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Detect Cancer of the Uterus by Noticing Early Warning Signs

Uterine Cancer

Comprehensive Cancer Centers is passionate about raising awareness about cancer risks, and to provide recommendations for appropriate precautions.  This includes insights for conducting self-exams or simple protocols for regular screening based on age, family history, personal cancer history, or other factors that elevate risks.  One cancer risk for women that merits close attention, and can benefit from early detection, is uterine cancer, or cancer of the uterus.

Uterine cancer consists of two specific types with 95 percent of uterine cancers due to endometrial carcinoma.  The endometrium is the lining layer of the uterine cavity where most cancers of the uterus beginning due to cancerous changes in the lining. With cases of endometrial cancer, cells in the endometrial lining grow out of control and may metastasize and spread outside of the uterus to other parts of the body include ovaries, lymph nodes, abdomen.

Five percent of uterine cancers are due to uterine sarcoma. Uterine sarcoma involves either formation of malignant cells inside uterine muscle or of the secondary support cells inside the uterine lining. While these cases are not nearly as common as endometrial carcinoma, it can be detected using self and physician directed screening protocols

How to Detect Signs of Uterine Cancer

Vaginal Bleeding and/or Discharge: There are several signs to notice for early detection for cancer of the uterus, with the primary method of detection coming from monitoring abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge. This includes heavy bleeding in between periods or post-menopause. Post-menopausal bleeding affects women over the age of 55, and its occurrence is something to be brought up immediately with a primary physician and gynecologists.

Hormonal Imbalances: Ovaries produce two hormones: estrogen, and progesterone. In the case of a medical condition that causes a spike in estrogen levels, the risk of developing uterine cancer may also increase. Medical conditions that are known to cause the hormonal shift include diabetes, obesity, and polycystic ovary syndrome. Ingesting estrogen-containing hormones also increases the risk of endometrial cancer.

Family Cancer History: A syndrome known as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, or HNPCC, may increase the risk of several types of cancer, including colon cancer and endometrial cancer. HNPCC is a genetic mutation that is passed from parent or child. As always, discuss any known family history of cancer or pre-cancer syndromes and conditions with your physician.

Early menstruation: Women who begin the menstrual cycle at a relatively early age, around 12 years, appear to be at a higher risk of developing uterine cancer. A link exists between elevated estrogen levels and the onset of endometrial cancer. Because she experiences more periods, her uterus is exposed to estrogen longer.

Obesity: Obesity alters female hormones, increasing the likelihood of uterine cancer onset. Numerous studies have demonstrated the relationship between high levels of estrogen and obesity. Studies have also noted the probable connection between elevated estrogen levels and various cancer types, including breast cancer and uterine cancer.

Additional warning signs include previous cases of ovarian tumors, previously being treated with radiation therapy and Endometrial Hyperplasia.

Pognosis and Treatment of Uterine Cancer

Should warning signs present, and a primary care physician or gynecologist call for additional testing. Comprehensive Cancer’s medical oncology team may suggest the following treatment options, should cancer be found:

  • Surgery (commonly, a hysterectomy)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy (use of drugs or other substances to kill cancerous cells.)

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada provide a variety of treatment options including: chemotherapy, radiation therapy and clinical research for the treatment of cancer.  For a complete list of clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive, please click here. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Advances in Mammogram Technology Improve Comfort and Imaging

Mammography

The physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers understand that it can be challenging for people to make time for screenings that reduce health risks, including cancer. Part of that reluctance can come from being afraid of elements of screenings, including testing. The breast mammogram is one such test where patients would benefit from understanding advances in the procedure that increases both comfort while improving imaging used by diagnosing physicians.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 250,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year, with more than 40,000 American women dying from the disease. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in this country other than skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer death in the nation, following lung cancer. These numbers underscore the necessity, and urgency of regular screenings.

Women often delay getting mammograms out of worry about the comfort of the procedure, as well as hearing about other women getting false positive tests, which may cause anxiety. However, new 3D testing, with curved insets that are more comfortable, and digital testing, is providing us with sharp and detailed images leading to improved diagnoses while making women much more comfortable with the process.

