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Category: Cancer Screening

The Success Story of Declining Cancer Deaths – Dr. Ed Sauter

The words “good news” and “cancer” are seldom spoken in the same sentence but there is, in fact, good news with respect to this most dreaded of diseases. Cancer deaths are declining in the United States. In this post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast cancer expert Dr. Ed Sauter discusses and answers questions about declining cancer deaths.

A new report was released in January 2014 from the American Cancer Society containing the news that the rate of cancer deaths among Americans is continuing to decline. Tell us about this report. (first question)

Which cancers have declined the most in the past 20 years? (skip to 0:48)

Are there any cancers whose rates are increasing? (skip to 1:02)

Is this overall decline in death rates across-the-board in terms of age, race and gender? (skip to 1:16)

What factors have contributed to this decline in the number of Americans dying from cancer? (skip to 1:50)

Based on the American Cancer Society’s 2014 report, who is still at greatest risk overall for dying from cancer? (skip to 2:45)

What about the rate of diagnosis of cancer? Is that rate declining as well? (skip to 3:04)

What about regional cancer rates? For example, East Texas has the highest rates of prostate, lung and colorectal cancer in the entire State of Texas. (skip to 3:42)

As great as the news is from the American Cancer Society, don’t we have a lot more to do in the fight against this much-feared disease? (skip to 5:30)

The Mammography Study Heard ‘Round the World – Dr. Don Wells

For a long time now we have been told that routine mammograms are in invaluable tool in reducing deaths related to breast cancer. But a study recently published in the British Medical Journal calls that belief into question. So is the study right? UT Health radiology expert Dr. Don Wells gets to the bottom of the controversial study on mammography in the latest post to HealthConnection.TV.

Explain the recently published study in the British Medical Journal that calls into question the value of mammograms. Why is this particular study significant? (first question)

We have been told for decades that women should have annual mammograms. So why should we pay attention to this study? (skip to 1:00)

Is there anything about this study, its results or the way that it was conducted that causes you concern or should we take it at face value? (skip to 1:32)

Based on this study, is it fair to say that some breast cancers are being treated through surgery, chemotherapy or radiation that don’t need such aggressive treatment? (skip to 2:47)

What has led to over-treatment of breast cancers? (skip to 3:36)

What possible downside is there to finding breast cancers earlier? (skip to 4:14)

So how do women and their doctors decide what the best treatment is for a diagnosis of breast cancer? (skip to 4:48)

The study dealt with screening mammograms. What about diagnostic mammograms in which a woman may find a lump and her doctor needs to know what it is? (skip to 6:04)

What advice would you give a woman who hears about this study with respect to the value of mammograms? (skip to 6:48)

How do you think this research study may affect women’s health care in the future? What changes might we see? (skip to 8:00)

Prostate Cancer: From Screening to Diagnosis to Treatment – Dr. Hitesh Singh

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and causes about 36,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Some men, based on ethnicity, occupation, family history and age, are more susceptible. The U.T. Health Science Center’s Dr. Hitesh Singh talks about the screening, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in this latest post to HealthConnection.TV.

What is the likelihood that a man will develop prostate cancer over the course of his lifetime? (first question)

What causes prostate cancer? (skip to 0:43)

How is prostate cancer detected? (skip to 2:00)

Why has the PSA test for prostate cancer become controversial? (skip to 2:37)

What would be the impact if the medical community stopped using the PSA test as a screening tool? (skip to 4:15)

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer? (skip to 4:47)

How serious is a diagnosis of prostate cancer? (skip to 5:22)

How is prostate cancer treated? (skip to 6:25)

Are there things a man can do to prevent getting prostate cancer? (skip to 8:15)

What does the future hold for prostate cancer treatment? (skip to 8:53)

Clearing Up Confusion About the Pap Test – Dr. Ralph Turner

Since the 1940s, the Pap test has been an invaluable tool in detecting cervical cancer in its earliest stages when it is highly treatable. But the American Cancer Society came out with revised guidelines as to who should have the Pap test and when. Those guidelines were not immediately adopted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, creating a level of confusion among patients. U.T. Health Science Center at Tyler gynecology expert Dr. Ralph Turner clears up some of that confusion in the latest post to HealthConnection.TV.

