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Scottsdale Healthcare sponsors Women of Scottsdale annual event

The Women of Scottsdale held their annual “Spotlight Your Business” luncheon, at the Kierland Weston Resort and Spa, in Scottsdale Arizona on Friday, June 15, 2012. Sponsored by Scottsdale Healthcare, this annual event offers members an opportunity to showcase their companies. This year’s event featured over 50 local Scottsdale businesses.

The Women of Scottsdale is a local organization that promotes quality networking, and career and personal development for women from all walks of life in Scottsdale, Arizona. The organization endeavors to promote professional women who desire to be successful and connect with the community through monthly meetings where members share information, ideas, and contacts.

In addition to Scottsdale Healthcare, this year’s event included a variety of health, beauty, food community and personal care products and services for the health conscious business women.

They included:

Aspire 2 Wellness; a Scottsdale based business “for women who want to outsmart mid-life weight gain“. Owner, Bonnie Roill, RD, unveiled her new Free E-publication; “10 Real Reasons Women Gain Weight and How to Stop it in its Tracks”, which is due for release to the public Monday June 18, 2012. This 20 page E-book combines cutting-edge science, and behavioral strategies, for women in mid-life to help them discover how to outsmart mid-life weight gain so they can look and feel fit without deprivation and a diet of endless shakes. The Women of Scottsdale were given a special web link to get their copy on Friday. The free e-book can be obtained by the general public at http://tinyurl.com/realreasons.

Hollywood Eye Magic; distributor, Sandy Metter, was featuring an Anti-aging serum treatment which is oxygen infused for immediate results. Lasting up to 12 hours, the serum is promoted as having a cumulative effect with daily use. Sandy also offered on site free demonstrations on the effectiveness of Hollywood Eye Magic products. For more information contact Sandy at sandymetter2@gmail.com.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH); was represented by Susan Martz. One of the largest children’s hospitals in the country with over 1,000 medical staff, PCH provides specialty and subspecialty inpatient, outpatient, trauma and emergency care for patients throughout Arizona and other Southwestern states. It has six centers of excellence; a Neonatal Intensive Care, a Level One Pediatric Trauma Center, a Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Center of Pediatric Orthopedics, Phoenix Children’s Heart Center, and Barrow Neurological Institute ot Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

NU SKIN; a leader in the skin care industry with scientifically advanced ingredient technologies and skin beneficial formulas. Their skin care line offers over 100 different products. Local representative from the Miralinda Center For Well-Being, LLC, Linda Gerdes Mercer and Donna Bochow were on hand to discuss the NU Skin product line and the Galvanic Spa™ II E. There will be a Free demo in Scottsdale of the latest age-defying beauty Techniques on June 28, 2012. Contact 602-325-9201 for details.

Scottsdale HealthCare; as the sponsors of this years event, was well represented by Suzette Robles, Nancy McCutcheon, and Carol Wolfert. The organization has 3 campuses in Scottsdale; Osborn Medical Center, a 337-bed, full-service hospital, a leader in the fields of trauma, orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiovascular and critical care; Shea Medical Center, a 433-bed full-service hospital providing emergency, medical/surgical, critical care, obstetric, pediatric, cardiovascular, orthopedic and oncology services; and Thompson Peak Hospital, a 64-bed community medical-surgical hospital.

J. Alexander’s Restaurant; Denise Tysick and Krisen Opalanski handed out samples of fresh baked carrot cake. J. Alexander’s is a contemporary American restaurant, known for its wood-fired cuisine. The menu features a wide selection of American classics including prime rib of beef, steaks, fresh seafood, sandwiches, entrée salads and a varied and rotating selection of features like Seafood Czarina, Tuscan Steak, Grilled Fish with Mango Papaya Salsa and Chicken Milanese.

Discover The Region Magazine; Jodie Wilson, editor in Chief distributed copies of her magazine. The mission of the magazine is to network Business and Community leaders together to bring into focus the opportunities of their part of the world.

Friends of Africa International (FOAI); Co-founder Bonnie Bishop explained the purpose of FOAI was to increase awareness of the wildlife and cultural issues in Africa and the delicate balance facing the African continent. It supports and assist effective and established charitable institutions, research centers, and projects, both in Africa and in the USA, whose mandate is the conservation and protection of African wildlife, environment, and culture, from the constant threat of devastation by outside forces.

