Get the Facts About Oral Cancer; Attend Free Screening Events in April and Stop It in Its Tracks

Oral cancer often goes undetected until its later stages, making treatment more difficult. Getting screened regularly through your dentist or through Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) free annual screening event may help detect oral cancer in its earliest form, when treatment is most effective.

“With any cancer, the earlier we find it, the easier it is to cure,” says Michele Pisano-Marsh, DMD, with Lehigh Valley Health Network’s dental clinic. “Men are more than twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer, but the growing incidence in young people is quite alarming.”

Oral cancer often starts as a red or white patch in the mouth, or as a sore throat. When those symptoms persist or the area grows in size, it’s time to see a medical professional. Some people will experience hoarseness and other vocal changes that get worse over time, or a lump in the chin or neck. Any of these symptoms, as well as a sore on the lip or mouth that’s not healing, may be cause for concern. Read More »

Mammogram Animation Shows You What to Expect

mammogram animationPerhaps you already know it’s easy to get a mammogram – you don’t even need an appointment at four of Lehigh Valley Health Network’s locations. But if it’s your first time getting this breast cancer screening, it’s normal to feel anxiety.

Knowing what to expect can put your mind at ease. That’s why we’ve added an animation to our breast cancer diagnosis page that shows and describes how a mammogram works.

Watch it before your visit so you’re prepared. Also on the diagnosis page is an animation that describes a breast biopsy. A biopsy could be the next step if your mammogram detects an abnormality.

See all of your options for where and when to get a mammogram in our testing and imaging directory.



FibroScan Offers New, ‘No-Needle’ Option for Liver Disease Testing at LVHN

FibroscanAt least 30 million Americans – or about 1 out of 10 – have some form of liver disease, according to the American Liver Foundation. With a rising obesity rate in the United States, the incidence of liver disease is expected to increase accordingly.

Now there’s good news. Clinicians see a new painless and noninvasive examination as a breakthrough in treating patients with liver disease, primarily one of the most common – viral hepatitis.

FibroScan, available at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), uses a technology called vibration-controlled transient elastography. It works much like an ultrasound in that it uses sound waves to measure the degree of scarring (fibrosis) that’s present in the liver as a result of an underlying disease. This scarring replaces living liver tissue, and enough scarring can lead to cirrhosis, cancer or liver failure.

“Until now, the gold standard in terms of testing was to perform a core needle biopsy of the liver, typically with ultrasound or CT scan guidance,” says LVHN internist Joseph Yozviak, DO, with LVHN’s Hepatitis Care Center. “There’s a risk for complications with this procedure such as significant bleeding, puncture of adjacent organs and mainly pain and discomfort. Actually, the fear of liver biopsy often prevents some patients from having their liver disease assessed.” Read More »

Free At-Home Colon-Rectal Cancer Screening Kits Available at Hazleton Locations

Colon-Rectal Cancer Screening KitColon-rectal cancer is a leading cancer diagnosis in northeastern Pennsylvania, but it is highly curable if identified early.

You can use an easy medical test in the privacy of your own home to check for signs of colon-rectal cancer. Throughout March, which is National Colon-Rectal Cancer Awareness Month, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton is offering these hemoccult cancer screen kits for free.

The test is used to detect the presence of blood in stool.  Read More »

Many Faces of Breast Cancer: Staying Active Helps Margaret Boyle, 88, Keep Cancer Away

Margaret BoyleWhen Margaret Boyle was diagnosed with breast cancer at 88 years old, she didn’t panic. She kept her positive attitude and trusted in her doctors and the new technology and medicine available today.

She also stayed active. Even in her late 80s, you might see her with her binder of exercises at LVHN Fitness in the Health & Wellness Center at Muhlenberg.

“Not everyone my age appreciates that you can have cancer and still live,” she says. “I would say enjoy the day you have, even with cancer. With the treatment you can get today, there could be many more days ahead.”

She credits preventive medicine – getting her annual mammogram – and exercising regularly for helping her stay healthy and recover quickly.

“I was happy with how it all turned out. I have to look in the mirror to see where the surgery was done – it’s just a little line that I hardly notice.”

She shares her story in this eighth and final installment of the weekly winter 2015 series of Many Faces of Breast Cancer. Read 14 first-hand accounts from survivors of breast cancers.