I believe it's officially the dog days of
summer. Speaking of dogs, my dog does not like summer, although
she is a fan of the beach. While not the most ambitious swimmer,
she prances down to the water and waits until a guy or a child
is finished swimming. (women generally don't throw well enough
or have ignored her) She strategically positions herself and
with perfect timing releases her ball so it rolls right to
their feet when they come out of the water - I would say about
95% of the time they play with her for a good ¼ of
an hour. My friends swear I taught her to do that so I can
meet the guys. I wish I was that clever.
OVARIAN CANCER SIGNS
Ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect since the symptoms
are common in women that do not have a malignancy. It's important
to note that a mass growing in an ovary could be benign (non-cancerous)
as well. A study published in JAMA in June highlights that
we should be looking for the severity and the frequency of
these symptoms. Further, if a mass is growing, the symptoms
seem to come on recent. Looking at women in clinical practice
who came in for treatment - on average most women had 2 of
the following recurring symptoms: back pain, fatigue, bloating,
constipation, abdominal pain, and urinary symptoms. The women
with cancer typically experienced symptoms 20 to 30 times
per month and felt them more severely. Probably most importantly,
the combination of bloating, increased abdominal size, and
urinary symptoms was found in 43% of those with cancer but
in only 8% of those without cancer. For the full study go
I must admit, I don't have the disaster kit together and considering
where I live (NYC), I better get on it. When you think about
all that could happen from biological to a car bomb, it's
good to have a sense of what we should do when but apparently
only about 10% of us have a solid plan. Looking into this
a little further, most if it is common sense, but it doesn't
hurt to review. My 2 cents, be sure to have a transistor radio
on call that works - it's difficult to respond properly if
you don't know exactly what's happening. Keeping up with the
all the batteries can be chore (they should be replaced every
6 months) but it can make all the difference. Also, confirm
that you and your loved ones have a plan in case it's impossible
to get cell phone service and not a good idea to go home.
First: the Disaster Kit: (A three day supply)
For more information on this
go to www.ready.gov,
The Red Cross offers a course.
For a report on how to respond to
different types of terrorist attacks go to www.rand.org.
The report is $15 but there is summary you can download for
free. There are a few basic things we can keep in mind if
it is a biological or chemical attack.
- Purchase a dust mask with a N95-rated
particle filter. It will protect against fall out. Duct
tape and plastic sheeting can also help to seal off any
openings in a shelter.
- If it's radiological, avoid inhaling
dust at all cost - cover your nose and mouth with a shirt
if you have to.
- Nuclear - head for the basement or even
better a nuclear shelter. Second best are the upper floors
of a multistory building
- Chemical - find fresh air as quickly
as possible - use your dust mask and seal shelter ASAP.
You want to remove clothes when you are safe and shower
For more information about various
exposures etc. go to www.bt.cdc.gov
Some other interesting facts:
- Experts don't
think we should stock up on Cipro or other antibiotics,
they have a short shelf life and depending on the agent
- can make matters worse.
- A better one may be potassium iodide,
a five year shelf life and can protect against thyroid cancer
that may occur under nuclear or radiological exposure.
- Hospitals in Boston and New York have
been shipped thousands of smallpox vaccinations and antibiotics
in case of an attack.
- Gas masks aren't recommended. Experts
say they need to be on before an attack or within a minute
which is impractical. This is confusing to me, why is a
dust mask a good idea and not a gas mask? I'll have to read
THE IUD IS LOOKING MUCH BETTER
Believe it or not, I do remember my babysitter talking about
how bad an IUD was. I worshipped my babysitter when I was
a kid - there wasn't a word she said that I missed! In 1975,
the Daikon Sheild was recalled for causing thousands of uterine
infections and dozens of deaths. According to the Alan Guttmacher
Institute, only 2% of women in the U.S. used an IUD in 2002,
however in the rest of the world, it is the most popular form
of contraception (outside of sterilization) used by 85 million
women. (Planned Parenthood).
There is a new willingness by American women
to try and IUD for a few reasons. Younger physicians don't
remember the bad days, it looks nothing like the old one and
there's a bit of a backlash from younger women in response
to the news about hormone replacement therapy (HRT). 59% of
women chose the Pill in 1996 and 51% in 2002. The new IUDs
are called Mirena or ParaGuard - they are shaped like a T
and not larger than a quarter. They also sport some real advantages.
First, it's the most foolproof contraception and it is easily
reversible. Coming off the pill can take many months to be
fertile again, while with an IUD it's almost immediate. Second,
it's a lot cheaper -- $175 to $400 including follow up visits
depending on insurance and can last 5-10 years. Third you
don't have to remember to take a pill, or experience the weight
gain that is so common. For women on the later years of their
reproductive life - it works incredibly well for heavy bleeding.
On the down side, there are some health
risks that include ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory
disease and inflammation of the fallopian tubes. While the
old IUD had a tail that trapped bacteria and the new one is
much less likely to do so, it's not recommended for women
who aren't monogamous. It's called the "birth control
for moms" both for the monogamous reason and that the
insertion procedure is easier for women who have had children.
(more pliable cervices).
For the full story go to www.wsj.com
(Wall Street Journal) and type in the author's name Hope Glassberg
or you can email her at email@example.com.
The story appeared in the Personal Journal Section, August,
3, 2004 front page.
That's it for this month! As always,
check out our website for lots more information at www.oonahealth.com.
In Good Health,
The Oöna Team
Questions or comments? Write firstname.lastname@example.org