Category Archives: Cancer Treatment & Wellness Center

Dr. Forcade on a Promising Treatment to Help Patients Battling Metastatic Liver Cancer

Posted on: August 25, 2014

When There is No Cancer Cure, There Can be ‘Cancer Control’

Carlos Forcade, MD

Chief, Interventional Radiology, Northern Westchester Hospital

Some radical cancer therapies are being replaced in favor of treatments that honor a person’s wish for quality of life over prolongation of poor life.

One example is an interventional radiology treatment at Northern Westchester Hospital using trans arterial radioembolization, or TARE.  TARE shows promise in prolonging quality of life for many patients battling liver cancer and metastatic colorectal cancer in the liver.

This unique interventional treatment delivers Yttrium-90, a radioactive isotope, directly to a tumor through the vascular system. It is a scientifically sophisticated technique for giving NWH patients a cancer treatment that doesn’t harm the healthy cells.

First, What is Interventional Radiology?

A subspecialty of Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional Radiology uses image guidance to perform minimally invasive procedures to treat a wide range of diseases.

Better Outcome for Our Patients

More than three-fourths of liver cancer patients can’t have surgery; TARE with Yttrium-90 gives patients more time.  And as an interventional radiology procedure, it offers the benefits of a minimally invasive treatment:

  •    Reduced infection rates, risk, pain and recovery time
  •    Shorter hospital stays
  •    Uses under local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia

TARE with Yttrium-90 is an advanced treatment that is invaluable for patients with primary and secondary malignancies of the liver who have previously exhausted or who do not have other options in combating their liver cancer.

How TARE with Yttrium-90 Works

Tumors need a blood supply, which they actively generate, to feed themselves and grow. Interventional radiologists are uniquely skilled in using the vascular system to deliver targeted treatments via catheter throughout the body. In treating cancer patients, Interventional Radiologists can attack the tumor from inside the body without medicating or affecting other parts of the body.

Combining the radioactive isotope Yttrium-90 (also known as Y-90) into microspheres to deliver radiation directly to a tumor allows for a higher, local dose of radiation to be used-without subjecting healthy tissue in the body to the radiation.

 trans arterial radioembolization Northern Westchester HospitalEach microsphere is about the size of five red blood cells in width. These beads are injected through a catheter from the groin into the liver artery supplying the tumor. The beads become lodged within the tumor vessels where they exert their local radiation that kills the cancer cells. Y-90 radiates from within and is administered via the hepatic artery. Y-90 treatment is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of inoperable liver cancer and metastatic colorectal cancer in the liver.

While this advanced treatment doesn’t cure liver cancer, the lives of patients at NWH are being extended and their quality of life is improved with Yttrium-90 microsphere treatment.

The Team Approach at NWH

Paramount to the application of this leading-edge treatment is the multidisciplinary collaboration at Northern Westchester Hospital between the Interventional Radiology Department and the Radiation Oncology Department, led by Dr. Alfred Tinger, Chief of Radiation Oncology in The Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center.

There are other interventional radiology treatments available at Northern Westchester Hospital that are used to treat primary liver cancer, as well as other cancers that have metastasized in the liver, such as colorectal cancer, breast cancer, gynecologic cancers, melanoma, and others. These nonsurgical interventional radiology treatments are:

  • Trans arterial embolization (TAE)
  • Trans arterial chemoembolization (TACE), which delivers chemotherapy directly to the liver
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), which kills the tumor with heat to treat the cancer locally.

Editor’s Note:  Carlos Forcade, MD, is Director of Interventional Radiology at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, NY.  For more information or for a referral please call the Interventional Radiology Department at 914.242.8154

NWH is one of only 5 Hospitals in New York State to offer Yttrium-90 therapy for the treatment of liver cancer. (The other hospitals are: Memorial Sloane-Kettering, NYU, Mt. Sinai and NY Presbyterian.)

