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Category: Cancer

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)

Cancer Q&A: Common Myths & Misunderstandings – Dr. Hitesh Singh

Nearly all of us are affected by cancer. It we do not suffer it personally, we have a friend or family member that does. The near universality of cancer gives rise to myths and common misunderstandings about the disease. In this post to HealthConnection.TV, U.T. Health Northeast cancer expert Dr. Hitesh Singh answers questions on the common myths surrounding cancer.

How does cancer start? Is there a moment in time when one healthy cells transforms into a cancerous cell? (first question)

What causes cancer and why has it become so common? (skip to 1:27)

How and why does cancer spread or metastasize? (skip to 2:21)

Are there certain cancers that are more metastatic, that is, more likely to spread? (skip to 3:44)

Why are there so many different types of cancer and why haven’t we found a cure yet? (skip to 4:18)

Can injuries such as falls, bruises or broken bones turn into cancer? (skip to 5:33)

Can stress cause cancer? (skip to 6:17)

Are there any types of cancer that are contagious? (skip to 6:46)

Is it possible for men to get breast cancer“? (skip to 7:48)

Besides the vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is implicated in cervical and certain mouth cancers, are there any other cancer vaccines? (skip to 8:13)

Is the treatment for cancer always worse than the disease itself? (skip to 8:38)

Radiation Therapy for Cancer – Dr. Lewis G. Smith

It has been known since the 19th century that radiation will kill cancer cells. The challenge has been to use radiation effectively while doing minimum damage to healthy tissue. Advances in radiation therapy technology have rendered radiation a much more effective weapon in the battle against many cancers.

What is radiation oncology? (first question)

How does radiation kill cancer cells? (skip to 1:26)

How effective is radiation in treating cancer? (skip to 3:10)

What types of cancers are typically treated with radiation? (skip to 4:27)

How is the decision made to use radiation, chemotherapy or both in treating cancer? (skip to 5:22)

How has radiation therapy improved? (skip to 6:20)

What are the potential side effects to treating cancer with radiation? (skip to 9:53)

The U.T. Health Science Center at Tyler has a new linear accelerator which delivers radiation treatment to patients. How is it different from most linear accelerators? (skip to 13:08)

What does the future hold for radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer? (skip to 16:34)

East Texas Leads the State in Lung Cancer – Dr. Bill Hyman

East Texas leads the state in many things, but lung cancer is not one of those things we should be proud of. In this post to HealthConnection.TV, UT HEALTH Northeast cancer expert Dr. Bill Hyman answers questions about lung cancer among East Texans.

What causes lung cancer? (first question)

What are the symptoms of lung cancer? (skip to 0:44)

How is lung cancer diagnosed? (skip to 1:00)

How serious is a diagnosis of lung cancer? (skip to 1:07)

How is lung cancer treated? (skip to 1:43)

Why is the incidence of lung cancer higher in Northeast Texas than in the rest of the state? (skip to 2:31)

Why is lung cancer an even more serious disease among African-American and Hispanics?

How can lung cancer be prevented? (skip to 3:47)

Breast Cancer: Knowledge is Your Power – Dr. Ed Sauter

When it comes to the subject of breast cancer, the more you know about it the better able you are to deal with it if if happens and the better able you are to avoid it altogether. In this post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast cancer expert Dr. Ed Sauter answers questions on things you should know about breast cancer.

