Cancer screenings focus of September Chamber luncheon

Sep. 29—CORBIN — With Baptist Health Corbin sponsoring the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce's September luncheon, it was the perfect opportunity to introduce one of their newest physicians.

Dr. Parul Chaudhuri, who joined the Baptist Health family on September 1, specializes in hematology and oncology. As featured speaker, she emphasized the importance of cancer screenings.

The doctor noted that the first step in making an appointment can often be the most challenging but the importance of a CT scan or mammogram cannot be stressed enough.

There are nearly 250,000 new cases of lung cancer each year but with annual low-dose CT scans, the mortality rate is dropping.

"Studies have actually shown that there's a 20% reduction in mortality with the yearly CT scan," she said.

Those who may want to consider getting a CT scan due to high risk of lung cancer include people 50 and older who have smoked for at least 20 years, quit within the last 15 years or currently still smoke.

Lung cancer is second to breast cancer when it comes to the number of new cases diagnosed annually. However, as with lung cancer, the mortality rate for breast cancer is also declining with the advent of better therapies as well as earlier detection through mammography.

Annual mammograms are recommended for women over age 40.

"I'm so proud and grateful for the prevention strategies that we have at Baptist Health, especially when it comes to lung and breast cancers," Dr. Chaudhuri continued.

With October recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month followed by Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, the oncologist challenged those in the audience to talk to their loved ones about cancer screenings or consider making an appointment for themselves.

"What better time to have these conversations," she said.

Dr. Chaudhuri hails from Houston, earning her undergraduate degrees at Baptist University before completing her internal medicine residency at Case Western in Cleveland as well as an oncology/hematology fellowship at Michigan State University.

Next month's chamber luncheon is scheduled for October 11 in Williamsburg.