Archive | September 2022

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Cardiac arrest may be caused by irregular heart rhythms called arrhythmias. A common arrhythmia associated with cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, the heart’s lower chambers suddenly start beating chaotically and don’t pump blood.”

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cardiac-arrest/about-cardiac-arrest

Certain cardiac rhythms can lead to a cardiac arrest & how!

HeartBlocks1

The rhythms above are heart blocks (HB) that occur in the bottom of the upper chambers which can occur in some people. There is 1st degree HB where you can live a completely normal life with but 2nd and 3rd degree HB needs treatment (usually a pacemaker) by cardiologist surgeon.  After treatment with 2nd and 3rd degree HB you can live a completely normal life with follow up with your cardiologist and yearly pacemaker checks.

In this rhythm below the Ventricular Tachycardia is with a point on the top but than flips upside down (commonly called Torsedes Pointes).  This is commonly due to Magnesium Level low and IV Magnesium in the hospital is given 1 to 2 gm.

ventrhy4

This  rhythm above with a pulse=also a rhythm pulsating in different areas of the heart in the ventricles only causing the rhythm not to look identical throughout the tele strip above = Polymorphic V- Tac- meaning the stimulus in the ventricles to make the heart beat is coming from different areas of the ventricles for each beat.  Each jagged tooth is a beat that makes up the whole strip shown above for Ventricular Tachycardia.

Than when the atriums aren’t working as the natural pacemaker that took over for the sinus node but now they don’t work so now the ventricles take over and the rhythms of all ventricle rhythms are with NO p waves since the atriums are not working so no p wave is involved but we have QRS waves but their wide in measurement because the rhythm starts in the ventricles. The rhythms are PVC (Premature Ventricular Contractions), Idioventricular Rhythm, Ventricular tachycardia (Monomorphic and Polymorphic-rhythm getting more irregular. When regular and monomorphic=looking identical with every ventricular beat or contraction as opposed to polymorphic=not looking identical each contraction but each one is a ventricular contraction), Torsades De Pointes Ventricular Tachycardia (the rhythm starts upright but turns upside down but each contraction without a p wave and a wide contraction meaning a ventricular contraction), and Ventricular Fibrillation, to asystole.

Here’s what they look like:

 Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm

Accelerated idioventricular rhythm occurs when three or more ventricular escape beats appear in a sequence. Heart rate will be 50-100 bpm. The QRS complex will be wide (0.12 sec. or more).

A regular QRS measures less than 0.12 which is with all atriums rhythms.

 Asystole

Asystole is the state of no cardiac electrical activity and no cardiac output. Immediate action is required.

Idioventricular Rhythm

Idioventricular rhythm is a slow rhythm of under 50 bpm. It indicates that then ventricules are producing escape beats.

Premature Ventricular Complex (above 1st strip)

Premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) occur when a ventricular site generates an impulse. This happens before the next regular sinus beat. Look for a wide QRS complex, equal or greater than 0.12 sec. The QRS complex shape can be bizarre. The P wave will be absent.

Premature Ventricular Complex – Bigeminy a QRS after every 2 regular beats

Premature Ventricular Complex – Trigeminy a QRS after every 3 regular beats

Premature Ventricular Complex – Quadrigeminy a QRS after every 4 regular beats

 Ventricular Fibrillation (in above strip-3rd one)

Ventricular fibrillation originates in the ventricules and it chaotic. No normal EKG waves are present. No heart rate can be observed. Ventricular fibrillation is an emergency condition requiring immediate action.

Ventricular Tachycardia  (in above strip-2nd one)

A sequence of three PVCs in a row is ventricular tachycardia. The rate will be 120-200 bpm. Ventricular Tachycardia has two variations, monomorphic and polymorphic. These variations are discussed separately.

Ventricular Tachycardia Monomorphic

Monomorphic ventricular tachycardia occurs when the electrical impulse originates in one of the ventricules. The QRS complex is wide. Rate is above 100 bpm.  Each V tac beat looks identical like in the strip above.

Ventricular Tachycardia Polymorphic

Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia has QRS complexes that very in shape and size. If a polymorphic ventricular tachycardia has a long QT Interval, it could be Torsade de Pointes.  The strip shows the pulses are not identical=polymorphic since the pulse beats are coming from all different areas of the ventricles.

Torsade de Pointes  (the rhythm strip at the top under Heart Blocks)

Torsade de Pointes is a special form of ventricular tachycardia. The QRS complexes vary in shape and amplitude and appear to wind around the baseline.  This is an example or polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.

