Forms & Information

Ask An Expert

Ask an Expert: Alcohol and breast cancer risk

Q: I enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner each night and thought it was good for my health.  Now I hear having a glass of wine each day can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.  Is that true?

Answer from the expert staff of the Ruth J. Spear Breast Center at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Benign breast lumps and breast cancer risk

Q. I recently had a benign breast lump removed. It turned out to be a “fibroadenoma,” and my doctor said it was totally benign. Still, I’m worried – does this mean I’m at an increased risk of breast cancer?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Breast cancer growth rate

Q: How long does it take for breast cancer to grow? My doctor just examined my breasts a month ago (no lumps), and today I found a lump. Is it possible that breast cancer could have developed so quickly?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Breast cancer in men

Q. I didn’t realize until recently that men can also get breast cancer. How common is it? If the women in my family have a history of breast cancer, should I be concerned?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center: 

Ask an Expert: Breast self-examinations

Q. I’m a young woman who tries to do breast self exams (BSE's) every month. But I often put them off because they make me so nervous. I just heard that not all health care organizations recommend monthly BSE's. What do you say?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Can vitamin D prevent breast cancer?

Q: “A friend forwarded an article to me suggesting that vitamin D can reduce the risk of getting breast cancer. Is this true?”

Answer from Alison Conlin, M.D., medical oncologist, Providence Cancer Center:

Ask an Expert: Chemotherapy and insomnia

Q: I'm undergoing chemo, and though I am experiencing heavy-duty fatigue, I am also suffering from insomnia! Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep; other nights I wake up around 3 a.m. for an hour or two. My medical oncologist said chemo can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and prescribed Ambien. I don't like the idea of relying on a sleeping pill. Anything else I can do?

Answer from Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine at Providence Cancer Center:

Ask an Expert: Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Q. I've just been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS.) I've heard it described as "stage 0" breast cancer. What does that mean? How worried should I be?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: HRT for breast cancer survivors

Q. I am a breast cancer survivor. Is it safe for me to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Soy and flax in hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer survivors

Q. If a hormone-positive breast cancer survivor wants to be proactive in her cure, should she avoid/limit as many phytoestrogens as possible, or just soy and flax, which seem to be high in these estrogen mimics?

Answer from Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine Program at Providence Cancer Center: 

Cancer trials are a vital, yet often overlooked, treatment option

It’s more important than ever for referring primary care physicians to work in concert with clinical trialists before initiating therapy. These partnerships enhance the understanding of clinical trials and ensure that more patients gain access to these advanced therapies. – By Keith S. Lanier, M.D., researcher and medical oncologist

New heart pumps offer hope to sickest patients

Next-generation cardiac support devices overcome limits of earlier models and improve survival. – By Jacob Abraham, M.D., cardiologist, Providence St. Vincent Heart Clinic-Cardiology

Prostate cancer immunotherapy moves forward

New studies that combine immunotherapy with other agents are stimulating an immune response in men with metastatic prostate cancer. – By Brendan Curti, M.D., medical director, Providence Genitourinary Oncology Research

Providence Cancer Center experts share insights, summer 2012

Our cancer specialists and researchers have been active on an international scale in 2012, and many are slated to appear at conferences into the fall. Here’s a partial list of who’s presenting and publishing.

Forms Instructions

Bringing baby home: Instructions for home care

Congratulations on your new baby! We've put together a list of helpful information and links to access Providence postpartum care services.

Bringing out the big guns to kill cancer

Technology opens new doors for combining radiation and immunotherapy.

Caregiver Support Group - Websites

Links to websites offering support and information for caregivers of Alzheimers patients.

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit Expectations

This handout discusses what to expect in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.

Fat is good, bagels are bad

Some (Mediterranean) principles to eat by.  When it comes to preventing or managing obesity, heart disease, cancer and many other health problems, good food is often your best medicine.

Helpful resources from the Epilepsy Foundation

This website is a good source of information on:
  • Seizure first aid
  • Living with Epilepsy
  • Treatment options

Lost and found

Patients are asked not to bring items of value to the hospital. The hospital cannot accept responsibility for items of value. If you lose something...

Neuro bi-plane technology gets even more precise

Providence Portland Medical Center now offers an advanced neuro procedure room with 3-D mapping and CT scan overlay.

