Written by on 11/17/2014 6:00:00 AM
The newest guidelines for lung cancer screenings encourage those at risk to get a low-dose CT scan. Who's at risk and why do they need a low-dose CT scan? We asked diagnostic radiologist, Kenyon Kopecky, MD, FACR, to weigh in.
Who is really at risk for lung cancer?
Smokers are at the highest level of risk. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for lung cancer for adults ages 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history (one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years) and currently smoke, OR adults in the same age range who have quit within the past 15 years.
For a smoker who is otherwise healthy, scheduling a lung screening may not seem urgent or even necessary. In fact, the idea of screening individuals at “high risk” has been debated for decades. But, simply put, smoking is the biggest risk factor in all cancer types. Smoking causes 90 percent of all lung cancer cases. continue reading ...
Written by on 10/29/2014 4:00:00 PM
Dr. Chase Lottich is a certified MD Anderson® physician and breast surgeon who specializes in treating breast cancer.
After a breast cancer diagnosis it is important to understand all of the treatment options available to you.
"Breast cancer care has evolved since I became a breast surgeon 25 years ago," said Dr. Chase Lottich, breast surgeon at Community Physician Network. "Our approach to treatment used to be ‘one size fits all’. Now, each individual has options for treatment that not only consider their tumor, but their perspective on treatment and healing."
For women interested in the ability to receive a single, concentrated dose of radiation therapy targeted at their tumor at the time of their cancer surgery intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) can be a treatment option.
IORT is a targeted form of radiation therapy given at the time of a lumpectomy surgery that kills microscopic cancer cells at the tumor site with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy cells in the breast, skin, lungs and heart.
The therapy is delivered in a single dose of radiation to the lumpectomy cavity at the time of breast surgery and allows women to complete their local therapy in a single day as opposed to weeks of outpatient therapy.
Current IORT treatment guidelines offer therapy to women at least 45 years of age, with early stage breast cancers that are less than 3.5 centimeters in size, and negative lymph nodes. continue reading ...
Written by on 10/1/2014 9:30:00 AM
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month - dedicated to increasing awareness about one of the biggest cancer threats to women. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2014 alone, 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States. Additionally, 62,570 cases of carcinoma situ (a non-invasive and early form of breast cancer) will be diagnosed.
Although the disease is predominantly seen in women, men are not immune. In fact, in 2014, more than 2,300 men are expected to be newly diagnosed with the disease.
- Increasing age (risk almost doubles after age 60)
- Inherited genetic mutations (BRCA1 and/or BRCA2)
- Personal or family history of breast cancer
- Extremely high breast-tissue density as seen on mammograms
- Biopsy-confirmed atypical hyperplasia
- Having Li-Fraumeni or Cowden syndromes
- Never having children or having one's first child after the age of 30
- Being overweight or physically inactive, or becoming obese after menopause
Discovering breast cancer in its early stages greatly increases treatment options and survival rates. Regular screening mammograms and breast self-exams are extremely important. Simple lifestyle changes can also help you defend your body against breast cancer. continue reading ...
Written by on 9/26/2014 6:00:00 AM
Dr. Jianan Graybill, is a radiation oncologist and certified MD Anderson Cancer Network® physician.
In the past 20 years, cancer treatments have changed dramatically, including treatment for prostate cancer. Advances in treatment therapies have reduced the severity and frequency of side effects, and nearly 100 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are alive after five years.
Men with prostate cancer have several options for treatment. Radiation therapy is one. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays, either beamed from a machine or emitted by radioactive seeds implanted in the prostate, to kill cancer cells.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
This targeted treatment is often used for men with localized prostate cancer. Studies have demonstrated strong outcomes for patients after receiving targeted therapies like IMRT and IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Therapy). Sometimes, these types of therapies are also combined with hormonal therapies.
Here at Community Health Network, we use CT cone beam as our advanced IGRT. continue reading ...
Written by on 9/22/2014 6:00:00 AM
There are nearly 3 million prostate cancer survivors in the United States. While the survival rate is high and treatments have improved in recent years, being diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer may cause a number of side effects.
The most common side effects associated with prostate cancer treatment are incontinence, erectile dysfunction and depression.
Urinary incontinence can range from some leaking to complete loss of bladder control. Increased urgency and urinary frequency are common.
These symptoms are usually caused by damage to the nerves and muscles that control urinary function during cancer treatment. However only about five percent experience any of these long-term. continue reading ...