Making Decisions Regarding Prostate Surgery

By Mary Boudreau Conover

In July 2010, I posted an article with news of study being done on a new genetic test to differentiate between aggressive and nonaggressive types of prostate cancer. 

Finally, on May 8, 2013, that test became available to physicians and their patients. Results have shown that the test, developed in collaboration with UCSF and Cleveland Clinic, strongly predicts disease aggressiveness, providing critical information beyond the PSA and the biopsy Gleason Score. 

This first of its kind multigene test, using a prostate needle biopsy sample, provides the opportunity for low risk patients to confidently avoid invasive treatments and for high risk patients to make the difficult decision to proceed aggressively with prostate surgery or radiation. 

The video below and this press release from Genomic Health offer additional information for those interested. 

 

Those Pesky Double-Unders and the 10-Meter Dash

By Mary Boudreau Conover

You've probably guessed that this isn't about jumping rope. It's about the 10-meter dash, more or less, depending on which bathroom is empty and what happens to us when a cough, sneeze, laugh, run, or jump causes urine to leak, other than frustration, anger, and acute embarrassment? The volume of urine leakage is generally very little at each occurrence, so low that we might say: "What was that all about?!"

See the full article here.

The Athlete's Heart

By Mary Boudreau Conover 

Recently, Brian, my highly conditioned and athletic nephew mentioned to me that his physician was alarmed because of his slow heart rate. That prompted me to make the following list for him of possible ECG signs reflecting the athlete's heart. My purpose was to simply acquaint him with his athletic heart and the possibly alarming terms that might be used by his physician or that he might see spelled out on his electronically diagnosed 12 lead ECG.

See the full article here.

Competing in Sun, Heat and Humidity CrossFit Style

By Mary Boudreau Conover 

You are all preparing well for the stress of the CrossFit games. Please be aware of the dangerous combination of high heat, humidity, and exercise. Wear loose, light-colored clothing that "breathes". Hydrate sensibly. Hopefully the weather will cooperate with heavenly cool breezes! Below is an "executive summary" on overheated conditions.

See the full article here

Five Giant Baby Steps To Toilet Training

By Mary Boudreau Conover

There are five developmental steps that must occur before a child is "toilet trained" and finally continent during sleep. Children will, of course, vary in the timing of this progression. I am amazed and awed by the concatenation of exquisite neuromuscular developments that begin with stretch receptors in the embryo's bladder and end a few years later with involuntary continence during sleep. Here are those giant baby steps.

See the full article here.

Iron Overload Disease -- Hemochromatosis

By Mary Boudreau Conover
Dedicated to John, my brother, who was misdiagnosed for decades and then diagnosed too late to recover from multiple organ damage. He lives with the ravages of this easily controlled disease. Listen up, and take charge of your health. 

This article was first posted two years ago in April. However, I have been reminded of and "realarmed" at the extent of ignorance regarding an often misdiagnosed, easily preventable but debilitating and even deadly disease — for the lack of two blood tests. 

See the full article here.

When it comes to fish oil, more is not better

By Chris Kresser

  • The benefits of fish oil supplementation have been grossly overstated
  • Most of the studies showing fish oil benefits are short-term, lasting less than one year
  • The only fish oil study lasting more than four years showed an increase in heart disease and sudden death
  • Fish oil is highly unstable and vulnerable to oxidative damage
  • There’s no evidence that healthy people benefit from fish oil supplementation
  • Taking several grams of fish oil per day may be hazardous to your health

Belly Breathing

By Mary Boudreau Conover

Respiration occurs partly because of the interaction between the diaphragm and the lungs, rib cage, and abdomen. The diaphragm is a large, thin, dome-shaped skeletal muscle that originates mostly from the lower six ribs, but also from two muscular slips from the back of the xiphoid process (the tail-like structure at the bottom of the sternum) and from the lumbar vertebrae by two pillars, effectively creating two separate compartments––thoracic and abdominal. All fibers then insert into to a tendon in the center of the diaphragm. This tendon is a thin sheet of connective tissue and, like all tendons, it cannot be stretched. 

See the full article here.