WARNING! Men are four times more likely than women to be diagnosed with oral cancer, a hard-to-detect, hard-to-treat disease that has overtaken cervical cancer as the most common HPV-related malignancy in the United States.
MY ADVICE? Get screened regularly for oral cancer (mouth/tongue/throat exams along with the new saliva high-risk HPV-detection test) and consider getting vaccinated with the updated HPV-9 vaccine series (Gardasil-9) if you are in a high risk group
SERIOUS WARNING! Flu vaccine 2017 is a pretty much a bust (but still worth getting; see below). And deadly H3N2 flu virus is running rampant. Lots of pneumonia, hospitalizations & death. Call your doc ASAP if you feel sick. Could save your life...
PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, COWORKERS & ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN. IT’S IMPORTANT.
ARE FRENCH FRIES DANGEROUS? Unfortunately, they may be. A new study suggests that people who eat French fries, hash browns or other fried potatoes at least twice a week may have DOUBLE the risk of dying compared to people who avoid fried potato dishes.
WHAT'S THE EVIDENCE? "In the study (published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition), researchers from England, Italy, Spain and the U.S. looked at data from 4,400 people between 45 and 79 years of age, and followed the...ir dietary patterns and health over eight years. By the end of the study period, 236 of the participants had died.
"Eating more potatoes in general didn’t do anything bad in and of itself - but when the type of preparation of the potatoes was taken into account, the team found that fried potatoes of any kind, including French fries and hash browns, twice a week or more did increase the mortality risk. And it increased it by TWOFOLD."
WHY? Experts cite a number of factors including obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes in frequent fried potato eaters as well as the artery-clogging trans fats in fries and cancer-causing chemical acrylamide which is formed when potatoes are fried at high temperatures.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Limit your intake of fried potatoes to no more than one serving per week, making French fires or hash browns a "treat" rather than a staple of your diet.
MEMORIAL DAY WARNING - SWIMMING POOL ALERT! Swimming pools, especially overcrowded public pools, are rather disgusting bodies of water - literally teeming with fecal bacteria, urine, blood and all sorts of dangerous parasites and germs like Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, etc. And to make matters worse, many of these nasty, disease-causing critters are resistant to standard pool disinfectants like chlorine.
HOW COMMON IS THE "POOPY POOL" PROBLEM? Unfortunately, it's almo...st universal. "About 8 in every 10 pool inspections find serious health code violations. Of those eight, one will be so serious that the pool has to shut down immediately."
"Lots of these violations have NOTHING to do with measured amount of bacteria or viruses. They’re more to do with whether there are enough disinfecting agents in the pool. But that’s exactly how you end up with outbreaks—failing to disinfect properly. The CDC estimates that half of all spas are in violation of the health code and that one in nine should be closed immediately."
Do the math: "Up to ten grams of poop can wash off a little kid’s butt in a pool. Ten grams is a pretty small amount, but now multiply that by the number of children in your average public pool. Think about how much poop that is. That’s gross. Communal water is gross."
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES? Try not to drink/swallow pool water, shower off before entering AND immediately after exiting the pool, check the weather (on really hot days and after heavy rainfall bacteria counts rise) and, sorry kids, avoid water parks which tend to be overcrowded and under-disinfected.
BOTTOM LINE: Most of the time, despite the "poopy pool" epidemic, you'll be just fine. Our bodies have evolved to fight off many dangerous germs without us actually getting ill. If, however, you do notice a fever, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, a skin rash or some new symptom after swimming in a pool, get medical attention immediately before the infection has a chance to do serious damage.
SUSHI SCARE! DANGEROUS PARASITE INCREASINGLY FOUND IN RAW/UNCOOKED SUSHI FISH WORLDWIDE: "Anisakiasis, an illness caused by eating parasite-contaminated fish or seafood, is on the rise in Western countries like the United States where eating sushi and other raw or undercooked fish and seafood dishes has gained popularity, according to a new report published in the British Medical Journal.
WHAT HAPPENED? The new study's authors point to a case of a "previously healthy 32-year-...
WARNING! YOUR (QUIETLY) GERMY KITCHEN MAY BE MAKING YOU SICK: Tempted to blame that ethnic take-out restaurant for the horrifying bout of food poisoning that left you dehydrated and feeling like you'd been hit by a bus? Think again. Your kitchen may (surreptitiously) be far more disgusting and germ-laden than any of these restaurants.
"You're right to be wary of restaurants with less-than-perfect scores from the health department, but chances are good that your own kitchen i...
