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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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Earlier this year, we looked at “Why Your Thyroid Gland Matters” take a quick review HERE. For some, this may be a reason why there are issues with weight gain, fatigue, etc.,  As an Oncologist and being the cancer world, topics such as “over-diagnosis” always renders a reaction from me. If a life is being saved in the long run, can we truly quantify “over-diagnosis” in cancer?

thyroiddA new study published in the journal Academic Radiology lists reasons why thyroid cancer over-diagnosis.  Although there were an estimated 62,000 new cases of thyroid cancer in 2014, the number of fatalities was estimated at fewer than 1,900. Incidence rates have risen by 185% in 35 years, and surging rates and a mismatch between incidence and mortality signal a problem with over-diagnosis.

3 Key reasons considered for overdiagnoses of Thyroid cancer are:

  1. the imaging of incidental thyroid nodules. Such nodules are present on 16 to 25 percent of computed tomography (CT) scans, which is lower than other modalities. The malignancy rate of incidental nodules on CT and ultrasound is less than 12 percent.
  2. A second underlying reason is thyroid nodules are easy to biopsy. This suggests the biopsy threshold (reason to do a biopsy) is low and that decisions may not always comply with recommendations. The number of fine-needle aspiration biopsies for thyroid nodules doubled from 2006 to 2011, which was linked to a 31 percent gain in the number of surgeries for thyroid nodules.
  3. The third reason is routine processing of surgical specimens for other thyroid diseases such as goiter and thyrotoxicosis find incidental cancers in anywhere from 6 to 18 percent of patients.

Would you want to know if you have thyroid cancer or thyroid disease?

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Americans and claimed ~160,000 precious lives in 2014. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has now mandated coverage for lung cancer screening and we are on the way to saving many lives! However, many “high risk” patients are not aware if their “risk” status and availability for lung cancer screening is available.

Should you have Lung Cancer Screening? You may be a candidate for lung cancer screening if you answer “YES” to ALL of the following:

  • Are you 55 to 74 years old?
  • Are you in fairly good health (no symptoms of disease)?
  • Do you have a long or heavy smoking history? (use this link HERE calculate packs per year smoking history- http://smokingpackyears.com/calculate)
  • Are you still smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years?

lung_anatomy_rizwan_nuraniThe National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) was a large clinical trial that looked at using a type of CT scan known as low-dose CT to screen for lung cancer. The cost for a low-dose CT scan as a screening test for lung cancer is generally about $300 for each test, but prices vary widely at different centers.

Medicare recently decided to cover the cost of lung cancer screening, but if you are privately insured ask if your insurer covers lung cancer screening – they just might!

If all of the criteria for lung cancer screening listed above was answered “YES”, then you and your doctor (or other health care provider) should talk about starting screening. I would encourage you to also discuss screening, even if only some of the criteria listed are met, especially if you are concerned. Discussion should include what you can expect from screening, possible benefits and harms, as well as the limitations of screening.

The main benefit is a lower chance of dying of lung cancer, which accounts for many deaths in current and former smokers.

CAN LUNG CANCER BE PREVENTED?

  • Not all lung cancers can be prevented, but there are some ways you can reduce your risk of getting lung cancer
  • The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is not to smoke and to avoid breathing in other people’s smoke
  • If you stop smoking before a cancer develops, your damaged lung tissue gradually starts to repair itself
  • No matter what your age or how long you’ve smoked, quitting may lower your risk of lung cancer and help you live longer
  • People who stop smoking before age 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who continue to smoke

After watching the videos below, you will know more about lung cancer and lung cancer screening than most. Take the time to become an advocate for yourself, family and your community!

Great Video: Learning About the Lungs and Lung Cancer

Is Lung Cancer Screening Right For You?

