QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“A Holter monitor is a small, wearable device that records the heart’s rhythm. It’s used to detect or determine the risk of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).

A Holter monitor test may be done if a traditional electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) doesn’t provide enough details about the heart’s condition. If the irregular heartbeats are infrequent, a longer term monitor called an event recorder may be needed.

Some personal devices, such as smartwatches, offer electrocardiogram monitoring. Ask your health care provider if this is an option for you.

If you have infrequent arrhythmias, an ECG may not detect them. A Holter monitor may be able to spot irregular heart rhythms that an ECG missed.”

MAYO CLINIC

What cardiac rhythms tells your doctor about your heart!

Heart Beat symbol design element

Cardiac monitoring is a great way for doctors to understand a patients’ overall heart health, and can provide enough information to quickly and accurately make a diagnosis based on several details within a heart monitor. While each arrhythmia monitoring device is a little different, these details are essential in diagnosing any underlying and potentially life-threatening events.

1. Arrhythmias: Ambulatory heart monitors can be assigned for short-term use (24 to 72 hours) or for long-term use (up to 30 days or more) depending on what your doctor needs to know. Many cardiac monitoring devices record the ups and downs of your heartbeat to determine the presence of any irregularities that could be associated with an arrhythmia, and any underlying conditions.  There’s a holter monitor that you wear for days and bring back to your doctor with leaving on 24hrs till you take off when the MD tells you too.  Than there is continuous telemetry monitoring in the hospital that records on the unit computer the patient usually is on.

2. Heart Rate: Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per unit of time, and can vary depending on your activities, sleep, and even what you eat. If it gets too low or too high when performing a specific activity, it’s essential that your doctor knows about it. A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute.

3. P-wave analysis: The p-wave represents the spread of electrical activity over the atrium, and normally lasts less than 0.11 seconds. An abnormally long p-wave occurs when it takes extra time for the electrical wave to reach the entire atrium. Abnormal p-waves could indicate further heart problems that can be diagnosed by your doctor. Most cardiac monitors on the market today do not directly analyze p-waves. Make sure you have one that does.

4. Morphology: This refers to the form of cardiac rhythms and how they differ depending on underlying conditions. The morphology of a heart rhythm can be observed as a series of deflections away from the baseline of an ECG, and can vary if you have any type of condition that could affect your heart. Most cardiac monitors on the market today do not directly analyze morphology. Make sure you have one that does.

Cardiac and arrhythmia monitoring solutions means that you can start treatment much sooner. Your heart monitor provides your physician with data necessary for diagnoses for a wide range of populations including geriatric, diabetic and pediatric patients, all age groups.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“More. than 21,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, and 14,000 die from it, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). But only about 20 percent of ovarian cancers are found early, a dismaying statistic stemming from several key factors.”

Donna McNamara, M.D., chief of medical gynecologic oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center and is Co director of John Theurer Cancer Center.

Part II Ovarian Cancer in treatments.

 

1-Local Treatments/Therapies:

Some treatments are local, meaning they treat the tumor without affecting the rest of the body.

Types of local therapy used for ovarian cancer include that include:

A-Surgery

That is the main treatment most ovarian cancers. How much surgery you have depends on how far your cancer has spread and on your general health.  For women of childbearing age who have certain kinds of tumors and whose cancer is in the earliest stage, it may be possible to treat the disease without removing both ovaries and the uterus.

B-Radiation

Radiation is another form of therapy that might be used.  Radiation therapy uses high energy x-rays or particles to kill cancer cells. These x-rays may be given in a procedure that is much like having a regular x-ray. Aggressive chemotherapy is usually more effective, so radiation therapy is rarely used in this country as the main treatment for ovarian cancer. However, it can be useful in treating areas where the cancer has spread, either near the main tumor or in a distant organ, like the brain or spinal cord.  External beam radiation – This is the most common type of radiation therapy for women with ovarian cancer. External radiation therapy is much like getting an x-ray, but the radiation is stronger.

