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November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month –a time to raise awareness of the need for more research, innovation and better community understanding of this disease.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. More patients die every year from the disease than from prostate, breast, and colon cancer combined.

More than 90% of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive in part because it is found at an advanced stage. Nodules are typically small, deep in the lungs and difficult to reach, making early-stage diagnosis and therapeutic applications difficult.

There are a variety of diagnostic options today for lung cancer, but all have limitations in cost, accuracy, safety or invasiveness. These limitations can lead to false positives, false negatives or side effects such as pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and hemorrhage, which can be serious complications and extend hospital stays.

Patients will now be able to reliably have a less invasive diagnostic procedure, which permits simultaneous tumor staging if necessary.

Facts About Lung Cancer:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide
  • More patients die every year from lung cancer than from prostate, breast, and colon cancer combined
  • The lung cancer five-year survival rate is only16.8%
  • Nearly 160,000 people die from lung cancer every year
  • 60% to 65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers

At Freeman Health System, we are working to increase early detection, improve diagnostics, optimize treatment and accelerate recovery by providing our patients access to the most innovative technologies. The MONARCH® Platform, currently being used by Dr. Pierson, is a new robotic technology designed to transform the diagnosis of lung disease, with the goal of saving lives.

The Monarch Platform is designed to allow an accurate diagnosis without incisions from even the smallest and hardest-to-reach lung nodules –with the hope of catching lung conditions early. “At Freeman, we are excited to be among the first to offer this innovative technology, which uses the latest advances in robotics to diagnose lung conditions –with the least invasive approach for patients,” said Dr. Pierson, Pulmonologist. “Lung cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence –we encourage the community to take an important step to be screened, so that we can find and treat lung cancer before it progresses.”  The MONARCH® Platform has potential to address the limitations of current bronchoscopy approaches by its ability to reach and access lesions that are located far out in the periphery of the lung, and by improved accuracy that comes from robotic technology.

Submitted By:
Grant Pierson, DO
Department of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Freeman Lung Institute

National Chiropractic Health Month in October is the perfect time to reflect on how chiropractic care improves your life. The event helps to raises public awareness of the importance of musculoskeletal health and the benefits of chiropractic care as well as its natural, whole-person, patient-centered and drug-free approach to health and wellness. Not sure how to observe this important month? Try a few of these suggestions.

Keep Moving

Stiff joints and tight muscles are more likely to be a problem if you don’t get enough exercise or spend too much time sitting. Fortunately, increasing your activity level is a simple way to avoid pain and stiffness. In fact, movement is so important that the American Chiropractic Association has made “Keep Moving” its theme for this year’s National Chiropractic Health Month.

Synovial fluid surrounding your joints decreases friction when you move helping joints move easily. The more you move, the more fluid circulates around your joints. Movement also helps nutrients reach your joints and muscles, reduces muscle stiffness and spasms, and makes it easier for your body to remove old, damaged cells from your joints.

Regular exercise keeps your bones strong and strengthens the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support your joints. Although exercising in the gym is an excellent way to increase your activity level, you don’t need to participate in a formal workout program to enjoy the benefits of moving more. Walking, riding your bike, dancing, and gardening will keep your joints limber and strong.

Use Proper Lifting Techniques

According to the National Safety Council, the way you lift boxes and other heavy objects may increase your risk of a back injury, which is the second most common workplace injury. Poor lifting techniques stress the joints and muscles in your back, causing mild to severe pain.

Prevent injuries by following these steps when lifting:

  • Tighten your core to brace and prepare for the movement; maintain this bracing throughout the entire movement.
  • Hinge at your hips and bend your legs to keep your back straight when you lower your body to lift an object.
  • Keep the object close to your body when lifting.
  • Don’t twist your spine while carrying something heavy.
  • Bend your knees and slowly lower the object when you’re ready to put it down.

Even if you follow safe lifting techniques, you can still hurt your back if you lift something too heavy. Pick up a corner of the box or object first if you’re unsure of the weight. If the object feels very heavy, ask for help.

Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

Eating healthy foods lowers your risk of developing serious conditions ranging from heart disease to diabetes and also helps you avoid joint issues. Making smart food choices ensures that your joints receive the nutrients needed to function efficiently and may help you heal faster if you do experience an injury.

Limit the number of processed foods you eat and add whole grains, fresh meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats such as nuts to your diet. Not sure what to buy at the grocery store? Try shopping around the outside aisles of the store because that tends to be where most grocery stores keep the fresh and unprocessed foods.  Also, giving up smoking or heavy drinking will also help you protect your joints. 

