What You Need to Know About Your Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Sometimes a new treatment being tested through a clinical trial may be recommended….

(Family Features) A lung cancer diagnosis can bring a host of emotions and questions, and “now what?” is one of the first. Assembling the right care team and creating a treatment plan designed uniquely for you is important to get you on the right track.

One of the first things to understand is that not all lung cancers are the same. Comprehensive biomarker testing can identify specific mutations (also known as genetic “drivers”) in your cancer called biomarkers. These mutations cause cancer to grow and spread in different ways.

Learn more about comprehensive biomarker testing and how it can help you uncover the appropriate treatment options available with this information from LUNGevity Foundation.

What is Comprehensive Biomarker Testing?

Comprehensive biomarker testing is used for people living with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to determine the presence of particular mutations or proteins in tumors. It is the first step in precision medicine and helps ensure a patient gets matched to the right treatment at the right time based on the cancer’s biomarker status.

This testing is a way for a health care team to gather as much information as possible about a patient’s unique NSCLC, ideally before treatment begins. To be comprehensive, biomarker testing must test for all biomarkers that are recommended for your type and stage of NSCLC, based on the most current clinical guidelines.

The results of these tests help determine whether any of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved NSCLC targeted therapies or a particular immunotherapy drug is right for you as part of the treatment plan. Sometimes a new treatment being tested through a clinical trial may be recommended based on which biomarker is found in the cancer. Comprehensive biomarker testing is most often used to plan treatments for advanced-stage NSCLC.

What Steps Should be Taken to Complete Comprehensive Biomarker Testing?

  • Talk: Knowing your biomarkers can help your health care team treat your unique type of NSCLC. The first step is to talk to your health care team about comprehensive biomarker testing so you don’t miss any potentially crucial information or treatment options. It is important to ask for comprehensive biomarker testing so your doctor tests for all recommended biomarkers. You’ll also want to explore whether comprehensive biomarker testing is covered by your private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid plan.
  • Test: Your medical team will test for all recommended biomarkers that could be causing your NSCLC to grow and spread. Comprehensive biomarker testing results can take four weeks or longer, but they can help your health care team understand more about your specific type of cancer.
  • Treat: Comprehensive biomarker testing results can help inform your individualized treatment plan and provide information necessary for your health care team to determine treatment options specific to your cancer type.

How is Comprehensive Biomarker Testing Done?

Tissue biopsies are the only way to confirm a diagnosis of lung cancer; they are also the standard way to detect driver mutations. There are many different biopsy techniques that can be used to obtain the tumor tissue.

After the tumor tissue is collected, it is sent to a laboratory for testing. In comprehensive biomarker testing, driver mutations in multiple genes are tested for at the same time, rather than one mutation at a time, including not only the ones with approved treatments, but also other known driver mutations.

This is because some of the driver mutations without currently approved treatments may have treatments being tested now or in the near future. Testing positive for a biomarker that currently does not have an approved treatment may make you eligible for a future treatment option or an available clinical trial.

Comprehensive biomarker testing results are analyzed by a pathologist and recorded in a pathology report. It is a good idea to get a copy of your pathology report for your own information and have it available to show other doctors, if necessary.

From Diagnosis to Making a Difference

Stephen Huff, a professional baseball player turned history teacher, was 29 and two months away from marrying the love of his life, Emily, when he was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. He was in shock, but his fiancee and mother became advocates who learned about comprehensive biomarker testing.

His oncologist wanted him to join a clinical trial for an experimental treatment, but his family insisted they wait for the biomarker testing results before deciding on a treatment path. That’s how they learned he was ALK positive, a rare mutation that can be treated through targeted therapy.

Huff has been on the same targeted therapy for three and a half years. Since his diagnosis, he and Emily got married, bought a house and expanded their family.

Learn more and find additional resources at noonemissed.org .

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

SOURCE:
LUNGevity Foundation

You Have To Go To Know: LeVar Burton

On Why the Rare Blood Cancer Community Needs to Get Back to the Doctor….

