Archives for August 2016

Mayor Proclaims Holiday – Green Bay Oncology Day

Mayor Proclaims Holiday – Green Bay Oncology Day

WHEREAS, 1 in 3 of Green Bay’s residents will develop cancer during their lifetimes, driving a need for expert cancer care in our community; and

WHEREAS, on August 1, 1976 Dr. Paul Koch founded Green Bay Oncology, the region’s first specialty oncology practice; and

WHEREAS, Green Bay Oncology carries on Dr. Paul Koch’s legacy to relentlessly grow, lead and deliver valued, innovative oncology services, and expert care to patients in their home communities through outreach, clinical research, education and leadership; and

WHEREAS, Green Bay Oncology provides service in Medical Oncology, Radiation Therapy and Hematology and has cared for 45,000 local cancer patients ranging in age from 16-104 years old; and

WHEREAS, Green Bay Oncology has the largest group of cancer providers in the region with 14 oncology physicians and 9 nurse practitioners in 10 locations across Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan; and

WHEREAS, on August 1, 2016 Green Bay Oncology marked forty years of ongoing efforts against cancer, on behalf of our community and citizens;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, James J. Schmitt, Mayor of the City of Green Bay, from this year forward, do hereby proclaim August 1st as being:


in the City of Green Bay.  I ask all citizens to join with me in recognizing the observance of this anniversary, and of the need for ongoing research and treatment for all types of cancer.



Real Men Wear Pink

Real Men Wear Pink

As a medical oncologist, I see the impact daily of breast cancer on patients, their families, and their communities.

It would be a lie of omission to only say this cause is important to me professionally.  It is not just that.  This is a daily part of my life.  My mother was the kindest, most thoughtful, and loving person I have ever known.  I’m now the proud father of my own two daughters and strive daily to be half the parent my mother was and my father still is.  The three grandchildren she never had the chance to meet and love, would have given her such incredible joy.  Breast cancer took her away from me and took her away from my family 11 years ago.

In many ways, this has all made me appreciate the American Cancer Society so much more profoundly.  With the American Cancer Society’s support in the fight, today and every day it allows me to care for and treat breast cancer patients knowing that a woman diagnosed with breast cancer today is more likely to get to know and love a grandchild than when my mother was initially diagnosed.

It is a great privilege to have been asked by the American Cancer Society to serve as a Real Men Wear Pink Ambassador for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

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Come walk with me and my family on Saturday, October 1st at Lambeau Field for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Click here to: sign-up

I’ve committed to raising $2,500 to benefit breast cancer patients. To learn more: click here

Dear Cancer Patient – Starting Chemotherapy

Dear Cancer Patient – Starting Chemotherapy

Dear Cancer Patient,

You’ll be starting chemotherapy soon, and you’re nervous – and after everything you’ve been hearing about it that’s understandable.

I’m not going to tell you that we don’t need to be careful with these drugs, or that there are no side effects, because that’d be a lie. But I’d like to wind back some of the overblown scary things you’ve been hearing:

First, just because you’re getting treated for cancer doesn’t mean you’re made of glass. For the most part, you can live life just as you did before. If there’s something specific you need to change, I or someone on my team will tell you.

Second, there isn’t now (and never was) a need to be a germaphobe. Wash your hands when and how you’ve already been taught, kiss the people you usually kiss, and go the places you usually go. It’s simply untrue that you should avoid crowds, or stop going to church, school or the movies. I’ve sometimes overheard well-meaning medical people tell patients that – while they talked in the middle of a crowded medical office. I wish they’d stop saying stuff like that.

Third, you probably don’t need to dramatically change your diet, assuming it was reasonably healthy to begin with (if not, take it easier on the greasy stuff for a while). But know that your taste buds and gut are going to be unpredictable for a while. Things might not taste the same, and some former favorites might send you dashing for the loo after a few hours – something those of us fond of raw seafood and volcanically-hot Thai are familiar with. For most people, it’s mildly inconvenient, but doesn’t cause lasting harm. Just pay attention to what triggers those episodes, and adapt. You’ll be fine.

There are two main reasons why chemotherapy gets a bad rap. The first is because it isn’t always clear to observers whether it’s being used to cure cancer, or delay the progression of incurable cancer. In the latter setting, people still decline gradually and ultimately die, it’s just a more gradual decline with the treatment in most cases.

The second reason is an ugly truth about cancer medicine’s past. Sometimes, oncologists got so carried away with trying to shrink tumors that they failed to pay attention to how it was affecting the individual patient. Sometimes, they’d keep treating even when patients were getting worse – because the tumor was shrinking.

Oncologists have been guilty of sometimes making the treatment worse than the disease – but times have changed. I promise you I’ll never do that, not here, not today, not EVER.

If treatment ever makes things worse instead of better, I’ll change your treatment.


Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                                           Your Devoted Oncologist