Supporting cancer treatment in creative ways
Cancer treatment now comes with music, pet therapy, yoga and more.
In 2006 at age 26, Kathy Brooks was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with her third child
Her treatment was successful, and there has been no recurrence of the disease. But in retrospect, Brooks, a registered nurse, says she is more aware now of the difference between cancer treatment and cancer care.
As an administrator of an oncology unit at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Brooks supervises a cancer treatment and care program with 110 employees and two physicians.
A decade ago, she says, cancer treatment focused largely on physicians giving patients the correct and most effective medications. Things have changed, she says, for the better.
“Today, physicians and oncology experts have come to understand that care in cancer comes from a very holistic approach,” says Brooks.
“It’s always about treating the patient with the most effective medications and techniques,” she adds. “But it’s also about treating the mind, body and the spirit, not only for the patient, but for the patient’s family and caregivers.”
In many hospitals and oncology units, support services now include music and pet therapy, yoga and other palliative remedies and techniques.
Drugs from the Sea
Esther Guzmán / Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Fort Pierce
Esther Guzmán, head of the cancer cell biology lab at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch, and her team are studying a compound found in deep-water sponges. The compound, leiodermatolide, shows the ability to inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors. — Mike Vogel
Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood / Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa
Moffitt, working with Memorial, last year established a Moffitt-staffed blood cancer research and treatment center at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines, Moffitt’s first expansion outside the Tampa Bay area. The Moffitt Malignant Hematology & Cellular Therapy blood and marrow transplant and cellular therapy program has Moffitt doctors practicing at Memorial’s Pembroke Pines facility. — Mike Vogel
Dr. Zeina Nahleh
Cleveland Clinic, Weston
In November, Cleveland Clinic hired Dr. Zeina Nahleh as director of its Maroone Cancer Center. She formerly was a professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. She will be leading clinical trials that include a study on the safety and effectiveness of a particular drug for a particular breast cancer and a separate study of how adding a blood pressure medication affects outcomes for people with a certain kind of breast cancer. — Mike Vogel
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