long-term exposure to the chemicals found in e-liquids and produced by e-cigarettes are not yet known, since products have not been on the market long enough to conclusively study their effects.

It was revealed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was weighing a ban on flavored-cigarette liquids, given that many believe vaping devices may lead teens to a nicotine addiction later in life. There have been other recent concerns that vaping may cause seizures, especially among teens.

From a pulmonologist’s point of view, here is the bottom line: Don’t put anything in your lungs that shouldn’t be there, whether it is smoke stemming from a cigarette, marijuana, vaping, hookah or anything like it. Good clean air is best for your lungs and that’s that.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Comprehensive Cancer Centers has an entire division dedicated to the treatment and management of lung diseases, which may stem from smoking. Lung Center of Nevada offers consultation for those who are at risk of developing lung cancer due to smoking and monitors those patients using screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT).  As part of the practice’s multi-specialty approach, we also provide seamless of care and access to medical oncology and radiation oncology serves should a lung cancer diagnosis occur. To schedule an appointment at Comprehensive, call 702-952-3350.

 

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Cancer Risks Increase with Greater Use of Alcohol

Alcohol and Cancer

Comprehensive Cancer Centers urges its patients, and the general public, to take proper precautions to reduce cancer risks. Taking good care of one’s health is the best way to prevent illnesses and to ensure the best outcome, should an illness such as cancer occur. An area of increasing concern for causing health risks, and negatively affecting health and potential treatment outcomes, is found in the use of alcohol.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the use of alcohol increases the risk of several cancers, including those of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, as well as in the liver, breast, stomach and for colorectal cancers. With April being Head and Neck Cancer and Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, we felt it was even more so important to bring attention to this concern.

The NCI study illustrated that patterns have emerged between the consumption of alcohol consumption and increased risks for the following specific types of cancer:

  • Liver Cancer: Health risks normally associated with the liver for drinkers is cirrhosis. Cancer diagnoses are unfortunately increasingly a part of liver illness diagnoses. Drinking alcoholic beverages has been found to potentially increase cancer risks by 200 percent, in comparison to those who do not drink alcohol.
  • Colorectal Cancer: Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption is associated with nearly a one- and one-half times increased risk of cancers of the colon and rectum compared to those who do not consume alcohol.
  • Head and Neck Cancer: Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption is associated with higher risks of certain head and neck cancers. Moderate drinkers have nearly twice the risks of oral cavity and pharynx cancers and one- and one-half times increased risks of larynx cancers than non-drinkers. Heavy drinkers have a 500 percent higher risk of oral cavity and pharynx cancers and a two and half times great risks of larynx cancers. The risks of these cancers are substantially higher among those who combine drinking alcohol with tobacco use.
  • Esophageal Cancer: Alcohol consumption at any level is associated with the increased risk of a type of esophageal cancer called esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The risks for those who consume alcohol are nearly one and one third times higher for light drinkers and nearly five times greater for heavy drinkers, in comparison to those who do not drink alcohol. There’s also a greater risk for those who are genetically deficient in an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol.
  • Breast Cancer: Epidemiologic studies have consistently found an increased risk of breast cancer with drinking alcohol. Pooled data from 118 individual studies indicates that light drinkers have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer, compared with nondrinkers. The risk increase is greater in moderate drinkers) and heavy drinkers. An analysis of prospective data for 88,000 women participating in two US cohort studies concluded that for women who have never smoked, light to moderate drinking was associated with a 1.13-fold increased risk of alcohol-related cancers, with most of the diagnoses for breast cancer.

The physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers also caution people that risks from consumption of alcohol is not limit to any certain types of drinks.  This includes red and white wine, beer and cocktails.

How Much Alcohol is Too Much Alcohol?

The more alcohol consumed, the greater the risks of having health issues, such as cancer. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends avoiding drinking alcohol entirely. However, American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) acknowledges that modest amounts of alcohol may have a protective effect on heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. If you do drink alcohol, it is recommended to limit consumption to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a standard alcoholic drink in the United States contains 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in the following drinks and serving sizes:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 8-9 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces, or a “shot,” of 80-proof distilled spirits (liquor)

How Does Alcohol Increase Cancer Risks?

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) now classifies alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen (like tobacco). The World Health Organization estimates that between 4 percent and 25 percent of cancers are attributable to alcohol worldwide.

A recent article in Business Insider explains that part of the reason alcohol is dangerous is that it irritates tissues, making it easier for carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds) to sneak in and cause DNA damage in the body. When DNA is damaged, cells can begin growing out of control and create cancer tumors.