See A Chiropractor

Visiting the chiropractor when you first notice pain, muscle spasms, or reduced range of motion can help you feel better faster. At Active Health Chiropractic, Dr. Jones offers many treatments designed to ease pain and mobility, including:

  • Spinal Manipulation (adjustments)
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Cupping
  • Heat Therapies
  • Soft Tissue Manipulation and Mobilization
  • Ultrasound Therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or Electrical Stimulation
  • Functional Movement Assessments

Chiropractic care in conjunction with your healthy lifestyle is a great recipe to keep you healthy and moving. If you are currently experiencing pain that is keeping you from doing the things that you love, scheduling an appointment for an exam can play a vital role in keeping moving. You can schedule an appointment by calling 417-365-3215 or online at https://www.acthealthchiro.com/.

Reference:
Austin R. Jones, DC
Active Health Chiropractic

Are you (like me) almost deaf to the words “childhood obesity”?  We have been hearing this term as an issue for many years now.  Unfortunately, hearing about it from so many sources has not made much of a difference.  Over the last several years, statistically, the problem has increased.  

In fact, over the last 18 months, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the levels of childhood obesity have greatly increased.  This is due to quarantine and increased stress, as well as other reasons.  The Freeman pediatric group noticed an increase in BMI in many of our patients during this time.  Many parents freely admit that they let the kids eat whatever they wanted and whenever they wanted.  Our patients were staying up later and sleeping in, and that drastically changed how much and what they consumed.  We also noted that this continued for children that did not go back to in-person school during the last school year.   

 It has become very clear that obesity is a major risk factor associated with worse COVID-19 health outcomes.  This is because obesity leaves the body in a constant state of inflammation.  Think of inflammation as a slow burning fire in your body, negatively affecting many of your organs.  An infection such as COVID is like a wind that stirs that fire into an inferno.   

As a pediatrician, it is part of my job to alert parents to abnormalities, diseases, or problems that they are likely to encounter with their children and give them sound advice.  However, it is very difficult to talk with families about obesity because there is such a negative and judgmental connotation to the word.  To avoid offense, we find different ways of saying the same thing, such as “your child is carrying a little too much weight.”  Parents will often deny that their child is obese or even think that they will outgrow the weight.  However, without some change in lifestyle-usually in what they consume-they will in fact carry this extra weight into adulthood.   

It is important to get something straight: OBESITY IS A DISEASE AND NOT A DECISIONNo one would choose to be overweight.  Furthermore, once your body has acquired the larger mass, it will do almost anything to hold on to it.  Therefore, it is extremely difficult to make a meaningful intervention.  As one might imagine, the earlier we intervene, the bigger the difference we can make in their future and the easier it is to make this an enduring habit. When we look at the data, we are able to predict these problems before age five.    

  The good news is that as of September 1, 2021, Missouri Medicaid has begun to pay for weight management treatment. Freeman pediatricians in Joplin are embarking on a project to aid a small number of local families with an evidence-based treatment that engages the whole family in behavior change. The bottom line is that this group of vulnerable people need our help as a community.  This includes increased access to nutritious low-calorie foods, free or low-cost enjoyable activities, and nutrition and wellness education.  We have formed a team that includes medical professionals, behavioral coaches, registered dietitians, and resource coordinators to help children with obesity, and their families, with the full range of support they need. Find out more information at https://www.freemanhealth.com/ryse. 

Dr. Paul Petry is Pediatric Medical Director at Freeman Health System in Joplin, Missouri 

Events

The iconic point-to-point road race is back!! Participants can run this USATF Certified 25K race solo (run all 25K) or in teams of three participants (running five miles each).

The race course will be decided the day before the race by gauging the next day’s wind direction. We will run from Sarcoxie to Carthage if the wind is expected to blow from the south or east, from Carthage to Sarcoxie if from the west or the north. Check our Facebook page and your email the evening prior to the race for a final decision.

Sarcoxie High School, 101 S. 17th Street, Sarcoxie, MO 64862
Carthage High School, 2600 S. River, Carthage, MO 64836

There will be medals for all finishers! Awards will be given to top male and female runners, as well as the top finisher in each age group: 19 and under, 20 to 24, 25 to 29, 30 to 34, 35 to 39, 40 to 44, 45 to 49, 50 to 54, 55 to 59, 60 to 64, 65 to 69, and 70+. Awards will also be given to the top relay team.

The award ceremony will take place upon arrival of final participants, inside Sarcoxie or Carthage High School

Shirts and hoodies are guaranteed for those who sign up by February 1. Water stops and snacks will be made available at the two relay points and at the finish line.

Sign up here and check out race info updates on the Joplin Roadrunners Facebook page.