(BPT) – Best known for his roles in Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation and helming Reading Rainbow, (and recently hosting Jeopardy!), actor, director and longtime health advocate LeVar Burton strongly believes in using his voice and passion for storytelling to help others.

Recently, Burton, who has spent much of his career bringing stories to life, has taken on a new role. He has teamed up with Incyte on a timely health initiative called You Have to Go to Know, which aims to elevate the voices and stories of people living with and impacted by myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), a group of rare, chronic blood cancers. Burton hopes to encourage the MPN community to put their health first by seeking the care they need.

“When I learned people have been hesitant to visit their healthcare providers during the past year and a half, I felt compelled to use my voice. In particular, I learned that people with rare blood cancers called myeloproliferative neoplasms or MPNs, may have been particularly impacted and could benefit from re-prioritizing their health and visiting their healthcare providers,” said Burton.

The three most common MPNs are polycythemia vera (PV), myelofibrosis (MF) and essential thrombocythemia (ET), which combined affect about 200,000 people in the U.S..[i],[ii] MPNs can affect people at any age but are more common in older adults.[i] They are progressive diseases, meaning they can change or worsen over time, and the best way to manage an MPN is through regular visits with a healthcare provider to monitor the disease to identify any changes.

Over the past year, however, many people have avoided visits to their healthcare providers due to health-related anxieties. In fact, nearly 41% of U.S. adults surveyed in 2020 indicated they didn’t feel comfortable visiting their healthcare provider in the months following the onset of the pandemic.[iii] Delaying or avoiding medical care can lead to serious health implications, especially for people with chronic conditions like cancer.

“While I am not personally impacted by an MPN, I am reminded of my mother and her growing health challenges as she got older. She sometimes skipped her required doctors’ visits and follow up appointments, and I saw first-hand the negative impact it had on her health. My hope is that this campaign encourages the MPN community, and others with chronic conditions, to once again seek the care they need,” said Burton.

Burton is sharing what he has learned from his conversations with patients with MPNs to help inspire people within the MPN community and others with chronic conditions to once again seek the care they need:

  • Schedule an appointment with your healthcare team and keep it! Make and keep regular care appointments. Also, ask your healthcare team which appointments need to be in-person visits, and which can be telehealth (virtual) visits to potentially save time and energy driving to and from appointments.
    • In-person visits for patients with MPNs: Physical exams, blood tests, bone marrow tests, genetic tests and imaging scans require in-person visits.
    • Telehealth (virtual) appointments that patients with MPNs can consider: Each healthcare professional differs when it comes to what can be discussed during virtual appointments but typically the following can be discussed virtually: addressing symptoms, reviewing test results, asking questions, sharing health concerns, reviewing and tracking changes in a disease.
  • Be your own health advocate. Advocating for your own care can help you actively participate in decisions being made about your health. Keep an ongoing list of questions for your doctor and don’t be afraid to ask for additional details or clarification. Track and share all of your symptoms as well. The more you share about how your symptoms are changing and affecting you, the better your healthcare provider can help you to manage your MPN and stay on track with what is right for you.
  • You have to go to know. When you miss appointments, you also miss out on essential conversations. MPNs are progressive diseases that require constant monitoring. You Have To Go To Know because your MPN isn’t waiting!

Visit www.voicesofmpn.com to learn more about MPNs and explore the many resources available to assist you with scheduling and making the most of your doctor’s visits.

© 2021, Incyte Corporation. MAT-HEM-02301 07/21


[i] MPN Research Foundation. Understanding MPNs. Available at: http://www.mpnresearchfoundation.org/overview-page. Accessed May 2021.

[ii] Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN). Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN) | Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (n.d.). https://www.lls.org/research/myeloproliferative-neoplasms-mpn

[iii] Anderson KE, McGinty EE, Presskreischer R, Barry CL. “Reports of Forgone Medical Care Among US Adults During the Initial Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(1):e2034882. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.34882. Accessed May 2021.

