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Oak Street & Oregon Allergy Blog

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Cancer

GeneticTesting-325When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of my first thoughts, after the initial shock, was who else in my family had been stricken with cancer?

Patients who have had family members diagnosed with cancer often worry about their own cancer risk, or the risk of their children. At Oak Street Medical, we have recently started a program to help patients better understand their family risks of developing certain types of cancer, which can be passed down by gene mutations.

The types of cancers we are most often confronted with in a primary care clinic are breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, colon, melanoma and endometrial/uterine. A person's risk level for developing any of these cancers depends on many factors, including the person's lifestyle.

We're helping our patients understand how their level of risk changes in relation to their family history. Risk categories include: general population, familial risk or hereditary risk. A person's risk can vary dramatically, depending on which category you fall into.

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Tagged in: Cancer

Wimage002-1hen you’re a parent, you come to expect certain things. Like bumps and bruises your child gets from playing on the playground. The back-talking teenage years. That proud and reflective day your child dons a cap and gown. What you don’t expect to hear is that your child has cancer.

Tarie Crawford’s son Shaun was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when he was 19 years old. A referral coordinator at Oak Street Medical and Oregon Allergy Associates, Tarie says it was a turning point in her and her son’s relationship.

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We urge you to learn about colorectal cancer – cancer of the colon or rectum. Why? According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, someone is diagnosed with colon cancer every four minutes. Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States when women and men are combined. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if everyone 50 years old or older were screened regularly, as many as 60 percent of the deaths from colorectal cancer could be avoided.

Screening tests help find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. We hope you will join us in sharing the benefits of being screened early. Now is a great time because March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. This cancer is highly preventable and treatable when discovered early.

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Tagged in: Cancer Prevention

This is an on-going series chronicling my personal journey through the maze of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. To start at the beginning, read the first post in the series.

I need six chemo treatments spaced three weeks apart. The interval reflects research data showing that it takes three weeks for your body to recover sufficiently so that it can handle being poisoned again. I now think about being done with a given treatment only after I’ve passed the three-week mark. I have just completed my third chemo.

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Tagged in: Cancer

This is an on-going series chronicling my personal journey through the maze of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. To start at the beginning, read the first post in the series.

The weather is beautiful and my husband and I are both antsy to get away. A weekend camping trip with some friends sounds like just the ticket. Because of heavy smoke from Eastern Oregon wildfires, our original plans are scuttled and we end up camped out on their La Pine cabin lawn. At least there is a bathroom close by; my gut is still fragile.

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Tagged in: Cancer

This is an on-going series chronicling my personal journey through the maze of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. To start at the beginning, read the first post in the series.

Chemo Day 2
I feel surprisingly sort of OK. I work in my garden, studiously protecting myself from the sun as per doctor’s orders. We go out to dinner but the food doesn’t taste good. I tell my husband I don’t like this restaurant. He shrugs and says, “You used to like it.”  My gut hurts. I go to bed early.

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Tagged in: Cancer

This is an on-going series chronicling my personal journey through the maze of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. To start at the beginning, read the first post in the series.

My husband is driving me to my first chemo session. I am wired from the two doses of steroids required the night prior to and the morning of my treatment. I keep giving him unnecessary directions. He patiently ignores me, and I get the hint: this is strange behavior.

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Tagged in: Cancer

This is an on-going series chronicling my personal journey through the maze of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. To start at the beginning, read the first post in the series.

Monday, July 16
I'm back in the clinic for my breast biopsy. The ultrasound tech keeps the "area of interest" in view as the radiologist guides the needle. She has already given me lots of local anesthetic and explained how I will hear a loud noise - "like a nail gun going off" - each time she takes a biopsy. "Are you ready?" she asks. I nod and take a deep breath. The biopsy "gun" fires. I feel nothing. After the fourth "shot" a searing pain rips through my breast. I start to shake. "What happened?" I ask. "Why did that hurt so much?"

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Tagged in: Cancer

As a women's health Nurse Practitioner for more than 30 years, I have found breast lumps, informed women of abnormal mammograms, and referred them to the breast surgeon to begin their treatment. Now it is my turn. This is the first in a series chronicling my personal journey through the maze of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.


Friday, July 6
Our little pop-up camper is packed and ready to go. We are about to head up the McKenzie to attend the wedding of some friends. The festivities will last all weekend and include a kayak float, helping make delicious paellas for the rehearsal dinner, and dancing to the Deb Cleveland Band until the wee hours of the morning. I can't wait. But as I step out of the shower, I glance in the mirror and see the slightest dimpling at the outer edge of my breast. I contract my pectoral muscles. The dimpling increases noticeably. I immediately know what this is and almost as quickly put it out of my mind. I will call Monday and schedule a diagnostic mammogram.

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Tagged in: Cancer

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Every day in the United States, 30 women are diagnosed and 11 women die from cervical cancer, the second leading cancer in women worldwide. January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and health advocates, including me, are urging women to protect themselves – and their mothers, daughters, sisters and friends – from this preventable disease.

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Tagged in: Cancer