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2012 Publication Archive

“Is Breast Cancer ‘Over Diagnosis’ Real ?”

Dec 30, 2012

Breast cancer is a widespread and dangerous condition and, in past articles, I have presented the best methods to detect it and to treat it.  Yet, a new U.S. study states, “Mammograms have done surprisingly little to catch deadly breast cancers before they spread.  At the same time, more than a million women have been treated for cancers that never would have threatened their lives.”   The study suggests that up to one third of breast cancers cases a year (50,000 to 70,000) don’t need treatment.  Over diagnosis refers to finding suspected cancer that is present but does not need treatment. Men have heard a similar warning about PSA tests to screen for slow-growing prostate cancer, but it’s relatively new to the debate over breast cancer screening.

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“Cancer Is On The Rise”

Dec 23, 2012

In 2011, British experts reported, “Nearly half of cancers diagnosed in the UK each year  are caused by avoidable life choices including smoking, drinking and eating the wrong things.  Tobacco is the biggest culprit, causing 23% of cases in men and 15.6% in women.”  Next on the list is a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in men’s diets, while for women it is being overweight.  Now, they report, “Men look set to have a one in two chance of developing cancer in their lifetime.  The increase to 50 out of 100, up from the current 44 in 100 chance, is largely due to people living longer – age is the biggest cancer risk factor.”  The cancers set to increase the most in men within the next 15 years are bowel, prostate and skin (melanoma).  Fortunately, due to medical advances, cancer survival has already doubled in the past 40 years.  Still, a woman’s lifetime odds of developing cancer would be 44 in 100, up from 40 in 100.

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“Exercise May Be The Best Medicine”

Dec 16, 2012

Repeatedly, we find that exercise has a wide array of health benefits.  Still, common sense and exercise, as tolerated, needs to be applied in most situations and extremes are to be avoided.  For starters, exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of most major diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, strokes, obesity and diabetes.  Yet, authors are still stumped as to the underlying reasons exercise is so beneficial to health.  According to the free radical theory, exercise should kill outright or shorten our life span; but, it doesn’t.  In fact, a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported that some Olympic athletes live 2.8 years longer on average.  Experts found, “Those who took part in non-contact sports such as cycling, rowing and tennis enjoyed the longest life of all and boxing had the least advantage.”

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AIDS: A Global Outlook”

Dec 09, 2012

In November of 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, “An AIDS-free generation is not just a rallying cry — it is a goal that is within our reach.”  President Barack Hussein Obama echoed that promise and said, “We stand at a tipping point in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and working together, we can realize our historic opportunity to bring that fight to an end.”  But, scientific evidence shows that they are wrong.  An estimated 34 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and despite a small drop in new infections over the last decade, 2.5 million people were infected last year.  An AIDS-free generation means that virtually no babies will be born infected, young people will have a much lower risk than today of becoming infected, and that people who already have HIV will receive life-saving treatment.

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“HIV/AIDS Dangers Loom Locally”

Dec 02, 2012

According to the state Department of Health and Hospitals, the Baton Rouge metro area ranked first in the nation in 2010 in the rate of AIDS cases per 100,000 population.  Nearly 5,000 people are currently living with HIV/AIDS in metro Baton Rouge and many others are infected throughout our state.  HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) on its own it does not kill you.  HIV grows, infects and destroys the immune system such that it cannot fight infections or cancer.  If no treatment is given, it takes about 10 years from infection to the development of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).  Then “opportunistic infections” (ones a healthy immune system could fight off) become deadly.  People then die from pneumonias, brain infections, and diarrheal illnesses, as well as certain tumors such as lymphoma and cervical cancer.  Many countries are experiencing peak numbers being infected with the HIV virus.  Thirty four million people worldwide are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which has killed over 25 million since it was first described in the 1980’s. 

