Holy Cross Cancer Blog

4th Winter Oncology Symposium a Success

  • Posted Feb 05, 2013
  • By Holy Cross Administrator

symposium3 Please join me in congratulating the entire Oncology Team on the success of our 4th Annual Winter Oncology Symposium.

Without any doubt I can tell you that this was our best symposium to date – with more attendees and more enthusiasm than ever. I feel sure that the attendees could not have gone anywhere in the world at any cost and learned more in one day about bladder, renal and colorectal cancer than they learned at Holy Cross on Saturday, January 26.

Dr. Leonard Seigel started the day off with an introduction and discussion of our continuing and strengthening relationship with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center. Many in the crowd were not aware of this relationship and throughout the day I had a number of people ask me about it.

Dr. Stephen Patterson then ably led the morning session with his co-director Dr. Lee from MGH. Included in the GU session were some interesting cases Dr. Patterson presented and also an outstanding speech given by Dr. David Taub. It was impressive and showed that his work with the daVinci surgical system is highly skilled and places him ahead of many practitioners in performing delicate urologic surgeries.

After lunch, Dr. Christina Gomez led the afternoon GI session with her co-Director Dr. Tanabe, who is the chief of surgical oncology at MGH. She did a wonderful job presenting cases that showcase our capabilities here at HCH and led into excellent sessions including a fantastic introduction of Endoscopic Ultrasound by Dr. Emad Abuhamda. The doctors from MGH remarked to me how fortunate we are to have not only the ability to offer EUS but also to have the caliber of physician to do EUS that we have.

We have received tremendous feedback from the speakers and other people at MGH. They are thrilled by our collaboration and look forward to future interactions.

Thank you again to everyone involved. The momentum surrounding our oncology program is continuing to build. I am proud to be a part of it and to associate with so many fine professionals.  

Maureen G. Mann, MS, MBA, FACHE
Executive Director
Michael and Dianne Bienes Cancer Center

symposium2         symposium1


Volunteer today for a cancer-free tomorrow

  • Posted Jan 29, 2013
  • By Holy Cross Administrator

KS16897With memories of the 2012 holiday season waning, silver bells and jingle bells may not be fresh in your mind. But there is one bell whose ring has a lasting effect.

For our cancer patients in Radiation Oncology, the bell rung on their last day of treatment has the sweetest ring to it.  On this day, the Radiation Oncology staff invites patients to celebrate their accomplishments by ringing the “End of Treatment Bell.”

The Staff recites, “Your day has come to strike the bell! Your silent heart has much to tell, and much to toll this proud new day, treatment’s done, you’re on your way!”

The patient then rings the bell which is heard joyfully throughout the department.  And the patient is on their way.

We would love to send even more patients on their way. To that end, Holy Cross is collaborating with the American Cancer Society’s Broward unit to recruit volunteers to serve as Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) Community Champions  for the May 9, 2013 study enrollment event at Holy Cross. (We'll share details on this event in a future blog.)

Our volunteers will help us better understand how lifestyle, genetics and the environment affect cancer and how we can better prevent the disease.  To learn more about this unique opportunity, please join us at the CPS-3 Kick off reception on March 5 from 6-8 pm at the Bienes Cancer Center-1st floor lobby. RSVP by February 28 at 954-564-0880 ext. 2848 or email lainie.jones@cancer.org.

For more information about CPS-3, visit www.seeuthere.com/cps3enroll/browardcofl.

Aloha! INTRABEAM patient sends Greetings from Hawaii

  • Posted Jan 22, 2013
  • By Holy Cross Administrator

Jackie in HawaiiWe thought you might like to hear firsthand from one of our INTRABEAM (Breast Cancer IORT) patients:

"Here is a picture of me after I walked up to the top of Diamond Head today...4 weeks out from surgery and this is what I am doing.

As you can see, I am doing quite well.  Even did an hour of water aerobics yesterday."

- Jackie H.

P.S. "I am in Mexico for a week, if you want to post that."

Click here to read Dr. Goyal's blog post about IORT.   