We don’t want to just remind you to get your mammogram during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We want you to make it a priority all year, so schedule an appointment with your doctor today!

Digital Mammography Technology

In addition to comfort for those being tested, another advancement in mammography has come from improvements in digital mammography. The use of digital mammography equipment has shown in research studies to have significantly increase the number of breast cancers detected in women 50 years old and younger, for those with dense breasts, in comparison to tests done traditional film imaging.

Digital mammography, also called full-field digital mammography (FFDM), is a mammography system in which the x-ray film is replaced by electronics that convert x-rays into mammographic pictures of the breast. These systems are similar to those found in digital cameras and their efficiency enables better pictures with a lower radiation dose. These images of the breast are transferred to a computer for review by the radiologist and for long-term storage. The patient’s experience during a digital mammogram is similar to having a conventional film mammogram.

When to Get a Mammogram

Knowing that testing is more comfortable and you can get quicker, clearer results should encourage women to get tested, and Comprehensive’s breast surgery team recommends women adhere to the following guidelines, working in conjunction with their primary care physicians:

  • Women ages 40 -: Family history of breast cancer or other cancers
  • Women ages 40:  Baseline reference mammograms
  • Women age 40+:  Mammograms every year

Women whose medical history may indicate special risks, should consult their physician about beginning periodic exams at an earlier age than outlined above. Comprehensive Cancer’s breast surgery team recommends that women collaborate closely with their primary physician to understand risks and put into place smart testing plans.

Should mammograms detect cancer, Comprehensive Cancer’s oncologists and breast surgery team will work with your referring physician to develop a treatment plan. When this is the case, the breast surgery division pursues a multidisciplinary approach, creating individualized treatment plans where the patient’s personal needs come first. The team, including nurses and clinicians, provides excellence in breast surgical care using the highest standards, newest technologies available and access to the latest clinical research.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for patients with breast cancer including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.  For certain cases, clinical research may also offer new options for treatment.  To see a complete list of clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive Cancer, please click here. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Comprehensive Cancer and Board Certified Physicians

What is Board Certified?

Some patients ask what it means to have a board certified doctor, as well as the types of board certifications exist. We are here to help answer these questions.

When physicians graduate from medical school, and complete residency and other requirements, they become eligible for medical licensure. When licensure is properly satisfied, a Nevada state-issued permit is issued for the physicians, like those at Comprehensive Cancer Centers, which authorizes them to practice medicine.

Once physicians are licensed, then they may look to secure board certification. Board certification indicates that the practitioner has exceeded that licensure standard in a particular specialty or subspecialty through extra education and study, and has passed a test to earn certification.

Board certification comes from personal efforts to advance their knowledge, expertise and experience in fields related to oncology and lung and sleep medicine. Almost all physicians at Comprehensive are board certified in various specialties related to internal medicine, oncology, hematology, radiation oncology, surgery or pulmonary medicine ensuring their extensive knowledge and experience in those fields:

  • Internal Medicine: Board certification demonstrates expertise in a specific medical specialty. Our physicians who are board certified in internal medicine are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and expertise to diagnosis and treat patients in a broad spectrum of complex illnesses.
  • Medical Oncologists: Medical oncologists are board-certified physicians with special training in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biological therapy, and/or targeted therapy, as appropriate for each patient’s situation. Comprehensive Cancer’s medical oncologists often serve as the main health care provider for a patient undergoing cancer treatment.
  • Radiation Oncology: Board-certified radiation oncologists are physicians who have special training in using various types of external and/or internal radiation to treat cancer.
  • Pulmonologists: Comprehensive’s board-certified lung and sleep medicine focused pulmonologists provides evaluation, diagnosis and referrals for treatment options to patients with lung and bronchus cancer as well as treatment for various pulmonary diseases including asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, chronic cough and nicotine dependence.
  • Breast Surgeons: Comprehensive’s team of board-certified breast surgeons conducts both non-cancer and cancer-related surgeries of the breast. The team’s mission is to provide the most current and effective treatment options to our breast care and breast cancer patients.
  • Hematologists: Comprehensive’s team of board-certified hematologists are physicians who specializes in disorders of the blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic systems. Most hematologists are also board certified in oncology and can treat many types of cancers, including blood cancers.

