An Ounce of by elh30365


									An Ounce of …

H             ELLO, EVERYONE . I HOPE that
             2007 has been good to you
             and that 2008 will be even
better. It is with that thought in mind
that I would like to “talk” to you for a few
                                                                                                           “Discuss ‘prevention’ with pilots.
                                                                                                          Just a couple of minutes have the
                                                                                                           potential to completely change a
                                                                                                           person’s life and, quite possibly,
minutes about some things you should                                                                        affect aviation safety as well.”
consider doing for your airmen.
   September was National Prostate
Cancer Awareness Month, October                                                                         their primary care provider and their
was National Breast Cancer Awareness                                                                    aviation medical examiner.
Month, November is National Lung                                                                           A third group of individuals do not see
Cancer Awareness Month, and there are                                                                   a doctor on a regular basis except for their
                                                                          By Fred Tilton, MD
other months throughout the year that                                                                   required FAA examination, and they do
are associated with other life-threatening                                                              not expect their AME to do anything
conditions.                                               certainly helped to raise everyone’s          more than the minimum required to
   It is wonderful that our society has                   awareness. But, unfortunately, the dis-       secure their medical certificate.
stepped up the heat in preventing,                        eases do not confine themselves to their         I worry about the airmen in this third
detecting, and curing these diseases,                     assigned month, and they are all capable      category because they are the ones who
and these month-long campaigns have                       of “striking” at any time.                    are most likely to be walking around
                                                             While the diseases themselves are          with an undiagnosed illness.
                                                          more than enough for anyone to have to           Besides the individual problems
         Federal Air Surgeon’s                            cope with, our airmen have to deal with       an airman would suffer associated
           Medical Bulletin                               another issue: their flying status. Some      with such an illness, the safety of the
         Library of Congress ISSN 1545-1518
                                                          of them love flying so much that they         national airspace, and the safety of the
Secretary of Transportation                               ignore or deny symptoms because they          airman and his or her passengers could
Mary E. Peters
                                                          are afraid that reporting these problems      be directly affected if a particular ill-
FAA Administrator                                         could lead to their being grounded.           ness or condition were to result in an
Robert A. Sturgell (Acting)
                                                             This reluctance could have serious         aircraft mishap.
Federal Air Surgeon                                       health consequences. For example, if             Regardless of which category your
Fred Tilton, MD
                                                          prostate cancer is discovered early, it can   airmen fall into, please take some time
Editor                                                    be treated, and an airman can be back         to discus prevention with them. Just a
Michael E. Wayda
                                                          to flying in as little as six weeks.          couple of minutes have the potential to
The Federal Air Surgeon’s Medical Bulletin is
                                                             Other cancers can also be treated,         completely change a person’s life and,
published quarterly for aviation medical examin-
ers and others interested in aviation safety and          and while it may take longer than six         quite possibly, affect aviation safety
aviation medicine. The Bulletin is prepared by            weeks to get back to flying, the ultimate     as well.
the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, with         outcome can still be a cure and return           Think about the wonderful service
policy guidance and support from the Office of
Aerospace Medicine. An Internet on-line version of
                                                          to flying. However, if a cancer is not        you will be providing, and think how
the Bulletin is available at:        discovered and treated early, and if it is    good you will feel when an airman tells
reports/medical/fasmb/                                    allowed to grow and spread, the treat-        you that, based on your discussion, he
Authors may submit articles and photos for publica-       ment will have to be much more radical        or she took the extra steps that led to
tion in the Bulletin directly to:                         — and the results are much more likely        an early detection and cure!
Editor, FASMB                                             to be disastrous.                                I wish you all a very safe and happy
FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute                        Many airmen regularly see a pri-           holiday season, and I look forward to
P.O. Box 25082                                            mary care physician, and they come            reaping the “pounds” in 2008.
Oklahoma City, OK 73125                                   to you only for their Federal Avia-
e-mail:                                                                                                             — Fred
                                                          tion Administration (FAA) flight
                                                          physical. In other cases, you are both

2 T h e F e d e r a l A i r Su r g e o n ' s M e d i c a l B u l l e t i n • Vol. 45, No. 4 •

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