GOST 5K Foot Race for 2021

NB’s “Good Ole Summer Time Festival” is having a 5K Foot Race!

 

North Baltimore’s “Good Ole SummerTime Festival” is having a 5K Foot Race!
 
North Baltimore Nutrition and North Baltimore Medical & Diagnostic Center are co-sponsoring the GOST 5K Foot Race as part of North Baltimore, Ohio‘s ‘Good Ole Summerime Festival. The proceeds of the race benefit the North Baltimore Area Chamber of Commerce.
 
7 AM – Race Packets available at @North Baltimore Nutrition
 
7:30 AM Zumba warm-up session
 
8 AM Race start time
 
$20 entry fee benefits the NBACC – North Baltimore Area Chamber of Commerce

Funding Opportunity for Faith-Based Organizations

Opportunity for faith-based organizations to implement mental health education and awareness events….

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Wood County is a leading self-help organization offering free events, educational classes, support groups, and other programs that address mental health for the Wood County community. NAMI Wood County is providing mini-grants to faith-based organizations in Wood County. This gives the opportunity for faith-based organizations to implement mental health education and awareness events. The requirements for this funding include:

 

  • The organization’s primary purpose is to provide faith-based programs and services
  • The organization resides in Wood County
  • 2-5 representatives from the organization attend the following trainings provided by NAMI Wood County:
    • Adult Mental Health First Aid on Wednesday, October 13th from 9-5p.m.
    • “Bridges of Hope” Presentation on Wednesday, November 17th from 6-8p.m.
  • The organization implements a program or activity to provide mental health education programs to their faith community

 

If you are interested in applying for this funding, please contact NAMI Wood County via email: info@namiwoodcounty.org or call 419-352-0626. Visit www.namiwodocounty.org for more information and to register for their programming.

Be sure to follow NAMI Wood County on social media: @NAMIWoodCounty for additional resources and updates.

Board Meeting Information

The Northwestern Water and Sewer District…..

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio, – The Northwestern Water and Sewer District (The District) wants to remind our customers and the general public that The District has returned to full, in-person Board of Trustees meetings at The District’s main office, located at 12560 Middleton Pike, Bowling Green, Ohio.   Members of the public are invited to attend. 

For the benefit of our customers and general public, The District will continue to livestream board meetings.  “The Board of Trustees is committed to transparency.  We hope our customers continue their involvement by participating in meetings in-person or virtually,” said Board Chairman, Mark Sheffer.     

Zoom Webinar: During regularly scheduled board meetings at 7:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, members of the public can join the webinar by clicking this link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87684696892?pwd=SEVRYVZmRGNVc20xU3lPN0NsOXRtUT09 Password: 664391

Phone only:  Members of the public can also use a phone to dial: 1-301-715 -8592 
When prompted, use ID: 876 8469 6892 and Password: 664391.  

Note that public access is watch/listen-only.  Comments can be emailed to publicinfo@nwwsd.org during and after the meeting.

Follow this AGENDA LINK for agenda consideration. 

Follow @NWWSD on Twitter and Facebook for the latest information.

ODOT outlines 5 year plan to focus on walking and biking

Walk.Bike.Ohio plan developed with partners to examine and address challenges for walking and biking….

COLUMBUS – More and more Ohioans are walking and biking as a way to travel, either by choice or necessity. However, recent trends in safety, health, and demographics highlight the urgent need for safer, accessible, and more convenient options for walking and biking in communities across the state.

Bike Dayton

 In an effort to combat these trends and spur more strategic investment in infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists, the Ohio Department of Transportation is launching the first-of-its-kind Walk.Bike.Ohio plan. This plan was constructed based on input from local government partners, state agencies, and the public.

