August 2014


Active ImageStudy: Garlic Won't Lower Cholesterol

Study Finds Garlic Has No Effect on Cholesterol in People Whose Levels Are Already Elevated

Garlic doesn't do much for the breath and it stinks for lowering cholesterol. That's the conclusion of the most rigorous, head-to-head study of raw garlic and popular garlic supplements, despite promoters' claims to the contrary.

Whether it was eaten raw in heart-healthy sandwiches, or in pills made of powdered or aged garlic, the strong-smelling herb had no effect on cholesterol in people whose levels were already elevated, the government-funded study found.

"If garlic was going to have a chance to work, it would have worked in this study," said researcher Christopher Gardner. But it didn't.

Garlic is a longtime folk remedy for a variety of ills, including heart disease, cancer, infections and even mosquito bites. Scientific research on its purported benefits has had conflicting results. Some previous studies suggested garlic might help lower risks for digestive and prostate cancers, or might reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels; others found no benefit.

Health benefits have been thought to come from a sulfur-containing substance called allicin that is released when raw garlic is chopped or crushed. In lab tests, it can be applied directly to cells and has been shown to prevent cholesterol production.

But any direct benefits to the body from allicin may be diluted when garlic is eaten, said Gardner, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University.

Still, Gardner, a garlic lover, was optimistic when he and colleagues began their study. He called the results disappointing but said it's still possible garlic might improve cholesterol when eaten in bigger doses or by people with more severe cholesterol problems. Also, garlic could have characteristics other than influencing cholesterol that might benefit the heart, he said.

The study appears in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.

To read the full article Study: Garlic Won't Lower Cholesterol, click here.

To learn more about cholesterol, click here.

Active ImageNew Scans May Speed Chest Pain Diagnosis

Millions of people with chest pain enter emergency room limbo, spending up to 24 hours waiting for tests to tell if a heart attack really is brewing or if it's something less dire. A computerized heart scan may start easing the wait, giving doctors a faster picture of clogged arteries to help determine who can go home _ within just four hours _ and who needs more care. If these souped-up CT scans pan out _ and major studies of several thousand chest-pain sufferers are to begin soon _ they may do more than send the worried well home faster.

"To be able to show the patient what's going on in their arteries is very powerful," says Dr. James Goldstein of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.

He's finding that the 3-D pictures of gunk-filled arteries can motivate patients to change their heart-risky behaviors better than lecturing them about high blood pressure or cholesterol.

On the other side, when arteries look clean, "you can say the chance that this patient would have any cardiac event in the next five years will be very, very low," adds Dr. Udo Hoffmann of Massachusetts General Hospital. "If they come back a week later with chest pain, you know it's not the heart."

Sudden chest pain sends about 6 million people to U.S. emergency rooms every year. It's the most common symptom of a heart attack, but a maddening symptom, too _ because half the time it signals something other than heart disease, and telling the difference can be tough.

To read the full article New Scans May Speed Chest Pain Diagnosis, click here.

 

HEALTHBEAT: Souped-up heart CT scans may help speed diagnosis of chest pain

Sample ImageDo Painkillers Present a Heart Risk for Men?

New Study Suggests High Blood Pressure Threat With Painkillers, but Benefits Still Likely Outweigh Risks


Researchers raised the possibility Monday that common painkillers containing aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen could increase men's risk of high blood pressure.

However, the significance of the findings, as well as their likely impact on physicians' practice, is still up for debate.

The study, published in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at 16,000 male subjects. Of these men, those who took drugs such as aspirin, Tylenol and Advil for most days in a week were one-quarter to one-third more likely to be diagnosed as having high blood pressure than men who did not.

The study freshens concerns over a possible link between painkillers and high blood pressure, as a previous study in 2002 has suggested the same association in women taking these medications.

Dr. John Forman of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who led the study, said in a statement that painkillers represent "a potentially preventable cause of high blood pressure."

Risk May Not Be Great

However, not all doctors agree that the findings warrant a change in physicians' practice.

"We've known for 25 years that NSAIDs [a class of painkillers] raise blood pressure, and a recent study showed the same for acetaminophen," says Dr. Steve Nissen, president of the American College of Cardiology.

