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Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Signs and symptoms often include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss, and possible bowel obstruction.  Other complications may occur outside the gastrointestinal tract and include anemia, skin rashes, arthritis, and tiredness.  Crohn's disease is caused by a combination of environmental, immune and bacterial factors in genetically susceptible individuals. It results in a chronic inflammatory disorder, in which the body's immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract possibly directed at microbial antigens.

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Stories Of Hope: Donald Lowd, Prostate Cancer Patient

Donald Lowd has a motto: You can't let a problem contain you -- you have to contain the problem. So when the retired Air Force veteran was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009, he was prepared to fight. "Most people will say my life changed in 2009," he says. "I say that's when my fight began." It was a fight for survival, and Donald knew he needed the best team to help him win. After an oncologist told him he'd probably die in five years, he refused to accept such dismal odds. "That's when I said to my wife, I'm headed to MD Anderson," says Donald, who works primarily in imaging at a retina practice in Houston. A physician on staff recommended he see Christopher Logothetis, M.D., chair, Genitourinary Medical Oncology at MD Anderson. "We set the appointment, and that's when my battle started," says Donald. He likens those days to a "Super Bowl of life." "It's the third quarter, and I'm losing," he says. "I needed synergy to help me. I started with support from my family around me, people at work and a great medical team at MD Anderson. And of course I relied on my faith." Logothetis ordered more scans and found something Donald's previous doctor had missed: a spot on one of his ribs, about the size of a pencil eraser. Donald began a clinical trial to protect his bones. Following chemotherapy to shrink the prostate tumor, he underwent surgery in June 2010. He returned to work and his normal routine in two weeks. But in June 2013 Donald began having back pain, a result of new tumors. Surgery went well, but recovery was more difficult this time. He returned to work in December. Donald says he enjoys a great patient-doctor relationship with Logothetis and appreciates his "upfront" approach. Most important, "He's given me more time." Donald says there's no comparison to the combination of expertise and caring at MD Anderson. "I've felt so comfortable being there. The staff is upbeat and positive. You have people who really care about you, and that gives you hope. That's what patients need," he says. "You can go anywhere in the world to get treatment for prostate cancer, but MD Anderson is outstanding. It's the top place to be treated." He's excited at the possibilities the Prostate Cancer Moon Shot holds for current and future patients. "It's absolutely phenomenal that MD Anderson is focusing so much effort on prostate cancer," he says. "It's growing at an alarming rate, but thanks to the Moon Shots Program, one day we can get a handle on it. The patients behind me and patients in the future — we'll all benefit." What's your moon shot? Contact us at Promise@mdanderson.org and tell us why MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program is important to you. For more information and to make a donation, visit: cancermoonshots.org

3 Minutes, 52 Seconds September 17, 2015

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