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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Recently, I was awaiting news regarding a change in my job position. Each time the subject would cross my mind, I noticed that my heart would beat faster, my heart rate increase, and my breathing pattern changed. When I mentally thought – “relax” – I felt my body release tension, my face relax, my breathing pattern steadied….I honestly did not realize how much the thought process about this situation was affecting my physical body. Hhhmm…ever had that experience?

DyerI have been accused of being “too calm”…(if there is such a thing) and too relax sometimes (blame my island roots vibe).  Now I’m wondering if I’ve been at this “place” too long and allowing the outside into my psyche. If so, that is not a good thing. I need to change my thought process, change my mind…regardless of the situations around me.  As TD Jakes noted,

“a ship does not sink because it is in the water, but because the water gets into it.” (Reference: learning how to be around chaos and crazy situations, but not allowing the chaotic situation to get into you).

I cannot imagine someone affected this way physically on a daily basis, because they are in a bad relationship, job, or situation (or even daily long commute/traffic). It reeks havoc on the physical body!  Mental weariness affects the physical body, much more than a lot of folks realize.

The Psyche is an area of great interest to me and Dr. Wayne Dyer is one of my “silent” mentors. Take a moment to listen to one of his very insightful presentations.

DR. WAYNE DYER – “CHANGE YOU THOUGHTS CHANGE YOUR LIFE!”

dyer1

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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If you have never had a Computed Tomography, which is also called CAT or CT Scan, it will only be a matter of time before your physician recommend one. CT scan is painless and is considered a more advance/sophisticate X-ray machine. However, unlike an X-ray that shows only “2-dimension” images, CT Scan uses “3-dimensions” and allows us to see inside your body (see below).

One of the many fear, is that too many CT scans can cause cancer. However, as noted in this recently published article, the benefits of CT scans far outweigh the risks of the reasons why the CT Scan was ordered in the first place.

Excerpt from Medical News:

Like a donut - open at top

Like a donut – open at top

“In recent years, there has been widespread media coverage of studies purporting to show that radiation from X-rays, CT scans and other medical imaging causes cancer.

But such studies have serious flaws, including their reliance on an unproven statistical model, according to a recent article in the journal Technology in Cancer Research & Treatment. Corresponding author is Loyola University Medical Center radiation oncologist James Welsh, MS, MD.

“Although radiation is known to cause cancer at high doses and high-dose rates, no data have ever unequivocally demonstrated the induction of cancer following exposure to low doses and dose rates,” Dr. Welsh and co-author Jeffry Siegel, PhD, write.

CT showing tumor in a child

CT showing tumor in a child

Studies purporting to find a cancer link to medical imaging radiation have other flaws besides the questionable LNT model. For example, two recent studies suggested possible increased cancer risks from low-radiation doses associated with pediatric CT scans. But these cancers likely are due to the medical conditions that prompted the CT scans, and have nothing to do with the radiation exposure, Drs. Welsh and Siegel write.”

Read more HERE or http://www.news-medical.net/news/20150701/Low-radiation-doses-from-CT-scans-do-not-cause-cancer.aspx

No need to fear CT scans! There are so many other proven cancer causing elements you should be aware of – smoking, alcohol, obesity…and much more. Pay attention to and fix what you can!

 

Video: What is a CT Scan?

Video: Patient’s experience

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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More than any other substance – SUGAR – is linked to:

  • Obesity
  • Type-2 Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart diseases
  • ??Cancer??

In 1822 the average American consumed about;

  • 9 grams of sugar per day
  • ~45 grams every 5days (the amount in ONE 12oz can of soda, in 2015).

We went from 45 grams every 5days to now, we consume 45 grams every 7 hours or approx 150 grams per day!  Consuming 150 grams per day or 756 grams of sugar every 5 days is a lot of sugar (see video below for understanding measurements).  So what is the recommended normal daily intake?

Men = 36 grams per day (not 150+ grams)

Women = 20 grams per day (not 150+ grams)

Children = 12 grams per day (well…the actual grams today is rather large for kids too!)

sugar1How many cans of soda do you drink per day? How many cups of juice? They both have about the same amount of sugar! YES Indeed!

