Cancer Questions Answered by Local Medical Workers

From eye cancers to blood disorders and more, read about the latest in these fields. 

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Syed Abutalib, MD, Hematologic Oncologist

City of Hope Chicago

Blood cancers, called hematologic cancers, typically fall into three categories: leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. What is the difference?

Leukemia originates in the bone marrow and occurs when the body creates too many abnormal or too few white blood cells interfering with the bone marrow’s ability to make red blood cells and platelets. Lymphoma develops in the lymphatic system from cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infections. Myeloma begins in the bone marrow plasma cells, a type of white cell that generates different types of antibodies to fight infections. 

What are some common symptoms of hematologic cancers?

Blood cancers compromise your immune system, so common symptoms include severe fatigue combined with recurrent or severe infections, anemia, shortness of breath, bleeding, bruising or fevers. These symptoms might hint at an underlying cancer, but it’s important to have a proper consultation with a hematology expert.

What treatment options are available?

Thanks to advancements in the last 10-15 years, many patients are living longer through hematologic cancer management with good quality of life; some are even cured. Treatments include chemotherapy, immunotherapy and/or radiation. Some patients may require a stem cell transplant, which infuses healthy blood-forming stem cells into the body to replace the patient’s damaged stem cells. It is highly recommended that patients receive treatment at FACT-accredited facilities such as City of Hope, under the guidance of specialized physicians and a team that focuses on care across the continuum from diagnosis through survivorship.

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Michael Raciti, MD, partner  

Eye Care Specialists Ophthalmology Practice

Can cancer occur in the eye?

Fortunately, cancer rarely occurs in the eye. When it does, it is usually a metastasis, or cancer from another part of the body that utilizes the nourishing high blood flow within the eye to travel, seed and grow there. Typically, metastases in the eye are from lung cancer for men and breast cancer for women. About 90% of patients with ocular metastases have symptoms, such as blurred vision (70%), flashes and floaters (12%) and/or pain (7%).

Occasionally, cancer starts primarily in the eye. The most common type (yet rare, with an incidence of 5.1 people per million) is malignant melanoma. Melanoma cancers develop from the melanocyte cells that produce the pigment melanin. Melanocytes are found in several organ systems, but most characteristically in the skin. The brownish-black melanin produced in the eye absorbs stray light and prevents light scatter, protects other cells from ultraviolet damage and may have antioxidant properties. Malignant eye melanomas typically have no symptoms.

Comprehensive eye exams are invaluable to both catching cancers within the eye and signs of those from elsewhere in the body. Whether you have symptoms or not, schedule regular visits with an eye care specialist. Early detection means early treatment, which can save not only your vision, but your life.

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Nancy Chevremont, Administrator of Home Health and Hospice Services

Cedar Community

What are some of the benefits of hospice care for people with life-limiting illnesses?

Our specialized team provides care and compassion, supporting those on their journey with a terminal illness. We also work with the family to make this a peaceful transition, answering questions and concerns. There’s peace of mind knowing excellent care is being provided so they can be completely focused on spending time with their loved one. 

We’re focused on quality care, comfort and on each individual patient and their family to help them through the end-of-life journey. Quality and compassion go hand-in-hand here, and our patients really get to know our team. We provide massage, art and music therapy for our patients. We know that not everything can be treated medically. Sometimes comfort comes from just hearing a lovely song that brings back memories. Our massage therapy does wonders for pain management and relaxation. We’re there for the family, whether it’s just support and a friendly ear, or if they need someone to help guide them and help with preparing for the future. We also offer bereavement support and counseling with our team social worker and chaplains. We want them to know that we’re there for them. 

Susan Rohr; Photo courtesy of Brookfield Health & Wellness


Integrative Healing

We spoke with Susan Rohr, the owner of Brookfield Health and Wellness, about her clinic.

What does Brookfield Health and Wellness offer? 

We provide holistic, integrative care. When a patient comes to us with a cancer diagnosis or another chronic illness, we take a personalized approach. What works for one person may not work for another. We use bioenergetic technology, which interacts with the energy flow in human cells, to create treatment plans for each individual. We encourage a mix of conventional treatments combined with our holistic resources to achieve the best outcome. 

How do you work with people?

With the use of some of the world’s most innovative bioenergetic technologies, we seek to identify the underlying causes of health challenges. Our strategy is to target root causes, boost immune response, eliminate toxins, and facilitate and strengthen cell voltage and health. The body was designed to heal itself. By providing the support it needs, abundant health and well-being is possible. 

What are some of the technologies you use?

Our assessment tools identify system imbalances, microbes, organ weaknesses, immune and detoxification dysfunction using the Qi-5 Body Scan, NuVision, Ondamed and AmpCoil. We design a customized care plan incorporating nutrition, supplements, stress management and clinic-based treatments. Some of our most-used treatment tools for patients with chronic conditions are the HOCATT, the Energy Enhancement System (EES), Rife technology, NanoVi, Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM), and IASIS Micro Current Neurofeedback. These tools increase oxygenation to cells, boost immune function, restore cellular energy, decrease inflammation, improve circulation, calm the emotional body, inactivate harmful pathogens, restore mental clarity, and regulate and restore the body’s innate healing ability.

150 S. Sunny Slope Rd., 262-395-4023,


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s March issue.

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