One of the country's top arthritis experts agrees. "The results are not surprising," says Dr. Marc Hochberg, head of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the University of Maryland. He says a rise in blood pressure could possibly come from the fluid retention associated with use of the drugs.

Dr. Patrick McBride, associate director of the Preventive Cardiology Program at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, says that if the findings are true, the study shows only a "small difference" in the risk of high blood pressure between those taking painkillers and those who do not.

And Dr. Nortin Hadler, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, calls the study "Much ado about the minuscule.

"The absolute risk is trivial and probably can't be measured reliably," he says.

To read the full story Do Painkillers Present a Heart Risk for Men? click here.

New Study Suggests High Blood Pressure Threat With Painkillers, but Benefits Still Likely Outweigh Risks

I am  worry'I Am Worry'

Some People's Lives Are Ruled by Worry and Anxiety

By JOHN STOSSEL and GAIL DEUTSCH Published by ABC News.

Most people who meet college student Sarah Fortino would describe her as beautiful, smart and articulate.

How would she describe herself? "I am worry. Worry is my life," she said.

Fortino is a constant worrier, and two of her biggest fears are flying and big cities. She confronted both of those fears when she came to New York City, with the help of Dr. Robert Leahy, the author of "The Worry Cure" and the director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy.

Leahy agreed to meet her plane at LaGuardia airport, where she was still shaking from a bumpy ride.

"I started to feel nauseous," Fortino said. "For a moment, I [felt] like, this must have been what it felt like to be on the flight that went into the Trade Center. I actually made myself feel like what it would have felt like, and I started to panic a little bit."

To read the full article 'I am worry', click here.

To learn more about stress and stress-related disorders, click here.

Medicalizing People -- and Mongering DiseasesMedicalizing People -- and Mongering Diseases

How Modern Society Defines What It Means to be Well

OPINION by NORTIN HADLER, M.D. Published ABC News.

The title of my monograph, "The Last Well Person" was borrowed (with his enthusiastic encouragement) from Clifton Meador.

In 1994, Meador published an essay in the New England Journal of Medicine in which he described a 53-year-old academic whose symptoms defy diagnosis despite extensive medical investigation. No other person in this brilliant parody is said to have escaped diagnosis.

Today, it's no longer a parody.

We are a country of obese, hypercholesterolemic, hypertensive, diabetic, osteopenic, depressed, pitiful creatures perched on the edge of a cliff staring at condors: cancer, heart attacks, strokes, dementia, fractures, and worse. We fear for our future. We teach our children that they, too, must live in fear for their future.

We mobilize all our courage when faced with creakiness, achiness, heartburn and heartache, headache and bellyache, constipation or diarrhea, impotence, sleeplessness, and even restless legs. No infant can simply be fussy and no child can simply be fidgety, obstreperous, or below average in performance. We are told that all these are symptoms of disease, or harbingers. We are a vigilant society.

We are also a modern people blessed by remedies. For us, mortality is an abstraction, a formless beast that we can bring to heel by the determined application of the latest and most convincing scientific insights.

To read the full article Medicalizing People -- and Mongering Diseases, click here.

Editors Note:

Every once in a while someone in medicine comes along who actually makes sense. In a culture where fear of illness has become a mantra of the medical profession, the media and even the public, it is hard to make sense of what are the signs and symptoms of a real illness. While as the physician we must take seriously every symptom or "difference" an individual senses in his or her body, behavior or ability to function, we must also remember that not every symptom means illness, disease, death, cancer, impairment, pain or suffering, Unfortunately, too often, our patients, you the general public, are unclear about these differences. This therefore often leads to fear, pain and suffering.

Dr. Hadler is right when he says "we wait, breath bated, for the next pronouncement of the biomedical establishment." The medical establishment has been given power by many people to decide whether we are sick or well. I ask the question, "Do doctors (those in the current standard Western medical system) even really know what sickness or wellness is?" From my vantage point I truly believe that they do not. They may know if illness exists or does not exist, but I find few physicians who understand what wellness is and even fewer who understand why people get sick or how to prevent them from getting sick in the first place.

Wellness is not just the absence of disease and sickness is not always caused by a disease. Many of the symptoms Dr. Hadler described are what can be called "Stress-Related" and the medical conditions they cause when this stress is not relieved are then Stress-Related Disorders." Dr. Hadler does not bring this up and in my experience while this represents 70% to 80% of all problems seen in medical practice, few physicians even admit, know or understand what a stress-related disorder is.

