What Endometrial Cancer Patients Should Know About Clinical Trials

What Endometrial Cancer Patients Should Know About Clinical Trials from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What do endometrial cancer patients need to know about clinical trials? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins explains the importance of clinical trial participation for all patients and shares advice for patients to improve their clinical trial access. 

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…asking their provider, one, are clinicals trial offered at their institution. And second, if it’s not offered at the institution, do you think that, are there any other institutions that may offer trials for the patient?”

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What is the Role of Immunotherapy in Endometrial Cancer

What is the Role of Immunotherapy in Endometrial Cancer?

Transcript:

Mikki:

Dr. Hoskins, why is clinical trial participation so important in endometrial cancer? What advice do you have for patients considering a clinical trial?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

So I think clinical trial participation is important in endometrial cancer. Number one, the rate of Black women getting advanced and aggressive endometrial cancer is on the rise. The representation in these trials are different. What’s different is not only the patient, the tumor type is different. How do we know that these same patients that’s not in the trials are going to respond to this treatment? That’s what I always ask. I’m like, maybe they don’t respond as well, because that’s a different disease type, right?

So we recently looked at a trial where most of the patients had an endometrioid type of endometrial cancer, whereas I, in my practice, I see a lot of Black women who don’t have endometrioid type. They may have a serous type, which is a more aggressive type or a carcinosarcoma. So I don’t know if I can really apply that to this, to that the medication.

That’s all I have, but how do I know that she’s going to respond in the same way? So I think it’s definitely important. I recently had a patient that I referred to a clinical trial. And she really was struggling with whether she should do it or not. And one of the things that I said to her is, “I think it’s important. One, you’re going to have access to advanced treatment options that are not there now.” And I said, also I said, “Not that she has to take it for a whole group, but we need to have more information on the type of cancer you have.” And I was like, “And Black women are dying, and we need this information to know if this is the same.” And she instantly was like, “I’m going, I’m doing it.” And I mean, not that she has to take, but we need to know more. And I think it’s very important that we have patients with access to trials.

Mikki:

Yes. Do you have an activation tip for those patients that you see?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

I think asking their provider, one, are clinical trials offered at their institution. And second, if it’s not offered at the institution, do you think that, are there any other institutions that may offer trials for the patient? There are sometimes where patients don’t have the opportunity to travel elsewhere and need to be in their community for work, family, etcetera. So I understand the asking. 


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Endometrial Cancer Treatment Options for Patients to Consider

Endometrial Cancer Treatment Options for Patients to Consider from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What do endometrial cancer patients need to consider for treatment options? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins explains key factors that play into treatment decisions and recommended questions for patients to ask their doctor.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…asking the right questions in terms of “How effective is this treatment that you’re recommending? Do you think it’s worth the side effects? Is my quality of life going to be affected? Can I still travel?”

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Emerging Endometrial Cancer Treatments _ Promising Data and Challenges

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What Endometrial Cancer Patients Should Know About Clinical Trials

What is the Role of Immunotherapy in Endometrial Cancer

What is the Role of Immunotherapy in Endometrial Cancer?

Transcript:

Mikki:

Dr. Hoskins, how do you work with your patients to make treatment decisions and what increase in treatment options, what should endometrial cancer patients consider when deciding on treatment?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

So I think this is a good question. In terms of patients up front, I think we follow kind of certain guidelines, if you will and providing standard of care and the first frontline therapy is pretty standard, right? In terms of advanced treatment, when patients recur and we have to look at alternate treatment therapies, I always look at the patient, I always look at what their medical problems are or any side effects. And, of course, the data to see how well are they going to do what side effects and quality of life?

