Pinellas Cancer Treatment Center Marks 2,000th Patient Milestone

WellSpring Oncology patient shares his story about the difference in care

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – When 56-year-old Joel Barnes walked into Pinellas County cancer treatment facility, WellSpring Oncology, he never imagined being treated with such compassionate care, let alone becoming the cancer treatment facility’s 2,000th patient.

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in April, Barnes and his physicians decided to perform a prostatectomy, surgically removing the prostate. But this October, Barnes went for his regular, prostate specific antigen (PSA) test and discovered his levels were becoming slightly elevated. Not wanting to take chances, he visited the Pinellas cancer treatment facility, WellSpring Oncology.

“Throughout my battle with prostate cancer, I had not been impressed with the medical field overall,” Barnes says. “But WellSpring was different.”

On his second visit, Barnes learned he was the 2,000th patient treated. To commemorate the occasion, the Pinellas cancer treatment center presented him with a gift basket filled with some of his favorite items: barbeque supplies; including a chef’s hat and apron, dry rub and barbeque utensils. He also received gift cards for dinner and a movie, a night out he plans to enjoy with his wife.

“WellSpring didn’t have to do that for me,” Barnes says. “If they didn’t, I had already been treated so kindly, so professionally already, I would’ve still thought the world of them.”

Barnes worked in the medical field as an orderly during college and saw first hand how important it was to patients to see that someone truly cares.

“It was a sobering experience, finding myself as the patient,” he says. “I live only minutes away from the Pinellas cancer treatment center and used to pass it all the time; but I’ve never needed them until now. I truly feel privileged to have been treated at WellSpring Oncology. Talking to them is like talking to family; the doctors, nurses and greeting staff remember everyone’s first name, not because they have to, but because they truly care. That is very rare these days and it has honestly been one of the highlights of my life.”

Barnes was so impressed with the Pinellas cancer treatment center’s ability to maintain that standard of quality so consistently, that he decided he wanted to be part of it. He plans to volunteer at WellSpring Oncology’s next community awareness event, just to give back.

“I wish other medical institutions, even businesses in general, could care enough to do what WellSpring does every day,” he says. “You’ve got one chance to make a first impression, but they make that impression every time. The lengths they go to in order to make us comfortable is wonderful: comfy chairs, snacks, widescreen TV, all of those things matter a great deal. All I can say is ‘Wow’.”

About WellSpring Oncology:
Doctors Robert Miller, Zucel Solc and Frank Franzese opened the doors of WellSpring Oncology in the spring of 2008 to provide high-end treatment in a more personal and caring environment. The doctors at WellSpring Oncology have been practicing innovative radiation therapy since the 1970’s and developed the center to ensure patients have access to the latest technology available in the treatment of cancer. WellSpring Oncology’s physicians are all Board Certified in radiation oncology and received their training at the top centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the University of California, San Francisco. WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 Sixty Sixth Street North in Pinellas Park, Florida.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact WellSpring Oncology at (727) 343-0600 or visit them online at www.WellSpringOncology.org.

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November 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm

LOVE PROVES STRONGER THAN CANCER

Allie and Dudley Davis are celebrating their second year of marriage. Dudley is a cancer survivor who received treatment at WellSpring Oncology.

Two local newlyweds make it through, hand-in-hand

PINELLAS PARK – They say the first year of marriage is always the hardest. Just ask Dudley Davis, of Clearwater, and his wife Allie.

The 89-year-old groom and his 82-year-old bride faced a scary reality just months after saying their vows.

“I had a mole that one day changed suddenly. The doctors said it was melanoma,” Mr. Davis explains.

The American Cancer Society estimates about 120,000 people each year are diagnosed with this form of skin cancer. Because of the position of his cancer, Davis wasn’t a good surgical candidate and he was referred immediately to WellSpring Oncology for radiation.

Fortunately for Davis, his wife Allie was by his side during his 30 sessions with Zucel Solc, M.D., Board-Certified radiation oncologist at WellSpring Oncology.

“We’d take turns driving the 15 miles from our retirement community in Clearwater for treatments in Pinellas Park,” he explained.

Davis also had the unconditional support of Allie.

“It makes all the difference when you have someone there at your side,” he said.

