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January 17, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 17, 1997

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28 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, January 17 - January 23, 1997 Cancer Wat(:h Survival rate for Hodgkin's disease is on the rise By Kerry Kester Treatment options have drasti- cally improved the mortality rates of Hodgkin's lymphoma. The cancer was expected to afflict 7,500 in the United States and kill approximatelyl,510 of its victims in 1996. Those numbers reflect a drastic change from the number of deaths in1962, where nearly twice as many patients died from the dis- ease. Hodgkin's disease is a rather rare cancer affecting only about one percent of cancer cases in the U.S. It is usually found in people be- tween the ages of 15 and 34 or in people over 55 years of age and more men than BARTELL women de- velop the dis- ease. Treatment options that may prolong life, however, are avail- able. Hodgkin's lymphoma is a can- cer that attacks the lymphatic sys- tem, or circulatory system. "The lymphatic system's job is to help fight infection and diseases," said Joy Bartell, Beebe Medical Center oncology manager. "In Hodgkin's disease, cells in the lymphatic system begin to grow abnormally. Then they crowd out normal tissue and may spread to other parts of the body. As the disease progresses, the body's ability to fight infection decreases," she said. People who have swelling in the lymph nodes of the neck area, the underarm, or the groin may be showing first signs of the cancer. Other symptoms of Hodgkin's disease include fevers, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss and itchy skin. People who experience those symptoms for longer than two weeks, Bartell said, should see their doctors. After physicians do a thorough exam that includes blood tests and x-rays, a doctor will perform a biopsy or take a tissue sample from an enlarged lymph node. Bartell explained, "A pathologist EXERCISING IS NOT ONLY FOR ADULTS! Regular physical exercise not only increases youngsters' strength and coordination, it also improves self-confidence. Recent research also indicates that fit students per- form better in school. Submitted by Robert Cairo, licensed physical therapist, Tidewater Physical Therapy For more infi)rmatiott call 945-5111 will examine the sample under a microscope for special abnormal cells, called Reed Sternberg cells, that indicate Hodgkin's disease. "When Hodgkin's disease is di- agnosed, the next step is to deter- mine the extent or stage of the dis- ease so that treatment can be planned," said Bartell. She then showed that during the staging process the doctor will de- termine the number and location of affected lymph nodes, where the affected lymph nodes are in relation to the diaphragm, and if or to what degree the disease may have spread in other body parts, including major organs. Physicians may perform biop- sies on lymph nodes, bone mar- row or the liver to determine the staging. They may also do a lym- phogram, which is an x-ray that uses dye to outline the lymphatic system, or they may use a series of cross-section x-rays (CAT scan). "Once staging is determined," said Bartell, "the physician plans the appropriate treatment. It may be radiation therapy, chemothera- py or a combination of both." Treatment decisions depend on the stage of the disease, its loca- tion in the body, the symptoms, the general health, and the age of the patient. "In early stages of Hodgkin's, usually radiation therapy is used. Radiation therapy uses high ener- gy x-rays to damage or kill cancer cells. It is given five days a week SAVE 20-50% MEN'S, LADLES' & CHILDREN'S SHOES AT A DIIJ Featuring: Sebago * Docksides * Keds * K-Swiss * Trotters Easfland Sperry Top-Sider Tretorn * Etonic New Balance * MIA Clarks of England Wigwam Reebok Rockport Grasshoppers Best se/ecfionfrom over 15,000 pairs in stock. Men's sizes: N 9-14, M 6 I/2-14, W6 I/2-14. WW 8-13. Women's sizes: N 6- I0. M 5- I I. W 6- I0 Children's 10-3 and Boy's sizes 3 I/2-6 LOCATIONS m Route I, Ames Plaza Rehoboth Beach, DE 302-227-5828 Route 1 at West Virginia Ave. (4 streets north of ldD line on ocean side) Fenwick Island, DE 302-539-4599 for six weeks or longer, usually as an outpatient. Patients who re- ceive radiation therapy may expe- rience fatigue and lower blood counts as a side effect." Bartell explained that in the more advanced stages of the can- cer, chemotherapy could be the treatment of choice. The drugs used in that form of treatment could cause side effects like, "nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, hair loss, lowered resistance to in- fections, or appetite loss." She noted, "Medications can help control some of the side ef- fects, and the side effects will end when treatment is finished. "However, doctors try to plan treatments to keep side effects to a minimum. And they monitor pa- tients very closely in order to keep control of the side effects." Bartell warned that follow-up care is extremely important be- cause those who have been afflict- ed with Hodgkin's disease are more prone to developing other types of cancers. "Twenty years ago, few patients with Hodgkin's survived," said Bartell. "Today, with modem ra- diation therapy and combination chemotherapy drugs, the future is much brighter. Seventy-five per- cent of all newly diagnosed pa- tients are curable. % "The chances for recovery con- tinue to improve as scientists ex- plore new and more effective treatments, such as bone marrow transplants and immunotherapy." A healthy glow in the dark winter months. Start with us. 6 Tans $19.97 (Regularly Priced at $25.00) Boire's Hair Design -Open 6 Days to serve you- 27 Terrace Road, Rehoboth Beach, DE .Call today- 227-3861 What is melanoma? Melanoma is a form of skin cancer, which can be deadly if not properly treated. If detected early, it can be successfully treated. If diagnosis is delayed, there is a risk of spread to the lymph nodes and vital organs. Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape or color of a mole. Thinking of ABCD can help you remember what to look for: A - Asymmetry. The shape of one half of a mole doesn't match the other half. B - Border. The edges are ragged, notched or blurred. O - Color. The color is uneven. Shades of black, brown, grey, tan, or even white, red or blue may be present. D - Diameter. There is a change in the size of a mole. Other signs include ulceration, bleeding and itching of a mole. Check your skin regularly and if you detect any irregularities, see your doctor. Or call 302-645-3712 to schedule an appointment with Delaware Bay Melanoma Clinic. (Most insurances are accepted.) MELANOMA CLINIC DELAWARE BAY SURGICAL SERVICE 424 Savannah Road * Lewes, Delaware 19958 302-645-3712