Experts discuss cancer treatment, prevention

A quartet of doctors with diverse knowledge of and training in cancer research and surgery will discuss the latest advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease in a free public forum Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ginger Room of the Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort at Nukoli‘i.

The hotel is the former Radisson Kauai Beach Resort, off Kuhio Highway near Hanama‘ulu.

The conference is jointly sponsored by officials with Wilcox Memorial Hospital, the American Cancer Society, and West Kauai Medical Center.

The featured speakers are some of the Kaua‘i’s experts on the subject of cancer. Light refreshments will be served.

Registration is free. Call 245-1005 for registration and more information.

Dr. Emilia Williams, a new member of the medical staff of Wilcox Memorial Hospital, Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital and the West Kauai Clinics, was pictured and profiled last week in an article about the forum.

Other participants are Dr. Dileep Bal, state Department of Health Kaua‘i district health officer; Dr. Tad Jackson, a pulmonologist in private practice still associated with Wilcox Memorial Hospital; and Dr. John Culliney, chief of radiology at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

Bal had been head of the Cancer Control Branch of the state of California, and he had to deal with a product that was more addicting than cocaine and heroin, and caused half a million deaths each year in the United States.

That product, tobacco, was supported by leaders of an industry who had funding far exceeding the combined budgets of the National Institutes of Health and American Cancer Society.

Bal took on the tobacco industry in the courts, in the public-relations arena, and in the legislature, and has won a victory for those who want to be able to breathe clean air in public places. The result is a very significant decrease in lung-cancer death rates in American men since 1990.

Bal was born in Madras, India, but has graduate degrees in public health from Columbia and Harvard, and is past national president of the American Cancer Society. He resides with his wife Muktha in Kapa‘a.

Jackson is a pulmonologist, and recently opened a private practice, Pacific Pulmonary Consultants, in Lihu‘e.

He is an active member of the Wilcox Memorial Hospital medical staff. Board-certified in internal medicine and pulmonary diseases, he is medical director of the Intensive Care Unit at Wilcox Memorial Hospital. Before starting his private practice, he was a physician with Kauai Medical Clinic for seven years. He is a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, and a member of the American Thoracic Society.

He is also assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Jackson received a bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University, and is a graduate the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver.

He then completed six years of residency in internal medicine, pulmonary, critical care, and sleep disorders at Denver, and the St. Joseph and Good Samaritan Hospitals in Phoenix.

Culliney, chief of radiology at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, recently helped open the Wilcox Family Imaging Center there, complete with new MRI, CT, ultrasound, and nuclear-medicine-imaging equipment.

He arrived at Kauai Medical Clinic and Wilcox Memorial Hospital in 2001 after being director of radiology at Mercy Hospital and Mercy Healthcare in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Culliney attended college and graduate school at Rutgers University, and received his doctorate from the New Jersey Medical School.

He then did post-doctoral studies in radiology for five years at University Hospital in Newark, N.J., the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Hahnemann University in Philadelphia.

He is certified by the American Board of Radiology, and has had university appointments at Hahnemann, University Hospital of Newark, and Temple University. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Lihu‘e.

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