DOCTORS AT A PRINCETON BASED LONGEVITY CENTER EXPLAIN WHY PREVENTIVE MEDICINE IS THE BEST APPROACH AND DETAIL NEW DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS
BY LINDSEY BLAIR • PHOTOS BY ROBERT NUZZIE
The primitive days of waiting for sickness to rear its ugly head are long gone. Individuals are now taking a proactive approach to illness finding and treating potential health concerns rather than embracing the tired tradition of the reactive approach: addressing a disease that has already occurred.
This principle is the foundation for Princeton Longevity Center a medical practice in New Jersey that specializes in preventive medicine using cutting edge testing and examination techniques.
Dr. John Rumberger, the center’s director of cardiac imaging, lives by the motto: “The superior doctor prevents sickness. The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness. The inferior doctor treats actual sickness.”
According to Rumberger, more than 80% of all fatal diseases are preventable, including heart disease and most forms of cancer. He argues that the best time to intervene is during the early stages of sickness before there are clinical manifestations.
“We focus on personalized medicine and comprehensive assessment in terms of not only finding disease before it is evident, but also explaining situations having the time to enter into a ‘teachable moment’ with patients, and providing guidance as to next steps in their healthcare,” explained Rumberger.
Preventive medicine is, in fact, all that Princeton Longevity Center does. With a longstanding reputation, it is staffed by board certified physicians who have pioneered their respective fields for more than 30 years. Publishing hundreds of articles, medical studies, and books related to preventive medicine, they are also editors and reviewers for leading medical journals, lecturers at international medical conferences around the world, and educators of radiologists and cardiologists.
The center offers expertise in areas that span from radiology to exercise physiology, using various techniques and medical technology services, including Cardiac CT Angiography (virtual catheterization), a non invasive way to visualize the inside of coronary arteries. With the latest advances in high resolution scanning, Cardiac CT Angiography can create detailed images of the arteries and other cardiac anatomy in seconds. In addition, the center offers Memory & Cognitive Health screenings that help to differentiate normal aging from signs of memory disorders or dementia, as well as full body CT scans to find the earliest stages of the leading killers: cancer, aneurysms, and vascular and heart disease.
“Our exams can find heart attack risk 15 plus years in advance of a patient having one, or even having an abnormal stress test. With the technology we use, we have also found many cancers at an early stage before metastasizing (spreading to other organs),” said Andrea Lanza, the center’s director for patient and corporate services. “Finding problems like aneurisms and other anatomical abnormalities gives a patient the control to monitor and correct problems before a catastrophic event.”
Dr. David Fein, Princeton’s medical director and CEO, stated that advances in pharmacogenics are also revolutionizing cancer care.
“Instead of relying on chemotherapy that tries to kill cancer cells before poisoning the patient to death, we are now able to identify specific mutations that make an individual tumor cancerous and then identify drugs that specifically target that mutation,” he explained. “The results are targeted therapies that don’t kill normal cells. This not only improves the effectiveness of the treatment, it dramatically reduces its side effects.”
The practice also utilizes advancements like liquid biopsy techniques, which can identify the presence of circulating cancer cells or cancer genes, allowing doctors to identify the presence of abnormalities far earlier than current detection modalities. These techniques can also detect the recurrence of a tumor after treatment at an earlier stage.
“New technologies for manipulating the genetic code may ultimately provide us with the tools to correct genetic mutations that increase disease risk and possibly even reverse cancers,” Fein added.
“The heart of the customer experience is the time and attention we spend with every patient,” said Lanza (each physician can spend up to two hours with a patient throughout of the day, and sees no more than three patients per day). “The advanced preventive medicine technology used to evaluate true state of health is vital, as is the expertise of our physicians, exercise physiologists, and registered dietitians who can turn these results into meaningful and individualized wellness plans for a maximized outcome. We also offer the convenience of all testing, consultations, results, and reporting done in just one easy seven hour day.”
Clients range from all ages and walks of life as young as 16 and as old as 92 with the biggest impact on those aged 33 to 55. Typically, Princeton’s clientele is composed of individuals who are unhappy with the typical 10 minute physical and have had no in depth assurance that their health and health goals are on track.
Upon arriving at a first appointment, clients are assigned a Patient Care Coordinator to walk them through the entire process, from answering early questions to helping select appropriate electives to customizing their program to preparing them for their day at the center.
According to Caryn Sullivan, a breast cancer survivor who was hoping to prevent further disease, a visit to Princeton saved her life.
“Though I was nine years ‘cancer free,’ a scan showed a suspicious lesion, so my doctors ordered extra tests and found my cancer had returned,” she said. “Had I not scheduled this appointment, I might not have this information today.”
So when should you make an appointment to see a preventive medical specialist? Lanza replied with the question: “What are you waiting for?”
“The most common killers often go undetected until it’s too late,” she continued. “Don’t wait until there is a problem.”
Princeton Longevity Center
136 Main Street, Princeton / 888.800.0752