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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

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I love Robin Williams! Well, as much as anyone can care for and love someone they have never met. His death was a great loss … and to suicide, was a hard pill to swallow for most.  So, I was taken a back when someone said to me,

robin williams“I am tired of hearing about Robin Williams dying! What’s the big deal?”

“Well, he was a talented actor and enriched many people’s lives, on and off the screen.”

“So what? Many people are dying everyday. Why should his death be different?”

“Hhhmmm. Different as in worth, no. But he did make an impact during his life … and well, it is a great loss.”

“To whom?”

“Hmmm”  I see this was going no where. I did not need to defend Robin Williams. His life spoke for itself. Anyone who would take the time to speak with someone in hospice, to honor a “bucket-list” dying wish, is ok in my book. No personal introduction needed.

However, I wonder, how many people are depressed and go by unnoticed because they always seem to have a smile and/or keep occupied with busywork? Do you suspect that you or a love one may be depressed? Suicidal? Please know, there is help! Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Read more about Depression HERE and take the test in the middle of the page OR

Take this DEPRESSIONS SCREENING TEST by clicking HERE . Regardless of what the test may reveal, you should discuss it with your doctor! The urgency is NOW if you or a love one is suicidal! Life is BEAUTIFUL!

Robin Williams was gracious in his life and in his death, he brings attention to a very serious matter that can affect anyone. Give a hug to someone today. You may make a difference … you just never know!

 

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

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Over 30,000 men die of prostate cancer in the United States last year. That is a large number and should grab your attention if there is an older men in your life.  A recent review concluded that, “there is under-treatment of elderly, but healthy men with high-risk prostate cancer, the most aggressive form of this disease(1).”  The study showed under-treatment of HEALTHY men over 75yrs old.

Stay Active!

Healthy Lifestyle!

High Risk Prostate Cancer is aggressive and should be treated with a combination of Radiation and hormone therapy – for men at ANY AGE! This is level 1 recommendation, therefore a conversation should be had with the patient and his doctor. Level 1 studies have shown evidence that there is an overall survival benefits when High Risk prostate cancer is treated aggressively with Radiation plus Hormone vs hormone alone. This goes for healthy men over 75 years old as well. Hormone therapy alone for healthy male with high risk prostate cancer is not appropriate. The review (1) showed that many healthy older men were either not being treated (active surveillance) or treated with hormone therapy alone. That is BAD!

Treat the cancer not the patient’s age…take into consideration that many older gentlemen are very healthy and doing well at 70 and should not have to succumb to prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer, even High Risk, is treatable.

REVIEW: Prostate Cancer is a slow growing cancer and most men will not die from the disease, especially if they are in the Low Risk Category. There are 3 common risk groups for prostate cancer (some may consider 5):

  • (Very Low Risk), Low Risk
  • Intermediate Risk
  • High Risk, (Very High Risk)

old golferLow risk prostate cancer has many treatment options, one of which is no treatment, called “active surveillance” where the patient repeats the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood work every 3-4 months and have a repeat prostate biopsy at one year. One of the risk of active surveillance, is of course, progression of disease (even though Low Risk). Selection for this “non-treatment” must be done in consultation with a physician considering all the possible risks.

Low Risk Prostate Cancer is NOT the same as High Risk Prostate Cancer. Please be sure that you and/or your love one know the difference! Read more and “Watch Videos” about prostate cancer and its treatment here – http://www.legacyeducators.org/prostate-cancer.html  peruse this page thoroughly and I hope it is helpful!

REMEMBER: Being a Black male is a risk factor, so all AA/Black Male should start their screening at age 40, as Prostate Cancer in Black males also tend to be more aggressive (High Risk)!