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“Legal Drug Dangers In America”

Nov 25, 2012

CNN recently had a special entitled, Deadly Doses and reported the major problem with dangerous use of legal drugs.  Eighty percent of the world’s pain pills are used by Americans.  Yet, we represent only five percent of the world’s population. That is more than 110 tons of pure, addictive opiates every year.  It is enough pain pills to give every single American 64 Percocets or Vicodin.  Recent studies indicate that prescriptions have surged 600 percent in ten years and the problem is getting worse. Doctors are giving out more pain prescriptions, families are sharing medication and everyone from teens to seniors in America are at risk of getting hooked.  So-called “pill mills” are being poorly monitored by the government.  Even the U.S. National Institutes of Health said 3 to 5 percent of people who take pain medication eventually become addicted and a National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly one-third of people aged 12 or older, who used drugs for the first time, used a prescription drug for a non-medical purpose.  There is a death every 19 minutes caused by the use of legal pain medications. 

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“Autism Questions Abound”

Nov 18, 2012

In medical research, we rely on statistically “significant” results.  A significant finding is one where there is less than a five percent likelihood the result would have occurred by chance.  Over $1 billion dollars has been spent over the past decade on autism research but that seems like a paltry amount compared to the $3 billion spent annually on AIDS research.  Autism research had been a giant fishing expedition and has yielded little substantive information on the origin or cause of the prevalent disease.  Everything from genetics to the age of the father, the weight of the mother (obesity), and how close a child lives to a freeway has been investigated as being causative.  Autism disorders are far more common than was previously understood, affecting 1 in 88 U.S. children.  The 2012 figure reflects a 23 percent increase compared with the autism rate released two years ago. 

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“Fish Oil Heart Claims Debunked”

Nov 11, 2012

In recent times, nothing has been more aggressively marketed than fish oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fats), with glowing claims which sound nearly miraculous.  Advertisements and endless promotions by Dr. Oz and Dr. Andrew Weil have convinced many people that fish oil will protect them for nearly all forms of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, all forms of dementia, ADD, ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, obsessive compulsive disorder, headaches and migraines.  Yet, study after study have failed to support these unsubstantiated claims.  Still, sales of fish oils go through the economic roof.  The Nutrition Business Journal showed Americans spent $1.1 billion on fish oil supplements in 2011.  A 2012 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association presented data showing fish oil supplements weren’t linked with a lower risk of death from all causes, cardiac deaths or sudden deaths, nor were they associated with reduced odds of having a stroke or heart attack. 

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“Still Over-Selling Organic Foods”

Nov 04, 2012

Television and the printed media continue to hype the presumed benefits of “all things organic.”  We are constantly being misled by advertising and shrewd marketing frequently makes fools of us.  In July of 2009, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine investigators stated, “Organic food is no healthier.” They went on to say, “consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.”  After a review of 50 years of reports, experts concluded that organic food had no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food and that a small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these were unlikely to be of any public health relevance.  An October 2012 article published in Pediatrics echoed a Stanford University study released last month. both research groups concluded that while eating organic fruits and vegetables can reduce pesticide exposure, the amount measured in conventionally grown produce was within safety limits. 

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“Medicare Waste And Fraud Nearly Unstoppable”

Oct 28, 2012

President Barack Hussein Obama passed Universal Health Care in the form of the Affordable Healthcare Act; but, it is affordable in name only.  In its current form it will finalize the bankruptcy of America.  So, President Obama promised to stop waste and fraud in healthcare at the beginning of his first term, in order to save tens of billions of dollars.  That hasn’t worked out too well and according to the Department of Justice, since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged only 1,500 individuals who together had falsely billed Medicare for more than $4.8 billion.  In October 2012, another bust was made across the country, including a bust in Baton Rouge.  In the 2012 bust, seven physicians and 84 other individuals had been charged in federal courts with fraudulently billing Medicare for almost $430 million.  Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer in the Department of Justice (DOJ) said this was one of the largest busts in history. 

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