Do These Three Things to Help Prevent Cancer

If your New Year’s resolution to get fit and healthy is already losing steam, February, which is National Cancer Prevention Month, is a great time to give yourself a second chance.  Renew your efforts to make healthier choices by learning what you can do to help reduce your cancer risk. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading national public health institute of the United States, reports that cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease.  Every year, cancer claims the lives of more than half a million Americans and one of every four deaths in the United States is due to cancer.  

According to the American Cancer Society, the nationwide health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem, to help reduce your cancer risk, you should do the following things: 

– Stay away from all forms of tobacco.

– Get to and stay at a healthy weight.

– Get moving with regular physical activity.

– Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

– Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).

– Protect your skin.

– Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.

– Get regular check-ups and cancer screening tests. 

While the recommended tips above will all help you take control of your health, the American Cancer Society says much of the suffering and death from cancer could be prevented by more systematic efforts to reduce tobacco use, improve diet and physical activity, and expand the use of established screening tests.  These three things have the most impact on reducing your chances of being diagnosed with cancer. 

About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit.  Smoking accounts for about 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States, including about 80% of all lung cancer deaths.  Currently, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, and is one of the hardest cancers to treat.  Quitting smoking before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by about 90%. 

For most Americans who do not use tobacco, the most important cancer risk factors that can be changed are diet and physical activity.  One-third of all cancer deaths in the United States each year are linked to diet and physical activity, including being overweight or obese.  Eating a healthy diet and being physically active are good for you and will lower your risk of cancer. 

Cancer screenings, like mammograms and colonoscopies, increase the chances of detecting certain cancers early, when they are most likely to be curable.  If you have a new health insurance plan or insurance policy beginning on or after September 23, 2010, there are several preventive services that are covered without you having to pay a copayment or co-insurance or meet your deductible.  Check out www.HHS.gov to see what preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act. 

By quitting or limiting your tobacco use, improving your diet and increasing physical activity, and getting your preventative screenings, you are taking an active role in living a healthier lifestyle and lowering your chances of cancer. 

If you, or a loved one, has been diagnosed with cancer, or have questions about cancer treatment options available, please contact Columbus CyberKnife today. 

Study Found Proteins in Urine Can Indicate Pancreatic Cancer

According to a recent study, published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, researchers have found three proteins in urine that indicate early stage pancreatic cancer. 

For the study, researchers analyzed 488 urine samples, including 192 from patients with pancreatic cancer, 92 from patients with chronic pancreatitis, and 87 from healthy people.  In addition, they looked at 117 urine samples from patients with diseases of the liver and gall bladder.  Of the 1,500 proteins found in the urine samples, the research team focused on three: LYVE1, REG1A and TFF1.  The researchers found that patients with pancreatic cancer had elevated levels of all three proteins compared with healthy patients and patients with pancreatitis.  Using all three proteins, they were able to detect early stage pancreatic cancer more than 90 percent of the time. 

“For a cancer with no early stage symptoms, it’s a huge challenge to diagnose pancreatic cancer sooner, but if we can, then we can make a big difference to survival rates,” said Nick Lemoine, Director of Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University in London.  “With pancreatic cancer, patients are usually diagnosed when the cancer is already at a terminal stage, but if diagnosed at stage 2, the survival rate is 20 percent, and at stage 1, the survival rate for patients with very small tumors can increase up to 60 percent.” 

The clinical team at Columbus CyberKnife treats pancreatic cancer with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife delivers high doses of radiation directly to pancreatic tumors.  The system offers patients who cannot undergo pancreatic cancer surgery due to their poor medical condition, or who refuse surgery, a painless, noninvasive alternative treatment for pancreatic cancer.  CyberKnife treatments are typically performed on an outpatient basis in one to five days, requiring no overnight hospital stay, and most patients experience minimal to no side effects with a quick recovery time.  

For more information about how Columbus CyberKnife treats pancreatic cancer, please click here

Treating Pancreatic Cancer with CyberKnife Technology

According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer, pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers.  It is also one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over nearly 40 years. 

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose because patients usually don’t display symptoms until the cancer has progressed and spread to other parts of the body.  Common early symptoms include loss of appetite, mild weight loss and mild discomfort in the upper abdomen or occasionally in the middle-back.  Because these symptoms can be attributed to any number of conditions, early signs are often ignored or missed. 

Treatment for pancreatic cancer can be a curative or palliative approach involving surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery or a combination.  Due to side effects and complications associated with surgery for pancreatic cancer patients, stereotactic radiosurgery can be a safe, noninvasive option. 

Columbus CyberKnife treats pancreatic tumors with stereotactic radiosurgery using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  During treatment, high doses of radiation are delivered to the tumor with sub-millimeter accuracy.  Treatments are painless, require no anesthesia or hospital stay, and there is little to no recovery time. 

For more information on CyberKnife technology, or to make an appointment with Columbus CyberKnife, please click here

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is officially Lung Cancer Awareness Month.  The event started back in 1995 as Lung Cancer Awareness Day.  As the lung cancer community and the lung cancer movement grew, the awareness activities increased and the day matured into Lung Cancer Awareness Month.  During the month, people throughout the country come together to support the lung cancer community and raise awareness about the disease. 

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs.  These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue.  As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood. 

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for about 27% of all cancer related deaths.  Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.  The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 221,200 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the United States in 2015, with 10,000 of those cases being diagnosed in Ohio. 

Although smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, lung cancer risk also is increased by exposure to secondhand smoke; environmental exposures, such as radon, workplace toxins (e.g., asbestos, arsenic), and air pollution.  The risk of lung cancer can be reduced by quitting smoking and by eliminating or reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and environmental and workplace risk factors. 

At Columbus CyberKnife, lung cancer patients are treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife is a painless, non-invasive outpatient cancer treatment with minimal to no side effects.  During the CyberKnife treatment, hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation are targeted directly to tumors and lesions in the lung.  As the patient breathes during the CyberKnife treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves with the rise and fall of his/her body – meaning that healthy tissue is protected from radiation and only the tumor is treated. 

To learn more about treating lung cancer with CyberKnife technology, please contact Columbus CyberKnife at (614) 898-8300 or visit www.ColumbusCK.com

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is observed every September in the United States by health experts and advocates, and individuals concerned with men’s prostate health.  Designating a month for the disease serves the purpose of increasing public awareness of the importance of prostate health and screenings, educating about risk factors and symptoms, and advocating for further research on prostate health issues.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men.  About one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.  According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed (over 5,300 in Ohio) and about 31,620 deaths from prostate cancer in the United States during the year 2019.

There are several risk factors associated with prostate cancer, including family history, race, and diet, but the most common factor is age. Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men.  About six in ten cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40.  The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 66.

While there are a lot of risk factors for prostate cancer, there are also good survival statistics associated with the disease.  Survival rates for prostate cancer are very high.  More than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

At Columbus CyberKnife, men diagnosed with prostate cancer are treated with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife is a painless, non-invasive prostate cancer treatment technology in which high-dose radiation is delivered to the tumor from a linear accelerator mounted on a highly maneuverable robotic arm.  Hundreds of different angles enable the radiation to be contoured to the shape of the prostate, resulting in treatment aimed directly to the prostate gland, avoiding nearby critical anatomy.  This precision reduces treatment time to just five outpatient visits, compared to the average 45 visits conventional radiation therapy requires.

To learn more about prostate cancer, please visit the Prostate Cancer Foundation at www.pcf.org.  To find out more about how Columbus CyberKnife treats prostate cancer, please click here.