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Lewes, Delaware
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September 27, 1996     Cape Gazette
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September 27, 1996

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Cancer Watch l00pelliiian's research provides direct benefit to Cape Region patients By Kerry Kester An estimated 38,300 new cases of melanoma, a potentially life- threatening skin cancer, will be diagnosed in the nation this year. According to the American Can- cer Society, of that figure 120 patients will be from Delaware, and 20 Delawareans will lose their lives to the disease. Cutting edge technological advancement in the treatment of melanoma, now available to patients in the Cape Region, may change those statistics for next year. Jim Spellman, M.D., an oncolo- gy surgeon who recently moved to the area, is one of the few sur- geons in the nation who is certi- fied to perform a new procedure that provides extremely accurate staging and may ultimately prove to increase the survival rate of those patients afflicted with melanoma. Spellman has worked actively to research the value of perform- ing lymphadenectomies. At issue in the research is whether remov- ing lymph nodes ultimately leads to a higher survival rate. Spellman has been studying the effects of removing lymph nodes - through a new procedure called a sentinel node biopsy. This proce- dure identifies patients harboring microscopic disease in the lymph nodes. Statistics showed that only 20 to 30 percent of those undergoing the surgery had the microscopic can- cer cells, so for 70 to 80 percent of the patients, the surgery proved unnecessary. The sentinel node biopsy procedure changes that. "Up until now, there's been no way to identify people who would be good can- didates for lymph node dissection," said Spell- man. "The opera- tion to remove the lymph nodes is quite radi- cal," said SPELLMAN Spellman. "It's quite extensive." Unfortunately, however, he said that prior to the new sentinel node biopsy procedure, surgeons had to remove all of the lymph nodes in order to determine which lymph nodes were cancer stricken. Now, however, surgeons can employ a nuclear medical tech- nique where they inject a nuclear dye to the area around a lesion. "The nuclear scan tells us to which lymph node basin that area of the skin drains," said Spellman. The surgeon then operates on that specific area, injecting a blue dye to the site. The dye goes to what is known as the sentinel lymph node - the one that indicates what is happen- ing to all of the lymph nodes in that basin. "That is also the lymph node...that will pick up tumor cells," said Spellman. "It's the guardian of the lymph node DELAWARE .BAY SURGICAL SERVICE Mayer Katz, M.D., EA.C.S. proudly announces the association of WORKING TOGETHER FOR A HEALTHIER COMMUNITY Now Accepting Patients 645-3712 424 Savannah Rd. Lewes, Delaware 19958 basin." Only two percent of the time would that lymph node not respond positively to the dye if the other lymph nodes had the cancer. "With the combined use of a gamma counter, and the blue dye taken up by a single lymph node, we remove that lymph node that has taken up the dye and send it to pathology," said Spellman. If pathologists determine that there is microscopic cancer in that lymph node, then the surgeon knows to perform a radical lymph node removal. "Preliminary studies show [that using the sentinel node as the gauge] 98 percent accurate," said Spellman. However, he not- ed, researchers still don't know Continued on page 39 Flu Clinics Edgehill Pharmacy and the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) will sponsor an in-store Flu Shot Program in the Delaware and Maryland area this fall to combat the serious flu epidemic forecast by the medical community. From October 3 to November 14, Flu Shot Clinics will be located at Edgehill Pharmacies where registered nurses at each site will administer flu shots. The cost of the flu shot will be $10.00. Medicare Part B is accepted for payment. October 3 3 p.m.-4 p.m. October 15 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Pecan Square Hamlet Shopping Ctr. Salisbury, MD Dover, DE October 3 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. October 18 5 p.m.-7 p.m. 234 "lqlghman Road West Glenwood Ave. Salisbury, MD Smyrna; DE October 4 1 p.m.-3 p.m. October 19 9 a.m.-:! a.m. 1120 s. Central Ave. Ocean Pines Laurel, DE Berlin, MD October 4 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. October 22 1 p.m.-3 p.m. State Une Plaza Uberty Plaza Delmar, DE Harrington, DE October 9 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. October 22 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. 3350 Hayman Drive Georgetown Plaza Federalsburg, MD Georgetown, DE October 9 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. October 25 11 a.m.-12 noon 1401 Middleford Rd. Mason-Dixon Village Seaford, DE Selbyville, DE October 11 2 p.m.-4 p.m. October 25 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Peddlers Village Nanticoke Crossing Lewes, DE Longneck, DE October 11 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. October 26 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 444 Savannah Rd. 3700 Rte. 1 Bay Mart Lewes, DE Rehoboth Beach, DE October 15 5 p.m.-7 p.m. October 26 1 p.m.-3 p.m. 100 N. Railroad Ave. Route 26 Wyoming, DE Millville, DE II A CANCER SCREENING COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE. Free exams for the early detection of prostate cancer will be available at Milford Memorial Hospital's Outpatient Services Center on Friday, Sept. 27 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to noon, as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, Sept. 23-29.