Cancer Education & Prevention at Southeast Georgia Health System
When it comes to cancer, knowledge is power. Education is critical to the
prevention and early detection of many forms of cancer. And when it comes
to cancer treatment, informed patients and families find it much easier
to make important treatment decisions and support each other through a
At our Cancer Care Centers, we strive to make as many educational resources
as possible available to our patients. If you ever need help finding more
information about your type of cancer, please be sure to talk to your
nurses and physicians. We're all here to help.
Dick Mitchell Health Information Center
The Dick Mitchell Health Information Center, located in the Outpatient
Care Center on the Brunswick Campus, allows patients and their families
to access a number of important research tools so they can learn more
about their disease and its treatment.
The Center's team members and volunteers are knowledgeable about health
information research. They can help you locate printed materials, as well
as access databases and online information from the Center's computers.
The Center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Magnolia Resource Center
Conveniently located in the Breast Care Center (on the second floor of
the Outpatient Care Center on the Brunswick Campus), the Magnolia Resource
Center is designed to offer women a wealth of breast health information
in a comfortable, lounge-like setting.
The Center provides educational books and brochures concerning all aspects
of breast health for all ages of women. You'll also find biography
cards for a number of our physicians at our Breast Care Center, as well
as pamphlets from the American Cancer Society and contact information
for their local office. Whether you're stopping by after a regularly-scheduled
mammogram or making a special trip, we welcome the opportunity to help
you find all the information you need.
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based health organization
that is dedicated to the advancement of cancer research, education and
support at every level. Their stated goal is to prevent cancer, save lives
and diminish suffering from cancer.
The ACS website is one of the most comprehensive online cancer research
tools available, and contains a wealth of information about cancer types,
stages, treatment and support resources. You can access it at
Cancer Prevention and Screening
Southeast Georgia Health System in coordination with the Cancer Care Center
is dedicated to cancer prevention and early detection, since they offer
the best hope for a positive outcome. There are a number of simple screening
examinations that can help catch common forms of cancer in their earliest
stages, when treatment is easier and more effective. We offer all of the
screening exams discussed below, as well as many others your physician
Colon Cancer Screenings
The American Cancer Society recommends that average-risk men and women
over the age of 50 should include colon and rectal cancer screenings at
regular intervals as part of their preventive health care program. Average-risk
individuals are those who do not have any family history of colon or rectal
cancer or have any other risk factors.
Some of the screening exams recommended include a fecal occult blood test
(FOBT) every year, and a colonoscopy every 10 years. Talk to your physician
about your health history and which exams are appropriate for you.
Prostate Cancer Screenings
Average-risk men over the age of 50 should talk to their physicians or
health care providers about screening for prostate cancer. The typical
screening exam is a blood test that looks for high concentrations of the
prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which can be an indicator of cancer.
Testing may also include a yearly digital rectal exam (DRE).
If you have a family history of prostate cancer or have a close relative
who was diagnosed with the disease before he was 65, it's important
to talk to your physician earlier, starting around age 40. If you do not
have a primary-care physician, you can contact our Center to talk to a
physician about screening.
The Breast Care Center is specifically dedicated to the prevention, early
detection and treatment of breast cancer. The Center offers state-of-the-art
digital mammography, as well as a number of other enhanced technologies
designed to maximize early detection and successful treatment. For more
information, please see our section on diagnostic capabilities.
While the American Cancer Society recommends women begin screenings at
age 45, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist and the
American College of Radiology asks women to begin screenings at 40. These
differing views are confusing for both doctors and patients.
It is important to remember recommendations are just that — they
are recommendations. Use them to discuss with your physician to help you
make informed decisions. Every individual is different and can have individual
factors that should be discussed prior to making a decision about screenings.
Susan G. Koman suggests patients: know your risks, get screened, know what
is normal for you, and always make healthy lifestyle choices.
At the Breast Care Center, you can rest assured that all screening exams
are performed by skilled, experienced, registered technologists and interpreted
by highly-trained physicians. You'll also find the Breast Care Resource
Center, where you can find answers to many of your questions about breast health.
To schedule an appointment, ask your primary care physician for a referral,
or contact the Breast Care Center directly at 912-466-5234.
Wellness on Wheels
Wellness on Wheels (WOW) is a
mobile health vehicle that brings patient education, preventive health care and screening services
to residents of Southeast Georgia who live in outlying or rural areas,
in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.
The WOW regularly travels to health departments in Southeast Georgia's
rural areas, providing important cancer information and screening exams
to men and women, regardless of their ability to pay. Mammograms can be
performed for any woman with a physician's order, and prostate screenings
are available for men. The WOW also provides blood pressure screening,
basic lab testing, EKGs and pulmonary function tests.