Dr. Hadler states that "The best we can expect is to arrive at our 85th birthday feeling reasonably well, even healthful, regardless of our burden of disease." We can agree with this only because medicine is not about prevention but treatment. Hence if we save lives by treating conditions that might well have killed us we thank the medical profession for their help. Yet, if medicine was dedicated as strongly to preventing illness as treating it once it had already occurred, we might well be able to change Dr. Hadler

Active ImageHow Sick Is Too Sick for School?

Decoding Symptoms Can Be Tricky for Parents

It's a familiar scene for every parent of a child in elementary school.

The lethargic, shuffling steps into the kitchen. Coughs and complaints of a sore throat and the hint of a feverish forehead.

Deciding whether or not to send your kid to school can sometimes be a tough call. After all, it's not always easy to distinguish simple theatrics from true illness.

Worse, a diagnosis and decision must often be made in the few spare moments after breakfast

Active ImagePanel: Military Health System Needs Help

Many Iraq war soldiers, veterans and their families are not getting needed psychological help because a stressed military's mental health system is overwhelmed and understaffed, a task force of psychologists found.

The panel's 67-page report calls for the immediate strengthening of the military mental health system. It cites a 40 percent vacancy rate in active duty psychologists in the Army and Navy, resources diverted from family counselors and a weak transition for veterans leaving the military.

The findings were released Sunday by the American Psychological Association.

More than three out of 10 soldiers met the criteria for a "mental disorder," but far less than half of those in need sought help, the report found. Sometimes that's because of the stigma of having mental health problems, other times the help simply wasn't available, according to the task force. And there are special difficulties in getting help to National Guard and Reserve troops, who have been used heavily in Iraq, the report said.

The special task force found no evidence of a "well-coordinated or well-disseminated approach to providing behavioral health care to service members and their families."

To read the full article Military Health System Needs Help, click here.

Psychology association says military mental health system stressed out, needs help

Active ImageNine secrets to a healthier heart

Heart problems? Me?

If that's your reaction when you hear all of the healthy-heart messages during American Heart Month in February, here's a wake-up call: Fact is, heart disease kills far more women each year than cancer does.

It's also true that preventing heart problems is getting easier. Health gathered the latest tricks -- all backed by solid research -- to take care of your heart.

To read the full article Nine secrets to a healthier heart, click here.

To learn more about heart disease, its diagnosis and how it can affect you, click here.

Active ImageHormone patches, gels safer for menopause?

French study finds fewer dangerous blood clots than with pills

For women who have struggled with the symptoms of menopause but are fearful of taking risky hormone pills, there is at last a bit of hope.

Hormone skin patches and gels, it seems, are far less likely than pills to cause dangerous blood clots. At least that was the finding from a recently published French study.

Patches and gels are already known to be effective for relieving the hot flashes and sleep-interrupting night sweats that plague many women. No one knows whether they will prove safer than pills in terms of breast cancer, heart attack or stroke risk. A large study currently under way may answer that.

But if they do, it may soften some of the backlash against hormones since a landmark study in 2002 frightened many women away from their use. Critics of that study have long contended that it is the type of estrogen or progestin, the dosage, and the method of taking the hormones that may affect the health risks.

The French study, while not the final word, is the strongest proof yet that this may be true, said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women

Ask the Doctor - Children's Health Issues


Question - Fever Vomiting in Five Year old

Dear Dr. Lawrence:

I am wondering if I should be pushing the subject of a complete physical examination of my five year old daughter. She started kindergarten this year, and has spent the majority of the school year thus far sick at home either vomiting, fevered, or both. She has made no comments of sore tonsils, appendix, or ears, and these episodes have occurred every other week since the beginning of October. She has lost weight, and is not as lively as she used to be. She has dark circles under her eyes, but the pediatrician doesn't seem to be concerned. I know my little girl, and I have noticed a dramatic change for the worse in her. 
            
I don't know what to do.
 C.M.

Answer

Hello C.M.

If you are concerned make this known to the pediatrician, ask him or her to reevaluate your child given the total picture rather then simply treating her when she is acutely ill. 
            