2-Systemic Treatment/Therapies:

This includes Chemo therapy, Hormone Therapy and Targeted Therapy.

A. Chemo Therapy:

Chemotherapy (chemo) is the use of drugs to treat cancer. Most often, chemo is a systemic treatment, meaning the drugs enter the bloodstream and reach almost all areas of the body. Chemo can be useful to kill very small amounts of cancer cells that may still be around after surgery, for cancers that have metastasized (spread), or to shrink very large tumors to make surgery easier. Most of the time, chemo uses drugs that are injected into a vein (IV) or given by mouth. In some cases, chemotherapy may also be injected through a catheter (thin tube) directly into the abdominal cavity. This is called intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy.

Chemo for ovarian cancer usually involves getting two different types of drugs together. Getting a combination of drugs instead of just one drug alone seems to work better as a first treatment for ovarian cancer. Usually, the combination includes a type of chemo drug called a platinum compound (usually cisplatin or carboplatin), and another type of chemo drug called a taxane, such as paclitaxel (Taxol®) or docetaxel (Taxotere®). These drugs are usually given as an IV (put into a vein) every 3 to 4 weeks.

The typical course of chemo for epithelial ovarian cancer involves 3 to 6 cycles of treatment, depending on the stage and type of ovarian cancer. A cycle is a schedule of regular doses of a drug, followed by a rest period. Different drugs have varying cycles; your doctor will let you know what schedule is planned for your chemo.

Epithelial ovarian cancer often shrinks or even seems to go away with chemo, but the cancer cells may eventually begin to grow again. If the first chemo seemed to work well and the cancer stayed away for at least 6 to 12 months, it can be treated with the same chemotherapy used the first time. In some cases, different drugs may be used.

There are numerous other chemo drugs used that might be helpful in treating ovarian cancer.

B-Hormone Treatment/Therapies

It’s another treatment that may be used with the use of hormones or hormone-blocking drugs to fight cancer. This type of systemic therapy is rarely used to treat epithelial ovarian cancer, but is more often used to treat ovarian stromal tumors. 

Meds used in Hormone therapy is:

-Luteinizing Hormone Release Hormone Agonists

LHRH agonists (sometimes called GnRH agonists) can be used in systemic treatment also that will switch off estrogen production by the ovaries. These drugs are used to lower estrogen levels in women who are premenopausal. Examples of LHRH agonists include goserelin (Zoladex®) and leuprolide (Lupron®). These drugs are injected every 1 to 3 months. Side effects can include any of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. If they are taken for a long time (years), these drugs can weaken bones (sometimes leading to osteoporosis).

-Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen is a drug that is often used to treat breast cancer. It can also be used to treat ovarian stromal tumors and is rarely used to treat advanced epithelial ovarian cancer. Tamoxifen acts as an anti-estrogen in many tissues in the body, but as a weak estrogen in others. The goal of tamoxifen therapy is to keep any estrogens circulating in the woman’s body from stimulating cancer cell growth. The anti-estrogen activity of this drug can lead to side effects like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Because tamoxifen acts like a weak estrogen in some areas of the body, it does not cause bone loss but can increase the risk of serious blood clots in the legs.

-Aromatase inhibitors

Aromatase inhibitors are drugs that block an enzyme (called aromatase) that turns other hormones into estrogen in post-menopausal women. They don’t stop the ovaries from making estrogen, so they are only helpful in lowering estrogen levels in women after menopause. These drugs are mainly used to treat breast cancer, but can also be used to treat some ovarian stromal tumors that have come back after treatment as well as low grade serous carcinomas. They include letrozole (Femara®), anastrozole (Arimidex®), and exemestane (Aromasin®). These drugs are taken as pills once a day.

Common side effects of aromatase inhibitors include hot flashes, joint and muscle pain, and bone thinning. The bone thinning can lead to osteoporosis and bones that break easily.