Wishing you a Happy Healthy New Year

  • Posted Jan 15, 2013
  • By Holy Cross Administrator

3It is incredible how fast 2012 has gone. For many of you it marks your first year of survival; for others it marks many years.

As some of you know, my dad was treated here at Holy Cross for his stage 4 B-Cell Lymphoma as part of a clinical trial and I am pleased to report to you that he just had his 10 year physician check up as part of the trial follow-up and got a perfect bill of health. He is now 84 and counting, and sends his best holiday wishes to all of you whom he met while he was here for his treatments and to those he has yet to meet!

We have so many things to be thankful for here at the Bienes Cancer Center, and we count each of you among those blessings.

Please enjoy the new year and remember to take care of yourselves first and foremost! From me, my family and all of us here at Holy Cross, our best wishes for a healthy and happy 2013!

Maureen Mann, MBA, FACHE

Prostate Cancer Screening

  • Posted Aug 15, 2012
  • hchadmin

What is screening?

Screening is when one performs a test to look for a disease prior to any symptoms. The goal is to detect a specific disease at its earliest stage in order to ensure the best treatment results. If a screening test result is abnormal, you may need to have more tests done to find out if you have cancer.

Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common non-skin cancer among men in the United States. CaP is found mainly in men above the age of 60, and can be found in men in their forties. Due to the slow growing nature of prostate cancer, only about 10% of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer end up dying of the disease; however, a much larger percentage of men with prostate cancer may suffer from the effects of prostate cancer, such as bone pain or urinary symptoms. The goal of treating prostate cancer is not only to prevent death from CaP, but also to prevent any symptoms from developing.

A higher percentage of CaP occurs in African-American men than in white men. African-American men with prostate cancer are more likely to die from the disease than white men with prostate cancer. Below are risk factors for developing prostate cancer:

  • Being 50 years of age or older.
  • Being black.
  • Having a brother, son or father who had prostate cancer (family history).
  • Eating a diet high in fat or drinking alcoholic beverages.

What is involved with prostate cancer screening?

There are two main tests that are employed during prostate screening:

1. Digital rectal exam (DRE): A doctor or nurse briefly inserts their finger into the lower part of the rectum to feel the prostate for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
2. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA): PSA is a substance made by the prostate that can be detected in the blood. The level of PSA is typically higher in men who have prostate cancer.
If one of these screening tests are abnormal, a prostate biopsy by your urologist may be requested. Follow-up tests, such as a biopsy, may be done to diagnose cancer.

Which men should get screened?

This question is a hotly debated topic. Opinions vary from testing all men annually starting at the age of 40 to the extreme of suggesting that no men should ever get screened. The truth lies somewhere in between. The United States Preventive Services Task Force reviewed five well-controlled clinical trials looking at screening for men 50 and older. They concluded in 2011 that the benefits of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer do not outweigh the harms. Many organizations, including the American Cancer Society and American Urologic Society, argue in favor of prostate screening.

Generally, most experts in the field of prostate cancer recommend prostate screening with annual PSA and digital rectal examination starting at the age of 45-50, but at the age of 40 for men at high risk. This would include African-American men and men who have a father, brother or son diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65.

Since the initiation of PSA screening, the death rates from prostate cancer have decreased. The countries with the least PSA screening tend to have the highest prostate-cancer mortality rates. In keeping with majority opinion, I believe prostate cancer screening is a valuable tool which saves lives.

Ask your primary care physician or urologist about the importance of prostate cancer screening.

For a Holy Cross Medical Group physician referral, call 866-988-DOCS (3627).


Colorectal Cancer: What Women Need to Know

  • Posted Mar 21, 2012
  • By Holy Cross Administrator

Colorectal Cancer - cancer of the colon and rectum - is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for men and women combined, and over 56,000 people are expected to die from it this year. Women comprise over half of all the deaths attributed to colorectal cancer. However, it is a highly preventable and treatable disease if caught early, and an estimated 40,000 lives a year could be saved if men and women would get screened for it. 

