Entries Tagged "Breast Cancer"

Breast cancer knows few boundaries

It is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers. Everyone is potentially at risk, despite age, sex or family history. To date, there is no cure for breast cancer, but early detection continues to save lives.
 
Such was the case for Stacie Sisk, a patient at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at age 36. Had it not been caught early, doctors told her, she would not have made it to her 40th birthday...
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Josh Kermisch
Posted June 9, 2011

Katie Burke believes in early detection and setting goals

Diagnosed with breast cancer at 23, Katie Burke is alive today to tell others how early detection saved her life. Co-founder of an independent cancer survivor group for young adults, Burke also works at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute as a medical assistant, helping other patients who have been diagnosed with cancer.

In February 2009, just months after her wedding and shortly before her 24th birthday, Burke was diagnosed with Stage I HER2-positive and estrogen positive breast cancer. The diagnosis came three months after she found a lump in her breast...

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Josh Kermisch


Posted July 14, 2011

Survivor’s one-word mantra sees her through

The first day Nancy Glascock started chemotherapy for breast cancer, her husband, Bill, gave her a bracelet and a card that had one simple word: Believe. For four years, “Believe” has been her mindset, knowing that only good things could come from positive thinking.

In her own words, this is her cancer story, which began in 2007...

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Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted August 4, 2011

Monica believes in annual mammograms at 40 and beyond

Controversy surrounding the recommended guidelines for starting annual mammograms left many wondering when and how often they should be screened. Forty-year-old breast cancer survivor Monica would tell you to get screened once a year, every year.

A mother of three and new grandmother, Monica says, “I’m thankful that I have been treated on time and I’m glad that I was doing my check every year."

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Josh Kermisch
Posted August 18, 2011

Soroptimist “Walk to Live” raises local funds for local lives

Soroptimist International of Eugene, Emerald Empire and Junction City will hold its 19th annual “Walk to Live” on Sat., Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. at Maurie Jacobs Park. Soroptimist International is an organization focused on supporting women through programs and service that ensure human rights, education, economic and social development, health, environment, and international goodwill. Active in Lane County since 1949, the local chapter chooses to help women in the community going through breast and gynecological cancers, and “Walk to Live” is its largest fundraising event...

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Gretchen Matsuoka, WVCI oncology care manager
Posted September 7, 2011

Walkers bring in substantial sum for breast, gynecological cancer fund

Those who participated in “Walk to Live” on Saturday raised $17,000 to benefit local women with breast and gynecological cancer.

Hosted by Soroptimist International of Eugene, Emerald Empire and Junction City, the walk supports Willamette Valley Cancer Institute’s Breast and Gynecological Assistance Fund. A sponsor of the event, WVCI was there to support breast and gynecological patients; staff members also hosted a cake raffle to raise more money for the fund.

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By Gretchen Matsuoka, oncology care manager


Posted September 21, 2011

Take steps to detect breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable

It’s October: time to think pink, as we observe National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we’ll strive to raise awareness about breast health and early detection, and we’ll celebrate those survivors who are battling and overcoming the disease.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer were documented in 2010 and it is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Men can get breast cancer, too...

 

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 3, 2011

Two-time cancer survivor shares experience through gift basket business

Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, the cancer journey can be metamorphic. For Karen Sharkey, she’s taken her two-time cancer survivorship and turned it into something positive and beneficial for others.

Diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1992 and breast cancer in 2006, she embraces a lifestyle of supporting healing that evolved from the challenges and changes she experienced both personally and professionally as a result of her cancers.

Creator and owner of Kare ‘N Totes, Karen helps ease people's treatment and recovery from cancer and other illnesses through the gift totes and baskets...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 6, 2011

Balancing work and your breast cancer journey

In addition to the emotional and physical challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis, the treatment and recovery process can interrupt a patient’s occupation. Here are some considerations for balancing your job while going through the cancer journey, as well as recommendations for getting financial support if you decide to take time off.

Continuing to work
Some may find work a motivating force that helps them maintain a positive attitude through the cancer journey. By focusing on outcomes of current projects and tasks, it may be easier to envision a future where cancer is no longer a concern...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 10, 2011

Stacie reflects on filming her story, inspiring others

An inspiration to many, Stacie Sisk talks about the experience of filming the 18-chapter Believe Institute video series that chronicles the cancer journeys of her and her husband, Hank.

Q. When you agreed to let WVCI tell the story of you and Hank, did you have any reservations? If so, what were they?
A. Yes, a couple things come to mind, knowing it would mean bringing up things that hurt so much and realizing I haven't dealt with those feelings yet. Secondly, I was worried about how it might affect the kids...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 11, 2011

Breast cancer survivor counts her blessings, gives back

Tattooed on Mekeesha Price’s arm is a breast cancer awareness ribbon with symbols that hold meaning for her. Included are her children’s initials and the date she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was also the day her mother passed away from early-onset Alzheimer’s. Like the tattoo, cancer changed her physically, but did not change who she is as a person.

