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September 29, 2016 OMG CaymanHealth Tips

Breast Cancer Awareness Seminars

The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens has scheduled Breast Cancer Awareness Month seminars all month long.

Dr. Mon Desir will be speaking at the West Bay Awareness Meeting at John Gray Memorial Church Hall on Monday October 24Click here to download the full Breast Cancer Awareness Month calendar.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells.

US Statistics – Women

  • Most common cancer to affect women in the US
  • About 1 in 8 women (about 12%) in the US will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • 2015 estimates for women
    • 231,840 new cases of invasive breast
    • 60,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
    • 40,290 deaths
    • death rates have been decreasing since 1989 — with larger decreases in women under 50.
    • Just less than 30% newly diagnosed cancers are breast cancers.

Decreased death rates

  • Treatment advances
  • Earlier detection
    •  mammograms, breast U/S, breast MRIs
  • Increased awareness

Decreasing Incidence

  • Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades.
  • Rates fell by 7% from 2002 – 2003 alone.
  • One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002.
  • These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.

Prevalence – 2015

  • Less than 2.8 Million women with history of Breast cancer
  • Those being treated
  • Those completed treatment

US Statistics – Men

  • 2015 estimates for men
    • 2,350 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men
      Note: A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. Represents less than 1% of all breast cancers

Risk Factors

  • Personal history of breast cancer:
    • Either in the same breast or the other breast, is higher than if you never had the disease.
  • Race:
    • White women > African American women.
    • Asian, Hispanic, and Native American women have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer.
  • Radiation therapy to the chest.
    • Having radiation therapy to the chest area as a child or young adult as treatment for another cancer significantly increases breast cancer risk.
    • Highest risk if the radiation was given while the breasts were still developing (during the teen years).
  • Breast cellular changes.
    • Unusual changes in breast cells found during a breast biopsy (removal of suspicious tissue for examination under a microscope) can be a risk factor for developing breast cancer.
    • These changes include overgrowth of cells (called hyperplasia) or abnormal (atypical) appearance.
  • Exposure to estrogen.
    • The female hormone estrogen stimulates breast cell growth, therefore, exposure to estrogen over long periods of time, without any breaks, can increase the risk of breast cancer.
    • Some of these risk factors are not under your control, such as:
    • starting menstruation at a young age (before age 12)
    • going through menopause at a late age (after 55)
  • Exposure to estrogens in the environment
    • hormones in meat
    • pesticides such as DDT, which produce estrogen-like substances when broken down by the body
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding.
    • Pregnancy and breastfeeding reduce the overall number of menstrual cycles in a woman’s lifetime, and this appears to reduce future breast cancer risk.
  • DES exposure.
    • Women who took a medication called diethylstilbestrol (DES), used to prevent miscarriage from the 1940s through the 1960s, have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.
    • Women whose mothers took DES during pregnancy may have a higher risk of breast cancer as well.
  • Genes
    • About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, caused by abnormal genes passed from parent to child.
    • BRCA1 (Breast Cancer gene one) and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer gene two).

Breast Cancer Genes BRCA1 and BRCA2

  • Genes code for a protein that serves as a Tumor Suppressor
  • Loss of function creates a lifetime risk of breast (82%) and ovarian (44%) cancers
  • Most Non-familial breast cancers have BRCA1 in the cytoplasm, not the nucleus where suppression occurs
  • Family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other cancers.
  • Ususal breast cancer risk,1 in 8, or a 12-13%
  • Women who have an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene (or both) can have up to an 80% risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes.
  • These abnormal genes cause an increased risk of ovarian, colon, pancreatic, and thyroid cancers, as well as melanoma.

Who may have these genes?

  • Blood relatives (grandmothers, mother, sisters, aunts) on either your mother’s or father’s side of the family who had breast cancer diagnosed before age 50.
  • There is both breast and ovarian cancer in your family, particularly in a single individual.
  • There are other gland-related cancers in your family such as pancreatic, colon, and thyroid cancers.
  • Women in your family have had cancer in both breasts.
  • You are of Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European) heritage.
  • You are African American and have been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35 or younger.
  • A man in your family has had breast cancer.
  • Men or women who are blood relatives of those who carry the mutation

Risk factors you can control!

  • Being overweight (BMI > 25)
    • Increases risk of recurrence
  • Eating unhealthy foods
    • Plant based foods
    • Foods free of pesticides
  • Lack of exercise (4 – 7 hours per week)
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to estrogens
    • HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)

Screening is a must!