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Northern Westchester Hospital Chief of Dermatology Talks Skin Cancer and Melanoma

Posted on: July 31, 2014

Melanoma: The black sheep of the family

By Dr. Ross Levy

Of the three common types of skin cancer, melanoma is the most worrisome. This aggressive cancer is deadly when caught late. Skin cancer in general is on the rise: Fifty years ago, one in 2000 people developed a melanoma. Now it’s one in 35. By gaining a better understanding of melanoma and its causes, you remove some of the scare and can protect yourself. Continue reading

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Westchester Chief of Plastic Surgery on Exciting and Empowering Results for Women of Study by NWH Breast Surgeons Published in AJCS

Posted on: April 29, 2014

Empowering Results of New Research on Esthetic Outcomes of Breast Reconstruction

By Dr. Michael H. Rosenberg, FACS, Chief of Plastic Surgery, Vice-President for Physician Surgical Services and Associate Medical Director at Northern Westchester Hospital

TheBreastInst_door_HiRezMy colleagues at Northern Westchester Hospital and I recently published research findings on breast reconstruction outcomes that have the potential to dramatically improve quality of life after breast surgery as well as to save women’s lives. Published in The American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery, our article was titled “Breast Reconstruction With or Without Human Acellular Dermal Matrices:

Continue reading

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Northern Westchester Hospital Dietitian Discusses the Role of Food in Cancer Prevention

Posted on: April 22, 2014

The Shopping Basket: A Tool To Control Your Cancer Risk

By Stephanie Perruzza MS, RD, CDN

picnic-basketAs a dietitian, I am keenly aware of the impact that food and nutrition have on health and well-being, and I am truly passionate about educating others in this aspect. What you eat can also impact your cancer risk. Many of us have been affected by cancer in some way, and it’s empowering to know that eating a well-balanced diet with an emphasis on plant foods is one thing that you can do to help reduce your risk – and it’s easy to do, just grab a shopping basket.

Research shows that 1 in every 3 cancers is linked to poor diet and lack of physical activity. The guidelines for reducing your cancer risk are similar to that of reducing other chronic diseases.
1.    Fruits and vegetables. This includes non-starchy vegetables and the more variety the better to ensure you are getting an array of vitamins and antioxidants. Good options include tomatoes, beets, broccoli, dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, as well as berries, grapes, and citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges. “Eat the rainbow” every day and you’ll be sure to get a wide variety in your diet!
2.    Fiber-rich foods. In addition to fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as whole wheat breads or pastas, oatmeal, barley, brown rice to name a few contain ample amounts of fiber.  Beans and legumes are also a great source of fiber.
3.    Choose lean protein. Select chicken, fish, eggs and vegetable protein sources such as beans, legumes and unsalted nuts when possible. Limit your intake of red meats and if you do consume, choose leaner cuts that include the words “loin” or “round” and have smaller portions.
4.    Avoid saturated and trans fats. Full-fat dairy, cheese and processed food items like luncheon meats, bacon, sausage and snack foods contain saturated fats. When reading food labels look for and avoid partially-hydrogenated oil on the ingredient list.
5.    Limit sodium. Canned products such as soups and vegetables are often high in sodium. Look for low-sodium soup varieties, and rinsing canned vegetables before use can reduce the sodium content by about 40%.

In addition to focusing on diet, there are a few other factors to keep in mind:
•    Maintain a healthy weight. You have a higher risk for cancer if you are overweight or obese. Together, engaging in regular exercise and making healthy food choices can help with weight control.
•    Limit Alcohol. Studies have shown that consuming alcohol in excess can increase your risk of certain types of cancers. Limit your intake to no more than one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two per day for men, preferably with a meal.
•    Exercise Regularly. Aim to get 30 minutes each day or 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week as a general goal.
•    Avoid Tobacco. Smoking and chewing tobacco has been linked to various types of cancer specifically oral cavity and lung. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit.

Editor’s Note: Nutrition consultation is also part of Northern Westchester Hospital’s Health & Wellness Program. The Health and Wellness Program is designed to support our patients in parallel to their medical treatment plan after they receive a diagnosis of cancer. Patients of NWH physicians have access to the Program at no charge.

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Northern Westchester Hospital Colorectal Cancer Surgeon Stresses Importance of Colonoscopy

Posted on: March 21, 2014

Turning 50? It’s Time for a Colonoscopy.

By Dr. Jerald D. Wishner, FACS, FASCRS, Co-Director, Institute for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery and Medical Director, Colorectal Surgery Program at Northern Westchester Hospital

50_Cupcake_HiRezOne of the most common killers is colon cancer, yet fewer than half of eligible Americans get a colonoscopy. It’s a statistic that is really bothersome to me. A colonoscopy is the gold standard of colon cancer screening, and the research proves it saves lives.

Colon cancer begins in polyps inside the colon, and it can take five to eight years to develop. The promise of a colonoscopy is that, if pre-cancerous polyps are found, the doctor can remove them during the procedure. With mammograms, the hope is that you’ll find cancer early; Colonoscopy takes that a step further by actually preventing cancer from developing in the first place by removing these precancerous polyps. Continue reading