Testicular Cancer: More Common Males 15 to 34

11/28/2010

Compared with other types of cancer, testicular cancer is rare. But testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 34.

Testicular cancer occurs in the testicles (testes), which are located inside the scrotum, a loose bag of skin underneath the penis. The testicles produce male sex hormones and sperm for reproduction.

Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • A lump or enlargement in either testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
  • Unexplained fatigue

Testicular cancer is highly treatable. Regular testicular self-examinations can help identify growths early, when the chance for successful treatment of testicular cancer is highest.

I GOT BALLS! (test your testes)Awareness Bands are one way to help spread the word about the importance of regular self-exams. Available at http://heart-strong.com/products.html

These silicone rubber wristbands are a fun way to raise awareness about testicular cancer and screening.

These 1″ wide wristbands are available in black, blue, purple, green and even pink for the girls who care about the cause too.

All bands are adult sized to fit just about everyone.

ONLY $4.00

Looking for more info about testicular cancer:

http://tcrc.acor.org/

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/testicular


How to Stay Healthy When Studying Online

11/22/2010
It’s a route that many students are taking nowadays because it allows them the freedom to do many things simultaneously while providing them with a great deal of flexibility too. Online education is in high demand because you can earn while you learn, you don’t have to spend as much as you do on traditional degrees, and you can stay at home and avoid the significant changes that college entails. However, when you study online, it’s best to take a proactive approach to prevent health problems, both minor and major.
·        You’re at risk for illness when you don’t get enough exercise and stay all day at home; so no matter how much work you have, no matter that you’ve always been a couch potato who has never exercised, it’s time to start right now. When you work out for at least half an hour a day, you prevent all kinds of diseases and keep illness at bay. A short, brisk walk is enough to rejuvenate you and boost your energy.
·        You could be stressed out if you have too many things on your plate – studying, working and having to balance social and familial obligations could become too much to handle and you start falling sick or feeling down more often. Regular exercise and taking time out to enjoy yourself once in a way helps reduce the burden you carry and lightens and raises your spirits.
·        One of the downsides to online education is that it isolates you and removes you from the social aspect of education. You don’t get to interact with teachers and classmates, and this makes concentration and studying a little more challenging. Some students thrive and flourish in this kind of environment; others however, start to pine for some form of human contact and this affects their mental and physical health. The solution to this problem is to seek out other learners close to where you live and form study groups whenever time permits; if this is not possible, try and form virtual groups and use video and voice chat to enhance your learning.
·        When you spend most of your time at home or in front of the computer, you tend to eat whatever is available and easily ready in a short time. Junk food forms a major part of your diet, and before you know it, your health suffers and your weight balloons up. So make a conscious effort to eat healthy – salads and juices if you don’t have time to cook, and sandwiches made with whole-wheat bread and filled with nutritious food instead of fatty meats for your meals will do your mental and physical health a world of good.
The best way to look after your health when you study online is to be proactive and take charge of it right from the word go – it’s easy to prevent obesity and illness rather than fight them after they’ve taken root.
 
 
By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Carrie Oakley, who writes on the topic of online college . Carrie welcomes your comments at her email id: carrie.oakley1983(AT)gmail(DOT)com.


Clean Teeth, Healthy Heart

11/16/2010

You do everything you can to keep your heart healthy—exercise, take aspirin and avoid foods that are prone to clog your arteries. But did you know one of the key ways for ensuring a strong, healthy heart is to simply brush your teeth?

According to research, keeping your teeth healthy by removing plaque from your pearly whites and flossing on a regular basis will in-turn keep your heart healthy. This is because if you don’t remove that gummy dental plaque—the filmy bacterium that builds up on your teeth throughout the day— you can get gum disease.  And gum disease sparks a different kind of plaque, the kind that clogs your arteries.

The disease is called atherosclerosis and as mentioned briefly above, it’s the waxy buildup of plaques that form along the walls of the arteries. These plaques are dangerous, having the possibility to create a blood clot that can shoot straight to the heart or brain causing a heart attack, stroke or aneurism. Atherosclerosis doesn’t occur immediately. It’s typically a slow process that begins when you experience body-wide inflammation.  And what causes this inflammation? Gum disease.

To prove what many dentists and cardiologist have known for years, researches at the University of Connecticut Health Center confirmed the link between gum disease and atherosclerosis.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers gathered 120 adults who suffered from severe gum disease and atherosclerosis. Half were randomly selected to undergo routine dental cleaning while the other was assigned to receive extensive treatment to heal their infected gums. This meant not only aggressively removing plaque, but also extracting any unsalvageable teeth and supplying patients with antibiotics to treat the infected gums. 

Within two months, those who underwent intensive treatment greatly improved the condition of their arteries more than those who only received routine dental cleaning.  These improvements were still present after six months, according to the study.  

So how to fight off gum disease and prevent atherosclerosis? Brush your teeth.  Experts recommend brushing your teeth two to three times a day or after every meal for at least two minutes. Make sure to brush along the gum line as well, as this is how gum diseases start. Flossing daily will also prevent the dental plaque from building up. Also, be on the lookout for gingivitis which is a precursor to gum disease. Common signs are puffy, red, tender gums. Lastly, visit your dentist and have a routine cleaning regularly, about every six months.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of nursing schools.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: kitty.holman20@gmail.com.


A Little Exercise Can Go a Long Way

11/08/2010
from the Healthy Living area

When you hear advice to exercise for 30 to 45 minutes or more, nearly every day, you may think, “In whose life? Get real.”

Many women feel the same way. We’re too busy and too tired—from job, family, home and other demands—to squeeze exercise into our overcrowded days. Those time blocks seem like impossible hurdles to get over. Even if we try, it’s difficult to stay on track for long.