It has been shown that a low-fat diet, high in vegetables and fruits, coupled with regular exercise can significantly reduce one's risk for developing colorectal cancer. Regular screening of average risk men and women starting at age 50 can help prevent the disease by detecting and removing pre-cancerous polyps, as well as detecting colorectal cancer in the earliest, most curable stages.  Despite the widespread availability of highly effective screening tests, colorectal cancer screening lags far behind screening for other cancers such as breast (mammography), and cervical (pap smears). Many women are unaware that once they turn 50, they should be screened yearly. Those who have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps or a personal history of long-term inflammatory bowel disease need to be screened before age 50, as well as women with a personal or family history of ovarian, endometrial or breast cancer. 

Colorectal cancer screening costs are covered by Medicare and many commercial health plans. If you are at risk for colorectal cancer, make an appointment today with your health care provider to discuss which of the available procedures is best for you and how often you should be screened. Colorectal cancer screening is not going to be the high point of anyone's day, but the tests are simple and painless. A colonoscopy is a visual examination of the rectum and entire colon performed in an endoscopy unit. If polyps are found, they can be removed during this procedure. The exam may be uncomfortable, but it is not painful. The doctor may give you some medication to make you feel relaxed and sleepy, and recommended testing is every 5-10 years. A few moments of discomfort are worth the peace of mind knowing that you have increased markedly the likelihood that you will lead a long and healthy life. 

Ask your doctor about colon cancer screening. To schedule an appointment for colon cancer screening, call 954-202-0277 or visit us online at http://www.holy-cross.com/outpatient-services.

Elie Schochet, MD, Colorectal Surgery | 1960 NE 47th St. Suite 102 | 954-772-4553


Expressions of a Cancer Journey

  • Posted Jan 27, 2012
  • By Holy Cross Administrator

Our Cancer Center has been selected by Lilly Oncology to be one of a select few cancer centers and hospitals nationwide to have the opportunity to showcase a gallery of artwork done by cancer patients and survivors who entered a national contest and won. “The Lilly Oncology on Canvas: Expressions of a Cancer Journey" is a biennial competition that invites individuals diagnosed with any type of cancer to express, through art and narrative, the life affirming changes that give their cancer journeys meaning.”  This artwork is spending a year traveling to the selected cancer centers and hospitals and spending approximately one week at each facility. Our week starts Jan 28, and coincides with our Oncology Symposium (also on Saturday). I invite you to stop by the Cancer Center Monday, January 30 to Friday, February 3, to see this artwork.

Maureen G. Mann
Executive Director
Michael and Dianne Bienes Cancer Center


Join us at HOPE Relay for Life

  • Posted Jan 18, 2012
  • By Holy Cross Administrator

Hi All-

“HOPE” you are all doing well. We have some exciting news to share. First, on Friday, we received our first official sponsorship from the Holy Cross Medical Staff – a $5000 commitment!!!Second – Julie has been hard at work and our Facebook page is up and running go to the following to see her efforts!!!


As you have any successes or ideas or concerns or anything please feel free to reach out to me any time.


Maureen G. Mann, MS, MBA, FACHE
Executive Director
Michael and Dianne Bienes Cancer Center
Holy Cross Hospital
Telephone: 954-351-5955
Email: maureen.mann@holy-cross.com  


I Can Cope Program Coming Soon

  • Posted Oct 06, 2011
  • By Holy Cross Administrator

Join us for
Saturday, October 15, 2011

8:30 am – 9:00 am: Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:00 am – 9:15 am:  Welcome & Prayer
9:15 am – 10:00 am: Understanding Cancer Treatment
10:00 am – 10:45 am: Understanding Radiation Therapy
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m: Spirituality and Cancer Care
11:30 am - 12:15 pm: Psychological Issues and Cancer
12:15 pm – 12:45 pm: Lunch & Survivor Story
12:45 pm - 1:30 pm: Financial & Estate Planning
1:30 pm -  2:00 pm: Nutrition in Cancer Care
2:00 pm - 2:30 pm: Managing Side Effects of Treatment
2:30 pm – 3:15 pm: Integrative Cancer Treatments
3:15 pm - 3:30 pm: Evaluations & Celebration

Please call (954) -267-7770 for Reservations
Location:  2nd Floor Atrium, Cancer Center, 4725 N Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

