Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Camille Grammer Undergoes Surgery for Endometrial Cancer

Camille Grammer is recovering from surgery Friday after she was diagnosed with early stage endometrial cancer. 

"She underwent a radical hysterectomy today," her rep, Howard Bragman, tells PEOPLE. "The surgery went well and she is expected to make a complete recovery following a significant recuperation period." 

The former Real Housewives of Beverly Hillsstar, 45, who has 
two children via surrogate with her ex-husband, former Kelsey Grammer, was at an elevated risk for cancer due to genetic issues, her rep says. 

"[She] has been diligent about regular checkups and monitoring, which explains the early detection and rapid treatment," says Bragman. 

He adds: "Ms. Grammer expresses gratitude to all the amazing health care professionals who have taken such loving and nurturing care of her. She urges all women to be aware of genetic factors relating to women's cancers and get regular checkups." 

Endometrial cancer, which affects the lining of the uterus, is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system, reports, with 49,600 cases occurring each year in the US. It's not known what causes it, and there is no reliable screening system to detect the disease but risk factors include hormone imbalance, high blood pressure and diabetes. 

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Uterine Cancer Awareness Month 2013

Greetings everyone! As you know it’s that time of year again Uterine Cancer Awareness Month (Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month) and we are asking each and every one of you to help support our Fight Against Uterine Cancer and help us raise awareness. This year we are keeping with our tradition turning our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page Peach. I will update with a more detailed post regarding the events and activities this month. It is my goal that this will be our last Cyber only Awareness Month, next year I would like us to hold our first meet and greet whether it’s 10 ladies or 200 ladies I want us to come together.I am looking for 10 ladies  to help plan and execute the events for 2014.  I’ve had several people interested in our first post regarding a meet and greet  so if you are interested in our meet and greet for 2014 please email me your contact information to If you are interested in helping plan please email me or send me a message via Facebook. Please follow us on Instagram @uterinecancerawareness and twitter @uterine_cancer for updates also. If you would like to share photos for us to post on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook of your support for Uterine Cancer Awareness tag us in your photo #uterinecancerawareness or email your photo to Have a great and safe holiday weekend!

Twitter: @uterine_cancer
Instagram: @uterinecancerawareness

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

One Team One Goal Champion Award winners recognized at Foundation Gala

While researching information on Uterine Cancer and putting together ideas for our event in 2014 I ran across an article that featured me as the recipient for the One Team One Goal award and also our sisters in the UK Deb and Kaz who also received the same award this makes me so proud to know we are breaking ground in an area that was barely recognized years ago. Below I will share the article write up.

One Team One Goal Champion Award winners recognized at Foundation Gala

For the first time at an Annual Meeting, SGO’s international partners were recognized with the One Team One Goal Champion Awards at the second annual Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology Celebration Gala. Last year SGO joined the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and One Team One Goal is SGO’s worldwide coalition-building campaign that unites all gynecologic oncology practice and advocacy groups in signing and supporting the UICC World Cancer Declaration.
SGO and Foundation President Ronald D. Alvarez, MD, presented the One Team One Goal Champion Awards to the following individuals and organizations that best reflect One Team One Goal’s mission of leadership and collaboration:
·         Brazil’s Associação do Combate ao Câncer do Centro Oeste de Minas (ACCCOM) received the One Team One Goal Advocacy Champion for South America. ACCCOM was founded in 1995 and its mission is to provide prevention, treatment and care for cancer patients and their families in the Alto San Francisco region of Brazil. Angelica Rodrigues, MD, PhD, of the Brazilian Cancer Institute joined SGO two years ago and has single-handedly launched the South American One Team One Goal campaign with ACCCOM in Brazil.
·         The One Team One Goal Advocacy Champion for Europe went to two uterine cancer survivors from the United Kingdom. Kaz Molloy and Debra Parry represent Womb Cancer Support UK, which offers support to women with uterine (womb) cancer and seeks to raise awareness about the disease.
·         Womb Cancer Support UK’s “Peach Sister” in the United States is Alicia Currie, a 29-year-old uterine cancer survivor who founded Uterine Cancer Awareness in Memphis, TN. For her efforts, Currie was awarded the One Team One Goal Advocacy Champion for North America.
·         SGO awarded the One Team One Goal Practice Champion to the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) for their work on behalf of women who are diagnosed with and treated for gynecologic cancers.
SGO presented additional awards during the opening ceremony of the 44th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. Award recipients were recognized for their contributions in the areas of science, innovation, humanitarianism, and public service. Read more about these awards in the official press release.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