“Nearly one out of every 10 Ohio households does not have access to a motor vehicle, meaning active transportation options like walking and bicycling are necessary to meet basic needs,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “When we ensure that walking and biking are safe, convenient, and accessible options – everybody wins. The Walk.Bike.Ohio plan puts us on the right path to do that.”

In Ohio, people walking and biking make up about 14 percent of all traffic deaths, despite making up just 2.6% of trips to work. Most notable is that not everyone is impacted equally, with high need populations and areas of the state experiencing a disproportionate amount (nearly double) of the severe pedestrian and bicycle crashes.

In 2020, there were 164 people killed and 469 people seriously injured while traveling along or across Ohio’s roadways on-foot. From 2019 to 2020 alone, pedestrian deaths increased by an astounding 30 percent. The most notable increases were at intersections with unmarked crosswalks (+600%), at unmarked, midblock locations (+84%), and in circumstances involving speed (+60%).

The Walk.Bike.Ohio plan is about more than just safety, it introduces a framework for advancing active transportation by documenting existing conditions, identifying roles and responsibilities of various partners, and outlining critical actions for ODOT to focus on over the next five years. 

“Although the publication of Walk.Bike.Ohio is a major milestone for Ohio, it is just the beginning of the work necessary to achieve our vision,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

The plan was developed over two years and included dozens of meetings with key stakeholders and two public surveys. Stakeholders conveyed the need for improving mobility, safety, and quality of life, and for equitable investments in walking and bicycling infrastructure, maintenance, programs, and policies.

While Ohio may boast the nation’s eighth largest roadway network, ODOT found there is a need for improvement at the state, regional, and local level to develop bicycle and pedestrian networks, close network gaps, and address unsafe crossings and deficient or failing sidewalks.

“The development of Walk.Bike.Ohio has helped us to establish a statewide vision for walking and biking, informed by practitioners and the public. This plan outlines what ODOT will seek to advance over the next 5 years in order to improve walking and biking as a transportation option in Ohio,” said ODOT Active Transportation Manager Caitlin Harley.

An economic impact analysis completed as part of this effort found that existing trips by foot or bike can save Ohioans $12.7 billion in transportation and environmental costs over 20 years. If Ohio’s walking and biking rates increased by just over 1%, an additional $5 billion in cost savings is projected over the next 20 years.

In addition to economic benefits, connected active transportation networks can also play a role in improving Ohio’s ranking of 40th in the United States for overall health outcomes and 47th for health behaviors, which include obesity and physical inactivity.

Active transportation is also an opportunity to address growing mobility needs and preferences. In 1983, about 46 percent of 16-year old Americans had a driver’s license, according to the Federal Highway Administration. By 2014, that number had dropped to just over 24 percent. In Ohio, the number of 16 and 17-year old drivers fell from 84,985 in 2016 to 70,678 in 2020. Additionally, as the share of Ohio’s population over 65 continues to grow, more Ohioans may rely on or prefer transit and active transportation options.

The hope is that this plan will be a useful tool for decision-makers at all levels of government in Ohio as they look at ways to make the state more walkable and bikeable.

For more information on what ODOT will be focused on to support walking and biking in Ohio, check out the plan online.

BVHS to Host Virtual Presentation

“Managing Menopause: Understanding the Different Stages of Menopause”

Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS) will host “Managing Menopause: Understanding the Different Stages of Menopause” virtual presentation, a part of the 2021 virtual “Live and Learn” Facebook Live series.

Dr. William Kose, the vice president of special projects, will host this event. Guests include Molly Senokozlieff, MD, a physician with the Blanchard Valley Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Jodi Bollenbacher, PA-C, a physician assistant with Blanchard Valley Obstetrics & Gynecology. The presentation will discuss the different stages of menopause and available treatments to relieve symptoms of menopause.

Dr. Molly Senokozlieff, MD

 

The presentation will discuss the different stages of menopause and available treatments to relieve symptoms of menopause.

