Focus on Lung Cancer
Sutter Evaluation Center Plans to Combat Deadly Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die from lung cancer in the U.S. than from any other type of cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women, and it's responsible for 29 percent of all cancer deaths in our country...more than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined.
There are a number of reasons for these alarming statistics, including the fact that more than half of all lung cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, limiting treatment options and resulting in fewer survivors. That's been cited as one reason for the relative lack of funding and awareness of lung cancer...along with the stigma that comes from it being considered a smoker's disease.
It's true that men and women who smoke are 23 and 13 times more likely, respectively, to develop lung cancer than those who don't smoke. While smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, the majority of people diagnosed today don't smoke; 50 percent are former smokers and 15 percent never smoked.
That's the sobering news...but there are some exciting developments with respect to lung cancer screening that may positively affect survivorship. On the screening front, the National Lung Screening Trial released findings last year noting a 20 percent lower risk of death among study participants (current or former heavy smokers) who were screened with CT scans rather than standard chest X-rays. That news has resulted in hundreds of screening programs springing up targeting the at-risk population.
When abnormalities are discovered, a couple of exciting new technologies allow us to more safely make diagnoses. Using super dimension bronchoscopy, we can navigate to small and hard-to-reach nodules, and we can sample lymph nodes with endobronchial ultrasound, which uses an ultrasound probe.
New developments have occurred in lung cancer treatment as well. We are able to remove large tumors with small incisions, speeding recovery and shortening the length of hospital stays. We've also been very successful using specialized forms of radiation, some of which offer results comparable to surgery, and using chemotherapy to target tumors based on genetic markers.
With the hope of diagnosing lung cancer earlier and improving survival rates, Sutter Health focuses on raising awareness about lung cancer. We want to make sure people understand it's not a disease limited to smokers (who still deserve compassion if they have it). In recent years, we've actually seen a disturbing rise in the number of lung cancer cases among women who never smoked.
The best way to prevent lung cancer is not to smoke, but you should also steer clear of secondhand smoke and environmental agents like asbestos. Don't ignore potential lung cancer symptoms such as a new coughing onset or a cough that's different, have pneumonia that doesn't seem to be getting better, are coughing up blood or experiencing shortness of breath. See your doctor.
Dr. Maxwell, a board-certified thoracic and cancer surgeon, is affiliated with Sutter Medical Group and Sutter Medical Foundation; Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento; and Sutter Roseville Medical Center. He sees patients in Roseville and can be reached at (916) 773-8750.
Print This Article
Placer County News HeadlinesCalifornia Statewide Fire Summary Over the weekend the state's fire activity increased significantly. The drought dry conditions coupled with high temperatures and low humidity allowed several new large wildfires to grow quickly
Sierra Stories at Rocklin CampusLocal Author Gary Noy to Present 'Sierra Stories' Rocklin Campus, September 19 at 7:30 pm
Multiple Sclerosis: Sleep Disorders Widely Undiagnosed In what may be the largest study of sleep problems among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at UC Davis have found that widely undiagnosed sleep disorders
Hoy for the Hall of FameI guess every year you'll just have to get used to reading about William Elsworth "Dummy" Hoy, a deaf professional baseball player from 1888-1902
Placer County Fairgrounds: In a State of FluxRoseville, CA -- After a detailed presentation and lively discussion among the Supervisors, staff and the public, the Placer County Board of Supervisors this week directed Facility Services staff to
Suspect Sought in Granite Bay Bank RobberyPlacer County sheriff's detectives are asking the public's help in identifying the suspect who robbed a Granite Bay bank on the morning of September 12, 2014.
Placer County's Annual Recover Happens September 20thPlacer County's 14th annual Recover Happens celebration, a community event open to all, will take place this year in Auburn's Recreation Park, 123 Recreation Dr., near Old Town
Placer County's Criminal Justice System: A Master PlanPlacer County staff recently presented the Board of Supervisors with an update on the Criminal Justice Master Plan.
Acorn Harvesters Needed: Do You Have What It Takes?The Sacramento Tree Foundation is recruiting acorn Harvesters for the fall 2014 Acorn Harvest. Training to be held in Rocklin.
Roseville to Host USA BMX State FinalsRoseville, CA - The USA BMX Northern California State Finals are coming to Oak Creek BMX again for 2014.
Placer County's $798 Million Budget Gets Supervisors ApprovalAuburn, CA -- The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved the county's final 2014-15 budget, giving the OK to the $798 million spending plan.
Thunder Valley Donating Paper to Local SchoolsThunder Valley Casino Resort will deliver over 800 reams of office paper to the Western Placer Unified School District on Wednesday, September 10.