Conquering Cancer Series- Battling Colon Cancer

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“Cancer touches all of us. We are not free of it. Cancer can affect and hit everyone. It is the great equalizer.”

–Daniel Rivas, MA

Director, Office of Community Outreach & Engagement

On March 28, The Cancer Research Institute hosted its first “Conquering Cancer Series” of the new season. In front of a crowd of 40+ individuals, Dr. Eric Hanse, Dr. Oliver Eng, and Daniel Rivas discussed the world of tackling color cancer from the eyes of a researcher, surgeon, and survivor. Colorectal Cancer is the third most diagnosed common cancer after breast and lung cancer in the United States for both men and women.


Using the metaphor of Door Dash to explain Cancer Research:

Dr. Eric Hanse’s research focus is on understanding the biology of colorectal cancer. During the discussion, Dr. Hanse describes the unique way in which cancer cells grow by describing their metabolisms. During his discussion, Dr. Hanse told the interested crowd that cancer cells grow in poor nutrient conditions and have different food preferences than normal cells. Dr. Hanse used the unique but easy-to-follow approach for the non-scientific crowd by using DoorDash as an example. Describing that “DNA” is the system of DoorDash with “RNA” as the order part of the process and “Protein” as the Product, Dr. Hanse, along with others, zero in on how RNA sequencing is used to analyze and combat Appendiceal cancer by looking at how many times a gene has asked for a protein.

Dr. Eric Hanse’s presentation: Click Here


Renovating your abdomen wall with surgery:

While Dr. Hanse explained the research, Dr. Oliver Eng gave an informative presentation on how surgery looks during cancer treatment. Dr. Eng, a board-certified UCI Health surgical oncologist, and expert on the treatment of cancers in the abdomen, used the metaphor of a classroom to explain his surgery. He described his surgery as renovating a room. As the cancer cells spread, his job is to go in and remove all the cancer cells from the affected area by performing Cytoreductive Surgery within the abdominal cavity. As with an auditorium, there are only so many items you can remove before it is no longer a functioning auditorium.

Dr. Oliver Eng’s presentation: Click Here


Providing support and building a community:

Daniel Rivas, the Director for the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement for the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, was the final part of the discussion. Mr. Rivas gave an inside look at what it means to be a cancer survivor. During his discussion, he relayed the message of the importance of getting screened while also discussing cancer and death. Mr. Rivas stated his goal is to make sure every cancer survivor’s voice is heard and to contact the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement if anyone needs help.

CFCCC’s Community Outreach and Engagement: Click Here


The next Conquering Cancer Seminar will be on May 23 from 6-730pm.

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