Patient Right to Support Persons

Patients with a disability who need assistance communicating with their hospital care team, making medical decisions or engaging in activities of daily living may designate up to three support persons. Support persons will be required to meet specific conditions outlined in Providence Health & Services policy. If conditions are met, identified support persons may be present at all times during the patient’s hospital stay. 

Patient rights and responsibilities

Because of our core values – compassion, justice, respect, excellence and stewardship – we believe that as a patient you have certain rights. At the same time, because we consider you an active partner in your health care, we acknowledge that you also have some responsibilities.

PPMC patient dining goes from room service to scheduled meals

The change streamlines the meal-ordering process and improves communications with patients.

Preparing for your delivery: Resources for new mothers and families

Ready to have your baby? Here's everything you'll need to prepare for delivery at a Providence hospital or medical center.

Pre-Surgery Pediatric Health Status Summary Form

To make sure you get the best, safest care possible, we need some important information about you. Before your child comes to the hospital for surgery, please complete and bring with you a copy of this Pediatric Health Status Summary for children under the age of 13.

Prostate cancer research gets a boost

Prostate cancer, once it spreads to lymph nodes and bones, generally is not curable. But basic and clinical researchers at Providence are working on this challenge.

Providence Gastrointestinal Cancer Program -- Multidisciplinary Team

Your multidisciplinary gastrointestinal cancer care team consists of these trained specialists:

Providence leads in excellence once again

From Leapfrog's high safety marks to other awards, these honors tie directly to the care we give our patients. – Dave Underriner, chief executive, Oregon Region

The Epilepsy Diet

The Epilepsy center at the Providence Brain and Spine Institute together with Providence Outpatient Nutritional Services offers the modified ketogenic diet as a therapy for our adult patients with epilepsy. The major differentiating factor between them all is the amount of calories that come from protein, carbs, and fat.

Proprietary Health Article

A better predictor of stroke risk in a-fib patients

Studies show that a newer, more refined scoring system more accurately identifies risk for thromboembolism. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

A need for speed promotes neurointensive care

Studies find that the relatively new care model for critically ill neurological patients decreases mortality and shortens hospital stays. – By John Zurasky, M.D., neurointensivist

Advances in prostate cancer immunotherapy at Providence

As knowledge about the immune system explodes, so does the potential of innovative treatments. – By Brendan Curti, M.D., medical director, Providence Genitourinary Oncology Research

Apnea can cause patients to lose more than sleep

Untreated, the disorder can lead to serious cardiovascular conditions including arrhythmia, pulmonary hypertension and valvular disease. – By Emilia Arden, D.O., FACC, cardiologist, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

Beating the dose benchmarks on fluoroscopy

Because time is a poor measure of dose, Providence labs have improved on state-mandated measures. – By Jeff Robins, RT (R) (CV), MBA, cardiovascular lab manager, Providence Portland Medical Center

Breast cancer chemoprevention in the spotlight again

After a tentative start, chemopreventive therapies might return to the forefront.  A recent international study reports promising results. – By Ali Conlin, M.D., medical oncologist

Can an exercise program ease chemotherapy fatigue?

A study examines the effects of exercise for cancer patients starting chemotherapy. – By Anupama Kurup, M.D., medical oncologist

Case study: How to assess and treat a patient's genetic risk of coronary artery disease?

Easily obtained genetic tests can determine if aggressive statin therapy is appropriate. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Casting a light on lumpectomy

An optical fiber may transform how small breast lesions are located and removed.

Early-phase clinical trials open new opportunities

Providence's involvement with the International Immuno-Oncology Network, along with other early-phase studies, is broadening treatment options for patients with advanced cancers. – By Rachel E. Sanborn, M.D., co-medical director, Providence Thoracic Oncology Program

For a-fib, a welcome alternative to warfarin

At last, a favorable oral antithrombin for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Fortifying the plant-based diet for heart health

A growing number of our patients adhere to some sort of plant-based diet. Although these diets are generally beneficial to heart health, providers should heed some nutritional red flags. – By Naji M. Hamdan, M.D., cardiologist, and Terese Scollard, MBA, RD, LD, registered dietitian

Groundbreaking immunotherapy: More tailored, less toxic treatments

Inside your body, standing at attention in your blood, tissues, and organs, there are millions of tiny troopers mobilized against invaders.

Hospitals earn joint replacement certification

Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent medical centers have earned The Joint Commission Disease-Specific Certification for hip and knee replacement.

Jenny Conlee battles back from breast cancer

Two years ago, fans were saddened to learn that The Decemberists’ keyboardist was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. How’s she doing today?