DANGEROUS RELIEF? COMMON PAINKILLERS LIKE ADVIL AND ALEVE STRONGLY LINKED TO HEART ATTACKS: Taking over-the-counter pain medications called "NSAIDs" (like Advil/ibuprofen, Aleve/naproxen) could increase your risk of a heart attack by almost 50%. Yikes!
WHAT'S THE NEW EVIDENCE? "In a study of 450,000 people just published in the highly-regarded British Medical Journal, researchers found that within one week of starting to take ibuprofen (like Advil), the risk of experiencing a... heart attack increased by 48 percent. Overall, the risk of heart attack due to any kind of NSAID—including naproxen, or Aleve— increased by 20 to 50 percent."
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN? "Prior studies have linked NSAIDs to increased clotting of the blood, which could cause a blockage that can trigger a heart attack. Also, NSAIDs can cause water and sodium retention. Over time, that can cause small changes in your blood pressure - over time thius bump in blood pressure can be sufficient to trigger a heart attack.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO? "If you do decide to take the meds, stick to the lowest effect dose—the study found that heart attack risk rises at higher dosages. They defined “high doses” of ibuprofen as greater than 1,200 milligrams (mg) a day, and naproxen as greater than 750 mg a day, for instance." And talk to your doctor about the safety of taking these over-the-counter pain medications given your own personal risk profile. There may be safer alternatives.
IN HICCUP HELL? Here's a quick primer about what causes hiccups and 10 simple home remedies to rid yourself of these annoying and embarrassing spasms.
WHAT CAUSES HICCUPS? "Lots of things can cause the diaphragm to become irritated resulting in hiccups, from a larger-than-normal meal, to heartburn/reflux, to sudden temperature changes, to the carbonated bubbles in soda. Alcohol, cigarette smoke, and swallowed air (while chewing gum, for example) are also likely culprits. Even...
SLIMY MEDICINE! NEW ANTI-FLU DISCOVERY COMES WITH A BIG "ICK" FACTOR: FROG MUCUS MAY BE A POTENT TREATMENT FOR FLU: ""What’s more amazing than kissing a frog and getting a handsome prince? How about scraping off a bit of the mucus layer that covers his skin and finding in it a potent weapon against influenza?
That, quite simply, is what scientists from Emory University appear to have done in discovering an antimicrobial peptide on the skin of Hydrophylax bahuvistara, a specie...s of frog native to southern India.
What they found could treat influenza - a relentless scourge of humankind that kills as many as half a million people around the world each year.
There, in the film of secretions that protects the frog’s skin from deadly pathogens, scientists have identified a string of amino acids that completely destroys a wide swath of influenza A viruses while doing no harm to healthy human red blood cells.
This discovery, reported Tuesday in the journal Immunity, will face many hurdles before it can become an actual influenza treatment. But its novelty is a potential source of strength against flu viruses that have begun to develop resistance to existing antiviral medications."
GREAT NEWS! LOW-DOSE ASPIRIN - TAKEN DAILY - CUTS CANCER DEATH RISK BY UP TO 30%. Ask your doctor if this dirt cheap and really easy therapy is both safe and appropriate for you.
GRAVE DANGER: THE "SUPERBUGS" HAVE ARRIVED! Bacteria resistant to ALL available antibiotics has killed a 70 year-old woman in Nevada, and scientists predict that this is just the tip of a frightening wave of untreatable, antibiotic-resistant infections to come. Antibiotic resistance has now become one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and economic development around the world today.
WHAT HAPPENED? A woman in her 70's had traveled to India, fractured her ...
GREAT NEWS! HEART DISEASE - THE #1 KILLER OF ALL AMERICANS - IS DOWN BY AN ENORMOUS 20% IN THE PAST TWO DECADES BECAUSE OF LIFESTYLE CHANGES. WHY?
1. DECREASED SMOKING: The number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped by 8.6 million since 2005. Unfortunately, 15% of Americans still smoke, but that's WAY down from the 42.5 % (!!!) of Americans who smoked in 1965.
2. WE'RE DOING BETTER AT EARLY DETECTION AND TREATMENT OF DIABETES: On the down side, we're gettin...g fatter and more Americans are developing diabetes. From 1980 through 2014, the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes has increased fourfold - from 5.5 million to 22.0 million. We can do better through education, better diets, eating/drinking less sugar and engaging in more physical activity
3. EARLY DETECTION AND TREATMENT OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE HAS INCREASED: We now have plenty of generic, inexpensive, effective and non-toxic medications to treat high blood pressure. And more people are empowered to take their BP's at home with automatic blood pressure devices and at pharmacy counters.