Carefree Homecare – Companion Services, Inc.; Carla Sutton, MSW, Vice President and General Manager was available to share information on the personal care, daily assisted living and entertainment services offered. Carefree Homecare is a recognized leader in providing quality non-medical home care services for senior care in Phoenix and Scottsdale and surrounding areas. Disease-Specific Care giving programs include Cancer Care, Alzheimer’s and, Stroke and Parkinson’s. Click here to learn more about Carefree Homecare.

Community Bridges, Inc.(CBI); is a private non-profit organization that provides services throughout Arizona. They offer a full continuum of behavioral health programs and support the community at large. Services include a full continuum of the highest quality substance abuse and mental health treatment, lifesaving interventions, support for women and children, outreach to help the homeless and community-based prevention and education services for youth and families.

Gabriel’s Angels; Gabriel’s Angels is the only program in Arizona that delivers healing pet therapy to abused, neglected and at-risk children. The short term goal is to instill in children an overall emotional sense of well-being, safety and happiness. Long term aspiration is to help children learn core social skills that will prevent them from continuing the cycle of violence as adults. Presently they provide pet therapy services to over 115 agencies and serve 13,000 children annually through nearly 155 Pet Therapy Teams, free of charge.

Additional information: Click Here for photo gallery form previous Women of Scottsdale events


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Study Shows Stress Decreases With Age

If you’re feeling more stressed than ever these days, you’re not alone: A scientific analysis of stress over the past 25 years finds that American stress levels increased 18 percent for women and 24 percent for men from 1983-2009. But there’s a silver lining: The study also found that stress decreases as we age.

Thirty-year-olds have less stress than 20-year-olds, and 40-year-olds have less stress than 30-year-olds,” said lead researcher Sheldon Cohen.

Cohen and his Carnegie Mellon colleague analyzed data from three surveys (one in 1983, one in 2006 and one in 2009) and about 6,300 people, in what’s considered the first historical comparison of stress levels across the United States. The results show increases in stress across almost every demographic category.

In all three surveys, however, those 55 and older showed the lowest levels of stress.

Those most negatively affected by the recent recession, in terms of stress, were white, middle-aged men with college educations and full-time jobs.

Friday Quick Hits: 

  • Advanced Style. Twenty-something photographer Ari Seth Cohen has been shooting New York’s 60+ set, whose images he collects on his blog, “Advanced Style,” and published in a book of the same name last month. A lot of these older women “don’t have a job, they don’t have to impress their bosses, their children, their lovers,” said Cohen. In dressing, “they have no one to please but themselves.”
  • A century of weather. Nearing 100 years old, meteorologist Robert Simpson–who helped develop the hurricane wind scale–has seen firsthand some of the worst weather disasters in U.S. history.

Photo: Sporrer/Rupp / Cultura / Aurora Photos

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The Y Expands Efforts to Ensure Healthy Living is Accessible to All

Ten Ys receive Community Transformation Grants to support the health and well-being of African American and Hispanic communities

YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the nation’s 2,700 YMCAs, announced that 10 Ys will

receive grants of $65,000 each to lead efforts in their communities to ensure healthy opportunities are available to all.

The grants are part of the Community Transformation Grants program (CTGs) – a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and lower health care costs. Y-USA – one of seven national organizations to receive funding through CTGs – will work with 10 Ys to deepen their efforts to implement programs and strategies that support the health and well-being of individuals in their communities, with a specific focus on African American and Hispanic individuals.


YMCA (Photo credit: reidmix)

“As a leading nonprofit committed to improving the nation’s health, the Y believes that all people deserve to live life to its fullest regardless of where they live,” said Neil Nicoll, President and CEO, YMCA of the USA. “The Y exists to fulfill community needs, and creating greater access to opportunities that promote health is one of our highest priorities.  The Community Transformation Grants program will help Ys ensure that their programs and initiatives are helping individuals who face the greatest barriers to healthy living.”

The Y’s CTGs efforts will focus on two main areas:

  1. Coordinating and linking systems between health care providers, clinical settings and community-based organizations in predominately African American and Hispanic communities to help guide individuals to prevention efforts/programs such as the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program that are proven to increase health outcomes.
  2. Enhancing local efforts to implement community-wide strategies that create environments in early childhood and afterschool settings that ease the adoption of healthy eating and physical activity standards with an emphasis on locations serving African American and Hispanic populations.

