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October • November 2017 ourhealthlbss.com

PLUS:

FACING CANCER

WITH HOPE

SEVEN

BRAIN EXERCISES TO

BOOST MEMORY HOW TO

AVOID HURTING YOURSELF AT THE GYM


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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside


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TABLE OF CONTENTS OCTOBER • NOVEMBER 2017

12

THE PULSE

| KEEPING THE PULSE ON HEALTHCARE

12 – Q&A ON HEALTH 16 – NEW PEOPLE & PLACES

18

CHECKUP

| LOCAL HEALTH & MEDICINE

18 – 3 REASONS WHY THE BENEFITS OF DRINKING ALCOHOL DON'T OUTWEIGH THE RISK

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CANCER CARE

| LOCAL CANCER STORIES

28 – FACING CANCER WITH HOPE | Three Lynchburg locals share how compassion and support from their families, friends and medical teams has made a big difference in their fight against cancer. 36 – CAN YOU TRUST ONLINE CANCER SUPPORT SERVICES? 39 – A CLIMB TO CONQUER CANCER RETURNS TO OUR COMMUNITIES

20 – THE OURHEALTH BOOKSHELF 23 – ANATOMY CHALLENGE | How much do you know about cancer?

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TAKING AIM AT CANCER While cancer diagnoses have remained alarmingly high in the US, there’s a silver-lining: the uptick is partly tied to the disease being caught and treated sooner.

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OurHealth

Lynchburg & Southside ON YOUR TABLET OR SMARTPHONE www.OurHealthlbss.com

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58

42

50

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3 TABLE OF CONTENTS OCTOBER • NOVEMBER 2017

42

FITSTYLES

| LOCAL FITNESS & ATHLETICS

42 – HOW TO AVOID HURTING YOURSELF IN THE GYM

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NUTRITION

| LOCAL FOODS & RECIPES

54 – YOUR ROADMAP TO SUCCESSFUL JOINT REPLACEMENT | Newer surgical techniques allow patients to heal faster with less pain. 58 – SEVEN BRAIN EXERCISES TO HELP BOOST MEMORY

45 – RECIPES | Healthy and nutritious recipes for the family.

50

FAMILY CARE

| HEALTH FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

50 – NEW HOPE FOR MENOPAUSAL WOMEN | A new . procedure called FemiLift to treat vaginal dryness comes to Lynchburg.

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october • november 2017 PUBLISHER PRESIDENT/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF VICE PRESIDENT OF PRODUCTION ACCOUNTING MANAGER CHIEF GRAPHIC DESIGNER GRAPHIC DESIGNER DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER | EVENT SPECIALIST DIGITAL MEDIA STRATEGY WEBSITE

McClintic Media, Inc. Steve McClintic, Jr. | steve@ourhealthvirginia.com Jennifer Hungate Laura Bower Karrie Pridemore Tori Meador Heidi McClintic Dalton Holody Heidi McClintic

CONTRIBUTING MEDICAL EXPERTS Chapman Brown, RPh Samantha Hill, MD, FAAD Michael O’Neill, MD Ralph M. Wisniewski II MD, FACG CONTRIBUTING PROFESSIONAL Domenick Casuccio EXPERTS & WRITERS Brandy Centolanza Laura Neff-Henderson, APR Rick Piester Christy Rippel Brandon Shulleeta Christine Stoddard Catherine Warren

ADVERTISING AND MARKETING Cynthia Trujillo | Senior Media Consultant P: 434.907.5255 | cindy@ourhealthvirginia.com SUBSCRIPTIONS Subcriptions are $19.95 per year. To receive OurHealth Lynchburg and Southside via U.S. Mail, please contact Heidi McClintic at heidi@ourhealthvirginia.com

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COMMENTS/FEEDBACK/QUESTIONS We welcome your feedback. Please send all comments and/or questions to the following: U.S. Mail: McClintic Media, Inc., ATTN: Steve McClintic, Jr., President/ Publisher/Editor: 303 S. Colorado Street • Salem, VA 24153. | Email: steve@ourhealthvirginia.com | Phone: 540.387.6482 Ext. 1 Information in all print editions of OurHealth and on all OurHealth websites (websites listed below) and social media updates and emails is for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to replace medical or health advice of an individual’s physician or healthcare provider as it relates to individual situations. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ALTER ANY MEDICAL TREATMENT WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF YOUR DOCTOR. All matters concerning physical and mental health should be supervised by a health practitioner knowledgeable in treating that particular condition. The publisher does not directly or indirectly dispense medical advice and does not assume any responsibility for those who choose to treat themselves. The publisher has taken reasonable precaution in preparing this publication, however, the publisher does not assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright © 2017 by McClintic Media, Inc. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. OurHealth Lynchburg/Southside is published bi-monthly • Special editions are also published • McClintic Media, Inc. • 303 S. Colorado Street, Salem, VA 24153, P: 540.387.6482 F: 540.387.6483. MAIN: ourhealthvirginia.com | ourhealthswva.com | ourhealthlbss.com | ourhealthrichmond.com | ourhealthcville.com | Advertising rates upon request.

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HEALTH H E A LT H C A R E QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY LOCAL PROFESSIONALS

The American Cancer Society invests more than $150 million in breakthrough research. We also offer free rides to treatment, a live 24/7 helpline, and free lodging near hospitals for people dealing with every type of cancer.

Of funds raised through local American Cancer Society events, how much goes toward local cancer education awareness and programming? The American Cancer Society invests more than $150 million in breakthrough research. We also offer free rides to treatment, a live 24/7 helpline, and free lodging near hospitals for people dealing with every type of cancer. Prevention efforts, early detection, and better treatments have resulted in a 25 percent decline in cancer mortality rates nationwide since 1991, avoiding 2.1 million cancer deaths. At the moment, 75 percent of our funds are invested in programs and primary services, and 25 percent in supporting services like management and fundraising expenses.

Domenick Casuccio

American Cancer Society Southeast Region | 800.227.2345 www.cancer.org

– Domenick Casuccio

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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside

Is the recommended age for a first colonoscopy changing? The recommended age for first screening colonoscopies is 50 for average-risk men and women, 45 for African Americans. For higher-risk people, such as those with a personal history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, a family history of colon cancer, an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or genetic syndromes, screening should often begin much younger. If you’re not sure what is best for you, visit a gastroenterologist to see if an early screening is recommended for you.

