Morning Medical Update Friday 5-26-23

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


The University of Kansas Health System is treating a total of 19 COVID patients today, same as yesterday. Other significant numbers:

•           8 with the active virus today, 6 yesterday

•           1 in ICU, 1 yesterday

•           1 on a ventilator, 1 yesterday

Key points from today’s guests:

Alex Treaster, colorectal cancer patient

  • According to recent American Cancer Society stats, for people aged 65 and older, colorectal cancer rates are dropping. But for adults ages 20 to 49, those rates are slowly going up.
  • Alex was a 37-year-old husband and father who last year had significant stomach pain. He wanted to power through it, but after three days, his wife made him seek medical care. He was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his colon.
  • Within one week, he had surgery to remove the tumor and part of his colon.
  • That happened at another hospital, but for his post-op cancer treatment, he went to his friend, Dr. Ben Martin, at The University of Kansas Health System.
  • Alex has joined a Facebook group called “Man Up to Cancer.” It was started by a cancer survivor as a support and advocacy group for men and caretakers who are dealing with cancer. A very large percentage of the members of the group are colorectal cancer patients.
  • Today, Alex is healthy and continues to teach at KU.

Dr. Ben Martin, colon and rectal surgeon, The University of Kansas Health System

  • With the different chemotherapy and clinical trial options, patients have a lot more cancer care options here.
  • Fortunately, colon cancer in the populations above the age of 50 has been actually going down because these populations are routinely screened with either stool studies now or colonoscopies. Once we find the cancers in an early stage, their outcomes are very, very good.
  • We don't know why, but in patients that are young, we are seeing a really large rise in the incidence of colon cancer and rectal cancer. By 2030, we could see about a 150 percent increase in this population that doesn't really routinely get screened.
  • If something doesn't seem right, get it checked out, no matter how old you are. Especially in the younger age group, we need to be more vigilant.

Dr. Raed Al-Rajabi, medical oncologist, The University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • We calculate the risk of cancer recurrence depending on what we find on the under the microscope and Alex did have some disease in some of the lymph nodes.
  • That indicates that his cancer could potentially have tried to spread outside of the area.
  • We generally recommend chemotherapy and there are different forms to consider. With Alex's job and how his life is going to be with chemotherapy, it was very important to figure out which approach would be the best to keep him on track with doing what he loves.
  • After discussion and figuring out what his goals were, we decided on 12 rounds of chemotherapy. We will also have regular tests and checkups to help ensure Alex stays healthy.

Wednesday, May 31 at 8 a.m. is the next Open Mics with Dr. Stites. Learn more about the challenge of diagnosing sleep disorders and the growing range of treatment options that go way beyond a CPAP machine.

Programming note: There will be no Memorial Day show and the summer schedule begins with live shows on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with encore shows on Tuesday and Thursday.

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