Do we know what actually causes breast cancer? (first question)

What are the risk factors that may increase the likelihood that a woman could develop breast cancer? (skip to 1:12)

As compared to other risk factors, how much do genetic factors influence a woman’s likelihood of developing breast cancer? (skip to 2:17)

What is the link between hormones and breast cancer? (skip to 2:50)

Are there exposures in our environment that may increase the risk for breast cancer? (skip to 3:29)

What choices can a woman make to reduce her risk for developing breast cancer? (skip to 4:15)

Why is alcohol consumption a risk factor for breast cancer? (skip to 5:11)

Beyond a healthy diet, what about eating specific foods, such as soy, nuts, tea, berries, grains and foods that contain high amounts of antioxidant phytochemicals as a means to reduce breast cancer risk? (skip to 5:40)

Bottom line — what is the best overall strategy for reducing breast cancer risk? (skip to 7:27)

Breast Cancer Surgery – Dr. Ed Sauter

Surgery is more often than not a front-line attack against a diagnosis of breast cancer. But what type of surgery performed by what type of surgeon? These are the questions addressed by the U.T. Health Science Center at Tyler’s Dr. Ed Sauter in this post to HealthConnection.TV.

Why is surgery the first line of attack against breast cancer? (first question)

What are the surgical options for treating breast cancer? (skip to 0:31)

What is the difference between ‘mastectomy’ and ‘radical mastectomy?’ (skip to 1:07)

If breast cancer surgery becomes necessary, what are the advantages to having a surgeon who specializes in cancer? (skip to 1:55)

What factors influence a woman’s decision regarding her options for breast cancer surgery? (skip to 2:49)

Do surgery and radiation automatically go together in treating breast cancer? (skip to 3:31)

A growing number of women, especially younger women, are choosing to have both breasts removed as a preventive measure, even if only one breast is affected by cancer. What is driving this trend and is it a good idea? (skip to 3:58)

Some women who have a strong family history of breast cancer but no symptoms and no diagnosis of breast cancer themselves elect to have both breasts removed as a precaution against the disease. What are your thoughts on this? (skip to 5:11)

Is it better to wait until after breast cancer surgery before considering or beginning reconstruction? (skip to 6:22)

Do breast reconstruction or augmentation negatively impact the chance of detecting a new or recurring breast cancer? (skip to 7:18)

Is there anything a woman can do to reduce the likelihood of getting breast cancer? (skip to 8:39)

Are there lifestyle choices that are important with respect to avoiding breast cancer? (skip to 10:35)

The Diabetes Links – Dr. David Shafer

Diabetes is a very serious disease in and of itself. But it doesn’t stop there. Ongoing clinical research is revealing that diabetes has causal or complicating links to a range of other serious health problems including the most common cancers, hearing loss, dementia, heart attack and stroke. In the latest post to HealthConnection.TV, the U.T. Health Science Center at Tyler’s Dr. David Shafer answers questions on the diabetes links.

What is diabetes and why does there appear to be links between it and other serious diseases? (first question)

Are the links to other diseases equally attributable to Type I and Type II diabetes? (skip to 1:32)

What is the link between diabetes and heart attack or stroke? (skip to 3:23)

Why do people with diabetes have a greater risk of hearing loss? (skip to 4:18)

What is the connection between diabetes and cancer? (skip to 5:29)

Why would someone with diabetes be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? (skip to 7:03)

What is the link between diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure)? (skip to 9:30)

Are these risks increased irrespective of how well diabetes is managed by the patient? (skip to 10:40)


Fighting Back Against a Diagnosis of Cancer – Deirdre Leung, NP

A cancer diagnosis is never good news but the fight against the disease is winnable in many cases with the right therapy, the right support and the right attitude. In this post to Health Connection.TV, Oncology Nurse Practitioner Deirdre Leung of the U.T. Health Science Center at Tyler talks about putting up the best possible fight against a diagnosis of cancer.

Can you really fight cancer? (first question)

Why is exercise important in fighting cancer? (skip to 0:48)

Are there cancer fighting foods? (skip to 1:09)

What role, if any, do holistic treatments such as detoxification, heat treatment and herbal therapy play in the fight against cancer? (skip to 2:16)

How important are support groups in fighting cancer? (skip to 3:54)

What role does spiritual wellness play in fighting cancer? (skip to 5:03)

Does having a positive mental attitude impact the fight against cancer? (skip to 6:03)

Describe the character traits of someone who does well in fighting cancer? (skip to 6:58)