C-Targeted Drug Therapy:

Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to identify and attack cancer cells while doing little damage to normal cells. These therapies attack the cancer cells’ inner workings − the programming that makes them different from normal, healthy cells. Each type of targeted therapy works differently, but they all change the way a cancer cell grows, divides, repairs itself, or interacts with other cells.

-Bevacizumab

Bevacizumab (Avastin) belongs to a class of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. For cancers to grow and spread, they need to make new blood vessels to nourish themselves (called angiogenesis). This drug attaches to a protein called VEGF (that signals new blood vessels to form) and slows or stops cancer growth.

Bevacizumab has been shown to shrink or slow the growth of advanced epithelial ovarian cancers. Bevacizumab appears to work even better when given along with chemotherapy having shown good results in terms of shrinking (or stopping the growth of) tumors. But it doesn’t seem to help women live longer.

Bevacizumab can also be given with olaparib (see below) as maintenance treatment in women whose cancers have the BRCA mutation or genomic instability (see below) and have shrunk quite a bit with chemotherapy containing carboplatin or cisplatin.

This drug is given as an infusion into the vein (IV) every 2 to 3 weeks.

Side effects of bevacizumab

Common side effects include high blood pressure, tiredness, bleeding, low white blood cell counts, headaches, mouth sores, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Rare but possibly serious side effects include blood clots, severe bleeding, slow wound healing, holes forming in the colon (called perforations), and the formation of abnormal connections between the bowel and the skin or bladder (fistulas). If a perforation or fistula occurs it can lead to severe infection and may require surgery to correct.

PARP inhibitors

Olaparib (Lynparza), rucaparib (Rubraca), and niraparib (Zejula) are drugs known as a PARP (poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase) inhibitors. PARP enzymes are normally involved in one pathway to help repair damaged DNA inside cells. The BRCA genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) are also normally involved in a different pathway of DNA repair, and mutations in those genes can block that pathway. By blocking the PARP pathway, these drugs make it very hard for tumor cells with an abnormal BRCA gene to repair damaged DNA, which often leads to the death of these cells.

If you are not known to have a BRCA mutation, your doctor might test your blood or saliva and your tumor to be sure you have one before starting treatment with one of these drugs.

All of these drugs are taken daily by mouth, as pills or capsules.

Olaparib (Lynparza) is used to treat advanced ovarian cancer, typically after chemotherapy has been tried. This drug can be used in patients with or without mutations in one of the BRCA genes.

In women with a BRCA mutation:

  • Olaparib can be used as maintenance treatment for advanced ovarian cancer that has gotten smaller in response to first treatment with chemotherapy containing cisplatin or carboplatin.
  • Olaparib can be used with bevacizumab (see above) as maintenance treatment in women whose cancers have shrunk quite a bit with chemotherapy containing carboplatin or cisplatin.

In women without a BRCA mutation:

  • If the tumor has a high genomic instability score (a test measuring the amount of abnormal genes in cancer cells), olaparib can be used with bevacizumab as maintenance treatment in women whose cancers have shrunk quite a bit with chemotherapy containing carboplatin or cisplatin.

In women with or without a BRCA mutation:

  • Olaparib can be used as maintenance treatment for advanced ovarian cancer that has come back after treatment, and then has shrunk in response to chemotherapy containing cisplatin or carboplatin.

Niraparib (Zejula) may be used in some situations to treat ovarian cancer.

In women with or without a BRCA gene mutation:

  • Niraparib might be used as maintenance treatment for advanced ovarian cancer, where the cancer has shrunk with firsrt-line chemotherapy containing cisplatin or carboplatin.
  • Niraparib might be used as maintenance treatment for advanced ovarian cancer that has come back after treatment, where the cancer has then shrunk with chemotherapy containing cisplatin or carboplatin.

Rucaparib (Rubraca) can be used in women with or without a BRCA mutation, as maintenance treatment for advanced ovarian cancer that has come back after treatment, and then has shrunk in response to chemotherapy containing cisplatin or carboplatin.