The article also points to the results of a worldwide study of drinkers in 195 countries. The study which was published in 2018 found that no matter where people live, heavier drinkers are more likely to develop cancer, and they’re also more likely to die from cancer and many other causes.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Comprehensive Cancer Centers is committed to the healthcare community and to our patients. We want to help raise awareness about risk factors and offer tips and recommendations for preventative measures, like reducing your alcohol intake or quitting smoking.  We also want you to keep in mind; everything in moderation! We are dedicated to providing the best care possible to all of our patients, so if you or a loved one has been diagnosed, please call 702-952-3350 to schedule an appointment.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Comprehensive Cancer Has Team of Advanced Practice Providers

Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners

Comprehensive Cancer Centers provides world-class, compassionate care to all its patients. An important part of these efforts comes from identifying and hiring talented, dedicated and experienced providers and building a team to meet the needs of the community.

Comprehensive has a large team of physician assistants (PA-C) and nurse practitioners (NP) that support our physicians by offering follow up care and help managing treatment plans for patients. The team consist of two PA-C’s and thirteen NP’s spanning a variety of specialties:

  • Katelyne Atijera, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC: Katelyne is a nurse practitioner for medical oncology. She earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Nevada State College in Henderson, Nevada and Master of Science in nursing from Purdue Global University, in Davenport, Iowa.
  • Barbara Caldwell, MSN, APRN: Barbara is a nurse practitioner and cancer genetic counselor for medical oncology. She is one of only nine healthcare professionals in Nevada to receive their training from an intensive cancer genetic risk assessment program at City of Hope.
  • Katie Cupp, MSN, APRN, FNP-C: Katie is a nurse practitioner for the pulmonary division. She received her master’s in nursing from University of Alabama at Birmingham and has certifications in Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).
  • Hannah Furney, MSN, APRN, AGNP-C, AOCNP: Hannah is a nurse practitioner for medical oncology. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of South Alabama, specializing in adult gerontology primary care with a subspecialty in adult oncology.
  • Christopher Gabler, PA-C: Christopher is a physician assistant for medical oncology. He received his Master of Science in the Physician Assistant Studies Program from Oregon Health & Sciences University and completed his oncology fellowship from The Ohio State University.
  • Samiyah Hoodbhoy, PA-C: Samiyah is a physician assistant for medical oncology. She received her Master of Science in the Physician Assistant Program from Touro University Nevada and has worked as an outpatient PA for Interventional Pain Management allowing her to manage chronic pain on a daily basis.
  • Vida Kim, MSN, APRN, FNP-C: Vida is a nurse practitioner treating pulmonary disease at Lung Center of Nevada. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from Charles Drew University, Los Angeles, California.
  • Lorraine Kossol, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC: Lorraine is a nurse practitioner at Lung Center of Nevada, a division of Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada. She received a Master of Science in nursing from University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS).
  • Shelley S. Miles, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, AOCNP: Shelley is a nurse practitioner at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada where she provides oncology care to patients. She received her master’s in nursing as a family nurse practitioner from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
  • Dulce Novakovic, MSN, BSBA, APRN, FNP-C: Dulce is a nurse practitioner for medical oncology. She has held various RN positions, spanning oncology PCU and medical surgery. She received her Master of Science in nursing from Chamberlain University.
  • Pamela O’Neil, MSN, NP-C, AOCNP, APRN: Pamela is a radiation oncology nurse practitioner at Comprehensive Cancer Centers. She received a Master of Science in Nursing from Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin.
  • Chin H. Oh-Ciernick, APRN, FNP-C: Chin is a nurse practitioner for the pulmonary division where she assesses and treats adult patients with acute and chronic pulmonary health concerns. She received a Master of Science in Nursing from South University in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Lisa Reiter, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC: Lisa is a nurse practitioner for the pulmonary division. Lisa Reiter received her master’s in nursing from University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2012, where she graduated with Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Theta Tau International honors.
  • Shannon Southwick, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, OCN: Shannon is a nurse practitioner for medical oncology. She provides oncology care and follow up care to patients as well as teaches an introduction to chemotherapy class to all new patients. She received her bachelor’s in nursing and master’s in nursing from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
  • Dawn M. Willard, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC: Dawn is a nurse practitioner for the pulmonary division. She received her master’s in health promotion and master’s in nursing as a family nurse practitioner from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Their regular interaction with patients helps build and maintain integrated care plans that work in collaboration with oncologists and pulmonologists as well as each patient’s referring physician.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Comprehensive, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, offers state-of-the-art technologies, latest advancements in cancer treatment and groundbreaking clinical research trails. The practice participates in more than 170 Phase I, Phase II and Phase III clinical research studies each year and has played a role in developing more than 70 FDA-approved cancer therapies. For more information on news and information about the practice, follow Comprehensive Cancer Centers on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350. For more information about our team of advanced practice providers, visit our website.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

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Comprehensive Offers Multi-Specialty, Patient-Centered Care

Treatment Tailored To You

Comprehensive Cancer Centers is proud to offer the community of Southern Nevada access to a multi-specialty practice consisting of medical oncology, hematology, radiation oncology, breast surgery, pulmonary medicine, cancer genetic counseling, clinical research and other services.