  • Breast exams
  • Mammograms
    • Mammography is 85% to 90% accurate
    • Every other year if over 40 yrs but earlier and more frequent depending on risk factors
  • Other Screenings or Diagnostics may be suggested by your physician, including:
    • Breast ultrasound scans (May be required for women with large or dense breasts or closer viewing of suspicious lesions)
    • Breast biopsy

Signs and Symptoms

  • Breast cancer symptoms vary widely
  • Lumps
  • Swellings
  • Skin changes
  • No obvious symptoms at all.
  • Symptoms that are similar to those of breast cancer may be the result of non-cancerous conditions like infections, cysts or papillomas.

 

Finding breast cancer early saves lives! Early detection increases the chance of a cure. Mammograms can find small breast cancers 2 to 3 years before they can be felt. Two majors risk factors are being a woman and getting older. Most women with breast cancer have no family history.

Make an appointment with Dr. Mon Desir today for a clinical breast exam, and to discuss your risk factors for breast cancer.


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September 21, 2016 OMG CaymanHealth Tips

Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. Your best friend feasts on whatever she wants and never gains a pound, while you suffer through carrots and celery and still can’t lose an ounce. Could your metabolism be to blame? It’s possible. Although genetics play a role in how your metabolism runs, you do have some power to increase metabolism and help burn calories more quickly.

Metabolism is a chemical process that converts your body’s fuel (calories) into energy. It’s involved in everything your body does, from breathing to moving and thinking. If your metabolism runs fast, it’s like a furnace quickly burning through fuel. If it runs slowly, it’s more like a smoldering fire using up your fuel supply gradually.

A slow metabolism is actually a very efficient one, says Michael Zemel, PhD, professor emeritus and former director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He explains that our ancestors were hunter-gatherers who often didn’t know when their next meal would come. Their bodies held onto calories as a matter of survival. And because only the fittest people lived to pass along their genes, modern humans probably evolved from those with slower metabolisms.

Fast forward to you: Here’s how to boost metabolism for better weight management.

Build Muscle to Boost Metabolism

Lean muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re at rest, says Dr. Zemel. So increasing your muscle mass will help increase metabolism and burn calories more quickly. This is especially important as you move into middle age, a time when metabolism naturally slows down and you risk a loss of muscle mass. The answer is to add weight training to your workout routine. Zemel says this can be as easy as working out with resistance bands while standing in front of the TV.

Get Some Shut-Eye to Increase Metabolism

Sleep deprivation or having an erratic sleep schedule can contribute to a sluggish metabolism, says Zemel. Inadequate sleep also puts you at risk for metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, he adds. According to a study from the University of Chicago, even a few nights of poor sleep can do damage. Researchers say that healthy study participants who got only four hours of sleep for four nights became more resistant to insulin — and insulin resistance is a common precursor to developing diabetes.

Boost Metabolism by Spreading Out Your Meals

Rethinking how you eat can help with better weight management. If you eat cereal and yogurt for breakfast, have the cereal but save the yogurt for a mid-morning snack. At lunch, save part of your meal to eat in the middle of the afternoon. Zemel notes that spreading out meals can have a positive effect on metabolism and blood sugar levels.

Get Off Your Duff to Burn Calories

Zemel says that long periods of inactivity can contribute to a sluggish metabolism and bigger health problems. British researchers analyzed results from 18 studies that looked at inactivity and the risk for disease. They found that the most sedentary people have a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and an even bigger risk for diabetes.

At the office, don’t spend hours at a time sitting at your desk — get up and move around, says Zemel. Look for opportunities like walking over to a colleague’s office and having a conversation instead of sending an e-mail. Or consider walking around your office while talking on the phone. While watching TV at home, you can get up during commercial breaks to tidy the house or just move around.

Don’t Try a Starvation Diet to Lose Weight

A very low-calorie diet or skipping meals to lose weight can backfire. “Your body will fight you and slow down your metabolism,” says Zemel. It’s possible to lose 30 pounds on a low-calorie diet, but it takes fewer calories to maintain your body weight after a prolonged dip in calories — and most people gain back that weight and then, when they try to take it off again, it’s harder.

Have Your Thyroid Checked

If your weight gain is sudden, it may be due to hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid gland. This is a common condition, especially in women older than 50. When the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones, body functions, including metabolism, slow down. One of the biggest symptoms of hypothyroidism is unexplained weight gain. Simple blood tests can detect an underactive thyroid. There is no cure, but treatment using synthetic thyroid hormones is very effective.

