Posted by: Alyssa Morris in News on June 30th, 2011

Health Buzz: Diabetes Rapidly Rising Worldwide

Diabetes Cases Double to 347 Million Worldwide

Nearly 10 percent of adults worldwide have diabetes, and new research suggests the rate of new cases is rising rapidly. Over the past three decades, the number of adults with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes worldwide has more than doubled, jumping from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million today. (Type 1 diabetes means the body produces too little or no insulin, while type 2 is linked to excess weight or inactivity.) About 70 percent of the increase is due to an aging population—since diabetes typically hits in middle age—while the remaining 30 percent is explained by the obesity epidemic, according to a study published Monday in the Lancet. Perplexingly, the incidence rate is rising twice as fast in the United States as it is in Western Europe, though researchers don’t yet understand why. “This is likely to be one of the defining features of global health in the coming decades,” study author Majid Ezzati, an epidemiologist and biostatistician at Imperial College London, told The Washington Post. “There’s simply the magnitude of the problem. And then there’s the fact that unlike high blood pressure and high cholesterol, we don’t really have good treatments for diabetes.”

6 Common Myths and Misconceptions About Diabetes

There are many mistaken beliefs about diabetes. Sue McLaughlin, former president of healthcare and education at the American Diabetes Association, offered her opinion of what she says are the six most common myths and misconceptions about diabetes, based on an ADA survey of more than 2,000 Americans released in 2009.

1. Diabetes is not that serious. In fact, diabetes causes more deaths than breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined, McLaughlin says. Still, people with type 2 diabetes—the most common form of the disease—may go a long while, even years, before being diagnosed because they may downplay their symptoms or write them off to other causes. So if you are making frequent trips to the bathroom at night; experience extreme thirst, overwhelming fatigue, or blurry vision; or notice that you keep getting infections, ask your doctor to test you for diabetes. An early diagnosis can help ward off complications.

Are You Diabetic? 6 Tips That Will Help Keep You Out of the Hospital

Diabetes-related complications are among the most common reasons for hospitalization, according to a recent study in the Journal of Women’s Health. Researchers found that in 2006, for example, diabetics hospitalized because of congestive heart failure accounted for more than 1 in every 16 discharges; diabetics with pneumonia made up another 1 in 26. Moreover, the overall rate of hospital admissions for diabetics is rising—up more than 65 percent between 1993 and 2006. And it will climb even faster if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent estimate that as many as 1 in 3 Americans, up from 1 in 10 now, will have type 1 or type 2 diabetes by 2050 holds up. For those who already have the disease, though, there is hope, U.S. News’s Kurtis Hiatt reported in October 2010.

Elderly blamed for long hospital waiting lists

HEALTH Minister Nicola Roxon has blamed the increase in the number of older Australians for the failure of her reforms to cut hospital waiting lists three years after they were introduced.

Ms Roxon yesterday conceded elective surgery waits were getting longer despite a $600 million federal spending boost, but said things would be worse if the money had not been spent.

The concession comes shortly before Ms Roxon receives a blueprint detailing potential trouble spots with the implementation of Labor’s health reforms based on a two-day workshop conducted by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.

The results show more guidance is needed on how Medicare Locals will work, where commonwealth funding to the states will be directed and whether hospitals will face a crushing red-tape burden reporting to different performance authorities.

A COAG reform council report released earlier this month found the time it took to treat 50 per cent of those waiting for elective surgery rose from 34 to 35 days in 2009-10.

The median wait for a coronary artery bypass went from 14 to 15 days and the wait time for knee surgery leapt from 156 to 180 days.

“Those figures would be even worse if the commonwealth had not made those investments for the first time ever directly in elective surgery,” Ms Roxon said.

More than 70,000 extra elective surgery procedures were undertaken with the extra commonwealth money, she said.

“As the population booms and ages we know we are facing a trend which had health pressures going like this, whether it’s costs, whether it’s numbers of procedures, whether it’s people present,” Ms Roxon said.

The states have agreed to improve their elective surgery performance and treat 95 per cent of patients within clinically recommended times by December 2015.