Ventricular ending line needs to be treated stat to be switched back to atrial rhythm since the heart is missing ½ of the conduction it’s to normally receive from the atriums and if not reversed the heart will go into failure to heart attack or to asystole flat line and go into a cardiac arrest.

With PVCs=Premature Ventricle Contractions asymptomatic we just closely monitor the pt and telemetry the pt is on. Now a pt with PVCs and symtomatic usually meds with 0xygen (sometimes 02 alone resolves it but other times with meds) but if it gets worse into V Tachycardia the treatment is below.

Idioventricular Rhythm (IVR)is usually with a slow brady pulse and needs meds.   Accelerated IVR (AIVR) is usually hemodynamically tolerated and self-limited; thus, it rarely requires treatment.

Occasionally, patients may not tolerate AIVR due to (1) loss of atrial-ventricular synchrony, (2) relative rapid ventricular rate, or (3) ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation degenerated from AIVR (extremely rare). Under these situations, atropine can be used to increase the underlying sinus rate to inhibit AIVR.

Other treatments for AIVR, which include isoproterenol, verapamil, antiarrhythmic drugs such as lidocaine and amiodarone, and atrial overdriving pacing are only occasionally used today.

Patients with AIVR should be treated mainly for its underlying causes, such as digoxin toxicity, myocardial ischemia, and structure heart diseases. Beta-blockers are often used in patients with myocardial ischemia-reperfusion and cardiomyopathy

With Ventricular rhythms with fast pulse over 100 with symptomatic signs for the patient we may use as simple as valsalva pressure on the neck that medical staff only do but when pt is in asymptomatic (no symptoms) Ventricular Tachycardia (V-Tac) to even medications but when symptomatic if in V-Tac start cardioversion with a pulse if no pulse called pulseless V-Tac we use a defibrillator since there is no pulse there is no QRS to pace with in having the shock hit at the R wave, why? NO PULSE.

Treatment for Torsade de Pointes is Magnesium deficiency and Mag. Supplement given IV 2gms. Usually effective but if necessary the same as above as directed for it with a pulse or the other V Tac. (without a pulse)-See above.

Ventricular Fibrillation is when the ventricles are just quivering and the atriums in any ventricular rhythm doing nothing. The pt needs CPR and ASAP a defibrillator in hopes the shock will knock the rhythm back to a normal sinus or some form of a real rhythm.

Asystole which is a straight line, no pulse and this is CPR with epinephrine or Vasopressin 40 for only the replacement of the 1st or 2nd dose of Epinephrine 1mg. This is given 3-5 minutes (epinephrine). No defibrillation since no pulse. A rhythm may come back and if not the MD will call when CPR stops. Asystole is hard to resolve in most cases highier probability of resolution if in a hospital where close monitoring is done and its detected quicker.

The PURPOSE in treating any rhythm abnormal to the human heart is to reach the goal of a optimal or healthiest rhythm (a normal sinus rhythm , the best rhythm the heart can be in) and if not reaching an atrial rhythm.  We the medical field aim to reach a heart rhythm the patient can live with and hopefully reaching the best NSR-Normal Sinus Rhythm.  Normal sinus rhythm that is a rhythm starting from the upper right chamber extending to the left one and continues down on both sides to the bottom of the ventricles.  This rhythm is giving the most effective oxygen perfusion to the heart to allow it to do its function (pumping good oxygenated blood flow out of the left ventricle at the same time pumping highly carbon dioxide blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs to get more oxygen).   Doing this it allows the human body to get good amounts of oxygen to all our tissues=good overall oxygen perfusion to all tissues.  At the same time what happens is red blood cells from all tissues with mostly used up oxygen from the cell and more carbon dioxide in the cell are also being pumped by the heart to return to the right side  to the lungs to go through this whole process again in getting more oxygen in the RBCs which keeps us alive. A human without oxygen or low oxygen to their tissues or any tissue is going to reach cellular starvation which in turn causes starvation to the tissues (in general) or to a tissue (Ex. Diabetic the foot to lack of 02 to cyanotic purple tissue to necrotic black tissue=dead to amputated since the tissue is dead.).

Cardiac Arrest or Heart Attack are more likely to occur in  a irregular rhythm especially making the heart work to hard being RVR afib in the atriums that can lead easily to ventricular tachycardia to ventricular fibrillation and not treated immediately.

Cardiac Arrest is an electrical problem with the conduction of the heart whereas a Heart Attack is caused by a blockage of blood (Ex. coronary artery) to the heart that can lead to a bad rhythm due to lack of 0xygen that leads to worse rhythms as the heart gets more stressed out.