These drugs have been shown to help shrink or slow the growth of some advanced ovarian cancers for a time. So far, though, it’s not clear if they can help women live longer.

Side effects of PARP inhibitors

Side effects of these drugs can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, taste changes, low red blood cell counts (anemia), belly pain, and muscle and joint pain. Rarely, some patients treated with these drugs have developed a blood cancer, such as myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia.

Drugs that target cells with NTRK gene changes

A very small number of ovarian cancers have changes in one of the NTRK genes. Cells with these gene changes can lead to abnormal cell growth and cancer. Larotrectinib (Vitrakvi) and entrectinib (Rozlytrek) are targeted drugs that stop the proteins made by the abnormal NTRK genes. These drugs can be used in people with advanced ovarian cancer whose tumor has an NTRK gene change and is still growing despite other treatments.

These drugs are taken as pills, once or twice a day.

Side effects of drugs that target NTRK gene changes

Common side effects include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, constipation, weight gain, and diarrhea.

Less common but serious side effects can include abnormal liver tests, heart problems, and confusion.

Typically, any treatment plans for a patient with ovarian cancer are based on the type of ovarian cancer, its stage, and any special situations. Most women with ovarian cancer will have some type of surgery to remove the tumor. Depending on the type of ovarian cancer and how advanced it is, you might need other types of treatment as well, either before or after surgery, or sometimes both.

Those who to expect in treating ovarian cancer?

Based on your treatment options, you might have different types of doctors on your treatment team. These doctors could include:

  • A gynecologic oncologist: a gynecology doctor who is specially trained to use surgery to treat ovarian cancer; many times they are also the ones to give chemotherapy and other medicines to treat ovarian cancer
  • A radiation oncologist: a doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer
  • A medical oncologist: a doctor who uses chemotherapy and other medicines to treat cancer

Many other specialists might be part of your treatment team as well, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists, sex counselors, social workers, nutritionists, genetic counselors, and other health professionals.

Your treatment plan will depend on many factors, including your overall health, personal preferences, and whether you plan to have children. Age alone isn’t a determining factor since several studies have shown that older women tolerate ovarian cancer treatments well.

It’s important to discuss all of your treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. It’s also very important to ask questions if there’s anything you’re not sure about.

If time permits, it is often a good idea to seek a second opinion. A second opinion can give you more information and help you feel more confident about the treatment plan you choose.

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“If you have a genetic predisposition to ovarian cancer, your doctor may recommend regular pelvic imaging and blood tests to screen for the disease.”

Dr. Edward Tanner (an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland).

Part I Ovarian Cancer

Most people are aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but how many of you are also aware that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month?

This cancer, Ovarian Cancer, is the more silent sister to breast cancer-which takes over the month of October with a worldwide pink party and numerous product promotions, some tasteful and some less so. Maybe people and product promoters are just drawn to pink versus the more reserved teal blue color for ovarian cancer. More likely it’s because breasts are visual and ovaries are invisible to the eye.

Remember ovarian cancer is very visible to those diagnosed with it and to their loved ones.  We need to make more noise about ovarian cancer awareness.  First you have to listen… to your body. Ovarian cancer can be sneaky.

Symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, painful intercourse, menstrual irregularities and back pain, can point to other less invasive conditions. While breast cancer has screening protocols like mammograms and breast self-examination, there is no reliable screening for ovarian cancer. Unfortunately for many women the disease is often detected at an advanced stage. Both breast and ovarian cancer are diagnosed in women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. Women have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. The ovaries — each about the size of an almond — produce eggs (ova) as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen. At this late stage, ovarian cancer is more difficult to treat, just like most other cancers in late stages as well, and is unfortunately frequently fatal. Early-stage ovarian cancer, in which the disease is confined to the ovary, is more likely to be treated successfully.

Early-stage ovarian cancer rarely causes any symptoms. Advanced-stage ovarian cancer may cause few and nonspecific symptoms that are often mistaken for more common benign conditions, such as constipation or irritable bowel.

Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include and don’t ever ignore them:

  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvis area
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea
  • A frequent need to urinate (urgency including difficulty to void)
  • Increased Abdominal Size
  • Painful Sex
  • Heavy menstrual bleedingWhen to see a doctorIf you have a family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer, talk to your doctor about your risk of ovarian cancer. Your doctor may refer you to a genetic counselor to discuss testing for certain gene mutations that increase your risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Only a small number of women are found to have genetic mutations that can lead to ovarian cancer.
  • Certain factors may increase your risk of ovarian cancer:
  • Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you. 

Risk Factors:

  • Age. Ovarian cancer can occur at any age but is most common in women ages 50 to 60 years.
  • Inherited gene mutation. A small percentage of ovarian cancers are caused by an inherited gene mutation. The genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer are called breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). These genes were originally identified in families with multiple cases of breast cancer, which is how they got their names, but women with these mutations also have a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • The gene mutations that cause Lynch syndrome, which is associated with colon cancer, also increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Estrogen hormone replacement therapy, especially with long-term use and in large doses.
  • Age when menstruation started and ended. If you began menstruating before age 12 or underwent menopause after age 52, or both, your risk of ovarian cancer may be higher.
  • Never being pregnant.
  • Fertility treatment.
  • Smoking.
  • Use of an intrauterine device.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.  In years past ovarian cancer used to be call  the silent killer but it’s really not completely silent, at least in some patients.  You shouldn’t ignore your symptoms!

 

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“The new ingredient, nootkatone, repels and kill ticks, mosquitoes, and a wide variety of other biting pests. Nootkatone is responsible for the characteristic smell and taste of grapefruit and is widely used in the fragrance industry to make perfumes and colognes. It is found in minute quantities in Alaska yellow cedar trees and grapefruit skin.

Nootkatone can now be used to develop new insect repellents and insecticides for protecting people and pets. CDC’s licensed partner, Evolva, is in advanced discussions with leading pest control companies for possible commercial partnerships. Companies interested in developing brand name consumer products will be required to submit a registration package to EPA for review, and products could be commercially available as early as 2022.

“CDC is proud to have led the research and development of nootkatone,” said Jay C. Butler, MD, Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases. “Providing new alternatives to existing bite-prevention methods paves the way to solving one of biggest challenges in preventing vector-borne diseases—preventing bites.”

Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC

LYME DISEASE

Tick bites into skin and digs into the skin       Tic fills up the blood sac for foodlyme disease lyme disease

 

lyme disease bThe mark the tick leaves behind on the arm it bit.

 

                         lyme disease d

In 2013, there were more than 25,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease reported across the country, according to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention.

Lyme disease is of course a potentially debilitating infection spread by ticks. A special conference this weekend, now in it’s fourth year — is hoping to help raise awareness.

On Saturday, September 12, the Mt. Valley Lyme Disease Awareness Coalition will hold it’s 4th Annual Lyme Conference. This year’s day long event will be held at Telstar Regional High School in Bethel and is open to the public. Donations at that door to help in their researching.

We’re constantly hearing about the threat of Lyme disease when it comes to our pets. However, sometimes it takes star power in order to bring a dangerous condition into the “Lyme-light” for humans. This is exactly what Yolanda Foster, from the reality television show, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and wife of composer David Foster, did after suffering unexplainable symptoms—such as emotional outbursts, nervous system abnormalities, skin issues, and loss brain function. Her diagnoses: chronic Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that is spread by the borrelia burgdorferi bacteria in tick insect bites. Once infected, the victim (human or animal) will suffer the consequences in multiple stages that stretch from the first bite to the spread of Lyme antibodies within the blood, and the symptoms.

The most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe, Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick.

The most common signs or symptoms indicating Lyme Disease:

You have flu-like symptoms

One of the common symptoms of Lyme disease is feeling like you have a flu. This means that you’ll begin suffering from a runny nose, fevers, chills, and shaking. All the symptoms you associate with the flu can also indicate that you are in the early stages of Lyme disease and it’s at this point that you should go and see a doctor.