But supporting one another is nothing new for the couple. In 2001, the two met at the Regency Oaks Community in Clearwater. At the time, he was married to his first wife of 65 years. After several health problems, she passed away in 2010.

It was Allie who helped him pick up the pieces, and eventually, fall in love again.

“I’m so fortunate to have found her. Life just gets more wonderful every day,” Davis says.

The two were married Feb. 12, 2011.

“Dudley has been so positive during his treatment,” Mrs. Davis says about her new husband.”

Now that the treatment is complete, the couple is back to doing what they love the most – traveling.

“Dr. Solc said he’d see us in three months and to keep on going. So that’s what we’re doing. We just continue to go!” Mr. Davis said.

Already the couple has four trips planned in 2012.

“Now nothing can slow us down. We’re just trying to find enough time in the day to do everything we want,” he says about entering the second year of marriage.

As for Allie, she knows their love is stronger than cancer.

WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 66th St. N. in Pinellas Park, Florida. For more information, call 343-0600 or visit http://www.WellSpringOncology.org.

Article published on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012

Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.

February 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR

In honor of National Cancer Survivor Month, five patients tell their story of diagnosis,
survival and what being a survivor means to them

(June 03, 2011) Pinellas Park, Fla. — “I was puzzled and perplexed,” says Larry Bowman. “I had no idea of what my next step should be.”

“I was absolutely shocked,” says Sue Hollen. “I never would have seen that coming.”

“Speechless,” says Suzanne Colgan. “I couldn’t talk. When they told me, I basically went mute.”

“I thought, ‘Is this really happening?” says Norman Counts. “But then I just realized that I had to accept it and move forward.”

“It was like the air came out of a balloon,” says Joan Barry. “Just deflated.”

All of these people share a common bond – one shared by approximately 11 million people across the country: They have battled the same enemy and survived. Each has a different story to tell, a different diagnosis to face, a different experience ahead of them. And while some are still battling the disease, they are all cancer survivors.

In honor of National Cancer Survivors Month, here are the stories of five patients who have lived with this disease and what they say being a cancer survivor means to them.

Larry’s Story
When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, 72-year-old Bowman says he was bewildered. “It definitely got my attention,” he says. “I tossed and turned at night, trying to figure out what my next move should be. Every option has a potential downside, so I knew it was a big decision.”

After a lot of reading, research, several consultations and a biopsy, it was determined that radiation would be Bowman’s best chance at beating his cancer. A friend of Bowman’s recommended he visit WellSpring Oncology in Pinellas Park. “My friend said that he was very satisfied with the treatment and service he received at WellSpring, so I made an appointment to speak with them,” Bowman says. “They told me about their TomoTherapy treatment system and I signed-up immediately!”

Eight weeks after his biopsy, Bowman was able to start treatment. He underwent 42 treatment sessions with little side effects and says he’s doing well. His last tests came back even better than his doctor expected.

“It may take a year and a half to be completely in the clear,” he says. “But I’m well on my way.”

Sue’s Story
Sue Hollen would never have expected her skin cancer diagnosis. She had been suffering from a severely itchy eyelid for a while, but like many of us would, thought nothing of it. In fact, her diagnosis came almost by chance.

“I was at the doctor with my husband who was having some cancerous spots taken off his nose,” she says, “and his doctor noticed me rubbing my eye. He looked at me and said, ‘You’re scratching that an awful lot. Do you mind if I look at it?’”

Turns out, the doctor’s instincts were right. After looking at her eye, he proceeded with three separate biopsies. It was the third – and deepest – biopsy that came back cancerous. “I was absolutely amazed,” she says. “Even as a registered nurse, I never would have thought an itchy eyelid meant cancer!”

Hollen was referred to WellSpring Oncology to undergo radiation therapy. She went through four weeks and two days of treatment for a total of 26 sessions at WellSpring and said something somewhat unexpected of the whole ordeal, that ‘it was such a pleasant experience’. “They are all so friendly and professional,” she says. “They truly become your friends.”

On catching and treating her cancer early, Hollen says it’s been an interesting journey. “I didn’t even originally go to the doctor for me. But thank God we went!”

Suzanne’s Story
Though having been a smoker at one point in her life, 71-year-old St. Petersburg resident Suzanne Colgan kicked the habit in 1992, long before her cancer diagnosis. So when she was diagnosed with lung cancer, Colgan says she was speechless. “I was told I had a baseball-sized tumor on the top of my right lung. That will take the words out of you.”

