“If there is a test but there’s problems with it, I often go over this with a patient and how to decide if it’s necessary.”
Add mammography to the list of cancer screenings where evidence has challenged “best practices.”
Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN reported in EveryDay Health that while early cancer detection can save lives, recent studies raise new doubts about the benefits of screening without considering the risks as well.
“… unless we change our current practices, 3 percent to 5 percent of all future cancers may result from exposure to medical imaging.”
CT, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear scan, PET scan – why not? Just to make sure.
An article in the New York Times noted: “ DESPITE great strides in prevention and treatment, cancer rates remain stubbornly high and may soon surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Increasingly, we and many other experts believe that an important culprit may be our own medical practices: Of course, early diagnosis thanks to medical imaging can be lifesaving. But there is distressingly little evidence of better health outcomes associated with the current high rate of scans. There is, however, evidence of its harms.”
So why are you delaying your colonoscopy again? Colonoscopy! Ugh! But…
The Wall Street Journal article reported “The incidence of colon cancer, declining since the mid-1980s, plunged a further 30% last decade among Americans 50 and older as more people had colonoscopies…”
The New York Post reported “An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington state’s insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it’s in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more”
“Doctors and administrators say they’re concerned. So are some state insurance regulators. In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP’s survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their state exchange”.
Mount Sinai’s Derald H. Ruttenberg Treatment Center, part of The Tisch Cancer Institute, is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to cancer patients – including offering support and wellness programs throughout cancer treatment.
In February, CBS This Morning had a segment on Mount Sinai’s novel use of fruit flies to screen for personalized cancer drugs. Ross Cagan, PhD, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, discussed how his laboratory replicates a patient’s tumor and implants it in a fruit fly. Then his team tests an arsenal of 840 drugs—all approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for other uses—to see if they shrink the tumor.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Here are the most common myths about this disease that I hear from my patients.
“I feel fine, I have no pain or feel any lumps- there is no way for me to have colon cancer”
Most patients who underwent screening colonoscopy and a colon cancer were found did NOT have any symptoms. Most importantly, those are the cases that are curable! By the time symptoms developed, unfortunately it is often already too late. 91% of patients with cancer that were detected early are alive and well 5 years after diagnosis. But only 37% of all colorectal cancer are diagnosed at this stage- we can do better, this is the most preventable cancer with screening.
Allium vegetables comprise approximately 500 species, the most common including onions, leeks, garlic, chives, and shallots. They have been valued throughout history for their flavor as well as their medicinal properties. Rich in health-promoting flavanols and organosulfur compounds, alliums have increasingly attracted the interest of the medical community for their potential to play a part in preventing cancer.
Although skin cancer has a lower incidence in patients of color, it can occur. The most common type of skin cancer varies based on your ethnic background, with African Americans being most at risk for squamous cell carcinoma. However while melanoma is often associated with people who have blue eyes and blonde hair, it also occurs in people with darker skin tones.
For reasons that are unclear, melanomas in African Americans most commonly develop on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and nails. Unfortunately, when these melanomas are discovered they are more aggressive at the time of presentation. The overall five-year melanoma survival rate for African Americans is only 77 percent, versus 91 percent for Caucasians. Read more
Tony-nominated actress Valisia LeKae used her voice to sing hit songs from the 1960s, starring as Diana Ross in “Motown: The Musical” on Broadway. Now, after receiving a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and stepping down from her leading role to receive treatment at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Ms. LeKae is using her voice to speak about the importance of early cancer detection.