Nutrition & Cancer Prevention

  • Posted Nov 12, 2010
  • Maureen Mahoney

antioxidantsResearch shows that nutrition support and intervention are relevant to all aspects of cancer treatment. A healthy diet can help prevent or control comorbidities such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension and may help prevent the formation and growth of additional tumors. Recommendations for cancer patients typically are designed to help build strength and withstand the effects of cancer and its treatment. Uncontrolled or excessive weight loss can negatively affect quality of life, delay or prevent treatment completion, prolong healing and increase the risk of complications. These American Cancer Society guidelines for cancer prevention should be followed during and after treatment:

  • Consume a health7 diet with emphasis on plant sources
  • Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat five or more servings a day of a variety of vegetables and fruits
  • Choose whole grains in preference to processed refined grains
  • Limit consumption of processed and red meats

Generally 45% to 65% of energy intake should come from carbohydrates. The foods selected should be rich in essential nutrients, phytochemicals and fiber. However patients having difficulty tolerating whole foods may need some modifications. Homemade shakes or nutritional drinks can be very useful to patients during these times. Hydration is critically important for health maintenance. In general patients should consume 64 oz of fluid per day. Proteins contain essential amino acids and are a key part of daily nutrition. Protein helps the body repair cells and makes new ones. Proteins perform a major structural role in tissue and in the formation of enzymes, hormones and various fluids. Sources of protein include: meat, poultry, fish, eggs diary, nuts, legumes and soy. Often patients do not take in enough protein due to their illness. Supplements and nutrition shakes can provide protein, calories and other nutrients


Below is a commentary from Maureen G. Mann, MS, MBA, FACHE, Executive Director of the Michael and Dianne Bienes Cancer Center at Holy Cross Hospital, urging lawmakers to oppose House Bill 169. 

"...I am a very involved volunteer with the American Cancer Society...so this particular bill causes me great concern. Please see the notes below and VOTE NO when this bill comes to the floor...

Oppose House Bill 169
Nicotine Products & Nicotine Dispensing Device

Originally, the intent of HB 169 was to prohibit the sale of nicotine products and nicotine dispensing devices (e-cigarettes) to minors. However, added amendment language would strip local governments of their ability to regulate all tobacco products and e-cigarettes, overturn existing ordinances, and block future opportunities to protect kids in the retail environment. For example, many of the product placement ordinances we currently have in Florida go beyond the minimum standards set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requiring that ALL tobacco products are placed behind the counter at retail stores, not just cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. With the preemption language, the bill now does more harm than good in the fight to keep Florida’s children tobacco free.

Key Points
Many of the ordinances we currently have in Florida deal with product placement, requiring that all tobacco, not just cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, are placed behind the counter at retail stores. They are stronger than the minimum standards required by the FDA and are all meant to keep tobacco
products out of the hands of children.

In-store tobacco displays serve to increase product availability, visibility and brand awareness and stimulate trial and purchase of products.1 Product placement laws limit youth access to tobacco via illegal sales and shoplifting.
Proponents for preemption claim that we need a uniform state law that covers all businesses rather than a patchwork of local ordinances. The fact is retailers are used to complying with a variety of local laws, including zoning, traffic restrictions, health regulations and even alcohol sales. Tobacco regulations
are no different than other regulations that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.        
Local governments are more flexible and responsive than state government in effectively dealing with emerging problems and finding innovative solutions. Local governments are closer to the community and have been more effective than the state or federal government in addressing the problem of
tobacco use.

My Position
State laws should serve as a minimum standard for a policy objective while allowing communities to enact stronger ordinances to protect their youth and residents in the most appropriate manner. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and our partners ask that you oppose HB 169 and prevent the dismantlement of effective local tobacco ordinances around the state."


About the Center

The Michael & Dianne Bienes Comprehensive Cancer Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the Cancer Care Leader in Broward County. Dedicated to providing patients with precise diagnosis, the latest and most advanced treatment and aftercare options, we offer a multidisciplinary approach to care, a compassionate and spiritual healing environment, and an affiliation with the National Cancer Institute. We are also working together with Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center to provide South Florida residents with rapid access to specialized cancer care and genetics counseling.

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