With her daughter and husband by her side, and her son calling her everyday from New York, Colgan was able to find her voice again. “I was so thankful to have my daughter with me,” she says. “She attended all my doctor appointments and spoke for me when I couldn’t. My husband would speak to my friends when I just couldn’t bear to tell my story again.”

After having two-thirds of her right lung surgically removed, undergoing chemotherapy wasn’t a welcoming thought. However, Colgan says her oncologist, Frank Franzese, M.D., and the staff at WellSpring Oncology made treatment a very pleasant process. “Treatment at WellSpring was great,” she says. “I loved it over there. They made me feel like I was truly special.”

Colgan still has a journey with treatment ahead of her, but says that she feels just fine. “I have to say that despite all of this, I feel healthy.”

Norman’s Story
A few months after a diagnosis of tongue cancer, Norman Counts was told that his tonsils didn’t look quite right, either. After undergoing a tonsillectomy to have them removed, his throat cancer diagnosis soon followed. It was at this point that the 76-year-old St. Petersburg resident began his radiation treatment.

“My ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) recommended I visit WellSpring for my radiation,” says Counts. “I’m so glad I went. Everyone there was just fantastic. I’d recommend them with no hesitation.”

On November 23, 2010, just six weeks after beginning his cancer treatment, Counts was finished with radiation. And it just so happened to be on his wife’s birthday. “It was the best birthday gift I could have given her,” he says.

Since completing treatment, Counts says his tests are coming back clear and that he’s doing really well. “I saw Dr. Miller at WellSpring in March and he told me I don’t have to come back for a year. I’m so fortunate that we caught it so early, as I think that’s what has made the difference. I don’t feel as though I ever even had cancer.”

On his wrist, however, is a yellow wrist band. It says “Cancer Survivor.”

“My wife bought one for both of us,” he says. “Because I am a cancer survivor.”

Joan’s Story
“After going through several mammograms and a biopsy, I kind of knew it was coming,” says 72-year-old Joan Barry. “Normally the doctors send you a letter letting you know everything checked out OK, but they requested I go to the office instead. I knew there was something wrong.”

It was in October of 2009 that Barry received the news that she had breast cancer. During the time since, she has undergone several different treatments to fight the disease. Her first step in treatment was a lymphectomy, a procedure that removed a lymph node from just under her arm. “It was painful,” she says. “It was difficult to use my arm at all for awhile.”

However, Barry’s arm healed and she continued on her treatment journey, visiting WellSpring Oncology for her radiation therapy. Though she felt lethargic during her time with radiation, Barry says she’s doing well now. She is now on a cycle of chemotherapy pills to fight off the disease and is well on her way to beating it.

With the support of her husband of 50 years, Barry is back to life as usual. She has returned to one of her favorite pastimes – playing tennis – and has even taken up golfing. “All I can say is ‘Thank you, God,’” she says. “I’m one of the lucky ones.”

Being a cancer survivor means…

“Well, it means pretty much everything to me,” says Bowman. “I have a brighter perspective and appreciate things I may not have truly appreciated before.”

“I’m just really fortunate,” Hollen says. “And I’ve learned to truly pay attention to what my body is telling me.”

“That I’m still alive and kicking,” says Colgan. “And that I get to watch my 13-year-old granddaughter grow-up.”

“It means I beat the odds,” says Counts. “It’s a new day.”

“It means life,” says Barry. “It’s like Christmas. Everything is more beautiful.”

About WellSpring Oncology: Doctors Robert Miller, Zucel Solc and Frank Franzese opened the doors of WellSpring Oncology in spring of 2008 to provide high-end treatment in a more personal and caring environment. The doctors at WellSpring Oncology have been practicing innovative radiation therapy since the 1970’s and developed the center to ensure patients have access to the latest technology available in the treatment of cancer. The doctors of WellSpring Oncology are all board-certified in radiation oncology and received their training at the top centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the University of California San Francisco.

WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 Sixty Sixth Street North in Pinellas Park, Florida. For more information, contact WellSpring Oncology at (727) 343-0600 or visit them online at www.wellspringoncology.org.