Ralph M. Wisniewski II MD, FACG Gastroenterology Associates of Central Virginia Lynchburg | 434.384.1862 www.gastrocentralva.com

What local support services and programs does the Virginia Blue Ridge chapter of Susan G. Komen offer? Komen Virginia Blue Ridge provides funding for screening mammograms, diagnostics, education, and treatment for uninsured and underinsured women and men. We offer education resources on breast health to the community through health fairs, talks, and our faith-based weekend, Worship in Pink. We will have two breast-health educator workshops in Lynchburg this fall to teach attendees about breast cancer, its risks, and how to advocate for early detection and breast self-awareness in their communities. In addition, the affiliate has a new program in the greater Lynchburg area: the Pink Hair Warriors. This program will arm salon employees with knowledge about the disease and local resources they can offer to their clients. For more information about our services, programs, and education resources, visit www.komenvablueridge.org.

Catherine Warren, Executive Director

Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Roanoke | 540.400.8222 www.komenvablueridge.org


THE P ULSE | Q&A on Health

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HEALTH H E A LT H C A R E QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY LOCAL PROFESSIONALS

There are so many foods with the ability to fight or protect against cancer that picking a single one is impossible. It’s very easy to say what you should avoid: processed foods, sugars, and seed oils (soy, canola, corn, etc) are all strongly implicated in a variety of health problems. But quality and variety of food is more important than any single superfood.

I’m on so many different medications I can barely keep them straight. How can my pharmacist help me? With people taking as many medications as they are today, it can be confusing to keep up with proper dosing. At Gretna Drug, we use a system of bubble-packing medications so that they can be administered at the correct time and dosage. Each medication is clearly labeled and described so that it is easier for both patients and caregivers. All the medications that need to be administered at specific times are compartmentalized and labeled to reduce confusion. Gretna Drug offers this service for a nominal monthly fee, and medications are set up for four-week packaging.

Chapman Brown, RPh Gretna Drug Gretna | 434.656.1251 www.gretnadrug.com

– Michael O’Neill, MD

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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside

Is it possible to reverse skin damage caused by the sun in the hope of preventing skin cancer?

If people were to add one cancer-fighting food to their diets, what should it be?

Skin damage caused by the sun is not easily reversible. Some evidence suggests that the long-term use of topical retinoid medications can lower the risk of certain common, non-melanoma skin cancers. However, there is no substitute for healthy skin habits, such as using sunscreen of SPF30 or greater daily, avoiding peak sun, and wearing wide-brimmed hats. Luckily, there is a lot of medical evidence that even changes made late in life can have a positive impact on skin health. Basically, you should never say, “It’s too late, so why bother”!

There are so many foods with the ability to fight or protect against cancer that picking a single one is impossible. It’s very easy to say what you should avoid: processed foods, sugars, and seed oils (soy, canola, corn, etc) are all strongly implicated in a variety of health problems. But quality and variety of food is more important than any single superfood.

Samantha Hill, MD, FAAD RidgeView Dermatology Lynchburg | 434.329.7066 www.ridgeviewdermatology.com

Choose fruits and vegetables that are in-season, locally grown, and brightly colored. Eat animals that have been raised roaming fields and pastures. Prepare your meals instead of ordering out or reheating from packages. Listen to your body. Hardworking farmers and beautiful weather make it possible for everyone to eat seasonally and locally, and doing so has the added benefit of keeping your food dollars in the local economy. After making these changes, you can decide if it’s worth a mortgage payment to eat the latest celebrity superfood.

Michael O’Neill, MD

Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center Lynchburg | 434.200.4010 www.centrahealth.com


THE P ULSE | Q&A on Health

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THE PULSE

Tuba Bayrum, PT, DPT Brandon Bucker, MD

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Rachael Gragson, RDH Ben Hodges, PT, DPT Lynchburg Dental Center Lynchburg | 434.384.7611 www.lynchburgdentist.com

Rehab Associates of Central Virginia Lynchburg | 434.528.1848 www.racva.com

OrthoVirginia Lynchburg | 434.485.8500 www.orthovirginia.com

Patrick R. Kenny, DO

Maddy Shricker, PT, DPT Jake Tanner, PT, DPT

Rehab Associates of Central Virginia Moneta | 540.296.3203 www.racva.com

on page

Gastroenterology Associates of Central VA Lynchburg | 434.384.1862 www.gastrocentralva.com

Rehab Associates of Central Virginia Bedford | 540.586.1138 www.racva.com

Rehab Associates of Central Virginia Forest | 434.525.4851 www.racva.com

Vincent “John” Waldron, MD

Centra Medical Group – Brookneal Brookneal | 434.376.2325 www.CentraHealth.com

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Local Health Events!

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Lynchburg & Southside area

JOHNSON HEALTH CENTER ANNOUNCES NEW LOCATION AND SERVICES

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>> News on Healthcare in the

THE P ULSE |

NEW OPENINGS & RELOCATIONS

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Johnson Health Center announces the opening of it’s newest location at 2402 Atherholt Road (formerly the home to Piedmont Eye Center). The new center, Lynchburg Women’s and Pediatric Health Services, will provide comprehensive women’s health services and prenatal care and well as pediatric primary care and dentistry services for pregnant women and children. Johnson Health Center Hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM – 7 PM and offers pediatric walk-in visits on Saturdays from 7:30 AM – 1 PM. For more information visit www.JHCvirginia.org or call 434.455.3260.

ASTHMA & ALLERGY ANNOUNCES RELOCATION Asthma and Allergy Center in Lynchburg has relocated to 2015 Tate Springs Road, Suite A2. The new office location, just next to CVFP Piedmont, is just a few blocks down from their previous location. Office hours are Monday from 7:30 AM – 5 PM and Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM. To request an appointment on-line, visit www.asthmaandallergycenter.net or call 434.846.2244.

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THE CHECKUP

REASONS

THE BENEFITS OF

DRINKING ALCOHOL

DON'T

OUTWEIGH THE RISK

words | LAURA NEFF-HENDERSON, APR

While moderate alcohol use has possible health benefits, it's not risk-free, and the benefits don’t outweigh the risk, according to Mayo Clinic researchers. Moderate alcohol use is believed to be of most benefit to individuals with existing risk factors for heart disease, but even then, researchers advise people to avoid alcohol and take other steps to improve their heart health, including

1 2 3

eating a healthy diet and exercising.

EXCESS INCREASES RISK People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol over an extended period of time are more at risk of developing six cancers: colorectal, breast, esophageal, liver, stomach and oral (mouth, larynx and pharynx cancers).

ALCOHOL DAMAGES DNA Like tobacco and radiation, ethanol (commonly referred to as alcohol) is one of 248 known carcinogens according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Ethanol can cause DNA damage and reduce the body’s ability to absorb cancer-fighting nutrients (like folate and multiple vitamins) making it easier for potential carcinogens to enter cells.

A BAD COMBINATION Combining alcohol with smoking dramatically raises the risk of developing mouth and throat cancers.

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ON THE WEB

More at ourhealthlbss.com


C HEC K UP |

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a standard alcoholic drink in the United States contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol.

