Friday, July 13, 2012

University of Virginia - High Risk Pancreatic Cancer Clinic

I just saw this story on google news.  This reminds me of our trip to Johns Hopkins and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.  There was basically an entire building dedicated to Pancreatic Cancer.  The inside walls, of course, were painted purple.  Naturally, Jason was one of the youngest - if not the youngest - patient we saw out of the hundreds who came through.. and it was so sad, yet hopeful at the same time - to see it.  On the one hand, these people all had the same cancer as Jason, but at the same time, were all very lucky to be able to get treatment at such a caring, competent and modern facility.  Congratulations to U of VA on their new clinic!

From this article...

Image from:

"To help give pancreatic cancer patients the best chance to defeat this aggressive disease, the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center at the University of Virginia Health System is among the first in the nation to open a comprehensive High- Risk Pancreatic Cancer Clinic to provide comprehensive care faster for these patients.

The clinic's primary goals include:

  • Identify patients at high risk for pancreatic cancer. Although risk factors such as obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption are associated with pancreatic cancer, they alone are not enough to identify patients who need to be checked. People at highest risk are those with pancreatic cysts, pancreatitis and those with a family history of pancreatic cancer.

"Just being able to identify patients who are high risk will have a major impact," Dr. Todd Bauer, a U.Va. surgical oncologist, said. Instead of a typical six-month survival rate among those with advanced-stage pancreatic cancer, Bauer hopes the ability to identify these high-risk patients sooner will mean earlier detection, longer survival and a greater chance for a cure.

  • Detect pancreatic cancer sooner. The clinic can examine high-risk patients with a high-resolution CT, MRI or endoscopic ultrasound, which are the only known effective screening technologies for detecting pancreatic cancer.

"If we identify something in the pancreas that looks suspicious, our multidisciplinary team will review the test results," said Dr. Reid Adams, chief of the Divisions of Surgical Oncology, Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery. "If necessary, we can then offer surgery to remove the cancer."

  • Provide personalized treatment sooner. For patients with an abnormal finding or with pancreatic cancer, U.Va.'s High-Risk Pancreatic Cancer Clinic will provide a tailored treatment plan for each patient. The pancreatic cancer team consists of surgeons, gastroenterologists, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors and nurses who specialize in treating diseases of the pancreas. 

"Comprehensive care is our strength. U.Va. has expert staff working together at this clinic to ensure patients are receiving the best care at the right time: early – the time when pancreatic cancer patients have the best chance of survival," Adams said."

Read the full article here.

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