I have always trusted my patients and the mother's of children, if they think something is wrong....I take this seriously. This does not always mean that there is something wrong, but it has always deserved my attention.
            If you do not get satisfaction from this pediatrician, than find another one, one who is good. If you do not know another good pediatrician, then call the pediatrics ward at the nearest large hospital, or go over to them and ask the nurses who is the very best doctor...You can also call your local medical society for a referral or if you have friends with children ask them who they trust.
            Do not stop until you are sure that you have the answers you need to satisfy you. You are the only protector your child has and if you feel something is wrong, and if you normally trust your instincts, than act on that and push it until you are satisfied. You would hate yourself in the end if you were right and something was wrong and you did not act.

I hope this helps.
Allen Lawrence, M.D.



Question - Lump on Child's Shoulder

Dear Dr. Lawrence:

What are blood vessels that are producing raised bumps on my child's shoulders. I think it is called Pyogenicgranuloma.

Thank you!
C.C.


Answer

Hello C.C.:

Pyogenicgranulomas are localized inflammatory lesions involving the skin. They are essentially over growths of blood vessels - hemangiomas that commonly develops at the site of some injury or trauma. They have a dome shaped bright red papule that often bleeds on touch. They are much more of a nuisance than a real serious medical problem. They are harmless and may resolve on their own or often are injured and break or fall of. It they do not resolve on their own and they are large enough to create a problem of any type they can be surgical removal by your child's doctor.
            
At the following sit you can see exactly what they look like: http://www.nevdgp.org.au/video/skin/pg_ss.html

I hope this helps.

Allen Lawrence, M.D.



Question - Sixteen month Old Problems Having Bowel Movement

Dear Dr. Lawrence:

My granddaughter is small for her age (16 months) but she has good eating habits. her problem is that her stool is so large and hard she cries and often vomits before she can go to the bathroom. This is almost every time. Her mother found that a warm bath helps and she can go in the tub, but we are very concerned that stools an inch and a half in diameter are hurting her intestines. Should her doctor be looking for something here?

Thank you,

M.R.

Answer

Hello M.R.

Has your daughter talked with the baby's pediatrician? She should make sure that the Pediatrician checks you granddaughter out. If everything is okay she should ask about a very mild stool softener. I might tell my patient to use a very small amount of Milk of Magnesia, a 1/4 tsp in the babies formula. Usually constipation or hard stools are caused by three main factors in babies (assuming there is nothing physical going on, too little water or liquids in their diet, too little fiber in their diet or stress.
         If your granddaughter is being breast feed, then her mother should drink more water and reduce any stress in her life so that her stress is neither transmitted to the baby through her increased body tension or through the stress chemicals that are being produced in her body that will likely end up in her breast milk. Mom could also increase the amount of water she is giving the baby either by bottle or using a sippy cup. She could also increase or add cereal and puddings to the baby diet, possibly between feedings.
         If she if now bottle feed or eating solid foods, more vegetables will also help. Mother should begin to increase the amount of vegetables in the baby=s diet, slowly but steadily. Less meat, more fruit and cereal will also help. Once again increase the amount of fluids she is giving the baby and reduce any stress in the family.

Hope this helps.

Allen Lawrence, M.D.

 

 


Ask the Doctor - General Health Issues


Question

Ask the Doctor - Women's Health Issues


Question

Ask the Doctor - Men's Health Issues


Question

Active ImageFDA Approves Laser to Treat Baldness

Drawing this special comb over a balding pate could restore some real hair according to a Florida company. The Food and Drug Administration has cleared for sale a handheld laser device to promote hair growth.

Called the Hairmax Lasercomb, it increases the numbers of thick hairs on the scalp, according to 26-week clinical trials conducted by its manufacturer, Lexington International LLC.

As the device's name suggests, it combines a low-level laser with a comb. When drawn through the hair, the laser strikes the scalp to promote hair growth, according to the company.

The device, sold on the Web for $545, is the only drug-free product meant for home use in combatting hair loss that's won the endorsement of the FDA, the company said.

To read the full article FDA Approves Laser to Treat Baldness, click here.

Active ImageScience Finds New Ways to Regrow Fingers

Sounds Like Magic: Scientists Use Pig Bladders, Salamanders and Mice to Help Regrow Fingers

Researchers are trying to find ways to regrow fingers and someday, even limbs with tricks that sound like magic spells from a Harry Potter novel.

