Pisgah Family Health
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Welcome Shanna Buckner
In May 2013 Shanna joined our practice as a part-time medical assistant. Shanna recently graduated from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College with a degree in Medical Assisting. She plans to further her education with a degree in Surgical Technology. Shanna has lived in Canton all her life. She enjoys cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her family and friends.
Last October, our office manager Julie was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was discovered with her very first mammogram, as part of her annual physical. Julie has undergone three surgeries, with another planned for this fall. She also completed 2 months of radiation therapy, and is now beginning 12 weeks of chemotherapy. Julie will require some time off during her treatments, and you may notice her absence.
WE ARE NOW TAKING NEW PATIENTS. We provide comprehensive care for infants, children and adults. If you know someone who needs a physician, please forward this Email or give them our phone number.
Be sure to notify our office if you have a new mailing address, phone number, or health insurance.
Please bring your medications to every visit. This helps us to give you the best medical care.
Medical Ethics and HIPAA law prevent us from releasing your health information without your permission. If you want your spouse or family member to have your information, you must give your written consent.
Our office hours are now 8:30-5pm Monday through Friday. If there is low demand, we will close on Friday afternoon. When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers and Mission Hospital ER. Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873. Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran and his call partners.
Breast Cancer is common
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States. Only skin cancer is more common. Breast cancer is the second leading causes of cancer death among US women. Only lung cancer kills more women.
In 2009 (the most recent year numbers are available):
The goal of screening is to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage, before it can spread or cause more harm. By detecting cancer early, when it is most treatable, proper screening reduces death and illness from cancer.
Breast self-exam: Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.
Clinical breast exam: about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2% of all the women in the US.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age. Source:
Know Your Risks
Research has found several risk factors that may increase your chances of getting breast cancer.
Risk Factors for breast cancer
Risk Factors due to increased menstrual cycles
Screening TestsThese tests are used by health care providers to screen for breast cancer:
Breast self-exams may be done by women or men to check their breasts for lumps or other changes. It is important to know how your breasts usually look and feel. If you feel any lumps or notice any other changes, see your doctor. Doing breast self-exams has not been shown to decrease the chance of dying from breast cancer.
Clinical breast exam
A clinical breast exam is an exam of the breast by a doctor or other health professional. The doctor will carefully feel the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. It is not known if having clinical breast exams decreases the chance of dying from breast cancer.
Mammography is the most common screening test for breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. This test can find tumors that are too small to feel. While women often feel breast lumps greater than 5mm in size, a mammogram can identify breast lumps as small as 1mm in size. Earlier detection leads to earlier treatment, and better outcomes for breast cancer.
Mammograms are less accurate in women younger than 50 years old, resulting in more false positive tests. This may be because younger women have denser breast tissue that appears white on a mammogram. Because tumors also appear white on a mammogram, they can be harder to find when there is dense breast tissue.
The following may affect whether a mammogram is able to detect (find) breast cancer:
Women aged 40 to 74 years who have screening mammograms and are diagnosed with breast cancer have a lower chance of dying from breast cancer than women who do not have screening mammograms.
MRI is a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI). MRI does not use any x-rays.
MRIs find breast cancer more often than mammograms do, but MRI results often appear abnormal even when there isn't any cancer. MRI is used as a screening test for women who have a high risk of breast cancer, due to one or more of the following:
Beginning at age 50, both men and women should follow one of these testing schedules:
If you have certain risk factors, your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent screening. Risk factors include:
For more information on colorectal cancer screening, please call the American Cancer Society and ask for our document called Colorectal Cancer: Early Detection.
Women should begin cervical cancer screening at age 21, and 3 years after the first sexual intercourse. If a woman has never had intercourse, she does not need cervical cancer screening. If a woman has had her uterus removed, she does not need cervical cancer screening. Women who have had abnormal pap spears, or positive HPV tests, will require more frequent testing.
Women between ages 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every 2-3 years.
Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have a Pap test plus an HPV test (called “co-testing”) every 3-5 years. This is the preferred approach, but it is also OK to have a Pap test alone every 3 years.
Women over age 65 who have had regular cervical cancer testing with normal results should stop being tested for cervical cancer. Once testing is stopped, it should not be started again. Women with a history of a serious cervical pre-cancer should continue to be tested for at least 20 years after that diagnosis, even if testing continues past age 65.
A woman who has been vaccinated against HPV should still follow the screening recommendations for her age group.
Some women – because of their health history – may need to have a different screening schedule for cervical cancer.
Lung cancer is now the top cause of cancer death in America. While lung cancer is not the most common, it is the most deadly. Unfortunately, even early detection of lung cancer may not improve one's chances of survival. The best way to avoid lung cancer is to never smoke.
The American Cancer Society does not recommend screening for lung cancer in people who are at average risk of this disease. However, the ACS does have screening guidelines for individuals who are at high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking. If you meet all of the following criteria then you might be a candidate for screening:
The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with their doctor about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. Research has not yet proven that the benefits of testing outweigh the harms of testing and treatment. The American Cancer Society believes that men should not be tested without learning about what we know and don’t know about the risks and possible benefits of testing and treatment.
Starting at age 50, men should consider a digital rectal exam, and a PSA blood test. Frequency of testing will depend on their PSA level. Risk Factors for prostate cancer include
Skin cancer is the most common and most easily treatable of all cancers. Skin cancer can be detected by a simple skin exam, and by a skin biopsy. All adults should have a skin-cancer screening as part of their routine physical.
Skin cancer risk is directly related to ultraviolet light exposure, and includes:
Endometrial (uterine) cancer
The American Cancer Society recommends that at the time of menopause, all women should be told about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer. Women should report any unexpected bleeding or spotting to their doctors.
Some women – because of their history – may need to consider having a yearly endometrial biopsy. Please talk with your doctor about your history.
For people aged 20 or older having periodic health exams, a cancer-related check-up should include health counseling and, depending on a person’s age and gender, exams for cancers of the thyroid, oral cavity, skin, lymph nodes, testes, and ovaries, as well as for some non-malignant (non-cancerous) diseases.
Take control of your health, and reduce your cancer risk.
For information on how to reduce your cancer risk and other questions about cancer, please call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345.
For additional information, visit www.cancer.gov/
About our Newsletter
Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients. Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics. We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news. The newsletters will also be archived on our website, www.PisgahFamilyHealth.com/.
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