Beware of Metabolism-Boosting Hype

Although spicy food is often touted as a metabolism booster, the effects may be exaggerated. One study in the European Journal of Nutrition did find that people who added capsaicin (the active ingredient in chili and other peppers that makes them hot) to their breakfast food felt more satisfied and ate less the rest of the day. Green tea and caffeine are other examples of dietary factors that can give a minimal boost to metabolism, Zemel says. Just remember that it’s fitness — not food — that can definitely help you burn more calories.

Source: Everyday Health


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August 15, 2016 OMG CaymanHealth Tips

Screening

Getting checked early can help you stop diseases like

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • osteoporosis

Screening tests can spot illnesses even before you have symptoms. Which screening tests you need depends on

  • your age
  • family history
  • your own health history
  • and other risk factors (e.g. where you live)

Screening Checklist

Screenings may be recommended for:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Skin Cancer
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol Levels
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Glaucoma

Ask Your Doctor About Screenings

  • It’s good health sense to talk with your doctor about screening tests.
  • Some tests, such as a Pap test or breast exam, should be a routine part of every woman’s health care.
  • Other tests might be necessary based on your risk factors.
  • Proper screening won’t always prevent a disease, but it can often find a disease early enough to give you the best chance of overcoming it.

Make an appointment with Dr. Mon Desir today for your health screenings.


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July 27, 2016 OMG CaymanHealth Tips

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can strike at any age. RA causes hand or foot pain, and, if left untreated, can develop into painful and crippling deformity. This disease can damage your joints and also affects other organs and reduces your life expectancy. Early treatment is essential to avoid permanent joint damage and disability.

6 Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether your symptoms are those of RA or the more common “wear and tear” arthritis called osteoarthritis. If you are experiencing symptoms you believe may be attributed to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, talk to your physician at your next appointment.

  1. Typically with RA, one or more of your finger-knuckle joints will be swollen. The swelling is more likely to be in the middle or large knuckles of your hands — not the knuckles at the tips of your fingers next to your fingernails. It is often in joints on both hands. The swelling does not feel “bony,” but rather tender and slightly soft. With RA, you may also feel warmth and notice redness over the joint.
  2. If at least one of your middle or large knuckles has been swollen and painful for more than six weeks, for no clear reason or explanation, it could be a sign of RA. Large joints such as your ankles, knees, shoulders, or elbows may be involved, but you must have swelling and pain in at least two joints to be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, swelling or pain in your small fingertip knuckles, at the base of your thumbs, and in your big toe joints will more often be due to osteoarthritis.
  3. The balls of your feet are also targets for RA. Often, people with rheumatoid arthritis experience a feeling of “walking on golf balls” or swelling under the foot, especially first thing in the morning when you’re getting out of bed. This pain will feel different from pain caused by a bunion. Pain from a bunion is usually at the base of the big toe, and feels worse when you wear tight shoes.
  4. You just don’t feel well, and you may notice bumps on your elbows. With RA, you may have flu-like symptoms such as low-grade fevers and fatigue. Occasionally, small tender bumps or nodules under the skin will develop with RA, often near the back of the elbow. These are called rheumatoid nodules.
  5. Your joints are particularly stiff for more than an hour in the morning. With rheumatoid arthritis, you may find it difficult to completely make a fist. You may have unusually tender swelling on the top of your wrists. If your elbows are involved, it may be difficult for you to straighten them completely. Usually, you won’t have swelling or pain in your hip joints early in the course of RA. Painful hip joints more often are due to osteoarthritis, and most people feel the pain in the front of the hip or in the groin region.
  6. Certain blood tests may help determine whether you have RA. These are usually ordered by your health provider, but there are companies that allow you to order these tests yourself (Hint: Google search “order your own lab tests”).

 

We now know that some forms of RA are very aggressive, and much permanent joint damage can occur within the first 12 months. RA cannot be cured yet, but joint damage can be slowed and sometimes stopped. Understanding the difference between osteoarthritis “aches and pains” and early RA warning signs is critical to saving your joints from painful damage and disability.

Source: Everyday Health


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Don’t be fooled by false health claims. There are only two true ways to boost your metabolism: weight-loss surgery and weight training that increases muscle mass. But there are many factors that can cause your metabolism to slow and the number on the scale to creep up. The good news is you don’t have to take these changes lying down — you can always fight your metabolic triggers and change your metabolism for the better. Here’s how top docs say you can reverse a bad metabolic trend and rev your body’s calorie-burning engine.

