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Release: April 5, 2000

UI Health Care specialists to lead online chats on cancer fatigue, brain tumors

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Linda Abbott and Timothy Ryken, M.D., both with University of Iowa Health Care, will each lead separate hour-long, online question-and-answer discussions in the areas of their specialization with a nationwide audience on Thursday, April 6.

The online chats will be hosted by and can be accessed by entering through the home page under "Upcoming Events."

Abbott, an advanced practice nurse in the UI Cancer Center, will discuss cancer fatigue from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Cancer-related fatigue is the most common and debilitating side effect of cancer and its treatment. Most people living with cancer, and especially those living with lung cancer, experience mild to extreme fatigue. Although a recent survey shows cancer-related fatigue affects 76 percent of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, it is frequently overlooked and undertreated.

Ryken, UI assistant professor of surgery and a staff neurosurgeon, will discuss brain tumors from 6 to 7 p.m. Because of their location at the control center for thought, emotion and physical function, brain tumors are difficult to treat. Every year, more than 100,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer death in children under age 15 and in young adults up to age 34. While approximately 44 percent of all primary brain tumors are benign, they are unlike most benign tumors found elsewhere in the body, because they may recur and may result in death.

Abbot received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at the UI. She joined the staff of the UI Hospitals and Clinics in 1980. She is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society and vice-president of the Eastern Iowa Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society. Her clinical interest is in cancer fatigue, issues in cancer care and symptom management in the person living with cancer.

After receiving his medical degree from the UI College of Medicine, Ryken completed his residency at the UI Hospitals and Clinics and a fellowship at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He joined the UI faculty in 1998.

Ryken is a member of the Cambridge Society, the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. His clinical interests are neurosurgery, glioblastomas, and brain tumors.

A calendar of other upcoming chats by UI Health Care professionals and dialogue from past chats can be accessed by logging on to and clicking on the logo at the bottom of the page.

UI Health Care’s partnership with is part of an increasing trend in health care toward enhancing consumer services through the Internet. According to recent statistics compiled by Cyber Dialogue, a New York firm that tracks Internet commerce, there are approximately 22 million World Wide Web users seeking health information over the Internet. Cyber Dialogue projects that number to increase to 33 million over the next year.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.