“Cancer was what I had to walk through, so I can help other people,” she says...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 13, 2011

Men can get breast cancer, too; know the symptoms for early detection

Women aren’t the only ones who suffer from breast cancer. Although awareness for breast cancer in women has increased, male breast cancer is often sidelined. According to the National Cancer Institute, less than 1 percent of all breast cancer cases affect men, but it's usually diagnosed at a late stage, which can affect treatments and outcomes.

Knowing the symptoms may help men find breast cancer at an early stage, when it's more treatable. Look for these changes in the breast tissue...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 21, 2011

Race for the Cure success: Team Believe supports Komen’s mission

At Komen Oregon’s 2nd annual Eugene Race for the Cure on Sunday, Willamette Valley Cancer Institute staff joined 6,000 walkers and runners to celebrate breast cancer survivors and express their hope for finding cures. For many, the 5k walk or run was a symbol of triumph in the fight against cancer.

As a Race sponsor, our booth was filled with patients and community members who mingled with WVCI staff and made Believe buttons. At the finish line, WVCI staff members handed out flowers, cheers and hugs to survivors as they completed their race...

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Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 25, 2011

Breast cancer nurse navigator knows from experience

As a cancer survivor, Linda DeHart knows what it's like to navigate the cancer journey. In her role as a certified breast cancer nurse navigator at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, she assists patients every step of the way, from their first consult with an oncologist, through treatment and beyond.

With 41 years in the health care field and through her personal experience, DeHart has both first-hand and professional expertise and insight to help patients feel supported...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 26, 2011

Believers share photos and thoughts of Komen Eugene Race for the Cure

Willamette Valley Cancer Institute patients united at Komen Eugene Race for the Cure for a morning of support and celebration. Here are photos and thoughts from some of the “Believers” who participated in the uplifting event. Read their “Believer Stories” on this blog by clicking on their names.

“The Komen Race for a Cure on Sunday was a fun event. I noticed positive attitudes, smiles and hugs all morning long. As a breast cancer survivor, I felt hope for future generations without cancer! I was so thankful for such a beautiful day for a walk.” - Karen Sharkey, thyroid and breast cancer survivor...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 27, 2011

Combined therapy is a promising treatment option for breast cancer

Breast cancer awareness month comes to a close as October ends, but awareness and research will still continue.

Recent breast cancer treatment research is focused on combined therapy known as synchronous chemoradiation. After tumors are removed, the traditional method for treatment is chemotherapy followed by radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells. Combined therapy calls for simultaneous use of radiation and chemotherapy to reduce the risk of cancer relapse...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted October 31, 2011

In KMTR’s “Diagnosis: Cancer,” Stephanie Sanders shares her breast cancer journey

At 33 years old and shortly after the birth of her fourth child, Stephanie Sanders was diagnosed with Stage II triple negative breast cancer. This type of cancer can be difficult to treat because of its unresponsiveness to targeted treatments.

In a special segment, KMTR NewsSource 16 documents Sanders’ journey to provide hope for others. She speaks openly about what she has gone through, provides advice to others, and shares her thoughts and her fears...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted November 3, 2011

Breast cancer survivor learns to let go, appreciates calming result

In today’s busy world, it can be difficult to sit and enjoy a quiet moment, but breast cancer taught Kelly Turanski to do just that.

“You don’t have to have cancer to have this perspective,” Turanski explains. “I thought I enjoyed my hectic life, but I realized how short life can be and that it can change in an instance.”

In 2008, while nursing her second son, Turanski felt a lump in her breast that she figured was a clogged milk duct. After two miscarriages the following year, she realized the lump had grown to the size of a blueberry and she decided to have it examined...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted November 10, 2011

“Bras for a Cause” tree wins Festival of Trees’ “Best Use of Theme”

Adorned with colorful pennants and playful lingerie, Willamette Valley Cancer Institute’s entry in the 19th annual Festival of Trees won “Best Use of Theme” over the weekend.

The tree’s theme was inspired by WVCI breast cancer patients and their battle with the disease, recognizing both survivors and those who've lost their fight.

According to an article that appeared in the The Register-Guard, WVCI’s tree was a favorite among Festival-goers...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted November 29, 2011

Fans cheer for breast cancer survivor as she wins each day

An avid University of Oregon Ducks (sports) fan, Tracy Strimling is rising to the challenge of her breast cancer journey inspired by football coach Chip Kelly's motto: "Win the day." Embracing this notion for her own battle, she says, "I can't control tomorrow, but I can fight like hell to win today."

In September 2010, Strimling's annual mammogram showed no abnormalities. Less than a year later, she felt an unusual lump and decided to have it examined. A July biopsy revealed stage II breast cancer...

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By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted December 1, 2011