Many people will simply brush off the conditions and take medication bought over the counter, but if you can catch the disease at this stage, it’s far simpler to treat.

You have a stiff neck

If your neck is sore and you have the above-mentioned flu-like symptoms, it’s possible that you have developed Lyme disease. A stiff neck is a really common indicator of having recently contracted the disease. The reason it begins is because of the infection traveling around the body and if you find yourself with this pain, it’s important to get checked right away. Not only that but the pain involved with it can also get worse, making it almost unbearable. At this stage you should definitely see a doctor.

Headaches

On top of the above two symptoms, headaches will usually begin when you are in the early stages of developing the condition. A checkup is essential at this stage, your doctor will be able to provide you with treatment that is more effective the sooner after you contract the disease.

Muscle numbness

Muscle numbness occurs even during the early stages of Lyme disease making it difficult to move and creating either a numbness or a tingling feeling in muscles all over the body. Another common complaint is that the individual has shooting pains that go from the top of the leg to the bottom.

These symptoms are worrisome whether you have Lyme disease or not, so be sure to speak to your doctor as soon as you start experiencing these kinds of serious symptoms.

Fatigue

One of the signature symptoms of Lyme disease that most people have heard about is fatigue. This symptom occurs later on in the disease and is actually known as ‘post-Lyme syndrome’. It is far more than just feeling tired – it makes the muscles completely incapable of moving.

Along with the fatigue, the individual will suffer great pain in their muscles, bones, and joints.

Swelling

This symptom is more common during the early stages of the disease and it includes the swelling of the muscles, joints, and anywhere else in the body. The effect occurs as the body tries to protect itself from the bacteria that has invaded. Swelling is a natural response to many conditions and, as time goes by, the individual will find that the swelling can get worse and worse.

Heart problems

If you have heart problems and your family doesn’t have a history of it, this could be an indicator that you have Lyme disease and simply haven’t realized it yet. This is far less common than other symptoms, but in some cases an irregular heartbeat can actually suggest that you have Lyme disease and left it untreated for a long period of time.

If you have an irregular heartbeat, there’s no need to assume that you have Lyme disease – but you should of course go ahead with all the tests that your doctors want you to go ahead with.

Muscle numbness

Muscle numbness occurs even during the early stages of Lyme disease making it difficult to move and creating either a numbness or a tingling feeling in muscles all over the body. Another common complaint is that the individual has shooting pains that go from the top of the leg to the bottom.

These symptoms are worrisome whether you have Lyme disease or not, so be sure to speak to your doctor as soon as you start experiencing these kinds of serious symptoms.

Bull’s eye rash

The bull’s eye rash is the first sign of Lyme disease, and it occurs around the region that the tick originally embedded itself into the skin. There are lots of ways that this rash might appear, with the first being the obvious bull’s eye shape, with a blistering lesion in the middle and surrounding circles of redness. Some lesions may have a uniform red color, others may be disseminated and others may appear blue-red. The thing to look out for is a large circular rash that appears dark red.

Facial drooping

This is one of the most serious symptoms of Lyme disease and is pretty uncommon, but it’s important to know about nonetheless. This symptom includes the dropping of the face, where muscles stop working and you find it difficult to speak. Some individuals have experienced this symptom, known as facial palsy, to the extent that it resembles a stroke. This is of course something very serious and something you should go straight to hospital about should you begin experiencing it.

Facts to know about lyme disease:

-Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi that is only transmitted to humans when they are bitten by an infected tick.

-To infect its host, a tick typically must be attached to the skin for at least 36 hours.

-Most cases of Lyme disease occur in late spring and early summer.

– The most common symptoms of Lyme disease include a red, circular “bulls-eye” rash often accompanied by muscle and joint aches. About 70 to 80 percent of people infected develop the rash, which shows up several days to weeks after the tick bite.