4. DIAGNOSING & TREATING HIGH CHOLESTEROL HAS BECOME A CORNERSTONE OF ROUTINE MEDICAL CARE: The use of modern cholesterol-lowering drugs, the so-called statins (e.g. Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor. Pravachol, etc.), have shown significant improvements in mortality, both heart-related (coronary) mortality, stroke mortality and total death rates. Yes, I know that there's a ton of controversy surrounding the use and potential toxicity of statins and that the mechanism by which they prevent heart disease may be less the actual lowering of cholesterol numbers than by decreasing inflammation, but they really DO work. Check this out: http://www.cbsnews.com/…/statin-review-controversy-over-ch…/
BOTTOM LINE: Although you can't escape your own genetics, SIMPLE lifestyle choices/changes and early detection and treatment of heart disease risk factors can afford you amazing survival and quality of life benefits that a PREVENTIVE health strategy can bring.
P.S. For you physicians/scientists/nerds out there, here's the actual link to the JAMA study from November 2016 that just reported this dramatic drop in heart disease attributable to modifiable risk factors: http://jamanetwork.com/journa…/jama/article-abstract/2584042
P.P.S. FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm on high blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications as a result of my family genetics, as are my parents and siblings. When I checked my heart health last year with a stress test and a heart scan, there was ZERO plaque in my coronary arteries. And I'm a 56 year-old guy. You can do it too.
DANGER! ALCOHOL PROVEN TO INCREASE CANCER RISK: Don't shoot the messenger, but there is definitive proof that alcohol is a MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR to at least seven different types of cancer - liver, colon, rectum, breast, oropharynx (mouth), larynx (throat) and esophagus. It's so bad that health experts are calling for warning labels on booze, like those on tobacco products.
IS THIS FOR REAL OR IS THIS JUST SCARY INTERNET CLICK-BAIT? It's real. Deadly real. Here's a link to the a...ctual publication in the respected journal Addiction: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/d…/10.1111/add.13477/abstract
HOW RISKY IS ALCOHOL? Drinking 50 grams of alcohol per day—about 2.6 beers or roughly three 6-ounce glasses of wine—results in a four to seven times greater risk of cancer in the oropharynx, larynx, and esophagus, and a 1.5 times greater risk of the others, compared to consuming no alcohol at all. To make matters worse, evidence is mounting that alcohol may also cause skin, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
WHAT'S THE CANCER-CAUSING MECHANISM? Scientists aren't sure how alcohol causes cancer, but acetaldehyde—the compound formed when alcohol breaks down—damages the DNA of cells in the mouth, throat, esophagus, and liver.
I DONT DRINK THAT MUCH. DOES THIS CANCER RISK JUST APPLY TO HEAVY DRINKERS? Nope. Light-moderate drinkers are at increased risk too. According to the experts, "there is no safe level of alcohol consumption."
WHAT IF I STOP DRINKING?: That's the good news - those who stopped drinking reduced their risk of cancer in the larynx, throat, and liver, with the risk continuing to fall the longer they steered clear of booze.
35 years ago today.
Buried on page A20 of the New York Times.* The whispered beginnings of a viral "holocaust."
- U.S. AIDS deaths in 1981: 234 souls ...
- U.S. AIDS deaths by the time Ronald Reagan** first uttered the word "AIDS" in public on February 5, 1986: 16,301 souls
- U.S. AIDS deaths by end of 2015: 658,507 souls
- Global AIDS deaths by end of 2015: 34,000,000 souls
- Global # of people living with HIV by the end of 2015: 36,700,000 souls
To quote the late Nobel laureate, WWII Holocaust survivor/witness and human rights activist, Elie Wiesel, "Never again."
*Link to 1981 NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/…/rare-cancer-seen-in-41-homosexuals…
**Link to 2015 Vanity Fair article/video about Ronald Reagan's deliberate silence on AIDS and his administration's mocking of citizens suffering from AIDS entitled "When AIDS Was Funny": http://www.vanityfair.com/…/reagan-administration-response-…
The “Orlando Effect”: Re-Traumatizing and Re-Energizing a Community of Survivors
by Gary R. Cohan, M.D.
I'm a Los Angeles-based medical doctor who, for the past 25 years, has specialized in treating the LGBT community. I've witnessed the ravages of AIDS, the physical and psychological trauma of violent hate crimes, and depression and suicide in a community specifically targeted for discrimination because of who we love....
SCAM! PROBIOTICS SHOWN TO BE PRETTY WORTHLESS FOR HEALTHY ADULTS: New study suggests no benefit of taking expensive probiotic supplements to add "good bacteria" to your intestines in an effort to create a healthy gut "microbiome" if you are a healthy adult.
WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS? "Probiotics are live bacteria that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the gut. Available in certain foods like yogurt, they are also sold in supplement form under brand names like Renew,...