Dr. Dan Labriola, naturopathic doctor for the Swedish Cancer Institute, shares his insights about certain green foods that have the ability to combat cancer.
Colon cancer remains one of the most prevalent cancers in the US, affecting 1 in 18 Americans during an average lifetime. This year, more than 143,000 new cases and 51,000 deaths are expected (only lung cancer kills more women and men than colon cancer). Men and women are affected equally. Age is a major risk factor with dramatic increases in colon cancer after age 50. A family history of colon cancer is another major risk factor that accounts for approximately one third of all cases. A family history in a first degree relative (parent or sibling) portrays a lifetime risk of colon cancer of 10-33%.
Colon cancer for the most part is a preventable disease. Incidence and death rates have been declining for the past 20 years because of increased use of screening tests and better treatments. However, only about 6 in 10 adults are up to date on getting screened for colon cancer. Most colon cancers arise from a preexisting noncancerous growth referred to as an adenomatous polyp. The hallmark of colon cancer screening is to identify those individuals who form precancerous polyps, and to have them removed non-surgically through colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy is the gold standard for colon cancer screening because of its accuracy in identifying small cancers and polyps and, the ability to remove them in one outpatient procedure. Colonoscopy has been found to significantly reduce colon cancer deaths by greater than 50%. This number compares favorably with mammography for breast cancer in women.
Colonoscopy may be the most unloved cancer screening test ....
In many cases, people who have had colonoscopy will say that the procedure itself was fine, since it is performed while the patient is under sedation. However, people tend to feel less favorable about the prep involved prior to the procedure. I recently had my first colonoscopy and decided to document my personal experience of the prep process on video to share with others.
Other frequently asked questions about colonoscopy:
This month the FDA approved the use of the PCA3 assay to aid in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. This is good news for patients with an elevated PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test who are concerned about their risk of having prostate cancer. The PCA3 test is used on urine samples from men after a prostate exam has been performed. It measures the number of copies of a prostate cancer related gene, and compares it to the number of copies of the gene for PSA. Studies have shown that the use of this assay can help sort out who is at higher risk for prostate cancer. This can help patients and urologists decide who would likely benefit from a prostate biopsy.
The FDA specifically approved the PCA3 assay for men who ...
November is associated with two significant cancer awareness efforts that have meaning to all of the staff at Swedish Thoracic Surgery.
First, and most important to us, November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Each year for the last 6 years we have suported this important cancer with an event for the public. Lung cancer is the most common cancer and remains the deadliest of all cancers. Yet, is is always shrouded in secrecy because of its association with smoking. But, many of the patients quit smoking some time ago or were never smokers and must still face this deadly disease.
This year, a public event - Shine a Light on Lung Cancer - will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2001 at 5:30 pm at Gilda's Club on 1400 Broadway. Anyone who has been touched by lung cancer is encouraged to attend.
Second, November is also becoming known as Movember. This movement has been to support men's cancer initiatives and prostate cancer with the LIVESTRONG Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation. The men at Swedish Thoracic Surgery have come out in support of both of these important issues and are participating in Movember. As of November 1, 2011 - all of us were clean shaven.
What stage is my cancer, doc?
This is often the first question we get asked when meeting with a patient newly diagnosed with lung cancer. In this blog, I would like to briefly review the notion of lung cancer staging and its implications.
Staging allows us to define the extent of a cancer and determine its best available treatment. It also allows us to statistically estimate the prognosis of the cancer. Finally, adequate staging allows us to group patients with cancers of similar extent across different institutions or even countries and evaluate the efficacy of the treatment strategies and compare with new ones.
Staging can be clinical or pathological. Clinical staging is based on the information we obtain from X-rays and scans as well as from procedures where samples (biopsies) of different tissues are obtained in an effort determine what structures may be involved with the cancer. Pathological staging is only available when the cancer has been removed by surgery: i.e. when the pathologist has measured the size of the tumor, its extent and whether or not any lymph nodes were involved with cancer. One should be aware that pathological and clinical stagings don’t always concord 100%. Sometimes clinical staging under-evaluates how extensive the cancer may be, and at times it over-evaluates it, particularly when clinical staging is based only on X-ray information. This is particularly true with the evaluation of lymph nodes that drain the area where the cancer has come from. The role of your lung cancer surgeon in adequately gathering that information to develop the best treatment plan cannot be emphasized enough.
The system we use to define a stage is called the TNM system.
Robotic surgery - the term implies some futuristic concept, a la the “Jetsons” or Isaac Asimov. As someone who was a science fiction fan growing up, I never thought I’d actually spend every day of my professional life answering this question.
As a gynecologic oncology surgeon, this is a question I now ask myself every time I pick up a patient’s chart. And the answer more times than not is YES! Why?