Thursday, December 31, 2009
The world of cancer screening was upended in mid-November when changes in screening recommendations for two common types of cancer, breast and cervical, were announced within a week of each other. Not only did the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) advise that women wait until age 50 to begin mammography screening, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued revised guidelines for cervical cancer screening, recommending that women wait until they reach the age of 21 to have their first Pap Test. Both groups also recommended less frequent screening, except for higher risk cases. And though the new USPSTF guidelines are based on an in-depth analysis of data that suggests the harms of testing earlier and more frequently outweigh the benefits, they have sparked a great deal of controversy and drawn criticism from some advocacy groups and specialists organizations—some going so far as to say that the new recommendations were politically motivated.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is one organization that has disagreed with the new USPSTF breast cancer screening recommendations. “Our definition of cancer was given to us by German pathologists in the 1840s after they looked at biopsies from autopsy specimens. Now, 170 years later, we’ve progressed in terms of imaging, in terms of medical diagnostics into what I call the genetic and molecular biologic age, but our ability to define cancer has not progressed beyond the light microscope,” explained Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the ACS. “What we need to be able to do eventually is say that ‘this cancer is never going to progress,’ it is not going to spread and invade other organs in the body. But right now we don’t have the molecular tools to predict their behavior.” Brawley concluded: “Our view is that breast cancer screening saves lives and women aged 40 and above should get a high quality mammogram and clinical breast exam on an annual basis.”
And on December 2, the USPSTF’s top officials, including Dr. Ned Calonge, were summoned before a Congressional committee. Calonge, chairman of the USPSTF and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and associate professor of family medicine and of preventive medicine and biometrics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, defended the task force and its revised recommendations but acknowledged that portions of the mammography recommendations, specifically those pertaining to women aged 40-49, were poorly phrased and “did not say what the task force meant to say.” Calonge then clarified the USPSTF’s stance. “Screening starting at age 40 should not be automatic, nor should it be denied,” he said in his testimony. “What we are saying is that the decision to have a mammogram for women in their 40s should be based on a discussion between a women and her doctor. Many doctors and many women, perhaps even most women, will decide to have mammography screening starting at age 40. The task force supports those decisions.” Calonge said the task force is committed to changing the way it communicates to ensure that “this kind of miscommunication does not occur in the future.”
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
In an interview with Rolling Stone, October 2009 issue, the Jennifer's Body star talks about her "powerful, confident vagina" and why she almost stabbed her boyfriend Brian Austin Green. Check out some good soundbites:
On the secret of her bewitching power: "A powerful, confident vagina. Men are scared of vaginas," she says, adding that a woman is most powerful when she is "completely in charge of her sexuality."
On her wild temper: "I've had to say to Brian, 'You have to go and stop talking to me, because I'm going to kill you. I'm going to stab you with something. Please leave. I'd never own a gun for that reason. I wouldn't shoot to kill. But I would shoot him in the leg, for sure."
On cutting herself:
"Yeah, but I don't want to elaborate. I would never call myself a cutter. Girls go through different phases when they're growing up, when they're miserable and do different things, whether it's an eating disorder or they dabble in cutting."
On her girl-on-girl scene in 'Jennifer's Body' being the most anticipated scene of the year: "Clearly I can't argue that it's not gratuitous, because it is," she admits.
On separating her public persona with her personal life: "I don't really want to share myself with the public," she says. "I want to deflect attention from my reality."
Do you have a problem with varicose veins? Oh dear! That could be very uncomfortable and even painful at times. While doctors usually advocate surgery for a cure, here are a few simple ways by which you can make life easier for yourself.
Exercise regularly. It helps strengthen your legs and your veins.
Reduce your weight. It will help you more than you can imagine. Being overweight hurts you in every way possible.
Wear support stockings. Elastic ones are the best.
Don't wear tight underclothes. It prevents normal circulation of blood.
Constipation could lead to varicose veins over the years. So maintain a high fibre diet and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The necessity of a well balanced diet can never be overstressed. Reduce your salt intake. This helps prevent swelling in your legs.
Don't sit still for long hours. Make it a point to get up and take a short walk once every half hour or so. This is all the more important if you have a job where you sit at a desk all day long.
If you are flying long distance, make frequent visits to the toilet. Wriggle and rotate your foot often to prevent blood from clotting. If you are on a train, take frequent walks on the aisle. If you are travelling by car, you should stop the car and stretch your legs every hour or so. Take a ten-minute walk before you get back into the car.
