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In The News

Read more about what’s happening at Texas Oncology and the newest advancements in cancer care. Here are the latest Texas Oncology news and stories highlighting local practices and patients. Select a search option below by cancer center, physician, media type and year and click the search button to find your results. Items in yellow are articles and items in blue are videos.

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Health Experts Encourage Screenings During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Publication: KVUE-TV (ABC, Austin)
In Texas in 2022, nearly 11,780 new cases of colon and rectal cancer are expected. During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Rob Fuller, M.D., FACS, surgical specialist at Texas Oncology Surgical Specialists–Austin Midtown and South Austin, and colorectal cancer patient Emily Robinson join KVUE-TV (ABC, Austin) to advocate for annual screenings before you have symptoms. Early detection is key to getting ahead of the illness and increasing survival rates.

Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Screening Persist During COVID-19 Pandemic

Publication: HealthLeaders Media
According to data, breast cancer screening disparities persisted in the first year of COVID-19, and screening of some minority groups did not bounce back as well as it did for White women. According to Debra Patt, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, Payer Relations, and Strategic Initiatives at Texas Oncology, what’s worrisome is that the combined two-year lag in screenings we are reporting will translate into not only more and more severe breast cancer cases, but that the cancer health disparities we already knew existed have remained stubbornly unmoved.

Alternatives and Advice to Make Colonoscopy Prep Easier

Publication: KERA News
Scanning for colorectal cancer can save lives, but many dread a large amount of solution you consume to clean out the colon. Roberto Rodriguez-Ruesga, M.D., FACS, FASCRS, colorectal surgeon at Texas Oncology Surgical Specialists–Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, McKinney South, and Plano East, talked with KERA’s Sam Baker about some alternatives and tips to make the preparation easier.

Picture a Patient with Colorectal Cancer

Publication: Corsicana Daily Sun, Palestine Herald-Press
There are long-held impressions of what a patient with colorectal cancer “looks like,” but the truth is anyone can get a colorectal cancer diagnosis, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. Ashwani Agarwal, M.D., medical oncologist at Texas Oncology–Corsicana and James Wilder, M.D., radiation oncologist at Texas Oncology–Palestine Cancer Center, explain why it is critical for everyone to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of colorectal cancer—and to take preventative actions that will help you improve your health and minimize your risk.

Emily Robinson: A Mantra to Keep Moving Forward

Publication: Austin American-Statesman
In 2013, Emily Robinson noticed blood in her stool and was told by her primary care physician that it was probably internal hemorrhoids. As the blood increased in the following months, a different physician also pointed to internal hemorrhoids, but recommended Emily undergo a colonoscopy to be sure. After a colonoscopy and subsequent biopsy, Emily was diagnosed with stage III colorectal cancer. Under the care of Lakshmi Balasubramanian, M.D., of Texas Oncology–Cedar Park, Emily underwent surgery and six months of combination chemotherapy. Throughout treatment, Emily focused on the mantra that would power her through her cancer journey – “I got this.” Now, eight years later, Emily approaches life with the same “I got this” mentality and advocates for the importance of colonoscopies and proactively listening to one’s body.

First-Of-Its-Kind Tracking Tool for Oncology Related State Legislation

Publication: Onco'Zine
NCODA, a non-profit organization empowering medically integrated oncology practices to deliver positive, patient-centered outcomes, launched a novel and unique, comprehensive Oncology State Legislation Tracking Tool. The tool is revolutionary in how much of an impact it will make for all practices that are trying to navigate state health policy change, stated Debra Patt, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, Payer Relations, and Strategic Initiatives at Texas Oncology.

Doctors say Colorectal Cancer Becoming More Common and Impacting Younger Adults

Publication: KVII-TV (ABC, Amarillo)

Colorectal cancer is becoming more and more common and is happening to younger adults. Rachel Weinheimer, M.D., colorectal surgeon at Texas Oncology Surgical Specialists–Amarillo, explains that this trend has led to the decrease in the recommended screening age from 50 to 45 and emphasizes the importance of early detection for colorectal cancer.  

First-Of-Its-Kind Oncology State Legislation Tracking Tool

Publication: NCODA
NCODA announced the launch of its new, unique, comprehensive Oncology State Legislation Tracking Tool, a first-of-its-kind resource within the oncology space that allows healthcare professionals and other users to remain updated on the latest in-state legislation pertaining to issues such as PBMs and copay accumulators by encompassing all updates throughout the United States in one location. Debra Patt, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, Payer Relations, and Strategic Initiatives at Texas Oncology, emphasized the impact the tool will have within the oncology community, stating it will improve practices’ ability to navigate state health policy changes as well as help each state understand how and where they need to act to be effective.

Considerations to Increase Rates of Breast Cancer Screening Across Populations

Publication: American Journal of Managed Care
Authors from the Community Oncology Alliance and Avalere Health present data that show breast cancer screening rates recovered more slowly among some racial/ethnic groups following on the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the authors of the study is Debra Patt, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, Payer Relations, and Strategic Initiatives at Texas Oncology.

Dr Debra Patt Discusses Ongoing Pandemic-Related Delays in Cancer Screenings

Publication: American Journal of Managed Care
In a featured segment, Debra Patt, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, Payer Relations, and Strategic Initiatives at Texas Oncology, addressed roadblocks to cancer screenings caused by COVID-19 in 2020 and how those challenges continue to reverberate. According to Dr. Patt, the issue is multifaceted since there is diminishing capacity to handle screening requests, and staffing shortages are resulting in delays for individuals who are ready and want to get screenings.