In Cancer, Knowledge is Power

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Today’s guest blog comes to us from Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center and the medical director of Doctor Radio on SiriusXM.

A few years ago a patient who was a former smoker came to me just certain he had lung cancer, though he had no symptoms. I believe strongly in intuition when it comes to health, so I fought to get him a CT scan which revealed the tiniest malignancy. The cancer was removed and he was cured. 

Recent controversies over cancer screening have obscured the art of medicine, where knowledge is always power, and there is no such thing as a bad test but only a bad doctor who over or under interprets it. This powerful clinical truth is never more important than when it comes to lung cancer, the number one cause of cancer death which is often found too late to cure, and breast cancer, which also can be tough to find and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. My patients want to know if they are at risk for getting these cancers, and they also want me to act on their intuition and mine.

What better time to talk about this crucial reality than February, National Cancer Awareness and Prevention month. Join us on Doctor Radio (Sirius/XM 110) on Friday February 5 at 3PM Eastern Time for the monthly oncology show sponsored by Lilly Oncology. We will answer the crucial questions; Who is at risk? Who should be screened? What is the importance of family history? Our hosts are well known oncologists and directors at the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center Dr. Benjamin Neel and Dr. Abraham Chachoua and Dr. Benjamin Neel.

Joining them to discuss lung cancer will be Dr. Daniel Sterman, Director of Pulmonary  Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. Should all smokers and former smokers get CT scan screening? I believe they should, but doesn’t this lead to too many biopsies and surgeries? Are there new biomarkers in the works that can tell you have lung cancer before it is even visible on a scan? Does diagnosing cancer early lead to more cures? What if you quit smoking – does your risk diminish over time?

What about all the controversies swirling around breast cancer? We will ask Dr. Francisco Esteva, Director of Breast Medical Oncology at the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center.  Does mammography truly save lives? Who should have it and when? What about breast self-exam? Can you really keep yourself from getting breast cancer by eating right, exercising, losing weight, and cutting down on alcohol, or is your family history the most important thing?

Knowledge is power when it comes to cancer. Our hosts and guests will provide you with the knowledge you need to take the power of your health into your own hands.

Did you notice a new name at the top of this post? LillyPad is proud to partner with a variety of guest bloggers from around the world, and we're committed to hosting a range of viewpoints on our site. However, please note that the views contained in this post belong to its author and are not necessarily endorsed by Lilly.