Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ten Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Ovarian Cancer:

1. Has my ovarian cancer spread?
2. Do I have to have both of my ovaries removed? If so, will I have hot flashes?
3. How confident are you that all of the cancer has been removed?
4. Which chemotherapy drugs do you recommend? Do I have any other treatment options?
5. How long will I have to undergo chemotherapy?
6. What side effects should I look for? Are there ways to minimize these side effects?
7. Will I need any additional surgery?
8. Should I be tested for the BRCA-1 BRCA-2 mutations? What should I do if the test is positive?
9. What signs should I look for that might indicate the ovarian cancer has come back?
10. How often should I come in for follow-up visits?

Friday, May 22, 2015

We Need Your Support!

Please help support the Lymphedema Treatment Act! If you or your loved one is affected by this disease, call your congressman and urge their support for the act.

Share your lymphedema story here:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Health and Baldness

While for many men, the main impact of baldness is psychological — especially when hair loss begins prematurely in a man's early 20s — there are some physiological downsides to the process. Hair loss quite obviously causes an uptick in a man's risk for skin cancer of the scalp.

More unusually, though, researchers have linked male pattern baldness to an increased incidence of heart disease, hypertension, and high levels of cholesterol. This study found risk of heart attack increased along with spreading baldness on the crown of the head. Another study, which involved 250 men between 35 and 65, found those with a blood pressure reading above 120 over 80 (average) had double the risk of hair loss compared to those without hypertension. And past research has consistently linked excessive hair loss to cholesterol levels. Importantly, in all these cases the doctors say the link between baldness and heart health may be obvious but the underlying reasons are not.

While the experts claim these effects may be due to either excess testosterone or to genes, one thing is certain: Men who experience hair loss should begin watching their blood pressure and cholesterol and overall protecting heart health.

If you begin to lose your hair, read it as a visible sign to begin saving your life. Time to change: quit smoking, curb your drinking, and start an exercise and diet program to promote heart health.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cuban cancer vaccine to be tested in U.S. sparks a new scientific bond

Alan Gomez and Liz Szabo, USA TODAY

A landmark agreement to allow an American cancer institute to begin testing a lung cancer vaccine developed in Cuba could be the start of a renewed medical research relationship between the two countries.
Cuba has long been a surprising leader in the development of medical treatments, from laying the groundwork to cure malaria to more recent advances in biotechnology to battle meningitis, hepatitis, diabetes and cancer.
But Cuban researchers have mostly been unable to share their experiences with their American counterparts because of the economic embargo the U.S. has maintained on the Communist island for more than a half-century.
Now, as President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro move to normalize relations, their countries are starting to team up on medical research. Federal restrictions on working in Cuba and sending medical equipment there are being loosened as part of the deal, meaning more Cuban scientists can visit the U.S., more American researchers can spend time in Cuba, and the scientific bond between the two countries can be re-established.
The first step in the new relationship was an agreement between the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo to test a vaccine developed by Cuba's Center for Molecular Immunology. Roswell Park plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration for permission to conduct a trial here, said Roswell Park president and CEO Candace Johnson.
The Cuban vaccine resarchers are "an extremely innovative group of scientists," said Johnson, who finalized the deal during a trip to Havana last month. "They're just brimming with ideas."
International scientists have been experimenting with cancer treatment vaccines for many years, and one is already approved in the USA to treat prostate cancer. The Cuban vaccine, called Cimavax, attacks the problem in a different way, said Kelvin Lee, Roswell Park's chairman of immunology.
Rather than attack the tumor itself, the vaccine — already approved in Cuba and Peru — is designed to starve cancers of growth factors that act like fertilizers to help them grow. The vaccine contains a man-made protein, called epidermal growth factor, or EGF, that fuels the growth of tumors in the lung, colon and other organs, Lee said.
In clinical trials conducted in Cuba, most patients with advanced lung cancers who received the vaccine lived two to four months longer than those who didn't receive it. Patients who had the most EGF protein benefited the most, getting an extra eight to 10 months of survival, Lee said. About 5,000 patients have received the vaccine worldwide, including 1,000 in Cuba.
This early success has even led some American lung cancer patients to fly to Cuba to receive the vaccine, Lee said.
That kind of innovation is what's piqued the curiosity of American researchers like Mark Rasenick, a physiology and psychiatry professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, who has visited Cuba for 20 years. The country has struggled economically for decades, forcing Cuban scientists to figure out how to prevent diseases in their own way.
Rasenick gives the example of a brain-mapping technique pioneered by underfunded Cuban scientists. In the U.S., if a patient has a stroke, doctors can use magnetic resonance imaging to see what is happening inside the patient's brain. The machine costs millions of dollars.
Rasenick said Cubans instead use an older, cheaper procedure known as electroencephalography — "basically a bathing cap with a bunch of electrodes." The procedure measures brain activity only on the outside of the brain, so the Cubans developed sophisticated algorithms that have successfully used that data to determine what's going on inside the brain. Total price tag: $20,000.
Rasenick said the cheaper technology could help people in rural parts of the U.S. where doctors don't have access to the multimillion-dollar machines. And others say that level of ingenuity could help U.S. scientists approach problems from a different perspective.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gentle Strength Training Can Improve Lymphedema