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June 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm

ONLY TWO HAVE EVER RECEIVED THE HUMANA VETERAN’S PROVIDER APPRECIATION AWARD

The first-ever local cancer treatment center is recognized for high-quality, compassionate veteran care

(June 1, 2011) Pinellas Park, Fla. — Only one other facility has been chosen for this honor. Only one oncology treatment facility in the U.S. has ever earned it. And only one question remains – how is it so few earn this type or recognition?

What recognition could this be? Humana Veteran’s Provider Appreciation Award recognizes outstanding service and compassionate care of veterans. In appreciation of local cancer treatment center, WellSpring Oncolgy’s work with Project HERO, along with their treatment of military veterans living with cancer, WellSpring Oncology is the proud – and only the second ever – recipient of this award. And what does the cancer center think – how couldn’t they treat veterans with the utmost respect, honor and quality care?

“We are truly honored to receive this award,” says Zucel Solc, M.D., oncologist at WellSpring Oncology. “When we partnered with Project HERO, we simply wanted to give back to those who have given so much for all of us. Being recognized for this award tells us that we are accomplishing what we set out to do.”

Project Who?
Project HERO is a program that assists Veteran’s Affairs (VA) in giving veterans the quality health care they need when a specific service or technology cannot be provided through the VA health care system. In order to do so, they partner with pre-screened community health care providers, like WellSpring Oncology, who meet the VA’s high standards for health care. Their overall goal is to ensure that all veterans receive quality and consistent health care, either through VA providers or community partners.

WellSpring Oncology was one of the first radiation oncology providers to join Project HERO and is the exclusive provider in the area. The partnership began when Dr. Solc sought out the program and offered their cancer-treatment services for military veterans through Bay Pines VA Medical Center.

Since partnering with Project HERO and Bay Pines VAMC, WellSpring has worked with a large veteran population and has proven to be dedicated to providing high-quality care, even offering veteran care at a discounted rate.

“There aren’t enough words in the English language to express everything they do for their patients,” says WellSpring patient and United States Army veteran, David Lane. “If you were at the finest five-star hotel there is, you wouldn’t get better treatment than at WellSpring.”

Lane, who is currently undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer, says that his experience with WellSpring has been positive across the board. “They are dedicated to truly excelling in everything they do with the patients,” Lane continues. “And they are on a first-name basis with the patients, as well. WellSpring truly builds a relationship with us.”

It is because of this relationship and outstanding service that WellSpring was awarded the Humana Veteran’s Provider Appreciation Award.

“WellSpring is truly deserving of this award,” says Stephanie Gosselin, network development manager for Humana Veteran’s Healthcare Services (HVHS). “We survey every patient who receives treatment through Project HERO and WellSpring Oncology has always gotten such positive patient feedback. And it’s more than just a great treatment experience – it’s an overall positive patient experience.”

“Patients feel comforted when they visit WellSpring for treatment,” Gosselin continues. “The VA is very appreciative of all WellSpring does for our veterans.”

The award was presented at WellSpring Oncology on Monday, April 4, 2011. In attendance were WellSpring oncologist, Robert Miller, M.D., HVHS Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roger Holland, HVHS network development manager, Stephanie Gosselin, and Bay Pines VA Medical Center fee basis chief, Dr. Trey Reed.

About WellSpring Oncology: Doctors Robert Miller, Zucel Solc and Frank Franzese opened the doors of WellSpring Oncology in spring of 2008 to provide high-end treatment in a more personal and caring environment. The doctors at WellSpring Oncology have been practicing innovative radiation therapy since the 1970’s and developed the center to ensure patients have access to the latest technology available in the treatment of cancer. The doctors of WellSpring Oncology are all board-certified in radiation oncology and received their training at the top centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the University of California San Francisco.

WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 Sixty Sixth Street North in Pinellas Park, Florida. For more information, contact WellSpring Oncology at (727) 343-0600 or visit them online at http://www.WellSpringoncology.org.

June 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

THE FIRST IN FLORIDA TO HAVE THE LATEST IN CANCER TREATMENT

A local oncology center steps-up cancer treatment again; 3D image guidance with TomoDirect™

(May 12, 2011) Pinellas Park, Fla. — Cancer treatment will forever be changed in the Sunshine State, as local oncologists welcome the TomoDirect™, the latest in radiation treatment technology upgrades. WellSpring Oncology, located in Pinellas Park, is the first in Florida to utilize this system, offering one of the most advanced treatments to cancer patients. TomoDirect™, the newest innovation from TomoTherapy®, not only allows greater precision and increased treatment quality but also expands treatment to a larger patient population.