Lipid management: Which test is best for which patient?

Management of dyslipidemia, particularly with statins, has significantly reduced major cardiovascular events. Yet half of heart attacks occur in patients with “normal” cholesterol. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Mediterranean diet: Eating our way to cardiovascular health

A new study finds that Mediterranean-style diets reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular death even more than a standard low-fat diet. – Naji Hamdan, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Promising developments in lung cancer screening

A large national study reports that suspicious findings were three times greater with CT scans than with chest X-rays. – By Rachel E. Sanborn, M.D., medical oncologist

Prostate cancer and PSA: Should your patient get screened?

Oncologist and researcher Brendan Curti, M.D., discusses the benefits and limitations of the prostate-specific antigen test – and which patient groups can benefit from annual screening.

Providence Cancer Center's global reach, fall 2011

Two of Providence Cancer Center’s top researchers were invited to China in October to talk about advances in immunotherapy, while others spoke in Italy and Chile. Here’s a partial list of our specialists’ appearances and publications.

Providence Stop-Smoking Resources

If you smoke, one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health is to quit smoking. Providence Health & Services supports you in this effort. The resources below can help you stop smoking for good.

Studying apricoxib with erlotinib for lung cancer

A trial testing apricoxib with erlotinib showed longer survival in younger patients with metastatic lung cancer, but failed to meet its goal. – By Rachel E. Sanborn, M.D., medical oncologist

The stress of stress tests

Advanced stress cardiac imaging now allows us to detect heart disease with greater accuracy than ever before. But these sophisticated and expensive tests also bring a challenge: When are they necessary and when will simple exercise testing suffice? – Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist

Top-selling statins finally going generic

Patents for Lipitor and Plavix expire at the end of 2011, opening the door to cost-effective alternatives. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Treating motor impairment in Parkinson’s disease

In the past four decades pharmacological progress has been spectacular, so now physicians and patients may choose among multiple options. Providence Center for Parkinson’s Disease follows these decision-making guides. – Richard Rosenbaum, M.D., neurologist

Vitamin D and breast cancer: Is there a link?

Studies have provided conflicting results, but here’s what we know so far. – By Ali Conlin, M.D., medical oncologist

What to expect: Helping a loved one through the dying process

This 12-page guide helps caregivers and family members understand the emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of the days and moments before death.

Where doctors come to heal themselves

The significance of the Kleenex boxes placed on every tabletop isn’t apparent at first. But 15 minutes into this lunchtime gathering of doctors, nurses and a host of other health care workers, the reason becomes clear.

Recommended Resource

American Cancer Society: Guide to Quitting Smoking

The American Cancer Society’s guide to quitting smoking including questions people need to know about quitting and the steps to do so.

American Lung Association

The American Lung Association website is a patient and care provider resource with information about respiratory illnesses from asthma to emphysema. Includes causes, warning signs and symptoms, research and patient care treatment resources.

American Stroke Association Website

Provides warning signs and overview of stroke, emergency stroke center locations and patient education resources.

Care Facilities - Other WA & OR counties

Resources for caregivers of Dementia and Alzheimers disease in other WA and OR counties

Care Facilities - Vancouver, WA

Resources for caregivers of Dementia and Alzheimer's patients in Vancouver, WA.  Includes care facilities, in-home care and adult day care.

Care Facilities in Washington County

Resources for caregivers of dementia and Alzheimer's patients in Washington County.  Includes care facilities, in-home care and adult day care. Smoking Cessation

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services resource page on Smoking Cessation including a quick guide to healthy living and tools to quit.

National Cancer Institute Prevention and Cessation of Cigarette Smoking: Control of Tobacco Use

National Cancer Institute’s overview of Prevention and steps for how to get into a cessation program.

National Cancer Institute Smoking Quitline

National Cancer Institute’s page on free resources available to help someone quit smoking, including the national Quit Line.

National Cancer Institute: Biological Therapies for Cancer Facts Sheet

Biological therapies use the body's immune system to fight cancer or to lessen the side effects that may be caused by some cancer treatments.

National Lymphedema Network

The National Lymphedema Network (NLN) is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded in 1988 to provide education and guidance to lymphedema patients, health care professionals and the general public by disseminating information on the prevention and management of primary and secondary lymphedema.

National Stroke Association Website

Comprehensive overview of stroke, including warning signs, emergency stroke center locations and patient education resources.


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