Cancer treatment update Tuesday is free, open to the public

Dr. Emilia Williams will be one of several doctors speaking at the Kauai Cancer Update 2006 on Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ginger Room of the Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort (formerly the Radisson Kauai Beach Resort) near Hanama‘ulu.

This event features Williams and three other Kaua‘i experts on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer.

The event is free and open to the public, according to a press release.

Specializing in cancer surgery, Williams is a new member of the medical staff of West Kauai Medical Center at Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital, Wilcox Memorial Hospital, and the KVMH West Kauai Clinics.

She is board-certified in general surgery. Before moving to Kaua‘i, Williams was a member of the Surgical Oncology Department of Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Wash.

She was a surgical oncology fellow at Moffitt Cancer Institute, and was assistant professor of surgery at West Virginia University.

On the Breast Care Team at Virginia Mason Hospital, she helped to develop cancer screening guidelines at that facility.

She has published written works extensively in the area of breast cancer and sentinal node biopsy.

She attended John Hopkins University, where she was on an academic scholarship, and got her doctorate degree from the University of Illinois.

She did her surgical internship and residency at Ochsner Clinic and Hospital in New Orleans, La.

For registration and more information about the Kauai Cancer Update 2006, contact Debi at Wilcox Health (Wilcox Memorial Hospital and Kauai Medical Clinic), 245-1005.

Officials at the American Cancer Society, West Kauai Medical Center, West Kauai Clinics and Wilcox Memorial Hospital are sponsoring the event.

The other featured speakers are Dr. Dileep Bal, Kaua‘i district health officer for the state Department of Health; Dr. Tad Jackson, pulmonologist in his private practice with Pacific Pulmonary Consultants; and Dr. John Culliney, radiologist and chief of imaging at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

There will be a question-and-answer time, and light refreshments will be served.

Dr. Robert Weiner, general surgeon, has been treating cancer patients all during his 30 years on Kaua‘i, and feels it is important to update the people on Kaua‘i about cancer, and invite them to hear about the subject from some of Kaua‘i’s experts in the field.

“While new technologies are rapidly becoming available for the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, the various forms of cancer continue to be a major cause of suffering and death throughout the United States and in most developed countries in the world,” said Weiner.

“Thanks to advances in the control of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, more Americans are living to an age when cancer becomes an increasingly greater threat,” he said.

Physicians say that cancer is not a single disease, but a group of diseases of different organs characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells.

Although a single cure for all cancers has not and may never be found, significant advances occur almost every year.

For example, the five-year survival rate for localized breast cancer has increased from 80 percent in the 1950s to 98 percent today, and that has been accompanied by vast improvements in the cosmetic effects of creative surgery.

The new methods of diagnosis and treatment now available in doctors’ offices and community hospitals can make a very significant difference in the natural incidence and outcome of most cancers, but it requires the involvement of the patient at the earliest possible time, preferably prior to the onset of any actual disease, for the best outcomes to be achieved, most doctors agree.

Cancer Update 2006 is an opportunity for adults on Kaua‘i to get an overview of what the state of the fight against cancer is now, and how they can participate.

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