  1. Chen RC, Carpenter WR, et al., Receipt of guidelines-concordant treatment in elderly prostate cancer patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2014 Feb 28; 88(2).332-8

 

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

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It is summer and it is hot! There is nothing I dislike more than standing still, doing nothing and sweating profusely…simply because it is hot.  If I am exercising, then it is justified. But doing nothing – that’s annoying (smile).  Notwithstanding my dislike, I still subject myself to “hot yoga” on a regular basis for its benefits… no, its not crazy…not really…(performing “Bikram” yoga in a “hot sauna” room for 90 minutes, we are usually drenched within the first 5-10 min, just lovely…)

Water

Well, we all have heard that in the summer time we should drink water…and lots of it! Oh…do not forget to replace the electrolytes too. However, no one really publicize, that drinking water, like anything else, should be done in moderation. If not, you could literally die from drinking too much water…yes, die from drinking too much water! The medical term is “hyponatremia” … also known as “water intoxication” … it can be very dangerous. Please be careful this summer and especially educate and keep an eye our children! MODERATION is the word for the year.

Please view 2 videos below for more information …

 

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

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“The best exercise is stooping down and lifting up another!”

Mentorship_helping-othersI recently attended a medical conference where I had the privilege of giving an oral and poster presentation. While the location of the conference was great – I barely did anything out in the surrounding area (except for a quick, difficult hike)…no beaches, no partying, no hanging out… the academic wealth the conference had to offer was my main focus. Many physicians gave guidance and “instantaneous” mentorship through anecdotal “lessons learned”, insights, and shared experiences (both good and bad). The younger physicians absorbed the information like a sponge from these seasoned veterans …

One such physician is Dr. James Collins, a Radiologist whom I first met back in 2006 (seems like just yesterday).  Today, at the tender age of 82, Dr. Collins remains very active in the medical community and had much to share.   His depth of knowledge is comparable to the “treasure of gold at the end of the rainbow” – so much to learn from our elders!

I have had many mentors over the years, but consider my faith in Jesus as my #1 guide and foundation. My current mentor, Dr. Calloway, is always there to offer a listening ear, give advice, encouragement and a nudge in the right direction when needed. She is an awesome and supportive mentor and I am blessed to have her in my life!

mentor

I try to be an open book…always willing to share and guide others when asked…but I do not have any one person specifically that I am mentoring on a regular ongoing basis.  ‘Tis time for a change.  My experiences, and not my age, dictates that I can be a mentor! I do have much to share…and so do you!

Do you have a mentor?   Are you mentoring anyone?

CHALLENGE: Find 1-2 young adults to mentor on a regular basis for the next 8-12 months. A phone call (or text) once every week or so to check on them. Don’t have a mentor … find one! BUT before you embark on this mentorship journey, watch video clip below for a few tips…

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

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Is it possible, that in the fight against cancer, we should consider unconventional research areas for answers? We have definitely NOT tried every thing yet … we still have the capacity to make new discoveries. I DO believe that statement is TRUE!

scorpion deathstalker

Death stalker

Locating cancer cells in the body…loose cells – can be frustrating in cancer surgery. Oncology (cancer) surgery is plagued with outcome of positive margins, close margins, or unknown/possible spread of the disease. Locating small clusters of cancer cells is rather challenging. So, when a friend text me a local newspaper link about an Oncologist whose research shows that scorpion venom can be used to locate cancer cells, I had to read more and share with you.

scorpion-venomDr. James Olson, is a Pediatric Oncologist in Seattle, WA who is driven to help in the fight against cancer in anyway possible. If you have children, work with children, or have a caring heart, then you know a sick child can tug at the most inner part of your being. So, as a Pediatric Oncologist, it is no surprise that Dr. Olson is driven to help our children diagnosed with cancer. He is driven to make a difference.  You may think, “But scorpion venom?” to which I would say …”Why not?!”  I cheer along Dr. Olson and all the other researchers who are coming up with innovative ideas to battle this disease. Many are waiting…

Kudos to Dr. Olson and all our cancer researchers! Kudos indeed!

Press play below to watch Dr. Olson’s Interview!

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

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I have been asked, “Is the “new” breast mammogram another better than regular mammogram?”  Well, let me tell you a little about what it is…and then you can become your own advocate and make the decision best for you.

Breast tomosynthesis (also known as 3-D mammography) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for routine clinical use in addition to standard/conventional mammography (Tomosynthesis should not be used alone). Tomosynthesis is a modification of digital mammography that uses a moving x-ray source that can reconstruct thin slices of images and allow the Radiologist to detect and distinguish abnormalities better.

In the screening setting, tomosynthesis may help to decrease recall rates by being able to show true lesions better. This was proven in several studies.

