Health Report

By Hannah Wallace October 1, 2011


The latest good news in the fight against breast cancer: a new technique for delivering targeted, single-dose radiation therapy.

Now in use at Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center, the Intrabeam System offers a single-dose alternative to traditional whole-breast EBRT (external beam radiation therapy), which must be administered five times a week for up to six-and-a-half weeks. The one-time Intrabeam treatment is administered during surgery, after the removal of the tumor. Surgeons apply the Intrabeam applicator directly to the tumor site and administer a 20- to 30-minute radiation treatment. Recent studies deemed Intrabeam to be as effective as EBRT. The treatment targets the necessary area with less irritation of healthy breast tissue and skin. Underlying organs receive less radiation exposure, too. As a result, patients are able to resume a normal routine in a matter of days rather than weeks. Moffit Cancer Center is the first treatment center in Southwest Florida to use the Intrabeam System.



BREAST CANCER Incidence Rates by Race

All Races          124.0 per 100,000 women

White    127.3 per 100,000 women

Black    119.9 per 100,000 women

Asian/Pacific Islander    93.7 per 100,000 women

American Indian/Alaska Native    77.9 per 100,000 women

Hispanic           78.1 per 100,000 women

Source: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health


Five-year survival rate

based on cancer stage at time of diagnosis

Localized (confined to its primary state)

98.6 percent

Spread to regional lymph nodes

83.8 percent


23.4 percent

Shop for the Cause >> Oct. 20 Key to the Cure: The Pink Party. A four-day shopping event at Saks Fifth Avenue benefiting women’s cancer programs at Sarasota Memorial.


Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kidney

With all the emphasis on the negative effects of obesity—heart disease, diabetes and more—chronic kidney disease (CKD) sometimes gets lost in the pack. But the truth is, obesity and the conditions that come along with it are also the major risk factors for kidney disease. In fact, diabetes is the single biggest cause of CKD, followed closely by hypertension, smoking and genetics.

Because the early symptoms of kidney disease are “silent,” people should work with their doctors to monitor those risk factors. Preventive steps may include managing high blood pressure and special, physician-monitored, low-protein diets. But in truth, “There’s more people ignoring [their condition] than people not knowing,” says Michele Crain, R.N., area manager for Fresenius Medical Care, which now operates five dialysis clinics in the Sarasota-Manatee area.

Fortunately for end-stage CKD patients—those who require dialysis—new advancements have drastically improved dialysis experience. Not only are dialysis clinics better equipped to keep patients comfortable and engaged for the four-hour treatments three times a week, but patients can now opt to receive the training and equipment necessary to perform their own dialysis at home. “It’s really, really exciting,” says Crain. “That gives them such independence, and they take much better care of themselves. They feel so much better psychologically and physically.”

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Sarasota’s new Pure Barre studio gets big results from little movements.Think Small >>Sarasota’s new Pure Barre studio gets big results from little movements.

What it is: Isometric fitness method using nothing but your own body weight in small, targeted movements to build toned, lean muscle—especially thighs, abs and “seat.” Three-month “choreography” series allows students to learn proper, effective positioning. “It’s a body-awareness exercise,” says Melissa DeMore of Sarasota’s Pure Barre studio. “Tucking your hips under and pulling your belly in.”

Why it works: The technique achieves muscle fatigue.

Who can do it: “We’ve had ages from 17 to 72,” says DeMore. “There’s no jumping or jarring of the joints.”

Sample exercise: Using the barre for stability, stand heels together, toes apart. Rise up as high as you can on your toes, then bend your knees. Bend your knees a little further and lower yourself an inch, then rise up an inch. Repeat until you can no longer keep proper positioning. 3800 S. Tamiami Trail, Unit 16, (941) 953-2323.


Kathy Keebler, Genny Knopf and Lisa Camuto (PHOTO: MEDI WEIGHT LOSS)How I Lost it>>Braden River Elementary school worker Kathy Keebler shares her diet success story.

Last summer, [Braden River bookkeeper] Lisa Camuto started on Medi-Weightloss Clinics. [School registrar] Genny Knopf started in August, and then I started in September 2010.

Medi starts with a physical and blood work. You eat real food, and every week you meet with a doctor and counselors. They have good hints, recipes and snack ideas, and you get B6 and B12 shots.

I had a lot of issues going on: I had bladder cancer, and my last son went to school, so I was an empty nester. Medi was the place where it was always positive. They watched me cry, and they helped cheer me on.

In the past, I’ve tried on my own with Atkins; I’ve gone to Weight Watchers—I can’t say it doesn’t work, it just wasn’t something I could stick with.

I think what made us so successful is we were supporting each other, and the School Board of Manatee County is really supportive. We could cook at school together. We’d come in and make breakfast. For lunch, we had a little toaster oven and we’d have chicken or a pork chop with some salad.

You need to find a support system, someone who can listen and help you through. Every Thursday I had my weigh-in, and then I had to text my dad, my two boys and my best friend and tell them how much weight I’d lost. They’d ask me about it if I didn’t tell them.

My weight gain had crept up on me quickly. I’d been a size eight all my life until I moved to Florida seven years ago. I gained 40 pounds. It wasn’t me. Weight loss helped me regain who I was. So far I’ve lost 30 pounds—Lisa lost 60 and Genny lost 50, but I have to joke that I was the most mature and latest starting. It’s great physically, and it can’t help but make you feel better about yourself.—Kathy Keebler

Bloom Organics Day Spa and Boutique“What you put on your skin can enter your bloodstream and circulate in your body. A lot of ingredients in beauty products are carcinogens. The products we use have no synthetic ingredients. It’s a whole lifestyle for us.”

Yasmin Farrell, president, Bloom Organics Day Spa and Boutique



‘‘Breast cancer doesn’t end in October.’’

Better Than Before, a fitness company focused on breast cancer survivors, has re-released its 50-minute rehabilitative DVD demonstrating proper post-surgery exercise techniques. A portion of the DVD’s proceeds goes to efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.

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