Providence cancer experts offer free educational talks

Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon with community partners Asian Health and Service Center (AHSC)Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington, and Pink Lemonade Project present a series of free, virtual education events for patients and their caregivers.

Ovarian Cancer and Sexual Health: Tips for Health and Happy Living 

In September, Providence gynecologic oncology nurse practitioner Nora M. Lersch, D.N.P., FNP-BC, AOCNP gave a free online talk on ovarian cancer and sexual health. Participants learned how to positively view their sexual relationships and sexuality while living with ovarian cancer. Nora provided tips on how to improve intimacy and how to lessen discomfort that may be associated with sexual activity after cancer.

About Nora Lersch: 

Nora is passionate about caring for patients affected by ovarian cancer and strives to bring compassion and empathy to her interactions with them. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a graduate degree from East Tennessee State University and a doctoral degree from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Penn. She joined Providence Gynecologic Oncology Program as a board-certified family and advanced oncology nurse practitioner. She has a special interest in helping women who may be struggling with sexual side effects from their cancer treatment and has obtained certification as a sex counselor through the University of Michigan. 

Pancreatic Cancer: What You Need to Know

In August, patients and their caregivers attended a virtual educational talk on pancreatic cancer given by Michele Babicky, M.D., FACS, medical director of Providence Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer Program and surgical oncologist with The Oregon Clinic. 

Attendees learned about standard treatments for pancreatic cancer, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, as well as breakthroughs in research that have resulted in new, promising treatment options. 

About Dr. Michele Babicky 

Dr. Babicky became a surgical oncologist so she could use her knowledge of medicine and science to help patients at a critical and vulnerable time in their lives. Dr. Babicky has a strong background in basic science research, with an emphasis on signal transduction pathways and immunology in pancreatic and bile duct cancers.

MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy with Dr. Kristina Young  

In June, Kristina Young, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of Radiation Oncology at Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon, and a radiation oncologist with The Oregon Clinic, shared information on the latest advancements in treating breast cancer with MRI-guided radiation. She also explained some of the side effects related to the treatment. 

Unlike standard radiation therapy, MRI-guided radiation therapy allows doctors to precisely track and dose a tumor in real time. MRI-guided radiation therapy combines diagnostic MRI imaging with a linear accelerator. Doctors see in real time if a patient’s tumor has shifted due to movement from the bowels, regular breathing or a heartbeat, lessening the side effects of radiation to healthy tissue. If you missed this informative talk, you can learn more about MRI-guided radiation therapy here and watch the recorded talk below. 

About Dr. Kristina Young 

In addition to her roles as medical director and radiation oncologist, Dr. Young serves as an assistant member at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute where she leads the Tumor Microenvironment Laboratory.  

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