Posts Tagged ‘Changing the Face of Lung Cancer’

Michael Hanley, MD, University of Virginia Healthcare

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Michael Hanley, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging
Division of Body Imaging

M.D. Degree: University of Virginia School of Medicine 2006
Residency: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (Diagnostic Radiology)
Fellowship: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA (Non-Invasive Cardiovascular)
ABMS Certification: Diagnostic Radiology
Clinical Practice: Radiology: Cancer: Interventional Radiology Vascular Diseases

Michael Hanley, MD, University of Virginia Healthcare from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

Samantha Mixon is Changing thr Face of Lung Cancer

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

ATLANTA — Samantha Mixon looks and feels great, but she is fighting stage four lung cancer and all the assumptions that people make about her disease.

“The first thing they ask is, ‘Did you smoke?’ It’s annoying at this point,” Mixon told 11Alive’s Jennifer Leslie.

She’s a non-smoker with no family history and only 33 years old.

She was diagnosed in November at Piedmont Henry Hospital after complaining of migraines. Turns out, she had a tumor that formed when the lung cancer metastasized to the brain.

“Telling my daughter was the hardest part about it,” Mixon said. “How do you tell her your mommy’s odds are not very good for five years, its one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”

Mixon is part of a troubling trend, according to Piedmont Atlanta thoracic surgeon Dr. Saeid Khansarinia.
“We’re seeing more and more lung cancer in people who don’t smoke, especially women,” Dr. Khansarinia said.

Dr. Khansarinia said no one really knows why, but he said new targeted chemotherapy drugs are working well for younger, nonsmoking women.
“They seem to have much better success in controlling the disease and putting some of our patients even into remission,” he added.

Mixon and her 8-year-old daughter Karley still struggle with statistics that show a very low survival rate.
But the new drugs are making a difference, and Mixon is determined to do her part to raise awareness.

“It can happen to anyone,” she said. “It’s not a smoker’s disease anymore.”
For more information about lung cancer, Piedmont Healthcare has a list of symptoms, risk factors and treatment options.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women.

Lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms when it first develops, but symptoms often become present after the tumor begins growing. A cough is the most common symptom of lung cancer.
Other symptoms include: constant chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, recurring lung infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, bloody or rust-colored sputum and hoarseness.

A tumor that presses on large blood vessels near the lung can cause swelling of the neck and face.

A tumor that presses on certain nerves near the lung can cause pain and weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand.

Keasha Rutledge Draft

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Dance ~ Smile ~ Live

Dance ~ Smile ~ Live

Lakeasha (Keasha) Monique Rutledge Draft, 38, of Atlanta, Georgia departed this earth on Tuesday, December 27, 2011.

Born on May 13, 1973 to Tommy and Gail Rutledge in Anderson, South Carolina, she was always a shining star while she attended the Palmetto schools of Anderson District One, and graduated a year early with honors. Keasha was a faithful member of her family church New Prospect Baptist Church of Williamston, SC. Always active and ambitious, Keasha participated in many organizations from National Honor Society to earning the title of captain on the varsity cheerleading squad. She was known for her phenomenal dancing ability, although her track and field accomplishments were stellar also, as she placed first in the high jump at the state meet every year from seventh through twelfth grade. She still holds the school record for high jump. As a Clemson University student, she was a well-loved classmate, dancer for the Rallycats and was inducted into the Lambda Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in the Spring of 1992. Keasha received her Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University in 1995. She began her career in engineering for Cutler-Hammer. Keasha was an NBA dancer and beloved teammate for the Charlotte Hornets Honeybees. She began working as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Sanofi-Aventis in Charlotte and transferred to Atlanta, Georgia where she worked until her illness transpired. On November 27, 2011, she married her long-time sweetheart, Christopher Draft.

Keasha leaves to cherish beautiful memories her loving husband, Chris Draft; parents, Tommy and Gail Rutledge; parents-in-law, Anthony and Rose Draft; maternal grandmother, Wilma Clement; paternal grandmother, Synola Rutledge; and a host of relatives and friends.

In honor of Keasha’s admirable vibrant spirit, celebrate each day, dance often, smile, laugh, and embrace life.

~MUAH. Peace.