12

OUNCES BEER About 5% Alcohol

8

OUNCES

MALT LIQUOR About 7% Alcohol

Excessive drinkers can reduce their risk by stopping alcohol consumption, but the effects are not immediate. It can take years to undo the damage.

5

OUNCES WINE About 12% Alcohol

1.5

OUNCES

80-PROOF LIQUOR About 40% Alcohol

Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.

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3 Reason Why the Benefits of Drinking Alcohol Don't Outweigh the Risk

STANDARD ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES


THE CHECKUP

OurHealth BOOKSHELF

words | RICK PIESTER

Living with Childhood Cancer:

A Practical Guide to Help Families Cope By Leigh A. Woznick and Carol D. Goodheart, EdD | 359 Pages Available with:

Drawn from the experiences of a mother (Goodheart) and daughter (Woznick) and what they confronted when Woznick’s youngest daughter developed cancer, this is a real-life guide to the practical and emotional impacts of cancer in the family. The authors intersperse their own experiences with those of other families, and it includes a 44-page section of sources of help. It is full of useful actions and strategies for any family facing cancer — a welcome and valuable resource.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! You don't want to miss these great reads. Make sure to tag us on social media to tell us what you think! #OurHealthLBSS

6 Months to Live, 10 Years Later: A Healing Journey and Guide to Wellbeing By Suzanna Marcus | 282 Pages

A story not only of cancer, but also of how author Marcus overcame almost lifelong violence, loss and betrayal with internal tools and techniques. A candid, moving story, it is offered here not as a suggestion to reject modern disease-fighting methods, but to help the reader realize that a powerful ally in fighting disease is our own ability to create inner peace and harmony.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

By Siddhartha Mukherjee | 571 pages | Available with:

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and included on the New York Times list of the 100 most important books of all time, The Emperor of All Maladies has its source in the demand of a cancer patient. Columbia University cancer specialist and author Mukherjee’s patient told him, “I’m willing to go on fighting, but I need to know what it is that I’m battling.” And with that, Mukherjee set to work on what has become an eloquent “biography” of the disease whose name was not even uttered in polite society until recent generations. At different times, painful, hopeful, discouraging and ultimately profound, this is a majestic book.

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C HEC K UP | OurHealth Bookshelf

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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside


C HEC K UP |

How much do you know about Cancer?

7. Match each cancer with the corresponding awareness ribbon:

A)

Brain Cancer _____

1 Million

B) 1.7 Million

C)

500,000

D)

850,000

Anatomy Challenge on Cancer

1. In 2017, there will be an estimated ____________ Americans diagnosed with cancer.

Breast Cancer _____ 2. In 2017, there will be an estimated ____________ cancer related deaths in the United States.

A) 600,000

B) 300,000

C) 500,000

D) 200,000

Colon Cancer _____ Leukemia _____ Liver Cancer _____ Lung Cancer _____

3. True or False: In the United States the most commonly diagnosed cancer is non-melanoma skin cancer followed closely by breast cancer and then prostate caner.

Prostate Cancer _____ Skin Cancer _____

4. Approximately ____________ American males will develop cancer in their lifetime.

1 in 5

D)

1 in 3

5. Approximately ____________ American females will develop cancer in their lifetime.

1 in 2

C)

1 in 5

D)

10% less likely

Source: American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org

C)

25%

more likely

D)

40%

less likely 8. True

more likely

B)

H)

8. True or False: Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.

7. F, C, A, D, H, E, B, G

20%

G)

1 in 3

6. Men are an estimated ____________ to be diagnosed with cancer in the United States then women.

A)

F)

6. A

B)

E)

5. D

1 in 4

D)

4. B

A)

C)

3. True

C)

2. A

1 in 2

B)

B)

1. B

1 in 4

A)

A)

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TAKING AIM at

CANCER WHERE ARE WE HITTING THE MARK?

While cancer diagnoses have remained alarmingly high in the US, there’s a silver-lining: the uptick is partly tied to cancer being caught and treated sooner. words | BRANDON SHULLEETA

The American Cancer Society is on a mission to educate people about preventing cancer in the first place — while also encouraging screenings that catch cancer in its infancy, when least dangerous. “With better screening, you can see that cancer diagnoses go up, because we’re identifying cancer in earlier stages on more people,” says Domenick Casuccio, who represents the American Cancer Society for Lynchburg & Southside and other areas of Virginia. “However, the death rates are declining because we’re diagnosing cancers at an earlier, more treatable stage, so people’s chance of surviving that cancer is higher.” As of the start of last year, more than 15.5 million living Americans knew they had cancer at the time or had previously been diagnosed, according to Casuccio. About one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes.

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CANCER CARE

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In an exhaustive report released this year, the American Cancer Society found the “five-year relative survival rate” has increased by 20 percentage points among Caucasians and 24 percentage points among African Americans. The relative survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive over a designated time period (five years in this case) after having been diagnosed with cancer, compared with normal life expectancy. Skin and lung cancers are the most common of them all, Casuccio notes, adding that the overwhelming majority of lung cancer diagnoses are “directly attributed to tobacco usage.” “That’s why we’re working so hard to get people to either not smoke, or quit smoking,” he says. Ranked high among the other forms of cancer that are either largely preventable or effectively treated when caught early are: breast cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer, as well as ovarian cancer, which is often tied to the HPV virus. The American Cancer Society, for that reason, has been lobbying for HPV vaccinations for children. “We know those are preventable cancers,” Casuccio says. “We have a way to prevent them, but people are smoking and aren’t vaccinating their children.”

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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside


CANC ER CAR E |

Local organizations that fight cancer have also been greatly focused on attacking colon cancer nowadays, continues Casuccio.

Taking Aim at Cancer

“There’s a screening available for colon cancer, but many people, because of what’s involved, don’t get screened for the disease. So, we are trying to educate and encourage people that this is a cancer that we can catch early,” Casuccio explains. “If we catch it early, the polyps of the cancer can be removed and there’s no other radiation or chemotherapy involved.” “If you don’t get screened and the cancer advances, treatment will likely involve radiation, chemotherapy, and/or surgery,” he adds. Casuccio likens a colonoscopy to “having a mole removed before it’s skin cancer.” The American Cancer Society has been working with other local entities, including Virginia Commonwealth University, to educate people and provide screenings for people who have a family history of colon cancer or are over the age of 50, which is when people need their first colonoscopy.

SPREAD THE WORD Everyone knows someone impacted by cancer. By sharing what you have learned on social media, you will help spread awareness, knowledge, and hope in your community. Don't forget to tag us!

