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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! Impromptu conversations …

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Recently, I had a telephonic conversation with a rather pleasant lady in regards to an issue at hand. During conversation, she discovered I was a Radiation Oncologist. She relayed to me that her “bestest friend ever” (yes, “bestest” – I can break the grammar rules:-) was diagnosed with stage IIIB Melanoma…she is in her early 40′s.  Cancer is just so ugly. However, her friend was successfully treated with combination therapy Dabrafenib & Trametinib and is doing quite well…with negative scans!

melanoma

Examine yourself for the above … and see a Dermatologist (Malignant = Cancer)

She was kind enough to send me the link information on the drugs used in her friend’s treatment, as I was not aware of these new drugs! I try to stay abreast of all the new things in the Medical Oncology world, but as a Radiation Oncologist, sometimes tracking another specialty can be difficult…so I welcome and appreciate your sending information – I am forever a student – thank you!

Briefly, these new drugs treat Melanoma (Skin Cancer) using a mechanism that blocks certain receptors on the cancer cells. So, if the Melanoma is BRAF (v600E) positive, Debrafenib can be used to block the receptors and potentially stop the cancer cells from growing. Trametinib is a MEK 1/ 2 inhibitor and blocks both BRAF (v600E) or BRAF (v600K) if present on the cancer cells, thereby potentially decreasing cancer cell growth. It was noted in the review that,

“A patient will typically develop resistance to Dabrafenib monotherapy after about 5 to 7 months. The addition of trametinib helps overcome the tumor’s resistance mechanism, allowing for a more durable response to treatment.”

“The FDA has granted Priority Review designation to dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) as a combination treatment for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a BRAFV600E/K mutation.”

Read more by clicking HERE

We will win the fight against Cancer – FIGHT ON!

 

 

Why is this new drug so important? Watch this video from Mayo Clinic about Melanoma

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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 did not know that there was a “Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day” … did you?  I knew about the general HIV/AIDS Awareness, but not aware of how serious it was for our youths. Times have changed…13yo with new cases of HIV? Take a moment to review these statistics and reach out to a youth in your life, your community … just reach out!

There are 1000 new HIV cases among young people every month…One Thousand?!

  • 86% of new HIV cases among young women ages 18-24 are due to heterosexual sex
  • 80% of new HIV cases among young women ages 18-24 are in young women of color
  • 87% of HIV cases among young men ages 13-24 are among young men of color
  • Atleast 60% of YMSM who are HIV positive are not aware of their status
  • 80% of new HIV cases among people ages 13-24 occur among youths of color

ADD obesity, accidents, gun violence, etc., to those statistics … who will be left for our future????

Sometimes, as a specialist, physicians tend to “stay in their lane” but through this blog, and thanks to my readers and followers, I am able to stay/be relevant on other diseases that affects us … especially our children.

HIV NYHAAD_logoNational Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Advocates for Youth
2000 M Street NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 419-3420
(202) 419-1448
rachel@advocatesforyouth.org
www.youthaidsday.org External Links Disclaimer Logo
HIV YouthAIDSStat
HIV_poster_24X36_final
Press PLAY below to watch!

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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 went to dinner with my cousin last night. It was quite a special occasion as I have not seen her since I left Jamaica. I met her beautiful daughter and we had a great time catching up.  Her daughter ordered a tall glass of lemonade and had 1 or 2 refills – clearly thirsty.  We had crab dip for appetizer and when I got home I was so thirsty, I had about 3 glasses of water…salty dish! This led to a few questions for you -

  1. Does a “sugared beverage” substitute for the amount of water you should have daily?
  2. How much salt is in a can of soda? How much salt do you need per day?
  3. How much water should you be drinking daily?

Water cartoonMany think that any liquid is the same as drinking water. Not exactly true! Herbal teas and some mildly flavored beverage may be ok. The average adult human body is 50-65% water, so drinking a high salt or sugar content beverage can be like putting salt on a slug … it deprives your body of water, leaving you dehydrated! This would lead to thirst and your drinking more salt/sugared beverage…it’s a bad cycle! Of course, with warmer weather around the corner you must be vigilant about drinking enough water. When you feel “thirsty” you are already behind in hydration! Dehydration can lead to symptoms of:

  • headaches
  • fatigue (~5-8% dehydration)
  • lethargy
  • inability to focus
  • dizziness (10% or more dehydration)

Water chartA simple equation, for recommending daily water intake, is that you drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily, for normal daily activity (sitting at desk, walking to car etc.,).  Example: If you weigh 200 pounds, then you should drink 100 ounces of water daily. Try it! When you exercise, be sure to replace the electrolytes you lose – personally, I like natural coconut water – and increase your water intake to replace that lost in sweating as well.

This is something you can do … for YOU! No Doctors needed…no prescription needed.

Start re-hydrating your temple, your body today! You will look better and feel better…and thank yourself  later for it too!

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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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Greetings! We have covered Diabetes in a few blogs in the past. In honor of American Diabetes Association “ALERT Day” this week, let’s see how much you recall about the basics of Diabetes!