Keasha Rutledge Draft–Changing the Face of Lung Cancer from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

James J. Urbanic, MD, Wake Forest Baptist Health Comprehensive Cancer Center

Friday, March 29th, 2013







James J. Urbanic, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology
Comprehensive Cancer Center
Clinical Specialties
Lung Cancer, Radiation Oncology, Radiosurgery, Brachytherapy, Breast Cancer

Education & Training

M.D., Medical Univ Of South Carolina , 2003
B.S., US Merchant Marine Academy , 1992
Internship, Internal Medicine, Med U SC Teaching Hospital, 2004
Residency, Radiation Oncology, North Carolina Baptist Hospital, 2007
Residency, Radiation Oncology, North Carolina Baptist Hospital, 2008



American Association of Cancer Research
Radiation Research Society
American Medical Association
Radiological Society of North America
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Therapeutic Rad & Oncology


James J. Urbanic, MD, Wake Forest Baptist Health Comprehensive Cancer Center from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

Tackling Lung Cancer with Survivor Linda Wortman and the Mayo Clinic

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Lung cancer survivor LInda Wortman represented Team Draft’s “Survivor at Every Stadium” at the Minneapolis Metrodome.

Tackling Lung Cancer with Survivor Linda Wortman and the Mayo Clinic from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

A Survivor at Every Game: The Detroit Lions Support The Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer During Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Friday, November 16th, 2012

When you’ve never smoked, being told you have lung cancer comes as a shock. That was the case with Geraldine Carter two years ago when she received the devastating news – stage 4 lung cancer.

Carter had been fighting lung sarcoidosis for several years, a disease in which small patches of inflamed cells can appear on the lungs’ small air sacs, breathing tubes or lymph nodes, causing her to cough. When her coughing persisted, she naturally thought it was the sarcoidosis. Her family encouraged her to see a pulmonologist, which she did. Test results showed Carter had a tumor on her lung and the pulmonologist recommended she see a lung cancer expert.

“When I was first told I had lung cancer, I was mad,” said Carter. “I didn’t want my husband Willie see how upset I was so I would get into the shower and just cry. Then, I’d say to myself, I had my pity party and now it’s time to get on with it.”

It was Nov. 2010 when Carter first met with Shirish M. Gadgeel, M.D., leader of the Thoracic Multidisciplinary Team at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, Michigan. Carter’s lung cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes.

“From the moment I met Dr. Gadgeel he didn’t miss a beat,” said Carter. “He never talks about how much time I have but instead focuses on me and how we’re going to treat my disease. I knew immediately he was going to do the very best for me and he continues to do that.”

Carter added, “When people hear you have lung cancer they assume you smoke and therefore you deserve your disease. I don’t smoke. Anyone can get cancer. It’s a disease, not a reflection of who you are.”

Dr. Gadgeel explained there is a stigma associated with lung cancer and not everyone who is diagnosed with this disease smokes.

“Certainly, the best thing for your health is not to smoke or be around second-hand smoke which can also increase the risk of lung cancer,” said Dr. Gadgeel.

“Many people who are diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked. Mrs. Carter doesn’t smoke and her mother who also had lung cancer didn’t smoke. We must continue to build awareness and understanding about lung cancer. Early detection saves lives and supporting cancer research will help advance new therapies to treat this disease and other cancers.”

Carter has been on different therapies since she was first diagnosed, including 20 rounds of radiation.

“It’s been difficult at times due to the impact on your body but I’m not giving up,” said Carter. “Every day is different and you need to listen to your body. I’m so grateful that my husband has been with me every step of the way, attending every appointment with me. The team at the Karmanos Cancer Center is so compassionate – they care about you and your family. They are dedicated and committed to doing all they can for each patient.”

“Mrs. Carter is a gentle soul with a strong will to live,” said Dr. Gadgeel. “I’m constantly inspired by her and all of our patients with metastasized disease who volunteer to go on clinical trials to help determine new therapies to advance cancer research. They teach us so much and their contribution to cancer research will continue to help other patients for decades to come.”

The Karmanos Cancer Center is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation and one of only two in Michigan. It’s world-renown Clinical Trials Program conducts 700 different trials at any given time, offering cancer patients ground-breaking treatments that can lead to better outcomes.

Thanks to the generosity of the Detroit Lions and the Chris Draft Family Foundation’s Team Draft Changing the Face of Lung Cancer campaign, Carter, her husband Willie and her oncologist Dr. Gadgeel were invited to attend the Nov. 18 Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers game at Ford Field in Detroit. The last time Carter attended a Detroit Lions game was three years earlier, before she was she was diagnosed with lung cancer.

The sold-out crowd and close scoring game electrified the stadium. An avid sports fan, Carter said her favorite player has to be Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson. Although the Detroit Lions lost the game by just a few points, they scored big with Carter, giving her the opportunity to enjoy life and experience another exciting Detroit Lions game – with her husband and physician by her side.