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In addition to education and earlier screenings, survival rates have also improved because of technology, according to experts. “So, for instance, mammography 20 years ago was very basic, but now it is possible to find breast cancer that is smaller than a grain of salt,” Casuccio says. The American Cancer Society has also initiated outreach programs aimed at encouraging people to eat healthier, exercise more and keep tabs on alcohol consumption. In a large part, when it comes to cancer prevention and screening, people are finally listening. However, there’s more work to be done. “There are still people out there who are not getting screened,” says Casuccio. “But, with continued awareness programs about the importance of screenings and early education programs about not smoking and living a healthy lifestyle, we will continue to make progress. And that is important to celebrate.”

1 IN 3

PEOPLE WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH

CANCER

IN THEIR LIFETIMES.

ON THE WEB

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Facing with Hope

Three Lynchburg locals share how compassion and support from their families, friends and medical teams has made a big difference in their fight against cancer. words | BRANDY CENTOLANZA

“I was very young when I lost my maternal grandfather to small cell lung cancer,” shares Kevin Patel, MD, an oncologist with the Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg. “Cancer care has been dear to me. Genuine care, compassion and honesty go a long way in providing the best possible patient experience for my patients. While working with cancer patients, I am reminded to make the most out of each day I have.” Everyone knows someone impacted by cancer. Whether it’s your grandmother, your dad, your next-door neighbor, your best friend, or even you, cancer touches both the patients and the people around them in profound ways. As a clergyman for Lovingston Baptist Church in Madison Heights, Pastor Edward Austin, 71, is used to praying for and counseling congregation members who are sick, but he wasn’t prepared when he learned that he was now the one with cancer. Austin was diagnosed six years ago with follicular lymphoma after he noticed a lump on his shoulder that kept growing in size. “When I first heard the news I had cancer, it floored me,” Austin recalls. “I was shocked.”

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“My family ha

s kept me g oing... ning, it was hard, but it’s gotten ea sier. It’s defi nitely a mental b attle, and th ere is a lot of anxie ty along th e way. But God got me through th is, and He continues to get me thro ugh it.” In the begin

Ruth Gille

spie

Gille : Ruth Photos

ily ith fam tured w spie pic

and frie

nds.

Laurel Columbus, 50, of Forest, discovered that she had not one, but two types of cancer last November after experiencing a sensation in her mouth that felt like she had bit her left cheek. Physicians diagnosed her with oral squamous cell carcinoma and Epithelia-myoepithelial carcinoma of the parotid gland — forms of head and neck cancer — following a round of tests.

I was STUNNED. I was NOT EXPECTING IT AT ALL. I just MELTED into a puddle of tears. - LAUREL COLUMBUS -

“Hope and positive energy are very important while going through cancer treatment and recovery. We encourage patients with words of hope at every encounter. We talk to them about their fears and concerns and address them head on.” CECILIA MACCALLUM, MD An oncologist at Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center.

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Ruth Gillespie, 44, who also lives in Forest, had the same reaction after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Gillespie found out she had cancer roughly three years ago after checking in with her primary care physician when she began suffering from extreme fatigue, night sweats and other symptoms that were cause for concern. After she heard that it was cancer, “I broke down,” Gillespie says. “My husband and I had just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, and we have three children at home. I was devastated. My first thought was that I was going to die.” It’s never easy hearing the news that you have cancer. Minds start racing with questions and possible outcomes, even worst-case scenarios. Once the initial shock wears off, patients must focus on treatment plans, which may require spending multiple hours or days in a hospital, away from their homes and daily lives. Life may never be the same again. “Hope and positive energy are very important while going through cancer treatment and recovery,” says Cecilia MacCallum, MD, an oncologist at the Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center. “We encourage patients with words of hope at every encounter. We talk to them about their fears and concerns and address them head on.”

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Tammy Anderson, a licensed clinical social worker at Centra Health who facilitates cancer support groups, adds, “I think patients should always have questions ready for their physician. Have them written down so you don’t forget. Open and honest communication is best.” In addition to God, Austin put his trust in his oncologist, who he was directed to visit following surgery to remove the tumor in his shoulder. Austin goes yearly for checkups; his latest appointment was this past summer. “I’d advise anyone to find a good doctor,” Austin says. “My doctor is very positive and understanding. I feel like I can really talk to her. She just listens and makes me feel very comfortable.” Columbus, meanwhile, underwent 33 radiation treatments daily at the Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center this past summer. She had to wear a special mask as part of the process, which didn’t sit well with her at first because of her claustrophobia.

There were some pretty STRESSFUL TREATMENTS, but the medical team at the cancer center MADE IT EASIER FOR ME. - LAUREL COLUMBUS -

As she continued with her treatment plan, she began to use the time at the hospital for worship.

I’d advise anyone to FIND A GOOD DOCTOR. My doctor is very POSITIVE and understanding. I feel like I CAN REALLY TALK to her. She just listens and makes me FEEL VERY COMFORTABLE. - EDWARD AUSTIN -

“I would lay there and listen to worship music,” Columbus says. “I used the time to pray and to count my blessings. I found it very peaceful.” Around the fourth week of radiation, however, the exhaustion set in. “I couldn’t get enough rest, I was just so wiped out,” Columbus says. Other side effects www.OurHealthlbss.com

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included swelling of the face, difficulty swallowing and the loss of the ability to taste certain foods. Treatment was easier for Gillespie. Her doctors placed her on a type of targeted therapy called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), which come in the form of a pill. “My leukemia is a very treatable form, but I didn’t know that at the time,” she says. “I am on the TKI drug, but I am still able to function and live a normal life.” That wasn’t the case in the beginning, as Gillespie suffered severe side effects from the first TKI drug she was given. She switched to another TKI earlier this year and now only experiences mild fatigue. While battling cancer herself, Gillespie is also helping to care for her mother, who is suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a fate much worse than what Gillespie is experiencing. Cancer can be consuming, and it’s typical to have ups and downs while undergoing treatment. Some people use their faith to cope, while others turn to nature and their friends and family or use humor as a mechanism to get by. “I like to learn about the strengths of my patients and remind them of those when I can,” says Anderson. “For instance, what gives them joy? Is it writing, dancing, singing? I encourage them to keep doing things they like to do and to remember to find joy where they can. People going through cancer treatment are more than a cancer diagnosis. They still are the same people; however, they 32

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CANC ER CAR E |

“I turned it all over to the Lord. I trust Him. He has been good to me. That is how I got through it. When you worry too much, it isn’t good for you.”

Facing Cancer with Hope

Edward Austin

SHARE THE HOPE Help us share the hope by sharing the story of these local survivors. #OurHealthSharesHope Photo: Edward Austin of Madison Heights.

now are living with cancer. At times, patients may benefit from being reminded about who they were before they began the oncology journey.” Despite her battle with cancer, Columbus went about her daily life as usual throughout her treatment. She continued to work, cooked dinner every evening for her husband and enjoyed time with her grandchildren.