There's the guy who sliced off a fingertip but grew it back, after he treated the wound with an extract of pig bladder. And the scientists who grow extra arms on salamanders. And the laboratory mice with the eerie ability to heal themselves.

This summer, scientists are planning to see whether the powdered pig extract can help injured soldiers regrow parts of their fingers. And a large federally funded project is trying to unlock the secrets of how some animals regrow body parts so well, with hopes of applying the the lessons to humans.

The implications for regrowing fingers go beyond the cosmetic. People who are missing all or most of their fingers, as from an explosion or a fire, often can't pick things up, brush their teeth or button a button. If they could grow even a small stub, it could make a huge difference in their lives.

And the lessons learned from studying regrowth of fingers and limbs could aid the larger field of regenerative medicine, perhaps someday helping people replace damaged parts of their hearts and spinal cords, and heal wounds and burns with new skin instead of scar.

To read the full article Science Finds New Ways to Regrow Fingers, click here.

Active ImageAssociation Releases Guidelines to Protect Women's Hearts

"Doctors May Underestimate Women's Risk of Heart Disease Risk"

Heart patient Susan Goodreds says the signs of her condition were relatively subtle at first.

"I would just feel a fist-sized tightness in the middle of my chest, but it wasn't painful," she says in an interview with ABC News medical correspondent John McKenzie for "World News."

Still, her symptoms prompted her to consult with her physician. What doctors told her was that her heart was fine.

But when she insisted on a heart scan, doctors discovered that two of her coronary arteries were 95 percent blocked with plaque.

Goodreds' story is all too common.

Because women often have symptoms of heart disease different from those of men, they're often misdiagnosed.

However, that could change. New guidelines, released Monday by the American Heart Association, underscore the importance of preventing and treating heart disease in women.

The guidelines, published in the current issue of the journal Circulation, use information from the most recent scientific studies to highlight what works

Active ImageNew heart guidelines urge women to exercise, cut fat, consider aspirin

 

Nearly all American women are in danger of heart disease or stroke and should be more aggressive about lowering their risk -- including asking their doctors about daily aspirin use, the American Heart Association said Monday in new guidelines.

It is the first time guidelines have urged all women to consider aspirin for preventing strokes, although specialists warn that it can cause ulcers and dangerous bleeding. They said it is probably not a good idea for young women with no big health problems.

"We do not want women to go to the drugstore and just start taking this themselves. It is critical that every woman talk to her doctor," said Dr. Lori Mosca, director of preventive cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and chair of the expert panel that wrote the guidelines.

To read the full article New heart guidelines urge women to exercise, cut fat, consider aspirin, click here.

To learn more about heart disease, click here.

Active ImageNew heart guidelines urge women to exercise, cut fat, consider aspirin

 

Nearly all American women are in danger of heart disease or stroke and should be more aggressive about lowering their risk -- including asking their doctors about daily aspirin use, the American Heart Association said Monday in new guidelines.

It is the first time guidelines have urged all women to consider aspirin for preventing strokes, although specialists warn that it can cause ulcers and dangerous bleeding. They said it is probably not a good idea for young women with no big health problems.

"We do not want women to go to the drugstore and just start taking this themselves. It is critical that every woman talk to her doctor," said Dr. Lori Mosca, director of preventive cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and chair of the expert panel that wrote the guidelines.

To read the full article New heart guidelines urge women to exercise, cut fat, consider aspirin, click here.

To learn more about heart disease, click here.

Active ImageChild's trauma may affect parents' health

The stress of having a child go through a life-threatening event may have long-term health consequences for parents, a new study suggests.

Researchers in the Netherlands found that parents of teenagers who'd been in a disastrous New Year's Eve fire were at increased risk of developing high blood pressure over the next four years.

Past research has linked chronic stress to elevations in blood pressure, and it's certainly stressful for parents to help a child recover from burn injuries, as well as from the emotional trauma of such a disaster, explained Dr. Tina Dorn of the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research.

However, a problem in trying to measure the impact of disasters on people's health is that studies typically have no information on what survivors' health was like before the experience.