There are numerous factors that are not just something looking in a book and say, “Okay, I’ll take A,” right? Like I think we have to look at all of that and make a decision with our patients over undergoing the side effects, the efficacy, all of these things that are in mind when we talk to patients. So my activation tip for patients would be being involved in the decision-making, asking the right questions in terms of “How effective is this treatment that you’re recommending? Do you think it’s worth the side effects? Is my quality of life going to be affected? Can I still travel?” Those are questions like, we want to live, right? And I don’t think anybody wants to be stuck every three weeks getting treatment or…so those are questions to ask in terms of like, quality of life. And so those are questions that I would recommend you ask your doctor when you’re deciding what treatments. 


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Emerging Endometrial Cancer Treatments | Promising Data and Challenges

Emerging Endometrial Cancer Treatments | Promising Data and Challenges from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What is the latest in endometrial cancer treatment updates? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins shares updates from the RUBY study and one NRG study and provides advice for patients.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…if someone’s diagnosed with endometrial cancer, ‘Am I a candidate for a clinical trial to be a part of this new frontier, if you will, for endometrial cancer?’”

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See More from [ACT]IVATED Endometrial Cancer

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What Endometrial Cancer Patients Should Know About Clinical Trials

What is the Role of Immunotherapy in Endometrial Cancer

What is the Role of Immunotherapy in Endometrial Cancer?

Transcript:

Mikki:

Dr. Hoskins, what endometrial cancer data and studies coming out of major medical conferences are you most excited about? And can you speak to those kinks and challenges or promises of emerging treatments?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

Well, Mikki, I’m very excited. The SGO 2023 in Tampa, Florida, we had new data that came out from one of the NRG studies as well as another study called the RUBY Study. And both were looking at up-front carboplatin (Paraplatin) and paclitaxel (Abraxane) with the addition of immunotherapy. And we saw improved progression-free survival. So that means when the disease is no longer there, how long are patients living without it recurring, and that has increased. So this is a big deal.

And then one of the studies showed again, the data is still maturing so it’s not completely out there yet. So we still have to wait on it, but there may be improved overall survival. And that’s kind of one of the study goals that we always want to do is improve overall survival. So I’m excited about that. There was also some new data looking at whether up-front patients with advanced endometrial cancer, whether they are treated with systemic chemotherapy versus systemic chemotherapy and radiation.

And this is a long ongoing survival data that said, patients basically did equally well with just chemotherapy alone without the addition of radiation. So that I think is very interesting, because we use radiation and chemotherapy in patients with advanced endometrial cancer. That certainly doesn’t mean that it’s not an option, just means that it may need to be more tailored and discussed and discussed with our radiation oncology colleagues.

In terms of what the challenges are, I think immunotherapy is a game changer. But it’s also what I use in terms of second-line treatment. So now I’m using it up front. What happens if a patient recurs while on it? What am I going to do now? That’s my question. What am I going to do next? And I’m not too worried because there are new treatment options that are out. Again, they are not necessarily standard now, but they’re ongoing in clinical trials. So I’m not too worried. But definitely some questions that cross my mind. My activation tip for this for patients is if someone’s diagnosed with endometrial cancer, “Am I a candidate for a clinical trial to be a part of this new frontier, if you will, for endometrial cancer?” 


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What Is the Role of Immunotherapy in Endometrial Cancer?

What is the Role of Immunotherapy in Endometrial Cancer? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What is the role of immunotherapy in endometrial cancer care? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins shares immunotherapy research updates from the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and advice for patients.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…asking the question, if someone is being recommended to start chemotherapy which is typically carboplatin paclitaxel, asking, “Am I a candidate for immunotherapy?’”

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See More from [ACT]IVATED Endometrial Cancer

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Emerging Endometrial Cancer Treatments _ Promising Data and Challenges

Emerging Endometrial Cancer Treatments | Promising Data and Challenges

Transcript:

Mikki:

Dr. Hoskins, what is the role for immunotherapy for patients with advanced endometrial cancer?

Dr. Hoskins:

Well, I’m not sure if you have heard, Mikki, both this year at our 2023 Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, there are two research studies that show immunotherapy improved progression-free survival in patients with metastatic or advanced endometrial cancer. One of the studies even showed improvement in overall survival. And this data is still ongoing and collected and needs more maturity.