Cooking is relaxing for me. The grandkids were also A NICE DISTRACTION for me. I tried to keep things AS NORMAL AS POSSIBLE and tried not focus on WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME. - LAUREL COLUMBUS -

She leaned on her husband for support and comfort when she felt weighed down. “On the down days, I would let myself cry or talk to my husband, my daughter or my parents,” she says. “My husband went with me for every single treatment. He was a huge support for me. My husband is the greatest man on the planet. I am so thankful for him. I don’t know how I would have gotten through this without him.” Austin relied heavily on his faith. “I turned it all over to the Lord,” Austin says. “I trust Him. He has been good to me. That is how I got through it. When you worry too much, it isn’t good for you.”

“People going through cancer treatment are more than a cancer diagnosis. They still are the same people; however, they now are living with cancer. At times, patients may benefit from being reminded about who they were before they began the oncology journey.” TAMMY ANDERSON A licensed clinical social worker at Centra Health.

Family, faith and exercise helped Gillespie. “My family has kept me going,” Gillespie says. “I also run and walk whenever I can. In the beginning, it was hard, but it’s gotten easier. It’s definitely a mental battle, and there is a lot of www.OurHealthlbss.com

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“My h

usban d wen t with single me fo treatm r ever e n y t . He w suppo as a h rt for u me. M ge the gr y hus eates band t man is on th am so e plan thank e t. I ful fo know r him how I . I don would ’t have throu gotten gh th is wit hout him.”

Laure

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with ictured

mbus p el Colu r u a L : Photo

olumbu

, Tim C

sband her hu

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anxiety along the way. But God got me through this, and He continues to get me through it.” “Every day, I am grateful,” Gillespie states. It may be tough to focus on the positive, but Gillespie insists that this is what cancer patients must do.

“Cancer care has been dear to me. Genuine care, compassion and honesty go a long way in providing the best possible patient experience for my patients. While working with cancer patients, I am reminded to make the most out of each day I have.” KEVIN PATEL, MD An oncologist with the Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg.

- RUTH GILLESPIE -

The word “cancer” evokes some of the emotions we dread the most: fear, uncertainty, panic, despair. But the one emotion that matters, the one that trumps all others, always rises to the top: hope. Every day, people are given the unfathomable news of a cancer diagnosis, and every day, they find strength that they may never have known they had. It’s not easy, as Columbus, Austin and Gillespie can all attest. But with people by their side — family, friends, doctors, nurses and even strangers — to share their pain, their plights and their purpose, each day can get better and offer the conviction that another will certainly follow. EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS Tammy Anderson with Centra Health in Lynchburg. Cecilia MacCallum, MD with Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg. Kevin Patel, MD with Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg.

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CANC ER CAR E | Facing Cancer with Hope

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CANCER CARE

CAN YOU ONLINE CANCER SUPPORT SERVICES?

If it looks TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, then it probably is.

What you need to know to AVOID CANCER FRAUD when browsing the web. words | CHRISTINE STODDARD

The ubiquity of the Internet has made it easy for individuals to find information quickly and from the comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, it has also made it simple for organizations to take advantage of people—especially those who may be most vulnerable, looking for resources and support to help them through difficult times. From misleading information and hiding sponsors to outright fraudulent services, the Internet can be a spider’s web for people looking for credible online resources, but Tammy Anderson of Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified Oncology Social Worker, has some tips for finding the most credible information. To help you in your search for the most credible information, keep these simple tips in mind:

If it looks too good to be true, it is. “Be cautious of offers of ‘free trips’ for cancer patients, websites that ask for personal information,” like your social security number or bank information and take screenshots of doctors claiming they have “miracle cures” so you can bring them to your provider. Even blogs can be misleading, sometimes, since they offer “a very individualized experience and don’t provide the most accurate information needed for your own experience,” Anderson explains. 36

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CANC ER CAR E |

2 3

Use websites with .gov or .org for general information and support services.

Can You Trust Online Cancer Support Services?

Be careful if you come across a .com site offering “too good to be true” services or uncorroborated information. Some websites that are recommended include the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society (which has over 800 resources for patients in VA), Cancer Care, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Caregivers, you should be aware too. There are also many misleading websites geared to caregivers. In addition using sites with .gov and .org, you can find resources at the Family Caregiver Alliance, National Family Caregiver Association, and the National Cancer Institute. “It’s easy to type in the word cancer and go to many different sites, all with promising or misleading information,” Anderson says, but this does not mean you should avoid the internet altogether. As long as you know what to look for, online resources can be great tools to help talk with providers and help find some great services.

4

So, what do you do if you find fraudulent services or see acts of abuse online? Unfortunately, a specific agency for reporting cancer fraud doesn’t exist, but you can report it to USA.gov via their Online Safety portal. There you can learn more about safety on the internet, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, and report cyber crime with the Department of Justice. EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR

Tammy Anderson with Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg.

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CANCER CARE CANC ER CAR E | A Climb to Conquer Cancer Returns to Our Communities

A Climb to

CONQUER CANCER

Returns to Our Communities The American Cancer Society’s Climb to Conquer Event Raises Money to Benefit Local Cancer Patients words | CHRISTY RIPPEL

The American Cancer Society’s “Climb to Conquer Cancer” in Roanoke, one of only a handful of these events across the country, will be held on Saturday, November 4th. The climb, which is a 3-mile, non-competitive walk/hike, begins at River’s Edge where participants will hike up Mill Mountain to the star and be greeted with a celebration and live music. The goal of the family-friendly event is to have over 500 participants and raise more than $50,000. Last year, 370 walkers raised nearly this amount, so the event organizers are looking forward to meeting or exceeding this fundraising goal again in 2017. www.OurHealthlbss.com

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CANCER CARE

“We decided to hold a climb in Roanoke because we wanted a fresh idea that would get younger people involved,” says Samantha Polito, a development manager for the American Cancer Society (ACS). “There is so much emphasis on the outdoors in this area, so we thought it would be a good fit.” The success of the climb and the money it raises for the ACS directly benefits patients in southwest Virginia, like Danielle Alexander of Botetourt. Danielle was diagnosed at age 46 with breast cancer in 2015, and reached out to the ACS for help.

NOV

4

“When I was diagnosed, it was very overwhelming. I had no family history of breast cancer – I’d never even had the flu,” says Danielle, a wife and mother of three. Danielle called the ACS, and met with a representative at the local Roanoke office who provided her with valuable information, a free wig—and, most of all, hope.

The American Cancer Society

“I decided to choose my attitude, and that cancer would not define

CLIMB TO CONQUER CANCER

me,” she recalls. “I don’t know what I would have done without the ACS. It makes me said that people go through this same journey

Enjoy a 3-mile walk/hike up Mill Mountain with a lively after party!

WHEN

November 4, 2017 at 3 pm.

