Friday, March 18, 2016

Understanding the Basics of Clinical Oncology from Diagnosis to Treatment

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Alaska State Health Director Lies About Risks of Smoking, Surpassing the Modern-Day Tobacco Industry in Dishonesty

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One of the major changes in the tobacco industry in the past decade and a half is that it is no longer undermining the public's appreciation of the hazards of smoking by downplaying the health risks. If anything, the tobacco companies have been relentlessly emphasizing that its combustible tobacco products (i.e., cigarettes) are substantially more hazardous than the non-tobacco-containing electronic cigarettes that they manufacture.

Unfortunately, the gains we have seen in tobacco industry honesty are being offset by lies about the risks of smoking coming from ... of all places ... health agencies. These agencies continue to lie about the risk of smoking by claiming that smoking is no more harmful than using a product that contains no tobacco and involves no combustion, despite both laboratory and clinical evidence that electronic cigarettes are much safer.

But things have become even worse. Last week, the Alaska state health department publicly claimed not merely that smoking is no worse than vaping, but that smoking may actually be safer than vaping.

According to an article in the Alaska Dispatch News, the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services was quoted as stating:

"If we know that kids think e-cigarettes are not smoking and e-cigarettes are OK and they’re a better alternative to smoking, we need to let them know that they are just as harmful, and perhaps more harmful, than smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco."

The health director also suggested that e-cigarettes contain tobacco, stating:

"We all have known for a long time the dangers of tobacco use and the dangers of nicotine use, but for some kids they don’t think of e-cigarettes as necessarily being cigarettes or being tobacco, but they are."

As if two lies are not enough, the Alaska health department has also insinuated that vaping causes brain damage.

On top of that, the health department attacked Big Tobacco for claiming that e-cigarettes emit only vapor (rather than smoke), which is actually true.

And the department also put out a television advertisement claiming that vaping causes brain damage.

Furthermore, they put out an ad insinuating that e-cigarettes contain embalming fluid and nail polish remover.

The Rest of the Story

I honestly thought that I had seen it all. Lies about vaping being just as hazardous as smoking were being spewed all over the media by anti-smoking groups and health agencies. But the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has surpassed all of these previous fallacious claims. They actually told the public that smoking may be safer than vaping. In addition, they also lied by telling the public that e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, that they contain embalming fluid and nail polish remover, and that they cause brain damage because of high lead content.

I am literally hitting my head against the wall and pulling my hair out because it is so frustrating to be a part of an anti-smoking movement that is blatantly lying to the public and completely downplaying the severe risks of smoking. It is not e-cigarettes that threaten to offset years of progress in reducing smoking; it is the lying by these anti-smoking groups which do.

I had thought that as more and more scientific evidence accumulates to demonstrate that vaping is orders of magnitude safer than smoking, we would start to see a decline in the lies being disseminated by health agencies. But instead, the lies are accelerating and becoming even more ridiculous.

That the tobacco companies are being more honest about the hazards of smoking than the Alaska Department of Health is a pitiful statement about the state health department. What the hell are they doing, and what gives them the authority to tell blatant lies about the risks of smoking to the public without repercussions?

If I were an Alaska taxpayer, I would be quite angry that my tax dollars were going to a state effort to downplay the hazards of smoking. Even the tobacco companies aren't doing that anymore. That a state health department would take over that task is mind-boggling.

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NEW New Years Resolutions

Welcome to January, the month of diets, detoxes and empty promises.

There is a lot of motivation wrapped up in January that is so exciting. It's a chance to start over, wipe away any negativity, and take a positive step towards our picture perfect lives.

I'd like to capture that positive motivation and build it up towards some new, more specific goals/resolutions for myself. And maybe you'd like to join me.  It is important to have goals that fit into various segments of your wellness wheel.  Making sure that you think about and consider your physical wellness, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness and intellectual wellness.  We don’t need to include all of these, but it is important to consider all in order to have a big picture view of our whole selves.

It is also important to get as specific as possible with your goals.  The more details you have; time, date, actual event, etc., the more likely you are to remember and complete them.

A SMART goal is: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive.

I recently had a beautiful baby girl named Grace. She is now 8 months old. Which means that I am now looking at my post baby body in the mirror with a little less love and leniency, and a little more pressure and criticism.

The professional me wants to look at myself and say, "You look wonderful, you are still breast feeding and need those extra calories you are craving, and you will have time to get back to where you want to be. Don't be so hard on yourself. Love what your body has just done for you."

But the self-critical me is looking in the mirror, confused as to where these extra soft arms, tummy and thighs came from.  It is an interesting phenomenon when the self portrait in your mind doesn’t match the self portrait in the mirror.

My goal in physical wellness is to begin working out again, focused on strength training and yoga a few times a week until I finish breastfeeding my daughter.  Until then, I will grant myself Grace (pun intended) with my appetite and my body shape and composition.

Emotional wellness for me is all about personal connection and relationships.  With friends, family and loved ones.  When those relationships don’t get the time and nurturing that they need in order to create deep conversations, genuine connections and fun adventures, my emotional wellness begins to decline.

