I had mentioned before in previous emails the importance of getting a low dose CAT scan if you have smoked in the past or currently smoke.
This has come back clearly to me recently when a good friend, who stopped smoking 25 years ago, on my advice went ahead and got a scan. Unfortunately it revealed a tumor of part of her lung which is going to be biopsied and will need further treatment. Had she not gotten the scan it would have been detected when she had symptoms which would have resulted in a much poorer diagnosis. Even if you've stopped smoking, get an annual scan. It is probably one of the most important things you'll do for your health.
This is the second patient this week that has this issue. A woman who wanted to stop smoking was required, when she went into a program, to get a scan done and guess what…she had a malignancy as well and is now being treated, hopefully successfully.
Evidence has indicated from institutions performing these scans that the prognosis for patients being diagnosed asymptomatically on a routine scan is far better than those being treated after symptoms develop.
Very few physicians recommend these scans for present or former smokers which is quite alarming. In this case be your own advocate as my patients both were.
On a lighter note, something that I have been using for years and for those of you who use water irrigators. For years I have placed my water irrigator in the sink and let it continuously fill up with water during the water irrigating process. This allows me to continue to irrigate without interrupting to fill the bowl up again. As I mentioned before, I personally use two bowls, one for the top teeth and one for the bottom, and by letting the water run and never having to stop to fill it gives me an incentive to do this on a daily basis with less hassle.
I contacted the company. They indicated that these machines are waterproof and if water ever get into the machinery it would automatically shut down. I've never had that problem and I've been doing it this way for years. Just a way to make life a little easier and encourage you all to use that water irrigator, spending more time and therefore being more effective.
Victor M. Sternberg, D.M.D.
By Westchester Center for Periodontal & Implant Excellence
March 15, 2023