House Calls

SPR 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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Lifestyle improvements, such as the widespread decrease in smoking, have certainly helped to paint this rosier picture. Technology is key, too: "Advances in screenings and early detection—such as 3D mammography and low-dose lung CT scans—have been a major contributor in the decline of cancer death rates," confirms Dr. Steven Akman, medical director of Roper St. Francis Cancer Care. When cancer is detected in a patient at Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Dr. Akman and the team of pathologists, treatment specialists, radiologists, surgeons, and medical and radiation oncologists work together to map out the best treatment plan. Many cancers being treated at Roper St. Francis are reviewed during regular, multidisciplinary conferences. "We have dedicated conferences for multiple disease types, such as a breast cancer conference, a conference for hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer, another for urological cancers, one dedicated to lung cancer, as well as a solid tumor conference that includes colorectal and upper GI cancers, melanomas, and head and neck cancers," explains Dr. Akman. "During these meetings, specific cases are discussed and group decisions are made." And thanks to emerging treatment technologies such as immunotherapy, robotic surgeries, and clinical trials, Roper St. Francis affiliated doctors are able to fight cancer more effectively than ever before, giving patients and loved ones plenty of reasons to hope. Early Detection Saves Lives The first step in fighting cancer is identifying and diagnosing the disease—and the earlier a cancer can be detected, the better. 24 { spring 2019 } h o u s e c a l l s P H O T O G R A P H S B Y ( D R . A K M A N ) A L E E C E K I N G S L E Y - T A Y L O R & ( F A R R O W ) L E I G H W E B B E R Dr. Steven Akman W e don't often associate the phrase "good news" with the word "cancer." Especially at first, a diagnosis for yourself or a loved one can be scary, dread-inducing, and seriously overwhelming. But recent data provides a welcome bright spot: According to the most recent statistics from the American Cancer Society, cancer death rates have been falling steadily for the last 25 years. As screening and treatment practices have advanced, fatalities have declined, with cancer deaths down 25 percent since they peaked in 1991. For those currently fighting the big C, the outlook has never been better. Local breast cancer survivor Farrow DuRant with her children.

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