Ring in 2017 in Style At Our New Year’s Eve Gala

Are you looking for a fancy party to attend on New Year’s Eve to ring in 2017 with style? The Lexington Medical Center Foundation and Women of Hope will host the first New Year’s Eve Gala on Saturday, December 31 at the University of South Carolina Alumni Center in downtown Columbia. This premiere, black tie event will give the community an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. And it benefits a great cause. Proceeds will fund the Lexington Medical Center Foundation’s “Campaign for Clarity,” which is working toward providing 3-D mammography throughout Lexington Medical Center’s network of care.

The gala kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with guests enjoying a glass of champagne as they enter the party. Guests will enjoy a delicious variety of gourmet food and open bar and specialty drinks. Entertainment will include live music by The O’Kaysions, a local magician and a photo corner boutique. And, guests will have the opportunity to win premiere items such as women’s fine jewelry as well as vacation getaways with luxury accommodations.

galaAt midnight, guests will welcome the new year with a champagne toast and the party will continue until 1:00 a.m. The evening will end with hamburger sliders, French fries and milk shakes.

“We are looking forward to a fantastic evening welcoming 2017 and paving the way for 3-D Mammography to be available throughout Lexington Medical Center’s network of care,” said Amy Lanier, executive director of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation. “We are inspired by the generous support to date. Until we can find a cure for breast cancer, we will focus on providing the best technology to the people of our community.”

3-D mammography creates a group of three-dimensional pictures of the breast and allows doctors to view tissue one millimeter at a time, making tiny details visible earlier and easier. Studies have shown that 3-D mammography also reduces false positives and unnecessary callbacks for patients with dense breast tissue.

new-yearLexington Medical Center currently offers 3-D mammography at its Women’s Imaging location on the hospital campus in West Columbia and the Northeast Columbia location of Sandhills Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Part of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation, Women of Hope members work together to benefit the health and wellness of women throughout our community. Open to all women in the Midlands, Women of Hope hosts special events and networking opportunities to raise awareness of critical health issues affecting women and their families.

To purchase tickets, please visit www.wohnewyearsevegala.com. This site will then direct guests to the block of rooms available at the Hilton Columbia Center, Hampton Inn – Vista, and Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown. If you have questions, call (803) 791-2540 or email the Foundation at LMCFoundation@lexhealth.org. Sponsorship opportunities for businesses, organizations and individuals are also available. All contributions are tax deductible.

Breathe Easy with Advancements in Lung Cancer Screening and Treatment

Each year, more people die from lung cancer than from breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. What makes lung cancer so deadly is that it is usually detected late, when treatments are less likely to help.

“Lung cancer screening helps patients by finding lung cancer early, when treatments are more likely to save their lives,” said Richard W. Monk, MD, medical director at Carolina Pulmonary, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Richard Monk, MD

Richard Monk, MD

There are four main types of lung cancer: adenocarcinoma; squamous cell carcinoma; small cell carcinomas; and large cell carcinomas, which make up about 90 percent of all lung cancers. Other lung cancers are either rare or hard to define because they have mutated too severely; however, screenings can detect all types of lung cancer.

“Screening finds lung cancer earlier, when it’s at a lower stage and more likely treatable. A patient with early stage lung cancer has about a 73 percent chance of living another five years, but a patient with a late stage IV lung cancer has about a 13 percent chance. To put the benefit in perspective, lung cancer screening has the same strength of recommendation as breast cancer screening with mammograms,” said Dr. Monk.

Lung cancer screening is done with a low-dose CT scan of the lungs. In general, people should be screened if they are between the ages of 55 to 80 with at least a 30-pack year history of smoking, and have smoked within the last 15 years. 

“A pack year is one pack of cigarettes daily for a year, so if you smoke one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years, you have a 30-pack year history of smoking. People should ask their doctor if they think they might qualify for screening.”

girl-with-chest-xrayIn addition to life-saving screenings, advancements in diagnostics, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery have made significant advancements in recent years.

“Once a lung nodule or tumor has been found through a screening, a biopsy usually has to be done to diagnose it. At Carolina Pulmonary, we have all the latest bronchoscopic tools to do that job, including endobronchial ultrasound, radial ultrasound, electronavigational bronchoscopy and cryoprobe.”