Board certification and throughout medicine, is done through the American Board of Medical Specialties (AMBS) through the organization’s ABMS Board Certification and the ABMS Program for Maintenance of Certification (ABMS MOC®). ABMS MOC are peer-developed, externally validated programs that serve as important markers for a higher standard of care.

The process reflects the critical core physician values of compassion, patient-centeredness, and a passion for education. Patients, physicians, health care providers, insurers, and quality organizations look for these markers as the best measure of a physician’s knowledge, experience and skills to provide quality health care within a given specialty.

Certification by an ABMS Member Board involves a rigorous process of testing and peer evaluation that is designed and administered by specialists in the specific area of medicine. Through collaboration between ABMS and the 24 Member Boards standards for initial certification and keeping certification current through ABMS MOC are determined for continuous professional development as well as improvements to patient care.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

The physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for cancer, blood disorders, breast health conditions, pulmonary diseases and sleep disorders. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Movember Offers Men Opportunity to Focus on Early Detection

Movember Movement

Comprehensive Cancer Centers proudly supports Movember, an annual event during the month of November where men grow moustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues including prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.” More information about the Movember Foundation that runs the Movember charity can be found on the organization’s website.

Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Comprehensive supports these efforts by encouraging men to get involved and take charge of their personal health through early cancer detection and diagnosis that results in more effective treatments. The ultimate goal of the Movember program is to reduce the number of preventable deaths, which is something the team at Comprehensive, works towards all year long.

Testicular Cancer and Self-Exams for Early Detection

For men, one of the simplest ways to start becoming mindful of their health is by adding monthly testicular self-exams to their routines. If men haven’t already started self-testing, Movember offers are great opportunity to start. Monthly testicular self-exams allow men to become familiar with their testicles, thus making it easier to notice any changes that occur.

Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves or their partner, very few are found by a physician. This makes gaining familiarity with what is normal so changes are noticed quickly and a trip to the doctor for a look can be done immediately. When changes are noticed early, a visit to the doctor can either alleviate concern, or get treatment started immediately. The earlier treatment starts by the oncologists at Comprehensive Cancer, the greater the chance of a successful treatment outcome.

How to Conduct Self-Exams for Testicles

The team at Comprehensive recommends that men conduct the testicular self-exam during or right after a warm shower or bath at least once per month. The warmth relaxes the scrotum making the exam easier. Don’t be alarmed if one testicle seems slightly larger than the other, as that’s normal. Also, it is normal to have one testicle hang lower than the other.

Testicular Self-Exam Steps:

  1. Examine each testicle gently with both hands by rolling the testicle between the thumb and forefingers
  2. Find the epididymis, the soft tube-like structures behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm. If you are familiar with this structure, you won’t mistake it for an abnormal mass
  3. Look for any lumps or irregularities. Remember that lumps or bumps may also present themselves as painless
  4. Look for any changes in size, shape, or texture. Remember it’s normal for one testicle to be slightly larger

As noted, should any concerns present, Comprehensive Cancer recommends that patients speak with their primary physician immediately and get set up with a referral to a urologist who can conduct further tests.

Prostate Cancer Screenings

Another area of concern for men, where early and regular screenings are highly beneficial, is getting tested for prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening using these guidelines:

  • Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years
  • Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65)
  • Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age)

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for testicular cancer and prostate cancer, including: chemotherapy, radiation therapy or clinical research.  For certain cancers, clinical research may provide new treatment options not yet fully available. For a complete list of clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive Cancer Centers, please click here. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Quit Smoking During Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer and Smoking

For smokers, the urge to quit smoking is always there, but finding the right time, and encouragement to get started and follow through to success, can be challenging. The arrival of Lung Cancer Awareness Month offers the perfect opportunity for those who smoke to think seriously about the consequences of smoking and about how quitting can greatly lower health risks, including lung cancer.

