Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 4

Making

BY HOLLY FORD

Headway
Even when cancer has spread,
life-promoting treatment is possible

SYMPTOMS
OF CANCER'S
SPREAD
Doctors usually discover brain metastases
(cancer that has spread to the brain)
during routine follow-ups for an existing
cancer such as melanoma or cancer of
the breast or lung. Sometimes, however,
cancer has already spread from another
part of the body to the brain, and people experience:
Confusion
Headaches
Seizures
Difficulty with speech

Weakness or loss of sensation on
one side of the body

WEBSITE

Don't Hesitate

4

W IN TER 2 0 1 7

How Cancer Spreads

Cancer travels to the brain via the
bloodstream. It most commonly begins
as cancer in a different part of the body,
including the skin, breasts or lungs. In
2016, roughly 30,000 Virginians were
diagnosed with a solid cancer. An estimated 10 percent of these people will
develop brain metastases. The UVA
Brain Metastases Clinic addresses some
of the barriers to treating these complex
patients by offering three key elements:

3 Key Elements to Care

INTEGRATED CARE The clinic started
as a collaboration between neurosurgery
and neuro-oncology experts. However,
all specialists at the UVA National

Cancer Institute-designated cancer center will be easily accessible, including
radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, palliative care providers and others. "Dr. Fadul will serve as quarterback
to screen and assess patients and bring
in the full range of needed providers,"
explains UVA neurosurgeon Jason
Sheehan, MD, PhD.
"Our patients receive a multidisciplinary perspective at one clinic
appointment," he adds. "In addition,
we have the full spectrum of dedicated
tools, including the exquisitely accurate
Gamma Knife, because when the human
brain is concerned, your team cannot be
too experienced and the tools that they
use to treat cannot be too refined."
TAILORED TREATMENT By comprehensively assessing each patient, Fadul
and his team can personalize treatment.
"At every visit, the patient will fill out
a questionnaire so we have real-time
information on how our approach is
working for pain management, depression, headache and other symptoms,"
Fadul explains.
ACCESS TO CLINICAL TRIALS The
number of clinical trials available for
patients who have brain metastases is
small compared with other cancers.
"[Clinical research] is something we have
to embark on if we are going to make
progress," Fadul says. UVA now offers
two studies for patients with brain metastases, and more are on the horizon. ■

PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

The sooner we can identify
brain metastases, the more
treatment options can be
offered. Learn more about
UVA Cancer Center's approach
to treating brain metastases at uvahealth.com/
makingheadway.

M

ore people are living
longer with cancer. But
this also means a greater
number of people face
cancer that has spread to the brain
(metastases).
With the recent opening of the Brain
Metastases Clinic, UVA Cancer Center
is making it easier for these patients to
access treatment options that can not
only prolong life, but also maintain a
patient's way of life. "When caring for
patients with cancer that has spread,
the measure of success extends beyond
overall survival to include quality of
life," says UVA neuro-oncologist Camilo
Fadul, MD.


http://www.uvahealth.com/makingheadway http://www.uvahealth.com/makingheadway

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover3
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