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Ep.3 - The Diagnosis

The Cancering Show

Release Date: 07/17/2019

Surviving Survivorship with Dr. Casey Daniel show art Surviving Survivorship with Dr. Casey Daniel

The Cancering Show

Dr. J.Y.P. talks with her friend and U.S.A. Health Mitchell Cancer Institute colleague Dr. Casey Daniel. Dr. Daniel's unique perspective from being a cancer survivor, researcher and now a supportive and concerned aunt of a cancer patient makes her the best guest to end the first season of the Cancering Show. Hear her amazing and inspirational personal history and experiences with cancer that led her to work with Dr. J.Y.P. and their research in cancer prevention at the Mitchell Cancer Institute.

Fear, Anxiety and The Chasing Tiger show art Fear, Anxiety and The Chasing Tiger

The Cancering Show

JYP talks with Dr. Ron Franks, professor and chair of psychiatry at the USA College of Medicine, about dealing with the fear and anxiety that can be a side effect of a cancer diagnosis. Plus, he shares some common tactics patients can use to help get through this phase of their cancer journey. A cancer diagnosis can produce the same effects as PTSD, and if these feelings are not managed, they can have detrimental results in treatment success and quality of life.

Cancer Patients and Coronavirus show art Cancer Patients and Coronavirus

The Cancering Show

Dr. Jennifer Young Pierce and guest Dr. Jennifer Scalici discuss some of the most critical and unique information concerning the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and how it relates explicitly to cancer patients and their cancer treatment.

Hormone Therapy show art Hormone Therapy

The Cancering Show

Dr. JYP talks hormone therapy with Dr. Teja Poosarla, a medical oncologist at USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute. Hormones can aid the growth of cancer cells; so adding, blocking or removing a patient's hormones can help cure or prevent the spread and the recurrence of certain cancers, especially breast and prostate cancers.

Clinical Trials show art Clinical Trials

The Cancering Show

Dr. JYP and Dr. Rodney Rocconi, interim director of USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, discuss the process, purpose, benefits and misunderstandings about cancer clinical trials. Dr. Rocconi explains this critical therapeutic and research tool that is essential to understanding and battling cancer on a personal and systemic level.

Immunotherapy and Targeted Therapy show art Immunotherapy and Targeted Therapy

The Cancering Show

Dr. Pierce talks immunotherapy and targeted therapy with USA Health medical oncologist and hematologist Dr. Moh'd Khushman. Immunotherapy is a class of drugs that can help a patient's immune system to fight cancer cells much smarter than current chemotherapy. Cancer cells can turn off the immune system, and these new drugs can turn on the immune system to fight cancer.

Radiation show art Radiation

The Cancering Show

Dr. JYP talks with radiation oncologist Dr. Bill Hixson about the most mysterious cancer treatment – radiation -- and the role that a radiation oncologist plays. Dr. Hixson shares his views on patient care and explains how he works with an interdisciplinary team. Plus, they discuss the newest innovations in radiation treatment as well as side effects and how to manage them.

Chemotherapy show art Chemotherapy

The Cancering Show

Dr. JYP has a candid and enlightening chemotherapy conversation with her friend, colleague, and USA Health University Hospital oncologist Dr. Sachin Pai. Dr. Pai shares what chemotherapy really is, and he addresses some of the myths, misconceptions, and fears associated with this incredibly common and effective treatment. Listeners can learn about the many innovative treatment options that are now available and how oncologists and doctors determine a patient's specific cancer treatment

Warrior Princess Gina Gregory show art Warrior Princess Gina Gregory

The Cancering Show

Dr. JYP talks with Facebook Live celebrity and Cancering Warrior Princess Gina Gregory. Gina is a patient at the Mitchell Cancer Institute and has completed two surgeries, lost her hair, finished chemo and radiation treatment for breast cancer, and rang the bell twice. Her experience makes her an expert to give a detailed blueprint preparing physically and mentally for anyone's cancer surgery and journey.