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.

Month of Aging and Health Awareness Month!

Heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes continue to be leading causes of death among older adults, based on the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (saving lives and protecting people…CDC). They also provide the following:Baby Boomers for the next 25 years equating to over 70 million people can live longer lives with them combining to double the population of older Americans in the next quarter of a century. Baby Boomers can take steps to live long and healthy lives as opposed to a lot of their parents who died much younger. Living healthier will play a positive impact on the health care system. Starting a step towards prevention or treatment (Rx) of a present disease that you can improve is a mission we Americans owe to ourselves, our young ones, and to our nation’s future.

Through healthy dieting and behaviors (Ex. activity, nutrition, staying in your therapeutic body mass index, controlling stress both physically and mentally, oral health and dealing with any disability reaching the optimal health level you can reach) you can reach a healthier way to living. If the majority of our nation lives healthier, shows progress in promoting prevention, improving the health and well-being of older adults with reducing behaviors that contribute to premature death and disability will increase a healthier population in the U.S.

Baby boomers should do the following with starting good diet and exercise; start young!  Include with doing the following when your general practitioner recommends its time in your life later or even now for:

Getting Screened:

Get screened including flu vaccine, pneumonia vaccine, colorectal cancer screening, and mammography for women.

Mammography is the best available method to detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Women aged 50 and over should get mammograms every two years.

Colorectal cancer screening tests can find precancerous polyps so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. They can also detect colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best. Older adults should be screened for colorectal cancer by having a fecal occult blood test during the past year or a colonoscopy within 10 years.

Get Vaccinated:

Flu and pneumonia is the seventh leading cause of death among adults 65 years or older, despite the availability of effective vaccines. Older adults should get the flu vaccine every year and get the pneumonia vaccine at least once.

Be Physically Active

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things older adults can do for their health. Physical activity can prevent many of the health problems that may come with age, including the risk of falls.

How Much Activity Do Older Adults Need?

2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities for 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups.

OR

1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups.

OR

An equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables Daily

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some cancers and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Quit Smoking

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. For help visit www.smokefree.gov.

Take Medication for High Blood Pressure and Diabetes

High blood pressure & Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, it’s one of the leading causes of illness and death among older adults. More than ½ of Americans don’t have their blood pressure under control.  Compliance is so essential in treating HTN, Diabetes or any disease including what your M.D. feels you need as a medication, if needed. The only way to find out is by seeing your health care providers, such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, who can track their patient’s blood pressure, prescribe once-a-day medications, and give clear instructions on how to take blood pressure & diabetic medications.

Take good care of your skin from childhood throughout your elder years.  Why?  Skin is the largest organ of the body and skin cancer is the easiest to treat when detected early and not blown off seeing the doctor.  Before that take care of the skin by: Wearing Sun Screen for protection from getting skin cancer!  Keep temperatures on average at room temperature and since hot temps dry out the skin.  Limit Sugar Intake. Overeating sugar can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin.  Get your beauty sleep. Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.  Sleep also gives your body time to refresh and renew itself. 

Patients should take the initiative or responsibility to monitor their blood pressure and sugar levels (finger sticks) between medical visits and know what abnormal values to report to their MD. Including taking their medications as prescribed, tell their doctor about any side effects, and make lifestyle changes, such as eating a low-sodium/low-calorie diet, exercising, and stopping smoking.

Do you want a better body, or a healthier society making our country America better overall?  Well here are a few tips in getting started:

  1. Positive Attitude – Keep a positive attitude through life. Focus on the positive, taking hold of any problems and addressing them properly and you will find that you will be happier in your life.
  2. Don’t “Act Your Age” – Forget that “number” – it’s only a number, after all!  Live life looking forward to activities and actions that make you smile and forget about your age!
  3. Be Proactive – Take charge of your health and research the many ways you can use your Health Insurance to take proactive steps in keeping healthy. You’re entitled to a variety of healthcare screenings as you get older; and it’s important to know exactly what tests and screenings you should behaving, based on your age and gender.
  4. Try Something New – It’s never too late to make changes and become a whole new you! Take up a new hobby, learn a language, take a class, or join a book club. Making your life interesting is one of the best ways to focus on healthy aging.
  5. Embrace Your Creativity – You may be surprised that you have an artistic side to you if you check out classes on painting, sketching or drawing. If your art talents are limited try adult coloring books that you can color with pencils.
  6. Surround Yourself With Positivity – Your mental health plays a very important part in healthy aging and surrounding yourself with people who make you smile and laugh makes healthy aging even easier.

 

 

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