Medical fact No. 1: According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity is “the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.” An estimated 300,000 deaths per year are linked to the obesity epidemic.
Medical fact No. 2: Breastcancer.org says “in 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 48,530 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. About 42,170 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2020 from breast cancer.”
Medical fact No. 3: For most people, those two statistics may be jarring but they don’t seem to be necessarily related. The two are linked, however, in the person and practice of Dr. Jason Radecke of Riverside Surgical and Weight Loss Center.
Aside from having what he calls “thousands” of breast and breast cancer surgeries on his surgical resume, Radecke has a personal relationship with breast cancer.
It runs in his family – in the male members of his family. As the National Breast Cancer Foundation says, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can lead to breast cancer in both women and men.
Radecke pauses briefly and explains. “My twin brother [had it], my father [had it], my uncle, who unfortunately just passed away a year ago last week. He passed away with breast cancer, stage four, and he had stage four for 12 years. He fought like a champ.”
His brother and cousin underwent bilateral mastectomies or the surgical removal of both breasts.
Maybe that’s why he’s planning a video tribute for breast cancer awareness month that we’ll get to shortly.
In the meantime, Radecke and his partner, Dr. Patrick Domkowski, were among the very first surgeons in this part of the state to embrace bariatric procedures as an actual cure for obesity and, in many cases, for diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea as well.
Effortlessly, Radecke fires off some impressive facts and figures for bariatric procedures.
“A sleeve gastrectomy,” he says, “is really great at losing about 60 to 70 percent of your excess weight; 70 to 75 percent of diabetics are cured of their diabetes, [and it helps] about 70 percent of hypertensives [those with abnormally high blood pressure] lower those numbers, on and on and on.
“A gastric bypass patient,” Radecke continues, “will lose up to about 80 percent of their excess weight and about 85 percent of diabetics will never be a diabetic again.”
Radecke then adds that 90 percent see their cholesterol levels plummet to healthy levels and as many as 90 percent see their sleep apnea issues fully resolved.
Which procedure is right for you?
That’s not an easy question. In addition to the options mentioned above there are Roux-en-Y gastric bypasses, sleeve gastrectomies, duodenal jejunal bypasses with sleeve gastrectomies, duodenal switches and more from which to choose.
When asked if he has a favorite procedure, Radecke pauses briefly and says “I’ve always felt like you shouldn’t fit the surgery to the patient. Right? You fit the patient to the surgery.”
In other words, he helps individual patients choose the procedure that will accomplish what that patient wants, not which procedure he likes to perform.
Radecke has even taken to social media to inform people about their bariatric surgery options.
If you do a Facebook search for “Dr. Rad MD” you will find and can view his ‘Doc Talk’ videos. Free.
Doc Talk was inspired by one of his patients who had a sleeve gastrectomy and went on to lose so much excess weight he’s now an Ironman runner, a marathoner and a pilot. That patient called Radecke at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic saying, “You’ve got to do something for people who are now stuck at home.”
“The idea was [to create] free access to educational information for people,” says Radecke, “since their normal lives had been disrupted and people weren’t going out on Friday nights.”
Making the videos, says Radecke, “has actually been fun. And therapeutic for me, too.” And that is as good a segue as any to that tribute Radecke is making for breast cancer awareness month.
He’s getting his head shaved and the video will be on his ‘Dr. Rad MD Doc Talk’ on Facebook.
It’s his online tribute to those who lose their hair during breast cancer treatment.
Dr. Jason Radecke is a general and bariatric surgeon with Riverside Surgical and Weight Loss Center. The office is at 14430 U.S. 1 in Sebastian, Florida. The phone number is 772-581-8003.