Quit smoking asap
If you're a smoker and you get a cancer diagnosis, you might be tempted to put off the stress of quitting until after your surgery. Not a good plan, according to Moffitt Cancer Center researchers. They found that people who quit before surgery are much less likely to relapse.
Study participants were patients with lung, head or neck cancers recruited from clinics at Moffitt for the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Miles for Moffitt foundation.
"Sixty percent of patients who smoked during the week prior to surgery resumed smoking afterward, contrasted with a 13 percent relapse rate for those who had quit smoking prior to surgery," said Vani Nath Simmons of the Health Outcomes and Behavior Program at Moffitt.
"Cancer patients need to know that it's never too late to quit," Simmons said. "Of course, it would be best if they quit smoking before getting cancer; but barring that, they should quit as soon as they get diagnosed. And with a little assistance, there is no reason that they can't succeed."
FLU SHOT THOUGHTS
"I am still stunned when people refuse to get the flu vaccine. At appointment time, I review immunization records and share recently released medical information about the flu shot. Patients are made aware that they are at 50 percent increased likelihood of a heart attack without the flu shot, and still they decline immunization . . .
"For those thinking vaccinations in general are dangerous and ineffective, one question: Where is polio? Gone in the United States, thanks to vaccines.''
Dr. Jane Sadler, a family medicine physician at Baylor Medical Center in Garland, Texas, who blogs at healthblog.dallasnews.com
Doctors rate rating systems
Consumers who use online ratings to check out their doctors might wonder what physicians think of sites such as healthgrades.com, vitals.com, or angieslist.com. The Tampa-based American College of Physician Executives surveyed its members and found, perhaps not surprisingly, that most don't have a high opinion of them.
The survey went to 5,624 members and 730 responded.
• 12 percent believe patient online reviews are helpful.
• 29 percent said they don't affect their practices because patients don't use them.
• 26 percent say they're a nuisance.
• Still, 69 percent admitted checking their own profile on an online consumer site.
• Of them, 39 percent said they agreed with their ratings; 42 percent partially agreed; the rest disagreed.
MEDITATION study finds new benefits
Mindfulness meditation has earned a strong reputation as a stress reliever. Now researchers think it could help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma by reducing stress-induced inflammation.
The practice consists of continuously focusing attention on the breath, bodily sensations and mental content while seated, walking or practicing yoga.
The University of Wisconsin study doesn't suggest meditation magically takes away pain. But it does show promise for people who can't tolerate or don't respond to standard drug treatments.
"All of this started with me doing research, reading labels, and figuring out what I should avoid. You can't turn a blind eye to that.''
Actor and mom Jessica Alba in the current InStyle magazine, talking about her Honest Co. line of eco-friendly items and support for the Safe Chemicals Act before Congress
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