The 10 Ys selected to receive funds through CTGs are:

Community Y of Marshalltown Marshalltown, IA
Rye YMCA Port Chester, NY
YMCA of Central Kentucky Lexington, KY
YMCA of Delaware Wilmington, DE
YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Cincinnati
YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, IN
YMCA of Greater Indianapolis Indianapolis
YMCA of Greater Louisville Louisville, KY
YMCA of Greater Seattle Seattle
YMCA of Southern Arizona Tucson, AZ

“The CDC congratulates all of the new community awardees. The success of the Community Transformation Grants program is in its multi-sectoral partnerships, which maximizes community efforts to improve health where we live, work, play and learn,” said Dr. Rebecca Bunnell, Acting Director of the Division of Community Health, CDC. “The Y has an excellent track record of fostering healthier communities and these new awardees will help expand access to healthy food and physical activity community-wide. This type of local action is critical in our efforts to prevent diabetes and reduce the disturbing increases in childhood obesity that we’ve seen over the past 20 years. We are so pleased to work with outstanding partners like Y-USA in our joint commitment to make healthy living easier.”

The 10 YMCAs will work over a period of 16 months to deepen their efforts and learn new ways to improve the health and well-being of African Americans and Hispanics in their communities.  The outcomes and learnings from the initiative will help generate leading practices that will be shared with other YMCAs, as well as the CDC, in order to make an impact across the nation.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

For Immediate Release Contact:
Kelly Kennai
YMCA of the USA


WASHINGTON, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

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National Alzheimer’s Plan Released

Today the Obama Administration announced the release of the National Alzheimer’s Plan. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius reaffirmed our nation’s commitment to conquering Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, with a specific goal of finding effective ways to prevent and treat the disease by 2025.

In addition to the release of the Plan the Administration also published a new website alzheimers.gov which will serve as a resource for those fighting the disease.

Read the Alzheimer’s Association comments on the plan.

Read the entire text of the National Alzheimer’s Plan (pdf) (html).

Posted on May 15, 2012 by Alzheimer’s Association

On January 4, 2011, The National Alzheimer’s Project Act was signed into law by the President of the United States after having been passed unanimously in both the Senate and House of Representatives.  This is a major victory for the Alzheimer’s Association’s chapters and advocates as well as the nation.  Once enacted, NAPA will create a national strategic plan to address and overcome the rapidly escalating crisis of Alzheimer’s.
NAPA is the largest legislative victory in many years for the Alzheimer cause.

Over the last several years, the Alzheimer’s Association has been the leading voice in urging Congress and the White House to pass the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA).  The National Alzheimer’s Project Act will create a coordinated national plan to overcome the Alzheimer crisis and will ensure the coordination and evaluation of all national efforts in Alzheimer research, clinical care, institutional, and home- and community-based programs and their outcomes.  Alzheimer’s advocates were instrumental in moving NAPA through Congress.  More than 50,000 e-mails, nearly 10,000 phone calls and more than 1,000 meetings by the Alzheimer’s Association and its advocates led us to the historic legislative victory for the Alzheimer community.

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Heatstroke: A deadly hazard of summer

To avoid heatstroke, avoid strenuous physical activity outside during the hottest time of the day, if possible.
To avoid heatstroke, avoid strenuous physical activity outside during the hottest time of the day, if possible.

(CNN) — Michael Musick is all too familiar with the toll heat can take on the human body.

He was helping his father put up hay on their family farm three weeks ago when his vision began to blur. His legs became weak and his muscles cramped.

“If you keep pushing it, after you see the stars, then everything goes black and you pass out,” said Musick, 46, who lives on a farm near Honaker, Virginia. This was the third time in five years that he had a heat-related illness, but this was the most severe. This time, he passed out twice.

“It’s pretty classic for folks. If they continue to have episodes of heat-related illness, they usually get worse each time,” said Dr. S. Hughes Melton, practicing physician in Lebanon, Virginia, who treated Musick for heatstroke.

A normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but in heatstroke the body can warm up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in 10 to 15 minutes. Death or permanent disability can result from heatstroke if not treated immediately.

The risk of heatsroke is up this week because of heat wave across the nation. Twelve states are under heat advisories from the National Weather Service as of Wednesday, including Musick’s Virginia. And even areas of the country that aren’t under heat advisories, such as Newark, New Jersey, and New York’s JFK airport, hit record highs Tuesday.