The new study is different because the researchers had access to electronic registries with health information on parents before and after the fire. Dorn and her colleagues found that compared with parents whose children were not involved in the disaster, parents of victims were nearly 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure diagnosed pressure in the following years.

The study, reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, included parents of teenagers who were involved in one of the Netherlands' worst mass burn incidents ever. About 350 adolescents were in an overcrowded pub that caught fire during a New Year's celebration on January 1, 2001, injuring more than 200 and killing 14.

"The parents of these victims have gone through difficult times, too," Dorn told Reuters.

Losing a child in such a way is one of the most devastating experiences anyone could have, she noted, and caring for a child with severe burn injuries is also painful. Even in cases where the teenager was unharmed physically, Dorn said, parents may still feel the stress of helping their child deal with the trauma.

The findings, according to Dorn, show that disasters can affect not only the direct victim, but the whole family as well. This means that the whole family might need help in dealing with the stressful aftermath.

Besides seeking professional help, Dorn noted, families can try turning to friends, relatives or church groups for support.

To read the full story Child's trauma may affect parents' health, click here.

To learn more about stress and stress related disorders, click here.

Active ImageDoctors find clues to mystery dizziness

Chronic dizziness that is not due to vertigo, a problem that has puzzled doctors for years, may have a variety of causes including anxiety disorders and brain injury, according to a study published Monday.

Vertigo, a feeling of turning or whirling usually involving inner ear problems, is well recognized, according to the report from the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia.

But so-called chronic nonspecific dizziness where victims also suffer imbalance and are super-sensitive to some motions such as walking in a busy store or driving in the rain is more complex, it added.

To read the full story Doctors find clues to mystery dizziness, click here.

Active ImageTeen Sex May Take Emotional Toll

Parents and health professionals should help teens prepare for and cope with the emotions attached to sex, say Sonya Brady, Ph.D., and Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, Ph.D. The two researchers work at the University of California, San Francisco.

They studied a diverse group of 273 sexually active students at two California public schools between 2002 and 2004. The students, 56 percent of whom were girls, all reported having had vaginal and/or oral sex by spring of 10th grade.

Of the students, 116 said they had had only oral sex, 43 said they had had only vaginal sex, and 114 said they had had both.

For the study, the students completed surveys every six months between 9th and 10th grade about the consequences they experienced from sex.

Overall, the teens reported positive consequences

Active ImageStudy: Pollution Leaves Women at Greater Risk for Heart Disease, Death

 The most rigorous study of its kind to link pollution and heart disease has found that women who live in areas with higher levels of pollution are at much greater risk of developing and dying from cardiovascular disease, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study suggests women living in cities with the highest levels of air particles, such as Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York, were 76 percent more likely to die from a heart attack or stroke than women breathing the cleaner air of Honolulu or Tucson, Ariz.

According to the study, while doctors have known air pollution can be bad for the heart, they didn't know how severe the health effects were. {quote_middle}

"The magnitude of the findings are substantially higher than what's been seen in prior research on long-term effects of air pollution," said Dr. Joel Kaufman at the University of Washington.

The study monitored the health of more than 65,000 post-menopausal women for up to nine years and tracked the air quality near their homes, checking the level of tiny particles spewed from cars, trucks and power plants.

It used pollution meters, which are scattered in virtually every metropolitan area in the country, to measure the amount of particles in the air. The federal Environmental Protection Agency compiled the results.

To reach the full article Study: Pollution Leaves Women at Greater Risk for Heart Disease, Death, click here.

For more information on heart disease, click here.

Active ImageDCA: Cancer Breakthrough or Urban Legend?

Enthusiasm Outpacing Science in Possible Cancer Therapy Discovery

There is the medical equivalent of a tsunami wave building out there, only we don't know where this one is going to land.

It is called DCA, and we at the American Cancer Society are suddenly receiving requests for information about something few if any of us had heard about as a cancer treatment until this past week. {quote_middle}

I suspect some of this rapid explosion is fueled in part by the Internet and the rapid exchange of information, and some by advocates who believe in the long-held conspiracy theory that someone is holding back the single simple answer to curing all cancer.

We even received an urgent plea from one media outlet Thursday asking us to help them out with understanding DCA, since its Web site was being inundated with Internet traffic that was overwhelming its servers.

