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 HeadlinesChronic Fatigue Syndrome Often Not BelievedChronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also called Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, had Carl Miller and his doctors, completely baffled for a long while.
Lexus LX570 SUV: Big, Attractive and SafeWhat most drivers will like about the Lexus LX570 is the combination of gracious around-town capability and its ability to go off-road in rugged winter conditions
Can You Get a Mortgage?Realtor, Julie Jalone, of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about a the current mortgage underwriting environment, how it is perceived buy potential home buyers and what lenders should do to accelerate the housing recovery here in Sacramento and across the country.
Santa to Visit Roseville Neighborhoods ScheduleRoseville, CA - After talking with Santa, he was able to work some time in his schedule to visit six Roseville neighborhoods this year before the holidays
Holiday Ice Rink in Roseville at GalleriaThe outdoor Bayside Ice Rink at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville is now open for the holiday season.
Rocklin Gets Ready for Santa VisitRocklin, CA -- Once again this year Santa Claus has requested the assistance of the Rocklin firefighters in escorting him through the local non-gated neighborhoods of Rocklin
Old Sacramento Holiday Theatre of LightsKnown as a magical, electrifying and family-friendly holiday tradition in Old Sacramento, the ever-popular and FREE Theatre of Lights performances return on Wednesday
Thanksgiving Fire Safety TipsCooking is, and has long been, the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries, and according to the
Immigration Executive Action: Republicans and DemocratsAnother stark contrast of opposing sides on Obama's Executive Action on Immigration, highlighted by two Republican Congressman Tom McClintock's remarks and the California Democratic Party
PCWA Moves Forward on Watershed RemediationIn the aftermath of the massive King Fire, the Placer County Water Agency is taking emergency steps to prevent and manage the runoff of fire debris and erosion into the
Holiday Flu Could Be Grinch This YearWith Thanksgiving nearing and the holiday season upon us, many people will be hitting the malls for shopping, the airways for travel, and interacting with large groups of people
Placer County Honors Citizens with Commemorative CoinsThe Placer County Board of Supervisors honored Dr. Bryce Jessup of William Jessup University and volunteer extraordinaire Fuzzy Jarnagin of Loomis Tuesday, presenting them with