“When you have the kind of heat wave that we’re having now, we start to get worried,” said Dr. Janyce Sanford, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

America under heat stress

This summer’s heat has already claimed at least one life: a 51-year-old man in Granite City, Illinois, died because of excessive heat, according to the Madison County coroner. He was found unresponsive in his mobile home, where the air conditioner was not working, according to CNN affiliate KMOV. The preliminary cause of death is heatstroke.

Between 1999 and 2003, there were 3,442 reported deaths resulting from exposure to extreme heat, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During that time Arizona had the highest number of deaths related to hyperthermia, which happens when the body overheats (heatstroke is a form of it), followed by Nevada and Missouri.

Elderly people and young children, as well as people with chronic severe illnesses, are at highest risk of heatstroke.

Heat hurts your insides too

There are a few different forms of heat-related illnesses.

Heat cramps are usually considered mild, and can be treated with liquids and going into a cool environment. More severe is heat exhaustion, which involves elevation of body temperature, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

And then there is heatstroke, which is the most life-threatening. Heatstroke resembles heat exhaustion but may additionally involve neurological symptoms such as confusion and dizziness, or even coma. The body can no longer sweat, and internal temperature skyrockets.

Geoff Stoker, 24, remembers sweating profusely at soccer camp in high school and then, after three days, the sweating stopped altogether. He lost desire to eat, and vomited. His father, a surgeon, treated him for heatstroke at home, and he had no long-term side effects.

In Musick’s case, the heatstroke temporarily diminished his kidney function to about 50%.

Patients may also lose water weight through dehydration, said Dr. Sylvia Morris, hospitalist at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia. A hospitalist is a physician whose focus is patients within a hospital.

Sanford’s hospital typically sees one or two chronically ill elderly patients who live without air conditioning and develop heatstroke in any given summer. But she believes the South sees fewer cases because people in that region are more acclimated to high outdoor temperatures; they’re more used to having to deal with heat than in other parts of the United States.


In severe cases, patients must be admitted to the intensive care unit, where medical staff watch body temperature carefully. A 48-hour hospital stay would usually be necessary, Sanford said.

“If you can get them to treatment fairly quickly, they’ll survive it,” Sanford said. Chronic illnesses can complicate recovery, however.

Treatment focuses on cooling the patient down to a normal body temperature. If the patient has a clear airway, breathes normally and has normal circulation, medical staff will remove his or her clothes and spray cool water while a fan is blowing, Sanford said. Cool intravenous fluids also bring body temperature down.

Musick’s wife Teresa, recognizing heatstroke symptoms, drove him to the hospital when she noticed that his speech was slurred and his blood pressure was dropping. The emergency room staff gave him an IV, and the next day he followed up with Melton, who gave him two more IV bags.

“His body is not able to cool itself effectively, and so for him, he needs to avoid prolonged working in the heat. That’s really his only option at this point, because I don’t think his body will adapt,” Melton said.

Avoiding heatstroke

To protect yourself, try to avoid strenuous physical activity outside during the hottest time of the day — between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

People who must work outside should make sure they drink plenty of water every half-hour or so and take breaks in a cool environment if possible, Sanford said. Wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat can also help.

You can tell if you’re dehydrated by looking at your urine, Melton said. If you’ve had adequate amounts of water, your urine will probably look light in color; darker means you should drink more.

And make sure you check on the elderly, especially if they don’t have air conditioning, Morris said. They should spend time in cool places such as a library or a mall to get a break from the heat, she said.

5 tips for surviving extreme heat

Kidney, liver and heart problems are all conditions that should make patients extra aware of the heat, and they should talk with their doctors about heat exposure, said Morris.

“People tend to forget to drink. By the time you’re thirsty, it’s really too late,” Morris said.

Musick said his problem is that he doesn’t like to drink water so much, and his hydration concerns his wife. But over the past three years he’s made an effort to get at least 8 glasses a day in his system.

Since his most recent heatstroke, he’s been resting and hasn’t been out on the farm.

“I am really pushing the hobby of farming to be retired,” Teresa Musick said.

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
July 14, 2011 6:18 a.m. EDT

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Flu Season Makes a Late Appearance

Our thoughts may be on spring, but reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that winter’s companion—seasonal influenza—is making a late appearance in the U.S.

Flu Checklist

Flu cases are now widespread in two states (Calif., Colo.), and an increasing number of states are reporting regional flu activity. The CDC expects this activity to rise in the coming weeks.