“We are extremely excited to introduce this as an additional treatment option for patients,” says Robert Miller, M.D., oncologist at WellSpring Oncology. “Our goal has always been to offer patients the most effective, up-to-date cancer treatment modalities in the industry and we are doing just that by implementing the TomoDirect™ system.”

What is TomoTherapy® and TomoDirect™?
There are more than 300 TomoTherapy® systems being used daily around the world to treat cancer cases ranging from the most routine to the most difficult. Its ability to tackle a multitude of cases is due to the fact that TomoTherapy® is the only radiation treatment system built on a CT scanning base. It uses a Hi-Art® system, enabling it to use CT imaging to quickly create clear three-dimensional pictures of the affected area and verify the location of the tumor prior to treatment. This allows it to deliver quick and precise radiation to the tumor, while causing little to no damage to the surrounding tissue.

“Prior to each individual treatment, the oncologist reviews the most current CT images to ensure both proper dosage and location of the treatment area,” says Miller. “Based on these, the radiation levels are adjusted for each patient, as well as any other aspect of treatment that may need to be changed. This offers WellSpring the ability to treat patients with needs that may suddenly change.”

TomoDirect™ expands the abilities of the Hi-Art® system, enabling a powerful new way to plan and treat routine cases, while bringing TomoTherapy® treatment quality to an even bigger patient base. It uses linear beams, which are straight, line-like beams, as opposed to the current helical, or spiral, path. These linear beams can create a significant reduction in the time it takes to plan treatment, as well as treatment delivery times.

So What Does It All Mean?
“For patients, TomoDirect™ means better, more efficient cancer treatment,” says Miller. “It also means that more patients will have access to the best treatment available.”

“At Wellspring, our focus is on the patient and doing everything in our power to help them become and stay well,” continues Miller, “Welcoming TomoDirect™ ties in with that philosophy by helping patients receive timely treatment and return to their lives more quickly.”

The system will be fully active and available for patient treatment starting Memorial Day weekend.

About WellSpring Oncology: Doctors Robert Miller, Zucel Solc and Frank Franzese opened the doors of WellSpring Oncology in spring of 2008 to provide high-end treatment in a more personal and caring environment. The doctors at WellSpring Oncology have been practicing innovative radiation therapy since the 1970’s and developed the center to ensure patients have access to the latest technology available in the treatment of cancer. The doctors of WellSpring Oncology are all board-certified in radiation oncology and received their training at the top centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the University of California San Francisco.

WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 Sixty Sixth Street North in Pinellas Park, Florida. For more information, contact WellSpring Oncology at (727) 343-0600 or visit them online at www.wellspringoncology.org.
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May 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

YOUR BEST DEFENSE IN A BATTLE WITH CANCER

A cancer patient and his oncologist offer advice on staying healthy while living with cancer

(April 1, 2011) Pinellas Park, Fla. — No one is ever truly prepared for a cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, every year millions of Americans face the reality of diagnosis and living with this disease. After the initial emotions are faced, then comes the challenge of choosing the best treatment and maintaining the highest level of health possible in the face of cancer. So what can one do to stay healthy and strong, and to build the best possible defenses to beat this disease?

Well, you could do what Billy Bynum did when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005. “I packed-up my things and moved from Las Vegas to Florida,” says Bynum. “After a lot of research and going through several doctors and hospitals, I knew I had to make the move.”

The reason for this move was to be treated by Frank Franzese, M.D., oncologist at WellSpring Oncology. “I knew Dr. Franzese’s background and I felt comfortable with the idea of being treated by him. So I made the move while the cancer was still in its early stages, because I knew that would be the best time to beat it.”

While such measures may seem extreme to some, to Bynum it made perfect sense for his own well-being, and to remain as healthy as he could. However, if a cross-country move isn’t for you, there are many alternatives cancer patients can do to stay healthier during this difficult time. Bynum shares some of his personal strategies while his doctor gives advice to those who, like Bynum, are living with cancer.

