Sunday, June 25, 2023
Saturday, June 10, 2023
Providence distributed this information during the week of June 5, 2023
The below information is intended to inform you about shortages with certain chemotherapy agents and other oncology-related medications.
Why are we raising this concern?
• There is a critical shortage of about 300 drugs affecting hospitals and care facilities across the U.S. right now, including Providence St. Patrick Hospital and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.
• Chemotherapy and oncology-related medications are especially impaed by these shortages.
• Medications such as Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Fluorouracil, Capecitabine, Abiraterone, Docetaxel, Doxorubicin, Fludarabine, Methotrexate, Vincristine, and many others have been or may become affected.
How are we responding to these medication shortages?
• Providing you with safe, high-quality care is our top priority. Making you aware of this issue is important as we work with you and the rest of the care team on possible alternatives.
• Providence Montana and our partners are exploring strategies to secure additional supply of these medications. We are also engaged in advocacy efforts to find long-term solutions and prevent recurrences in the future.
• Treatment plans may be modified after careful review by the care team and discussion with you. These modifications will be individualized to you and will only be made if it is clinically appropriate and safe to do so.
• We are committed to the fair and equitable treatment of all our patients. Only medical factors such as disease type, stage, and prior treatment are being considered in the selection of which patient’s regimen may be impacted.
• Options for modifications in the treatment plan may include a decrease from the usual dosage or substitution of an alternative agent, when possible.
• Our care team will reach out to you if your treatment plan may need to be modified.
• We will be with you every step of the way and will work to ensure you continue to receive the best care.
Friday, June 9, 2023
A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying, not just because the disease is life-threatening but also because treatments — chemotherapy, radiation and surgery — are often brutal to endure. But doctors are now rethinking those aggressive methods, The Wall Street Journal reported. They're increasingly looking to "de-escalation," an approach of "cutting back on some therapies to improve a patient's quality of life without hurting their odds of survival."
One new study shows that more than 10,000 rectal cancer patients a year could forgo radiation therapy and do just as well, The New York Times reported, though they would still need chemotherapy and surgery. Dr. Eric Winer, the president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), said researchers "are asking if there are elements of successful treatments that can be eliminated to provide patients with a better quality of life." A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying, not just because the disease is life-threatening but also because treatments — chemotherapy, radiation and surgery — are often brutal to endure. But doctors are now rethinking those aggressive methods, The Wall Street Journal reported. They're increasingly looking to "de-escalation," an approach of "cutting back on some therapies to improve a patient's quality of life without hurting their odds of survival." (Read more)
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Surgeon specializes in breast care
|Calvin, Christopher, Anna and Otis|
Christopher Williams is a man of many interests. He earned his undergraduate degree in music from University of Georgia in 2003. He taught elementary school music in Gainesville, gave saxophone lessons and played various gigs around town.
As an outdoor enthusiast he was guiding adventure trips in Alaska in 2007. He was required to be an EMT, his first exposure to medicine, and it stirred his interest. During 2007-2008 he took prerequisites at University of Georgia to qualify for medical school.
Christopher was commissioned as an officer in the Air Force in 2009. He spent four years at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia before moving to Salt Lake City where he completed his surgical internship and residency at the University of Utah Hospital between 2013 and 2018. He found the program in Utah to be a good blend of excellent surgical training and research opportunities.
As an active duty Air Force general surgeon Christopher worked at David Grant Medical Center on the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California from 2018 to 2022. He was deployed to Afghanistan from March of 2021 to October of 2021. He completed his service commitment in June of 2022, was discharged from the Air Force and hired as a general surgeon at St. Joseph Medical Center.
As an Air Force general surgeon thirty percent of his surgeries involved breast care for both benign breast diseases and breast cancer. His patients included retirees and VA patients. He has significant experience with breast conservation surgery, sentinel lymph node biopsy, mastectomy and axillary dissections.
Christopher has deep experience in breast cancer management. He feels comfortable taking care of surgical patients here in Polson without sending them to Missoula or Kalispell. His goal is to become a solid trustworthy healthcare provider in our community. He is quick to say, however, that he will refer if necessary.
In addition to breast care, his professional interests include trauma, complex laparoscopy, endoscopy, hernia repair, reflux, diseases of the abdomen and alimentary tract including the colon and small intestine, as well as skin and soft tissue surgical diseases.