But this is a big deal that we can now offer not just chemotherapy but immunotherapy up front, meaning up front now to patients and improved progression-free survival and possibly overall survival. Again, the data is still maturing. So, to know that, but this is something that I didn’t offer one year ago to my patients, that now I can offer. So this is a big deal. If you haven’t figured that out, it’s a big deal.

So in terms of my activation tip for this question, I think asking the question, if someone is being recommended to start chemotherapy which is typically carboplatin paclitaxel (Paraplatin Abraxane), asking, “Am I a candidate for immunotherapy?’ May or may not be, but I think that’s the question. “Am I a candidate?” That’s what I would ask.


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What Treatment Options Are Available for Advanced Endometrial Cancer?

What Treatment Options Are Available for Advanced Endometrial Cancer? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What are the latest advanced endometrial cancer treatment options? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins shares updates about research advances and advice for newly diagnosed patients to be proactive in their care.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…if a patient is newly diagnosed with endometrial cancer, is going in, knowing that we have more molecular markers, ‘Hey, are you going to send my tumor for next-generation sequencing, or are you going to be looking at the tumor for more information about targets that we could use for treatment?’

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How Can Endometrial Cancer Patients Advocate for Better Care

How Can Endometrial Cancer Patients Advocate for Better Care?

Transcript:

Mikki:

Okay. Dr. Hoskins, fortunately, the endometrial cancer arsenal keeps expanding. What promising treatments are available to patients facing advanced endometrial cancer diagnosis?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

So, in recent years, we’ve had more research dollars into endometrial cancer that wasn’t there, say even five to 10 years ago. Some of the promising treatments that are coming about, are treatments that look at the molecular markers, meaning when we look at the tumor, and determining what proteins that are upregulated or down, now we have treatments that can more target, if you will, the specific cancer. So I think, these are definitely promising.

Other promising things that are occurring is that we are having more clinical trials that are offered for patients with advanced endometrial cancer that I know in my earlier years in practice or even in training, that just were not there. So I think this is a good time in the advancement in terms of endometrial cancer.

So my activation tip for this would be if a patient is newly diagnosed with endometrial cancer, is going in, knowing that we have more molecular markers, “Hey, are you going to send my tumor for next-generation sequencing, or are you going to be looking at the tumor for more information about targets that we could use for treatment?”

So those are questions that as a patient you can ask, because now these treatments are covered, and the testing is covered. And so we’re in a different realm than we were say, even five to 10 years ago. 


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How Can Endometrial Cancer Patients Advocate for Better Care?

How Can Endometrial Cancer Patients Advocate for Better Care? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How can endometrial cancer patients empower themselves for better care? Dr. Ebony Hoskins shares advice for patients who feel dismissed or unheard when seeing their care provider.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…seek alternate care or another opinion. I think it’s very important that patients have a doctor that they trust and feel like they can ask questions for. I don’t, I really don’t think it’s okay to be dismissed.”

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What Treatment Options Are Available for Advanced Endometrial Cancer?

Transcript:

Mikki:

Dr. Hoskins, what is your message to women who speak up and their concerns are dismissed and aren’t taken seriously?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

Well, Mikki, do you want to know my real answer? I don’t think you do. But I’m going to tell you anyway. So anytime I hear a patient that say they did not feel heard, I always say, “You understand that you can get a different provider, right?” So that also means that if a patient does not have the trust anytime you don’t have trust, you don’t have a relationship, and that it’s okay to find a different provider, or a doctor to make sure that you’re heard. And I have seen women who don’t have any type of gynecologic cancer who have come to my office for a second opinion. And when it, and I say, well, “Why are you here?” And they said, “Well, I was really looking for someone that looked like me that I could trust to tell me, because when I asked these questions, I was dismissed.”

