November, 2020 | Maryland Oncology Hematology November 2020 – Maryland Oncology Hematology

Facts You Need to Know About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer actually refers to two parts of the body: the colon and the rectum. Treatment options are often very similar so they’re typically bundled together when explaining prevention, detection and treatment options for either colon cancer or rectal cancer.

Thankfully because of new technologies and greater awareness of screening, the death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping for decades. Here are some things you should know about how to reduce your personal risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Can be Genetic

About one in five people who develop rectal or colon cancer have a close relative (parent, sibling or child) who has had colorectal cancer or a certain kind of colon polyp called adenomatous. If someone in your family has been diagnosed with this type of polyp you should talk to your doctor about starting colorectal cancer screening sooner than the typical age of 50.

There can also be a genetic cause of colorectal cancer for about 5-10% of colorectal cancer patients. If someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed, especially if they were diagnosed before the age of 45, you may want to talk to one of our cancer experts about a Genetic Risk Assessment. Knowing whether there are genetic changes present can help your doctor with recommending preventive measures and screening in the future.

Other Risk Factors For Developing Colorectal Cancer

There are quite a few other factors that can play into whether you’re at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Some you can control while others you cannot.

Risk factors you can control to help prevent colorectal cancer include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use

Risk factors for colorectal cancer you cannot control in addition to your family history include:

  • Age – Your risk increases after the age of 50.
  • Race – African Americans have the highest death rate from colorectal cancer compared to all other races.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – Those with Type 2 Diabetes are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Regular Colorectal Cancer Screenings Save Lives

Even if you don’t have a family history, colorectal cancer specialists recommend that adults get screened between the ages of 50 and 75. The older you are, the higher your risk for developing the disease. While a colonoscopy is the most commonly used colorectal screening process, there are several other options such as:

  • Sigmoidoscopy every five years. The doctor uses a flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps, remove them and have them tested. Unlike a colonoscopy, this test doesn’t require you to have anesthesia.
  • Virtual colonoscopy every five years. This test does not require anesthesia either. A doctor takes X-rays of your colon, and a specialist looks for signs of cancer.
  • Barium enema every five years. For people who can’t safely have a colonoscopy, a liquid is inserted into the rectum that allows trained technicians to see abnormal growths on an X-ray.

You Can Reduce Your Risks


Whether you have a family history of colorectal cancer or not, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the disease. These lifestyle changes include:

  • Get screened. Screenings find polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous.
  • Exercise. Overweight people have a higher risk of colon cancer.
  • Watch your diet. Eating lots of red meat or processed meats (like hot dogs) may increase your risk of colon cancer.
  • Don’t smoke (or stop smoking). Smokers have a higher risk of colon cancer. An added bonus of quitting smoking is that you will also reduce your risk of developing many other diseases and cancers.
  • Limit alcohol. Heavy drinkers have a higher risk of colon cancer.

Even people who are active, eat healthy diets and have no family history of colorectal cancer may develop the disease. If you start to experience any unusual bowel movements, pain or excessive bloating be sure to schedule an appointment with your general practitioner or gastroenterologist. If they find colorectal cancer present you will need to see a colon cancer specialist for treatment. If you live in or near Maryland, Maryland Oncology Hematology has nine locations making it possible for you to meet with a colorectal cancer specialist near you.




What is a Cancer Clinical Trial?

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, learning about what a clinical trial is and deciding what treatment to pursue can be daunting. When you’ve exhausted the available cancer treatment options, whether through radiation oncology, hematology-oncology or some other specialty, it can be scary to think that’s there isn’t a treatment option left. Fortunately, clinical trials can provide hope and alternative treatment options for cancer patients who need them.

What Are Cancer Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are the last phase in getting regulatory approval for new pharmaceutical medications, devices or protocols. After months or years of research and testing in the lab and, in many cases, on animals, human testing is needed to ensure safety and effectiveness. Clinical trials are conducted at many research institutions, hospitals, and community based clinics (or practices) around the world.

Why Clinical Trials Exist

Clinical trials exist to get new treatment options to patients. For instance, a clinical trial about investigational breast cancer treatments may lead to more successful outcomes for breast cancer surgeons and their patients. In addition to measuring safety, clinical trials can determine if a new therapy works, makes no difference or further impairs patients.

Who Benefits From Clinical Trials

Many people benefit from clinical trials. First, patients involved in clinical trials receive life-saving treatment earlier than it would normally be available. This is ideal for cancer patients who haven’t responded to approved therapies. For patients who cannot afford treatment, involvement in a clinical trial is sometimes at no cost to the patient. Second, researchers, doctors, and pharmaceutical manufacturers benefit by having humans to test their experimental cancer treatments on.

