BREAST CANCER: EARLY DISCOVERY ENHANCES SURVIVAL RATE

All women need to know about breast cancer because it can be very serious and potentially fatal. Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any other cancer except lung cancer. Experts estimate one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. But the good news is that death rates are going down. Patients diagnosed with breast cancer today often do much better than in previous years.

….FULL ARTICLE

NEW SCREENING DEVICE AVAILABLE FOR PATIENTS WITH DIABETES

People who have diabetes must be vigilant about their eyes. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74 years, and 45 percent of patients with diabetes develop diabetic eye disease, which can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness, according to www.DiabetesSightRisk.com. One complication of diabetes that affects the eyes is diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, blood vessels become blocked and prevents areas of.....

….FULL ARTICLE

FEELING S.A.D. DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON? YOU’LL BE O.K.

The holidays are wonderful, but there is also a great deal of stress at this time of year. Not only are people expected to eat more than they should, drink more than they should and spend more than they can really afford, but they are also expected to be joyous and merry and full of good cheer. For some people, however, the holidays are not something they look forward to.

….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.

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