Half a Million Cancers Prevented by Colon Screenings

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) — More than 500,000 cases of colon and rectal cancer may have been prevented with cancer screening tests during the last three decades in the United States, experts estimate.

“These numbers represent real patients and families who have been spared the trauma of a cancer diagnosis and treatment,” the study’s senior author, Dr. James Yu, assistant professor of therapeutic radiology at Yale School of Medicine, said in a university news release. “Colorectal cancer screening is one of the major successes in cancer care.”

The screenings, which took place between 1976 and 2009, included three kinds of tests: colonoscopy; a similar test called a sigmoidoscopy; and fecal occult blood tests, in which fecal samples are tested by a laboratory for signs of blood in the stool. As an increasing number of men and women underwent these procedures, colon and rectal cancer rates dropped dramatically, the study revealed.

The study, published in the June 3 online edition of Cancer, used data from the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Trends Progress Report and its Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database.

The incidence of late-stage cancer fell from 118 cases per 100,000 people older than 50 years of age to 74 cases per 100,000, the researchers found.

Meanwhile, the incidence of early stage cancers dropped from 77 to 67 cases per 100,000 in people older than 50 years, according to the report. At the same time, colon cancer screening rates jumped from nearly 35 percent to 66 percent.

“The [effectiveness] of colorectal cancer screening is important to highlight, especially at a time when there has been a national discussion about screening for other types of cancer,” study co-author Dr. Cary Gross, director of Yale’s Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research Center, said in the news release.

SOURCE: Yale University, news release, June 3, 2014


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Page last updated on 9 June 2014

From WMTW Channel 8 – Free Clinic Featured

PORTLAND, Maine —The Friends of the Portland Community Free Clinic is raising money to help the PCFC remain open.

The clinic provides services to the city’s working poor, but administrators say they only have enough money to operate for the next nine months. It has evening hours and never bills customers.

Volunteer doctors and nurses help at the clinic after working at their regular jobs.

“I got my diabetes diagnosed, got meds that were cheap enough that I could afford, got treated, getting better,” said Jilian Greenwood.

Greenwood has a part-time job but cannot get insurance through the Affordable Care Act, so she depends on the clinic.

“After I’d been there for about a month, I said ‘I’ve had more health care in the last month and a half than I have had in the last 25 years.’ Which is the truth,” she said.

The clinic lost funding through Mercy Hospital two years ago, and private foundations have helped to provide support.

The annual operating budget is $110,000, but administrators say they only have enough money to last until February of next year.

“I truly feel it’s a matter of justice. Every single person deserves quality health care, and that’s not the case in our country even with the Affordable Care Act,” said Ellen Schoepf, president of the board of directors of Friends of the Portland Community Free Clinic.

Administrators estimate the clinic provides $2 million worth of health care to the Greater Portland area every year. It is in its 21st year of operation.

Online donations to the clinic can be made by clicking here.
Read more and watch the video: http://www.wmtw.com/news/portland-health-clinic-tries-to-stay-alive/26218782#ixzz336lFK1V7

Don’t Get Burned: Protect Your Skin During Outdoor Activities


Dermatologists share tips for sunburn prevention and treatment
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (May 13, 2014) – While warmer weather means more outdoor activities, it also means carefully protecting your skin from the sun. A common problem during spring and summer, sunburn can cause skin to become tender, red, and even scaly. Without the proper protection of sunscreen and clothing, sunburn can cause long-term damage, as well as considerable pain and discomfort.

“Whether you’re at the beach, going for a jog, or playing a round of golf, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays,” said board-certified dermatologist Elizabeth S. Martin, MD, FAAD, who maintains a private practice in Hoover, Alabama. “Although sunburn may seem like a temporary condition, it leaves behind long-lasting damage to the skin that increases a person’s risk for getting skin cancer.”

To help prevent sunburn and decrease the risk of skin cancer, Dr. Martin recommends the following tips:

  1. Seek shade when appropriate. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, seek shade.
  2. Wear protective clothing. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses wherever possible.
  3. Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. The sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more, and it should be applied to all exposed skin areas. “Broad spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. For maximum protection, reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.

“Sunburn is better prevented than treated, but if you do get a sunburn, it’s important to begin treating it as soon as you notice it,” said Dr. Martin. “The first step you should take is to get out of the sun – and preferably indoors.”

To help heal and soothe sunburned skin, Dr. Martin recommends the following tips:

  1. Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain. As soon as you get out of the bathtub or shower, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then, apply a moisturizer to help trap the water in your skin. This can help ease the dryness.
  2. Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin. If a particular area feels especially uncomfortable, you may want to apply a hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription. Do not treat sunburn with “-caine” products (such as benzocaine), as these may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.
  3. Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.
  4. Drink extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.
  5. If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to heal.Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.
  6. Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly-woven fabrics work best. When you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through.

“Unfortunately, the first signs of sunburn can take two to three hours to appear, making it especially important to carefully monitor your skin during outdoor activities,” said Dr. Martin. “If you get sunburned and you have blisters that cover a large area, such as your entire back, or if you have chills, a headache, or a fever, seek medical care immediately.”


CVS Plans to End Sales of Tobacco Products by Oct. 1


CVS/Caremark, the country’s largest drugstore chain, announced on Wednesday that it planned to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by October.

The company’s move was yet another sign of its metamorphosis into becoming more of a health care provider than a largely retail business, with its stores offering more miniclinics and health advice to aid customers visiting its pharmacies.

cvsWhile the company’s decision will cost it an estimated $2 billion in sales from tobacco buyers, that is a mere dent in its overall sales of $123 billion in 2012.

“We have about 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners helping patients manage chronic problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease, all of which are linked to smoking,” said Larry J. Merlo, chief executive of CVS. “We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don’t go together in the same setting.”


Portland Community Free Clinic Staves Off Closure, For Now

The Portland Community Free Clinic, housed in city offices at 103 India St., nearly closed last year. Now clinic officials estimate it can remain open for another six months.
By William Hall, The Forecaster
Posted Dec. 17, 2013, at 1:23 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — One year after nearly being forced to close, the Portland Community Free Clinic is no longer on life support, but remains in serious condition.

The clinic, at 103 India St., provides no-cost medical care to more than 500 Cumberland County residents who can’t afford health insurance, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid or other low-income health-care benefit programs.

With only a few employees, the clinic is staffed by 100 volunteer physicians, nurses, receptionists and others. But since its creation 20 years ago, it has also depended on external funding.

The clinic faced possible closure in December 2012 after losing financial support from Mercy Hospital and the city.


Holiday Concert to Benefit the PCFC – December 14th at 7 pm

Clinic Logo Medium croppedJoin us for a Holiday Recital to benefit the

Portland Community Free Clinic


Heather Connolly, soprano

Ellen Schoepf, piano

Joan F. Tryzelaar, violin

Steve Fleck, trumpet

Saturday, December 14, 2013

7:00 p.m.

Saint Ansgar Evangelical Lutheran Church

515 Woodford Street, Portland, ME

Come and enjoy the music of the season as Heather and friends
perform some of our favorite holiday compositions.

heather connolly

Heather Connolly is a coloratura soprano who is rapidly claiming her place among the most important emerging singers of our day. A gifted singer and actress, Ms. Connolly is internationally recognized for her work in opera, concert, and recital.

A freewill offering to benefit the Portland Community Free Clinic will be taken during the concert.

Hosted by the Friends of the Portland Community Free Clinic. For more information, contact the Friends at Friends@pcfcme.com