Amid the projected rise in Nevada lung cancer diagnoses and growing vape usage, Comprehensive Cancer Centers and UNLV are bringing back its popular “I Quit For” initiative for a third consecutive year, designed to encourage people who smoke tobacco products to kick the habit and addiction.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 2,090 Nevadans will be diagnosed with a form of lung cancer this year, marking a nearly 24 percent increase over the 1,680 new cases projected statewide in 2017. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, accounting for more deaths than colon, breast and prostate cancer deaths combined.

Additionally, vaping figures continue to be substantial with young people. Approximately 2.1 million middle and high school students said they used e-cigarettes in 2017, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Beginning on November 1 – the first day of Lung Cancer Awareness Month – Comprehensive will place eight tobacco drop-off bins on three UNLV campuses. One bin will be placed at the Paradise Campus (851 E. Tropicana Ave., 89119), one at the Shadow Lane Campus (1001 Shadow Lane, 89106), two at the Student Union on the Maryland Campus (4505 S. Maryland Parkway, 89154) and the remaining four will be stationed at Thomas & Mack Center or Sam Boyd Stadium during events.

“The mission of this meaningful community partnership, now three years strong, remains the same – keeping Southern Nevadans healthy and from ever having to visit one of our clinics for cancer treatment,” said Jon Bilstein, executive director of Comprehensive. “With a projected rise in new lung cancer diagnoses in Nevada and a growing number of young people vaping, there has never been a better time to kick the addiction. Quitting smoking not only reduces your chance of lung cancer, but all cancers.”

I Quit For Pledge

Those wanting to quit may deposit any unused tobacco products in the bins and make a simple and meaningful “I Quit For” pledge. The pledge encourages attendees to write the name of a child, parent, friend or loved one to whom they are promising to quit smoking, taking the pledge to a symbolic level. They can then snap a photo of themselves with their pledge form and send it to their friends and family members, or post on social media with the hashtag #IQuitFor.

Pledge forms are attached to each drop-off bin. Additional components of the I Quit For campaign include health-focused messaging shared via on-campus video monitors, university publications and social media. Information about the campaign, tools, and resources to help individuals quit smoking and additional pledge forms are available at www.IQuitFor.com.

Comprehensive recognizes that dropping off tobacco products is only the first step in what can be a difficult process to quit smoking. Those making the “I Quit For” pledge are encouraged to take advantage of the Nevada Tobacco Quitline’s resources by visiting www.nevadatobaccoquitline.com or calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for lung cancer including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and CyberKnife Radiosurgery.  For certain lung cancer patients, clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive Cancer Centers may offer help, please click here to learn more. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

 

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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National Liver Cancer Awareness Month

What is Liver Cancer?

Liver cancer, as treated by Comprehensive Cancer Centers, includes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma). Risk factors for HCC include chronic infection with hepatitis B or C and cirrhosis of the liver. Liver cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer and can spread to other areas of the body.

The liver is made up mainly of cells called hepatocytes. The liver is also made up of other types of cells, including cells that line its blood vessels and cells that line small tubes in the liver called bile ducts. The bile ducts extend out of the liver and carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder or directly to the intestines.

The different types of cells in the liver can form different types of cancerous (malignant) and non-cancerous (benign) tumors. These tumors are caused by different factors, causes, are treated by the team at Comprehensive Cancer differently, with different prognoses.

Only cancers that start in the liver are called liver cancer. To understand liver cancer, it helps to know about the normal structure and function of the liver. People cannot live without their livers, as it has many critical functions:

  • Nutrient Breakdown – The liver breaks down and stores many of the nutrients absorbed from the intestine the body needs to function. Some nutrients must be changed (metabolized) in the liver before they can be used for energy or to build and repair body tissues.
  • Nutrient Absorption – The liver secretes bile into the body’s intestines to help absorb nutrients, in particular fats.
  • Clotting – The liver makes most of the clotting factors that keep people from bleeding too much when they are cut or injured.
  • Waste Management – The liver breaks down drugs, alcohol and other toxic wastes found in the blood, which then pass from the body through urine and stool

Liver Cancer Prevention Tips

Liver cancer is a cancer where behavior and lifestyle choices can mitigate risks. This includes the following guidance recommended by the oncologists and advanced practice providers at Comprehensive Cancer Centers:

  • Hepatitis – The leading risk factor for liver cancer is chronic infection with hepatitis B and C. Risk factor for these infections can be reduced by not sharing contaminated needles and/or having unprotected sex. There are also vaccines to prevent hepatitis B, which can help lower risks.
  • Alcohol and Tobacco Use – Drinking to excess can increase risks for cirrhosis, which can lead to liver cancer. Smoking cigarettes, cigars may also increase risks for liver cancer. To reduce risks for liver cancer, Comprehensive Cancer urges our patients to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Exercise Comprehensive Cancer regularly posts insights and encouragement for people to get active to lower all cancer and general health risks. This includes liver cancer, as those who are overweight, have a higher risk of developing fatty liver diseases and diabetes, which can also be linked to liver cancer.
  • Eat Better – Eating healthier foods, including fruits, vegetables and nuts, can help with liver cancer prevention. These foods are high in antioxidants, which help fights cell damage that often leads to cancer. A few foods to avoid include excessive red meat, processed foods such as hotdogs and bacon. Foods high in fiber, like whole grains, or choose lean proteins, are always a smart choice.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Comprehensive Cancer Centers provides a variety of treatment options including: chemotherapy, radiation therapy and clinical research for the treatment of liver cancer.  For a complete list of clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive, please click here. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Immunotherapy Efforts at Comprehensive Cancer Centers

Immunotherapy Efforts at Comprehensive Cancer Centers

As treatments in medicine advance, patients become interested in learning more about these options and how they may help them. Immunotherapy is one of the most exciting new treatment options in oncology, and Comprehensive Cancer Centers is at the forefront in helping treat patients with immunotherapy, while advancing the science behind the treatment through clinical research.

The physicians and clinicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers use immunotherapy in treatment to encourage the body’s own immune system to help fight cancer. This is done by stimulating a patient’s immune system to work harder or smarter to attack cancer cells. The treatment also includes giving the immune system components, such as man-made immune system proteins to assist in the process.

“Immunotherapy is the most recent ‘superstar’ offering meaningful advances in the field of cancer treatment,” said Dr. Fadi Braiteh, a medical oncologist and research scientist at Comprehensive Cancer Centers.  “Although the success story of immunotherapy is still unfolding, the preliminary results offer profound anti-cancer responses, and some terminal cancer patients are now cancer free, with a hope of a definitive cure being a reachable reality.”

While the science of immunotherapy has been around for decades, many patients now are becoming aware of its potential and want to learn more. The following details types of immunotherapy, and how they are designed to work:

  • Checkpoint Inhibitors

    These are drugs that help the immune system respond more strongly to tumors. These drugs work by releasing brakes that keep T cells (a type of white blood cell and part of the immune system) from killing cancer cells. These drugs do not target a tumor directly, but rather they interfere with the ability of cancer cells to avoid immune system attack.

  • Adoptive Cell Transfer

    This is a treatment that attempts to boost the natural ability of T cells to fight cancer. In this treatment, T cells are taken from a patient’s tumor. The most active cells against a patient’s cancer are grown in large batches in a laboratory. This process can take two to eight weeks and during that time patients may have other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. When the T cells are harvested, they are reintroduced into a patient’s body.

  • Monoclonal Antibodies

    The antibodies are also known as therapeutic antibodies, which are immune system proteins also created in a laboratory. These antibodies are designed to attach to specific targets found on cancer cells. Some monoclonal antibodies mark cancer cells so that they will be better seen and destroyed by the immune system. Other monoclonal antibodies directly stop cancer cells from growing or cause them to self-destruct. Still others carry toxins to cancer cells. Because therapeutic monoclonal antibodies recognize specific proteins on cancer cells, they are also considered targeted therapies.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada provide a variety of treatment options including: immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, breast surgery and clinical research for the treatment of cancer. For a complete list of clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive, please click here. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Comprehensive Cancer Celebrates National Mammography Day

Comprehensive Cancer Celebrates National Mammography Day

Each year, the third Friday of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness of  the importance of mammograms. National Mammography Day, which was first introduced in 1993, is recognized by Comprehensive Cancer Centers as an opportunity to encourage women to put their health first and to schedule an appointment to get their annual mammogram.

