Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

——————————-

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although breast cancer is only one of many cancers, I am pleased of the exposure that the many “pink” ribbon brings. It gives me hope that other cancers can have a similar banner of awareness…in the near future. Despite our many progress and technological advances in medicine, cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. For example, Breast Cancer has over 220,000 new diagnosis annually, and over 400,000 deaths each year. Many are surviving a longer time thank in the past.

  • Overall, cancer has taken on a more “chronic” long term debilitating effect, for those who survive initial treatment and are then diagnosed with recurrence/metastatic disease.
  • One the most feared symptom in this category of patients is pain. Overall, 50% to 70% of people with cancer experience some degree of pain, which usually intensifies as the disease progresses.
  • Less than 50% of these patients receive adequate relief of their pain, either because they are afraid to ask because they fear “addiction”, or physicians are unlikely to prescribe adequate medication to attain relief that will allow the patient continued good quality of life.
  • Suboptimal pain control can be debilitating and caregivers are often times unsure how to address this issue.

pm_general_cp_pain_approachThe World Health Organization program for cancer pain control recognizes that 1 in 5 patients with cancer has uncontrolled pain and has a ‘three-step ladder’ for the rational use of analgesics including morphine (recommended adaption to 4-step-ladder – see HERE).

Analgesic pain 4Morphine has long been the ‘gold standard’ for the treatment of severe cancer pain. However, its side-effects, particularly sedation/drowsiness, and cognitive impairment have led to ‘opioid rotation’ to alternatives such as methadone and hydromorphone. The one I like to use most in uncontrolled pain situation is the 72-h transdermal patch for Fentanyl, which offers advantages of reduced side-effects and increased convenience over oral morphine. Another novel pain medication is Intravenous (IV) strontium-89 and bisphosphonate therapy which are effective for both short- and long-term control of metastatic bone pain.

Pain Management Physician Review

Patient Discusses Pain

——————————————–

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”

——————————

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

——————————————–

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”

——————————

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

——————————————–

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”

———————————

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I cannot help but think about all the remaining women and “mother figures” in my life – My mom and my Paternal Grandmother, who is now 91yo, are gratefully still with us. I never miss a moment to say to my mom, “Love you!”  Even after a disagreement or heated argument. I’d say something along the line of, “I have to get off the phone now to calm down…ok? Love you…bye.” And yes, I would follow-up afterwards as well. How is your relationship with your mom? Hang out with her recently? Spoke with her recently? It is a worthwhile relationship to work at improving

Memory of MomSome are not so fortunate…and will be celebrating Mother’s Day…in memory of their love one. My friend’s mom Lilly, was a great women, mother and wife. I know that she is sorely missed.

It is my hope that all your memories of your mom are filled with smiles and happy recollections!

Ms. Lilly, Teresa, and all the Moms are looking down from Heaven…smiling, pleased with all their children…pleased with you.

Cheers!

——————————————–

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 … www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

———————————

The U.S. population is always on the go! Things to do, people to see, meeting to attend, business to conduct,  kids recital to attend, kids sporting events, church events….sitting in traffic…falling asleep behind the wheel. Siesta anyone? Fatigue is simply a chronic state of tiredness…being tired…all the TIME!

tired_eyes_800pxAmericans are tired.  It seems to be an “expected” badge of honor  in the National Capital Region (DC, MD, VA). If you are not multi-tasking and dashing to and-fro, complaining about traffic, the weather, politics, or a myriad of other things – something must be wrong with you! OR maybe you are just normal?

Fatigue literally came over me as I wrote the above – because I too, have been caught up in the world wind. I handle stress well and do take at home vacations (stay-cation) and vacations to recuperate, but is that enough? What if we just do not allow ourselves to get so TIRED in the first place? Is that possible? YES!

Fatigue/Tiredness can be manifested as:

  • Difficulty or inability initiating activity (generalized weakness)
  • Reduced capacity maintaining activity (easy fatiguability)
  • Difficulty with concentration, memory, and emotional stability (mental fatigue)

tiredA cross-sectional survey of US workers found that the 2 week period of prevalence of fatigue to be 38%! Additionally, 21-33% of patients seeking attention in the primary care settings report significant fatigue. The statistics for work place injury and motor-vehicle accidents due to fatigue is devastating!

HOW TIRED ARE YOU?? Some disease processes cause/or lead to chronic fatigue. Duration of fatigue can be recent (less than one month), prolonged (more than one month), or chronic (over six months) – talk to your doctor about your state of fatigue.

Fatigue should be distinguished from somnolence, dyspnea, and muscle weakness, although these symptoms may also be associated with fatigue. Patients may use the terms fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy, and excessive sleepiness interchangeably.

TIRED IM SO

PLEASE, GET SOME REST – it is good for YOUR health (and sometimes others too)! See videos below.

——————————————–

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 … www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

———————————

Recently, while driving home, I was tuned into WTOP (Weather & Traffic station) and they were featuring a section on Cindy Finch with topic as noted above. She described how a patient may feel lost and alone after a period of regimented medical treatment. They survived cancer and all the medical treatments, now what?

Cancer SurvivorAs physicians, we are usually all about the art of “doing” to help our patients. Most patients appeared to be excited, elated, happy about completing treatment and look forward to moving on with their lives.

It is difficult for most Physicians to attend to required care beyond the immediacy of the medical treatment. So, to meet these needs of the patients, we do have a Behavioral Health team (Psychologist, Psychiatrist and/or Social workers) who attend to the  psychosocial aspect of post-treatment.

SurvivorHowever, in follow-up visit, I often times discussed the “new normal” and what that means after cancer treatment, or in the new survivorship role. Yet, I believe Ms. Finch revelation is a very worthwhile approach and a great sharing point (this may also be applicable to a love one after any drastic medical change/treatment, other than cancer).

What are your thoughts?

See Ms. Finch videos below

Her story…

——————————————–

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 … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information”

———————————

Thanksgiving is here…yeah!  For some its about the food, for others its about family and for some its about the shopping afterwards or football game. The tradition of asking everyone to name 2-3 christmas-vs-thanksgivingthings they are thankful for at the dinner table, seem to have fallen by the way side. Worse yet, when asked what they are grateful for, many seem to stumble about what to say. The horror!

Learning to be grateful, can start by looking at your life, where you are now, where you have been, the things you overcame this year, the things you were allowed to do this year, etc., See video below for motivation.  A varied sample of what I am GRATEFUL for include:

  • Waking up this morning – I recently heard of someone in my age group, who came home tired from work. Went upstairs to take a nap before dinner and just never woke up…dying in her sleep.
  • (What I think are…) My ugly toes – I recently did a presentation on healthcare cultural competence in taking care of disabled veterans. There are many wounded warriors who are able to function with the assistance of prosthesis…what do I have to complain about?thankful-printable
  • My truck – I grew up in the islands and walking over a mile to catch the bus to school was the norm. A sturdy vehicle that can handle well in the rain and snow, is indeed a blessing!
  • Relationship with my Mom and Dad – a miracle, but I think they have finally come around to realize I am an adult (smile). Our relationship and understanding have grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade.
  • Ability to give – though it is often said it is better to give than to receive, many have the desire to give, but is not able to do so. I thoroughly enjoy being a blessing to others.
  • Travel opportunity – visiting 6 international countries this year, mostly for work, but able to take a few vacation days to enjoy the area too. WOW, absolutely awesome!

What are you grateful for? Still not sure? See the video below.

——————————————–

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 »

Older Posts »