Do You Need to Be Screened for Lung Cancer?

Posted by Perspectives Blog Team on Nov 7, 2016 11:05:00 AM

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. The biggest risk factor for the disease is smoking, which causes 85 percent of lung cancer cases.

When found early, lung cancer is treatable. But symptoms don’t usually appear until the cancer is advanced. Screening tests are available that can help detect the presence of lung cancer, but many people don’t know if and when they should be screened.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society recommend that adults between the ages of 55 and 74 who have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history (equal to smoking a pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 years) and currently smoke or who have quit in the past 15 years get an annual low-dose chest CT scan. The National Lung Screening Trial found that people who got a low-dose CT scan had a 20 percent lower chance of dying from lung cancer than those who got chest x-rays.

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Topics: Cancer, Diseases & Conditions

Aneurysm that Claimed Actor's Life Surprisingly Common

Posted by Jill Porter on Oct 14, 2016 4:04:33 PM

Tommy Ford, a member of the cast of “Martin,” a popular sitcom that aired on the Fox network in the '90s, died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm on Wednesday at the age of 52. The rupture is a surprisingly common cause of death, according to Nadia Awad, MD, a vascular surgeon at Einstein.

AAA is the 10th leading cause of death in men over the age of 55 and the 15th leading cause of death in the United States, Dr. Awad said. It's caused by the weakening of the aorta, the main blood vessel that supplies blood to your body, which leads to a balloon-like dilation.

According to Dr. Awad:

AAA is fairly common and every year 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with one. Most AAA cause no symptoms and are found when a patient is being evaluated for another medical problem. However, some patients have pain, which can be a sign of impending rupture. The larger the AAA becomes, the greater the chance that it may burst, which is a life-threatening event that can happen without notice. Up to 90 percent of patients who have ruptured AAA die.

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Topics: Diseases & Conditions

Infographic: ABCs to Prevent Diabetes Complications

Posted by Christine Skiffington on Oct 10, 2016 11:06:10 AM

Prevent long-term diabetes complications by remembering the ABCs of healthy biometeric levels.

A is for the A1c test. This test measures your average blood sugar level over a few months. A higher A1C result means that you have a higher risk of developing complications.  Most people aim for an A1c lower than 7%. Learn more about the A1C test.

B is for blood pressure. High blood pressure is twice as likely to strike a person with diabetes than a person without diabetes. Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Monitor blood pressure and aim to stay below 140/90 MMHG. Learn more about diabetes and blood pressure.

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Topics: Diabetes, Diseases & Conditions

Winning a Life-Threatening Battle Against a Rare Disease

Posted by Jeff Meade on Jul 20, 2016 3:41:26 PM

(Pictured from left: Rita, Stephen, Bob and Stephanie Murken)

It started on March 27, Easter Sunday, with what seemed like a bad case of the flu. Though he could not have known it at the time, Roxborough attorney Bob Murken was about to come dangerously close to death.

 “It was nondescript,” Murken, 41, recalls. “It wasn’t clear what was going on. I had a big fever and I just felt terrible and I went to bed. When I got up the next morning, I didn’t want to go to work—and it takes a lot to keep me from going to work. (Murken is director of legislative affairs in Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney’s office.) I was just taking Advil and taking my temperature and staying in bed, figuring I’d get over it. I started getting these really high fevers—like 103 and 104.”

Murken called his doctor, who told him to keep in touch and to call back if his symptoms didn’t improve. And then she asked: Do you have any other symptoms?

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Topics: Diseases & Conditions

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Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness.

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