WHERE

Begins at River’s Edge in Roanoke and ends at the top of Mill Mountain

HOW TO REGISTER Visit the web site at

www.ClimbRoanoke.org

to donate or sign up in advance. Walk-up registrations accepted on the day of the event.

and don’t know about the society and all the resources that are available to them.” Danielle, whose cancer is in remission, got involved with the ACS as a volunteer, and was a speaker at last year’s event. She’ll be participating with her family again this year. While survivors like Danielle will be walking, others will participate to honor family members who lost their cancer battle. Those who wish to honor a loved one may purchase a personalized metal star, made by Renaissance Lighting and Metal Furniture, to be placed near the end of the event route. These stars will be visible to participants as they complete the course, and are then offered to the sponsor to keep. Check in begins at 2 pm on November 4th, and the walk/hike begins at 3 pm. Advance registration is encouraged via the web site at ClimbRoanoke.org. Dogs are welcome with advance registration. The after party is in the Discovery Center parking lot, in addition to live music, includes food trucks, beer, games and giveaways.

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CANC ER CAR E | A Climb to Conquer Cancer Returns to Our Communities

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FITSTYLES

Take it From a Certified Personal Trainer. words | CHRISTINE STODDARD

The old adage “rules are meant to be broken” can certainly help you get further in life by encouraging you to think outside of the box, but in the gym this fast and loose ideology is dangerous. We’ve all seen (and probably laughed at) those viral videos of people using gym equipment incorrectly, but the reality is many people haven’t been taught how to exercise safely. With gym membership prices falling and access to facilities increasing across the nation, more people are walking into their local gym, but without proper guidance it’s easy to get hurt. Randi Abell, a certified personal trainer at the YMCA in Lynchburg with years of fitness training experience, says that well-balanced fitness routine can reduce your risk of injury: “It should include flexibility, core, balance, mobility, aerobic fitness and strength training. Some may prefer no equipment at all, for example, yoga or running, while others may prefer a plethora of equipment one would find in a gym setting like treadmills, dumbbells and medicine balls. The most important thing to remember is that each of these components contributes to your overall wellbeing 42

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FI TSTY LES | How to Avoid Hurting Yourself at the Gym

and you should incorporate as many of these fitness components into a regular routine on a weekly basis.” The most common gym injuries typically occur because one may fail to properly warm up/stretch, use incorrect technique, attempt to lift too much weight, forget to stretch, over train or not incorporate a rest day, have a lack of concentration, or have improper nutrition. “Another common mistake is attempting to do too much too soon,” says Abell. It is smart to hire a trainer or consult a fitness coach to help you set some goals and get started with a personalized fitness routine. “At the YMCA, our coaches are always available to help. Your workout should always begin with a short, lessintense warm up and end with a cool down period. Ease into it. The “no pain, no gain” mentality is not for everyone. Flexibility and Mobility are often forgotten in many folks’ fitness routines, but this is an extremely important component that must not be ignored. Improved flexibility and mobility can lead to greater success and less injury overall.” It is also important to dress appropriately: “Be mindful of when and where you are exercising. Dress for the weather, hot or cold to avoid heat or cold related injury. When in doubt, layers that you can shed or add are a great way to go.” Nutrition is key: “Fuel your body properly with the appropriate food and drink. If you are unsure of how to do this properly, the YMCA has Nutrition and Performance Nutrition coaches ready to lend you a hand. ALWAYS hydrate with plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.” Most importantly, do not overtrain.

“Overtraining is the fastest way to injury. An adequate rest period (rest day, or 2!) incorporated into your program weekly can actually help you recover quicker and is just as important as your training itself.” RANDI ABELL A certified personal trainer at the YMCA in Lynchburg.

Just remember: exercise smarter, not harder. EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Randi Abell, a certified personal trainer at the YMCA in Lynchburg.

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NUTRITION

NUTRITION Per Serving: 231 calories, 12 g total fat (1 g saturated fat),24 g carbohydrate, 13 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 111 mg sodium.

BREAKFAST ENERGY DRINK

>> This nutritious breakfast smoothie is a cancer-fighting kick-start to your morning!

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

2 medium kale leaves, stems removed

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth. Let sit for 1 minute to thicken before serving.

(serves 2)

1 cup spinach leaves loosely packed 1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit 1/3 cup plain canned pumpkin*

This cancer-fighting smoothie combines leafy

3 tablespoons seeds or nuts

super greens, kale and spinach, with seasonal

1 tablespoons chia seeds

fruits, nuts, seeds and pumpkin. Pumpkin will

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

give you plenty of beta-carotene, a compound

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

important in controlling normal cell growth and

1Âź cups soy or dairy milk

preventing cell damage from oxidation.

1/2 cup water 6-8 ice cubes (1 cup)

Visit the American Institute for Cancer Research at www.aicr.org/healthyrecipes for more recipes like this one. www.OurHealthlbss.com

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NUTRITION

NUTRITION Per Serving: 385 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 55 g carbohydrate, 11 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 409 mg sodium.

SWEET POTATO CHILI WITH PEANUTS

>> This vegetarian one-pot meal will be a crowd favorite at your next tailgate event!

INGREDIENTS (serves 10)

DIRECTIONS

2 tablespoons canola oil

In a large, heavy pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat.

1 medium onion, chopped 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks (about 4 cups) 1 1/2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in juice 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste 2 cans (4 ounces each) diced mild green chiles with liquid

Add the onion, carrots, and bell peppers and sautĂŠ, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, until vegetables are golden. Add the garlic and sautĂŠ stirring constantly for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes and juice, tomato paste, chiles and their liquid, chili powder, cumin and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low immediately and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 25 minutes until the sweet potatoes are just tender. NOTE: Halfway through the cooking process, adjust the seasonings, adding more chili powder and cumin, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

4 to 6 tablespoons. chili powder, to taste 1 tablespoon ground cumin, to taste

Hearty sweet potatoes and carrots form the

1 tablespoon sugar

base and provide cancer-fighting fiber and

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

carotenoids.

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NUTRITION

NUTRITION Per Serving: 151 calories, 3.5 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 31 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 5 mg sodium.

EASY BAKED APPLES WITH WALNUTS AND RAISINS >> This nutritious fiber-packed dessert satisfies that sweet tooth.

INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

Canola oil cooking spray 3 large Granny Smith apples or any variety baking apple 3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour 3 tablespoons brown sugar 3/4-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 1/4 cup raisins 1/3 cup apple cider

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray ovenproof glass pie dish. Cut apples in half from top to bottom, core and peel. Lay halves flat and cut into medium slices. Place apple slices in large bowl. In medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture on apples and gently stir until apples are evenly coated with spices. Gently fold in walnuts and raisins. Spoon apple mixture into prepared pie dish. Drizzle cider evenly over top. Bake 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes. Using spatula, carefully turn over apple mixture to get caramelized sauce from bottom of dish. Serve hot or let cool to room temperature, refrigerate and serve cold later.