Flu Prevention
The flu virus can spread from a cough, sneeze or even talking. To avoid getting or passing the flu to others, follow these prevention tips:

  • Get a flu shot every year. It’s not too late! Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to minimize illness and death.
  • Practice good health habits to maintain your body’s resistance to infection by eating a balanced diet, drinking lots of fluids and getting a good night’s rest.
  • Stop the spread of germs by washing your hands with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze with a tissue and minimizing contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Adopt business/school practices that also encourage employees/students to stay home when sick.
  • The flu is contagious, with the ability to infect others a day before symptoms appear and up to a week after becoming sick. Children may be contagious for an even longer period.
  • Staying home will help protect those around you from the flu virus—at work, at school or at the grocery store.

Caring for Those with the Flu
If someone in your household has the flu, follow these tips:

  • Designate one person as the caregiver.
  • Avoid sharing items such as pens, towels, sheets, blankets, food or eating utensils unless cleaned between uses.
  • Disinfect doorknobs, switches, handles, computers, telephones, toys and other surfaces that are commonly touched around the home or workplace.
  • Wash everyone’s dishes using very hot water and soap.
  • Wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.
  • Wear disposable gloves when in contact with or cleaning up body fluids.

To learn more about how to stay healthy this flu season, read our Preparedness Fast Facts.

By American Red Cross

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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For Neck Pain, Chiropractic and Exercise Are Better Than Drugs

Seeing a chiropractor or engaging in light exercise relieves neck pain more effectively than relying on pain medication, new research shows.

The new study is one of the few head-to-head comparisons of various treatments for neck pain, a problem that affects three quarters of Americans at some point in their lives but has no proven, first-line treatment. While many people seek out spinal manipulation by chiropractors, the evidence supporting its usefulness has been limited at best.

But the new research, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, found that chiropractic care or simple exercises done at home were better at reducing pain than taking medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or narcotics.

“These changes were diminished over time, but they were still present,” said Dr. Gert Bronfort, an author of the study and research professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota. “Even a year later, there were differences between the spinal manipulation and medication groups.”

Moderate and acute neck pain is one of the most frequent reasons for trips to primary care doctors, prompting millions of visits every year. For patients, it can be a difficult problem to navigate. In some cases the pain and stiffness crop up without explanation, and treatment options are varied. Physical therapy, pain medication and spinal manipulation are popular options, but Dr. Bronfort was inspired to carry out an analysis because so little research exists.

“There was a void in the scientific literature in terms of what the most helpful treatments are,” he said.

To find out, Dr. Bronfort and his colleagues recruited a large group of adults with neck pain that had no known specific cause. The subjects, 272 in all, were mostly recruited from a large HMO and through advertisements. The researchers then split them into three groups and followed them for about three months.

One group was assigned to visit a chiropractor for roughly 20-minute sessions throughout the course of the study, making an average of 15 visits. A second group was assigned to take common pain relievers like acetaminophen and — in some cases, at the discretion of a doctor — stronger drugs like narcotics and muscle relaxants. The third group met on two occasions with physical therapists who gave them instructions on simple, gentle exercises for the neck that they could do at home. They were encouraged to do 5 to 10 repetitions of each exercise up to eight times a day. (A demonstration of the exercises can be found at www.annals.org).

After 12 weeks, the people in the non-medication groups did significantly better than those taking the drugs. About 57 percent of those who met with chiropractors and 48 percent who did the exercises reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to 33 percent of the people in the medication group.

A year later, when the researchers checked back in, 53 percent of the subjects who had received spinal manipulation still reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, similar to the exercise group. That compared to just a 38 percent pain reduction among those who had been taking medication.

Dr. Bronfort said it was a “big surprise” to see that the home exercises were about as effective as the chiropractic sessions. “We hadn’t expected that they would be that close,” he said. “But I guess that’s good news for patients.”

In addition to their limited pain relief, the medications had at least one other downside: people kept taking them. “The people in the medication group kept on using a higher amount of medication more frequently throughout the follow-up period, up to a year later,” Dr. Bronfort said. “If you’re taking medication over a long time, then we’re running into more systemic side effects like gastrointestinal problems.”

He also expressed concern that those on medications were not as empowered or active in their own care as those in the other groups. “We think it’s important that patients are enabled to deal with as much control over their own condition as possible,” he said. “This study shows that they can play a large role in their own care.”