Third, no matter what the outcome of the trial, future cancer patients strongly benefit from clinical trials. If a new medication or treatment proves to be successful, future patients will be able to use it as a regular part of their treatment. If the clinical trial fails, future patients will not be exposed, and researchers can identify drugs that could provide better outcomes in the future.

How Clinical Trials Are Conducted

Human clinical trials are conducted in three different phases. Depending on the actual trial, there might be more phases. The first phase involves a small number of patients, and the primary concern is the safety or side effects of the treatment. Clinical trials do not aim to hurt people, so at first, the first phase stays small so researchers can closely monitor what happens. This phase happens after a lot of research has already been conducted in the lab, so there is less chance of a foreseeable adverse reaction.

The second phase also uses a small group of people. Instead of just focusing on safety, this phase examines how well the proposed treatment works. If the results still look promising, a third phase involves a larger number of people with less stringent guidelines. For example, if an earlier phase only allowed geriatric patients to be involved, this phase might expand the parameters to evaluate possible side effects and compare alternative treatments to see which is better for whom.

How to Participate in a Clinical Trial

For patients interested in participating in a clinical trial, the first step is to try conventional cancer treatment options, if possible. Many trials will ask what you’ve already tried. Next, patients need to find clinical trials through online databases, their oncologist or a local cancer center to see who’s eligible to participate.

Maryland Oncology Hematology currently has active clinical trials for breast cancer, lung cancer, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), metastatic malignancies, multiple myeloma, supportive therapies and gastric cancers. These include clinical trials for many different stages of these cancers. To participate, you should ask your oncologist or contact Maryland Oncology Hematology directly.


Protecting our patients against Coronavirus

Maryland Oncology Hematology Remains committed to the safety of our patients, visitors, and staff during the Coronovirus pandemic. Please take a few minutes to review our video that talks about all of the precations Maryland Oncology Hematology has put in place to safeguard from Covid-19. If you have any questions about the most recent rules and procedures put into place, call your local MOH office. We remain committed to providing the most advanced cancer treatment throughout the Maryland region. As times change, so do your options in advanced cancer treatment. Because hope carried on.


There are more than 200 testing sites available throughout Maryland. Location, contact, and scheduling information for many of the COVID-19 testing sites in Maryland can be found at…. If you plan to travel, we encourage you to review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on considerations for travelers—Coronavirus in the US


Men: Are You at Risk For Prostate Cancer?

Every man and those who love him should know how to prevent prostate cancer. This is because a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer every three minutes. Fortunately, thanks to strides in cancer research and cancer clinical trials, this disease is often preventable and has a very high survival rate, if detected in the early stages.

Who is at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer?

Some men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, but that doesn’t seem that they will develop the disease. Also, it is possible that a man with several risk factors will never develop the disease.

These risk factors include:

  • Age

The chances of developing prostate cancer drastically increase when a man turns 50. However, over half the cancer cases are discovered in men who are 65 or older. It is rare for a male under the age of 40 to develop prostate cancer; however, it can happen.

  • Genetics and Family History

Most prostate cancer occur in men without a family history, but there are some links that suggest their are inherited factors in developing prostate cancer. Discuss your family medical history with your doctor to help determine if you should have a genetic cancer risk assessment. If you have a family history of prostate cancer or many of the risk factors be sure talk to your doctor about things you can do to lower your risks.

  • Geographic Location

North Americans have a slightly higher risk than men in many other parts of the world. The reasons for this are still unknown, but are believed to be related to the more advanced screening methods in the United States.

  • Race

Race is another factor; your chances of dying from prostate cancer are over two times higher if you are a Caribbean man of African descent or African-American male. Studies indicate that this is because a high majority of African-American males have one or two copies of a genetic variant, which is a variation in the DNA sequence of their genomes. Also making them more than two-times more likely to die from the disease than white men.

It is best to be aware of risk factors and seek help with your doctor if you notice any abnormal changes.

How do you lower your risk of prostate cancer?

