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Archive for the ‘CT Scan’ Category

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…

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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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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…

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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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Seeking a second opinion is often exercised in many areas of life. It is often quoted that:

  • 70% of people consider a 2nd opinion for home improvement
  • 55% of people would consider a 2nd opinion on vehicle repairs.
  • What about Cancer diagnosis? How many get another opinion?

second-opinion-cartoonWhen it comes to cancer diagnosis and other serious chronic diseases, a second opinion is not only ok, it is recommended!

Your treating physicians should not mind, and in most cases, a good physician may even recommend that a second opinion be obtained. This recommendation is NOT a bad thing! As physicians, we are often very comfortable with our recommendations, but understand that there may be other ways of accomplishing what is best for you, the patient.

***Cancer is often a scary and frightening diagnosis! It is my recommendation to NEVER go to an appointment alone, if at all possible.***

PREPARING FOR A 2nd OPINION

Don’t wait too long after diagnosis – time is of the essence! Once you have completed your 1st set of appointments (or even during the process):

  • Tell your physicians that you would like to have a 2nd a opinion. They may recommend another hospital or physician and may assist with arranging an expedient 2nd opinion appointment. Alternatively, you may do this on your own, by seeking recommendations elsewhere/trusted sources
  • Sign release forms and/or gather all of your relevant medical records—including biopsy/pathogloy/test results, blood work, or any imaging test (CT scans, MRI, US, Mammograms, etc.,). This will prevent the need to repeat these exams – save time and money!
  • Create a list/time line of all the symptoms that lead to your diagnosis, if any was experienced
  • Write down and bring a list of all the medications you are currently taking (prescription and over the counter)
  • Write down and bring a list of all your questions. If you do not know what to ask, consider the things discussed at your first oncology appointment…AND please bring someone with you!

WHAT TO EXPECT

  •  The hospital/clinic may repeat their review of the pathology report to confirm the diagnosis
  • They will provide additional details about the type of cancer and its overall stage (a description of where the cancer is located, if or where it has spread, and whether it is affecting other parts of the body)
  • Perspective from experts in different oncology disciplines, such as medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical oncology
  • Discussion treatment options (sometimes doctors may disagree with the original diagnosis or the previous proposed treatment plan – different chemotherapy, different radiation therapy approach, no chemotherapy or radiation, different type of surgery, etc.,)
  • The availability of clinical trials that you may want to consider
  • The favorite question most of my patient like to ask me – “What would you recommend if I was your…___(fill in the blank/relative)” … It never hurt to ask the same!

This is by no means an exhaustive list of recommendations in preparing for a 2nd opinion, but it is a start – for a blog *smile*.  Apply these recommendations to any other serious diagnosis. If possible, ask  questions before any surgeries or serious treatment. Oh, by the way, your research on the internet does not count as a second opinion!

Again, take someone with you on your appointments!

God’s speed!

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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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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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