Louisville Magazine

OCT 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/1033109

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8 2 0 1 8 B r e a s t H e a l t h S e c t i o n SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION How to choose your cancer care team No one chooses when they will get cancer. No one chooses where they will get cancer. But everyone has a choice when it comes to choosing your cancer care team. With a breast cancer diagnosis, there are many choices to be made. How do you know if you're getting the best care possible? Here are some key factors to look for when choosing your cancer care team. Knowledge "The most important thing I want to impart to patients is knowledge," Dr. Beth Riley, a breast medical oncologist and deputy director of Health Affairs at UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center, says. "There are a lot of choices when it comes to oncology treatment. There are different ways to achieve the same goal, but those treatments may have different side effects and different long-term outcomes. I'm passionate about educating my patients about the nature of their tumor and their treatment options so they feel empowered to make the best decision." Innovative, Personalized Treatment Advanced precision medicine allows your cancer team to carefully examine the unique molecular structure or "personality" of your cancer to customize treatments and target the cause. "The most exciting thing in oncology right now is immunotherapy," says Dr. Riley. "It will change the outlook of oncology moving forward." UofL Brown Cancer Center is one of the first places where immunotherapy has been used for melanoma (skin cancer). Immunotherapy works by stimulating the immune system to recognize the cancer and destroy it. Most of us are probably having cancer develop in our bodies every day, except that our immune systems recognize those abnormal cells and are able to kill them. When cancer develops, sometimes it's able to trick the immune system. Like a stealth fighter jet, it flies under the radar and the immune system isn't able to recognize it. When a patient is given immunotherapy, it paints a target on that stealth fighter jet's back and tells the immune system to recognize and kill it. That's how immunotherapy works. It uses our own immune system to destroy the cancer. Access to Clinical Trials "Immunotherapies that we first tested against melanoma have now been found to prolong the survival of patients suffering from multiple types of cancer, including breast cancer," Dr. Jason Chesney, director of UofL Brown Cancer Center, says. Dr. Riley adds, "In those tumor types where immunotherapy has not provided as much benefit, we're working very hard to develop clinical trials to see how to manipulate the tumor or the treatment to improve the rates of success." "Right now, immunotherapy doesn't work for everybody," says Dr. Kelly McMasters, surgical oncologist and chair of the Department of Surgery. "Trying to make it work for everybody is work for the future, and the research that needs to be done is being done right here in Louisville at UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center." Multidisciplinary Academic Specialists "At UofL Brown Cancer Center, we offer a multidisciplinary approach," notes Dr. Nicolas Ajkay, a breast surgical oncologist and director of the Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic. "If you had breast cancer in the 1970s, you would get a mastectomy and that was it. Today, treatment of breast cancer requires multiple specialties: a breast surgeon, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist. Our team collectively designs the best plan of action for each patient based on their unique diagnosis."

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