Health Notes for Nov. 12, 2012

New sources offered for cancer patients

In November, Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center launched a lung-cancer screening clinic specifically for the early diagnosis of lung cancer.

The multidisciplinary care team of the clinic recommends the screening for those with higher risks for the illness, including those who are 50 and older and are longtime smokers, people exposed to occupational hazards and those who have a family history of lung cancer, according to a news release from the center.

The center cites the New England Journal of Medicine in saying that lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in Louisiana, but that the disease is 80 percent to 90 percent curable when caught early.

Most insurance doesn’t cover the cost of the screening, the Mary Bird Perkins-OLOL Cancer Center reports. The cost of the lung cancer screening is offered at a discounted rate of $200 for those at high risk.

A physician referral isn’t required, but patients are encouraged to talk with their physician about whether the screening would be beneficial for them, the center said.

The Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is also part of a new online resource for young breast cancer survivors between the ages of 18 and 44 and their caregivers.

The website, http://www.sur
vivedat.org, has been launched by the center and LSU Health Sciences Center School of Public Health. The site provides access to local and national support groups, health information and more, according to a news release from the cancer center.

SurviveDat was funded by a grant awarded by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Special workshops on a variety of topics of interest to breast cancer survivors will be held quarterly, starting in 2013.

Birthday reminders for checkups offered

A new online tool sends people an annual birthday reminder with customized health questions and topics they can discuss with their doctor at their next checkup.

Baton Rouge General Medical Center launched the new electronic health tool called “It’s a Piece of Cake” to encourage people to build a relationship with their primary-care physician and have regular exams and screenings, according to a news release from the hospital.

Sign up to receive the email reminder by “liking” Baton Rouge General on Facebook, at Facebook/BatonRougeGeneral or by going to http://www.BRGeneral.org.

New abilities offered for freezing of eggs

The Fertility Institute of New Orleans has expanded its capabilities to offer the freezing of eggs, important for women faced with impaired fertility due to medical treatments.

Women of increased age and couples concerned with freezing embryos also would benefit from the egg freezing or oocyte cryopreservation, according to a news release from the institute, which has offices in Metairie, Mandeville and Baton Rouge.

“As cancer survival rates increase, more women are looking at the possibility of having children following treatment,” said Dr. Sissy Sartor who will head the institute’s cancer fertility preservation in New Orleans.

Dr. Heber Dunaway will head the program in Baton Rouge.

Seniors remembered during holiday time

Home Instead Senior Care is partnering with nonprofit agencies, schools and area businesses to sponsor “Be a Santa to a Senior,” a program that collects, wraps and delivers gifts to older adults living alone and in poverty.

The program will run through Dec. 7. Individuals or groups who sponsor a senior citizen will receive gift tags with the first names of the person and their respective gift requests.

To adopt a senior, call (225) 819-8338 or visit http://www.santaforseniorsbr.com.

Compiled by Ellyn Couvillion

Advocate staff writer