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR of The New York Times

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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

November is Alzheimer’s awareness month. Worldwide it is estimated that about 16 million people have Alzheimer’s disease, 4.5 million of them are Americans. For every person with Alzheimer’s there is often at least one other person who directly cares for them and a host of healthcare & social workers, advocates, volunteers and support workers in the background. With so many people directly or indirectly affected by Alzheimer’s it is good that a time of year is set aside to promote awareness.

It is not known what causes Alzheimer’s disease and at present there is no cure. But there is hope and help for those people with Alzheimer’s. Research into the disease is offering answers to many questions. The pooling of knowledge, the increasing amounts of international funding will one day provide us with the cause, with better ways of treating Alzheimer’s and will hopefully provide a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Until that day this site pays tribute to all the people who have Alzheimer’s disease, to all those who strive to make the lives of people with Alzheimer’s better. To all the caregivers who love and care, who daily give such a lot to help their loved ones we say a special thank you in recognition of your very special contribution.

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National Caregiver Month recognizes and supports those helping care for loved ones

There are more than 65 million caregivers who are an essential part of a patient‘s health care team in the United States. They not only provide emotional strength and support but also often help a patient with their daily needs, such as filling prescriptions or helping schedule doctors’ appointments. But while being a caregiver to someone in need can be a significant help, it can also be a daunting responsibility. Greg Stephens, Founder and Director of the National CML Society, can relate.

“When my mother was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, or CML, I not only had an immediate concern about her overall health, but also about the added responsibilities and pressure that it would bring to our lives,” says Stephens. “I was committed to being the best caregiver I could, and staying as organized and well-researched as possible, but CML is not a disease that can be treated quickly. Instead, I think of it as a marathon, since my mother’s disease required ongoing treatment and care.”

CML is a blood cancer that in most patients can be controlled and managed for many years by working closely with a physician to develop the best possible treatment plan. Plans are decided based on a number of criteria, such as age and progression of the disease, and include a combination of daily medications, routine blood tests and regular check-ins with doctors. Dr. Javier Pinilla-Ibarz, Assistant Member of the Malignant Hematology and Immunology Program at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, knows firsthand.

“When I tell patients they have CML it can be scary because it is a cancer that requires ongoing, active management for many years and the treatment process can be a lot of responsibility for a patient to manage on their own. Having a friend or loved one by the patient’s side can be a tremendous help. Not only can they help remind the patient of what to do to control their disease, but they can also be someone a patient can talk with to help keep spirits high.”

November’s National Caregiver Month is a great time to celebrate caregivers. The following tips are designed to help caregivers manage their role as part of the patient’s health care team:

* Helping track results: Creating a “results journal” which is devoted to storing test results along with his or her testing dates can help a patient keep track of this information. For example, for CML patients, tracking the levels of the cancer-causing enzyme, Bcr-Abl, is important for monitoring the progression of the disease.

* Caring for yourself too: Balancing the needs of the patient with your own needs is essential. A caregiver who’s stressed out or overwhelmed might not be able to care for a loved one as well as they want to.

* Educating yourself: Staying well-informed about your loved one’s condition will make you a more valuable resource for them. With CML, the enzyme Bcr-Abl is responsible for sending signals to produce cancerous white blood cells. Knowing about the disease and which medications best target and inhibit this enzyme will help you to be an active participant in ongoing treatment discussions between your loved one and their medical team.

* Joining a caregiver support group: Connecting with other caregivers is an opportunity to learn new ways to help a loved one. There is a great strength in knowing you are not alone.

For more information and to connect with other CML patients and caregivers, visit the Novartis sponsored social networking site www.cmlearth.com.

By JSOnline

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State Oncology Encourages Healthier Living this Holiday Season, Provides Tips and Recipes

With eggnog, sugar cookies, and cheese balls among the most popular dishes served at holiday parties, it’s no wonder the season causes even the biggest health nuts and strictest dieters to stray from their nutritious paths. A healthy lifestyle is an important weapon in the fight against disease, so this holiday season Texas Oncology encourages people to make small changes that could result in big health payoffs. To make it easy, Texas Oncology introduces its Healthy Holiday Recipe Collection, with this year’s featured Merry Mulling Mix recipe, and shares tips to promote healthier eating and exercise during the holidays.

According to a recent report by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), healthier lifestyles and better diets could prevent up to 2.8 million cases of cancer each year. The number of cancers around the world has increased by 20 percent in less than a decade to around 12 million new cases a year. WCRF named cancer, along with other chronic diseases like heart and lung disease and diabetes, among the world’s biggest health challenges.