And so I was happy to give the opinion, but really sad that this particular patient had to travel to see someone that they really didn’t need to see, to get an answer that she was actually looking for, and not looking for the wrong answer. She just wasn’t, her question wasn’t being answered. And so I think if you don’t have the trust, there are other providers in our communities and getting those names from either a primary care provider you know, and I always hit or miss on the online thing from family members, friends about doctors that they like or that have a good reputation in terms of listening to their patients.

Mikki:

I also have one patient, I mean not a patient. I have a connect that dealt with this, this right here. And she went to several doctors before she got her diagnosis and which means time had spanned in between that time and her trying to look and saying, “Hey, this is what’s wrong. This is what I’m feeling. I know it can’t be this.” And she’s just going from doctor to doctor. And in between that time she missed some care that she had needed in that time. So what would be your activation tip for someone like that?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins: 

I think, just like I said before, seek alternate care or another opinion. I think it’s very important that patients have a doctor that they trust and feel like they can ask questions for. I don’t, I really don’t think it’s okay to be dismissed. 

Mikki:

Thank you so much.


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Are Endometrial Cancer Outcomes Worse for Underrepresented Patients?

Are Endometrial Cancer Outcomes Worse for Underrepresented Patients? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo

How do endometrial cancer outcomes compare for patients from marginalized groups? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins shares risk factors for optimal endometrial cancer care and advice for patients to receive assistance for their care.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…asking the question about their risk. If someone is not insured, asking the hospital or a cancer center that’s there about any resources that are available to say, patients who are uninsured or underinsured, there are programs that are there. And even for medications, some of the manufacturers have programs that pay for medications.”

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How Can Endometrial Cancer Patients Advocate for Better Care?

What Treatment Options Are Available for Advanced Endometrial Cancer

What Treatment Options Are Available for Advanced Endometrial Cancer?

Transcript:

Mikki:

Dr. Hoskins, is endometrial cancer worse for a marginalized population? And are there any specific risk factors that put some at risk more than others?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

So I think marginalized populations, I think we could say minority populations, we can say Black women, we can say Hispanic women, and we can say people who, I’m trying to define, if you were the marginalized, patients who don’t have access to care. Yes. I definitely think that you could or they could have a worse outcome, whether it’s for lack of access for someone who may not be insured or for patients who may be in this country without proper documentation getting the medical care that they may need. Yeah, I think it can certainly be and I’ve seen those. I think risk factors, and we’ve talked about race as being a risk factor, and again, access to care is certainly a risk factor.

I think those are probably the bigger risk, if you will. So my activation tip for patients would be asking the question about their risk. If someone is not insured, asking the hospital or a cancer center that’s there about any resources that are available to say, patients who are uninsured or underinsured, there are programs that are there. And even for medications, some of the manufacturers have programs that pay for medications. So I think in asking the ask the question, I have no problem asking a question, right. So we, I think asking for yourself is not going to hurt.

Mikki:

Okay. Well, Dr. Hoskins, we know the endometrial cancer outcomes among populations that are disadvantaged. How are you and your colleagues changing this?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

So disadvantaged populations could be patients who live in rural areas, patients with gender identity changes. So I think in terms of that, I think our Society of Gynecologic Oncology recognize it. I think number one, we have to recognize who the people are, and who these populations are. And then at least from our most recent annual meeting have noted more, talks that are about it. So it’s just more education that we are, seeing in, again, even more, some more data, particularly with patients that live in rural communities where they have lack of access to say a gynecologic oncologist, where they have to travel. And so I think one, recognizing it, and in terms of what’s being done I think there’s more to come. My activation tip for patients would be if you are in a disadvantaged population, perhaps inquiring with let’s say local groups that you are aligned to or even let’s say someone who may live in a rural community to figure out where they can get the best care that’s local to home. So, and I mean, these are things that we recognize that may be coming about soon. 


