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Archive for July, 2013

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER

Females are VERY vocal. If you were ever in doubt about the strength in numbers and just how vocal females can be regarding a cause of mutual interest … take a look at Breast Cancer.  Everyone knows pink = breast cancer.

However, despite the awesome global attention and exposure and the many research underway, there still exist a problem; patients are still not certain of the “labels” that physicians use in describing certain aspect of Breast cancer and are often times terrified by the information found on the internet – especially as it relates to triple negative breast cancer. The questions I am often asked are;

  1. What are receptors?
  2. What does “triple negative” breast cancer mean?
  3. Is “Triple Negative” breast cancer a good or bad thing?
Receptors - Complicated?

Receptors – Complicated?

What are receptors?  There are currently 3 receptors of interest in Breast Cancer: Estrogen Receptors (ER), Progesterone Receptor (PR) and Herceptin receptors (Her-2-neu)

Receptors are often times describe as, “little antennae’s” on the surface of cells that controls behavior, such as rate of growth, of the cell.  Clear as mud? Apologies, that is still “Doctor talk” that would not make sense to my non-medical Mom…so probably not for you either.

Uuhhhmmm….thinking, thinking…Lord Help me here…Hhhmmm. Got it! A bit overly simplified…but,

Think of Breast Cancer Growth being similar to a plant. There are 3 things required to make a plant grow;

  1. Soil
  2. Water
  3. Sun

Think of each of these components as a receptor, and things that make a cancer grow,

  1. Soil   (Estrogen receptor or ER)
  2. Water (Progesterone receptor or PR)
  3. Sun (Her2neu receptor)

When all 3 are present, the Plant grows (cancer grows).  We also have the ability to “block” each of these components in hopes of preventing the Cancer from growing.

  • If the soil is removed, the plant will be destroyed. (ER+, PR-, Her2Neu-)
  • If water is taken away from the plant, it will be destroyed. (ER-, PR+, Her2neu-)
  • If  Sun exposure is removed, the plant will be destroyed. (ER-, PR-, Her2neu+)

When there are positive receptors, we have available medications that will block the growth of cancer cells in addition to the regular treatment of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Oncologist like this, because there are more options of Medications to use, and the more different types of drugs we have, it is believed that the chance of controlling the cancer, will theoretically improve. You may be familiar with some of these drugs Tamoxifen, Arimidex,  Herceptin, etc.,

Triple Neg How ChemoIn Triple Negative Breast Cancer (ER-, PR-, Her2neu-) … The example would be a plant that is not sustained by any identifiable component…yet it is growing; a plant in a dark room, without soil or water available…grows. What is causing it to grow? Other factors that are not hormone receptor related (Well research are ongoing in this area).  However, we are still able to offer the same Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy as for hormone positive tumors…we just lack that “extra arsenal” of hormone/Antibody blockade that we have for positive receptor tumors.  For this reason, triple negative breast cancer is sometimes considered more aggressive. BUT, others sees it as a Breast Cancer without the hormone treatment options…3 out of 4 still remains (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy). Glass half empty or half full?

Now that you understand the basics, more will be explored next time! Questions? Let me know!

Click below to watch.

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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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

What is all the controversy about “Cord Blood” and what makes this blood so special?

JULY is cord blood appreciation month (yes, its true)! So a very good time to discuss the basics and importance of “Cord Blood” … just the facts Ma’am! Cord Blood is only one form of “Embryonic” stem cells…the controversy explained.

While in the womb, a baby receives its life support through the umbilical cord attached to the mother. After the birth of a baby, the umbilical cord is cut, but some blood remains in the blood vessels of the placenta and portion of the umbilical cord that remains attached to it. This blood is called umbilical cord blood or placental blood: “cord blood” for short.  The baby no longer needs this extra blood.

Why is this “Cord Blood” so important? Short Answer = Bone Marrow Transplant and treatment of serious diseases!

Long Answer: Cord blood contains stem cells, which are “immature” cells that can develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, etc … these immature cells are also located in the Bone Marrow.  If someone develop cancer of the blood (Leukemias) then all the blood in the arteries, veins and in the Bone marrows are affected. Part of the treatment for this type of cancer in children involves destroying “old cancer cells” and replace them with “good” immature cells, such as Cord Blood during a bone marrow transplant procedure. In addition to Leukemias, other diseases includes Lymphomas, Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes, and over 75 other malignancies, metabolic and Immune deficiencies and autoimmune diseases.

(Press arrow below to watch video)

So what’s the big deal … this sounds good right?

Well, other Embryonic cell research includes replacing cells of other tissues, like heart cells, nerve cells, liver cells  … and some fear, this could lead to “other organs or beings”  replacement … which brings morality into question.

When Morality is in question … we press the PAUSE button.

What are your thoughts?

(Press arrow below to watch video)

Read more about Cord Blood … click HERE

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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From the Physician’s Daily Life … Weekly Blog!

Physicians sometimes keep their identity hidden in certain instances. I did for a while, but my love for teaching and educating my community usurped the urge to be silent. My fellow colleagues, once  you are “discovered” and if  your are realized by others to be friendly, you are in for a treat and many interesting conversations can take place!  I have had many such pleasures…and from time to time, I will share some of these conversations … anonymously, ofcourse. **smile**

The Prostate Paradigm

Black menfolding areI was recently approached by a very delightful Brother, after a very engaging Sunday school class, who by his sheer glee, I could tell had good news to share.

A: Hey Doc!

B: Hey…how are you?

A: Oh man … I am doing fantastic!