For more information about the WOW program and when the WOW mobile will
be at a location near you or if you would like to schedule the WOW to
come to your organization, please contact the Health Promotion and Wellness
department at the Health System at 912-466-5160.
Learn more about the Mobile Health Vehicle.
Cancer facts and figures
According to a recent study by the National Cancer Institute, the rates
of new cancer diagnoses in the U.S., as well as cancer-related deaths,
have been steadily falling. Thanks to advances in early detection and
treatment strategies, patients are experiencing better outcomes every day.
But there's still a lot of work to be done. The American Cancer Society
predicts that 50 percent of all men, and 30 percent of all women will
be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lives. Many of these
cancer cases could be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices, like quitting
smoking, proper nutrition and exercise.
Below is some brief information about several common forms of cancer. For
more information, and for information about different types of cancer,
please visit the American Cancer Society website at
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer
in women. Nearly 232,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected
to occur among women in the U.S. during 2015.
After continuously increasing for more than two decades, female breast
cancer incidence rates decreased by 2.2 percent per year from 1999 to
2005. From 2004 to 2012, the overall breast cancer incidence rates remain
stable. The five-year relative survival rate for female breast cancer
patients has improved from 63 percent in the early 1960s to 89 percent
today-meaning more hope for thousands of women.
Aside from being female, the most important risk factor for breast cancer
is age. Risk is also increased by a woman's genetic makeup and a personal
or family history of breast cancer. For more information about breast
cancer, please contact the Magnolia Resource Center in our Breast Cancer
Center at 912-466-5234.
Colon and Rectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women.
Fortunately, incidence rates have been decreasing during the past two
decades, due in large part to advances in screening and early detection.
Routine screening for men and women over the age of 50 is critical, because
early stage colorectal cancer does not usually have symptoms.
Age is the most important risk factor for colon and rectal cancer-a full
91 percent of cases are diagnosed in individuals aged 50 and older. When
detected at an early, localized stage, the five-year survival rate is
very high. Our Cancer Center is dedicated to increasing awareness about
the importance of regular screening.
Lung and Bronchus Cancer
Lung cancer is very common, and accounts for the most cancer deaths in
both men and women. Cigarette smoking is by far the most important risk
factor for lung cancer. Low-dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) was recently
approved to screen individuals that are 55 to 74 years of age who have
had at least a 30-pack per year smoking history and currently smoke or
have quit in the past 15 years. Approximately 8.6 million former and current
smokers are eligible for lung cancer screening, and an estimated 12,250
lung cancer deaths could be averted annually if they were screened. Other
risk factors include occupational or environmental exposure to second-hand
smoke, radon, asbestos, some metals (chromium, cadmium, arsenic), some
organic chemicals, radiation and air pollution and a history of tuberculosis.
The one-year relative survival rate for lung cancer increased from 35
percent in 1975-1979 to 41 percent in 2001-2004, largely due to improvements
in surgical techniques and combined therapies. However, the five-year
survival rate for all stages combined is only 18 percent.
If you need help quitting smoking, please contact the American Cancer
Society at 912-265-7117 for a referral to a qualified local cessation program.
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men, and the
second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. For reasons that remain
unclear, incidence rates in African Americans are significantly higher
than in whites.
As with many other forms of cancer, age is the most important risk factor.
Men who had close family members with prostate cancer are also at higher
risk. Early prostate cancer usually has no symptoms, which is why screening
exams are important. With more advanced disease, individuals may experience
weak or interrupted urine flow, inability to urinate, or difficulty starting
or stopping the urine flow.
For more information, please see our section about prostate cancer screening.
If you're due for a screening exam, please contact your primary care
physician for a referral, or call our Cancer Care Center directly.
Skin cancers are extremely prevalent. The good news, though, is that most
forms of skin cancer are highly curable. Treatment always includes removal
of the cancerous skin lesions.
The most common and serious form of skin cancer is melanoma, and incidence
rates have been increasing for at least 30 years. Important warning signs
of melanoma include changes in size, shape or color of a mole or skin
lesion, or the appearance of a new growth on the skin.
Risk factors vary for different types of skin cancer. For melanoma, major
risk factors include a personal or family history of melanoma and the
presence of atypical or numerous moles (greater than 50).
Other risk factors for all types of skin cancer include sun sensitivity
(sun burning easily, difficulty tanning, natural blond or red hair color)
and a history of excessive sun exposure, including sunburns and use of
Most forms of skin cancer can be prevented by protecting your skin from
intense sun exposure with a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor
of 30 or higher. Make sunscreen a routine, especially during the summer
in the sunny Golden Isles.
7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer
Healthy Partners, Summer 2016
Don't get burned! Safeguard your skin. Read our featured article in
the Summer 2016 issue of Healthy Partners!
Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer - Healthy Partners, Summer 2016