Jodi Bollenbacher, PA-C

 

The Facebook Live event will take place on Wednesday, July 21, from noon to 1p.m. and will be streamed on the health system’s Facebook page, http://facebook.com/BlanchardValleyHealthSystem/. Community members can “like” the corporate Facebook account of BVHS and visit the page to watch live. If you are in need of assistance, call 419.423.5551.

Questions can be submitted prior to the livestream via email to community@ bvhealthsystem.org or by calling 419.423.5551.

BVMP: Patients Age 12 & Older Can Register for COVID-19 Vaccine

Appointments will take place at the Caughman Health Center….

Beginning Monday, July 19, COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered to patients of Blanchard Valley Medical Practices (BVMP) 12 years of age and older. Appointments will take place at the Caughman Health Center, located at 1800 North Blanchard Street, Suite 121 in Findlay.

Caughman Health Center, located at 1800 North Blanchard Street, Suite 121 in Findlay…..

Vaccination appointments are only open to those who are BVMP patients. Individuals can schedule by calling 419.427.0809, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Vaccines will not be administered to any patients who do not meet the specific age guidelines. To become a BVMP patient, please call 419.422.APPT.

Appointments for the second dose will be made at the appointment, once the first dose is administered.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit bvhsvaccineconnect.com

Top paratriathlete carries the torch for healthy vision to Tokyo

Uveitis is a form of inflammation inside the eye….

(BPT) – As one of the world’s top paratriathletes, Amy Dixon is always looking forward. Even though an autoimmune disorder has taken away most of her ability to see, she has extraordinary vision for reaching her goals.

This summer, she’ll head to Tokyo. For Amy, it’s an incredible journey that would have seemed unimaginable two decades earlier.

Vision troubles come to light

Amy first noticed her vision problems as a 22-year-old college student. She struggled to see clearly in a darkened room. Driving at night, she failed to notice oncoming cars. The signs were clear that something was wrong with her eye health, but Amy wasn’t convinced.

“I had 20/20 vision as a kid, so I dismissed the problems I was having as being related to some other condition like migraine,” says Amy, a migraine sufferer since she was a teen. “I was ignoring what was obvious — that something was wrong with my eyes.”

After scheduling an appointment with an ophthalmologist, Amy learned she had uveitis, which is a form of inflammation inside the eye. Amy’s doctor told her that the disease had already put her eyesight in serious jeopardy. He said that 70% of her peripheral vision had been lost and she would need to begin treatment immediately or risk going blind within 10 years.

“Unfortunately, I waited too long before having my eyes examined and uveitis had already attacked my vision. When the diagnosis sunk in, I thought I was destined to going blind,” adds Amy.

Becoming her own advocate

Rallying behind a forward-looking attitude that would ultimately become her calling card, Amy confronted her condition head-on. Working with her doctor, she began an aggressive treatment regimen. While uveitis would eventually take 98% of her vision, the treatments succeeded in slowing down progression of the disease.

A new diagnosis and the athlete reemerges

With her uveitis in remission, Amy received a second vision diagnosis: she now had developed glaucoma as a result of her treatment. Resilient and determined to keep her life moving forward, Amy began treating her glaucoma.

Along the way, she reengaged in sports and took up swimming, a favorite activity for the former competitive high school swimmer. When a friend introduced her to triathlons (swimming, running and biking), Amy was hooked. She completed her first triathlon in 2013 and today, she is the reigning ITU Aquathlon World Champion and a seven-time ITU Triathlon Gold Medalist. When the competition in Tokyo starts in August, Amy will race toward the finish line the same way she approaches life: by overcoming the setbacks in her path. It’s an important lesson she is eager to share.

“There is always a way forward,” says Amy. “I encourage people to maximize the strengths they have and find creative ways to do the things they want. It may not be the way you wish for, but if you are open to learning, you can do great things.”

Amy’s prescription for better eye health

Amy views her journey as a cautionary tale and she encourages everyone to be proactive in taking care of their eyes.