The organ that is “insuffiecient/affected” that lead to the diagnosis of Diabetes is;

  1. Kidneys
  2. Pancreas
  3. Liver
  4. Heart

The “normal” blood sugar level, first thing in the morning, should be?

  1.  70 – 92 mg/dL
  2. 130 mg/dL
  3. Greater than 150 mg/dL
  4. Over 200 mg/dL

What is Heamglobin A1c (Hgb A1c)?

  1. Basically, the amount of sugar on the white blood cells, that reveals what your “average” blood sugar reading was over the past month or so
  2. Basically, the amount of sugar on the blood strip test before you take your medication
  3. Basically, the amount of sugar on the red blood cells, that reveals what your “average” blood sugar reading was over the past month or so.
  4. Basically, the amount of sugar you ate in your last meal

What should be your “goal” Hgb A1c?

  1. ~3
  2. ~6
  3. ~9
  4. ~17

How did you do? Answers are below

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diabetes-01-3-2013To be given a diagnosis of diabetes, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Have symptoms of diabetes (increased thirst, increased urination, and unexplained weight loss) and a blood sugar level equal to or greater than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The blood sugar test is done at any time, without regard for when you last ate (random plasma glucose test or random blood sugar test).
  2. Have a fasting blood sugar level that is equal to or greater than 126 mg/dL. A fasting blood sugar test (fasting plasma glucose) is done after not eating or drinking anything but water for 8 hours.
  3. Have a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) result that is equal to or greater than 200 mg/dL. An OGTT is most commonly done to check for diabetes that occurs with pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
  4. Have a hemoglobin A1c that is 6.5% or higher.

The diagnosis of diabetes needs to be confirmed by repeating the same blood sugar test or doing a different test on another day.

Pre-Diabetes: your blood sugar is above normal but not high enough to be diabetes.

  1. If the results of your fasting blood sugar test are between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL,
  2. Your OGTT result is between 140 to 199 mg/dL (2 hours after the beginning of the test), or your hemoglobin A1c is 5.7% to 6.4%.

ANSWERS: 2, 1, 3, 2

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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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Last week, we reviewed the basic function of the kidneys and disease processes that may affect them.  End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or stage 5 Kidney disease develops when the kidneys are no longer able to function regularly for day-to-day living. You may read more HERE 

The two leading causes of Kidney failures are Diabetes (sugar) and High Blood pressure. If you or someone you know, was diagnosed with either Diabetes or High Blood pressure….please take heed and try to control these disease processes. Talk with your healthcare professional on what lifestyle changes you can make and how to take your medications properly. I know you can make life style changes … your life may depend on it!

A Dialysis procedure typically last about 3-6 hours and must be completed 3 days per week or every other day.  Please see 3 videos below.

  1. Basic information on dialysis
  2. Day in the life of a young (12yo) going through dialysis
  3. Day in the life of an adult during the dialysis procedure

Educational for anyone with or around children!

Please NOTE: Graphic needle insertion

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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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kidney1While at the Hair Salon recently, we had a general conversation of just how appreciative we are of our parents. One patron mentioned that her mother’s 70th birthday was this week and she would fly out to surprise her (how sweet!). She further spoke of her mother’s overall health condition noting that her mother was diagnosed with High blood pressure for many years, but for various reasons did not take the given medications.  She attributes to the reason why her mother is currently on Dialysis. She was saddened by the fact that her mother would not consider a transplant…and how difficult and time consuming dialysis can be (3 days per week or every other day, each session lasting up to 6 hours).

{Dialysis is a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood, and is used as a replacement/substitute for lost kidney function. The kidneys maintain the body’s balance of water and minerals and also plays a role in red blood cells and bone formation through two hormones:  erythropoietin and calcitriol.}  Have you ever consider what would happen if you could not urinate?

Let’s review the basics and learn about High Blood pressure, they organs they affect and how the kidneys work.  For my kind followers/readers diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension), this will also explain the importance of maintaining a normal blood pressure…please take your medications!

The importance of maintaining a normal blood pressure – click below to watch

)

Click below to watch Basic Function of the Kidneys

)

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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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Colon Cancer CardRecently I met a young lady … in her early-40’s who told me she is now a “survivor” of Colon Cancer.  Another lady was diagnosed in her early 30’s.  It is not very often that we discuss Colon Cancer in young adults. Actually, the age for “Screening” for colon cancer is publicized to begin at age 50. This may be different for you

So what symptoms or signs would prompt a young adult to discuss earlier screening for colon cancer with his/her doctor?

Have a pen and paper handy, then press play below for answers…

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and a leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older.

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50, earlier if you are at higher risk.  You may be at higher risk if you are African American, smoke, or have a family history of colorectal cancer. Also … listen to your body! No one knows and notes changes, like you can. If you notice persistent changes, as listed in above video, please speak with your doctor.

Press Play below to watch video

To increase awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening, Legacy Health Educators is proudly participating in Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  You may visit our website, www.LegacyEducators.org and read more in the “CANCER INFORMATION” section.

Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colorectal cancer:

  • Get screened starting at age 50.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

For more information, visit http://www.LegacyEducators.org

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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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