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Minnesota Oncology News                                                                              December 2014
In This Issue
My Choices, My Wishes
In Memorium
Should I Be Juicing?
MNO Patient Gives Back
Understanding Palliative Care
Angel Gala 2015
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MCMWMy Choices, My Wishes: Advance Care Planning for Peace of Mind


"I have a healthcare directive not because I have a serious illness, but because I have a family."    - Dr. Ira Byock


Receiving a cancer diagnosis changes a person's life. It brings up feelings and emotions of worry, fear, and anxiety. While we at Minnesota Oncology are working with you to best treat your illness, it is also important to understand what's most important to you and your family. The more we understand your priorities, the better we can help you make treatment decisions that are right for you.


Advance care planning is for anyone, healthy or sick. We encourage all of our patients to have a conversation with their loved ones and write down their thoughts in a legal document, called a Health Care Directive, so that we better understand your care goals and wishes. Many people have this on their "to do" list, but it's often hard to know how and where to start. Perhaps you have already completed a Health Care Directive or Living Will, but if not, we are available to help you. 

Learn more.

InMemoriumIn Memorium: John Brown, MD


Dr. John Brown

Dr. John Brown, a founding father of Minnesota Oncology, passed away on November 23, 2014.

More than 4 decades ago the early seeds of what is known today as Minnesota Oncology, were planted on both sides of the Mississippi river.  Dr. John Brown entered practice on the west side in 1964 as the first formally trained oncologist in community practice in the state of Minnesota, and his colleague and future practice partner, Dr. Irving Lerner, was the first physician formally trained in medical oncology to enter private practice in Saint Paul in 1967.


The first independent private practice dedicated to the specialty of oncology on the Minneapolis side of the river was Oncologic Consultants, formed by Dr. John Brown, Dr. Ignatio Fortuny, and Dr. Burton Schwartz. The practice grew steadily over the next few years, adding an office in Edina.  Further growth and expansion of sites continued in the evolution of today's Minnesota Oncology.


"Dr. Brown was an exceptional physician who lived by the Hippocratic Oath, often times sacrificing his own health for the sake of his patients," said Minnesota Oncology Medical Director Dr. Mark Sborov. "He truly practiced the art of oncology when therapy options were limited. His patients adored him and his colleagues respected him. He was instrumental in developing the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute and the patient centered practice philosophy to which we aspire."


"John was a force in the community providing his leadership and strength in this early days," Dr. Sborov added. "We are thankful for his leadership, and he will be missed."

JuicingShould I be Juicing? 
by Tracie Swearingen, RD, LD, Minnesota Oncology Dietitian

What is juicing anyway? Juicing is the process of extracting juices from fresh fruit and uncooked vegetables. The fruit and/or vegetables are ground, and then spun to extract juice from the pulp. Juicing is "promoted" to be an enhancer to the immune system and to prevent or treat a variety of health conditions.

It can be a more convenient way for those that don't enjoy actually eating their fruits and vegetables to obtain the nutrients. Juicing can be a helpful way to obtain the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (plant chemicals) for those who are unable to chew or swallow those foods as well. 

Read more.

DonationMinnesota Oncology Patient Gives Back


 From left: Eric, Aaron & Jennifer Johnson and Logan & Patty Rotzien

Over the course of her treatment with Dr. Uzma Ali and her caring team of nurses and support personnel at Minnesota Oncology's Fridley Clinic, patient Jennifer Johnson experienced a growing need to give back to other cancer survivors and their families.


With the help of her family and friends, she decided to host a neighborhood mini-carnival to benefit cancer survivors. More than 100 people came to the Carnival, and the event raised nearly $2,000, which Johnson split between Angel Foundation and Ronald McDonald House. Read more.

PalliativeCareUnderstanding Palliative Care



Minnesota Oncology has recently added Palliative Care to the available services that can provide an extra layer of support for you and your loved ones. It is person and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering.

People often think palliative care is another word for hospice or end of life care, but this is not correct. It is care provided to people at any stage of their illness, from time of diagnosis to the end of life. Palliative care is provided at the same time that people are receiving curative or life-prolonging medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.


Palliative care addresses physical, emotional, spiritual and practical concerns when people and their families are coping with a cancer diagnosis. Timely attention to early management of symptoms related to cancer and treatments has been shown to increase quality of life, improve function, and even extend ones length of life. It has also been shown to help reduce the stress that caregivers feel. Learn more.

Patient Portal Offers Secure Messaging



Did you know you can contact your care team via secure online messaging? Ask questions, access your lab results, and more via Minnesota Oncology's patient portal. Need help registering? Call 1-855-887-6788 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST or click "Help" on the patient portal home page and then "Contact Us" to request an invitation. Learn more.


AngelGala2015Angel Gala Gets Set to Raise More than $500,000 for Local Cancer Patients Jan. 31

Rick Kupchella and Boogie Wonderland Help Set the Stage for Signature Fundraiser

After helping more than 22,000 people and providing nearly $5 million in emergency financial assistance to local adults with cancer and their families since 2001, Minneapolis-based Angel Foundation supporters have reason to celebrate. They plan to do just that Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 at the 13th annual Angel Gala at the Hilton Minneapolis.


More than 750 guests are expected to attend the celebration, which in 2014 raised more than $500,000 for local adults with cancer and their families. Emcee will be Rick Kupchella, founder and CEO of BringMetheNews and former anchor/investigative reporter at KARE. Learn more.

Our mission is to combine the strength of hope with the power of science, one patient at a time.