“Uveitis progressed quickly in impacting my vision because I waited too long to see a doctor and wasn’t diligent about getting my eyes examined annually,” says Amy. “Pay attention to your eyes. If you suspect you have a vision problem, then see an eye doctor right away.”

As she continues to manage her glaucoma, Amy also urges people, particularly young adults, to be wary of a disease that can sneak up without symptoms and is the leading cause of irreversible blindness.

“A dilated eye exam could save your sight,” says Amy. “The power is in your hands, so be your own advocate for achieving better eye health.”

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma or are caring for someone with glaucoma, a great resource is “Understanding and Living with Glaucoma.” This free booklet is published by the Glaucoma Research Foundation, with support from Aerie Pharmaceuticals. It can be downloaded or ordered (in English and Spanish) at www.glaucoma.org/booklet.

How to preserve fresh sweet cherries for healthy snacking all year

Turning your summertime snack into an all-the-time staple….

(BPT) – Fresh sweet Northwest cherries are a tasty summertime superfruit packed with nutrients. It’s easy to find fresh cherries during the summer, but the rest of the year may leave you yearning for the delicious and nutritious snack. Stock up on fresh cherries now and preserve their flavor and health benefits for year-round enjoyment.

Four reasons to stock up on sweet cherries while they’re fresh!

Sweet Northwest cherries are as healthy as they are delectable, making them the perfect treat to satisfy a sweet craving without the sugar spike. Northwest cherries boast incredible health benefits for the mind and body, including:

1. Fighting chronic inflammatory diseases

Sweet cherries can help prevent chronic inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. Inflammation has also been tied to increased risk factors of cancer and research is suggesting that sweet cherries may possess cancer-fighting properties.

2. Exercise recovery

Sweet cherries contain anthocyanins, which appear to shut down enzymes that cause tissue inflammation in a similar manner to ibuprofen and naproxen. Those anti-inflammatory properties also make cherries a great workout recovery snack.

3. Low glycemic, big on nutrients!

Sweet cherries boast a lower glycemic index than almost any other fruit and promote healthy blood glucose by releasing glucose slowly and evenly so blood sugar levels stay steady longer. According to a 2019 article in Trends in Food Science & Technology, cherry extracts reduce glucose blood levels and protect pancreatic beta-cells from oxidative damage, enabling them to continue balanced production of insulin.

4. Enhanced cognitive function

The anthocyanins found in sweet cherries may improve memory and cognition in older adults with mild-to-moderate dementia. Also, cherry phenolics appear to protect cells from damaging stress while the cherry’s serotonin reduces stress and improves mood.

Enjoy the sweet taste of summer all throughout the year.

Preserving sweet cherries can be quick and easy, and a great way to extend their short peak season. Two popular ways to preserve sweet cherries are freezing and drying.

Freezing sweet cherries

The first step in the freezing process is to rinse firm, ripe cherries — stems and all — in cold water and drain thoroughly. Next, decide how you’re most likely to use them. For snacking, you can leave them whole and just enjoy them off the stem later. If smoothies and sauces are your game, then pitting the cherries at this point will save time and mess later. Once that’s decided, pack the cherries in plastic freezer bags or freezer-proof containers, remove excess air, seal the package and freeze.

Drying fresh cherries

For dried sweet cherries, the simplest step is to use your oven to preserve this summertime superfruit, or even invest in a food dehydrator. The Northwest Cherry Growers recommend drying at 140-degrees Fahrenheit for six to 12 hours, low and slow. Once dry, they can be stored in plastic bags with the excess air removed, and stored in a dark, dry, cool place. Enjoy them straight, tossed into trail mix, as a sweet-tart topping for granola or oatmeal, or substituted for raisins in a favorite cookie recipe.

For more tips on turning your summertime snack into an all-the-time staple of a nutritious diet, or to learn more about the numerous health benefits of sweet cherries, visit the Northwest Cherry Growers website at nwcherries.com/sweethealth.