Looking for a great exercise program for lymphedema patients with stable lymphedema? Strength training can be beneficial for lymphedema because it will allow you to perform daily activities with less effort, possibly preventing injury and subsequent swelling.

If you want to start a strength training program, first talk to your doctor and always follow general safety principles listed below.

-Always wear your compression garment if you have lymphedema. If you are “AT RISK” of lymphedema it may be beneficial to wear a compression garment.

-Start with a moderate weight and work with a personal trainer

-Allow adequate rest intervals between sets

-Avoid constrictive clothing or weights that wrap tightly around an extremity

-Maintaining good hydration

-Avoid extreme heat or overheating

-Never exercise to the point of pain

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the kind, beautiful, strong and irreplaceable mom's in our lives!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Heartwarming story, just in time for Mother's Day!

Grieving Mother Cat Who Lost All Three of Her Babies 'Adopts' Trio of Abandoned Kittens


Mikey the cat is finally getting her moment to be a mom.

The 8-month-old feline from Houston, Texas, recently gave birth to three kittens, reports the Huffington Post. Mikey's babies were born premature and weak. The cat's owner, Hillary, tried to help the mom save the trio, but all of the kittens eventually died.

Prepared to be a mother, Mikey obviously appeared heartbroken after losing her babies. Hilary said her pet started acting depressed and would search the house for her kittens. Wanting to help ease Mikey's suffering, Hillary called Dori's Darlings, a local cat rescue organization.

Dori Hillman, the owner of the rescue, connected the concerned owner with Amanda Lowe and Kelli Nicole, who were caring for three abandoned kittens. Just a few days old, Teddy, Abby and Lily required constant care and supervision.

Lowe had the idea of introducing the needy kittens to Mikey. The grieving mother cat met the babies the day after Hillary and Lowe spoke, and instantly connected with the new brood.

As soon as Lowe set Teddy, Abby and Lily in front of Mikey, the cat reached out for the kittens and begin to "hug" and lick them. Minutes later, Mikey rolled over to allow the kittens to nurse from her. Cautiously, each of the babies began to feed.

Lowe and Hillary were watching a new family form before their eyes. Several hours after meeting, Mikey and the kittens were playing, sleeping and cuddling together. Thankfully, Nicole, who works as a photographer, was there to document the special bond building between the new mom and her adopted kids.

Lowe left Hillary's home without the kittens, deciding to let them grow up in the loving paws of Mikey instead.

"This was just an awful thing she went through and this will be healing for her," she told Huffington Post.