Eat Well to Live Well
“Good nutrition is important for everyone,” says Franzese. “However, for those in the midst of chemotherapy or radiation, getting the vitamins and minerals needed in order to stay strong is more important than ever.” And while the side effects of treatment may make eating the farthest thing from your mind, maintaining your basic calorie needs is important for your overall health.

When it comes to keeping your body strong and fighting the fatigue that can come with cancer treatment, protein can be your greatest ally. Not only will it aid in boosting your energy, but it will also help rebuild damaged tissue and protect against unwanted weight loss. Natural food sources such as chicken, fish, dairy and nuts are the best way to add protein to your diet. Also, instead of three big meals per day, try to eat five or six smaller ones to maintain your optimal strength.

It’s also vital to stay hydrated. According to the American Cancer Society, many issues often associated with cancer and treatment – such as weakness and nausea – may actually be a result of dehydration. So make sure to drink at least eight cups of fluid per day, more if you are experiencing side effects like vomiting or diarrhea. These fluids include anything that your body can handle, from water to broth.

However, remember that each patient is unique, so talk to your doctor about your own personal nutrition needs. For Bynum, eating well and changing his diet wasn’t only about eating better foods, it was also a need to lose weight for both his battle against cancer and a recommendation from his cardiologist. “I became a huge fan of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods,” Bynum says. “Not only did I lose 50 pounds, I also gained more energy that has helped me in my journey to beat this disease.”

Be Active…
For those going through cancer treatment, exercise can have a huge effect on boosting energy and creating an overall better sense of well-being. Physical activity offers many benefits to those living with cancer. It lessens fatigue, creates a better body image, improves fitness and strength and results in a better quality of life. It can also lessen the anxiety, nausea and depression that may result from your journey with the disease.

So if you can, try to exercise every day. Even 15 to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can have a positive effect. Certain activities, such as walking, swimming and low-impact aerobics, are generally safe and effective. “Just remember to start slowly and listen to your body,” says Franzese. “If it hurts, you may be overdoing it. You don’t have to push yourself beyond your limitations in order to reap the benefits of exercise.”

But while it’s important to avoid inactivity, remember that much like nutrition, exercise is not a one-size-fits-all activity. Each patient may need a different exercise regimen depending upon their current level of activity, stage of treatment and type of cancer diagnosis. So ask your doctor if the two of you can design an exercise routine that will fit your personal needs.

But Make Sure To Rest and De-stress
Exercise is important, but equally essential is finding time to rest and relax. Taking time for yourself is vital in order to prevent becoming overly fatigued. Whether you simply spend some quiet time alone or retreat to take a nap, making time for yourself will alleviate some of your fatigue. Ways to get the rest you need include getting at least eight hours of sleep per night, taking short naps (less than one hour) throughout the day and relaxing while reading or listening to music. If you have trouble sleeping because of your treatment, talk to your doctor about this side effect and how he or she can help.

“Not only can a lack of sleep add to fatigue,” says Franzese, “stress plays a big role in it as well. In addition to lowering your energy levels, stress can also depress the immune system and interfere with the body’s natural ability to heal. Living with cancer isn’t easy, but to maintain strong levels of both physical and emotional health, managing stress is a must.”

If stress is stressing you out, try a few of the following to help manage it:
• Be realistic about your expectations of yourself. Cut back on your to-do list if you feel it may be too much to handle. Only focus on the most important things and save the rest for future days. Allowing yourself to complete even just a few things on your list can give you a great sense of accomplishment and reduce your stress.
• Practice relaxation techniques that you find effective in reducing your stress, such as deep breathing or light exercise.
• Consider attending support groups. Meeting other people living with cancer and understanding how they cope gives you a chance to see how others manage the stress associated with the disease.

Always Take Care of You
Regardless of which steps you take to stay healthy while living with cancer, make sure to take care of yourself. Staying healthy despite the disease can make a big difference in both your physical and emotional ability to battle the disease. Just ask Bynum.

Now 73, Bynum is still undergoing therapy to treat his cancer, but is doing quite well. Having taken steps to improve his health and overall quality of life, he feels confident that he has taken every step possible to battle prostate cancer. When asked about his decision to move to Florida, Bynum says, “I don’t regret it for a second. I believe I’m still here because of WellSpring.”

His spirits are high and he has every reason to believe he, along with his team at WellSpring Oncology, will beat this cancer. “Call me in a year,” he says,” and I’ll tell you I’m cured.”

