House Calls

SPR 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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P H O T O G R A P H ( D R . F R O H O C K ) C O U R T E S Y O F R O P E R S T . F R A N C I S H E A L T H C A R E 28 { spring 2019 } h o u s e c a l l s SUPPORT SYSTEMS Fighting a serious illness can affect more than a person's physical well-being, taking a toll on mental and emotional health, too. A strong support system can be a game-changer during this difficult time. For those battling and recovering from cancer, these local services aim to nurture not just the body, but also the mind and spirit. Roper St. Francis Healthcare Support Groups: Meet and mingle with other locals facing a cancer diagnosis, as well as those who have recently beaten the disease, at these up-beat support sessions. Visit for upcoming dates. Donna Fielding Cancer Wellness Institute: At this Roper St. Francis affiliated holistic hub, patients connect with a dedicated Wellness Navigator who can guide them through a range of support services, from massages to mental health help to legal counsel. The Healing Boutique: Located in the Roper St. Francis Cancer Center on the Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital campus, this specialty store is tailor-made for cancer patients and their loved ones. Shop for the right undergarments with help from a certified post-mastectomy bra fitter; work with a licensed cosmetologist to choose a custom wig; or locate therapeutic products such as creams and compression hosiery. Patient Navigator: Roper St. Francis pairs many cancer patients with a nurse navigator who aims to provide emotional support, education, and guidance, as well as a consistent friendly face across different treatment settings. This program is free of charge; call (843) 724-2747 to sign up. Concierge: Roper St. Francis offers concierge services to assist patients and families traveling from out or town to seek care from our cancer experts. Visit for details. CanCare: The burgeoning local chapter of this national group connects cancer patients with survivors who've battled a similar diagnosis. One- on-one emotional support from someone who's traveled this path can be deeply inspiring and helpful for those in the thick of the fight. To learn more, visit tag cancer cells in a way that helps the immune system find them more easily. Others focus on strengthening the immune system to better battle the cancer. "We've always wondered why cancers have the appearance of being a foreign body and why the immune system doesn't attack or get rid of them," Dr. Akman says. "The pharmaceutical industry has developed biological treatments in which antibodies can unmask cancer to the immune system, allowing the immune system to recognize cancer and treat it." At Roper St. Francis, intravenous immunotherapies are now used to treat a variety of cancers, including some forms of breast, head and neck, lung, kidney and bladder cancers; malignant melanoma; Merkel cell carcinoma; some colon cancers; Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and liver cancers. "For many of these cancers, it's part of a patient's care," Dr. Akman explains. "It works often in situations where nothing else does, prolonging people's lives and shrinking tumors." Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are still the gold-standard treatments for many cancers, and those technologies continue to improve as well. For example, lung cancer operations are now routinely done robotically at Roper St. Francis, which results in shorter post-operative recovery times, shorter hospital stays, and speedier returns to daily life. The first lobectomy for lung cancer in the Lowcountry was done at Roper St. Francis in 2014, and they continue to lead the local area in robotic lung cancer surgery. Mount Pleasant resident and spin instructor Bob Werner—who, after being diagnosed with stage 1B lung cancer in August 2018, underwent surgery in October—learned firsthand the benefits of robotic surgery. Four weeks after undergoing minimally invasive robotic surgery to remove a tumor in the upper left lobe, the 69 year old was back to taking spin classes. And five weeks post-op, he was instructing them again. "I only spent three days in the hospital," says Bob, who elected to undergo five rounds of optional chemotherapy after the tumor was removed ("I called it my 'insurance policy,'"

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