May 17, 2013
Author, journalist and lecturer Letty Cottin PogrebinHow to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick, an invaluable guidebook for anyone with a close friend or family member who has been diagnosed with a serious illness. During her own bout with breast cancer, Pogrebin was intrigued by the different reactions she received from people close to her – ranging from awkward and inappropriate to wonderfully helpful. She talked her fellow hospital patients, and realized they all were experiencing the same thing, so she decided to distill their stories, insights and thoughts into a how-to book with tips and wisdom. The tone is warm, sensitive, and sometimes even funny, and a must-have for anyone who wants to rise to the occasion and be a true friend.
May 14, 2013
Cancer cells and other diseased tissues have an altered metabolism that leaves a chemical “footprint” in the air exhaled by patients. New technology is allowing doctors to take advantage of this chemical “breath-print” in order to screen for cancer and other diseases. There’s no stick, scan, or scope: all the subject needs to do is breathe into a tube! (more…)
May 14, 2013
There is a growing body of convincing evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of many types of cancer, such as colorectal, breast, larynx, liver, esophageal, mouth and throat.
Most of the data comes from studies that focused on the effect of moderate to high alcohol intakes, typically defined as two more servings of alcohol per day.
Until recently, very little was known about the impact of light alcohol drinking, defined as up to one drink, on average, per day. That is, until the publication of the results of a large “meta-analysis” that took data from across the world and analyzed its implications. (more…)
April 21, 2013
A few weeks ago I received a call from a fashion stylist friend of mine who was in a panic about the strange darkening of skin that appeared suddenly across her cheeks after her Carribean vacation. She is never without a big floppy hat and sunscreen, but worried that the pigmentation might have been a result of her diet or face cream.
Then she confided in me that she is pregnant. After a flurry of congratulations, and a discussion of her due date in September, I reassured her that it was just nature taking its course. (more…)
April 14, 2013
People caring for loved ones with cancer face a unique set of challenges that can take a physical, emotional and financial toll. Here’s a checklist to help you stay upbeat, healthy and organized while performing your selfless duties:
1. Maintain your own health.
Keep up your regular medical and dental appointments– mammogram, dental appointment, yearly physical, etc. Exercise every day. Make nutrition a priority – don’t skip meals. If you smoke, quit. Get enough sleep. Remember that you are the healthy (or healthier) one. (more…)
April 12, 2013
African-American women have a lower survival rate from breast cancer and tend to have less treatable types of the disease than their white and Latina counterparts, according to information presented at the 2013 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
“The results seem to indicate that although African-American women are more likely to be diagnosed with less treatable subtypes of breast cancer compared with white women, it is not the only (more…)
April 9, 2013
A new generation of cancer drugs has been showing promise for patients with metastatic breast cancer, according to a report published in Chemotherapy Advisor. PI3 kinase inhibitor GDC-0032, which sounds like something from a futuristic movie, will soon be part of the arsenal of drugs to treat ER+/PR+ metastatic breast cancer (disease that has spread from the primary site.) About 40% of hormone receptor–positive breast cancers have PI3 kinase alpha mutations. GDC-0032 has been shown in preclinical studies to be active against this mutation. This is really great news because to-date there are no drugs available that target this critically important component of cancer cells.
The new drug is taken in pill form and the few side effects seem to be manageable. Ask your medical oncologist to consider this if you or a loved might be a candidate.
Click here for the full article.
April 8, 2013
During the days leading up to childbirth, moms-to-be experience excitement and anticipation, and are busy with all the preparations necessary to welcome the new member of the family.
Now the birth is over, and you’re home with your bundle of joy.
Whether you’re a first-time or veteran mom, some post-partum (postnatal) tips are always helpful.
Here are some of the most important that we’ve compiled:
April 5, 2013
Our Mommy/Delivery BFFLBag® has received another stamp of approval, the 2013 About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Pregnancy Product.
The About.com daily Pregnancy and Childbirth blog is written by Robin Elise Weiss, a writer, pregnancy and childbirth expert, and busy mother of eight! (more…)
March 18, 2013
There’s nothing that upsets me more than having to pass a gaggle of smokers outside the hospital as I leave work after a long shift of caring for cancer patients. As I hold my breath to avoid the second-hand smoke, I cannot help but feel incredulous that health care professionals continue to smoke even after hearing the endless barrage of evidence about how bad it is for your health. Are they suffering from “it can’t happen to me” syndrome? Or are they simply refusing to read or listen to the facts? (more…)
March 18, 2013
In medicine, we are constantly weighing the benefits of treatments against their risks. New medications and technologies come along that promise to save lives, but before the physician can implement them, the FDA must approve of the new drug or device, an often long and painstaking process. (more…)
March 10, 2013
Great news for morning sickness sufferers! It seems that top-of-the-line anti-nausea medication Zofran, used to treat post-surgery and chemotherapy nausea, can be taken safely by pregnant women.
Researchers in Denmark reviewed 600,000 cases in which the medication, also called Odansetron, was given to pregnant women.
They concluded that Zofran (available in both branded and generic forms) taken during pregnancy caused no increase in risk to the fetus. In fact, there were fewer cases of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery and low birth weight in the patients taking the medication than in the general population. (more…)
March 9, 2013
One out of every three deaths in the US each year can be attributed to heart disease. Put another way, that’s 600,000 heart-related deaths and 130,000 from stroke – and annual health care costs of about $450 billion.
People who have had a diagnosis of heart disease or a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) are at elevated risk for a recurrence. There are 23 million adults living in the US who fall into this category. Another 8 million have had blood clots in the legs, another warning sign.
For those 31 million people, or more than 10% of the population, there are many things they should to reduce this risk, which include quit smoking, lose weight, increase exercise, eat a healthy diet, and monitor/control blood pressure and cholesterol. (more…)
March 3, 2013
Chemotherapy refers to medications and other active chemical agents administered to kill some types of abnormal or cancerous cells.
Patients can undergo chemotherapy at a hospital, clinic, physician’s office or even at home in a series of cycles or continuously for several weeks or months. Cycles of treatment refer to repeated rounds of chemo with breaks in between. The breaks allow normal cells to recover, and are timed to kill cancer cells in their natural cell cycle. (more…)
March 2, 2013
Now that this year’s flu season is winding down, we can stop with the fist-pumps and air kisses. One flu-season habit that should not be dropped, however, is hand washing.
Washing your hands with soap and water for a full 20 seconds is an important everyday way to avoiding the spread of viruses and bacteria.
When should you wash your hands? Follow these guidelines – even print this out and post at home or at work!
- Before preparing or eating food
- After going to the bathroom (more…)
February 28, 2013
The Mommy/Delivery BFFLBag® has been named a finalist in the 2013 About.com Reader’s Choice Awards contest for the Best Pregnancy Product.
The About.com daily Pregnancy and Childbirth blog is written by Robin Elise Weiss, a writer, pregnancy and childbirth expert, and busy mother of eight!
February 15, 2013
I just hung up the phone with my dear friend Penny, who is expecting her first child. She commutes to work each day on the train, and often finds herself on a slippery slope – literally.
It’s hard enough to navigate sidewalks, steps and street corners when you are not pregnant, but winter snow and ice present an extra challenge. (more…)
February 12, 2013
(Reprinted with permission from AWomansHealth.com, a publication of Omnihealth Media.)
For many of us, heart health is an afterthought, featured somewhere in the list of overall wellness concerns we consider throughout our busy days, but hardly one playing a starring role. We may consider the issue as we choose olive oil over butter or lace up our running shoes to get some cardio, but it often gets pushed to the end of the list again without any real research or action.
But the reality is that we need to put heart health in the spotlight. More women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. (more…)
February 7, 2013
By Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, M.D., M.P.H.
Do these breasts make me look hot? Because, quite honestly, they make me feel cold. Freezing, in fact.
Ever since I had prophylactic mastectomies and immediate breast reconstruction surgery with implants several years ago, I shiver all winter long. Nobody told me that the implants would make me cold. (My physicians, who all happened to be men, had never been told of the problem.) My standard indoor attire consists of multiple layers – a tank top, long-sleeved tee, and cozy sweater-knit hoodie. When I go outside in any temperature under 40 degrees, I wear a fleece or fur vest over a down-filled jacket. (more…)
January 12, 2013
By Julie K. Silver, MD
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, I had three young children at home—one of whom was still in diapers. I had concerns about whether I would be able to be there for them during my treatment and how they would cope with the changes I would be going through.
There were certainly times during my journey when I felt overwhelmed. Once, in the middle of the night following a chemo session earlier that day, I found myself sitting on the floor of an emergency room with my daughter, who was sick. My husband was home with our two other children, and I was waiting for a doctor to be able to see my daughter. The chair I had been sitting on was covered with her vomit, and I was too weak to stand. Those were not easy times to fill my role as a parent. (more…)
January 12, 2013
It’s flu season! Here are some tips on: what to do when those around you are sick, how you can help them, and how to keep from getting sick yourself.
Get a flu shot! It’s not too late – unless you’ve developed symptoms already. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year over half the adults in the US fail to get a flu shot. Since getting vaccinated dramatically increases the odds that you won’t get the flu, why take the risk that you might get sick, miss work or school, and spread the virus to others?
Make sure what you or your family member has is really the flu! Flu symptoms include fever over 101 degrees, chills, body aches, dry cough, fatigue, headache and sore throat. Don’t rush to the doctor’s office without calling first. Waiting rooms are just about the most infectious places on earth. If the nurse or physician recommends that you come in for an office visit, bring your own reading material and don’t touch anything! (more…)