Venice HealthSouth Seminar Offers Cancer Survivors Options
Dawn Moore is an Englewood-based Cancer Care Advocate who volunteers for several cancer support groups, one of which is the Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) Cancer Support Group.
Within the Venice community, the JFCS offers various programs for cancer patients and survivors, as well as their caregivers and families. In Moore’s role within the organization, she tries to bring in speakers at least every other month to talk about issues that directly affect them.
Recently, Moore invited Dr. Gerald Grubbs, of Sarasota Interventional Radiology (SIR), to speak to a group at Venice Health Park about treatment options for both cancer patients and those with chronic pain issues.
“The JFCS offers free programs within their Cancer Resource Network,” she said. “For this speaker, I invited survivors from that group, as well as some of the other cancer support groups I’m involved in within the tri-county area.”
Moore reached out to Dr. Grubbs partially because of his ties to the Venice area (he previously worked at Venice Health Park), but mostly because of his use of groundbreaking technology and the latest diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.
An engaging speaker, Dr. Grubbs outlined to the group of about 16 some treatment options they may not have previously considered.
“There are several minimally invasive, non-surgical procedures that we offer for both cancer patients and those with chronic pain,” he said. “We use the most current technologies and methods available to best help our patients.”
According to their website, SIR’s Outpatient Imaging Center in Sarasota is equipped like an operating room, and their diagnostic and treatment area uses advanced CT and Fluoroscopy imaging to accurately and safely guide every procedure. In January of 2014, SIR became the first facility in the state of Florida to house the latest and most advanced CT, the Hitachi SCENARIA ultra-low dose, 128-slice CT.
This revolutionary CT scanner was designed with integrated dose reduction technologies that guarantee the lowest amount of radiation exposure possible. The SCENARIA provides a more comfortable experience for all patients, even the most radiation-sensitive patients—pediatric and geriatric.
Dr. Grubbs told the group that his patients who have chronic pain usually ask him for two things.
“The first is 24/7/365 extended relief, and the second is an option for temporary relief,” he said. “It’s miserable to be in pain all the time—people become clock watchers instead of enjoying their lives. Many of them are looking forward to the next time they can take their opioid for pain.”
One of the options that Dr. Grubbs presented to the group as a substitute for those opioids has actually been around for a long time, but is still not being used on a widespread basis.
The American Cancer Society has touted the effects of medical marijuana, for treating both post-chemotherapy nausea and neuropathy, the pain caused by damaged nerves, a common side effect of chemotherapy. On their website, they state that while medical marijuana has been shown to be safe in treating cancer, it has not been proven to help control or cure the disease.
“Studies have long shown that people who took marijuana extracts in clinical trials tended to need less pain medicine,” the site states. “More recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer.”
Here in Florida, anyone considering using medical marijuana as a treatment must first be examined by a qualifying physician, who then assesses the patient’s need for the method. If the physician agrees that the patient’s condition would benefit from medical marijuana, the patient is then given an identification card that allows them to purchase product from a dispensary, or have it delivered to their home, for a small fee.
Dr. Grubbs, who is on the list of local approved physicians, says that being able to provide both cutting edge treatments and access to medical marijuana to his patients is his ultimate goal.
“For me, it’s extremely rewarding to help my cancer and chronic pain patients,” he said. “Medical marijuana, in particular, is almost like a magic solution to diseases and disorders that we’ve struggled with for years. It has significantly reduced patients’ need for opioids.”
For more information about Dr. Grubbs and the treatment options at Sarasota Interventional Radiology, visit the website at https://www.sivr.net. To learn more about the Jewish Family and Children’s Services cancer support programs, visit the website at www.JFCS-Cares.org.