We Need Your Help

Each day I encounter individuals, groups, and different organizations spreading awareness for their cause. I understand building a solid foundation and support network takes time and patience and believe me when I say I have had many doors closed before me when presenting ideas or possible partnerships for Uterine Cancer alone. Here is where you come in, I oversee many of the operations for my group, page and twitter alone, also corresponding with different organizations for possible joint ventures I see so many people who want to help spread awareness for Uterine Cancer the issue stands that when it is time to execute the participation disappears. I am reaching out to each of you, I understand you have busy lives but for those that can I would love to have you become a part of our support network. What Uterine/Endometrial Cancer is lacking is a strong support network and strong backing to reach the audience that I have envisioned for us. We are all passionate about something and for my peach ladies many of us have complained that there is a lack of support, information, a foundation for us specifically. I know that we will not see results overnight but I have plenty of roles that are crucial for us to be successful and do not require a lot of time. We are planning an event for 2014 and if anyone is interested in being on the committee, helping plan, helping with registration and creating the registration packets, fundraiser (These are examples and there are plenty of smaller roles) etc. please email me at Again I appreciate all of you but anyone knows that one person can’t stand alone to do this, let’s look at the strong support for breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer they didn’t start off strong it took individuals and dedication to reach the audience they have. We may not be there yet but with everyone’s help we can be. I appreciate your consideration! “We hold the power to reach mass audiences and spread awareness for Uterine Cancer”

Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Showing Support For My Dad

As some of you are aware April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and I know this has absolutely nothing to do with Uterine Cancer, however it hits close to home for me. Two years prior to me being diagnosed with Uterine Cancer my father was diagnosed with tongue cancer. Cancer had affected my family prior but of course this hit close to home. I remember the day I found out my father had cancer I thought my whole world would end. My father is my heart and I have always been a daddy’s girl but through my father’s battle I learned cancer is not necessarily a death sentence, but I will admit I was scared. After researching Oral Cancer I understood most are caught in the later stages, when the symptoms do show up it’s normally advanced.  Most Oral Cancer patient’s are heavy smokers and drinkers, however my father fell into the small percentage that are unexplained. He never smoked and was only a light drinker in his early 20’s. He noticed a lump in his throat, which prompted him to make a doctor’s appointment, he was then referred to an oncologist who confirmed after extensive testing he had tongue cancer and they had caught it in the early stages. He went through a grueling round of radiation, I watched him completely change physically, he was dark from radiation, frail because he couldn’t eat anything other than Jell-O and few other items however the food list was short. I remember Christmas one year he was so weak he couldn’t participate in our traditional family Christmas Eve dinner it broke my heart because deep down I couldn’t help thinking it may be his last with us. As I am writing this I am filled with emotions…but it’s of joy because with God’s grace my father not only won his battle with Tongue Cancer, he is now in his fifth year of remission!

I do so much to advocate and spread awareness for Uterine Cancer, but you never know how his story could benefit someone else. With the help of my family we were able to surprise my dad with Oral Cancer Awareness support t-shirts, pins, and a survivor t-shirt for him. I have decided to share a few pictures and also I will have information regarding Oral Cancer in a separate post. I will also say this, Your body will tell you when something is wrong PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THE SIGNS! Trust YOU with YOUR LIFE trust your instincts and seek second and even third opinions after all IT’S YOUR LIFE IN YOUR HANDS!  So for the month of April I am showing support for my hero, one of the most important and influential men in my life, the man who helped make me the person I am today…my father. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!

