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New cancer treatments stray away from chemotherapy

Posted on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Dr. Kimberly Schlesinger of Riverside Tappahanock Hospital discussed chemotherapy options to a large group assembled at the Art of Coffee last week.

Dr. Kimberly Schlesinger of Riverside Tappahanock Hospital discussed chemotherapy options available and answered questions about breast cancer treatment and diagnosis to a large group of women assembled at the Art of Coffee last week. A few brave men attended the event along with Doctor Mohammed Moinuddin Ali from Mary Washington Regional Cancer Center. The focus of the evening was to discuss medical treatments for breast cancer available at both locations. The small cafe was packed to capacity for the event.

Schlesinger is a Medical Oncologist, who recently joined Riverside Tappahanock Hospital. “I’ve always thought I have the best job in the world, this is the only thing I have ever wanted to do. In February, I accepted the job here at Tappahanock. I have joined the most wonderful team who have really welcomed me with open arms.”

Riverside Tappahanock has started many new initiatives for cancer detection and treatment. “We will have 3-D mammography and tomosynthesis up and running in August,” Schlesinger told the group.

Breast tomosynthesis is an advanced type of mammogram that can offer better cancer detection, fewer call backs and greater peace of mind. “Tomosynthesis is a little bit better than the traditional mammogram and a better way of looking at the breast tissue.”

“As another diagnostic initiative, we’re going to be doing CT scans for people who are at high risk for lung cancer. It’s a low does CT Scan that will help detect lung cancer at a very early stage. Riverside has taken a very proactive response.” Schlesinger added. “Cancer is the number one killer in our region and lung cancer is one of those on the list.”

Riverside Tappahanock is moving forward in the hopes of becoming nationally accredited by Mission On Cancer which takes two years. In preparation the hospital is putting together a Tumor Board which will bring doctors together to review patients and develop treatment plans. Dr. Ali and his colleague have offered to be the radiation component of that group.

Schlesinger described how chemotherapy has changed over the years. “In terms of cancer care, we are slowly getting away from chemotherapy” Schlesinger described chemotherapy as a drug that gets inside the cancer cell and blows the cells up from the inside out. “It’s that kind of collateral damage that patients have a lot of trouble with and a lot of side effects from.”

Read more of this story in the July 19 issue of the Westmoreland News.