Do some stretching exercises everyday. Some of these exercises can even be done in your work place.
Avoid standing for a long time. If it can't be avoided, try shifting your weight from one leg to another.
What does sunburn, smoking and excess weight have in common? It may come as a surprise to learn that all can damage your skin—making you look older than you really are. Researchers at Case Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland arrived at this conclusion after studying 65 pairs of identical and fraternal twins who attended the 2002 Twin Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. “The Twins Days Festival provides a rare opportunity to study a large number of twin pairs to control for genetic susceptibility,” the study authors wrote.
The twins, who ranged in age from 18 to 77, answered questions about their weight, skin type, smoking and drinking habits, and history of skin cancer. Each participant was assigned a photodamage score, which graded characteristics such as wrinkling and pigmentation changes. The researchers found that skin damage was similar among the twins whether they were identical or fraternal, which suggests that “people with the same genetic composition are more likely to have the same sort of sun damage,” said Dr. Jonette Keri, an assistant professor of dermatology at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In other words, “if your mom aged poorly, you are going to age poorly,” she said.
However, up to 40 percent of aging-related skin changes are due to non-genetic factors, the researchers noted. Age, smoking, and a history of skin cancer were all associated with higher levels of photodamage. In fact, the skin cancer rate among the twins was found to be higher than in the general population, a finding that surprised Dr. Jeffrey Salomon, an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine who was not involved in the research. “This study, with an 8 percent skin cancer rate in twins, seems high when the general population has an incidence of less than 0.5 percent. This in of itself would merit further examination to look at other (potential risk) factors, such as prenatal x-rays, prenatal sonograms and low birth weights,” he said.
Cigarette smoking has long been recognized as a cause of wrinkles. And though smoking-related wrinkles may not appear for a decade or more after the first puff, damage to the connective tissue, which is the basis for the skin’s smooth appearance, occurs with every cigarette smoked. “Cigarette smoke induces matrix metalloproteinases in the skin and inhibits procollagen synthesis through alteration of transforming growth factor beta,” the researchers explained. The combination of smoking and sun exposure is particularly toxic.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Born in Havana, Cuba, Guerra moved to the United States soon after, ending up in the town of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. While growing up, she entered several fashion shows modeling swim wear, and appeared in a few music videos.
You think you've met the perfect guy. He's sweet and sensitive, yet manly with a take-charge attitude. Now you're wondering if you should take things to the next level.
But before you get intimate with him, we suggest you look for these five signs that tell you if your guy will be able to keep you happy in bed.
He's a great kisser
If his kisses feel less like an intrusive oral examination and more like a soft, sensuous exchange, he's sure to be the kind of guy who likes to take it slow and nice in bed and not get too mechanical about things.
He's a good dancer
We're not talking about bumping and grinding here, that's just for hormone-charged teenagers. If your guy is the type who loves to slow dance with you, if he makes subtle moves that make you go 'Ooooh!', he's probably got a lot more to offer in the bedroom when shows off some of his other, less publicly acceptable, moves.
He can make you feel sexy
He treats you like a princess, and it's not just when he thinks he might get some action. If your guy showers you with adoring gazes, compliments and respects you, he'll be showing the same appreciation for your body when you finally sleep together.
He smells great
Sure, this one is superficial, but when you're under the covers, the last thing you want is the guy on top of you smelling like a pig. If you think he's got BO, you could get him your favorite male deo to be on the safe side.
He talks dirty…and is good at it
Most guys who do this only end up with their girlfriends laughing at them. If your man can whisper raunchy, sexy stuff in your ear that makes your toes curl, he should be able to do what he's talking about.
If he has all these traits, the man is for keeps. It's worth noting this guy's probably been around the block a few thousand times, so make sure he suits up.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
AIDS is a condition caused by a virus called HIV that attacks a person's immune system, making it defenseless against diseases and infections. The full medical name for AIDS is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and the virus is called the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
HIV is transmitted through all forms of unprotected sexual intercourse, i.e., vaginal, anal or oral sex without the proper use of a latex condom, and through sharing needles or syringes with someone who is infected with HIV. Because HIV can "hide" in the body for 10 years or more before it shows up as AIDS, you must never assume that just because you cannot "see" it in a person, it is not there!