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Show Host: We are looking at women’s health this morning. So ladies, I hope you stick around. We are going to talk about some of the cancers in fact that eat enough, that can affect you.
Commentator: And some important information on women’s health this morning we have a doctor joining us to talk about cancers that affect the women.
Show Host: Today we are looking at women’s health – a top concern for so many of us, especially women with cancer. This morning we are joined by Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth. Thank you for coming in. And you are doctor with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, so let’s start with the main cancers and there’s so many that affect women.
Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth: Yes there are. There are quite a few cancers and when we look at cancer we look at the prevalence of cancer in women and you tend to see more breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer and so on, but what takes the lives of many women would be things like lung cancer rather than breast cancer itself.
When you look for signs and symptoms of cancer there are several things that you can see, such as in breast cancer you may find a lump, something which is unusual; nipple discharge, bloody discharge or some abnormal finding in your body which may or may not be felt by yourself or by the physician.
Show Host: Let’s go ahead and dive a little bit deeper into breast cancer. It’s so scary because now unfortunately, every person probably knows somebody affected by breast cancer, whether it’s a friend or a family member or friend of a family member, and the thing I guess that strikes me so much is how young a woman can be that gets this. I mean I have known of an 18 year old that has gotten breast cancer. You’d only think it’s of older women; so many people in their 30s are now diagnosed with breast cancer.
Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth: Yes, we don’t understand why more young women are developing cancer but we do see that the general tendency for women in their post menopausal age who tend to develop this but the incidence is there. There is a significant degree of population that actually has breast cancer at an earlier age. However, the majority of patients do have cancer that shows up at a later age but with appropriate screening this can be found early enough and treated appropriately.
Show Host: When should we get a mammogram?
Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth: The recommendation is at the age of 40 or if you have high risk features in your family such as mutation, such as a BRCA mutation – BRCA1, BRCA2, or if there’s a strong family history or a high degree of suspicion such as an abnormal physical finding or an abnormal test of some sort.
Show Host: Okay, let’s go ahead and talk about ovarian cancers – what are the symptoms?
Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth: Usually the symptoms are very vague. It can range anything from abdominal pain, discomfort, lower back pain, change in your bowel habits and even changes in your menstruation cycles or as well as your sexual habits. You may have pain on intercourse or even several things such as bowel movements that change to very irregular forms. So the symptoms are very non-specific, however, you should visit with your gynecologist and have the appropriate exams for screening purposes.
Show Host: How often, I mean if you are ever getting any of these symptoms, because you don’t want to be overly cautious and every time anything goes wrong, head over to the doctor or do you?
Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth: Well the main thing is that appropriate screening is the best way to prevent cancer and if you have any type of symptoms that actually makes you very concerned or you have a strong family history then you should be a little more sensitive than most others. You are right, these symptoms are very non-specific in nature but with the guidance of your physician you can find these cancers early enough, hopefully, to take care of them.
Show Host: Besides screening is there anything else that women can do to prevent any type of cancers? Eat healthy, exercise…
Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth: You know for breast cancer there are several studies that have been performed showing that reduction of alcohol intake to less than two drinks a day, in fact even elimination of alcohol maybe the best modality for reduction as well. There are chemo prevention agents that are available for women who have a high risk such as Tamoxifen and Evista. There are also other modalities such as exercise, reduction of weight, reduction of your weight as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle may be extremely beneficial. Smoking is still an iffy issue but when you think of the risks of reduction in cervical cancer as well as lung cancer, which more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer, then absolutely smoking will be very beneficial as well, reducing your smoking habits.
Show Host: Such a scary topic to tackle but one that needs to stand in forefront for all women’s health.
Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth: Absolutely.
Show Host: Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth, thank you so much for coming in this morning, we appreciate it.
Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth: Thank you for having me.
Show Host: For more information on the cancers that affect women head over to our website fox23.com, click on the fox box, and coming at 8:15 this morning we talk to…