“Adopting a healthy lifestyle with a well-balanced diet full of nutrients is important for overall well-being and critical to preventing and fighting cancer,” said Dr. Lalan Wilfong, medical oncologist at Texas Oncology. “This season, give the gift of health to yourself and others by making better choices and simple adjustments to your regular holiday routine that can help reduce the risk of disease later in life.”

Small Changes, Big Health Pay-Offs
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly a third of cancer deaths could be prevented by improving nutrition, limiting alcohol intake, participating in more physical activity, and quitting smoking.

When planning holiday gatherings and creating new traditions, here are some tips to help you stay on track while still spreading holiday cheer:

  •     Start the day with a hearty breakfast. Fill-up on fiber-rich foods, such as oatmeal, and lean protein, such as turkey sausage, to stay full longer and get your metabolism going.
  •     Sprinkle your table with healthier dishes. Challenge yourself to make holiday menus more nutritious by adding fresh vegetables and fruits and other dishes that are high in dietary fiber, such as whole grains and beans. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends filling at least two-thirds of your plate with these types of foods.
  •     Cook with This, Not That. Limit foods that are high in fat and added sugars and substitute ingredients in these popular dishes with more nutritious ones:

o    Shortbread: Reduce the sugar by half and intensify the sweetness by adding vanilla.
o    Brownies: Substitute butter with baby prunes to cut more than half the fat and calories.
o    Salad: Replace iceberg lettuce with arugula, spinach, or kale to add more nutrients.
o    Stuffing: Instead of dry bread crumbs, use rolled oats for added fiber.
o    Breakfast Casserole: Use lean turkey or Italian prosciutto instead of bacon to cut calories and fat.

  •     Leave Santa a nutritious midnight snack. Promote healthy eating to children early by encouraging them to leave Santa apple slices and apple cider with Merry Mulling Mix beside the fireplace.
  •     Sneak in a workout. Make a goal to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. If you’re unable to break away for a jog or the gym, play with your kids, go on a family holiday hike, or pick the farthest parking spot to get moving and maintain a healthy weight.
  •     Create “active” family traditions. Create healthy, fun family traditions that include physical activity, like cutting down your own tree, building a snowman, or playing a friendly game of flag football.
  •     Give delicious, healthy treats as gifts. Make healthier items to give to neighbors, coworkers, and friends instead of candy and high-fat baked goods.

Give the Gift of Health this Season
Texas Oncology’s Healthy Holiday Recipe Collection offers several healthy recipe and gift ideas—from Holly Jolly Biscotti and Gingerbread Granola to Jingle Jam and Holiday Crunch Time—that are delicious and nutritious. The latest recipe in the collection, Merry Mulling Mix is an easy-to-make, healthy alternative to high-calorie beverages. This blend of dried oranges, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cranberries, and ginger can be combined with tea, apple cider, or fruit juice to create a nutritious and delicious holiday beverage served hot or cold.

Merry Mulling Mix contains orange peel with antioxidants that have the potential to lower cholesterol and help normalize blood pressure. Orange peel also contains vitamins that have been shown to reduce the growth of lung and skin cancer cells. The nutmeg provides a good source of minerals like calcium and potassium – the latter of which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. The spice is also rich in Vitamin C and folic acid, which are essential to optimum health. Cranberries are a powerful source of flavonoids, a family of phytonutrients with antioxidants.

Texas Oncology is looking out for Texans’ health, providing them with the top technologies and treatment options available.

About Texas Oncology

Texas Oncology delivers high-quality cancer care with leading-edge technology and advanced treatment and therapy options available to help patients achieve “More breakthroughs. More victories.”® in their fights against cancer. Texas Oncology, a pioneer in community-based cancer care, is an independent oncology practice with sites of service throughout Texas and southeastern Oklahoma. Texas Breast Specialists and Texas Urology Specialists, which focus on all areas of breast and urologic care, are a part of Texas Oncology.

Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation for a broad range of cancers. Texas Oncology participates in innovative clinical trials from Phase I through Phase IV through US Oncology Research, which has helped to develop 43 FDA approved cancer therapies.

Texas Oncology is united in healing with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks focused on advancing cancer care in America. As an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, Texas Oncology is united with more than 1,000 physicians and 10,000 cancer professionals nationwide. The US Oncology Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health.

For more information, visit http://www.TexasOncology.com or call 1-888-864-I CAN


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