Given the way sugar acts on the brain, research is finding that sugar may be as addictive as cocaine and alcohol, so quitting (or decreasing the amount consumed) may not be as easy as one may imagine (take a moment to watch the videos below).

Sooo….Now you know!

What are you going to do?

Take back control…check the labels of the things you consume (cereal, sodas, milk, bread, etc.,). You would be surprise of the items that contains sugar.  With the recommendation of roughly 30 grams per day…one soda is over the daily limit.  I try to stay below 40 grams per day…it is a challenge, but I’m doing it most days. If you must have some sugar, reach for an apple instead…at least you will have the benefit of the fiber. So, what are you going to do?

And remember – everything in moderation! (Even during your 4th of July Celebration – bummer! ;-)) Enjoy!

sugar-is-addictive

HOW MUCH SUGAR IS IN A CAN OF SODA?

THE SUGARY TRUTH

IS SUGAR TOXIC? 60 minutes

 

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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JUNE IS MEN’S HEALTH MONTH!

(Please see video below and share with family and friends!)

While there are many types of cancers, Prostate Cancer, is one of the few that has a somewhat “predictable” blood indicator: the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). Please Note: only men have PROSTATE  – women do not have a prostate gland!

prostate normalSo what’s the fuss? Men – your brother, husband, uncle, boyfriend, grandpa, cousins, friends – are dying needlessly from this disease. Prostate cancer is the second leading of cause of death in men in the United States.

There are debates among medical professionals that we may be “over-treating” prostate cancer, leading to some clinics no longer testing for PSA.  However, that concern may be a bit premature, as over 27,000 men die annually from prostate cancer…still. African Americans/Black male are at greater risk and many are not being tested and many others do not know their number, or what it (PSA) means.

KNOW YOUR NUMBER!

KNOW YOUR PSA!

psa-adjusting

If you are an African American/Black male over 40 or other race over 50, someone in your family had prostate cancer, etc., you should know your number. Ask your doctor about it!

The prostate gland gets larger with age…so the PSA will increase. However, you should be referred to Urology if:

  • prostate abnormal1The PSA number is above age range specified above
  • The Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) is abnormal (lump felt, see pic above) – this occurs in ~20% of cases
  • The PSA number doubles or increase drastically from base line (therefore MUST know baseline)
  • Incidental abnormality on scan taken for other reasons

Now that you know more, speak with your physician to know what’s best for you. Tell your family and friends to do the sam – spread the word!)

Please watch this video and share!

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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It use to be that a cancer diagnosis lead to high mortality (death) rates and survivorship came at an extreme cost of post-surgical disfiguring features, neuropathy and other late effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well.  With improved technology and clinical applications of (bench) research, many patients are surviving and doing much better than generation past. As survival continues to improve, quality of life, including fertility preservation has become increasing important to patients and their families.

fertility-preservation

Sperm Banking

I recently received my seasonal St. Jude magazine with the featured topic of preserving fertility. It was great to know that fertility preservation options are now being offered to children undergoing cancer treatments or those who are survivors.  Per their report, “…[it is] estimated that half of adolescent and young adult male cancer patients are at increased risk for infertility, with about 10% of female childhood cancer survivors having acute ovarian failure and an additional 15% entering menopause prematurely.”

fertility

Egg Harvesting

It was noted in their report, that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is currently the only hospital in the U.S. to cover the expense associated with harvesting and storing sperm and eggs until patients reach age 35. That policy eliminates one of the greatest barriers to fertility preservation for many childhood cancer patients:cost. This is GREAT news!

I remain and avid supporter of St. Judes Research Hospital!  Hope to be a visiting professor/clinician there one day. If you are looking for a charity to support, please consider St.Judes!

stjude1

 

 

Fertility Preservation for Young Women with Cancer

Fertility Preservation Options

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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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