He enjoys spending time with his family. He married Anna Ruminer in 2015 and their two boys are Calvin, 4, and Otis, 2. Christopher loves trail running, skiing, fishing, hiking, biking, and anything else that gets him outside. At home, he likes listening to music and cooking.
Thursday, September 29, 2022
He attended college at Montana State University pursuing a Computer Science degree, but after a year decided he needed more interaction with people. He switched to Doctor of Pharmacy to help people like his grandparents.
Pharmacy provided him with an opportunity to better understand health care. His plan changed when he was approached about the Director of Operations position at St. Joseph Medical Center, a position he has held for 10 years.
By Sharon McGuire
500 RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher with 500+ hours of yoga training)
The following restorative yoga poses and breath practices are an excellent way to begin exploring how yoga can support your journey with cancer. As with any yoga practice, hear my words, but listen to your body. If any of these instructions bring a source of pain, modify the instructions, or do not do the pose.
Lying down meditation supports the immune system and allows the body to release good hormones: Lying on the floor on your back you may want to support your knees with a pillow or rolled up blanket or towel. if laying on the floor is not comfortable, finding a comfortable seated position in a chair will work as well. Use blankets or pillows to support any part of the body that may need it. The goal is to be completely relaxed.Rest your hands gently on your abdomen or chest whatever feels the most comfortable. Closing your eyes or having a soft gaze so you are not focused on any one thing, begin to bring your attention to the breath. Notice how the chest and abdomen rise and fall with each inhale and exhale. Continue to notice any sensations that may arise in the body as you continue to focus on the breath.Without effort, slowly begin to lengthen your exhalation so it takes the breath longer to leave the body than it did to come in. Continue for a few breaths and then allow the breath to return to normal.
Seated spinal twist supports the digestive system: Sitting on the floor with the legs crossed or stretched out in front of you. Breathe deeply and feel your sit bones connected to the floor. Inhale, and as you exhale slowly twist the torso to the right, placing your left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind the back looking over the right shoulder. Hold the pose for three deep breaths, return to the center position and repeat on the left. Do 3-5 rounds on each side.
Reclined bound-angle pose helps to reduce stress and fatigue: Sitting on the floor, draw the bottoms of the feet together to create a diamond shape. The feet can be closer or further from the body depending on your comfort level. If the knees are resting up in the air, you can support them by using yoga blocks (if you have them) or by simply placing pillows or rolled up blankets or towels under the knees. Slowly begin to lie back using the support of your arms until your body reaches the floor. Rest your arms a comfortable distance from the body. Once in the pose, begin to breathe deeply, following the breath practice for the lying down meditation. Stay in the posture for at least five deep breaths or as long as your body feels comfortable.
Legs up the wall combats fatigue: Sitting with your left side next the wall. Turning to the left, slowly bring your legs up the wall as you lower your body to the floor. Scoot your buttocks next to the wall and allow the head and shoulders to rest on the floor. If you feel your legs are going to open too wide, you can place a strap, belt, or tied scarf above the knees so you can let the legs relax. You can also modify this posture by placing the legs on a chair with the knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Breathe deeply as in the first pose.
Sharon McGuire with the Brahman Priest at the
Krupalu Maharaj Ashram in Malav, Gurjurat, India in 2020.
Sharon McGuire, a Certified Advanced Yoga Nidra Facilitator,
teaches at YogaHeart Home,
208 Ridgewater Drive, Polson.
Contact info: (812) 345-0639, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Friday, May 27, 2022
Monday, April 25, 2022
by Lauren Galush, Dietetic Intern St. Luke Community Healthcare
Loss of Appetite (anorexia):
- Focus on foods that are high in protein and calories. Even if you are only able to eat a few bites, this will ensure you get more “bang for your buck.”
- Sneak protein and calorie sources in where you can. This may look like adding protein powder to oatmeal or having full-fat dairy products
- Eat protein portions of your meal first to ensure you’re getting enough protein
- Eat foods that smell good to you
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals during the day, such as three small meals and three snacks.
