Posts Tagged ‘radiation’

Radiation Treatment for Parotid Cysts at The Farber Center

December 12th, 2011

The development of parotid gland lymphoepithelial cysts in the early stages of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is considered a precursor to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Parotid enlargement greatly affects the quality of life of these patients. Many patients may experience emotional and psychological distress due to discrimination in personal and work relations as a result of their facial disfigurement.
Standard treatment for this disorder has been superficial parotidectomy, repeated fine-needle aspirations or observation alone. There is also another option. A brief course of low dose radiation therapy offers many advantages over surgery. Operative morbidity and mortality are avoided, and personnel are not exposed to HIV-infected body fluids.

What is Radiation Therapy and how does it work?
Radiation therapy is the use of high energy x-rays to destroy dividing cells. In this case it works just like a regular X-ray only it uses higher energy.

Is Radiation Therapy safe?
Radiation has been used successfully to treat patients for more than 100 years. It is used for cancer and benign diseases. Many advances have been made to ensure that radiation therapy is safe and effective. Before you begin receiving radiation therapy, your radiation team will carefully tailor your plan to make sure you receive safe and accurate treatment. Treatment will be focused in the parotid region, sparing the healthy tissue around it. Throughout your treatment, members of your team check and re-check your plan. Special computers are also used to monitor and double-check the treatment machines to make sure the proper treatment is given. Radiation therapy will not make you radioactive after treatment.

What should I expect during treatment?
The actual treatment takes only minutes from start to finish. Here’s what you can expect:
Every day, the radiation therapists will assure correct position, including the use of the immobilization device if that is a part of treatment. Once correct placement is assured, the therapists will leave the room and go to the control area to closely monitor you on a television screen.  There is a microphone in the treatment room so you can always talk with the therapists.  Each session is painless; you don’t see it, taste it, or smell it; it is just like getting an X-ray.   You will be on the treatment table for 10-15 minutes; most of this time is spent setting you up. You will go home/work directly after completion of your treatment and return to a normal routine.
Treatments are scheduled five days a week, Monday through Friday, for two to three weeks.

What should I expect post-treatment
The response to treatment is rapid. The parotid gland becomes soft and fluctuant by the third or fourth treatment and regresses almost completely within 1 month.

Here is a link to the journal article where the pictures below were taken from

example of before treatment and 2 months after treatment

77WABC’s Prostate Cancer Expert

September 19th, 2011

Dr. Leonard Farber from The Farber Center for Radiation Oncology is now 77WABC’s prostate cancer expert. Please watch as Dr. Farber talks about what a prostate cancer patient should know.

Please go here 77WABC to learn the key statistics for prostate cancer.

Integrative oncology

August 11th, 2011

The Farber Center for Radiation Oncology

So what is “integrative oncology?” It depends on who you ask. When you google “integrative oncology,” chances are, the modalities under discussion will usually focus primarily on various dietary changes and lifestyle interventions, such as exercise. You will also find that some will refer to it as quackademic medicine.

What does is mean to The Farber Center? It means we use and coordinate the best evidence-based treatments (i.e. surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy) with complimentary modalities (i.e. acupuncture, massage, stress reduction, herbal/botanicals, etc.) with the goal of treating your cancer, preventing recurrence and reducing side effects and symptoms. We do all of this in an environment that soothes and nurtures you.

No matter what kind of treatment a cancer patient receives, the fight against cancer is more than a physical challenge. It impacts everything from emotional well-being to financial stability. We believe that caring for a patient is caring for a person. We realize that people exist within a matrix of family, friends, jobs, homes, neighborhoods, geographical areas, and psychological and cultural environments, all of which can influence health and disease. Our mission is to develop a treatment plan that is right for our patient and their loved ones in an environment that supports and nurtures them.

Going to a physician who believes in integrative oncology won’t change your diagnosis, but it will put your body in a better place to get healthy. Integrative Oncology encourages living a healthy lifestyle to help the body in its’ innate abilities to fight and prevent cancer. This can be accomplished by learning strategies to reduce stress, increasing physical activity and eating healthfully (“anti-cancer diet & nutrition.”) Practicing these lifestyle changes creates a place where the healthy cells in your immune system can flourish and do their best work.