The American Cancer Society and other medical groups came out with new guidelines for cervical cancer testing using the Pap test but the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists did not concur with the new recommendations until October 2012. Why the delay? (first question)

Under the new guidelines, who should get a Pap test and how often should she get it? (skip to 2:23)

It’s also recommended now that women get a human papillomavirus, or HPV, test along with the Pap test. Why is the HPV screening important? (skip to 5:56)

What led to these recommended changes? Why were they necessary? (skip to 6:46)

One recommendation that did not change is related to women under the age of 21. The guideline is that these women should not be screened for cervical cancer or HPV. Given the increase in sexual activity in this age group, it would seem important that they be screened. (skip to 8:28)

Sixty percent of women in the U.S. who have had a total hysterectomy and who no longer have a cervix are still getting the Pap test which screens for cervical cancer. Why is this happening? (skip to 9:40)

Given that it is no longer recommended that women get a Pap test once a year, do women still need an annual visit with the doctor? (skip to 11:17)

The War on Cancer – Dr. William Hyman

In 1971, the U.S. Congress passed the National Cancer Act and devoted millions of dollars to cancer research. Forty years later, that research is bearing fruit as many cancers have yielded to better detection, better treatment, better survivability and better cure rates. U.T. Health Science Center oncologist Dr. William Hyman discusses progress in the War on Cancer in this latest post to HealthConnection.TV.

Have we made progress in detecting, treating and curing cancer in the past 30 to 40 years? (first question)

For what types of cancers has there been the most progress in terms of survival rates and cures? (skip to 0:45)

For what types of cancers has it been the most difficult to improve outcomes? (skip to 1:38)

What do we need to do in order to wage a more effective war against cancer? (skip to 2:00)

If a young person starts smoking but quits early in life, is the risk of lung cancer still significant? (skip to 2:30)

As the population ages, cancer rates increase. Why is this so? (skip to 3:11)

Because of improved mortality rates for other diseases, have we statistically increased the chances for getting cancer? (skip to 4:12)

How has genetic research impacted the diagnosis and treatment of cancer? (skip to 4:48)

What does the future hold for genetic testing for cancer? (skip to 6:16)

Some have predicted that there will one day be a vaccine for cancer. How likely is it that this prediction will come true? (skip to 6:39)

Will there ever be a cure for cancer? (skip to 7:22)




Genetic Testing for Cancer – Dr. William Hyman

With advances made in recent years in understanding genetics, it is now possible to administer tests to help determine an individual’s susceptibility to cancer and to possibly ascertain the best courses of treatment for those that have certain cancers. But with this technology comes a list of questions regarding the timing, accuracy and even the ethics of testing individuals for susceptibility to disease. The U.T. Health Science Center’s Dr. William Hyman discusses these issues in this edition of Health Connection.

What is genetic or gene testing? (first question)

What is the relationship between genes and cancer? (skip to 0:31)

How are diseased cancer genes identified? (skip to 1:05)

How accurate is genetic testing as a predictor of cancer? (skip to 2:26)

What types of cancer susceptibility can be identified using genetic testing? (skip to 3:21)

Who should have genetic cancer testing done? (skip to 4:15)

How is genetic testing for cancer performed? (skip to 5:10)

What does the future hold of genetic testing as a tool to diagnose cancer? (skip to 5:44)

Are there ethical questions attendant to genetic testing? (skip to 6:40)

Dr. Coty Ho discusses cancer screening

Many cancers are either curable or highly treatable if they are detected early. That’s why screening for detectable cancers at appropriate times and intervals is so important. Dr. Coty Ho, Chief of Medical Oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler joins us in this edition of Health Connection to discuss cancer screening for men and women.

What are the most important cancer screens for men? (first question)

What are the most important cancer screens for women? (skip to 00:44)

Who should have a colonoscopy and when? (skip to 01:14)

Recently, the government revised the guidelines regarding mammograms. What are your thoughts on this? (skip to 01:43)

What about the risks of false positives in cancer screenings? (skip to 02:52)

Does the PSA test for men make a difference in prostate cancer survival rates? (skip to 03:35)