B: Well, that is always good to hear….(smiling)

A: Doc, I went to my Primary Care last week, and he told me I don’t ever have to worry about Prostate Cancer!

B: Oh really? How did your Doc figure that out?

A: Well, he did some test…ya know, some uhm blood work. He said they were so good, I don’t ever have to worry about anything, least of all Prostate Cancer

B: (putting on my Doc hat) He said that? Did he also do your rectal exam?

A: Yeah … that finger thing? Yeah … he did that. He said everything was good Doc.

B: Well, (sighs) how old are you?

A: 51

B: Unfortunately, that is not something your Doc can promise you. The PSA (prostate specific antigen) was probably in the normal range on your blood work. But, “never” is a very strong word.

A: (confused look)

B: Well, it is great you are in good health. You should continue to do everything you are doing, but please do not stop your annual exams.

A: Oh no…I will keep going. Believe that … I will definitely keep going.

B: Did he discuss with you that being an African American/Black male actually IS a risk factor?

A: Just being Black? Why? How is that possible?

B: (Hhhmmm going heavy now) There are some races that have an increase risk for certain diseases … because of genetics, lets say. But a “risk factor” is anything that can increase the probability of something (or a disease) happening. For example … smoking is linked to Lung Cancer. Smoking is therefore considered a risk factor. There are some Asian cultures that are at an increase risk for Stomach cancer. We know over exposure to the Sun (sunbathing)  increases the risk for skin cancer. Same for other non-cancer diseases also…like high cholesterol in the Hispanic communities. Just being black is a risk factor for prostate cancer…

A: (smug) That’s not good then. Why did he say such a thing? What if it was someone else who does not have access to you Doc…to explain things?

B: I am sure your Primary care Doc meant well. He was probably just excited that all your labs came out looking great.  Help me spread the news though and tell your male friends, Men’s Ministries in the church and other male Fraternities. ALL Black Men should start screening for Prostate Cancer at age 40…unlike their white counterparts who starts screening at age 50. It makes all the difference. Over the past year, I have seen about 8 patients under 50 with aggressive forms of prostate cancer and I would say about 80% were Black males. It is rare under 50 … but probable.

A: (shaking his head). I don’t understand. Why did he say that … that’s just straight up wrong!

B: Oh…I feel bad … sorry, did not mean to burst your bubble (apologetic facie). I do a lot of Seminars, but you can help too. Tell the males in your family, in your Fraternities, at work … It’s good info that can save lives. Oh … I am available for Seminars too (smiling).

A: Thanks Doc… this is good stuff. I’m good though.

B: Ok. I think I should Blog about our conversation.

A: Really? That would be awesome! People really need to know…

Click below to watch video … I know, I know … the accent got me! *smile*

Visit our prostate page by clicking HERE!

Digital Rectal Exam can detect abnormality AND necessary!

Digital Rectal Exam can detect abnormality AND necessary!

Remember …

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

Visit 
http://www.LegacyEducators.com
 for more health information!

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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Fromt the Physicians Desk … Weekly Blog!

MARRIAGE AND HEALTH!

Standing the test of time!

Standing the test of time!

No one should be rushed into marrying if they are not ready to be hitched and the Divorce rate upwards of 50%…may substantiate this line of thinking. One may even argue that getting married is truly not worth it anymore. But I (the eternal optimist) beg to differ! I say YES to wedded bliss and there continues to be weddings galore every year, so people still believe in the “happy ever after”…do you? Well, there is scientific evidence to support getting married…yes there is! Please Note: The highest benefit is associated with Marriage and Not “co-habitation” … as is becoming the norm these days.

A recent study discusses the health-related benefits that appear to be conveyed by being in a good relationship. In men, marriage appears to be linked to improved survival rates with the more satisfying the marriage, the higher the rate of survival. As an example, University of Rochester researchers discovered happily married men who undergo coronary bypass surgery are more than three times as likely to be alive 15 years later as their unmarried counterparts. The study may be found in the journal Health Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association.

 Marriage and heart“There is something in a good relationship that helps people stay on track” says Kathleen King, professor emerita from the School of Nursing at the University of Rochester and lead author on the paper. Harry Reis, a coauthor and professor of psychology comments that the effects of marital satisfaction is “every bit as important to survival after bypass surgery as more traditional risk factors like tobacco use, obesity, and high blood pressure.”It was also noted that wives need to feel satisfied in their relationships to reap a health dividend.

Couples who are happy over the long haul stay healthier as the years pass, too, according to a new BYU study just published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.Marriage 1

The positive findings are probably largely about support between husband and wife, Miller said. People happy in their marriage typically support each other. “They probably encourage each other to be healthy, to go to the doctor, to take multivitamins and that kind of support,” he said. “We found not only an absence of negative stuff, but the presence of good stuff in a positive, supportive, vibrant marriage.”

The findings hold for both men and women, Miller said. He added that another new study he’s worked on shows that a happy marriage also boosts work productivity. Rick Miller is a professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University

Read more here …CLICK HERE!

Stay Active!

Stay Active!

 

Remember

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

Visit 
http://www.LegacyEducators.com
 for more health information!

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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From the Physician’s Desk … Happy Independence Day!

Today, we celebrate the Independence of our Great Nation…but often we forget to celebrate our “own” independence. The Freedom to make wise choices … and to be free from bondages, of all forms (fear, depression, anxiety, illness, phobias…and the list goes on and on). Please take a moment to slowly absorb and enjoy this poem. I wish you Independence from all your bondages … as those too, can lead to DIS-EASES … diseases.

Be as independent as DESIDERATA  recommends…

desiderata_by

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