A LOOK AT WEIGHT-LOSS MEDICATIONS

For most people, losing weight is a challenge that requires them to make lifestyle changes. They must focus on diet and exercise, reducing caloric intake while increasing physical activity. It is best to follow a low-carbohydrate diet that emphasizes eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and eschews sugar and processed foods.  However, for many people, no matter what they do, the weight just doesn’t drop off as they hope. They need a little more help in the form of medications specifically designed to stave off obesity.

….FULL ARTICLE

OVARIAN CYSTS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

An ovarian cyst is a sac filled with fluid or semisolid material that forms on or within an ovary. These cysts are highly common, especially during the childbearing years. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ovarian cysts are less common after menopause; however, postmenopausal women who have an ovarian cyst are at higher risk for developing ovarian cancer. In most cases, cysts are harmless and typically go away on their own.

….FULL ARTICLE

MALE INFERTILITY

Creating a baby is no small feat. Many conditions, both in the woman and the man, have to be just right for pregnancy to occur. According to the Mayo Clinic, (www.mayoclinic.org), up to 15 percent of couples are infertile. They have not conceived a child even though they have had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer. In up to half of these couples, male infertility is a significant factor.

….FULL ARTICLE

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According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in the United States among both men and women. Each year, more people die from lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.


The most important risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. It is the cause of approximately 85 percent of all U.S. lung cancer cases. Smoking prevalence has decreased in the past several years, but approximately 37 percent of American adults are current or former smokers. Other risk factors for lung cancer include specific occupational exposures, radon exposure, family history and a history of pulmonary fibrosis or chronic obstructive lung disease.


The incidence of lung cancer increases with cumulative exposure to tobacco smoke. It occurs mostly in people who are 55 years of age or older. Lung cancer has a grim prognosis. Almost 90 percent of the people who develop it will die of the disease. In 2012, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated there were about 226,000 people newly diagnosed with lung cancer and 160,000 deaths.


The USPSTF recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for adults aged 55 to 80 years

who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. (A pack year is one pack of cigarettes a day for one year.) The ACS says there is good evidence lung cancer screening saves the lives of people at high risk (20 percent in the largest carefully controlled study) when the screening is done by experienced, high-volume lung cancer screening programs.


Most lung cancer cases are non- small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). The majority of screening pro- grams focus on the detection and treatment of early-stage NSCLC. LDCT has shown high sensitivity and acceptable specificity for the detection of lung cancer in high-risk persons. The USPSTF has found adequate evidence that annual screening for lung cancer with LDCT in a defined population of high-risk persons can prevent a substantial number of lung cancer- related deaths. Of course, your best preventive tool is to never start smoking or quit now.


The ACS lists the following as some of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer:


•  A cough that does not go away or gets worse.

LUNG CANCER SCREENING IS IMPORTANT

•  Coughing up blood or rust- colored phlegm.

•  Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing or laughing.

•  Hoarseness.

•  Weight loss and loss of appetite.

•  Shortness of breath.

•  Feeling tired or weak.

•  Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back.

•  New onset of wheezing.


If you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer may be diagnosed at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective. If you are considering having a lung cancer screening, be sure to discuss with your health care provider all the possible benefits, risks and harms, which include false-negative and false-positive results.

LINDSEY CLICKNER

Lindsey Clickner joined Family Practice Associates of Lexington this past September. Born and raised in Lexington, Lindsey is married with three boys. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 2004 from Regis University in Colorado. She graduated from Gardner Webb University in May 2016 with a Master’s degree in Nursing and is Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

more articles by lindsey clickner