About WellSpring Oncology: Doctors Robert Miller, Zucel Solc and Frank Franzese opened the doors of WellSpring Oncology in spring of 2008 to provide high-end treatment in a more personal and caring environment. The doctors at WellSpring Oncology have been practicing innovative radiation therapy since the 1970’s and developed the center to ensure patients have access to the latest technology available in the treatment of cancer. The doctors of WellSpring Oncology are all board-certified in radiation oncology and received their training at the top centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the University of California San Francisco.

WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 Sixty Sixth Street North in Pinellas Park, Florida. For more information, contact WellSpring Oncology at (727) 343-0600 or visit them online at www.WellSpringOncology.org.

April 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

THE POWER OF PREVENTION

In honor of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, local oncologists explain colorectal cancer and how screening can make all the difference

(March 1, 2011) Pinellas Park, Fla. — When it comes to colorectal cancer, there’s some good news and some bad news. The bad news: More than 100,000 new cases of this disease will be diagnosed in 2011. The good news: Cases of colorectal cancer are steadily on the decline due to increased screening measures. But whether good or bad, colorectal cancer is certainly news this month, as March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

“It’s important to bring attention to this disease to increase understanding of colorectal cancer,” says Robert Miller, M.D., oncologist at Wellspring Oncology. “It’s the perfect time for people to learn more about this highly preventable cancer and the best ways to reduce the risk of developing it.”

Colorectal Cancer and Its Symptoms
Colorectal cancer is a cancer that begins in either the colon, also known as the large intestine, or the rectum, which lies at the end of the colon. The disease begins in the glands of these organs, slowly developing into abnormal, but noncancerous, growths called polyps. If left undetected, these polyps can develop into cancer. It is a slow-developing disease which may take many years to progress and show few to no symptoms in the beginning.

“Unfortunately, colorectal cancer may occur without any symptoms at all,” says Miller. “However, that is not true with all cases of the disease. There are signs to look out for which, though they may often be symptoms of less serious health problems, can be associated with colorectal cancer.” Some of these signs include:
• Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
• A drastic change in bowel habits, such as constipation, diarrhea, or incontinence that lasts for more than a few days
• Abdominal pain or bloating in the lower abdomen
• Unexplained weight loss
• Weakness and tiredness, signs of anemia
• Vomiting

Am I At Risk?
“There is no single risk factor that causes colorectal cancer to develop,” says Miller, “which means that everyone is at risk of developing the disease. This is why cancer screening is so important. Still, there are certain individuals who may have a higher risk than others.” Risk factors include a family history of colorectal cancer or a current health issue such as inflammatory bowel disease or cancer elsewhere in the body. Other factors that increase one’s risk are:
• Age. As our age increases, so does the risk of developing colorectal polyps and cancer. People over age 60 are at highest risk.
• Lifestyle. Risk is increased for those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol, are overweight and don’t exercise regularly.
• Smoking. Cigarette smoking can increase your colorectal cancer risk by up to three times.
• Poor diet. Diets high in processed foods and red meats can contribute to an increased risk.

Reducing Your Risk
Colorectal cancer is a potentially fatal disease if left undetected and untreated. However, there are ways to both reduce your risk of the disease and find it early if it does develop. Many of these preventative measures include lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet high in fiber and low in fat, as well as engaging in regular exercise and quitting smoking. However, the number-one way to prevent colorectal cancer is through regular testing after the age of 50.

“Screening for colorectal cancer is the absolute best way of preventing the disease from developing or progressing,” says Miller. “If detected at an early stage, it is a highly treatable cancer, so testing for the disease can be one of the most powerful ways of preventing it.”

About WellSpring Oncology: Doctors Robert Miller, Zucel Solc and Frank Franzese opened the doors of WellSpring Oncology in spring of 2008 to provide high-end treatment in a more personal and caring environment. The doctors at WellSpring Oncology have been practicing innovative radiation therapy since the 1970’s and developed the center to ensure patients have access to the latest technology available in the treatment of cancer. The doctors of WellSpring Oncology are all board-certified in radiation oncology and received their training at the top centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the University of California San Francisco.

WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 Sixty Sixth Street North in Pinellas Park, Florida. For more information, contact WellSpring Oncology at (727) 343-0600 or visit them online at www.wellspringoncology.org.

March 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

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