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What Treatment Options and Factors Should Be Considered for Endometrial Cancer?

What Treatment Options and Factors Should Be Considered for Endometrial Cancer? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Endometrial cancer treatment options take different factors into account, but what are they? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins explains key factors that play into treatment decisions and shares advice to be proactive in your care. 

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…asking your doctor based off the stage and grade, ‘What is the standard of care?’”

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See More from [ACT]IVATED Endometrial Cancer

Related Resources:

Are Endometrial Cancer Outcomes Worse for Minority Patients

Are Endometrial Cancer Outcomes Worse for Underrepresented Patients?

How Can Endometrial Cancer Patients Advocate for Better Care

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What Treatment Options Are Available for Advanced Endometrial Cancer

What Treatment Options Are Available for Advanced Endometrial Cancer?

Transcript:

Mikki:

Dr. Hoskins, please walk us through a treatment option for endometrial cancer by stage, and what other factors should be considered when making treatment, the decisions?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

So this question used to be so easy where I would say, okay, if you had stage I, if someone is diagnosed with stage I, they don’t need any further treatment. If they have stage two, they may need radiation. Stage III and IV, typically chemotherapy and radiation. And I think what makes the difference in this question now is that it all depends not just in stage, but the type of cancer or the grade. So it’s one is the extent of disease. And the second question is the type of cancer. So some there could be a higher risk endometrial cancer, that’s early stage where we may need to give chemotherapy.

So I think my activation tip for this question would be asking your doctor based off the stage and grade, “What is the standard of care?” We always want standard of care, because that’s a golden standard in terms of treatment. And looking at all the options are into that care. Usually standard of care is either usually one, maybe two options. And I think looking at the whole scenario in terms of the patient, any other side effects that they may have, medications or diagnosis.


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What Role Does Hormone Therapy Play in Endometrial Cancer?

What Role Does Hormone Therapy Play in Endometrial Cancer? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What part can hormone therapy play in endometrial cancer treatment? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins explains patient situations that typically work well with hormonal therapy and shares advice for patients to help ensure their best care.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

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What Disparities Exist in Treating Patients with Endometrial Cancer?

What Is the Role of Surgery in Treating Endometrial Cancer

What Is the Role of Surgery in Treating Endometrial Cancer?

Transcript:

Mikki:

How does hormone therapy play in endometrial cancer treatment?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

I think there is a role for some patients for endometrial cancer with use of hormonal therapy, I would typically say either patients may not need any treatment at all or may need more in, I should say more adjuvant treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation. There are sometimes I use hormonal treatment in patients who may have a recurrence that do not have symptoms, and they’re looking for an option with minimal side effects and in…not inconvenient for them. So I don’t use it say on a daily or weekly basis, but there are some times where I may use hormonal treatment.

Mikki:

Awesome. Any things that I should ask the doctor if that’s presented to me? Or any tips that I should have or should have had? [laughter]

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:  

I think in terms of hormonal things, the treatment or any treatment for that matter is understand what the options are, and also recognizing options aren’t just like something that’s on the menu that you get to choose what you have. But hopefully if you have a relationship with your doctor that you’re getting one, number one, the standard of care and then to discuss what the options are in specifically for you as a patient or anybody that’s recently diagnosed.


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What Is the Role of Surgery in Treating Endometrial Cancer?

What Is the Role of Surgery in Treating Endometrial Cancer? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What part can surgery take in endometrial cancer treatment? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins shares her perspective about the role of surgery in treatment and explains situations when surgery may be delayed.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

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What Disparities Exist in Treating Patients with Endometrial Cancer?

What Role Does Hormone Therapy Play in Endometrial Cancer

What Role Does Hormone Therapy Play in Endometrial Cancer?

