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Archive for the ‘Men’s Health’ 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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Recently, a friend of mine had teeth extractions and when the bill was reviewed while waiting, there was an over-charge. The billing was done in anticipation of how many teeth would be removed, not after the procedure for the actual number removed. In one case, there was a charge for tooth #9, that was not even there (yes, in this procedure they charged per tooth…strange).

It caused me to wonder, how many patients actually check and question their medical and dental bills? (Watch VERY important videos below).

My nurse gave me an article that was written in the Washington Post about healthcare markups for the uninsured. Some interesting points includes:

negotiating-hospital-bills “Fifty (50) hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care, according a research published [recently]. All but one of the facilities are owned by for-profit entities and the largest number – 20 – are in Florida.”  Gerard Anderson, professor at the John Bloomberg School of Public Health noted,  “This means, when it cost the hospital $100, they are charging patients on average $1000. It would appear that these facilities are price gouging, simply because they can.”

Of note, other consumers who would be charged this ridiculously high rates are patients whose hospital are not in their insurance company preferred network of providers, patients using workers compensation and those covered by automobile insurance policy. Most patients covered by private, government and programs such as Medicare do not pay full price, because these entities negotiate lower rates. Location in big cities does not account for these high prices either, as hospital in the suburbs/rural area can be quite expensive.

See the Hospital list HERE

Only 2 states, Maryland and West Virginia, set hospital rate charges for procedures. Federal government does not regulate prices that healthcare providers can charge. Of course, these sky rocketing medical bills can lead to damaged credit scores, bankruptcy, or worse yet, avoidance of needed medical care.

Do consumers now have to shop around for best health care cost for a procedure? As the commercial noted, shopping around for other things, not just your car, especially if uninsured or in one of the above categories, may be to your benefit.

Watch VERY important videos below.

Unfair Hospital Charges

Negotiating Hospital Bills 

Read Rose’s story HERE

Hospital-Bill-Total

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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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A diagnosis of Cancer is a life changing event.

Once treatment is complete, the Fear of the Cancer Coming back (recurring)… is VERY common among cancer survivors…know that you are not alone.

recurrence1Many will attest that cancer diagnosis and treatment is (was) the most difficult thing to deal with.  HOWEVER, once the treatment is completed – surgery, months of chemotherapy, and weeks of radiation therapy, or a combination thereof – it is rather uncommon for a physician to use the other “C” word … Cure, because, the other “C” word would mean the cancer will never come back.

You see…no one can make such a guarantee. Oncologists (cancer doctors) truly does not know and cannot risk giving such a guarantee. Statistics can be given, but that too can be dangerous, as it truly depends on the patient’s personality. If the patients is an optimist (glass half full) then they will always think of being on the positive side of the equation, but if a pessimist (class half empty) then may be more self defeating.

Many patients live in ultimate dread of that post-treatment cancer evaluation/check-up. The mammogram for breast cancer, PSA’s for prostate cancer, colonoscopy for colon cancer, CT scans for lung cancer, the endoscope for head and neck cancer, the pelvic exam for gynecologic cancer, and so on, and so forth can be crippling. Patients often share that their thoughts include questions such as:

  • What if the cancer comes back?
  • What if I must go through those dreadful treatments again?
  • What if it becomes painful?
  • What if it comes back in a different area?
  • What if I ultimately die from this cancer?

New LifeSuch thoughts can be quite burdensome and may lead to heart palpitations, panic and anxiety attacks. These symptoms can occur days (and sometimes weeks/months) leading up to the follow-up appointments. Some patients may resort to living life to the fullest (sky diving, international travels, fulfilling bucket lists, etc.,) while others may abandon living (no plans for the future, no long term savings/retirement, depressed, etc..,). Both responses should be addressed.

While we can definitely do a better job at addressing the individual needs of each survivors… we are lacking the resources and staff. The Oncology community is working very hard to make a change. In the meantime, patients and their family can use an advocacy approach…how can they address their personal fear of cancer recurrence? What can they do to decrease some of the symptoms they are experiencing?

Stay tuned…next week we will review a few strategies to address some of the more common symptoms brought about by the Fear of Cancer Recurrence…

Consider the video below…more next week!

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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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We have become a very busy society.  Everything moves fast and the demand for “faster” is on the rise. Attention spans are limited to a few minutes and “waiting” and “patience” will soon be removed from our vocabulary, garnering looks of disbelief, and ultimately tagged as “bad” words.

While I am in great favor of advancement, prompt customer service, and completing the task at hand quickly, there is something to be said for a doctor’s visit that is slower and specific to one’s needs or ailments. Physicians have great demands on their time as well, and their services are in danger of becoming similar to assembly lines: patients must be seen quickly and passed along to the next section to meet Relative Value Units (RVU’s) for reimbursement.

PAUSE.

touch1Things must be slow enough in a clinic, such that a patient is touched – a Physical Exam (PE) focused or otherwise should be performed. I am bewildered by reports of folks being seen by healthcare providers and not even being touched/examined. Gathering vital signs (blood pressure, respiratory rate, temperature, etc.,) and the history are only portion of a doctor’s visit.

Digital health is the new wave, as patient call in with their questions and symptoms and a likely diagnosis is given over different media platform. However, take note of the disclaimers…

So, what type of physical exam should be expected at a Physician’s office? Well, it truly depends on the complaint or reason why you visited in the first place. Some are more direct than others.

Complaints of:

  • touch2Abdominal pain or discomfort – look, palpate, press the abdominal region
  • Cough – listen to lungs, heart, look in the mouth, feel neck nodes, etc.,
  • Back pain – look at skin, palpate area (bone, muscles, etc.,)
  • Earache – look in the ear, look in the mouth, palpate the neck nodes, etc.,
  • Breast pain – breast exam including visual, palpating, eval under arms, above clavicle and neck nodes…

The bottom line is: When someone sees their healthcare provider any reason, at the very least, a focused physical examination should be performed. No excuses. AND, if they do not, speak up and ask why!

Annual Physical Examination

Focused History & Exam for Headache

Complete Physical Exam

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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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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…

Read Full Post »

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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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

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Why is there such an obsession over good health? Even more so over aging or getting old? I do not have the answer or formula, as there is a billion dollar anti-aging industry searching for that as well. What I do know, is that aging gracefully is quite possible for everyone – Love Yourself, Love Others, Be Kind, Be Grateful, Stay Active, Laugh a lot and LIVE for the moment…that is a GREAT start and canvas quite a bit!

Example:  To quit smoking is a part of loving and being kind to oneself…and by so doing improve one’s health!

It is not just to live longer either, but to enjoy a better, healthy life NOW, that will also be beneficial much later… to have something to look back at…when you are 80, 90, or 102 yo! Aging gracefully is … priceless! As Dr. Charles Stanley would say, “We reap what sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.” …. sow wisely!

Stay Active!

Stay Active!

Staying Active: If dancing is not your thing, maybe daily walking after dinner, playing tennis, gardening, or anything else that is enjoyable and settles your mind – may do the trick. Don’t forget to exercise the brain too!

Laughing/smiling does the heart good! This video brought a smile to my face and lightens my heart…here’s hoping it does the same for you also!

Start practicing the “aging gracefully” process today…

102 yo DANCER… sees herself dancing for the FIRST time!

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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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