welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

cancer screening

here are some of the recommended cancer screening tests

skin cancer-look at your skin for changes in moles or new 
lesions      have a good skin survey by your doctor

do it in my practice when i do an annual exam or if the 
patient comes in with a suspicious skin lesion
the three skin cancers are squamous cell, basal cell, 
and melonoma

breast cancer-despite what may be written in the papers 
and what is on television, do a self breast exam yourself or 
your partner once a month looking for skin changes, lumps, 
unusual rashes, dimpling, or nipple discharge

if you find any of these have your doctor check them out
do an annual breast exam by your doctor 
do an annual mammogram starting at age 40 
this recommendation could change later 

most of the breast cancers i have seen have been  detected
from either findings on mammograms or on self breast exam 
most are found early and have a good outcome 

cervical cancer-have your daughters and sons immunized
against the hpv virus with the hpv shot(gardisil) 
this virus is what causes cervical cancer 

the younger they are immunized the more antibodies that are 
made against the virus so that when exposure occurs later in 
life the antibodies will attack the virus and prevent infection 
remember 80% of all adults may have been exposed to this
hpv virus

it is this exposure that causes changes in the cervix which 
causes cervical cancer  years later 
do regular pap smears starting at 21 years old or 3 years after 
first sexual encounter 
how often to do the pap smear is not agreed upon

i just recommend annual exams as it is easier to have patients 
come in annually to get the exam done than trying to keep up 
with is it annually,or is it every 2 years, or is it every 3 years 

two vaccines can prevent cancer-the hepatitis b vaccine can
prevent some cases of liver cancer(what happened to mickey mantle)
and the hpv vaccine can prevent cervical cancer 

prostate cancer-can be detected by annual prostate exam
and by doing a psa blood test      in my practice do this annually
on men starting at age 40 years old    
the psa test is not perfect but as of right now it is all we
have along with the exam to detect prostate cancer   

most of my patients who have a  positive 
psa levels turn out to not have prostate cancer    they 
sometimes have to have a prostate biopsy(ouch!!)
but have detected several prostate cancers with this test 
and with the exam

ovarian cancer-go to google search to the right and
type in ovarian cancer for an earlier blog on this cancer

colon cancer-can be detected by colonoscopy starting at
50 years old and then every 10 years if the colonoscopy is
if there is a family history of colon cancer it is
done every 5 years or more often if certain polyps are found

in my practice do an annual rectal exam starting at age 40  and
do an  annual fecal occult stool test for blood       if i feel a
mass or if the stool test is positive  then refer for a colonoscopy

testicular cancer-is a young mans disease      most of the
cases i have seen were detected by the patient with a
self examination

tell young boys at their sport exams or annual well child
checkups about doing this monthly exam
it is a curable disease especially if detected early
this is what lance armstrongs cancer was     he had a
10% chance of survival because his was so advanced

thankfully now most insurances and medicare now pay
for these cancer screens

always tell my patients i dont want to die from something
i could have prevented or have detected early

the organicgreen doctor


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