Transcript:

Mikki:

Let’s talk about surgical options within endometrial cancers. What is the role of surgery in treatment of endometrial cancer?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

Well, I always say that our number one mode of treatment is surgery, meaning that’s the first thing that we want to do is actually remove the cancer. So, surgery is like the number one role and one it helps diagnose, it helps stage, and it helps with treatment. And so surgery, again, it’s number one. In terms of like my activation tip for a patient should ask is, what is the role of surgery, and what are the modes of surgery? Meaning, now we have minimally invasive surgery, we have sometimes the standard exploratory laparotomy surgery, so there are other options that were totally not available even 10 or 15 years ago that we have now for patients who are diagnosed with endometrial cancer.

Mikki:

Is there a time that surgery is not recommended or that they don’t ask or require that?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

Any patient that I have that has endometrial cancer, I’m going to figure out how I can get them to surgery. There are very infrequent times where a patient may have had, say, a pulmonary embolism or other medical complications before we can get to surgery. And at that time, we may have to delay a bit, and it all kind of depends on the scenario, but ultimately we always need to get to surgery, because that’s our number one kind of mode of a treatment, diagnosis, and staging.


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What Disparities Exist in Treating Patients With Endometrial Cancer?

What Disparities Exist in Treating Patients with Endometrial Cancer? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What do endometrial cancer patients and advocates need to know about disparities? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins shares noted endometrial cancer disparities in care and how patients can take action to ensure their best care.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…I always think it’s important that patients feel that they’re heard by their providers or doctors, feel free to ask any questions and so having that or talking about…we are not going to be able to change the biology, right? But we can change our voice, and we can change making sure the patient is heard, making sure they have a comfortable relationship with their provider.”

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See More from [ACT]IVATED Endometrial Cancer

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What Role Does Hormone Therapy Play in Endometrial Cancer?

What Is the Role of Surgery in Treating Endometrial Cancer

What Is the Role of Surgery in Treating Endometrial Cancer?

Transcript:

Mikki: 

Dr. Hoskins, what are the noted disparities seen in endometrial cancer treatment, and what are some of the actions being taken to combat them?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins: 

Well, I mean, first off, we know that Black women are diagnosed pretty much at the same rate as white women, but have a two times higher risk of death. And so that alone is a big disparity. We also see increased, I shouldn’t say increased, but more aggressive tumor types in Black women, and so we know that part. I think in terms of what we’re doing to combat it from a clinical trial standpoint, they, I think some of the clinical trials, have recognized that there is a low number of patients in these trials advancing and so there has been an increased effort in recruiting patients into these trials. I think there is more work being done, to understand the biology and why there’s a difference. Me as a provider I will always think, “Oh, it’s because women went to the doctor late or access to care.”

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:  

And then I’m like, “Well, no, no, no these women have access to care. They have access to insurance. They went to the doctor right away.” And so I think it’s very complex and deserves more study into it. In terms of my activation tips, in terms of disparity, I always think it’s important that patients feel that they’re heard by their providers or doctors, feel free to ask any questions and so having that or talking about…we are not going to be able to change the biology, right? But we can change our voice, and we can change making sure the patient is heard, making sure they have a comfortable relationship with their provider. I think that is important.


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How to Explain Endometrial Cancer to Newly Diagnosed Patients

How to Explain Endometrial Cancer to Newly Diagnosed Patients from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How can experts explain endometrial cancer diagnosis to patients? Dr. Ebony Hoskins shares how she explains the diagnosis to newly diagnosed patients and provides advice for questions to ask your doctor.

Dr. Ebony Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

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Transcript:

Mikki:

What is endometrial cancer? How do you explain endometrial cancer to newly diagnosed patients?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

Great question. So endometrial cancer is a cancer of the lining of the uterus, and the way I typically describe it is the same location where a woman would have menses, and it’s abnormal growth of the same lining. That’s the reason why there is typically abnormal bleeding, either in a postmenopausal woman or a woman who may have not gone through menopause, could have abnormal bleeding.

