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Shining A New Light on Bladder Cancer

Statistics show that about 1 in 100 people in South Carolina will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in their lifetime. The leading risk factor is cigarette smoking. Age and some chemical exposure can also play a role.

If your doctor suspects that you have bladder cancer, he or she will perform a bladder examination called a cystoscopy. And at Lexington Medical Center, Lexington Urology uses a technique called Cysview. In this outpatient procedure, doctors put a substance in the bladder with a catheter that binds to bladder cancer cells. Then, a special blue light technique makes tumors fluoresce so that they’re easier to detect.

Dr. Brian Willard of Lexington Urology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, talked about the procedure in this WLTX segment.

According to Dr. Willard, the most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine. Bladder cancer typically starts in the lining of the bladder and can spread into the bladder wall and beyond. Bladder cancer can be deadly if it progresses.

Lexington Urology offers a variety of services in addition to treating bladder cancer including kidney stones, incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, urinary tract infections and prostate cancer. Visit LexingtonUrology.com.

New Warnings About Vaping and E-Cigarettes

Hundreds of people across the country have been diagnosed with a severe lung illness that public health officials think may be linked to vaping, and a few have died. Many were otherwise healthy young people, in their teens or early 20s. Symptoms of the illness are nausea, vomiting, coughing, fever and shortness of breath. As clinicians work to learn more, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to stop using e-cigarettes.

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, produced by an e-cigarette. Studies show this practice is skyrocketing in teenagers. One study noted that 1.7 million high schoolers and 500,000 middle schoolers said they had used e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days.

In today’s blog post, M. Christopher Marshall, MD, FCCP of Carolina Pulmonary, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, answers questions about the habit.

~What is in e-cigarettes?
Generally, the core of an e-cigarette is the “e-liquid” cartridge which contains the nicotine extracted from tobacco, mixed with a base, usually propylene glycol. However the flavorings, colorings, and chemicals that are also added are somewhat unknown since e-cigarettes just came under FDA review a few years ago.

~Are e-cigarettes safe?
Multiple studies have shown that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as regular cigarettes.

~How are e-cigarettes regulated?
The FDA expanded their oversight to include e-cigarettes in 2016.

Dr. Christopher Marshall

~Are there toxins in e-cigarettes we may not know about?
Absolutely. As mentioned above, the ingredients that make up the “flavorings, colorings, and chemicals” are usually not disclosed and can be widely unknown. Any heated and inhaled chemicals can produce a lasting effects on the lungs. One common chemical in e-cigarettes can cause bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as popcorn lung. Popcorn lung is caused when the same chemical found in popcorn, diacetyl, is heated and inhaled. The chemical scars the small airways in your lungs and can result in permanent reduced lung capacity and efficiency.

~In your experience, does using e-cigarettes up the risk of becoming a smoker?
Yes, e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking regular cigarettes.

~Some vaping advocates say e-cigarettes are a healthy/healthier alternative to people addicted to cigarettes. What do you say?
I always encourage my patients to stop smoking altogether. I encourage my patients to try all other methods to quit smoking before resorting to vaping. Some very effective methods include the patch, gum, nicotine receptor blockers (i.e. Chantix), and smoking cessation classes or counseling.

~Vaping is increasing in people under age 18. Is that especially troubling?
Yes, this is very troubling. Vaping, more times than not, results in a long-term addiction to cigarettes. Vaping can be viewed by the younger generation as a less dangerous habit when really it is just as dangerous as smoking regular cigarettes. This misconception has led to a 900% increase in vaping among high school students from 2011 to 2015 according to the American Lung Association.

~What other messages do you have about vaping?
My message would be to avoid vaping at all costs. Nicotine addiction is not to be taken lightly and can result in a lifetime of chronic lung disease and even lung cancer.

Superfood of the Month: Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the most nutritious, antioxidant-rich fruit in the world. In addition to a long list of health benefits, this fruit is also sweet, low-calorie and delicious.

Antioxidants
Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, including phenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins.

Weight Loss
Blueberries are low in calories, but they provide a whopping 3.6 grams of fiber per cup. That’s up to 14 percent of your daily fiber needs with just one serving.

Brain Health
Many studies suggest eating blueberries could improve memory and cognition. The antioxidant in blueberries protect the brain from free radical damage and promote healthy brain aging.

Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is at the root of most diseases. In fact, inflammation may contribute to a wide range of conditions, including cancer, autoimmune conditions, heart disease and depression. Because of their high antioxidant content, blueberries have significant anti-inflammatory effects.

Digestion
With 3.6 grams of fiber in each cup, a serving or two of blueberries can help meet your fiber needs while promoting regularity and healthy digestion.

Heart Health
Studies show that eating blueberries could help reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease. One study found that eating blueberries daily for eight weeks resulted in lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness in women.

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Blueberry-Ginger Relish

    Ingredients
    4 bone-in center-cut pork chops, (about 1¾ pounds), trimmed of fat

    Marinade
    3 T reduced-sodium soy sauce (see note)
    2 T dry sherry (see note)
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tsp brown sugar
    ¼ tsp crushed red pepper

    Blueberry-Ginger Relish
    1 cup fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
    1 shallot, chopped
    1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
    1 T chopped fresh cilantro
    1 T lime juice
    1 tsp minced fresh ginger
    ¼ tsp salt

    Directions
    1. Place pork chops in a large sealable plastic bag. Whisk soy sauce, sherry, garlic, brown sugar and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Add the marinade to the bag, seal and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
    2. About 20 minutes before grilling the pork, combine blueberries, shallot, chile, cilantro, lime juice, ginger and salt in a small bowl.
    3. Preheat grill to high. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and discard marinade. Grill the chops three to five minutes per side. Let them rest for five minutes before serving with relish.