AHHA executive director Prue Power, who will deliver a report to Ms Roxon in coming weeks on the health reforms, said the government needed to explain how hospitals would report to and work with Medicare Locals.

Health economist Professor John Goss, who attended the AHHA’s two-day workshop last week, said the reforms could skew treatment towards hospitals, raising costs and admissions.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on June 23rd, 2011

Lower back pain treatment – If you’ve ever had to live with chronic low back pain, you KNOW how annoying it can be. It seems to permeate and affect every second of your day – and night! You can’t sit still without feeling it, you can’t move around without feeling it…until you get healthy again, life becomes a torment.

Fortunately, lower back pain treatment options DO exist and you’ve come to the right place.

There are many possible causes…before starting any sort of home treatment for severe back pain relief, you should pay a visit to your local medical professional to be certain you don’t have something like – degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, sclerosis, sciatica, or one of the other nerve or spinal cord disorders.

Yes, I know that’s a scary sounding list but the good news is that for the most part, it is treatable without surgery. Your problem is usually caused by something more mundane like a simple muscle strain or sprain. Assuming you don’t have some sort of spine injury, you will mostly be treating yourself by concentrating on pain management and relief until the muscle disorder heals itself.

There are a number of over the counter medications that you can take, especially if the lower backache has just begun.

These medications include:

*Tylenol and generic acetaminophen medications
*NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or Naprosyn (naproxen)
*Try using hot and cold packs to alternately apply heat and cold to the lower back to help relieve pain naturally.

Then, to keep the chronic discomfort from returning, you should ensure that your stomach and back muscles are in good shape and strong. To improve your back and abdominal muscles takes only a few minutes per day – of the right back exercises – and the cause vs. effect benefits are completely out of proportion to the investment of time and effort.

Keeping your core muscles strong is the best way to ensure that you don’t suffer from lower back discomfort, and you can help prevent further injury by muscle stretching exercise and strengthening both your back and stomach muscles.

Without doubt exercise is the best preventative treatment option for lower back pain relief available.

Many people believe bed rest is the option for lower back pain treatment; however that is a common misconception. Remaining active is better to help you relieve any aches you may experience. Being active allows your muscles to loosen up and relax. You will return to full normal health much faster than through bed rest.

Staying in bed for too long can lead to sore and stiff muscles, when your muscles tighten up, it will increase the pain in your back. It can lead to more serious issues, such as weak muscles or stiff joints.

If you must rest as part of your lower back pain treatment, make sure to lie on your side and place a pillow in between your legs. You can also place a pillow beneath your knees as you lie on your back on the floor.

There are a variety of treatments so, again – always call a doctor and follow his/her recommendation as to what treatment options are the best to reduce your lower back pain.

For those who have lived with acute pain for more than three months, more intensive treatment is recommended to ensure the full recovery of the back. Physical training and therapy, acupuncture, all can be combined into an effective treatment system.

Few people who experience symptoms will actually require surgery… for the most part, lower back pain treatment is handled through simple therapy, physical training, and visits to your chiropractor.

What if you just can’t get rid of your lower back pain?

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in News on June 22nd, 2011

Medical pot industry group asks judge to block law

Medical marijuana patients and their health providers urged a judge Monday to block a new law that will eliminate commercial pot operations, saying they will have problems obtaining the drug after this month.

A medical marijuana industry group have called the new law unconstitutional and asked Helena District Judge James Reynolds for an injunction before July 1, when pot providers will be barred from making a profit and limited to providing marijuana to just three patients.

The new law also places additional checks on conditions for qualifying for the drug and on the doctors who certify medical marijuana patients.

State attorneys say the law will scale back an out-of-control industry while leaving seriously ill patients with access to the drug. But some patients and their loved ones say it will just force them to make illegal purchases by shutting down legitimate resources.

“The more I read about it the more absurd it is. They’re just trying to eliminate marijuana in Montana,” said Charlie Hamp, 79.

Hamp testified that his wife Shirley, 78, stirs a medical marijuana tincture into her morning coffee at home in Bozeman as a way to relieve the pain after her esophagus was removed and replaced with the lining of her stomach.

Charlie Hamp isn’t sure whether his wife will still be able to get that tincture from her provider after July 1, or whether the provider will be in business at all. Neither one of them knows how to make the tincture, nor do they want to ask their daughter and son-in-law to do it for them.

Montana Cannabis Industry Association attorney James Goetz said the main problem with the law is it will deny patients like Shirley Hamp access to medical marijuana. But it also will intrude upon the doctor-patient relationship and allow warrantless searches of patients and providers, he said.

“Marijuana, while not completely harmless, is remarkably safe. It has proven medicinal qualities. If a Montana citizen, in consultation with his or her doctor, wishes to have access to medical marijuana, that person should have access without undue governmental restraint,” Goetz said.

Assistant Attorney General Jim Molloy defended the new law, saying it is in line with what voters intended when they passed the state’s medical marijuana initiative in 2004. Seriously ill patients will still be able to grow the drug, hire a consultant to show them how, or have somebody grow it for them, he said.

“This is a lawsuit, your honor, about preserving the commercial marijuana industry that sprung up in Montana beginning in about 2008,” he said.

The hearing is expected to last through Tuesday, and it was not clear whether Reynolds will immediately make a ruling. The judge said he wants to know what would happen to medical marijuana regulations in Montana if the new law is blocked.

The Legislature passed its restrictive law in an attempt to rein in a booming medical marijuana industry that lawmakers say has been abused by recreational users and for-profit commercial entities. The bill’s passage this spring coincided with a series of raids against medical marijuana distributors in which drugs, cash and weapons were seized, causing several providers to shut down.

There are more than 30,000 medical marijuana users in Montana, with the start of the boom coinciding with a 2009 U.S. Department of Justice memo saying the federal government would not prosecute seriously ill patients who are following their states’ medical marijuana laws.

The number of people between 18 and 30 claiming chronic pain as the qualifying condition to become a medical marijuana patient – about 30 percent of the total number of users in Montana – indicates the users are not simply those with debilitating illnesses, Molloy said.

Medical marijuana users as a percentage of total adult population in Montana compared to other states is another indicator that something is amiss, Molloy said. Just over 4 percent of Montana adults are registered users, compared to .76 percent in Hawaii, 1 percent in Michigan and 1.34 percent in Oregon, he said.

“The situation is out of control, the Montana Legislature responded to it,” Molloy said.

Goetz said the law represents excessive governmental interference and that any law restricting rights must be scrutinized.

To support his case, he called two patients, three doctors, a social worker and a Harvard professor as witnesses about marijuana’s medicinal effects and the potential negative effects if the new law is allowed to take effect.

Bozeman oncologist Jack Hensold said he recommends medical marijuana to about three or four cancer patients a month to help them deal with nausea and other effects of cancer treatments.

He said he is concerned about the restrictions the law would impose and whether certain patients would be able to access the drug in the short term.

Cancer patient Pointe Hatfield said buying his medical marijuana from a provider is not a convenience, it’s a necessity. He tried to grow his own before, but the plants just died.

That’s why Hatfield, a 60-year-old Gardiner resident whose cancer is in remission, is worried how he will get his medical marijuana when a ban on commercial pot operations takes effect in Montana next month, patients and health officials told the judge.

Hatfield said he can’t understand why, if the state of Montana certifies him to use medical marijuana, he can’t go buy that drug just like getting a prescription filled at pharmacy.

“It’s the same as going to the drug store for an aspirin,” he said

A twist in Obama’s health care law

President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.

The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.

Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility. It might be compared to allowing middle-class people to qualify for food stamps.

Medicare chief actuary Richard Foster says the situation keeps him up at night.

“I don’t generally comment on the pros or cons of policy, but that just doesn’t make sense,” Foster said during a question-and-answer session at a recent professional society meeting.

“This is a situation that got no attention at all,” added Foster. “And even now, as I raise the issue with various policymakers, people are not rushing to say … we need to do something about this.”

Indeed, administration officials and senior Democratic lawmakers say it’s not a loophole but the result of a well-meaning effort to simplify rules for deciding who will get help with insurance costs under the new health care law. Instead of a hodgepodge of rules, there will be one national policy.

“This simplification will stop people from falling into coverage gaps and may cause some to be newly eligible for Medicaid and others to no longer qualify,” said Brian Cook, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

But states have been clamoring for relief from Medicaid costs, complaining that just these sorts of federal rules drive up spending and limit state options. The program is now one of the top issues in budget negotiations between the White House and Congress. Republicans are pushing for a rollback of federal requirements that block states from limiting eligibility.

Medicaid is a safety net program that serves more than 50 million vulnerable Americans, from low-income children and pregnant women to Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes. It’s designed as a federal-state partnership, with Washington paying close to 60 percent of the total cost.

Early retirees would be a new group for Medicaid. While retirees can now start collecting Social Security at age 62, they must wait another three years to get Medicare, unless they’re disabled.

Some early retirees who worked all their lives may not want to be associated with a health care program for the poor, but others might see it as a relatively painless way to satisfy the new law’s requirement that all Americans carry medical insurance starting in 2014. It would help tide them over until they turn 65 and qualify for Medicare.

The actuary’s office said the 3 million early retirees who would become eligible for Medicaid are on top of an estimated 16 million to 20 million people that Obama’s law would already bring into the program, by opening it to childless adults with incomes near the poverty level. Federal taxpayers will cover all of the initial cost of the expansion.

A spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee, which wrote much of the health care law, said if the situation does become a problem there’s plenty of time to fix it later.

“These changes don’t take effect until 2014, so we have time to review all possible cases to ensure Medicaid meets its mission of serving only the neediest Americans,” said Erin Shields.

But Republicans already see a problem.

Former Utah governor Mike Leavitt said adding early retirees will “just add fuel to the fire,” bolstering the argument from Republican governors that some of Washington’s rules don’t make sense.

“The fact that this is being discovered now tells you, what else is baked into this law?” said Leavitt, who served as Health and Human Services secretary under President George H.W. Bush. “It clearly begins to reveal that the nature of the law was to put more and more people under eligibility for government insurance.”

The Medicare actuary’s office roughed out some examples to illustrate how the provision would work. A married couple retiring at 62 in 2014 and receiving the maximum Social Security benefit of $23,500 apiece could get $17,000 from other sources and still qualify for Medicaid with a total income of $64,000.

That $64,000 would put them at about four times the federal poverty level, which for a two-person household is $14,710 this year. The Medicaid expansion in the health care law was supposed to benefit childless adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level. A fudge factor built into the law bumps that up to 138 percent.

The actuary’s office acknowledged its $64,000 example would represent an unusual case, but nonetheless the hypothetical couple would still qualify for Medicaid.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Depression on June 18th, 2011

Bipolar depression is a mood disorder whose major characteristics are frequent and extreme changes in mood. These mood cycles tend to alternate between two extremes of either intense excitement (mania) or low mood (depression). However, it seems like states of depression tend to happen more frequently than the elation or euphoric ones.

Several yet unverified factors have been attributed as the real causes of the illness. One of the most accepted theories about the development of manic depressive disorders suggests that the illness has a genetic origin. Research has shown that the condition is more widespread within members of same family.

These studies also observed that some individuals are highly predisposed to developing this condition due to certain inheritable genetic flaws. These genetic flaws seem to cause various neurological complications that ultimately generate the various bipolar disorder symptoms. Examples of these problems include myelin sheath deformities in addition to an imbalance of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. However, even after all these studies, doctors are still not completely sure about the actual origins of this ailment.

Another group of individuals who are highly susceptible to bipolar disorders are persons with regular habits of substance abuse. The use of narcotics and stimulants such as alcohol, heroin and cocaine are very common among young adults who suffer from this disorder. As a result of this, doctors usually find themselves accosted by a difficult task of distinguishing between mood fluctuations associated with bipolar disorders from the drug induced emotional states.

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Other symptoms that are experienced during the depressive phase of this illness are continuous gloomy mood, feelings of desperation and hopelessness, acutely low energy levels and fatigue, diminished physical and mental abilities among others.

Apart from feeling high and euphoric during the manic episode patients also experience several other physical and psychological complications. These problems include too much energy, over optimism, lack of need for rest, rapid thought and speech processes, talkativeness, reduced inhibition and risk taking, agitation and insomnia.

Patients are deemed to be experiencing severe bipolar disorder when they start displaying psychotic symptoms which can include hallucinations, delusions and suicidal ideation. These signs of psychosis are sometimes mistaken and medically treated as schizophrenia. During such periods patients start behaving in risky ways that could be harmful to themselves and others. They may thus need to be forcefully kept in secluded location until a point where they become psychologically stable.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Other on June 8th, 2011

Some diseases of the eyes can naturally occur with time. Age-related diseases of the eyes may include cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Among the three diseases mentioned, macular degeneration is probably the most devastating and life-changing. It often results to permanent loss of vision gradually. The hope for getting new treatments for macular degeneration is on its way but there is still no definite way on how to completely cure the disease. What eye doctors can do now is to slow the progress of the disease.

Persons who have high risk for developing macular degeneration or have been diagnosed with the disease just recently, it is critical that they should be educated about the entire process of the disease including the causes, treatment options and prognosis.

An age-related macular degeneration or ARMD is considered to be one of the primary causes of permanent blindness today. This age-related condition is frequently a result of chronic diseases of the eyes that affects the tissues located in the macula or the portion of tissues that are responsible for central vision. The usual ARMD can primarily exhibit a blurry central vision while some may also experience presence of a blind spot within their central vision while the peripheral vision remains intact. Other early warning sign of a macular disintegration include difficulty seeing objects without an increased light. Reading of books with smaller prints may also be difficult to read. Some may also have a distorted vision when it comes to viewing closely spaced lines or grids.

A typical macular degeneration can gradually occur over time, though some may have the course of the disease progress very rapidly resulting to extensive loss of vision of the eye. Generally, macular degeneration causes partial loss of vision as it only affects the central vision that is used to read, recognize people, drive, and carrying out of tasks on a daily basis.

The deterioration of the retinal pigment epithelium usually causes macular degeneration. The deterioration gradually results in loss of pigment and atrophy or thinning of the cells within the retinal tissue. As time progresses, waste deposits continue to build up to form a tissue that damages the macular cells that receives light. When the macular cells are damaged, information and signals in the brain will not reach the optic nerves, thus loss of vision can decrease gradually.

Macular degeneration is best treated when it is detected within its early stages. Seeing an eye doctor regularly allows greater treatment options that will slow the progress of the disease. There are also certain treatments that can help stop further progression of macular disintegration as long as it is detected early.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in News on June 7th, 2011

Cancer costs put treatments out of reach for many

The skyrocketing cost of new cancer treatments is putting advances in fighting the deadly disease out of reach for a growing number of Americans.

Cancer patients are abandoning medical care because the costs are simply too high and medical bills — even among the insured — are unmanageable, studies show.

“There’s a growing awareness that the cost of cancer treatment is unsustainable,” said Dr. Lee Schwartzberg, an oncologist who did a study examining the factors that contributed to patients quitting their oral cancer drugs.

Cancer is one of the most costly diseases to treat.

“When it’s an expensive drug, we have to have the hard discussion about a very substantial out-of-pocket payment. I ask: ‘Do you want to spend this money for an average improvement of just a few months of life?’ I’m very uncomfortable having those discussions because I want to focus on the patient getting better,” Schwartzberg, medical director of the West Clinic in Memphis, Tenn., said in an interview.

Schwartzberg’s and other cost studies presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting come as U.S. lawmakers battle over ways to reduce the national debt, including cuts in healthcare funding.

ASCO president Dr. Michael Link, a pediatric oncologist, said access to healthcare should be a national priority.


“We’re thrilled with what we consider to be breakthroughs and wonderful new therapies … yet the barriers for some patients to get them is insurmountable. It is an indictment of how we take care of patients in the United States,” Link said.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease. The incidence is expected to increase with an aging population.

The costs for cancer care topped $124 billion in 2010 in the United States, led by breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). That number is expected to rise as more advanced treatments — targeted therapies that attack specific cancer cells and often have fewer side effects — are adopted as the standards of care. The NCI projects those costs to reach at least $158 billion by 2020.

Until recently, almost all cancer drugs were administered intravenously. Today, about a quarter of them can be given orally, which means fewer visits to the doctor. But pills are often more expensive, have higher co-payments, and are reimbursed by insurers at lower rates than IV drugs, he noted.

Using a database of pharmacy claims paid by private insurers and Medicare, he found, not surprisingly, that those with higher co-payments quit their drugs more often.

Patients with co-payments of more than $500 were four times more likely to abandon treatment than those with co-payments of $100 or less, Schwartzberg said. Claims with the highest co-payments had a 25 percent abandonment rate, compared with 6 percent for co-payments of less than $100.

“Prices of drugs can’t be set so outrageously high,” he said. “We have a problem with cancer care … All stake holders have to get together and compromise to translate this great science into great patient care without breaking the bank.”

Dr. Yousuf Zafar, an internist at Duke University Health System, did a separate study on the impact high medical bills have on patients’ cancer treatment.


The thing that surprised him most, Zafar said, was how much the insured struggled with their medical bills.

“Ninety-nine percent of the patients in our study were insured and 83 percent said they had prescription coverage. People still couldn’t afford groceries and were spending life savings on cancer care,” Zafar said.

Even with health insurance, out-of-pocket expenses averaged $712 per month for co-payments for doctor visits, prescription drugs, lost wages, travel to appointments and other expenses.

Jean Holstein, 55 of Jackson, North Carolina, has Stage IV breast cancer. She has health insurance, but fears the co-payments to cover her $5,000 per month drug regimen, plus the $9,700 bimonthly diagnostic scans, will leave her broke.

“The joke is that when you get cancer, you go spend all this money and live it up,” she said.

Rates of medical debt are growing, mainly among the insured. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 1 in 5 privately insured Americans with chronic conditions have problems paying their medical bills. When out-of-pocket spending for medical care exceeds 2.5 percent of income, financial burdens become substantial.


Dr. Scott Ramsey authored a study that examined a cancer diagnosis as a risk for personal bankruptcy. Using cancer registries and bankruptcy records in Washington state, he found that a diagnosis of lung cancer had the highest risk of bankruptcy — 8 percent versus 0.3 percent in the general population in the same geographic area.

“We looked at (bankruptcy) 1, 3 and 5 years after a diagnosis and the rate ranged from two to six times higher,” he said.

Dr. Kevin Ennis, a radiation oncologist at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt and Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, studied the impact a weak economy has on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. He said he found exactly what he had expected: There was a dramatic decline in cancer treatment during times of high unemployment.

Ennis looked at data from 1973 to 2007, the latest year for which data were available, and found that every 1 percent increase in unemployment was associated with a 7.4 percent decrease in diagnoses, a 16.8 percent decrease in radiation treatment and a 23.9 percent decrease in surgery.

“I suspect the recession we just had would have had an even more dramatic impact,” Ennis said.

Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer for the ACS, said the whole American medical system needs to be overhauled.

“We need to change the culture of doctors and patients and how medicine is practiced. I wish it were as simple as (enacting) legislation,” he said.

Medical Monday: Breast cancer wonder drug?

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, but a new drug is promising to reduce the risk of developing invasive breast cancer by 65%.

In this Medical Monday segment, Dr. Morgan Sauer from The Longevity Center at St. Vincent is talking about this new drug and whether it’s really effective.

Aromasin is one of three drugs in a class called aromatase inhibitors. These drugs block the production of estrogen which can stimulate the development of breast cancer. Unlike the others, aromasin has fewer side effects that the other which increase the risk of uterine cancer and blood clots.

According to Dr. Sauer, this is the first study to show that drugs like aromasin have the ability to prevent breast cancer in high risk women. However, aromasin can cause hot flashes, arthritis, and cause loss of bone. When you look at the data, you have to treat 95 women in order for just one woman to have any benefit. Dr. Sauer recommends that it should probably only be used in women at very high risk for cancer.

The patent on aromasin has recently expired, thus opening the doorway for generic manufacturing of this drug. It is best for women to talk to their primary care physician about considering this or other treatments for prevention of breast cancer.

MidMichigan Medical Center-Gratiot Cancer Survivor Day signifies new life

In 2006 Shirley Lilly was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

By 2009 she was cancer free.

In 2010 it had come back and attacked her liver.

Today Lilly is cancer free and is the true definition of a survivor.

“In ‘06 I went through the regular chemo for six months and then I did a years treatment to stop me from ever getting it again,” Lilly said.

“I got it again and went through another year of that chemo. Now they keep track of me by my blood. I see the doctor now every three months.”

Sunday afternoon Lilly and many others attended MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot’s eleventh annual Cancer Survivor Day.

According to National Cancer Survivors Day website, “National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual, treasured worldwide Celebration of Life that is held in hundreds of communities throughout the United States, Canada, and other participating countries.”

“Participants unite in a symbolic event to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful and productive.”

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Skin Care Treatments on June 5th, 2011

While prescriptions and over the counter medications can be a good choice for treating back acne, a homemade back acne treatment can be a desirable option for people who like to keep it natural and reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals and drugs.

Keep in mind that using a homemade back acne treatment can be effective, but it can also take a lot longer for you to notice an improvement. If you can control the reasons why you suffer from back acne breakouts, you may also be able to improve and lessen the intensity and frequency of breakouts. Bacne can often be caused by irritation of your skin, or basically something rubbing on the skin that helps to trap dirt in the pores and then may lead to infection or bacne.

The irritation can be increased if you tend to carry a backpack which also rubs on your back or any tight fitting clothing that does not allow air to circulated in between the clothing and your skin. Choosing clothing that is more breathable, such as cotton, is also a very good idea.

So what kinds of homemade back acne treatment are there? Some people swear by things they make up out of their own fridge. There are certain items that will work if you make up a mask. There are a variety of masks that you can create at home that you can apply to your back. You can create a mask by combining various ingredients into a paste and then applying it.

  • A lemon mask is a combination of lime juice and rose water. Obviously, this will not be a paste mask, but you can apply it with cotton balls and allow it to dray on the skin. The naturally occurring astringent in lemon helps to reduce skin oil.
  • A simple tomato mask is made from crushed tomato pulp. Apply crushed tomato pulp directly to the affected area, allowing it to dry and remain on the skin for half an hour. The vitamins in tomato – A and C help to reduce the size of pores.
  • Oatmeal is another helpful ingredient. Cook the oatmeal, allow it to cool and add honey to it. Apply it to your skin and leave it on for twenty minutes. Oatmeal also removes excess oil from the skin and helps to prevent breakouts.
  • Mint juice and turmeric can be rubbed onto your back and left on for about fifteen minutes. This combination reduces inflammation and lessens the appearance of bacne.

Healthy eating, getting regular exercise and drinking more water are also tried and true when it comes to a homemade back acne treatment. Water helps to flush impurities and toxins from your body. Adding a teaspoon of honey and a half a lemon to the water once daily before you eat is another great home remedy. When it comes to eating right, eliminate refined sugar and fried foods from your diet. There is really no nutritional value in these kinds of foods in any event, so the less you eat of them, the better.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Other on June 3rd, 2011

I’ll let you in on a little secret: most “get rid of spots” acne treatments never worked for me. Truth is, these so-called acne cures rarely work for anyone. It’s all about marketing hype and pretty labels – and worse yet, empty lies.

What you’re reading now might just change all of that for you. Instead of looking just for a get rid of spots treatment, what you need to look for is how to prevent spots while getting rid of the ones you currently have. That includes getting rid of live acne as well as the red marks your old acne left behind.

So where should you start? Well instead of heading to your local drugstore, you might make a pit stop at the grocery store for an acne home remedy. That’s what I did – and it’s done wonders for the acne on my face, back and chest. Check out some of these remedies that are not only cheaper, but are often more effective.

Spot Treatments

Organic honey: It sounds sticky, and it is, but it’s really one of the best organic treatments for acne. The thing about honey is, it’s antibacterial. Thus, it kills the bacteria in the zit, just like benzoyl peroxide does, except without feeling harsh on your skin.

How to apply: Take a clean finger or cotton swab, and dab a little honey on each zit. Don’t plaster it all over your face; just on the individual zits themselves. Then after 15 minutes, rinse it off with warm water.

Ice: And we’re not talking Smirnoff. We’re talking plain ice, applied directly to the spots to get the swelling down. Once you get the swelling down, you’ll also encourage the rest of the zit to go away. However, you’ll want to wrap the ice cube up in a paper towel before putting it on your skin, or you’ll be in for a frozen face!

Mint: Some people will take mint toothpaste or mint extract mixed with turmeric powder and paste it on their zits for a few minutes. This, in addition to killing germs, will have a cooling effect that relieves the pain the spots are causing you. This get rid of spots treatment smells good, too, unlike other acne remedies.

Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil might seem like a stupid thing to put on zits – after all, aren’t you trying to get rid of the oil? Well, not exactly. Your skin still needs oil to stay moisturized, as it will get irritated if you don’t. But anyway – about the tea tree oil. Dab a little of this stuff onto each spot. But instead of washing it off, leave it on until it dries.

Witch hazel: Some teens and adults like to strip off their spots with rubbing alcohol. Bad idea! Use witch hazel instead. This will lighten the redness of the spots in addition to cleansing the area and making the skin around it less irritated.

If you want to get rid of spots, these five remedies are some of your best bets.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Hair Loss on June 1st, 2011

Hair loss is a common problem faced by both, men and women. The problem of hair loss is such that people are actually fearing this issue and many women (teens as well) even get nightmares about going bald or losing hair. Well, hair loss can be treated with the help of some hair loss products that are available on the market. There is a very well known brand known as the HairMax LaserComb range of products, which is an effective way to treat hair loss and to re-grow your hair. Talking about this range, the best one amongst them all is the HairMax LaserComb Advanced 7. This comb employs laser light technology to stimulate healthy hair growth and prevents hair from falling. This laser comb emits 7 laser beams at a time, making the process of treatment fast and convenient.

People who do not want to go for hair loss products that employ laser technology can go for diet supplements and topical treatments such as creams, gels or shampoos that promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. Also, there are many surgical procedures that can help you grow hair almost in a few hours’ time. But surgical procedures are dangerous and can make things even worse in the future. You can also take help of some home remedies to treat your hair loss problems. Here are some easy hair loss treatments that can be done within the comfort of your home.

Home remedies for treating hair loss

Onion Juice: It is one of the most trusted remedies of all times. What you have to do is to peel one small onion and grate half of it. Squeeze out the juice from the onion and add honey to the juice. Apply this mixture on the patches where you are losing hair (the bald patches) and keep it on overnight. Additional tip: Cover it with a towel or a cloth to avoid the smell and shampoo your hair the next morning.

Dietary changes: Change your diet because diet plays a very important role in hair loss problems. Increase the intake of yoghurt, alfalfa, carrots, lettuce and capsicum in your diet. Take a mixture of spinach and lettuce juice. This will help in promoting healthy hair growth. Make a paste of olive oil, cinnamon powder and honey and massage the paste to your scalp and then shampoo your hair after 15-20 minutes of massaging.

Other tips: Add 4 teaspoons of henna leaves in a cup of boiled mustard oil. This will lead to the burning of the henna leaves. Then strain the oil with the help of a cloth and store the oil in a glass jar. Massage this oil every 2-3 days to your scalp. Doing this encourages your hair growth.

On the bald patches of your scalp, apply a paste made by grinding lime seeds and black pepper seeds. This might cause slight irritation but doing this can increase the blood circulation to the hairless portions of your scalp. Doing this for about 2 times a day for several weeks can promote hair re-growth.

Home remedies for hair growth are easy-to-do and are effective too but doing so can take time and a lot of patience. If you are very desperate and need hair re-growth faster, the HairMax LaserComb is always a great option.