-Lyme disease is diagnosed by medical history, physical exam, and sometimes a blood test. It may take four to six weeks for the human immune system to make antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi and therefore show up in a positive blood test. That is why patients with the Lyme rash usually have a negative blood test and diagnosis is based on the characteristic appearance of the rash. Patients with other clinical manifestations such as Lyme arthritis will usually have a blood test.  Anyone who has symptoms for longer than six weeks and who has never been treated with antibiotics is unlikely to have Lyme disease if the blood test is negative.

-Most cases of Lyme disease are successfully treated with a few weeks of antibiotics. Using antibiotics for a very long time (months or years) does not offer superior results and in fact can be dangerous, because it can cause potentially fatal complications.

-Approximately 95 percent of all cases of Lyme disease occur in the Northeast and the Upper Midwest.

-Researchers didn’t identify the cause of Lyme disease and connect it with ticks until 1981. The bacterium that causes the disease is named in honor of Willy Burgdorfer, the scientist who made the connection.

-There were nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in 2009 and more than 8,500 probable cases. The number has risen steadily since 1995, when there were only 11,700 confirmed cases.

– The best treatment for Lyme disease is prevention: Be cautious when walking in the woods, avoiding bushy and grassy areas. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts and wear insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin. After walking in wooded areas, thoroughly check the skin for ticks!  Today in 2022 CDC states “A new active ingredient, discovered and developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in insecticides and insect repellents.

The new ingredient, nootkatone, repels and kill ticks, mosquitoes, and a wide variety of other biting pests. Nootkatone is responsible for the characteristic smell and taste of grapefruit and is widely used in the fragrance industry to make perfumes and colognes. It is found in minute quantities in Alaska yellow cedar trees and grapefruit skin.

Nootkatone can now be used to develop new insect repellents and insecticides for protecting people and pets. CDC’s licensed partner, Evolva, is in advanced discussions with leading pest control companies for possible commercial partnerships. Companies interested in developing brand name consumer products will be required to submit a registration package to EPA for review, and products could be commercially available as early as 2022.

“CDC is proud to have led the research and development of nootkatone,” said Jay C. Butler, MD, Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases. “Providing new alternatives to existing bite-prevention methods paves the way to solving one of biggest challenges in preventing vector-borne diseases—preventing bites.”

The E.P.A. has approved nootkatone, which is found in cedars and grapefruit. It repels ticks, mosquitoes and other dangerous bugs for hours, but is safe enough to eat.

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“In 2019, the top 10 causes of death accounted for 55% of the 55.4 million deaths worldwide.

The top global causes of death, in order of total number of lives lost, are associated with three broad topics: cardiovascular (ischaemic heart disease, stroke), respiratory (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections) and neonatal conditions – which include birth asphyxia and birth trauma, neonatal sepsis and infections, and preterm birth complications.  At a global level, 7 of the 10 leading causes of deaths in 2019 were noncommunicable diseases.

he world’s biggest killer is ischaemic heart disease, responsible for 16% of the world’s total deaths. Since 2000, the largest increase in deaths has been for this disease, rising by more than 2 million to 8.9 million deaths in 2019. Stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are the 2nd and 3rd leading causes of death, responsible for approximately 11% and 6% of total deaths respectively.”

World Health Organization WHO

5 Top Leading Causes of Death in the US!

CDC states:

1- “6 in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease and 4 in ten adults have 2 or more.

2- Chronic Disease in America:

  • Heart disease: 696,962
  • Cancer: 602,350
  • COVID-19: 350,831
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 200,955
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 160,264
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 152,657
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 134,242
  • Diabetes: 102,188
  • Influenza and pneumonia: 53,544
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 52,547″

Source: Mortality in the United States, 2020, data table for figure 4

As of 2019:

For more than a decade, heart disease and cancer have claimed the first and second spots respectively as the leading causes of deaths in America. Together, the two causes are responsible for over 45 percent of deaths in the United States.

For more than 30 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been collecting and examining causes of death. This information helps researchers and doctors understand if they need to address growing epidemics in healthcare.