The success in treating prostate cancer has also provided more knowledge on how to lower our risks of prostate cancer. While there are many factors, such as genes, age and race, that we aren’t able to control; there are a few factors that we can control to help lower risks, including:

  • Schedule a physical with your doctor each year. This is important because the beginning stages of prostate cancer have few or no symptoms. An annual physical can help detect the disease in the earliest stages.
  • Eating a healthy diet that includes at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, and cauliflower are especially good.
  • Avoiding obesity by keeping your body at a healthy weight.
  • Exercising on a regular basis.
  • Avoid smoking, or quit if you already smoke.
  • Talk to your doctor. If you feel that you are at a greater risk to develop prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about additional vitamins, mineral, or medications that you can take to help lower your risks.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what’s best for you and to schedule your yearly prostate cancer screening. However, increased urination or a weaker flow of urine can be signs of advanced prostate cancer, and while these problems can also be caused by other problems that have nothing to do with cancer, we recommend making an appointment to see your doctor about these symptoms. There are tests can detect prostate cancer in its earliest stages, whether or not you have any symptoms. If the test result is abnormal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the disease. Your doctor will conduct other tests to find out for sure.

For help with this disease in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area, contact us to make an appointment with one of our prostate cancer specialists. Our staff members are up-to-date on the latest clinical trials and cancer research and will help you choose the best treatment option to successfully battle this disease.



Oncology Radio now Available on your Android Device

Maryland Oncology Hematology‘s podcast “Oncology Radio” now has an application available in the Google Play store for anyone with an Android device. Get updated when a new episode airs and listen to old episodes right from your mobile device. You now have access to some of the top Oncology information from some of the leading oncologists in the area and across the nation. Oncology Radio broadcasts a new episode on the 1st and 15th of every month at 8 PM Est. Listen as one of Maryland Oncology Hematology’s physicians interview their guests about cancer research, cancer screenings, non-profits, clinical trials, and the history and statistics of cancers that many are struggling with. Follow the link that will take you directly to the Google Play store and download the Oncology Radio application today.


Download Here: CLICK





What Is Head and Neck Cancer?

Head and neck cancers, as you may have guessed, affect areas of the head and neck. These cancers aren’t common (they account for about 3% of all malignant cancers in the United States). And, according to the National Cancer Institute, head and neck cancer diagnosis have been declining for decades. So have mortality rates.

Continue reading “What Is Head and Neck Cancer?”


4 Questions to Ask Before Joining a Cancer Research Trial

Have you wondered whether there might be a new or different cancer treatment option available to you through cancer research trials? Or maybe your doctor has talked to you about the possibility of participating in a clinical trial for your cancer treatment. (Read more to understand “What is a Clinical Trial?”) Here are four things that patients and family members should feel free to ask their oncologist and research team before agreeing to participate.

Continue reading “4 Questions to Ask Before Joining a Cancer Research Trial”


Maryland Oncology Hematology and The US Oncology Network Welcome Cynthia Plate M.D. F.A.C.S, Specialist In Breast Surgery

Dr. Plate brings a new line of treatment services to the clinic, offering patients cutting-edge breast preservation techniques


Silver Spring, MD- November, 2020 Maryland Oncology Hematology, the premier provider of cancer services in the Maryland region, announced today it has added a breast surgical oncologist to the practice, enhancing the comprehensive multidisciplinary care it provides to breast patients. Cynthia Plate M.D. F.A.C.S specializes in breast surgery and has extensive training and experience in the field. MOH has been serving cancer patients in the Maryland area for over 40 years, providing patients convenient access to leading cancer experts and the most advanced cancer therapies available today.

Dr. Plate has many years of rigorous education, training, and experience focusing on breast disease and surgery, providing her with a superior understanding of breast cancer biology, genetics, and advanced oncoplastic surgical techniques and breast preservation procedures. By adding Dr. Plate to the practice, MOH’s new White Oak Cancer Center enhances its ability to offer multidisciplinary team care for all types of complex breast issues, including benign breast disease, malignancies, and management of high-risk patients. Seamless high-quality care is provided by a collaborative team of specialists in breast surgery, medical and radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, pathology, genetic risk evaluation, and supportive care.

“Dr. Plate shares our passion of providing exceptional multidisciplinary cancer care, and we are delighted to have her join our growing practice” said Dr. Joseph Haggerty, President at Maryland Oncology Hematology. “With her focus on new surgical advancements in breast cancer treatment, Dr. Plate will be a great addition to our breast cancer team as we seek to deliver the best breast cancer treatment in the Maryland Region.”

Cynthia Plate M.D. F.A.C.S is board-certified in general surgery and is a breast care specialist. She previously worked with Adventist HealthCare Medical Group.

Dr. Plate graduated from Howard University College of Medicine and completed her internship and residency at Howard University Hospital

“Specializing in women’s breast health, I’m committed to providing my patients with exceptional and compassionate care,” said Dr. Plate. “I’m thrilled to join the MOH team where we can continue to deliver leading-edge cancer care to our community.”