- If solid foods don’t sound appetizing, drink milkshakes, smoothies, or nutrition drinks/shakes
- Have your favorite foods on hand so they are ready to eat when you’re hungry
- Be active if you’re able. Even a 15-minute walk can stimulate your appetite
Nausea or Vomiting:
- Eat foods that sound good to you- don’t force yourself to eat foods that make you feel sick
- Avoid eating your favorite foods when you feel sick, so you don’t associate them with sickness
- Eat foods that are soft, bland, and easy on your stomach (ex: white toast, plain yogurt, broth)
- Avoid food or drinks with strong smells
- Eat five to six small meals in a day rather than three large meals
- Sit upright for an hour after eating
- Wear clothes that are loose and comfortable
- Eat foods that are easy to swallow. Moisten them with sauces, gravies, or salad dressings if you need.
- Have foods/drinks that are very sweet or tart (ex: lemonade)- this will help make more saliva
- Chew gum or suck on hard candy, ice chips, or popsicles
- Avoid foods that hurt your mouth, such as spicy, sour, salty, hard, or crunchy foods.
- Eat softer foods, such as milkshakes, pudding, or scrambled eggs
- Suck on ice chips or popsicles to numb your mouth
- Avoid foods that may irritate your mouth:
- Acidic foods- tomatoes, oranges, lemons, limes
- Spicy foods
- Salty foods
- Raw vegetables
- Sharp or crunchy foods
- Alcoholic beverages
- Try poultry, eggs, and cheese instead of red meat. Sometimes eating meat with something sweet can help
- Add spices and sauces to foods
- Use sugar-free lemon drops, gum drops, or mints if there is a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth
- Use plastic utensils instead of metal ones
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Cheerful Heart, Inc. has served cancer patients in Lake County since 2002. Those with questions or needs can call 883-3070. Check out the Cheerful Heart web site at www.cheerfulheart.org or email email@example.com. Mailing address for the organization is Cheerful Heart, P.O. Box 688, Polson, MT 59860.
Sunday, November 14, 2021
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Findings shared at this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting bring hope of tackling cancer at earlier stages, with better treatments and at lower cost.
When it comes to health breakthroughs, Covid-19 vaccines have received the lion’s share of recent attention – and rightly so, as they are key to ending a global pandemic that has killed millions and disrupted the lives of almost everyone on the planet. But there have also been big advancements in the field of cancer treatments. The American Society of Clinical Oncology held its annual meeting earlier this month, giving drugmakers and researchers the chance to share their findings on the latest developments in cancer research and drug research. There was much to celebrate. Here are four particularly promising takeaways: . . . (Read article)
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Coy Theobalt and Charlie Davis, Cancer Support Group organizers, are currently out of town until May. Their plan is to restart the Support Group in June depending on case numbers remaining low and if participants are fully vaccinated.
Cheerful Touch was established in 2012 to help cancer patients with hair loss and skin problems. Renee, owner of Salon Envy in Polson, has worked hard to give back and help patients feel better with a hair cut and style, wig styling, skin care and new make up. Renee will help patients with head coverings of all kinds.
Massage therapists joined the program to offer massages either in their business or in-home. To take advantage of Cheerful Touch services, which are subsidized by Cheerful Heart, call 883-3070 with questions or to make an appointment.
Established in 2002, Cheerful Heart volunteers began assisting at the Polson clinic when it was located in the Grandview Clinic Building just west of the hospital. In 2005 the Oncology Clinic moved to the third floor of St. Joseph Medical Center. In 2009-2010 the space was remodeled and became the Otto G. Klein Memorial Cancer Center. The St. Luke Oncology Clinic was established in October 2017.
* * * * * * * *
Betty Bjork signed up to volunteer at the Polson Clinic on April 6. Betty has given her love and care to oncology patients for 19 years. Betty is a survivor and thriver of ovarian cancer first diagnosed in 1996. Betty’s husband, Marshall served on the Cheerful Heart Board of Directors for 17 years and as chair for many of those years. Marshall retired from the board in April 2019.
Monday, September 21, 2020
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center participates in a bi-weekly Incident Command Center meeting.
The Incident Command is composed of Physicians, Nurses and Administrative Leaders who refer to CDC and other medical data to set the guidelines and directives for our Providence facilities.
There is not a firm date known at this time as to when it will be safe for volunteers and visitors to return to our hospitals and clinics.
We are here to serve patients in the safest manner possible throughout this pandemic – and that can take many different forms.
Cancer patients are currently being seen and treatments administered.
We do need to limit volunteers and visitors so that we can maintain social distancing for our immunocompromised patients and the caregivers who serve them.