Packed with fiber, particularly pectin fiber, apples help gut Visit the American Institute for Cancer Research at www.aicr.org/healthyrecipes for more recipes like this one.

bacteria produce compounds to protect colon cells. Sprinkled with walnuts and raisins, this recipe also contains beneficial omega-3 fat and cancer-protective flavonoids and phenolic acids.

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FAMILY CARE

Hope for

Women A new procedure called FemiLift to treat vaginal dryness comes to Lynchburg words | RICK PIESTER

“It’s a universal problem. It happens to everyone. Whether women seek treatment for it generally depends on how much it affects their life and their relationships.” That’s how gynecologist Christine Marraccini, MD of Women’s Health Services of Central Virginia describes the widespread — but rarely discussed — problem of vaginal dryness and painful intercourse that often plagues the lives of women just before and continuing after menopause. “It’s actually one of the most common problems we see in this office,” notes Dr. Marraccini, “And it’s a common problem that in the past we didn’t have a great treatment for.” The problem is that age and childbirth, or both, can have damaging effects “down there.” And as a woman nears menopause — generally somewhere between the ages of 40 and 50 — the body’s production of estrogen and other hormones plummets. Estrogen is key to keeping the lining of the vagina thick, stretchy and naturally lubricated. As menopause continues, the lining of the vagina becomes 50

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FAMI LY CAR E |

thin and dry. It’s fragile, and subject to microscopic tears, which makes intercourse painful. Many women come to dread lovemaking with their partner.

New Hope for Menopausal Women

“And this is at a time in women’s lives,” Dr. Marraccini says, ”when the kids are grown and out of the house, the barriers to being intimate are gone, but now women are stuck with the pain with intercourse, at a time when they should be able to really enjoy being

BEFORE & AFTER

with their spouse or partner.” In the past, the most common treatment for the ailment was estrogen tablets or creams placed in the vagina — messy, expensive, and inconvenient. But many women are unable to take estrogen. They have had hormonally driven cancers such as breast or endometrial cancer, or they have a history of blood clots or stroke. Overall, because of its suspected ties to cancer, many women are simply fearful of estrogen. But suddenly, an increasing number of women are talking about a new, non-surgical laser procedure to eliminate vaginal dryness, decrease pain with intercourse and even ease mild urinary incontinence. The procedure is called FemiLift, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for vaginal resurfacing and performed by each of the specially trained and board-certified physicians at Women’s Health Services of Central Virginia.

Pre Treatment Histology Pictured above is a microscopic image of the lining of the vagina from a postmenopausal woman. It shows thinning of the cell layers of the vaginal wall due to a loss of estrogen. This results in a stiff and fragile vaginal lining that tears easily.

“LUNCHTIME” PROCEDURE The treatment is done in the course of a 30-minute office visit, earning it the nickname of a “lunchtime” procedure. The actual laser treatment is performed in about 10 minutes or less, with the rest of the time devoted to checking in and checking out, changing into a surgical gown, consultation with the physician, etc. There’s no anesthetic, no recovery period, and patients continue with the rest of their day after the office visit. A small probe is inserted into the vagina. The probe contains the laser source. It senses the length of the vagina and adjusts itself to rotate and retract; making sure that the inside of the vagina is treated evenly and completely. The laser beam penetrates about 5 millimeters (less than 2/10 of an inch) into the vaginal wall, deep enough to reach and stimulate the area where collagen is formed. Dr. Marraccini said that she has never had any of her patients describe the FemiLift treatment as painful. Patients do feel some slight pressure of the probe being inserted into the vagina, and some numbing cream is applied to the sensitive outer opening of the vagina. Women’s Health Services of Central Virginia physicians recommend that each patient be treated in a total of three office visits, with each visit spaced about a month apart, and then return for a “touch up” visit after about a year.

Post Treatment Histology Pictured above is a similar microscopic image of the vaginal lining after it has been treated by the Femilift CO2 laser. It shows regrowth of those cell layers and thickening of the vaginal lining so it becomes more elastic and able to produce natural lubricants to reduce vaginal dryness and soreness. Images courtesy of Jorge Elias, MD, President of SARGE (Sociedad Argentina de Ginecología Estética).

Dr. Marraccini makes it clear that, although the FDA has fully approved the procedure for vaginal resurfacing, it has not yet approved FemiLift for urinary incontinence. www.OurHealthlbss.com

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FAMILY CARE

“We’ve seen it help with mild urinary issues such as minor leakage and urgency symptoms,” she notes, “but studies on its effectiveness PROCEDURE

FemiLift :

A painless, non-surgical, 10-minute office procedure effective in reversing the atrophic effects of aging in the vagina. BENEFITS

- Decreased vaginal dryness - Less pain with intercourse TIME COMMITMENT

30 minute

for incontinence are not yet clear, and we’re not speaking of FemiLift as a treatment for incontinence.” Cost of the treatment is about $1,800 total for the three recommended visits. Health insurance does not generally cover the cost, although it does qualify for payment through flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts. Women’s Health Services of Central Virginia also offers financing. “There’s no longer a reason for so many women to simply accept and suffer in silence,” Dr. Marraccini says, “especially now that there’s a successful, quick, inoffice procedure to eliminate the problem.” EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Christine A. Marraccini, MD of Women’s Health Services of Central Virginia

Office Visits x 3

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1

Your ROADMAP to a Successful

JOINT

REPLACEMENT Newer surgical techniques allow patients to heal faster with less pain. words | CHRISTY RIPPEL

2 3

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FAMI LY CAR E |

Are you bothered by an aching hip that’s hampered your golf game, or a bad knee that keeps you from walking with friends? You might need a joint replacement, but may have put it off for fear that you’ll be sidelined

Your Road Map to Successful Joint Replacement

for longer than you wish. Some of those fears may come from friends and family who’ve shared stories of their own surgeries that happened years ago. However, joint replacements have improved significantly in the last decade, says Kristopher Collins, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with OrthoVirginia in Lynchburg. Those improvements, like better surgical techniques, pain management and advancements in joint implants, allow patients to recover faster and get back quickly to their favorite activities. “By the time patients get to me, 20 to 30 percent of them have joints in pretty bad shape,” says Dr. Collins. “These patients are already losing a lot of function and ability to do the things they want to do.” Wait too long to seek treatment, and you’ll extend your rehab time, because the more inactive you become, the more the muscles weaken. The weaker your muscles are, the more they’ll need to be built back up after surgery. “I try to caution patients against getting to the point where function and activity are decreasing significantly,” Dr. Collins says. If you’ve been stalling on a possible joint replacement, read on for expert advice on navigating every stop to create your own roadmap to success, and get on the road to recovery from joint pain.