Carter expressed, “Cancer does not define you. I’m still the same person I was before I was diagnosed with lung cancer and I try to not let this disease stop me from living my life.

“You have to have hope. We never know what tomorrow will bring so we need to do what we can while we’re here. We’re put on this earth not to give in, but to give out.”

Former NFL player Chris Draft is the founder, president, and CEO of the Chris Draft Family Foundation. Team Draft was created by Chris and his wife Keasha during Keasha’s year-long struggle with lung cancer. Keasha, an energetic vibrant young woman who had never smoked, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in December 2010. On November 27, 2011, standing side-by-side at their wedding, Chris and Keasha launched Team Draft. One month later, Keasha lost her courageous fight at the age of 38.

Team Draft is dedicated to raising lung cancer awareness and enhancing the importance of critical funding for lung cancer research by shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.” Working with NFL teams and cancer centers across the country, Team Draft’s National Campaign is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer! Repond and Donate Today 

BY: Patricia Ellis

Caine Halter is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer!

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

The Diagnosis: July 13, 2006

Caine Halter had been a natural athlete since childhood and led a healthy lifestyle; he also was a lifelong non-smoker. For several weeks, he had a deep cough and headache that he could not shake, and current medication was not helping. His doctor gave Caine a prescription for a new and stronger antibiotic. Shirley Halter, Caine’s mother, was in the hospital and had been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer only days earlier on July 11. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, Caine’s doctor also conducted a chest X-ray while he had him in his office. Caine received a call on his cell phone from his doctor before he even got to the pharmacy. His doctor told him the X-ray showed a mass on his lungs. Further tests were conducted and within a few days, Caine and his wife, Laurie, listened in disbelief as the doctor gave them the terrible diagnosis – lung cancer, Stage IV. As Caine was diagnosed as “non-smoker with stage IV NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) with brain and bone metastases,” his mother was brought home with hospice care. She passed
away one month later.

The Commitment to Fight

Caine’s strong faith and never-ending positive attitude had long been a big part of his life. It would be this amazing foundation upon which his battle with lung cancer unfolded. His courage would never waiver; his hope would not be diminished. Whether at MD Andersen for consults or at home fighting the day-today battle with the incredible team at CancerCenters of the Carolinas, Caine was 110% committed to win the fight. He felt strongly that with his determination, God’s help and the best medical teams, he could beat lung cancer and become his own statistic.

Aggressively approaching his treatments, Caine decided immediately on more promising, investigational therapies through clinical trials. The hidden benefit of helping advance research and potentially helping others in the future was not lost on him either. He hunkered down with his (now completely) bald head gleaming and ran head on into the vicious cycles of cancer treatment – chemo, radiation, scans… repeat.

And like many Stage IV lung cancer patients, Caine had moments of victory and moments of defeat.

Unfortunately, due to limited lung cancer research, his treatment options also became more limited. But throughout his illness, Caine had no bitterness and no despair. His calm faith in the midst of the storm inspired hope in thousands of friends, neighbors, business associates, and evenstrangers. Hundreds joined “Caine’s Army,” a group started by a close friend, which rallied around him and lifted him with ongoing prayers and support throughout his battle. Caine recognized that people were
his greatest blessing during his time of crisis.

Lung Cancer: The Reality

While buoyed by Caine’s hopeful and positive spirit, his family and friends were forced to watch his suffering increase week after week and to face the realities of the disease. Since his initial diagnosis, everyone around him had been learning everything they could about lung cancer. The facts were shocking – but with minimal public awareness:

• Lung cancer is still the #1 cancer killer of men and women in the US, yet it receives the
least research funding.
• Three out of five people diagnosed will die within 12 months.
• The disease is being diagnosed too late – as there is no proven early screening test.
• Approximately 25,000 new lung cancer diagnoses this year will be non-smokers.

Upset and wanting to help, his family decided to plan a run/walk event to drive both awareness and research funding. Thus, Lungs for Life was born. Caine was committed to the cause and had planned to participate in the race. However, he passed away August 10, 2007 and never received that chance.

The Hope

Caine celebrated life and approached everything — including his cancer — with incredible strength, amazing faith and remarkable grace. He was the loving father of teenagers, Caine Jr. and Page. He was completely devoted to his wife, Laurie, who was the love of his life. He was a loving son, caring brother and lifelong friend.

Caine realized each day was a gift, and he greeted it with joy and excitement. His tremendous heart, positive attitude and generous spirit guided him day by day. He taught us all lessons of hope by the way he lived his life and fought this battle. Caine’s courage will forever inspire us.