Before we replace rational discourse with irrational exuberance, it is my personal opinion that a bit of caution is in order. The basic reason for my conservative view is "been there, done that."

To read the full article DCA: Cancer Breakthrough or Urban Legend?, click here.

For more information on cancer screening, click here.

Active ImageSome Experts Blame FDA Labeling for Child Suicide Increase

Child and teen suicide rates rose for the first time in more than a decade in 2004

Active ImagePredicting Breast Cancer's Return

Tuesday's announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that it had approved the MammaPrint test represents a step forward in our efforts to more precisely define which women with breast cancer require adjuvant (preventive) chemotherapy following primary treatment for the disease. {quote_middle}

Adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer has been one of the great success stories in cancer treatment over the past 30 years. Through the efforts of many researchers, women and their families, we have learned how to prevent recurrence of breast cancer and increase survival for many women with breast cancer. As a result, we have seen steady declines in the death rates for women with breast cancer.

We also know that we provide adjuvant chemotherapy to many women with primary breast cancer who would have otherwise done well without additional treatment. But the types of tests and information about a particular woman's breast cancer that we have available today are simply too imprecise to allow us to accurately and confidently separate women at high risk of developing recurrent of breast cancer from those who are at low risk of recurrence.

To read the full article Predicting Breast Cancer's Return , click here.

To learn how to Check yourself for breast cancer, click here.

Famous Quotes About Health and Wellness


 
January 2008

A Sense of Humor - Laughter Heals

The best blush to use is laughter: It puts roses in your cheeks and in your soul.
- Linda Knight

Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.
- Arnold Glasow

Laughter is the most healthful exertion.
- Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland

Laughter is part of the human survival kit.
- David Nathan

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
-Cummings

He who laughs, lasts.
-Victor Borge

Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.
- Thomas Edison

Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke.
- Unkown

Laughter is the language of the Gods.
- Russ Dudley

Friendship: a building contract you sign with laughter and break with tears.
- Unkown



Doctor: I have some bad news and some very bad news.

Patient: Well, might as well give me the bad news first.

Doctor: The lab called with your test results. They said you have 24 hours to live.

Patient: 24 HOURS! That's terrible!! WHAT could be WORSE? What's the very

bad news?

Doctor: I've been trying to reach you since yesterday.

- Courtesy of http://www.medindia.net/Humour/quotesnew.asp


 

Patient: I'm in a hospital! Why am I in here?

Doctor: You've had an accident involving a train.

Patient: What happened?

Doctor: Well, I've got some good news and some bad news. Which would you

like to hear first?

Patient: Well... The bad news first...

Doctor: Your legs were injured so badly that we had to amputate both of them.

Patient: That's terrible! What's the good news?

Doctor: There's a guy in the next ward who made a very good offer on your slippers.



 

Doctor: I have some good news and I have some bad news, which shall I tell first?

Patient: Do begin with the bad news, please.

Doctor: All Right. Your son has drowned, your daughter has been raped, your wife has divorced you, your house got blown away, and you have AIDS.

Patient: Good grief! What's the good news?

Doctor: The good news is that there is no more bad news.

 



Doctor: We need to get these people to a hospital!

Nurse: What is it?

Doctor: It's a big building with a lot of doctors, but that's not important now!




Doctor:
Does it hurt when you do this?

Patient: Yes.

Doctor: Well, don't do that.




Natural Childbirth

A boy was assigned a paper on childbirth and asked his parents "how was I born?"

"Well honey ..." said the slightly prudish parent, "the stork brought you to us."

"OH," said the boy. "Well, how did you and daddy get born?" he asked.

"Oh, the stork brought us too."

"Well how were grandpa and grandma born?" he persisted.

"Well darling, the stork brought them too!" said the parent, by now starting to squirm a little in the Lazy Boy recliner.

Several days later, the boy handed in his paper to the teacher who read with confusion the opening sentence:

"This report has been very difficult to write due to the fact that there hasn't been a natural childbirth in my family for three generations."




She Ate Ants

A medical student was doing a rotation in toxicology at the local poison control center.

A woman called on the hot line and she was very upset. My little daughter is eating ants. What should I do?

The medical student quickly reassured her that ants are not harmful and there would be no need to bring her daughter to the hospital.

At this point the woman calmed down.  Oh! That

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