STOP I: The Consult

By the time patients get to me, 20 TO 30 PERCENT OF THEM have joints in pretty bad shape. These patients are ALREADY LOSING a lot of FUNCTION AND ABILITY to do the things they want to do. - Kristopher Collins, MD

YELLOW LIGHT THOUGHT: “I’ve overwhelmed by the whole process. I don’t know which surgeon to choose and how to get started.”

GREEN MEANS GO: Just take the first step! Start with your primary care doctor, and find out if your insurance requires a referral to see an orthopedic surgeon—the type of specialist who does joint replacements. Your doctor may recommend a surgeon, and you can talk with friends, family and colleagues for their recommendations if they’ve had a joint replacement. Book an appointment for a consult with the recommended surgeon to discuss your options. At the consult phase, your surgeon should take the time to discuss your fears and give you the real facts. Write down your questions and concerns on a piece of paper, and bring them with you to your appointment, along with any imaging studies (X-ray, etc.) of your joint. Ask about your doctor’s experience with joint replacement, and what he or she expects for your surgery day and recovery. If you aren’t comfortable with the first surgeon you see, make an appointment for additional consults until you find someone that you trust. Make sure you call your insurance company or speak with the surgeon’s business manager to understand what your financial responsibilities will be.

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STOP 2: Surgical Joint Replacement YELLOW LIGHT THOUGHT: “I don’t want to be in hospital for days. And will my joint pain really go away?”

GREEN MEANS GO: Many patients can be discharged the day after surgery, and most wake up from surgery with an immediate feeling of pain relief.

The cartilage on the end of your bones wears away with age, and you have pain because your BODY PERCEIVES IT AS AN INJURY. Your body is trying to heal it, but the problem is, IT CAN’T BE HEALED because the body CAN’T REMAKE CARTILAGE. KRISTOPHER COLLINS, MD An orthopedic surgeon with OrthoVirginia in Lynchburg.

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A majority of joint replacements are due to arthritis—which can occur as early as the 20s or 30s. “The cartilage on the end of your bones wears away with age, and you have pain because your body perceives it as an injury,” explains Dr. Collins. “Your body is trying to heal it, but the problem is, it can’t be healed because the body can’t remake cartilage.” In a joint replacement, the old cartilage is removed, and the joint is replaced with metal and plastic. The body no longer tries to respond, and the pain goes away, sometimes immediately. “Hip patients usually know as soon as they wake up [from surgery],” says Dr. Collins. “The deep aching pain is gone. There is temporary pain from the surgery, but that’s going to get better in a couple of weeks.” Patients who have stable medical problems are able to have both knee and hip replacement in an outpatient setting. These patients go home the same day. All others can expect to be discharged within 24 hours from the hospital.

STOP 3: Recovery & Rehabilitation YELLOW LIGHT THOUGHT: “Will I be in a lot of pain from the surgery? Will I have to be transferred to a rehab facility? When will I be able to return to the activities I love?”

GREEN MEANS GO: Physical therapy is no longer a necessity for most people after joint replacement and many get back to regular activities quickly. In the decades since joint replacement became a mainstream treatment option for joint deterioration and pain, doctors and researchers have learned a lot about what patient require to return them to the mobility they desire, says Dr. Collins. “Very few patients go to physical therapy and ten percent or less of our patients are going to a rehab facility or

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FAMILY CARE FAMI LY CAR E |

skilled nursing facility…the day after [surgery] for hips, most people are walking as well as the day before their surgery,” he says.

“I think a lot of patients worry about pain both during and after surgery, but we’ve come so far in the field or orthopedics on pain control around surgery,” Dr. Collins says. “Many patients are surprised by how well they’ve done—many don’t need narcotics.” In Dr. Collins’ practice, the physician and the care team work closely with each patient to be sure that pain while in the hospital and during recovery is manageable and wellcontrolled with appropriate medications. As for getting back to the golf game, or back to the walks with friends? “I tell patients that I expect them to be able to return to all activities they want to do,” Dr. Collins says, “And that they should expect that, too.” EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Kristopher Collins, MD with OrthoVirginia in Lynchburg.

I think a lot of patients WORRY ABOUT PAIN both during and after surgery, but WE’VE COME SO FAR in the field or orthopedics ON PAIN CONTROL around surgery.

Your Road Map to Successful Joint Replacement

While knees can take a little longer to heal, as more nerves may be affected during knee surgery, Dr. Collins says patients still often experience an immediate relief of the pain that had been dogging them, sometimes for years. The surgical pain is temporary, but the deep ache is gone.

- Kristopher Collins, MD

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words | LAURA NEFF-HENDERSON, APR

Brain exercises are to the mind what weight lifting is to the body. As we age, our brain’s ability to withstand the natural neurological damage that occurs lessens and can make it more difficult to perform seemingly simple mental tasks.

Brush your teeth with your nondominant hand:

Brain exercises can help strengthen the neural connections in the brain by challenging our working memory and mental agility. In combination with a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutrient-rich diet, getting plenty of sleep, and physical exercise, some researchers believe brain exercises (also referred to as brain training) can strengthen our mental ability.

Research has shown that using the opposite side of your brain can result in a rapid and substantial expansion in the parts of the cortex that control and process tactile information from the hand. Don't forget to open the tube and apply toothpaste in reverse, too.

Find a few minutes to fit the following brain exercises into your schedule to boost your memory and flex your mental muscles.

Do the math… in your head:

Test your recall:

Figure out how much you can save at the grocery store with coupons and sale items without help from a pencil and paper or your phone calculator. Make it even harder by walking up and down the aisle at the same time.

Make a list – grocery items, daily tasks, or anything else that comes to mind – and memorize it. An hour or so later, see how many items you can recall. Make items on the list as challenging as possible for the most benefit.

Learn something new: Take up a new hobby that involves fine-motor skills or learn a foreign language. Knitting, drawing and painting are all good ways to refine your hand-eye abilities and the listening and hearing involved in learning a foreign language stimulates the brain.

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Did you know?

Play a game:

A rich vocabulary has been linked to a REDUCED RISK for cognitive decline.

Playing a game, like Chess or Sudoku, makes you to think several steps ahead to your next move. The planning and strategizing component of games requires focus and self-control.

Challenge your taste buds:

Hit the gym:

Choose a cuisine unfamiliar to you for dinner tonight. Pick up the ingredients and make it at home, or visit a local restaurant to try something new. While you eat your meal, take time to identify each of the smells and tastes.

Exercise affects the brain on multiple fronts. It increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also aids the bodily release of a plethora of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside


N U T R I T I O N | 8 Great Super Veggies

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OurHealth Lynchburg & Southside Oct/Nov 2017 Edition