Archive For "January, 2013"

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A FSRO Baby Shower

FSRO held a baby shower for two very special employees. Radiation therapist Brent Callaway and his wife Mandy are expecting a baby boy in May and radiation therapist Will Neilsen and his wife Jenny are expecting their baby boy anytime now! Both couples went home with their vehicles full of gifts!

Posted In: Office FUN
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Dr. Kris Gast- Ask the Pros Question of the Week

Radiation Oncologist at Fort Smith Radiation OncologyQ: My grandfather was just told he has bladder cancer.  Can you tell me more about this?

A: Bladder cancer grows on the lining of the bladder.  Symptoms include frequent, urgent, painful, or bloody urination. The treatment for bladder cancer depends upon the type.  Some types are superficial and grow like mushrooms inside the bladder.  Usually slow growing, this type of bladder cancer requires removal by use of a scope.   At times, this type may also need chemotherapy drugs placed in the bladder after removal to help prevent the cancer from recurring.  Other types of bladder cancers can be invasive and require much more extensive treatment, such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.  Some patients even need to have their bladder surgically removed. Because invasive bladder cancer has a high risk of spreading to distant organs, a full workup is needed at the time of diagnosis.

Bladder cancer is once again another cancer linked to smoking. Also, people exposed to arsenic, as well as chemicals used in the manufacture of rubber, dyes, textiles, plastics, paints and leather run a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.

Posted In: Ask the Pros
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Cancer Demystified: Mother Syndrome Affects Health Of Many Women

Radiation Oncologist at Fort Smith Radiation Oncology

Why do ideas or thoughts of significance always come to me at 3 a.m. in the morning or while driving?

I am always looking for ways to compare things so patients, students and audiences can understand various aspects of health care. The two newest analogies I have come up with, at 3 a.m., of course, have to do with two completely different but very important topics regarding health care.

The first has to do with what I have lovingly labeled the “mother syndrome.” Do not get me wrong. I am the world’s first and foremost sufferer of mother syndrome. Sometime ago, I was asked to talk about ways women could improve their health. After researching the topic thoroughly, it occurred to me I was not really qualified to speak to this as I did not do the things on the list.

You see, as I have admitted, I have mother syndrome, the tendency of a person, not even necessarily a mother, to put everything around her before herself. People with this “syndrome” will take care of everyone else first, to the extent that their own health suffers. I am sure you know people like this.

To help cure a sufferer of mother syndrome, the following analogy seems to work. When you are on an airplane and the cabin starts to lose pressure, the oxygen masks will drop. You will be instructed to place your mask on first before you turn to help your child or the person next to you.

When sufferers of mother syndrome hear this, a virtual light bulb appears above their heads. They suddenly realize that if they do not help themselves first, they may not be around to help everyone else.

The second thought is even more basic. I often get questions about big business versus small business in regards to health care. Patients have a basic understanding that there is business and economy involved in health care. Some patients want help with deciding which doctor to go to — one who is a part of a big corporation or one who owns his or her own clinic.

I like to use the slogan “Shop Small, Support Local Business” when answering this question. This slogan goes not only for businesses and retailers, but also for health-care providers. Supporting local independent physicians who are based in your community provides jobs, tax revenues and support to local charities and civic organizations in your hometown.

Big businesses that run corporate clinics and hospitals that are based in other cities have little interest in our community. These companies are focused on profit margins and make cuts accordingly, as they have no faces to the names on their lists.

When you “shop” local for your health care, choose a physician who is dedicated to the town in which he or she lives, who employs your neighbor, who volunteers in your community, and who is committed to improving health care for his or her patients.

In closing, I and the staff of Fort Smith Radiation Oncology would like to wish you a happy and healthy new year.


Posted In: Cancer Demystified by Dr. Kris Gast
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