Early Detection Program - Let's Stop Dying (LSD)™
As futurist Ray Kurzweil and our medical director, Terry Grossman, M.D., discuss in their books together, Fantastic Voyage and Transcend, the two main pillars to maintaining optimal health are prevention and early detection of disease. For the past five years, we have been offering The Program for Optimal Wellness (POW) at Grossman Wellness Center. The POW program is designed to prevent our two major killers, cardiovascular disease and cancer, to the greatest extent possible and to promote optimal wellness.
With the introduction of our Let’s Stop Dying (LSD)™ program, we are expanding our services to include detection of heart disease and cancer at the earliest possible stages.* The main reason cardiovascular disease and cancer can damage and even end the lives of so many people is because these conditions tend to progress silently for years before producing any symptoms whatsoever. By the time symptoms typically occur, the results are often catastrophic.
Cardiovascular Disease. It is possible for the coronary arteries, which supply blood the heart, to become blocked as much as 70 – 80 percent or more without producing any symptoms at all. As a result, two out of three people find that they have cardiovascular disease by suffering a heart attack as their first presenting indicator. These individuals receive no prior warning signs: no chest pain with exertion, no abnormal heart rhythms, no dizziness or shortness of breath. Their first indication of cardiovascular disease is that they suffer a heart attack, which half of the time proves fatal!
Cancer. Cancer is highly treatable when detected early – before it has metastasized or spread. Unfortunately, far too many people are not diagnosed at such an early stage, and for some common cancers, such lung cancer, for six out of seven people, the disease has already metastasized by the time of diagnosis. Sadly, the prospects for cure drop dramatically when malignancies are no longer localized.
A New Approach. We now have the tools to detect heart disease and cancer at very early stages, many years before any symptoms appear. Discovering that one has heart disease at its very onset can allow changes to made that lead to nearly complete eradication. In addition, we can use the data from your heart scan to determine whether you are among the 50 percent of people in the United States who are on a statin drug unnecessarily and can safely quit. Although heart scan technology has been available for over two decades, it has only recently begun to gain acceptance among mainstream medical practitioners.
Similarly, 5-year survival rates for very early (Stage 0 or Stage 1) cancers are close to 100 percent, while Stage IV (metastatic) disease is associated with average 5-year survivals of only 1 to 27 percent. With newly available testing, a simple blood draw can reveal the presence of over two dozen of the most common cancers when they are at Stage 0. This blood test can detect cancers as small as 1/32nd inch in diameter, much smaller than the detection limits of conventional screening tests such as MRIs, PET and CT scans, endoscopies, or even needle biopsies.
Our Let’s Stop Dying (LSD) program requires a minimal expenditure of time and is well within the budget of many people. We recommend that initial screening begin for most men at 40 years of age and women at 50. If one has a strong family history of heart disease or cancer or a prior personal history of risky lifestyle behaviors (illicit drug usage, heavy smoking, morbid obesity, etc.), these benchmark ages can to moved 5 to 10 years earlier. The frequency of follow up testing will be established based upon your initial test results.
What Can You Do if Disease is Found? Ideally, your LSD testing will be negative – meaning that there is no evidence of current coronary atherosclerosis or cancer proteins in your bloodstream. Fortunately, this is the case for 50 percent of our patients at their initial screening. Yet the other half of our patients do show the beginnings of cardiovascular disease or cancer. By following our screening guidelines, the overwhelming odds are that you will be diagnosed early enough that either eradication or stabilization of the disease process is possible.