For me, my friendships have taken a spot on the back burner to make room for the new little life I am responsible for, and to make room for the time it takes to run a business solo.  I still connect with my friends, but it is not nearly as often or as focused as Id like it to be.

My goal in emotional wellness is to make the time to meet with a friend or group of friends without my daughter in tow at least twice a month.  I’d love for that to be dinner or drinks out with girlfriends or a workout class on the weekends or even a concert or game.

What are your SMART goals for 2015?  Which wellness segments are you focused on for the year?  The next best thing to make a goal happen is to SHARE IT!  Share your goals here to put them out into the universe for commitment.

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Green Smoothies or the Green Monster

Because I love food blogs and anything to do with food, I want to give cooking a shot this summer. Combining this with my new obsession with all things healthy and natural, I’ve decided to make my first recipe something “green.” Yes, I’m tackling the “Green Monster” Smoothie.

This name is lovingly bestowed upon blended drinks that feature all things leafy and green (usually sweetened up with fruit or honey). There are so many variations, but I decided to test out the simple recipe from une-deux senses.- 2 cups spinach leaves - 1 1/2 cups orange juice - 1 to 2 tablespoons honey - 1 ripe Bosc pear, cored
Blend everything together until smooth. Serve over ice.
Wow! What a treat. Aside from being the coolest green color ever, this smoothie is surprisingly sweet and totally refreshing. There’s the slightest hint of a vegetable taste, but other than that this could be any kind of fruity smoothie. My sister liked it, and she normally doesn’t go for vegetables! Success.
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Becoming a Radiation Oncologist

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Causes of Bad Breath – And How to Get Rid of It

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The fear is real. You’re deep in conversation with a friend when, out of nowhere, you’re slammed with an alarming odor. Was it your breath? Your train of thought veers and all you can think about is a quick exit and searching for gum…mouthwash…any remedy for bad breath.

Bad breath, or halitosis, is an issue we’ve all encountered at one time or another. Whether we’re the culprits or the victims, it’s a problem most hope to avoid. Thankfully, rather than doling out embarrassing apologies for foul-smelling breath, there are several ways to prevent and treat halitosis. Tina McGroarty, CRNP, MSN, a nurse practitioner from Penn Family and Internal Medicine Lincoln shares three tips to keep your mouth smelling fresh and clean.

Limit Potent Foods

After eating a meal heavy with garlic, onion, or other flavorful—but stinky—ingredients, the food is digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, delivering nutrients throughout your body. Unfortunately, the stench of your tasty meal hitchhikes along for the ride, eventually arriving at your lungs, where it pollutes your breath. Since the odor lies in the lungs, the quick fixes for treating bad breath—brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash—are only temporary solutions.

To save your breath, try to limit your intake of garlic, onions, some varieties of fish, and meaty meals. If you want to treat yourself but don’t want to deal with the repercussive stink, a glass of milk during or after a meal has been known to help deodorize breath.

Stay Hydrated

Saliva plays an important role in oral hygiene. One of its main jobs is flushing your mouth of the tiny food particles that stick to your teeth and gums. Without some spittle, those food particles become a tasty treat for bacteria. As the bacteria snacks on the teeny pieces of food left behind, they grow in number and in stench. Gross!

The absence of saliva in the mouth is also referred to as “dry mouth.” Dry mouth has hundreds of causes, such as:
Some prescription medications
Disease and chronic illness
Consuming alcohol and caffeine
Lucky for us, dry mouth is easily prevented. Chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum may aid your saliva production and provide some minty freshness to your mouth. Another simple strategy is swapping that second cup of coffee or glass of wine with a refreshing glass of cold water. A simple glass of water can combat dry mouth by hydrating your body and flushing away pesky food particles and oral bacteria. If quick fixes aren’t enough, let your doctor know and he or she may be able to prescribe a more effective approach.

Your Overall Health (Schedule Annual Checkups)

Those of us with allergies or a cold, which can lead to post nasal drip, may notice our breath suffering along with our health. All that excess mucus is a feasting ground for bacteria, which creates an unpleasant scent.

In addition to acute ailments, chronic illness has been known to effect breath. Liver, gum, and kidney disease, along with many other conditions, may contribute to halitosis. Make sure you’re getting annual wellness check-ups to prevent and treat any underlying health issues. Once your general health improves, your breath will follow.

Tobacco products are also a sure way to infuse bad odor into a close conversation. Added to the natural stench cigarette smoke brings with it, smoking-related oral health problems can cause chronic and painful conditions such as gum disease and oral cancer.

With the various causes of halitosis, there remains the most crucial and well-known path to fresh breath: maintaining your oral hygiene. This means brushing at least twice a day and flossing regularly. For extra coverage, rinse with mouthwash and give a tongue scraper a try. Cleaning out any extra food debris and bacteria will do your hygiene and health a world of good. Here’s to clean, fresh and healthy breath!

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