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U on Minnesota, Thoracic Onocology Consortium 11/11

Donna G

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Well I will be leaving soon for the Hilton at the airport. The lung cancer specialists at the Univ. of Minnesota again are hosting a day long seminar on lung cancer, new treatments, etc. Being a nurse I also get 6 CEU's for attending. I hope I learn lots of new and exciting things.

I will be thinking of all you guys! Just ran off "several" of the LCSC flyers. I thought I should bring them along.

Since Connie has become "friends" with so many of them through her and our efforts to promote lung cancer awareness here in Minnesota I thought I would bring pictures of our Picnic at Connies this past summer and our Mayors Cancer Awareness Event this past month. Several of the doctors ( professors teaching also at the U of M) have participated in events Connie's local group ( our local support group) have had at the state capital.

Again hope I have some good info to share later. Donna G

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I learned a lot at that seminar. Had to work today and tomorrow and am stil digesting what I heard.


The doctors said as far as staging that many new treatments have come out the past 2 years that will affect prognosis.

They also said the average age that the 165,000 people diagnosed this year is 70 years old. They said this fact , that many are 70 plus years old affects that 5 yrs survival rating, many just die of something else before they get to be 75 or more years old. They don't necessarily die of the cancer! I asked if anyone keeps stats on survival at different ages, or survival of people if they have no heart disease etc. Perhaps those figures just mean for some that they got old and it was there time, not that the lung cancer killed them.

They also said that if you smoke and are exposed to asbestos that increases your risk of lung cancer even more. I had thought that aspestos caused only mesothelioma but they said it increased your risk of lung cancer. Donna G

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As I said I am still digesting the seminar. I worked today and took care of a 86 year old gentlemen who had a biopsy of a thoracic mass. As far as I know it was decided no treatment. He will also be in the 5 year survival statistics mentioned above.

Dr. Michael Maddaus spoke again at this lung cancer day. He really emphasized how the Minimally invasive surgery by VAT is so superior to the open thoracotomy as long at the MD has been trained. He listed many reasons. Biological, Post op, and Quality of life.

1. Decreased Morbidity ( less deaths from complications of surgery)

2. Shorter length of hospital stay

3. Can be done on people with "marginal" physiology as those with COPD etc. and they tolerate it.

4. Has less traumatic affect on the bodies cellular immune system ( less stressful so immune system works better preventing things. )

5. Less post op pain.

6 Less chronic pain

7 less manipulation of tumor therefore less tumor cell sheading,(never touch with hands) so less chance of spreading or breaking off a few cell.

8. Quicker return to normal ( Vats in average of 2.5 months, Open is 7.8 months.)

It is done with 3 small incisions, one for the instruments, one for the camera, one for the scope.

Post more later. Donna G

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The Lung Cancer Problem was the topic dicussed by Dr. Robert Kratzke, a professor of lung cancer research at the Univ. of Mn.

He said lung cancer was uncommon in 1930. The incidence has been rising since 1950. Here is an artilce that says the same.

Smoking Cessation Research Program, Harvard Medical School/Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. cooleymary@aol.com

Considered a rare disease during the 19th century, lung cancer became the most virulent and lethal cause of cancer mortality by the end of the 20th century. In this paper, lung cancer and its treatment are addressed within the social, cultural, economic, and political context of the last century. Because lung cancer is related to the consumption of cigarettes, the battles over tobacco control are highlighted. Four time periods are addressed: the early years (1900-1930), beginning of the epidemic (1930-1960), defining the problem (1960-1980), and expanding options (1980-1990s). Although improvements have been made in science and technology, attempts at finding curative treatments have met with little success. Smoking cessation and efforts to control tobacco (especially among children and adolescents) remain the most important factors if the incidence of lung cancer is to be curtailed in the future. Providing care to individuals with the illness is a current challenge. Research examining the efficacy of treatments and their effect on survival, health-related quality of life, and cost outcomes is essential and can be best achieved through the efforts of multidisciplinary teams.

He also said ( for some reason perhaps radon) that in western Iowa there is a high incidence of lung cancer in non smokers. He said lung cancer in non smokers may be a "different disease" . He said the incidence of SCLC is decreasing. In summary he said the problems are

1. Prevention

2. Detection

3. Treatments

4. Palliation

5. Care of the patient and their family.

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