January 2020
In This Issue
Comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program

Is It Too Late To Get a Flu Shot?

Living a Healthy Lifestyle Includes Exercise

Patient Story: Gynecologic Cancer

Featured Video: 21st Century Methods of Detecting Urological Cancers

Leapfrog Award for Patient Safety – Third Time in a Row

Weight Loss Surgery Online Information Session

Cancer Care Support Groups

Need a Primary Care Physician?

Get to Know Our Medical Oncologists
News Brief
Comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program
There are over 200,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., more than prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers combined.
Lung cancer is a very serious disease and often will not exhibit symptoms until the disease has progressed. Recognizing this fact, Milford Regional is offering this screening test for lung cancer to detect the disease early when it is most treatable. Early detection can dramatically affect the outcome of the disease which is why patients are encouraged to speak to their primary care physician about this test. Patients must have a referral from their doctor to access the lung screening CT scan. You do not need to have any symptoms in order to qualify for this test.

Patients at high risk for developing lung cancer include those who meet all of the following criteria:
  • Are 55 to 80 years old
  • Have a smoking history of 30 or more pack-years – (the number of cigarette packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years a person has smoked)
  • Are currently smoking or who have quit within the last 15 years.

Screening smokers and ex-smokers with a low dose computed tomography (CT) scan increases their survival rate by 20%. A CT or CAT scan is an imaging exam that uses X-rays guided by a computer to take cross-sectional images of the body. A CT scan shows much more detailed images than standard X-rays. With a CT scan, the X-ray beam moves in a circle around the body allowing many different views of the same organ in great detail. The X-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the X-ray and shows its form on a screen.  

The lung cancer screening test is covered by Medicare for patients 55 to 77 years old and by many commercial insurance plans for patients 55 to 80 years old. The scan results and the radiologist’s report will be returned to you and your doctor so you can discuss options for follow-up care together.  

Question & Answer
Is It Too Late To Get a Flu Shot?
It may be January, but that does not mean it is too late to get a flu shot! The flu season began in November but can last well into April and even extend into May. The best way for you and your family to avoid catching the flu is to get a flu vaccine. Everyone over 6 months of age should get the shot every year.  

Those that are at highest risk for complications from the flu include children under the age of 5, those over the age of 65, pregnant women, and patients with chronic conditions such as heart disease, COPD, asthma and diabetes. It also includes those with weakened immune systems from disease or medication such as patients with HIV, AIDS and cancer.  

In addition to protecting yourself, by getting the flu shot you are also protecting those around you – your family, young and old, co-workers and friends. You should be able to obtain a flu shot at your primary care doctor’s office, most pharmacies, urgent care clinics and health clinics at colleges and universities. Call your doctor or pharmacy ahead of time to make sure they have a supply of the vaccine.

Beyond getting vaccinated, wash…wash…wash your hands frequently, cover your cough or sneeze and stay home from school or work if you are sick to prevent the spread of flu and viruses. 

Healthy Living Tip
Living a Healthy Lifestyle Includes Exercise
Start the New Year off right by getting on track with an exercise program. Regular physical activity not only helps to manage your weight, it can help prevent serious medical conditions, it can improve your mood and increase the quality of your sleep. 

Whether you start using your smartphone, an apple watch, a pedometer or a FitBit to track your steps, or you decide to join a health club, exercise is an important element of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Did you know that many insurance plans will reimburse you up to $150 per year if you are an active member of a qualified health and fitness club? Check with your health insurance company to see how you qualify for this benefit, and get moving!
Patient Story: Gynecologic Cancer
Following her move to Bellingham, Gigi switched from her Boston-area gynecologist to Dr. Brenda Coutinho, who practices in Milford and in Hopkinton. She had not had a menstrual period in almost a year and felt her previous doctor dismissed her symptom as perimenopausal, a phase of hormonal changes leading up to menopause. 

Not only had Gigi stopped menstruating at an early age, Dr. Coutinho explained to her that she had other risk factors for cancer, including being overweight, never giving birth and having a history of fibroids. “It could have been perimenopause, but she had risk factors for cancer,” Dr. Coutinho points out. “Anything out of the normal should be checked.”
Featured Video
21st Century Methods of Detecting Urological Cancers
Advanced technology to detect urologic cancers is now available at Milford Regional and provides a more precise diagnosis and comfortable experience for the patient. 

Urologist Jeffrey Steinberg has been at the forefront of these new advancements. Watch this video to learn more about blue light cystoscopy for the treatment of bladder cancer, prostate MRI/ultrasound fusion biopsy, and new blood and urine tests, as well as genetic testing to determine the aggressiveness of urologic cancers.
Good Things to Know
Leapfrog Award for Patient Safety – Third Time in a Row
Milford Regional has been awarded an ‘A’ in The Leapfrog Group’s fall 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. This is the third consecutive ‘A’ Milford Regional has received in this national distinction that recognizes the Medical Center’s achievements protecting patients from harm and providing safer health care.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization driven by employers and other purchasers of health care committed to improving health care quality and safety for patients. The Safety Grade assigns an ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ or ‘F’ grade to all general hospitals across the country based on their performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care. 

Weight Loss Surgery Online Information Session
It’s the beginning of a new year and that often means new resolutions or simply a new strategy for meeting a goal. If you or a friend have struggled with a severe weight problem, it might be a good time to investigate weight loss surgery.  Milford Regional’s weight loss surgery program called FreshStart is not just about surgery; it’s about a whole new approach to living your life.  

In 2019, we made the first step easier for you. We have created an online information session so you can watch it from the comfort of your home.  Read more about our FreshStart Program and/or watch our online information session.
Cancer Care Support Groups
We offer several different support groups for those dealing with cancer. There is a group for patients who have breast cancer, another for those with esophageal cancer and a general group for all those dealing with the stresses of a cancer diagnosis. There is also a group specifically for the Caregiver. Cancer is a difficult disease to live with but meeting others dealing with the same feelings can help.  Read more about these support groups.
About Our Doctors
Milford Regional's active medical staff, consisting of over 250 doctors, is highly qualified to treat you and your family through sickness and in health. Whether you need a primary care physician or a specialist, you can be assured of the best possible care.

Need a Primary Care Physician?
If you need a physician, please call our Physician Referral Line at 1-888-DRS-HERE (1-888-377-4373). Our Referral Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For a quick look, see our  list of primary care physicians   who are accepting new patients. It is important to note that not all physicians accept all insurances. Please call the physician's office directly to find out if they accept your insurance plan.
Get to Know our Medical Oncologists
A medical oncologist is a physician who diagnoses and treats patients with cancer. Milford Regional is fortunate to have a strong collaboration with Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center which offers the most innovative and advanced cancer care available in our community setting. Your medical oncologist works with a team of professionals to evaluate each patient’s case to determine the best possible treatment plan. They oversee your care, answer your questions and provide support for you and your family. Patients are able to access world-class cancer care right here in Milford – close to family and friends.  Learn more about our medical oncologists.
About MRMC       Medical Services       Find a Doctor       Careers       News       Contact Us
TTY/TDD: 508-473-5103