In the diagnostic setting, tomosynthesis improves lesion characterization that may result in fewer false positive biopsies and increase the rate of cancer detection.

breast density

When used in screening mode, the patient is exposed to approximately twice the usual radiation dose, which is sometimes is greater if the patient has dense or thick breasts. However, newer tomosynthesis creates a synthetic 2-D image from the 3-D images, and thereby lowers the radiation dose to slightly above that of a conventional mammogram.  See video below for further explanation on how tomosynthesis works.

Is this a trade off? My opinion…no. Improved detection and lower recall rates with slight increase in radiation dose vs “normal” radiation exposure from conventional mammogram with higher recall rates…and all the anxiety and psychological effects to boot? However, the decision is yours.

Watch videos below to learn the basics of breast self exam and tomosynthesis (Digital 3-D mammography)

 

 

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

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SMOKING … why is it so important to stop? Well, it is proven to cause harm … proven to cause cancer (carcinogen).  The promotion of smoking cessation is essential, as cigarette smoking is thought to be causal in 85 to 90 percent of ALL lung cancer.

smoking poison

lung_cancer_treatment

Lung Cancer deathsPrevention, rather than screening, is the most effective strategy for reducing the burden of lung cancer in the long term. Most lung cancer is attributed to smoking, including lung cancer in nonsmokers in whom a significant proportion of cancer is attributed to environmental smoke exposure.

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women, and the third leading cause of cancer in the United States
  • Worldwide, lung cancer and lung cancer-related deaths have been increasing in epidemic proportions, largely reflecting increased rates of smoking. studies suggest that for any level of smoking, women are at higher risk of developing cancer than men.
  • In the year 2013, the American Cancer Society predicts that there will be approximately 224,230 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed, and approximately 159,260 lung cancer-associated deaths in the US

Recommendations for screening by expert groups — A 2012 systematic review of available evidence was commissioned by the American Cancer Society (ACS), American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to serve as a basis for screening guidelines for these societies.  Screening guidelines supporting low-dose CT scans for identified high-risk groups, based upon this review, were issued by the NCCN and by theACCP/ASCO.

So, how should you approach this with your Doctor if interested in screening? Click link below for a guide developed just for patients!

NLSTstudyGuidePatientsPhysicians

A 2013 systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) serves as the basis for revised guidelines for the USPSTF. Many expert screening groups have incorporated results from the NLST in their recommendations. The recommended age cut-off for screening varies between groups, with modeling studies suggesting that extending screening beyond the 74 years of the NLST cohort will provide further benefit

 

Senator Santiago Diagnosed with advance lung cancer. Press arrow below to watch!

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CHEST PHYSICIANS LUNG CANCER GUIDELINES

 

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Prevention (promoting smoking cessation) is likely to have far greater impact on lung cancer mortality than is screening. Nonetheless, lung cancer screening has the potential to significantly reduce the burden of lung cancer.
  • Early trials of chest x-ray screening found no mortality benefit for x-ray alone or x-ray plus sputum (spit) cytology
  • Low-dose CT (LDCT) refers to a noncontrast study obtained with a multidetector CT scanner during a single maximal inspiratory breath-hold with a scanning time under 25 seconds. Radiation dose exposure is less than a third of a standard-dose diagnostic chest CT examination.
  • A large randomized trial (NLST) of annual low-dose CT screening in patients with a 30 pack-year history of smoking, including those who quit smoking in the preceding 15 years, demonstrated a decrease in lung cancer and all-cause mortality
  • All patients who smoke should be strongly counselled to quit smoking as the most-effective intervention to reduce the risk of lung cancer.
  • Patients who currently smoke or have a history of smoking should be advised of the risks and benefits of screening for lung:
  • For patients in good health who are thought to have a risk for lung cancer and for whom the cost of screening is not an issue, we suggest annual screening with low-dose helical CT
  • High-risk criteria for participation in the NLST were age 55 to 74 years, a history of smoking at least 30 pack-years and, if a former smoker, had quit within the previous 15 years. Also suggest screening for high-risk patients in good health to age 80
  • Plain chest x-ray screening has been shown to be ineffective for lung cancer screening. We recommend not screening for lung cancer with chest x-ray

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

 

 

 

 

 

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