The Surgery show art The Surgery

The Cancering Show

Cancer surgery is more than likely to be a part of everyone's cancer journey. It's a first step of many on the road to survivorship and is still a patient's best chance of cure. In this episode, Dr. JYP has a candid discussion with Dr. J. Harrison Howard, Surgical Oncologist, at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute. Dr. Howard explains his role as a Surgical Oncologist and how he uses his extensive training, medical knowledge, and surgical skills to offer you the best options for beating your cancer.

More Episodes

So, you've been diagnosed with cancer. What happens next? Can you turn this shocking news into something that's a part of your life but not running your life? Is it even possible for patients to still live their lives with a cancer diagnosis? In this episode, Dr. JYP consults with MCI oncologist and supportive care physician Dr. Thomas Butler about delivering and managing the emotional side of a cancer diagnosis, and how patients can still live their lives with that life-changing reality. Even an "incurable" diagnosis. Dr. Butler candidly shares his thoughts on talking with doctors, building trust, the importance of positivity and spirituality, and the interdisciplinary care processes that affect the cancer patient, family and community.

Key Takeaways

  1. Patients can still live their lives and even thrive with a cancer diagnosis.
  2. Dr. Butler focuses on looking at the positive things he can do to make his patient lives better.
  3. Unless it's going to be harmful, Dr. Butler tends to favor quality of life over strict patients treatment adherence.
  4. Talk to your doctors: patients and physicians should build a relationship based on open communication, trust, and honesty.
  5. Doctors should strive to be good listeners and strive to understand more than being understood.
  6. Speak up and ask questions: patients should feel like they are the center of attention, and there is no such thing as a bad question.
  7. Patients with a support network tend to manage their cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship better.
  8. Positivity and spirituality can be beneficial for a patient in motivating them to do well during their treatment.
  9. The goal of palliative care is to make you feel better and make your life more comfortable.
  10. Patients are NOT alone in their cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.


Dr. Thomas Butler - Website 

The Doctors Said:


Patients can still live their lives with a cancer diagnosis. - Dr. Pierce (JYP)

If you tell me that you can't cure the cancer, that doesn't mean that it's going to end your life. It means you've just got a different perspective on your life. - Dr. Thomas Butler

I think that we can focus on looking at the positive things we can do to try to make their lives better. - Dr. Thomas Butler

Communicating with honesty is essential, and patients need to be able to trust us doctors that we're going to treat them like we would a family member. - Dr. Thomas Butler

Sometimes the initial diagnosis is so shocking that you may have to revisit the conversation because you don't really know exactly what the patient heard or can recall. - Dr. Thomas Butler

Letting people express their distress is important, and I think for me the best technique is listening. I'm wanting to hear from the patient experience as opposed to what I'm dictating that their experience should be. It's better to understand than to be understood. - Dr. Thomas Butler

I like to listen to patients tell about how their treatment is because it helps me know what to tell other patients. - Dr. Thomas Butler

Make sure the patient understands that they are the center of attention. It's not what I want; it's what they want. - Dr. Thomas Butler

Give the patient the confidence that they can ask what to expect. - Dr. Thomas Butler

Palliative care has kind of a negative connotation because a lot of folks think of it as end-of-life care. But, the word palliate means to make you feel better. I tell folks that that's the goal of palliative care is to make you feel better. - Dr. Thomas Butler

When folks do have family support, they tend to do better as far as the management of their disease. - Dr. Thomas Butler

I encourage patients to realize that they're not alone, and at MCI we have people who can help take care of them. - Dr. Thomas Butler

The cancer diagnosis sometimes makes patients feel isolated, and I think knowing that others are walking through it with them can be helpful. - Dr. Thomas Butler

Having a spiritual focus on the meaning of this disease and their life can be beneficial in motivating patients to do well during their treatment. - Dr. Thomas Butler

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The Cancering Show is brought to you by USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute at the University of South Alabama. MCI is a cutting-edge cancer research and treatment center built to fight cancer smarter in Mobile and Baldwin counties in Alabama. Our researchers and clinicians focus daily on the struggle against cancer, serving a potential catchment population of more than 4.1 million people, with a singular focus of advancing cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond with science, technology and hope.

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