Oral Cancer Signs & Symptoms

Rates of occurrence in the United States

Close to 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 42,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. (Approximately 57%) This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). If you expand the definition of oral cancers to include cancer of the larynx, for which the risk factors are the same, the numbers of diagnosed cases grow to approximately 54,000 individuals, and 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 640,000 new cases being found each year. Statistics on worldwide occurrence Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers commonly referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category. Brain cancer is a cancer category unto itself, and is not included in the head and neck cancer group.
Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. Today, (2013) that statement is still true, as there is not a comprehensive program in the US to opportunistically screen for the disease, and without that; late stage discovery is more common. Another obstacle to early discovery (and resulting better outcomes) is the advent of a virus, HPV16, contributing more to the incidence rate of oral cancers, particularly in the posterior part of the mouth (the oropharynx, the tonsils, the base of tongue areas) which many times does not produce visible lesions or discolorations that have historically been the early warning signs of the disease process.
Often oral cancer is only discovered when the cancer has metastasized to another location, most likely the lymph nodes of the neck. Prognosis at this stage of discovery is significantly worse than when it is caught in a localized intra oral area. Besides the metastasis, at these later stages, the primary tumor has had time to invade deep into local structures. Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient, as it can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms they might readily recognize, and because it has a high risk of producing second, primary tumors. This means that patients who survive a first encounter with the disease, have up to a 20 times higher risk of developing a second cancer. This heightened risk factor can last for 5 to 10 years after the first occurrence. There are several types of oral cancers, but around 90% are squamous cell carcinomas. It is estimated that approximately $3.2 billion is spent in the United States each year on treatment of head and neck cancers. (2010 numbers)

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
·         Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
·         The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
·         Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
·         Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
·         Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
·         A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
·         Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
·         Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
·         Ear pain
·         A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
·         Dramatic weight loss
If you notice any of these changes, contact your dentist or health care professional immediately.

Who Gets Oral Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women, and men who are over age 50 face the greatest risk. It's estimated that over 35,000 people in the U.S. received a diagnosis of oral cancer in 2008.
Risk factors for the development of oral cancer include:
·         Smoking . Cigarette, cigar, or pipe smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancers.
·         Smokeless tobacco users. Users of dip, snuff, or chewing tobacco products are 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips.
·         Excessive consumption of alcohol. Oral cancers are about six times more common in drinkers than in nondrinkers.
·         Family history of cancer.
·         Excessive sun exposure, especially at a young age.
It is important to note that over 25% of all oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol occasionally.

What Is the Outlook for People With Oral Cancer?

The overall 1-year survival rate for patients with all stages of oral cavity and pharynx cancers is 81%. The 5- and 10-year survival rates are 56% and 41%, respectively.

How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?

As part of your routine dental exam, your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening exam. More specifically, your dentist will feel for any lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and oral cavity. When examining your mouth, your dentist will look for any sores or discolored tissue as well as check for any signs and symptoms mentioned above.
Your dentist may perform an oral brush biopsy if he or she sees tissue in your mouth that looks suspicious. This test is painless and involves taking a small sample of the tissue and analyzing it for abnormal cells. Alternatively, if the tissue looks more suspicious, your dentist may recommend a scalpel biopsy. This procedure usually requires local anesthesia and may be performed by your dentist or a specialist. These tests are necessary to detect oral cancer early, before it has had a chance to progress and spread.

How Is Oral Cancer Treated?

Oral cancer is treated the same way many other cancers are treated -- with surgery to remove the cancerous growth, followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy (drug treatments) to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

What Can I Do to Prevent Oral Cancer?

