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Cancer Prevention with Dr. Bomgaars and Dr. Shah

Cervical Cancer Awareness with Dr. Pineda and Dr. Olyejar on Sonoran Living

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, Ironwood Gynecological Oncologist Mario J. Pineda, MD, PhD and Radiation Oncologist E. Eric Olyejar, MD appeared on ABC‘s Sonoran Living to discuss Cervical Cancer.  January is Cervical Cancer Month so our doctors took this opportunity to explain how to prevent this disease.

Cervical cancer is a malignant growth that starts in the cervix and is the fourth leading cause of cancer among women.  The cervix is the opening of uterus by which a baby passes into the birth canal.  In the United States almost 13,000 women are diagnosed and about 4,000 women will die of cervical cancer annually.   The majority of women with cervical cancer are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, but older women can get cervical cancer as well.

There are many risk factors for cervical cancer, but the most important one is infection with the HPV virus.  Infection with HPV 16 or 18 is associated with 70% of all cervical cancers.  Risk factors for HPV infection are sexual activity at a young age, multiple sexual partners, HIV infection, and immunosuppression (for example organ transplant patients).  A vaccine against HPV infection is available and often recommended for adolescent girls before their first sexual encounter.  Other risk factors for cervical cancer include DES exposure in utero, multiple births, cigarette smoking, and long term oral contraceptive use.


Cervical cancer typically develops slowly over time.  Before the cells become cancer they undergo detectable changes including dysplasia.  Screening with a PAP smear and HPV testing can detect infection and or these changes, allowing for minimally invasive treatment before a cancer is formed.  The vast majority of women diagnosed with cervical cancer have not had a PAP smear in seven years or more.   It is thought that if every woman had regular screening exams that we would diagnose very few cases of cervical cancer or not even at all Most women do not develop signs of cervical cancer until it is fairly advanced.  Vaginal bleeding between periods, heavy periods, and continuous periods can be some of the symptoms of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is staged I-IV (like most cancer) based on tumor size or invasion, lymph node involvement, or the presence or absence of metastasis.  Early stage cervical cancers (Stage I and early Stage II) can be treated with surgery with our without radiation.  More advance cancers (late Stage II and Stage III) are treated with radiation and chemotherapy with or without surgery.  Stage IV cervical cancer is typically treated with chemotherapy alone.


To learn more about cervical cancer treatment options contact Ironwood Cancer and Research Centers by visiting http://ironwoodcrc.com/ or calling 480-821-2838.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Ironwood Providers Dr. Bhalla and Dr. Ono Appear on ABC ‘s Sonoran Living

On November 14th, Ironwood providers Dr. Bhalla and Dr. Ono  appeared on ABC ‘s Sonoran Living to discuss Lung Cancer.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month but anytime is a good time to talk about preventing this terrible disease.  Lung cancer is massive problem in healthcare.  It is the most common cause of death from cancer but early diagnosis and the right treatments can make a difference.

Lung cancer starts when the cells of the lung become abnormal and begin to grow out of control. Uncontrolled growth leads to a tumor, which can spread to other areas of the body. Usually, there are no symptoms until it has grown rather significantly. It is a complex problem that should be managed by a well-experienced multi-specialty team. There are two main types of lung cancer; about 80% to 85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and about 10% to 15% are small cell lung cancer (SCLC). These types of lung cancer are treated very differently and this will explore the more common type. Adenocarcinomas, squamous cell (epidermoid) and large cell (undifferentiated) carcinomas are the major subtypes of non-small cell lung cancers which although start from different type of lung cells, are grouped together because the approach to their treatment and prognosis (outlook) are often similar.


The American Cancer Society’s estimates for lung cancer in the United States for 2017 are: about 222,500 new cases of lung cancer (116,990 in men and 105,510 women) and about 155,870 deaths from lung cancer (84,590 in men and 71,280 in women). Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women (excluding skin cancer). About 14% of all new cancers are lung cancers with most occurring in older people. Overall, the chance that a man will develop lung cancer is his lifetime is about 1 in 14; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 17. About 1 out of 4 cancer deaths are from lung cancer. Each year, more people die from lung cancer than colon, breast, and prostate cancer combined. Although it’s the top cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., it’s also one of the most preventable. Prevention starts with not smoking and avoiding other people’s secondhand smoke.


Smoking is by far the leading risk factor for lung cancer. About 80% of lung cancer deaths are thought to result from smoking. The longer you smoke and the more packs a day you smoke, the greater the risk. Even if you don’t smoke, breathing in the smoke of others (called secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke) can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. Secondhand smoke is thought to cause more than 7,000 deaths from lung cancer each year. There are a few other risk factors that are much more uncommon. Exposure to radon, asbestos, diesel exhaust and other industrial chemicals has been linked to increased lung cancer rates. In cities, air pollution (especially near heavily trafficked roads) appears to raise the risk of lung cancer slightly.


Patient care is individualized based upon the stage of the cancer and other factors, which can include:


  • Surgery

  • Radiation therapy

  • Chemotherapy

  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

  • Targeted therapies

  • Immunotherapy


Treatments plans should be developed by a well-experienced multi-specialty team not only addressing the stage of the cancer, but also the needs of the patient. Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers have assembled nationally accredited, board certified, cancer specialists from the leading university medical centers across the United States to provide cutting edge, comprehensive cancer care in neighborhoods throughout the greater Phoenix region. The well-experienced multi-specialty team includes: radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, oncology nursing, nutritionists, social workers and alliances with thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists and patient’s primary care providers working together to outsmart cancer one patient at a time.

To learn more about lung cancer treatment options contact Ironwood Cancer and Research Centers at 480-821-2838.


Ironwood Participates in Undy Run for Colon Cancer Alliance Nov ’17

Colon Cancer Alliance: Undy Run/Walk

TEAM: Ironwood Cancer Undy Walkers


7:30 a.m. – Race packet pickup & on-site registration
8:40 a.m. – Opening remarks
9:00 a.m. – 5K begins
9:10 a.m. – 1 Mile fun run begins
10:05 a.m. – Survivor recognition & awards ceremony

Can’t make it to the Undy?

Register as a Virtual Participant.
Virtual Participant – $35 Adult / $30 Youth
Early Bird Registration: Use discount code EARLY (all caps) to receive $5 off your registration. Don’t delay – this offer expires at 10 pm on September 10th!

Join the Phoenix Chapter and fellow local supporters on Tuesday, September 26th for a special fundraiser at Blanco Scottsdale! 20% of all proceeds will benefit the Phoenix Undy Run/Walk. Click here for more details.

You can also purchase raffle tickets (One ticket for $2 or Three tickets for $5) and enter to win the following awesome prizes:
– Two (2) tickets for a Hot Air Balloon ride with a champagne breakfast included.
– Two (2) tickets and one (1) parking pass for the Cactus Bowl with a gift basket.
– Family Membership for one year to the Botanical Gardens.