Mikki:

Awesome. And with that, I know when I had endometrial cancer, and that was just totally new to me. I really didn’t know a lot of people with cancer, I had never heard of endometrial cancer. What are some of the things that I should have asked?

Dr. Ebony Hoskins:

I think asking what is endometrial cancer? Where is the endometrium? I think those are very good questions to ask, especially if you’ve never heard of it, I think anytime there’s something you don’t understand that you should feel free to ask a question and feel comfortable with asking what you may not know.


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What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Cancer Treatment

What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Cancer Treatment from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

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What steps could help you and your doctor decide on the best treatment path for your specific cancer? This animated video explains how identification of unique features of a specific cancer through biomarker testing could impact prognosis, treatment decisions and enable patients to get the best, most personalized cancer care.


If you are viewing this from outside of the US, please be aware that availability of personalized care and therapy may differ in each country. Please consult with your local healthcare provider for more information.


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TRANSCRIPT:

Dr. Jones:

Hi! I’m Dr. Jones and I’m an oncologist and researcher. I specialize in the care and treatment of patients with cancer. 

Today we’re going to talk about the steps to accessing personalized care and the best therapy for YOUR specific cancer. And that begins with something called biomarker testing.

Before we start, I want to remind you that this video is intended to help educate cancer patients and their loved ones and shouldn’t be a replacement for advice from your doctor.

Let’s start with the basics–just like no two fingerprints are exactly alike, no two patients’ cancers are exactly the same. For instance, let’s meet Louis and another patient of mine, Ben. They both have the same type of cancer and were diagnosed around the same time–but when looked at up close, their cancers look very different.  And, therefore, should be treated differently.

We can look more closely at the cancer type using biomarker testing, which checks for specific gene mutations, proteins, chromosomal abnormalities and/or other molecular changes that are unique to an individual’s disease.

Sometimes called molecular testing or genomic testing, biomarker testing can be administered in a number of ways, such as via a blood test or biopsy. The way testing is administered will depend on YOUR specific situation.

The results could help your healthcare team understand how your cancer may behave and to help plan treatment. And, it may indicate whether targeted therapy might be right for you. When deciding whether biomarker testing is necessary, your doctor will also take into consideration the stage of your cancer at diagnosis.

Louis:

Right! My biomarker testing results showed that I had a specific gene mutation and that my cancer may respond well to targeted therapy.

Dr. Jones, Can you explain how targeted therapy is different than chemo?

Dr. Jones:

Great question! Over the past several years, research has advanced quickly in developing targeted therapies, which has led to more effective options and better outcomes for patients.

Chemotherapy is still an important tool for cancer treatment, and it works by affecting a cancer cell’s ability to divide and grow. And, since cancer cells typically grow faster than normal cells, chemotherapy is more likely to kill cancer cells.

Targeted therapy, on the other hand, works by blocking specific mutations and preventing cancer cells from growing and dividing.

These newer therapies are currently being used to treat many blood cancers as well as solid tumor cancers.  As you consider treatments, it’s important to have all of the information about your diagnosis, including biomarker testing results, so that you can discuss your treatment options and goals WITH your healthcare team.

Louis:

Exactly–Dr. Jones made me feel that I had a voice in my treatment decision. We discussed things like potential side effects, what the course of treatment looks like and how it may affect my lifestyle.

When meeting with your healthcare team, insist that all of your questions are answered. Remember, this is YOUR life and it’s important that you feel comfortable and included when making care decisions. 

Dr. Jones:

And, if you don’t feel your voice is being heard, it may be time to consider a second—or third—opinion from a doctor who specializes in the type of cancer you have. 

So how can you use this information to access personalized treatment?

First, remember, no two cancers are the same. What might be right for someone else’s cancer may not work for you.

Next! Be sure to ask if biomarker testing is appropriate for your diagnosis. Then, discuss all test results with your provider before making a treatment decision. And ask whether testing will need to be repeated over time to identify additional biomarkers.