To prevent oral cancer:
·         Don't smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation (and refrain from binge drinking).
·         Eat a well balanced diet.
·         Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, especially the lower lip. When in the sun, use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin, as well as your lips.
You can take an active role in detecting oral cancer early, should it occur, by doing the following:
·         Conduct a self exam at least once a month. Using a bright light and a mirror, look and feel your lips and front of your gums. Tilt your head back and look at and feel the roof of your mouth. Pull your checks out to view the inside of your mouth, the lining of your cheeks, and the back gums. Pull out your tongue and look at all surfaces; examine the floor of your mouth. Look at the back of your throat. Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in both sides of your neck and under your lower jaw. Call your dentist's office immediately if you notice any changes in the appearance of your mouth or any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.
·         See your dentist on a regular schedule. Even though you may be conducting frequent self exams, sometimes dangerous spots or sores in the mouth can be very tiny and difficult to see on your own. The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40. During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Salon and spa tailors its services for cancer patients

I ran across an article that I found interesting and decide to share with everyone.

The treatment Nicole Louvar began receiving in 2010 for fallopian tube cancer healed her body, but the Iowa City resident also wanted to heal her mind.
Her aunt recommended Skin Deep Salon and Spa, a Coralville spa tailored toward cancer patients — and Louvar finally found that long-sought relief.
“It helped considerably with everything I was going through, just focusing on my body and myself,” she said. “Particularly when you’re going through being poked, prodded, scanned and all that junk (during chemotherapy), what could be an entirely negative experience with your body led to something with a positive effect as well.”
Skin Deep owner Tracy Lacina said cancer patients often have physical necessities that require more personalized accommodations during salon visits.
“If a woman comes in after a mastectomy and has their lymph nodes removed, we don’t want to massage that arm and stimulate fluids into an axillary that has no place for it to go. Same thing if they have a port put down their chest or a pick line going down their arm,” she said. “We also have to be aware of how we treat them relative to medicines they may be on.”
Treating the physical side effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, she added, is critical to a patient’s mental health.
“Some chemotherapy drugs cause very severe acne, rashes or hair loss,” the 48-year-old said, “and these are very devastating physical conditions that do affect people mentally. Believe me, if you don’t look good, you don’t feel good, and that’s especially true with women.”
Lacina, a 26-year survivor of uterine cancer, is a licensed oncology esthetician — esthetics referring to the practice of beautifying the skin. She received her esthetics license in Iowa City in 2009, then received her oncology esthetics licensing in 2010 following a series of classes across the country with oncology esthetics expert Morag Currin.
She opened Skin Deep in 2010, a time she notes as the beginning of widespread oncology esthetics awareness in the country. Part of the reason for the practice’s delayed incorporation in America, she said, comes from a reluctance for trade schools to work with patients undergoing medical treatment.
“Many trade schools can’t afford the insurance required to put health-challenged people into hands of students,” she said. “When you graduate from a traditional esthetics course, you’re working with healthy patients — not diabetics, third-trimester pregnancies, and so on — those patients are off-limits. To me, that felt like we weren’t doing a service for them; we needed to reach out to those with health challenges and offer the same services.”
Cancer patients at Skin Deep receive a 60 percent discount on spa services, largely to offset oncology esthetics services that fall outside most insurance coverage.
“I think when you talk about a salon and spa, you think of it as traditional cosmetics and a ‘foo-foo’ service,” she said. “It’s not always taken seriously in the insurance community. You use the word esthetics, it suddenly becomes cosmetics and that’s where we get dragged down on insurance. But these patients have medical conditions bought on by chemotherapy.”
Iowa City Mercy Hospital Dr. Darwin Petersen, DO, FACS, said services like Tracy’s compliment the medical treatment cancer patients receive.
“These kind of places are very skilled at helping women recapture that lost feeling of physical confidence,” he said, “And it’s very important because there’s more to treating cancer that than just disease — there’s a patient attached to it. It’s critically important for their personal well-being and self-esteem.”
Reach Luke Voelz at or 887-5403.

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Photo Credit: Press-Citizen