Now, instead of feeling guilty about what you can’t do, you can start feeling good about what’s possible for you. Research shows that even short bursts of physical activity improve your health, especially if you spend your day sitting. Adding a little activity helps lower your blood pressure and weight, cuts your risk of heart attack and diabetes, and improves how you feel emotionally.

You’ll have more energy to carry packages, garden, climb stairs, keep up with the grandkids at the amusement park, or dance past midnight. Those activities, in turn, will make you even stronger and healthier.

Women who walk for a total of just one hour a week have half the rate of heart disease as women who don’t walk regularly. And it’s never too late to benefit—in a recent study, people over 65 who were physically active once a week had a 40 percent lower death rate than those who were inactive.

It’s easy to start
To get yourself moving, think small. “Take two-minute walks, whether it’s one or 10 a day,” says Andrea Dunn, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Science Research Group at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, Denver.

Walk at a moderately vigorous pace, Dunn says, as if you’re trying to get to an appointment on time. Each week, increase how many minutes you walk a bit, or how often.

Gradually work up to three 10-minute brisk walks a day, several times a week. “It doesn’t matter how fast you move up,” says Dunn. In her research, people who succeeded often kept track of their walks on checklists or calendars.

If you have health concerns and are under a health care professional’s care for a medical condition, review your exercise plans with her or him before you start.

Step this way
You’ll gain more benefits from walking by increasing the steps you take at home, at work and for exercise. Middle-aged women who take more steps have less body fat than those taking fewer steps.

Use a pedometer, a step-counting gadget that clips onto your waistband. Record your step count for one week. Then divide by seven to get your daily average.

Increase your daily step count little by little. Sneak extra steps into your everyday life: Walk around the house while talking on a cordless phone, park at the far end of a supermarket lot (be sure it’s well-lighted and secure), pace the sidelines while your child plays sports, or climb the stairs to your office instead of taking the elevator.

Aim for 10,000 steps a day, but work to that goal slowly. It’s equal to about five miles.

Target fat in your middle
How does physical activity, even small amounts, improve your health?

Think of your body as a jelly doughnut. (Okay, for some of us that’s easy to do.) The outer part of your doughnut—uh, body—is made up of fat that lies just under the skin. When you go on a diet and lose weight, you usually lose this type of fat, says Osama Hamdy, M.D., director of the Obesity Clinic at Joslin Diabetes Center, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Hidden deep in the center of your body is a more dangerous type of fat. This internal fat—often shown by a growing waistline—is directly related to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. According to Hamdy, physical activity reduces this belly fat more effectively than dieting does.

“Any moderately intense exercise that a person can do is very important. Do it five minutes a day, or 10 minutes a day,” he says. “If you look at it as a routine of your day, you will find it easier over time.”

A recent study Hamdy co-authored showed that obese adults who lost just 7 percent of their body weight—16 pounds in a 220-pound woman—through moderately intense exercise and diet lowered their heart disease risk. In another study, people at risk for type 2 diabetes reduced their risk 58 percent with brisk walking and a small weight loss.

Make it fun
Some women exercise with friends or in walking clubs. Mall-walking is fine, says Dunn, so long as you’re moving briskly and not just strolling and window-shopping.

If walking doesn’t appeal to you, choose another moderately vigorous activity, such as bike riding, swimming or dancing. Or mix up your exercise choices.

“Do things that are fun for you,” Dunn advises. “Start small, work at your own pace and don’t give up.”

For more information on the health topics mentioned in this article visit the HealthyWomen.org areas below.

Fitness: www.healthywomen.org/condition/fitness

Healthy Living: http://www.healthywomen.org/ages-and-stages/healthy-living/fitness

Diet and Fitness Center : http://www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/diet-and-fitness

http://www.healthywomen.org/© 2010 HealthyWomen All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from HealthyWomen. 1-877-986-9472 (toll-free). On the Web at: www.HealthyWomen.org.


Petition Aims to Improve the Care of Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease

11/03/2010

 

Washington, DC — The Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.) Coalition has launched a petition drive at padcoalition.org to urge President Obama and Congress to increase access to evidence-based health care for individuals with P.A.D.

Approximately 9 million Americans, including 1 in 5 men and 1 in 6 women in the Medicare population, have P.A.D. or clogged arteries of the legs. P.A.D. is a red flag that other arteries, including those in the heart and brain, are likely affected – increasing the risk of a heart attack, stroke and even death. It can also cause leg pain when walking and lead to disability, amputation, and poor quality of life.

Fortunately, heart attacks, strokes and deaths can be reduced and quality of life improved through the use of therapies recommended in national cardiovascular guidelines. However, many Americans with P.A.D. don’t receive this care until it’s too late.

“We have a system that will pay to treat a heart attack or an amputation caused by P.A.D., but will not pay for a simple, non-invasive test to diagnose P.A.D. in those at highest risk for having the disease,” stated Joshua Beckman, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Chair, P.A.D. Coalition’s Advocacy Committee. “It is critical that individuals with P.A.D. be identified so that cardiovascular risk reduction therapies can be initiated and lives can be saved.”

P.A.D. is easily diagnosed through the ankle-brachial index (ABI), a non-invasive, cost-effective test that compares the leg blood pressure to arm blood pressure. Medicare currently offers P.A.D. testing for patients with leg symptoms, however, P.A.D. is most often asymptomatic. P.A.D. care guidelines developed by leading vascular groups recommend testing in individuals at highest risk for having the disease, including adults over age 50 with a history of diabetes or smoking and all adults over 70 years of age.

The P.A.D. Coalition aims to collect at least ten thousand signatures and will deliver the petition to Congressional leadership.

To sign the petition, go to http://www.padcoalition.org/petition <http://www.padcoalition.org/petition/> and complete the online form.