An important tool in treatment is found in early detection. The medical oncology and breast surgery team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers recommends that women get regular mammograms that following guidelines provided by the American Cancer Society:

  • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
  • Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
  • Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.
  • All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening.

What is a Mammogram?

The following offers insights into what mammograms are and what benefits they offer patients – and physicians – by adhering to regular schedules for testing:

Quite simply, a mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast.

Mammograms can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. This type of mammogram is called a screening mammogram. Screening mammograms usually involve two or more x-ray pictures, or images, of each breast. The x-ray images often make it possible to detect tumors that cannot be felt. Screening mammograms can also find microcalcifications (tiny deposits of calcium) that sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer.

Mammograms can also be used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been found. This type of mammogram is called a diagnostic mammogram. Besides a lump, signs of breast cancer can include breast pain, thickening of the skin of the breast, nipple discharge, or a change in breast size or shape; however, these signs may also be signs of benign conditions. A diagnostic mammogram can also be used to evaluate changes found during a screening mammogram or to view breast tissue when it is difficult to obtain a screening mammogram because of special circumstances, such as the presence of breast implants.

Mammography is a specific type of breast imaging that uses low-dose x-rays to detect cancer early – before women experience symptoms – when it is most treatable.

Tell your family doctor about any breast symptoms or problems, prior surgeries, hormone use, whether you have a family or personal history of breast cancer, and if there’s a possibility you are pregnant. Should you be referred to Comprehensive Cancer Centers for additional screenings, obtain copies of your prior mammograms and make them available to your radiologist on the day of your exam.

To best prepare for your mammogram, leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. Don’t wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts as these may appear on the mammogram and interfere with correct diagnosis.

Should you have further questions about mammograms, consult with your physician or a Comprehensive Cancer Centers oncologist.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Comprehensive Cancer Centers provides a variety of treatment options including: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, breast surgery and clinical research for the treatment of breast cancer.  For a complete list of clinical research studies currently being conducted at comprehensive, please click here. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Comprehensive and UNLV Partner to Provide Free Sunscreen to Fans

Comprehensive and UNLV Partner to Provide Free Sunscreen to Fans

Comprehensive Cancer Centers is extending its popular and successful Protect Your Fun in the Sun program with a new partnership with UNLV. The partnership, which will provide free sunscreen kiosks throughout Sam Boyd Stadium before and during UNLV Rebel football games.

Community initiatives, such as the ones advanced by Comprehensive Cancer Centers and UNLV, are ongoing to elevate awareness about the benefits of regular sunscreen use with regard to lowering risks for skin cancers including melanoma. While awareness increases in many age groups, outreach to effect change in younger populations can be a challenge.

Roughly 71 percent  of adults said they usually or always practice at least one of the three sun-protective behaviors (use sunscreen, wear sun-protective clothing, or seek shade), among high school students, 13 percent  of girls and 7 percent  of boys reported they routinely used a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher when they were outside for more than an hour.

There are encouraging results regarding the use of sunscreen among younger people, and how that use is yielding benefits.  A recent publication in Science Daily reported that sunscreen use is having great results in lowering cancer risks for young people. A recent study has found that Australians aged 18-40 years who were regular users of sunscreen in childhood reduced their risk of developing melanoma by 40 percent, compared to those who rarely used sunscreen.

Programs, such as Comprehensive’s Protect Your Fun in the Sun have been successful in helping increase  awareness in the general public and Comprehensive is excited to expand the program to help make students, alumni and fans of all ages at UNLV even more aware of the benefits of being sun smart.

The Protect Your Fun in the Sun program currently has sunscreen locations throughout the valley at popular outdoor event locations, including Springs Preserve, Downtown Summerlin, Cadence master-planned community, Wet’n’Wild, as well as during Las Vegas 51s day games.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Comprehensive Cancer Centers provides a variety of treatment options including: chemotherapy, radiation therapy and clinical research for the treatment of skin cancer and melanoma.  For a complete list of clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive, please click here. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Make Sure Your Medicare Advantage Plan Gives You Access to Comprehensive Cancer Centers

Make Sure Your Medicare Advantage Plan Gives You Access to Comprehensive Cancer Centers

For Medicare Advantage participants, this time of year means having the opportunity to review and select plans that offer access to the best healthcare providers, such as Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

To ensure that the best care possible is available to you, some due diligence researching options for Medicare Advantage plans is time well spent. An important part of this research process involves finding insurance plans that can refer you to the best specialist possible, should that become a necessity.