In addition to these technologies, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has made surgery for lung cancer safer and recovery time shorter. Stereotactic beam radiation (SBRT) causes fewer side effects from radiation than traditional radiation therapy. And some of the biggest advancements right now are in chemotherapy, with new drugs that target tumors with specific mutations. As an affiliate of Duke Health, Lexington Medical Cancer Center also offers access to cutting-edge clinical trials.

“Patients get some of the best, and quickest, care available right here at Lexington Medical Center,” said Dr. Monk.

Did You Know?
Smoking is the main risk factor for lung cancer, resulting in 85 to 90 percent of lung cancers. Non-smokers can get lung cancer, too.

Additional Risk Factors for Lung Cancer
•Exposure to secondhand smoke
•Contact with radon gas or cancer-causing chemicals, such as asbestos
•Family history of lung cancer

Lung Cancer Clinical Trials and Research at Lexington Medical Center

Lexington Medical Center plays a leading role in the treatment of lung cancer by enrolling patients in clinical trials and research that use state-of-the-art methods to improve outcomes and save lives.

Clinical Trials
Lexington Medical Center is participating in several national lung cancer clinical trials. Most of them examine a patient’s genetic markers to determine which type of treatment will be most effective.

Genetic markers are increasingly important in the treatment of cancer. For years, everyone with a particular type of cancer received the same treatment. Today, clinicians are learning that cancer treatment should be tailored toward each individual based on the genetic makeup of his or her cancer. Two of the biggest lung cancer trials Lexington Medical Center is participating in are Lung-MAP and ALCHEMIST.

In the Lung-MAP trial (SWOG S1400), clinicians collect tissue from a lung cancer patient, look at the genetic markers and determine which drug is most appropriate based on the patient’s DNA.

This method of genomic profiling matches patients with treatments that target the mutations driving that person’s cancer.

Nan Faile, MS, RN, CCRP, research nurse coordinator at Lexington Medical Center

Nan Faile, MS, RN, CCRP, research nurse coordinator at Lexington Medical Center

“We’re just at the beginning of discovering these genetic markers,” said Nan Faile, MS, CCRP, research nurse coordinator at Lexington Medical Center. “Eventually, there will probably be hundreds of genetic markers.”

In addition, the Lung-MAP trial uses the science of immunology. That means using new medicines to manipulate the body’s immune system into attacking lung cancer cells. While the body recognizes certain illnesses, such as the common cold or the flu and works to fight them, it does not recognize cancer cells because cancer blocks the immune system. Immunology is changing that.

In the ALCHEMIST trial, researchers examine lung cancer tumors from patients and look for specific alterations in genes that are thought to drive the cancer. Patients who meet specific criteria will receive treatment with drugs that may improve survival rates.

Lexington Medical Center offers a lung cancer screening program for patients with a long smoking history, with the goal of diagnosing the disease in its early stages. When lung cancer is diagnosed later, the mortality rate is as high as 70 percent in the first year. So early detection is key.

“Patients who are diagnosed early may receive a survival benefit they otherwise would not,” Faile said. “We can put their lung cancer in remission.”

shutterstock_281348399Statistics show that lung cancer screening can reduce mortality by 20 percent.

To track the effectiveness of the screening program, Lexington Medical Center has begun a Lung Cancer Screening Registry. Patients who receive lung cancer screenings through the hospital’s program and volunteer to participate in the study are entered into it. Lexington Medical Center thanks each patient for their participation in the program. They are crucial to advancing science.

In 2015, five patients were diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer after being screened for lung cancer at Lexington Medical Center. Hospital researchers are tracking their treatment progress.

Additionally, the registry helps clinicians follow up with screening patients even if their test results were normal. National guidelines show that patients who meet criteria for lung cancer screening should be screened three years in a row.

“We want to provide comprehensive research across the spectrum to offer services that would otherwise be unavailable, improve care and see our patients doing better and better,” Faile said.

For more information on clinical trials and the lung cancer screening program at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMedCancer.com