Your treatment choice should be a shared decision with your healthcare team. Discuss what your options and treatment goals are with your doctor.

And, last, but not least, it’s important to inquire about whether a targeted therapy, or a clinical trial, might be appropriate for you. Clinical trials may provide access to promising new treatments.

Louis:

All great points, Dr. Jones! We hope you can put this information to work for you. Visit powerfulpatients.org to learn more tips for advocating for yourself.

Dr. Jones:

Thanks for joining us today. 


This program is supported by Blueprint Medicines, and through generous donations from people like you.

Overall Health and Mindfulness Improves Treatment Response: An Expert Explains

Dr. Sangmin Lee shares the benefits of meditation and yoga and explains how mindfulness can affect your overall health.

Dr. Sangmin Lee is a hematologist-oncologist specializing in blood disorders and blood cancers at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

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Transcript:

Patricia:

How about this one? A positive attitude and mindfulness can improve treatment response.

Dr. Lee:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Treatment for leukemia can be tough. Some of the treatment involves intense chemotherapy. Treatment for leukemia can involve stem cell transplant. And a key important aspect of treatment is being healthy and being optimistic about treatment, because a lot of treatment can have side effects, and side effects can be not as apparent if you are physically more active, and in a good state. So, I think that having a positive outlook is very, very important.

Patricia:

Quality of life issues are difficult for some people. How do you talk with your patients about their quality of life, and staying healthy during their treatment?

Dr. Lee:

So, quality of life is absolutely important. I mean, the whole point of treating leukemia and any other treatment is not only to address the leukemia, but also have good quality of life. So, when discussing treatment options, you always have to balance the quality of life and side effects versus potential benefits. So, that’s always on our mind when discussing potential treatment options, and how it impacts the quality of life. Throughout the treatment process, we always tell our patients that being active, and having a good quality of life, and having good nutrition, is absolutely important, because that’s a key aspect of treatment for leukemia.

Patricia:

What about meditation and yoga for coping with anxiety around cancer diagnosis and treatment? Mindfulness.

Dr. Lee:

Absolutely, absolutely. Those can help. Especially having leukemia, it’s very life-changing, so a typical way that patients are diagnosed with acute leukemia is patients live a normal life, and then they develop, all of a sudden, abnormalities. And they’re diagnosed with acute leukemia, and it can be very sudden. And it can be very difficult. So, that can understandably make patients have anxiety, and other issues.

And I believe that meditation, and yoga, and other exercises can absolutely help cope with this.

Patricia:

And there’s tons of resources for meditation and yoga out there, that are reliable.

Dr. Lee:

Yes. Yeah.

Patricia:

Yeah. Should patients regard yoga and meditation as part of their treatment, as part of their self-care, during this process?

Dr. Lee:

Absolutely, absolutely, if the patients are into meditation and yoga. Meditation is very harmless, and it can absolutely help in terms of guiding their mind through their treatment journey. Yoga is good if you’re physically able to do it. So, one caution is that, if you’re not someone who does yoga normally, then you should start off slow, and not push yourself as aggressively.

Does Cannabis Oil Have a Role in Cancer Treatment?

Is it just a trend or could cannabis oil truly have a role in cancer care and treatment? Dr. Sangmin Lee share his perspective.

Dr. Sangmin Lee is a hematologist-oncologist specializing in blood disorders and blood cancers at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian Hospital. 

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Transcript:

Patricia:

The use of cannabis oil is becoming prevalent. Does this have a role in cancer care and treatment?

Dr. Lee:

Absolutely. So, we use it for a lot of side effect management. So, cannabis can be helpful, in terms of appetite and nausea, for example. So, we often use it in conjunction to manage some of the side effects that patients can have throughout their treatment.

You should consult with your medical team, and of course, I should say that laws differ state by state, so it doesn’t apply to every state. But when it’s available, it can be a valuable addition.

Patricia:

Sure. Discuss that with your physician.