Preventing Cancer

HOWARD WEBBy Howard Jacobson
No disease is as feared or misunderstood as cancer. Because of this fear and confusion, a diagnosis can shake us to our core. At which point, we’re especially vulnerable to bad advice from the medical establishment, as well as unproven and potentially harmful “alternative” modalities.

While there are many ways of treating cancer, and different cancers have radically different potential outcomes, the best policy is always – when possible – prevention. This article will compare the evidence for the mainstream prevention strategy – early detection – with the kids of diet and lifestyle changes I promote.

You’ll discover that you have a lot more control over your health destiny than we’ve been taught.

Mainstream Prevention: Early Detection and Screening
When you stop to think about it, early detection does not “prevent” cancer. Instead, in theory, it catches cancer early enough to do something about it.

So the question is, does population-wide screening of asymptomatic people help us “do something about it” in a way that reduces suffering, disability, and death. Turns out that with the exception of the pap smear for cervical cancer, screening actually may harm more people than it helps.

The Cochrane Collaboration, a non-profit health research group that does not receive funding from industry, has determined that mammography for early detection of breast cancer has the following risk/benefits profile:

If 2000 women receive biannual mammography for 10 years:
-One woman will be saved from death by breast cancer.
-10 women will be treated for cancers they do not have or that would never have been detectable or become significant (through partial or complete amputation of the breast and/or drug treatments).
-200 women will have a “false alarm” and experience, for a time, all psychological stresses of believing they have cancer when in fact they are perfectly fine.
-2000 women will undergo painful mammograms with these radiation screenings increase the risk of lung cancer and heart disease.

For more information on the science behind these statements, check out Gilbert Welch’s book, Overdiagnosed.

The risk/benefits profiles for population-based PSA testing for prostate cancer and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer are similar. They harm more people than they help, and turn hundreds of thousands of perfectly healthy people into worried patients. (For more information, see The Great Prostate Hoax, by Richard Ablin with Ronald Piana.)

So if we can’t “prevent” cancer through screening, what can we do? Are we powerless to change our fate, or do we just have to wait until we get sick enough to need treatment? And at that point, isn’t it often too late?

To answer that question, we have to look directly at cancer and its causes.

What Causes Cancer? Learn more…

How to Avoid Summer’s Health Woes – WebMD Feature

By Heather Hatfield
It’s summer, which means the mercury is on the rise, the beach is where it’s at, and a cold glass of lemonade is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Dehydration and Heatstroke
“Dehydration and heatstroke go hand in hand,” Says Peter Galier, MD, associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “It happens most commonly in people who are out in the sun.”

What happens, explains Galier, is that people sweat and replace their lost electrolyte-packed body fluids with only water. Dehydration can soon follow, and heatstroke can set in if a person becomes so dehydrated they can’t sweat enough to cool down, and their body temperature rises.

How to avoid it. “If you are outside and sweating, you should be drinking at least a 50-50 mix of Gatorade and water, which has potassium and sodium,” Galier tells WebMD. “You need to be drinking at least one small liter bottle of this mix every hour if you’re working or exercising in the sun.”

Warning signs. “Symptoms of dehydration can run the gamut from thirst and general fatigue, to headaches, nausea, and confusion,” says Galier. “Heatstroke symptoms are also headache and confusion, but include delirium and even hallucinations.”

What to do. While mild dehydration can be treated by rehydrating with fluids, heatstroke is more serious. “If you have heatstroke, you need to go to the emergency room so you can have intravenous fluids,” says Galier, “With really bad heatstroke, your kidneys can shut down.”

Poison Ivy
The old adage still rings true, explains Galier. “Leaves of three — let them be,” he says. So when the summer months begin, plan ahead when you know you’re going to be trekking through the woods.

How to avoid it. “Poison ivy is a tri-leafed plant, usually with a little yellow and purple, and it tends to be anywhere with shrubbery, hiding out with the other vegetation,” says Galier. “So stay out of shrubs areas or wear high boot or high socks, stay on the path, and don’t touch anything you can’t recognize.”

Warning signs. Poison ivy can creep up on you, even if you wear head-to-toe clothing. “It’s the oil in the leaf that’s the problem,” says Galier. “If you take your clothes off and you touch your clothes, you’re going to get it.” The “it” he’s referring to is the itching and swelling.

What to do. It’s time to get out the topical anti-itching cream again, like calamine lotion. “If you can suffer through it and it doesn’t get worse, you can ride it out,” says Galier. If it gets worse, you’ll need to see a doctor for topical steroids or oral steroids.

Read more about “Summer’s Health Woes” (source)

AHA CPR Training

CPR for flyerWith another round of changes to AHA CPR protocols, it may be time for you to refresh your skills. We are again teaching two levels (see below). MELANIE DEAN, M.Sc., CSCS, our Exercise Physiologist and Fitness Instructor, is AHA-certified to teach both of these potentially life-saving courses.

Friends & Family (F&F)
Tuesday, June 14 from 2-4 PM
Know what to do in an emergency for your family, friends or loved ones. Participants will learn to perform CPR and emergency choking procedures on adults, children and infants. Course includes manual and course participation card.

Basic Life Support Provider Certification (BLS)
Initial or Renewal - Tuesday, June 28 from 2-5 PM.

The BLS Instructor-led course teaches both single and team basic life support skills for application in both pre-hospital and in-facility environments, with a focus on high-quality CPR and team dynamics. This course trains participants to promptly recognize several life-threatening emergencies, give high-quality chest compressions, deliver appropriate ventilations and provide early use of an AED.

Students participate in simulated clinical scenarios and learning stations. And they work with an AHA BLS Instructor to complete BLS skills practice and skills testing. Students also complete a written exam.

-Updated science and education from the new 2015 AHA Guidelines Update
for CPR and ECC
-Instructor-led, hands-on class format reinforces skills proficiency
-Emphasis on high-quality CPR including a team dynamics classroom activity
-Video-based course with real world scenarios

Updated 2015 manuals must be purchased prior to class. CPR masks are available for purchase.

NEW: Pilates / Strength Training

We are super excited to be adding this great class to our Fitness Program. Students in our Thursday Pilates class expressed interest in another class during the week. Combining some strength training sealed the deal for everyone. So join us for what will surely be another super class with Melanie! First 10-class series begins Tuesday, May 17th with a class time of 10-10:55 AM.