Trending: Performance Socks

For all you athletes out there, Sigvaris Sports USA now offers graduated compression performance socks and sleeves. All SIGVARIS SPORTS products use the basic principle of true graduated compression with the strongest pressure at the ankle. When blood is properly circulated, it restores much-needed oxygen and nutrients to tired muscles that have been deprived during a workout. SIGVARIS SPORTS products help muscles regenerate more efficiently and to remove any lactic acid that has built up. We carry the full line of performance compression wear. Come by and see our BOC/ABC compression garment fitter to ensure you are wearing the proper sized socks or sleeves for peak performance!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Researchers predict 50% more women diagnosed with breast cancer by 2030


Researchers with the National Cancer Institute said by 2030 the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer will increase by 50%.

“Regardless whether you have a history or not it’s still devastating, you know you think about so many things, your children, my husband, being a mother and wife,” explained Tracey Dillihunt Monday afternoon.

Dillihunt said she knows firsthand the effects of breast cancer.

Not only was she a six-year survivor, her two sisters were also diagnosed before her.

While breast cancer has been part of Dillihunt’s life for years, she was still surprised to hear cases were predicted to increase by 50% in the next 15 years.

But breast cancer researcher Dr. Gregory Vidal of the West Cancer Center said the study was pretty on point with the trends he’s been seeing.

“We sort of expected those numbers to come up,” explained Vidal.

Vidal cited a few reasons for the increase including longer life expectancy and more screening that allowed doctors to catch very early stage growths that down the road might not require treatment.

Dr. Vidal, who has dedicated his life to research, said he didn’t want the numbers to scare people.

“Anything that brings attention to it is a plus in my book. What I don’t want to happen is for people to overreact by seeing the numbers,” he said.

Vidal explained a big part of the increase in the study comes from doctors detecting stage 0 breast cancer or abnormal cells.

“Some people wouldn’t even consider it breast cancer,” he said.

Vidal also pointed out the study predicted the number of aggressive breast cancer tumors will drop by 10%, which was good news.

“Those tumors tend to affect younger women and those tumors tend to take your life,” explained Vidal.

Studies showed one in eight women were predicted to have breast cancer.

Dillihunt said she hoped the study would bring awareness and help the millions of people affected by breast cancer.

“If you don’t have breast cancer, you’re going to know someone that has it,” she said.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Delicious Recipes for Mother's Day Brunch

Passion Fruit Mimosas


1 1/2 teaspoons grenadine
1 1/2 cups chilled passion fruit juice
1 (750 ml) bottle chilled prosecco
Orange slices, for garnish

1. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon grenadine into each of 6 flutes; top with 1/4 cup passion fruit juice, then fill with prosecco. Garnish, if desired.

Braised Kale Frittata


6 large eggs
4 large egg whites
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 ounce Gruyère or Parmesan cheese, grated (3 TBSP)
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
Cooking spray
2 cups Braised Kale without cheese, drained, finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, whisk the first 6 ingredients (through oregano).

2. Lightly coat an 8-inch ovenproof cast-iron or nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium. Add the kale and tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until hot (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs and swirl to distribute.

3. Transfer to the oven and bake until set and hot (about 20 minutes). Cut in wedges.

Friday, May 1, 2015

5 Ways to Keep Your Legs Healthy During Pregnancy

  1. Avoid standing and sitting for prolonged periods.  Moving legs are healthier legs!
  2. Stay active.  Frequent moderate physical exercise is important to maintain healthy legs.
  3. Wear medical compression hosiery.  Compression hosiery and socks help promote blood circulation by improving venous blood return back to the heart.
  4. At night or when resting during the day, lie comfortably with your legs slightly elevated.
  5. Avoid extended exposure to heat from sunbathing, hot baths, or the sauna as excessive heat will cause your veins to dilate and may induce swelling.
If you are pregnant and are interested in protecting your legs during your pregnancy, we carry a full line of ready to wear compression hosiery in different styles and colors.  We also have a BOC/ABC custom garment fitter on staff who can help you determine if custom garments would be a better fit for your legs.  Please call (713) 623-4247 and set up a free consultation today!