RPMH to focus on cancer awareness at October lunch and learn seminar

Half of all men and one-third of all women in the U.S. will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Different types can affect your body in various ways, but the key to survival is through knowledge of risks and early detection. This month, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH) wants to shine light on the importance of early detection by hosting a Lunch and Learn Seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 10, that focuses on early cancer detection by educating attendees on risks and screening schedules. “Cancer is talked about often in the news, but we don’t always hear about the importance of learning about risks, symptoms and screenings that could potentially save your life,” said Donna Boatright, administrator of RPMH. “If cancer cells can be identified before they spread to other parts of your body, the easier it can be to treat and cure people.” According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is a general term for more than 100 diseases. All cancers start through the abnormal growth of cells that, if left untreated, can consume your body and cause serious illness or death. Although screenings and tests can be done for various types of cancers, many can go undetected until symptoms present themselves. “Knowing your family history with cancer and talking with your doctor about it can be a life saver in determining your risks and developing a screening schedule most appropriate for you,” said Dr. Ellen Walthall, a general surgeon at RPMH and speaker at the Lunch and Learn Seminar. “In general, the earlier we can detect cancer, the better chances you have for treatment and remission.” Cancer screening tests are the most effective method of finding cancer before a person develops symptoms. Tests may involve a physical exam or lab and imaging tests. Screenings are often recommended for individuals with risks of certain cancers, which often include sex, age and family history. “Different cancers can cause various symptoms depending on the type and your physical health,” Dr. Walthall explained. “Sometimes the symptoms might seem as common as a cough; that’s why it’s important to learn about your family history with cancer and talk with your physician to learn about risks.” Mammograms are a common screening method for women, while pap smears and CA 125 blood tests are common for detecting cervical and ovarian cancer. Colonoscopies might be recommended for both men and women over the age of 50 to screen for colon cancer, while men 40 to 50 years of age might ask their doctor about PSA blood tests to screen for prostate cancer. Many cancers are preventable, although lifestyle changes and routine screenings might be effective in significantly reducing your risk. These changes might include weight reduction, limited exposure to the sun, limited alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco and smoking, and enriching your nutrition through a healthy diet. The program on Oct. 10 will cover cancer screening for early detection, types of tests, who and when to test, and other cancer-related check-ups. A free brown bag lunch will be provided during the program, and free prostate cancer screenings and colorectal cancer screening kits will be made available after the event from 1-2 p.m. The Lunch and Learn seminar on early cancer detection will take place on Oct. 10, 2012 at the RPMH Emergency Department classroom from noon until 1 p.m. The event is free to attend and door prizes will be given away, but interested individuals are encouraged register by Monday, Oct. 8, by calling 325-235-1701 ext. 221. Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital is a community-focused healthcare provider serving residents in Nolan County, Texas. Founded in 1976, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital offers a wealth of medical services including: 24 hour emergency care, advanced radiology services including CT scanning and MRIs, outpatient lab, physical therapy, surgical services, swing bed services, patient education, home health and assistive services, and more. For additional information, please visit www.rpmh.net.