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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h o u s e c a l l s { spring 2019 } 25 Technological advancements in screenings—the tests that look for cancer in patients who do not exhibit any symptoms—are making it easier for doctors to spot the four most common cancers: breast, lung, prostate, and colorectal. Breast Cancer The American Cancer Society (ACS) advises all women ages 45 and up to schedule an annual mammogram, the X-ray screening that looks for changes in breast tissue. Additionally, as of last year, the ACS says women age 40 to 44 should have the choice to start the screenings, in consultation with their OB/GYN. "Regular mammograms translate to improved survival," says Dr. Megan Baker, a Roper St. Francis Healthcare affiliated breast cancer surgeon. Since 3D mammograms—which offer clearer and more accurate imaging—were approved by the FDA in 2011, there has been a decrease in false positive screenings, as well. "Three-D mammo has significantly improved detection and decreased unnecessary call-backs for additional screens," Dr. Baker confirms. Lung Cancer In 2013, Roper St. Francis was of the first hospital systems in the Lowcountry to introduce low-dose CT scans for lung-cancer screening. "If you're at risk for lung cancer—if you are or were a smoker—then an annual low-dose lung CT screening reduces the risk of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent," says Dr. Kline, citing findings from the 2011 National Lung Screening Trial. The same study links the screening with a seven percent reduction in all mortality. "People become more attuned to their health," Dr. Kline explains. "And part of the screening includes programs to stop smoking." At Roper St. Francis, one cancer is detected in every 60 lung screens. "And 85 percent of them are at an early, potentially curable stage," Dr. Kline says. "In the past, the lung cancers we detected were often advanced to an incurable stage." Prostate Cancer In 2018, the United States Preventive Task Force issued a recommendation that all men between the ages of 55 and 69 should have a discussion regarding the benefits and risks of CANCER SCREENING CHECKLIST Be proactive about managing your cancer risk by seeking out these recommended screenings: COLON CANCER: Starting at age 45, people with an average risk of colon cancer should be screened for the disease via colonoscopy or stool test. If the results are normal, the test should be repeated every 10 years. BREAST CANCER: Starting at age 45, women should get annual mammograms. Women 40 to 44 years old have the option for the screening, with consultation from their medical care provider. CERVICAL CANCER: Starting at age 21, women should receive a pap smear every three years. LUNG CANCER: If you're 55 or older and you're a current or past smoker, talk to your doctor about the benefits of an annual low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer. PROSTATE CANCER: Starting at age 55, all men at average risk of prostate cancer should talk with their doctor about the pros and cons of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to look for signs of prostate cancer. "Advances in screening and early detection have been a major contributor in the decline of cancer death rates." —DR. STEVEN AKMAN

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