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August 16, 1996     Cape Gazette
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August 16, 1996

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HEALTH & FITNESS Surgical Oncologist joins Katz practice to serve Cape Region By Kerry Kester The Cape Region can now boast that it has one of the three surgical oncologists practicing medicine in Delaware. Jim Spellman, M.D., a board certified general surgeon, has joined Mayer Katz, M.D., board certified general surgeon, at Delaware Bay Surgical Services. Surgical oncology is one of the ten disci- plines in general surgery. All general surgi- cal residents must study surgical ontology as part of routine training. "It is a recog- nized field," said Spellman. "A surgical oncologist deals primarily with the operative side of cancer," said Spellman, who explained that it is also his job to be involved with the medical and radiation therapy aspect of cancer care. Spellman said it was during his residency in general surgery at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Conn. when he decided to spe- cialize in surgical oncology. "I realized I wanted to do something above and beyond general surgery," he said. Typically, he said, a surgical oncologist will conference with the medical and radia- tion oncologists to determine the best course of treatment for the patient - both pre- and post-operatively. "Cancer is a very capricious disease," improvement in survival rates, he said - something he hopes to change. "It takes a cooperative effort," said Spellman, refer- ring to the need to con- tinue research through multi-disciplinary medical, scientific and academic resources. "It's the most chal- lenging intellectually and technically for me," he said, explain- SPELLMAN ing that his work at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York - one of the nation's foremost cancer hospi- tals - further increased his interest in com- bating cancer. There, he said, he tackled extremely difficult cases, but he also had the opportunity to perform basic clinical work and basic laboratory research. Spellman has been working on molecular research for five years. He has published his work on the molecular level of the growth factor and cytokine production by tumors. He has also sub-specialized within the field of surgical ontology, concentrating on soft tissue sarcoma and melanoma. He brings with him his work and partici- pation in a clinical trial addressing specific said Spellman. There has been no definable testing on lymph nodes through a novel biopsy technique that could ultimately lead to reducing the number of lymph node removals. The clinical trial, which is limit- ed to melanoma only, involves evaluating the status of the spread of melanoma to the regional lymph nodes. The technique, at the least, said Spellman, is already "a staging procedure for people who have the potential to benefit from inter- feron," (a drug that reduces the chance of relapse and cancer-specific death). Spellman's interest in cancer, however, transcends the academic challenge of fight- ing a disease through research and clinical work. "It's not like treating the common cold," he said. "Cancer patients form a very unique attachment with their physicians. I usually break one of the cardinal rules, and I become very attached to my patients. "The family needs a lot of support. I choose to get to know the family well, and it's also important for a surgical oncologist to follow patients for the rest of their lives." In addition to his commitment to the well- being of his patients and their families, Spellman is also committed to community education. "A place like Beebe is really in a position to become a major force in ontolo- gy here," said Spellman. "In terms of it being a community cancer center, it favors highly." He said he hopes to become involved in Beebe's community outreach education programs. Additionally, he said, he would like to help foster the multi-disciplinary approach amongst healthcare and others involved in cancer care. Spellman graduated from West Chester State with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and biology in 1978. He graduat- ed from Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1984. Following his resi- dency at Stamford Hospital in 1980, he spent three years in a surgical ontology fel- lowship at the University of Chicago. From 1992 through 1996, he was an attending surgeon in the Department of Sur- gical Oncology, division of soft tissue sar- coma and melanoma, at Roswell Park in Buffalo, New York. In 1995 he was award- ed the Golden Apple teaching award at Roswell. He is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons and in the Society of Surgical Oncology. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Ontology and the Amer- ican Association of Academic Surgeons. He and his wife Deborah have two sons - Wyatt, five, and Sam, four. The family resides in the Lewes area. To make an appointment, call 645-3712. Associates in Medicine, P.A. adds new internist to practice By Kerry Kester As a primary care physician who practices internal medicine, Phil Stein, M.D., believes what is most important for his patients is preventive medicine. Stein, who joined Nancy Union, M.D., at Associates in Medicine, P.A. the week of Aug. 5, said he also val- ues patient education as a means of improving healthcare. "I wish everybody in America could go to medical school," said Stein, who emphasized the need for people to understand their bod- ies and how they work. "I firmly believe that the patient does need to know what's going on. I view my role for [patients] largely as being a consultant, where they're asking me for an informed opinion on their health conditions." As a primary care physician, "we are the people patients can come and see first," he said. "We've had a broad spectrum of medical training." Internists, he said, study 17 specialties during their rotations in residency. As a result, they are qualified to recog- nize, diagnose and treat most basic health conditions and prob- lems. Internists are also trained to classify those health problems that develop and require care beyond the scope of internal medicine, so the physicians can recommend patients to appropriate specialists. "On initial evaluations, I talk to people about their diet, about their lifestyle and about how important each of those things is," said Stein. He said he then discusses any medications the patient may be taking to determine if any and all of the medications are truly necessary. In addition to approaching his practice with preventive or well- ness medicine and health educa- tion, Stein also has a strong inter- est in sports medicine. "Most modern-day diseases profit from some level of exercise," he said. He said that it is important for everyone, whether athletes or not, to incorporate a good diet and reg- ular exercise into their lifestyles. Stein regular- ly discusses the value of cholesterol and blood pressure man- agement, maintaining the strength of STEIN the heart and maintaining an appropriate weight with his patients. When they leave his office, he said, patients should have a better understanding of themselves, how their bodies work and what is important for maintaining good health. Stein said he intends to extend his teaching beyond the scope of his practice into the com- munity. "It's not some academic thing," said Stein. People are ultimately responsible for their own health, he believes, but they must be informed on health issues. Stein is an experienced teacher, having been a research instructor who Continued on page 37 Athletic trainers release injury stats for 1995 high school football season Approximately 39 percent of varsity high school football play- ers were injured during the 1995 season. The severity of those injuries may be dropping, accord- ing to statistics released recently by the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA). The figures are the first to be released in a three-year study that involves ten sports at high schools throughout the country. It is the first survey of its type since the NATA conducted a similar study in 1986-88. The data projections are based on results at 123 partici- pating high schools nationwide, where full time certified athletic trainers gathered the data. "While results for the 1995 foot- ball season are similar to those we found during the earlier study, there were some very encouraging findings that we will be watching more closely over the next two years to determine whether they are, in fact, trends," said Certified Athletic Trainer John Powell, Ph.D., director of the study. "Athletic trainers recognize that injuries are always a part of high school athletics, but we also believe the positives of participat- ing in sports outweigh the nega- tives," said Denny Miller, head athletic trainer at Purdue Universi- ty and president of the NATA. "Athletics in an organized school setting can provide tremen- dous outlets for young people," Miller said. "As athletic trainers, we are committed to providing a strong injury prevention and early intervention program." "We believe the information from this study will provide direc- tion for researchers who are seek- ing ways to further minimize the risk of injury in high school athlet- ics, as well as for those working to develop enhanced treatment and rehabilitation programs for injuries that do occur," said Kent Falb, head athletic trainer for the Detroit Lions and incoming NATA president. Additional high school sports included in the NATA study are boys' and girls' basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, field hockey, girls' volleyball, and boys' and girls' soccer. First-year results in each sport will be released later in 1996. The NATA is a professional organization dedicated to helping athletic trainers prevent injury and provide high quality treatment and rehabilitation when athletic injuries do occur. The organiza- tion was founded in 1950 with just 200 members; today it serves more than 21,000 athletic trainers throughout the country. Approxi- mately 15,000 of these trainers are certified by NATA's Board of Certification. In 1990, the American Medical Association officially recognized athletic training as an allied healthcare profession. Powell said the number of moderate and major injuries appears to have decreased, while minor injuries have increased. "There is no noteworihy change in the number of overall injuries; however, in games this past year, players suffered approximately 8.5 percent more minor injuries; about 5.7 percent fewer moderate injuries; and three percent fewer major injuries than the three-year average of our previous study," said Powell. A second encouraging area for athletic trainers is the lower pro- portion of injuries compared to injuries. "Nearly 93 percent of football injuries in the study are characterized as *new injuries,'" said Powell. "It is impossible to prevent all injuries in sports, although good medical care and preventive techniques can help to reduce the risk of injury. "In the case of re-injuries, early Continued on page 36