And when your cancer treatment is over The Farber Center for Radiation Oncology has joined forces with Urban Zen’s integrative therapy program (UZIT) and created OHE (optimal healing environment) classes to create a place/space where you can explore the issues that brought you treatment and to do what you can to prevent you or your loved ones from going through it again.

The 4-week integrative program is targeted to EMPOWER the cancer patent to get the best treatment of mind, body and sprit.

Initial consultation: with one of our physicians to review the overall scope of the program, the concept of functional medicine, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, “knowing your numbers,” and introduction of “Daily Health Log.” There are no out of pocket expenses for Farber Center patients.

Week 1: Nutrition/Zen*
Discuss various dietary options and specific guidelines for CA patients, esp related to preventing recurrences. Dieting,Supplements, Juicing, Fiber, etc.

Week 2: Movement/Zen*
Explore physical activity with emphasis on yoga

Week 3: Mind/Body/Zen*
Tools for stress reduction and empowerment

Week 4: Guest Lectures/Zen*
Nutrition, Stress Reduction, Adrenal Fatigue,Inflammation, Immunity,

*Zen: each week will include guided meditation and yoga practice with therapist from the Urban Zen integrative therapy program. The UZIT program is a 12 month program that includes training in yoga therapy, essential oil therapy, Reiki, nutrition, and contemplative care giving to addresses the key patient symptoms of PANIC- pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, constipation, and exhaustion.

To find out more about the program please contact The Farber Center at 212 300-0663

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

June 3rd, 2011

As you know when I come across an amazing foundation or blog I like to spread the word. While doing some research on breast cancer I came across The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. As you may know, subtypes of breast cancer are generally diagnosed based upon the presence, or lack of, three “receptors” known to fuel most breast cancers: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). A receptor is a protein that lives inside or on the surface of a cell and binds to something in the body to cause the cell to react. But triple-negative breast cancers need different types of treatments because they are estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor- negative and HER2 negative. Medicines like tamoxifen, which targets the estrogen receptor, and trastuzumab (Herceptin), which targets HER2, are not helpful in treating triple-negative breast cancer. Instead, chemotherapy along with radiation has been shown to be the most effective treatment for triple-negative breast cancer. There are a lot of myths out there and this site does a wonderful job of educating patients and providing resources for clinical trials and support.

About TNBC Foundation

Nancy Block-Zenna

The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 2006 in honor of Nancy Block-Zenna, a young woman who was diagnosed at age 35 with triple negative breast cancer and died 2 1/2 years later in 2007.

In response to Nancy’s diagnosis, her close friends launched the TNBC Foundation to raise awareness and support research in the area of triple negative breast cancer. It was Nancy’s hope that, as her daughter Jolie grows older, triple negative breast cancer will no longer be the threat it is today.

Their mission is to raise awareness of triple negative breast cancer and to support scientists and researchers in their effort to determine the definitive causes of triple negative breast cancer, so that effective detection, diagnosis, prevention and treatment can be pursued and achieved.

Click here to learn more or call The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Helpline at (877) 880-TNBC (8622): TNBC Foundation

Online Support for those with Cervical Cancer

January 14th, 2010

imgEThe Internet is an increasingly important social forum, providing patients with valuable information and support about their health. So when dealing with cancer, joining an online cancer support group can be one of the best ways to help heal. Not only does the online support group provide a place to exchange information about side effects, resources and what’s happening in clinical trials, support groups on the internet can counteract the social isolation that sometimes follows cancer.

Studies have shown that talking to others who understand or have been through your situation can not only make you feel less upset, fearful or anxious, but it can also help you focus on your health and treatment. In addition, it has also been shown that cancer patients who attend cancer support groups survive longer than just receiving medical treatment alone.

If you are looking for an online cervical cancer support group? Try these: is the largest, most comprehensive health network of people sharing their advice, treatment experiences, and support.
MDJunction is an active center for Online Support Groups, a place where thousands of patients meet every day to discuss their feelings, questions and hopes with like minded friends.
The mission of, a nonprofit organization, is to provide information and emotional support from the survivors’ perspective to women with gynecologic cancers, their families and friends, and healthcare providers. is not a medical site: all medical decisions rest with a woman and her medical care team. offers personal stories, suggestions, annotated links and a caring, moderated environment in which women with reproductive cancers are free to express their experience. is 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization in the USA.