Archive For "November, 2012"

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FSRO sponsors Girls Shelter Pasta Dinner

Dr. Kris Gast and FSRO sponsored a table at the Girl Shelter of Fort Smith annual pasta dinner.  The event raised over $7500 for the Girls Shelter of Fort Smith. Attending for Fort Smith Radiation Oncology were Kim Vann and her family, Susan Bules, and Mary Jane Duerr.

Posted In: Community Involvement, Fort Smith Girls Shelter
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Join the FSRO Alumni Relay For Life Team

Thanks to a special patient, the idea of Team FSRO Alumni was born!! A team comprised of current and former patients of Dr. Kris Gast and Fort Smith Radiation Oncology will fundraise and walk all in hopes of finding a cure for cancer.  The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Fort Smith will be held Friday, May 10, 2013 at Ramsey Junior High football field.  The FSRO Alumni team is forming now, so please go to the website, click on team FSRO Alumni and click join now.  The registration fee is FREE until Dec. 31st so just click the pay later cash/check when you enter your information and you will ne be charged the $10 fee.

Dr. Kris Gast and her staff look forward to joining forces with their former patients this coming May at Relay For Life!

Posted In: Community Involvement, Relay for Life
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Cancer Demystified: Still A Long Way To Go With Lung Cancer

You have been coughing most of your adult life. You’ve smoked since you were 18. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. But now your cough has changed; you’ve coughed up blood.

The treatment for pneumonia doesn’t seem to have helped at all. You are still short of breath. Now your chest is beginning to ache, and you are losing your appetite and with it, weight.

The most recent set of tests have shown that you have lung cancer. You wonder if things would have been different if it had been caught earlier. You are not alone.

More than 200,000 new patients are diagnosed with lung cancer every year. We lose 160,000 to the disease every year. There are only 400,000 lung cancer survivors in the United States today.

It is hard to catch lung cancer early. You have two lungs and really can go quite awhile without symptoms.

Most people have a chronic cough and have had bronchitis or pneumonia, so they will think it is just the usual. Basically symptoms show up late in the course of the disease.

There are several different types of lung cancer. We break the categories into small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.

The small cell makes up 20 percent, while the non-small cell adenocarcinoma makes up 30 percent to 40 percent and squamous cell carcinoma makes up 30 percent.

Patients will go through an extensive workup with biopsy and X-rays. A complete workup really should include a PET scan. Nearly 40 percent of patients will have their stage of lung cancer changed based on the results of the PET.

The basic primary treatment if the lung cancer has been found early enough is surgery. If the cancer can’t be removed, then the patient is looking at radiation along with chemotherapy or radiation alone.

There have been several studies to see if we could detect lung cancer earlier. After all, the earlier we find some cancers the greater the chance we have of curing the patient.

The most recent study has looked at spiral low-dose CAT scans. These X-rays tend to find the lung cancer earlier, but they also find a lot of other things that require investigation. The study found and made a difference for 88 people but 16 people died who did not have cancer just because of all the things they ended up having done.

So, for now, there are no recommendations on screening for lung cancer.

We will keep working on our end trying to find better screening and treatment. You work on your end and stop smoking. Together, we can eliminate this horrible cancer.

Posted In: Cancer Demystified by Dr. Kris Gast
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