The numbers also help them understand how preventive measures may help people live longer and healthier lives.

The top 12 causes of death in the United States account for more than 75 percent of all deaths. Learn about each of the main causes and what can be done to prevent them.

The following data is taken from the CDC’s 2017 report:

1. Heart Disease:

Number of deaths per year: 635,260

Percent of total deaths: 23.1 percent

More common among:

  • men
  • people who smoke
  • people who are overweight or obese
  • people with a family history of heart disease or heart attack
  • people over age 55

What causes heart disease?

Heart disease is a term used to describe a range of conditions that affect your heart and blood vessels. These conditions include:

  • heart arrhythmias Common is Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heartbeats)
  • coronary artery disease (blocked arteries)
  • heart defects

Tips for prevention

Lifestyle changes can prevent many cases of heart disease, such as the following:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Eat a healthier diet.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

2. Cancer

Number of deaths per year: 598,038

Percent of total deaths: 21.7 percent

More common among: Each type of cancer has a specific set of risk factors, but several risk factors are common among multiple types. These risk factors include:

  • people of a certain age
  • people who use tobacco and alcohol
  • people exposed to radiation and a lot of sunlight
  • people with chronic inflammation
  • people who are obese
  • people with a family history of the disease

What causes cancer?

Cancer is the result of rapid and uncontrolled cell growth in your body. A normal cell multiplies and divides in a controlled manner. Sometimes, those instructions become scrambled. When this happens, the cells begin to divide at an uncontrolled rate. This can develop into cancer.

Tips for prevention

There’s no clear way to avoid cancer. But certain behaviors have been linked to increased cancer risk, like smoking. Avoiding those behaviors may help you cut your risk. Good changes to your behaviors include things like:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
  • Quit smoking and drink in moderation.
  • Avoid direct exposure to the sun for extended periods of time. Don’t use tanning beds.
  • Have regular cancer screenings, including skin checks, mammograms, prostate exams, and more.

3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases

Number of deaths per year: 154,596

Percent of total deaths: 5.6 percent

More common among:

  • women
  • people over age 65
  • people with a history of smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
  • people with a history of asthma
  • individuals in lower-income households

What causes respiratory diseases?

This group of diseases includes:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • emphysema
  • asthma
  • pulmonary hypertension

Each of these conditions or diseases prevents your lungs from working properly. They can also cause scarring and damage to the lung’s tissues.

Tips for prevention

Tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure are the primary factors in the development of these diseases. Quit smoking. Limit your exposure to other people’s smoke to reduce your risks.

4. Stroke

Number of deaths per year: 142,142

Percent of total deaths: 5.18 percent

More common among:

  • men
  • women using birth control
  • people with diabetes
  • people with high blood pressure
  • people with heart disease
  • people who smoke

What causes a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is cut off. Without oxygen-rich blood flowing to your brain, your brain cells begin to die in a matter of minutes.

The blood flow can be stopped because of a blocked artery or bleeding in the brain. This bleeding may be from an aneurysm or a broken blood vessel.

Tips for prevention

Many of the same lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk for heart disease can also reduce your risk for stroke:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise more and eat healthier.
  • Manage your blood pressure.
  • Stop smoking. Drink only in moderation.
  • Manage your blood sugar level and diabetes.
  • Treat any underlying heart defects or diseases.

5. Accidents (unintentional injuries)

Number of deaths per year: 161,374

Percent of total deaths: 5.9 percent

More common among:

  • men
  • people ages 1 to 44
  • people with risky jobs

What causes accidents?

Accidents lead to more than 28 million emergency room visits each year.

The three leading causes of accident-related death are:

  • unintentional falls
  • motor vehicle traffic deaths
  • unintentional poisoning deaths

Tips for prevention

Unintentional injuries may be the result of carelessness or a lack of careful action. Be aware of your surroundings. Take all proper precautions to prevent accidents or injuries.

If you hurt yourself, seek emergency medical treatment to prevent serious complications.