When it comes to oncology treatment, if you’re a resident of Southern Nevada, Comprehensive Cancer Centers is the leading treatment provider in the area. To be able to access Comprehensive Cancer Centers, you’d need to have one of the following Medicare Advantage plans:

  • Aetna Medicare (HMO & PPO)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage (PPO)
  • Humana Medicare (PFFS & PPO)
  • United Health Care Medicare Solutions (PPO)
  • Hometown Health Senior Care Plus
  • Select Health Advantage (HMO)

If you’re wondering if a Medicare Advantage Plan is something that would benefit you, or a loved one, to become better informed about your options, it’s best to start with what Medicare Advantage Plans are and what they offer.

What’s a Medicare Advantage Plan?

The Medicare Advantage program (also known as Medicare Part C) is an alternative way to receive Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. Instead of getting Medicare benefits directly from the federal government, benefits are administered by a private insurance company contracted with Medicare. Except for hospice care, which remains covered under Medicare Part A, a Medicare Advantage plan provides at least the same level of coverage as Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance).

Many Medicare Advantage plans contract with healthcare practices, such as Comprehensive Cancer Centers, practice groups, and other medical professionals and suppliers to deliver care and services to members of their Medicare Advantage plans. This arrangement is referred to as a Medicare Advantage plan’s provider network.  Health-care providers who participate in a Medicare Advantage plan’s network agree to help coordinate care and provide services at a cost that may be lower than their normal fees.  This might mean lower out-of-pocket costs for those who enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. However, costs (such as deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and premiums) vary among plans, as can access to certain providers.

To enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, one must have Medicare Part A and Part B and live in the Medicare Advantage plan’s service area (and in most cases, the candidate for insurance must not have end stage renal disease, which is kidney failure requiring regular dialysis or a kidney transplant).

Additional Benefits of Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans often offer more benefits than Medicare Part A and Part B by through additional benefits that may include one or more of the following (this may not be a complete list and is subject to change without notice):

  • Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage
  • Routine vision care
  • Routine hearing care
  • Routine dental care
  • Gym membership and/or other wellness programs

A Medicare Advantage plan may provide desired benefits you want including the convenience of all health-care coverage in a single plan, rather than dealing with multiple insurance companies.

How much do Medicare Advantage Plans cost?

In addition to Part B premiums, the insured usually pay one monthly premium for the services included in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Each Medicare Advantage Plan has different premiums and costs for services, so it’s important to compare plans in your area and understand plan costs and benefits before joining.

What do Medicare Advantage Plans cover?

Medicare Advantage Plans must cover all of the services that original Medicare covers except hospice care. Original Medicare covers hospice care even if someone is in a Medicare Advantage Plan. In all types of Medicare Advantage Plans, coverage for emergency and urgent care is included. Medicare Advantage Plans must offer emergency coverage outside of the plan’s service area (but not outside the U.S.). Many Medicare Advantage Plans also offer extra benefits such as dental care, eyeglasses, or wellness programs.

Most Medicare Advantage Plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). In addition to a Part B premium, one monthly premium is usually paid for the plan’s medical and prescription drug coverage.

Plan benefits can change from year to year. Make sure you understand how a plan works before joining one.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers has resources accessible for those interested in learning more about plans that offer access to the practice’s world-class care and clinical research.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options including: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, breast surgery, pulmonary medicine, cancer genetic counseling and clinical research.  Doctors and patients who have a choice choose Comprehensive. We participate in a variety of Medicare Advantage plans as well as commercial insurance. During open enrollment, make sure your plan gives you Comprehensive Cancer Centers so you have access to patient-centered care through our world-class treatments and services.

Call 702-952-3350 and we’ll let you know if we are a provider in your plan.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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