We really miss the Cheerful Heart Volunteers, but do not know right now when they will be able to return to our hospital to help us.
Thanks for doing your part in masking and continuing to support cancer patients through this difficult time.
Kristy Beck-Nelson, Montana Cancer Center
Times may be challenging, but St. Luke Community Healthcare continues to serve the Mission Valley and meet our patients healthcare needs. Our Oncology Infusion Center remains open with ample safety measures in place, meaning patients who need chemotherapy or other infusion treatments will not experience a disruption in care.
Those who need to see Dr. Goodman have the option of visiting with him via telehealth, which is a virtual appointment that allows patients to see their physician from the comfort of their own home, or from the Oncology Center in Ronan, avoiding out-of-town travel.
While St. Luke is currently limiting visitors to essential caregivers or one parent, chemotherapy patients are encouraged to contact the Center ahead of time, to make an appointment and inform our staff if you would like to bring a support person with you. We do request that patients and accompanying support persons bring a mask and wear it at all times when in the hospital.
If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, please call our Oncology team directly at (406) 528-5641. You can also learn more at: https://stlukehealthcare.org/oncology-infusion-center/
PhD, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer
St. Luke Community Healthcare
Colorectal Cancer Takes the Life of Far Too Many People and Black Men are Disproportionately Affected
A lump of scar tissue forms in the hole left after breast tissue is removed. If scar tissue forms around a stitch from surgery it's called a suture granuloma and can feel like a lump. Scar tissue and fluid retention can change the breast appearance making breast tissue appear a little firmer or rounder than before surgery and/or radiation. If scar tissue is causing stiffness, pressure or pain, ask your doctor if physical therapy could help. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove scar tissue that is very painful or stiff.
Creams, ointments, or gels can help fade or lighten scars. These can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor. Some complementary and holistic medicine techniques have been shown to ease pain associated with scars, One Cheerful Heart volunteer, who has had breast surgery twice, uses the pulp of wheatgrass and keeps it on the skin by using press and seal. She says it works like magic, even on old scars. She picks up the wheatgrass pulp from a juicing bar and stores it in a baggie; or she grows the wheatgrass and juices it herself. She waits until the incision is healed, then presses the pulp onto the scar for a couple of months or until the scar disappears. She will watch television or read a couple of hours each night with the pulp on her skin. She suggests wearing an old T-shirt because of staining. Doctors are amazed at her results.
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Researchers from the American Cancer Society found that between 2016 and 2017, cancer deaths declined 2.2 percent, the largest single-year drop on record.
Nevertheless, experts predict 1.8 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and more than 606,000 Americans are expected to die from cancer, the American Cancer Society reported. And smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
These projections come as younger generations of Americans increasingly vape — and become sick from — e-cigarettes, a trend that has sparked a public outcry. Read more.
Sunday, December 29, 2019
|Board members from left: Leah Emerson, Valerie Lindstrom, Sarah Teaff, |
Rich Forbis, Jeanne Doepke, Barbara Morin, Teri Warford
- Targeted therapies act on specific molecular targets that are associated with cancer, whereas most standard chemotherapies act on all rapidly dividing normal and cancerous cells.
- Targeted therapies are deliberately chosen or designed to interact with their target, whereas many standard chemotherapies were identified because they kill cells.
- Targeted therapies often block tumor growth, whereas standard chemotherapy agents kill tumor cells.
History of Targeted Therapy
In the past two decades, the discovery of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, and the completion of human genome sequencing fueled some major advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to cancer. Subsequently, such newly emerging biological and genetic information rapidly prompted the introduction of a large number of new targeted cancer therapies.
Types of Targeted Therapies:
Monoclonal antibodies are too big to get into cells. Instead, they attack targets on the outside of cells or right around them. Sometimes they're used to launch chemo and radiation straight into tumors. They are usually administered through an IV in a vein in the arm at a hospital or clinic. Sometimes they are given as a shot.
Scientists have come up with many small molecule meds and monoclonal antibodies that make use of different targets to treat cancer in different ways. Varieties of therapies include: hormone therapies, signal transduction inhibitors, gene expression modulators, apoptosis (natural cell death) inducers, angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels feeding tumors) inhibitors and immunotherapies. Read more.
Latest targeted therapy news . . .