The practice has been in the community for more than 40 years and has been dedicated to enhancing the patient experience by recruiting the best providers, investing in technology and offering the latest treatments and services, so there is no reason to leave the state for treatment. Our goal is to always keep the patient’s care our number one priority.

Five of Comprehensive’s 15 treatment facilities and offices are fully integrated cancer centers with medical oncology and radiation oncology services. Four of the practice’s facilities offer services for cancer and non-cancer related diseases of the breast, and two of Comprehensive facilities make up an entire pulmonary division, dedicated to diagnosing, treating and educating adult patients with lung diseases and sleep disorders. Treatment centers and offices are located in Las Vegas, Henderson and Summerlin with an outreach center in Boulder City.

Research at Comprehensive Cancer Centers

In keeping with the multi-specialty approach, Comprehensive Cancer Centers prides itself on the extensive research program it has developed over the years. As a leader in cancer research, the practice offers more than 170 Phase I, II and III clinical trials annually and has been sought out by world-renowned research institutions and pharmaceutical companies to open and offer groundbreaking trials to our patients.  As a result, Comprehensive has led several efforts and helped develop more than 70 FDA-approved cancer therapies of which include OPDIVO®, KEYTRUDA®, TECENTRIQ®, PROVENGE®, Xofigo®, Hercepin® and others.

One such promising new therapy for those with advanced stage prostate cancer is a radionuclide treatment known as 177Lu-PSMA-617 a therapy that Comprehensive Cancer Center patient William Cooley became the very first in Nevada to receive the drug this past December, and whose story was featured by NBC 3 here in Las Vegas Cooley is being treated by Comprehensive’s Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, FASCO, FACP Prior to being offered the new drug, Cooley had undergone chemotherapy, radiation and testosterone deprivation therapy, among other measures, but nothing was having a lasting impact. After being screened by Comprehensive’s research team, Cooley was found to be a genetic fit for the treatment. Many patients like William who live right here in Las Vegas, enjoy the benefit of the most advanced clinical research studies, all without having to interrupt the rest of their busy lives to travel for treatment.

Cancer Genetic Counseling at Comprehensive Cancer Centers

Additionally, Comprehensive offers cancer genetic counseling, a service which was greatly needed in the community. Approximately five to ten percent of all cancers are hereditary, making genetic risk assessments and counseling vital in early detection efforts as well as customizing treatment plans. Initial counseling sessions typically take less than an hour. The services are led by nurse practitioner, Barbara Caldwell, MSN, APRN, who is one of only nine healthcare professionals in Nevada to receive training from an intensive cancer genetic risk assessment program at City of Hope.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for patients who’ve been diagnosed with cancer, serious blood disorders, breast health conditions and pulmonary disease.  For certain cancer patients, clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive Cancer Centers that may offer treatment options not available elsewhere, please click here to learn more. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Comprehensive Cancer Centers Supports World Health Day

HealthForAll

Comprehensive Cancer Centers is proud to support World Health Day 2019, which is on April 7 and was established by the World Health Organization to ensure everyone can obtain the care they need. We show our appreciation for those involved in this movement and encourage everyone to join the #HealthForAll movement.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Supports World Health Day

According to the World Health Organization, millions of people have no access to health care at all. Every day, millions are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home.  If we can work together and raise awareness, we can help make a difference for those who have limited access to the care they need and deserve.

As a practice, we strive to provide the best care possible to all of our patients. On World Health Day and every day, we educate patients on how to take care of their health as well as advocate for their needs. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, a serious blood disorder, breast health condition or pulmonary disease, call 702-952-3350 to schedule an appointment today.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Sweet Potato and Spinach Turkey Burgers

Protein is important. It supports growth to repair body tissue and keeps your immune system healthy. However, it is important to note that protein doesn’t necessarily mean red meat. Protein can come in a variety of sources including fish, poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts and nut butters, dried beans, peas and lentils, and soy foods.

These turkey burgers not only offer a good source of protein that isn’t red meat, but they are filled with extra veggies that follow the American Institute for Cancer Research recommendation of eating more plant-based foods. The burgers are also loaded with fresh herbs that promote good health and may help prevent inflammation.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 medium sweet potato, cut into 3/4-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 cups medium packed fresh spinach, chopped small
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 whole-grain buns or 6 large lettuce leaves
Cooking spray

Directions:
Microwave sweet potato 4-6 minutes or steam 15 minutes until tender.

While sweet potato is cooking, prepare pan for grilling or turn on broiler and set top rack on second rung (at least 6 inches from broiler). If broiling, prepare large broiler pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mash sweet potato. Add turkey, spinach, onion, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and oil. Mix together and form 6 patties about 1/2-inch thick.

Grill patties in a pan 4-8 minutes on each side or until center is 165 degrees F. If broiling, arrange patties on broiler pan and broil 4-8 minutes on each side or until center is 165 degrees F.

Credit: American Institute for Cancer Research

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