It’s the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. But many people forego getting screened for colon-rectal cancer until it’s too late. The fact is a simple screening can save your life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), screenings for colon-rectal cancer are designed to find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they become cancerous. These screenings also can catch cancer it its early stages when it’s likely to respond to treatment best. When caught early enough, colon-rectal cancer has a 90 percent cure rate.
“I have long been an advocate for the importance of prevention, and treatment of colorectal cancer,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network hematologist Maged Khalil, MD, of Hematology-Oncology Associates. “Colorectal cancer is highly preventable with the appropriate screening measures and lifestyle changes. Prevention is better than cure.”
The CDC recommends regular screenings after the age of 50 and continuing them until age 75. It’s also advised for people under the age of 50 who have had family members with colon-rectal cancer or have had inflammatory bowel disease. The incidence of colon-rectal cancer is higher among African-Americans. Read More
Stroke neurologist Yevgeniy Isayev, MD, director of the Lehigh Valley Hospital Stroke Center, didn’t need a recent study to tell him the vast majority of people suffering a stroke in the U.S. don’t get the recommended treatment for it in the crucial first hours of occurrence, even if a hospital well prepared to treat it is nearby.
“It’s really a known fact and a source of frustration for us in the stroke community,” says Isayev of research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2014 held on Valentine’s Day weekend in San Diego.
The study indicated that more than 80 percent of Americans live within an hour’s drive of a hospital that’s equipped to treat acute stroke, such as Lehigh Valley Hospital, which in 2012 became the first hospital in Pennsylvania to earn advanced certification from The Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest certification reserved for hospitals capable of delivering a full spectrum of specialized care needed by patients with serious cerebrovascular disease. Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg is certified as a Primary Stroke Center, which means special procedures have been developed to rapidly diagnose and treat a stroke.
But even though four out of five Americans have hospitals nearby equipped to treat acute stroke, most aren’t taking advantage of them quickly enough after experiencing stroke symptoms. According to a study of more than 370,000 Medicare stroke claims in 2011, just 4 percent were administered tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-dissolving drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that has been shown to reduce long-term disability if administered within three to four hours after stroke symptoms occur. Only 0.5 percent received endovascular therapy to open clogged arteries. Read More
Sleep apnea occurs when you start and stop breathing during sleep. It is strongly linked to obesity. Snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness are among the symptoms.
So, who has sleep apnea? Check out these quick facts.
- Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Famer Reggie White died of sleep apnea at age 43.
- 33 percent of human life is spent sleeping.
- 25 percent of men ages 30-60 have at least five apneas per hour of sleep.
- 15 to 20 percent of children have sleep apnea.
Learn more about care for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Sleep Disorders Centers.
If you have a diseased aortic valve in your heart that needs to be replaced, you and your surgeon have a choice to make: do you want to use a mechanical valve, or a tissue valve from a pig or cow?
While a mechanical valve can last forever, it does make an audible clicking sound and requires taking blood-thinning medication for the rest of your life.
A tissue valve makes no sound and requires no blood thinners, but it doesn’t last as long.
In this video, Lehigh Valley Health Network cardiothoracic surgeon Raymond Singer, MD, with Lehigh Valley Heart and Lung Surgeons, shows each option, explains how they work and discusses their pros and cons.
Learn more about valve disease and aortic stenosis. For patients who are not candidates for traditional surgery, learn about the new transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
Consuming more sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet can significantly increase your risk for dying of cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that less than 10 percent of your total daily calories should come from added sugar. From 2005 to 2010, the average daily amount of added sugar for adults in the U.S. was almost 15 percent.
Added sugar includes:
- Table sugar
- Brown sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Maple syrup
“The leading cause of consumption from added sugar in the U.S. is soda, followed by cookies and cakes,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network cardiologist Deborah Sundlof, DO, with Lehigh Valley Cardiology Associates of LVPG. “Acceptable sugars are those that occur naturally in fruits, fruit juice, vegetables, milk and dairy products.” Read More