Dr. Plate is currently seeing patients at MOH’s Silver Spring White Oak Cancer Center office. Timely appointments are available for newly referred patients, typically within 24 hours, to provide a high level of support and prompt access to care. Please call 301-933-3216 to make an appointment


About Maryland Oncology Hematology


Maryland Oncology Hematology is an affiliate of The US Oncology Network (The Network). This

collaboration unites MOH with more than 1,400 independent physicians dedicated to delivering value-based, integrated care for patients — close to home. Through The Network, these independent doctors come together to form a community of shared expertise and resources dedicated to advancing local cancer care and to delivering better patient outcomes. The US Oncology Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health, whose coordinated resources and infrastructure allow doctors in The Network to focus on the health of their patients, while McKesson focuses on the health of their practices. MOH participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in more than 70 FDA-approved cancer therapies, approximately one-third of all cancer therapies approved by the FDA to date. For more information, visit


About US Oncology Network

Maryland Oncology Hematology is a practice in The US Oncology Network (The Network). This collaboration unites the practice with more than 1,200 independent physicians dedicated to delivering value-based, integrated care to patients — close to home. Through The Network, these independent doctors come together to form a community of shared expertise and resources dedicated to advancing local cancer care and to delivering better patient outcomes. The Network is supported by McKesson Corporation, whose coordinated resources and infrastructure allow doctors in The Network to focus on the health of their patients, while McKesson focuses on the health of their practices. Maryland Oncology Hematology also participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in more than 100 FDA-approved cancer therapies.



Media Contacts:


Mark W Lamplugh Jr

The US Oncology Network

(561) 762-9729


Maryland Oncology Hematology to Open a New Cancer Center in Annapolis, MD

MOH’s new state-of-the-art facility will provide community cancer care to patients throughout the Annapolis area.

Beltsville, MD (10/28/20) – Maryland Oncology Hematology (MOH), a 48-physician privately-owned practice specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, announced it is opening its 13th location in Annapolis, MD. This new state-of-the-art facility will allow patients in Annapolis and the surrounding areas to access high-quality cancer care in a convenient community setting close to home. Maryland Oncology Hematology is now accepting appointments and will start seeing patients at the Annapolis office beginning November 2nd.


“With the opening of this new office, MOH will be providing the highest quality cancer care to the Annapolis community,” said Joseph Haggerty MD, Practice President, Maryland Oncology Hematology. “Patients will be able to receive leading-edge cancer care without having to travel long distances.”


Maryland Oncology Hematology in Annapolis will provide advanced care and comprehensive services including medical oncology, hematology, genetic risk assessment, and clinical research. Working as an independent practice allows MOH physicians the freedom to tailor care to each patient’s unique diagnosis. With one of the largest and most active clinical research programs conducted by a private practice in the state, MOH offers to its patients, among other things, the opportunity to participate in Phase I-IV clinical trials.


The multi-disciplinary team at the Annapolis location will deliver the latest in advanced, integrative cancer treatment. MOH is proud to announce that the following physicians will provide care at the new office:


Ravin J. Garg, MD

Peter R. Graze, MD

Stuart E. Selonick, MD

Jason D. Taksey, MD

Jeanine L. Werner, MD



MOH is further pleased to announce that Benjamin Bridges, MD, Adam J. Goldrich, MD, Carol K. Tweed, MD, and David E. Weng, MD will also be joining its team. These physicians will be temporarily practicing out of MOH’s office in Clinton, Maryland.


The MOH Annapolis office is located at 810 Bestgate Rd, Suite 400, Annapolis, MD, 21401. Physicians, patients, and family members can call 410.897.6200 to arrange a visit, consultation, or to make an appointment. The MOH Clinton office is located at 8926 Woodyard Rd #101 Clinton, MD 20735. Physicians, patients, and family members can call 301-812-3900 arrange a visit, consultation, or to make an appointment.


About Maryland Oncology Hematology


Maryland Oncology Hematology (MOH) is the largest independent oncology practice in the state of Maryland, with more than 48 practicing clinicians devoted exclusively to providing comprehensive, compassionate, and high-quality cancer care. MOH specializes in oncology & hematology services, cancer genetic risk assessment, clinical trials and research. MOH believes it is beneficial to provide cancer therapies in a community setting, close to patients’ homes and support systems. The physicians are supported by a talented clinical team sensitive to the needs of cancer patients and their caregivers. For more information, visit




Media Contacts

Mark Lamplugh

Maryland Oncology Hematology



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United in Healing with The US Oncology Network - Maryland Oncology Hematology