  1. How Hormones Slow Metabolism  (Part 1)
    You could blame your slow metabolism on your hormones — or a lack thereof. A natural lack of estrogen receptors in the brain due to aging caused mice to gain weight without consuming more calories, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found. The same principle could apply to humans. “People put on 10 percent a decade because of how our hormones change as we age,” says Eva Cwynar, MD, an endocrinologist and metabolic medicine specialist in Beverly Hills and author of The Fatigue Solution. If you’re concerned about your estrogen levels, talk to your doctor to find a healthy solution that works for your body.
  2. How Hormones Slow Metabolism (Part 2)
    Another reason metabolism slows: The amount of the hormone testosterone in both men and women decreases as we age, Dr. Cwynar says. Testosterone helps regulate muscle mass, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when resting. Men may be able to prevent this change by getting more vitamin D, a recent study in the journal Hormone and Metabolic Research found, but the same effect has not been confirmed in women. Skin-safe ways to boost your vitamin D intake include egg yolks, salmon and other fatty fish, and vitamin-fortified breakfast cereals.
  3. Stress Can Be a Metabolism Trigger
    Stress causes your level of the hormone cortisol to rise, says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, author of Doctor’s Detox Diet: The Ultimate Weight Loss Prescription and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which can harm your metabolism. Increased cortisol levels can cause you to overeat, and when you overeat, you can gain weight. Weight gain causes your metabolism to slow, Dr. Gerbstadt says. To counteract stress, avoid people and situations that cause your stress level to spike whenever possible and adopt a stress-busting exercise routine that will also help you maintain your weight.
  4. Lack of Sleep Can Change Metabolism
    To keep your metabolism revved, don’t skip snoozing. When your body lacks sleep, it can have a difficult time metabolizing carbohydrates, which triggers a chain reaction. When you don’t metabolize carbohydrates, your blood-sugar levels rise. High blood sugar levels spike insulin levels, and the increase in insulin tells your body to store unused energy as fat. To stop the cycle, set your body clock so you will stay caught up on ZZZs: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  5. Eating Too Much Fat Can Change Your Metabolism
    When you eat a lot of fatty foods, your metabolism slows down to conserve some of that fat for future use, and the net result is that you might start gaining weight. To maintain your metabolism or change it for the better, make sure any meat you eat is lean, stick to low- or nonfat dairy, and consume plenty of the healthy monounsaturated fats found in raw nuts, fish, and avocados.
  6. Medications Can Be Metabolism Triggers
    Some medications may cause your metabolism to slow and your waistline to expand. Those known to change metabolism in some people include antidepressants, diabetes drugs, steroids, and hormone therapies. Talk with your doctor if you suspect that medicine is causing weight gain, Cwynar says. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication, change your dosage, or even suggest a better time of day to take it.
  7. Health Conditions Can Trigger a Metabolism Change
    The classic example of a disease that slows metabolism is hypothyroidism, which is when your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones. “Your thyroid is the ‘thermostat’ of metabolism,” Gerbstadt says. However, some people are quick to blame their slow metabolism on an underactive thyroid or other health condition when it’s really that they’re overeating and not exercising. Find out for sure by asking your doctor to perform a blood test. If you have an underactive thyroid, your doctor may be able to help reset it with medication, Gerbstadt says. If not, you may simply have to redouble your diet and exercise efforts.
  8. Eating Too Little Can Slow Metabolism
    If you overdo your diet and cut too many calories from your eating plan, you could end up sabotaging your metabolism. Your body will slow down its calorie burning because it thinks you’re starving. Another problem if you eat too little is that your body will break down valuable muscle tissue for energy. If you want to change your metabolism and still lose weight, eat enough so that you’re not hungry. Smaller meals throughout the day — every three to four hours — may be a better bet so you stay satisfied.
  9. Lack of Exercise Can Slow Metabolism
    When you don’t exercise, fat can build up in your body and slow your metabolism, says Rakesh Patel, MD, a family medicine physician in Gilbert, Ariz. Now consider what happens when you exercise: Your heart has to pump harder so that blood can transport the nutrients your muscles need, and when your muscles are working, your metabolism speeds up. Try interval training if you want to change your metabolism and burn calories even after your workout is over, Dr. Patel says. For example, you can alternate periods of jogging with sprinting or add steeper hills to your bike route. Regular exercise and especially interval training can boost your metabolism over the long term.

Source: Everyday Health


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The Oasis Medical Group (OMG), previously West Bay Medical Clinic is the only private Medical clinic in the heart of West Bay. It caters to the medical needs of the residents of West Bay and the surrounding areas. We’re all about knowing our patients.

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(345) 943-6066

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