Saturday, March 17, 2012

Karen White ACC Fundraiser

Brad and Karen White are “The Brad White Ministries Team.” Brad the Gospel musician and Karen is the office manager. Together they home school their two daughters, Niki and Amber.

Last year Karen was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the salivary gland, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC).

A few weeks ago when Karen finished her radiation treatment, her parents traveled with her to Tennessee while Brad finished his Ministry tour in Texas. He took a few minutes one night to update us:

White Family Cancer Journey.


The name of Karen's cancer is "Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma."  It is officially incurable but slow growing.  It usually starts in a salivary gland somewhere in the head or neck (you have them all over your head).  

Doctors do not know what causes ACC. It isn’t hereditary or environmental (Karen has never smoked or drank--not even tried it).  

This head/neck cancer is the area that can be radiated.  

ACC does not respond to chemo. The only reason Karen had chemo was the chemo was an activator/sensitizer for the radiation.  Most oncologists (according to the ACC webpage) will either never encounter ACC or one or two times max in a career.

It is pretty well standard to treat ACC with radiation alone.

We came to MD Anderson because they had proton radiation.

Radiation to the face and neck is exceptionally painful and damaging long term because of the mouth, teeth and throat. Traditional radiation to one side of the face will damage the other side of the face almost equally as it exits (back of head as well).

Proton radiation pretty well only damages the area it is aimed at.  The proton radiation is a real blessing in head/neck situations. There is only one radiologist at M.D. Anderson who does the proton because they only have one machine (the machines are incredibly expensive which is why they are only at 9 hospitals in the US).

When we met the oncologist the first time, I asked him if he had ever encountered ACC.  He said "not only have I encountered it, but I am getting ready to publish a paper on my treatment of ACC."
 That was doubt about it.  He is the one who has come up with the chemo as an activator to the radiation which has had very good results on the initial tumor.

More on Karen’s journey to come.

Please visit the FUNDRAISER  Page and encourage your friends to get involved.  
FUNDRAISERS: Art Greenhaw, Ken and Deann Johnson, Kat Crawford 

No comments: