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Archive for the ‘Grandmother’ Category

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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OCTOBER is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The More You Know…

Screening beginning at the age of 40 reduces breast cancer deaths by 18%.

Despite the above known fact, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations prioritize sparing women the potential negative aspects of having a mammogram, and in their opinion, their task is to try and maximize the number of lives saved, per mammogram. Shouldn’t they be more interested in how many lives are saved…period? Many advocacy groups are against the USPSTF recommendation draft listed below and I’m joining their ranks.

Hypothetically, if we are able to save one life, but it would take 500 mammograms, but that one life saved is yours at age 45, surviving to age 50 to start screening would likely not be an option for you. Would you be for, or against the starting age of 50 for screening? That is the issue with population based decision making processes – it takes the “person” out of it and aim for the greater good (but the greater good for who?)

 The other issue? If the information to NOT screen women until age 50 becomes widely accepted, then many women between the ages of 40-49 would honestly not even be aware of the USPSTF fine print recommendation to “individualize” screening. They just would not receive a mammogram. So what does that mean? Per the statistics above, 18% of women between the ages of 40-49 who missed the early opportunity of mammography diagnosis, would die from breast cancer. That is unacceptable…yes?

A similar decision is being made for age 75 and older – insufficient evidence to recommend screening. Majority of our “Baby-Boomers” are actually quite active and doing well…so more to follow on that topic.

However, despite my bias FOR screening mammogram to begin at age 40, it is always good practice to hear the other side of the story. Please see USPSTF explanation video below and link to USPSTF is HERE

What are your thoughts?

USPSTF Breast Ca Draft

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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AUGUST IS IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS MONTH

We all need shots (also called vaccinations or immunizations) to help protect us from serious diseases. To help keep our community safe, Legacy Health Educators is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month. Are your shots up-to-date?

Shots can prevent serious diseases like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. It’s important to know which shots you need and when to get them.  Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu vaccine every year. Other shots work best when they are given at certain ages.

  • Immunization2If you have a child age 6 or younger, find out which shots are needed  by clicking HERE
  • Find out what immunization shots teenagers and adults need by clicking HERE
  • If you are pregnant, this schedule HERE will provide added information to discuss with your doctor
  • Take a look at CDC 2015 recommendations by age and health condition HERE

Before accepting any shots, talk with your doctor about the health benefits for your family at all ages.

Extended Family Group In Park

Please note: If you are immuno-compromised, currently undergoing treatment for Cancer, or have certain health condition, immunizations may not be recommended.

Talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure that everyone in your family gets the shots they need.

Adult Immunizations: Benefits and Challenges

 

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information”

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STROKE

It is a busy time of the year and, undoubtedly, many of you will be traveling or around a lot of family members. Keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of Stroke. Stroke does not only affect the elderly population. In reality, stroke can happen to anyone, at any age, and at any time. Watch the 2 videos below for a quick review.

Do you  know the warning signs and symptoms of Stroke?  If you are experiencing the following (or see someone experiencing/having these symptoms) call 9-1-1 immediately! To identify the signs and symptoms – Think F.A.S.T!!  

– Face Drooping Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

– Arm Weakness Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

– Speech Difficulty Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

– Time to call 9-1-1 If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

stroke

Beyond F.A.S.T. – Other Symptoms You Should Know

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes 
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Immediately call 9-1-1 or the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number so an ambulance can be sent.  Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. A clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may improve the chances of getting better but only if you get them help right away.

A TIA or transient ischemic attack is a “warning stroke” or “mini-stroke” that produces stroke-like symptoms. TIA symptoms usually only last a few minutes but, if left untreated, people who have TIAs have a high risk of stroke. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce the risk of a major stroke.

The above information brought to you from the American Heart Association.

Read more at the National Stroke Association website

What is a Stroke? Watch below…

What can you do? 80% of stroke is preventable…

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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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Sleep is important! Hands down, it is one of my top priority for improving quality of life and should be yours too! Are you sleeping well? It would appear that sleeping (falling asleep and/or staying asleep)  is a problem for many.

Besides the popular commercials for sleep aid, Melatonin OTC (over-the-counter) is becoming quite popular too. Some are for it and recommend it highly … while others warn about its use and damaging side effects. Like anything else – moderation and proper use is the key! Speak with your doctor before using Melatonin, as it may interact with common prescription medications (see below!)

melatoninMelatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body of humans, animals, and also in plants and microbes. Melatonin has been identified in many plants including feverfew, St John’s wort, rice, corn, tomato, grape and other edible fruits.  Wine is commonly used as a sleeping aid. Is it because of the “depressant” nature of alcohol, or does the grape content of Melatonin contributes? One would venture both – more heavily towards the alcohol content though.

People use melatonin to adjust the body’s internal clock. It is used for jet lag, for adjusting sleep-wake cycles in people whose daily work schedule changes (shift-work disorder), and for helping blind people establish a day and night cycle.

As noted above, Melatonin production varies in the body over a 24hr period (which would affect when it should be taken) and decrease with age, as noted below. That would explain why older folks (our Grandparents) seem to sleep less.

melatonin.declineMelatonin is categorized by the US Food Drug Administration (FDA) as a dietary supplement and is not regulated as a pharmaceutical drug, so its full long-term effects in human have not yet ben ascertained. HOWEVER, a well-studied prescription-only, prolonged-release Melatonin product (Circadian) is available for people aged 55 and over. Prolonged-release melatonin was shown in clinical trials to decrease time to fall asleep, and improve quality of sleep and daytime functioning.

It is most commonly available in pill form, but melatonin is also available in forms that can be placed in the cheek or under the tongue. This allows the melatonin to be absorbed directly into the body. See side effect profile below.

Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement for this “specific” brand …

Dr. Oz’s Viewpoint – Hey…sleeping without clothing helps? 🙂

More on Dr Oz’s view…

Side Effects and Safety of Melatonin

  • Melatonin is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth short-term or applied to the skin. It can cause some side effects including headache, short-term feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps, and irritability. Do not drive or use machinery for four to five hours after taking melatonin.
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Melatonin is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in pregnancy. Don’t use it. Melatonin might also interfere with ovulation, making it more difficult to become pregnant. Not enough is known about the safety of using melatonin when breast-feeding. It’s best not to use it.
  • Children: Melatonin should not be used in most children. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Because of its effects on other hormones, melatonin might interfere with development during adolescence.
  • High blood pressure: Melatonin can raise blood pressure in people who are taking certain medications to control blood pressure. Discuss with you doctor and ask if you should avoid it.
  • Diabetes: Melatonin might increase blood sugar in people with diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully, if you have diabetes and take melatonin.
  • Depression: Melatonin can make symptoms of depression worse.
  • Seizure disorders: Using melatonin might increase the risk of having a seizure.

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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From the Physician’s Deskwww.LegacyEducators.com … weekly Blog!

Breast Cancer Diagnosis is never easy. Hearing the “C” word changes everything! Treatment information can be mind boggling, to say the least. Empowerment through knowledge and advocacy is what Legacy Educators is all about! Here is a short review on what’s in the news!

Lumpectomy (should be followed by Radiation Therapy)

Lumpectomy (should be followed by Radiation Therapy)

Randomized clinical trials  have demonstrated equal survival for breast conserving therapy (BCT) and Mastectomy. BCT = Lumpectomy and Radiation Therapy (click here to learn about Radiation Therapy). In the Lumpectomy surgical procedure, only the area with cancer plus a margin is removed from the breast, but in Mastectomy, the entire breast is removed (see illustrations to the left).

Learn more about Breast Cancer! Watch Videos at www.LegacyEducators.com by Clicking here!

In this recently published study, information was obtained from 112, 153 women diagnosed with stage I or II (early stage) breast cancer from 1990 to 2004 in California, USA. These patients were treated with either Mastectomy or Breast Conservation Therapy (Lumpectomy plus Radiation Therapy). The study concluded that, “Among patients with early stage breast cancer, BCT was associated with improved Disease Specific Survival. The data provided confidence that BCT remains an effective alternative to mastectomy for early stage Breast Cancer regardless of age or Hormone receptor status.”  taken from Cancer Journal – “Survival after Lumpectomy and Mastectomy for early stage invasive breast cancer” – Cancer, E. Hwang et al., first published online 28 JAN 2013.

Mastectomy

Mastectomy

Mastectomy – removal of the entire breast

Mastectomy is increasing at a rate of 2% per year because many think this offers the best chance of cure. However, in Early stage Breast Cancer, Mastectomy is actually does not offer a better chance of a cure when compared to BCT! Many studies have shown equivalent outcome of Mastectomy vs Breast Conservation Therapy/Treatment (BCT). Some patients may opt for Mastectomy because of strong family history of Breast/Ovarian Cancer or unwillingness for continued screening. You have a choice – discuss both options of Mastectomy AND Breast conservations (BCT) with your Doctor!

Read more about the above from Local TV station in the News Today – click here

Learn more about your health by watching videos at Legacy Health Educators – click here

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From the Physician’s Desk … visit us for Health Education videos!

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Alzheimer is painful.

Alzheimer is painful and frustrating for the patients.

Alzheimer is painful and saddens the heart of  family, friends and love ones … who watches … seemingly helpless on the sideline….

Memories of Love, Laughter, Accomplishments, Families and Friends – slowly, ever so slowly slipping away…

  1. First Kiss
  2. High School Graduation
  3. Falling in Love
  4. Wedding Day
  5. Birth of child(ren)
  6. First Recitals
  7. Sporting Events …. and a lifetime of Memories … going, going… soon to be forgotten…                                                                                                                                    … like grasping at the wind…

The pain of Alzheimer may not be literal, but it goes straight to the heart…

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Alzheimer is the most common form of Dementia (a general term for memory loss serious enough to interfere with daily life). Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time. Alzheimer is not a normal part of aging, though age is a risk factor and is most common in people 65 and older. Up to 5% of people with the disease have early onset which often appears in 40-50’s.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer but medications are available that may help with symptoms. Researchers are actively looking for new treatments that will alter the course of the disease.

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp

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visit us and watch Health Education videos!

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From the Physician’s Deskwww.LegacyEducators.com

As I rummaged through my weekly mail, and mused about the Magazine Detective responsible for finding me and sending all these “junk snail mail” I started flipping through the “Frontiers” Autumn 2012 issue. The article that caught my attention titled “80 is the new 50” …  got me to thinking…Seriously? Last time I heard it was “70 is the new 60” … the gap (delta) keeps increasing. When it matters for ME … it will be … “100 is the new 60” … yeah …I can definitely look forward to that!

Nevertheless, despite the title, the article was VERY interesting. It tells of an older woman and a Doctors’ decision to perform surgery based on her “actual health/performance status” instead of her actual age. Here is an excerpt;

{“The patient was 86yo woman and surgeon Mark Bloomston, MD, carefully considered whether to remove half her liver to treat her metastatic Colon Cancer. “She looked younger than 86, but I knew her liver was 86 and that older people can have unpredictable outcomes after major liver operations,” he recalls. He explained to her that there was a risk she might die as a result of surgery; she told him she wanted to “go down swinging.”  “She Survived the operation, went home 4 days later and never looked back,” says Bloomston, a surgical oncologist and associate professor of surgery at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.” }

Illustration by Roy Doty

Go Grandma! Awesome, positive attitude!” Being in good health is important NOW, but its benefit is most reflected when one is older.

If you could change ONE thing today, that would guarantee happier Golden Years -healthier, mobile/active, independent and able to maintain that, “go down swinging” attitude – what would that be?

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