There IS hope in the fight against lung cancer!

Caine’s family and friends will honor his life by fighting back against lung cancer with passion and commitment. Through Caine Halter Lungs for Life, we will work to raise lung cancer awareness, fund critical research and provide greater hope to others in the future.

Keisha Kirkland is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Phenomenal, brilliant, and driven are just a few words that characterize Dr. Keisha Kirkland. A woman of incredible poise and determination, Keisha Kirkland is the epitome of courage, strength, and the healing power of faith. Her radiant personality and warm spirit are evident in her smile and genuine love for people. A caring individual with a compassionate heart she contributes her time and talents to such organizations across the country as Uniting Against Lung Cancer, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Off the Field Players Wives Association. Endowed with a tremendous testimony and unwavering resolve, she is an extraordinary woman with an extraordinary mission. Together with her husband, former All-Pro linebacker Levon Kirkland, she is spreading a message of hope, faith, and perseverance and tackling lung cancer one day at a time.

A renaissance woman with a resume of accomplishments and accolades, Keisha’s achievements encompass everything from academics and athletics to modeling and medicine. A native of Danville, KY, Keisha attended the University of Louisville and then went on to complete here Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Life University where she graduated with Cum Laude honors in 2000. Today Keisha works as a Weather Anchor for WYFF Channel 4 – NBC Affiliate in Greenville, SC. Her devoted spouse, Levon, is the wind beneath her wings. An 11-year veteran of the NFL, Levon played nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and single seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles, respectively, before retiring in 2002. Known for his great speed and agility, Levon’s strong play and tough defense earned him recognition as one of the top inside linebackers in the league.

No stranger to life-threatening illnesses, Keisha discovered she had a Pituitary Macro adenoma during her senior year of chiropractic school. After several brain surgeries, temporary paralysis, and a painstaking recovery, Keisha beat the diagnosis. As if four brain surgeries were not enough, Keisha was confronted with an entirely new challenge when doctors noticed a mass in her right lung during a scan of her heart. Keisha, a healthy non-smoker, was diagnosed with stage 3A non-small cell lung cancer in 2008, she endured surgery and months of radiation and chemotherapy. Keisha is a survivor committed to helping others win the fight against lung cancer.

She speaks to a variety of church and support groups on the importance of health, prevention, and healing through faith whenever she can. Keisha is a woman of strong faith and determination. Her hope is that someone hears her story and is inspired or encouraged through personal challenges.
Click here to watch Keisha’s video

Daniel Petro, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist at UPMC CancerCenter

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Daniel P. Petro, MD, is a medical oncologist and hematologist at Hillman Cancer Center. He treats all cancer types, and has a special interest in a multidisciplinary approach to thoracic malignancies. Dr. Petro is also heavily involved in the research of Phase I trials.
Dr. Petro is board-certified in hematology, medical oncology, and internal medicine. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Dr. Petro completed a residency at UPMC, and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
Dr. Petro is a member of many professional organizations including, the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society, and the Allegheny County Medical Society.

Team Draft would like to thank Dr. Petro and also Hillman Cancer Center. It Takes a Team to Tackle Lung Cancer! Respond and Donate today, as Team Draft continues our National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer.

Jill Siegfried, PhD, co-director of the Lung Cancer Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Professor and Vice Chair of pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Co-director of the Lung and Esophageal Cancer Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)
In 2001, Dr. Siegfried and colleagues at UPCI received a five-year, $12 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for lung cancer research from the National Cancer Institute.
Under the grant, Dr. Siegfried is studying the factors related to women’s increased susceptibility to lung cancer. She is examining the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor – a gene linked to abnormal cell growth in the lung that appears to be more active in women than men. Her research indicated that the gene may be regulated by estrogen and nicotine, and may be a way to explain why women are more likely to develop lung cancer, even when they are nonsmokers or smoke less than men.
Among her research accomplishments, Dr. Siegfried has identified growth factors important in the growth of nonsmall cell tumors and she has shown that neuroendocrine peptides such as gastrin-releasing peptide and neuromedin B are important regulators for nonsmall cell tumors in the lung.
Dr. Siegfried received her doctorate in pharmacology from Yale University. She joined the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant professor in 1988 after a six-year tenure at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Research Center.
Dr. Siegfried was honored with an appointment to the Lung Cancer Review Panel for the State of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program in 2000, and received the 15th Annual Alton Ochsner Foundation Award Relating Smoking and Health in recognition of her contribution to understanding the enhanced susceptibility of women to lung cancer.