October 5, 2010
Health The Examiner
• Tracey Shaffer
Healthy diet can cut cancer risk – Page 11
What new breast cancer screening guidelines mean for patients – Page 2
Family history can determine when a woman should start getting mammograms, says Dr. Richard McKittrick, a breast cancer expert with Kansas City Cancer Center.
• LARRY JONES
Changes in breast Wellness 3-5, 8-9 • CaLENDAR 6-7 • NUTRITION 11-12 health – Page 3
Page 2 Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Guidelines change, but some experts disagree Risk remains key factor in when to start screening By MICHAEL GLOVER firstname.lastname@example.org
A government panel has revised recommendations for breast cancer screening, but doctors and several professional organizations disagree. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force changed its screening recommendations months ago to say women age 50-74 should be screened every two years and average-risk women 40-49 should discuss screening with their provider. The changes in mammography guidelines referenced potential dangers of the screenings that include anxiety, discomfort, radiation risk and the fearful return to the hospital for additional imaging and a biopsy when no cancer is present. The changes referenced a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that analyzed data gathered in Norway from 1996 to 2005 on more than 40,000 women in their 50s and 60s. Regular mammograms reduced the risk of dying from the cancer by just 10 percent, far less than previously thought. Richard McKittrick, a medical doctor with Kansas City Cancer Center who is a breast cancer expert, says it’s important not to base the effectiveness of screenings on a single study. “That’s just one study,” McKittrick says. “But we look at what other studies have shown. We look at the preponderance of the majority of what other studies have found.” He adds the studies don’t show that mammographies are not effective. There are factors to consider when recommending the age for a woman to get a mammography. McKittrick says “average risk” women age 35 or 40, should start getting mammograms. Average risk women are those whose families have a history of the cancer. “If you have someone with a family history, they’re at a higher risk,” he says. “I see
“A younger lady has denser breasts. I tell people that it’s like looking at an airplane in the sky. If there’s clouds up there, the plane is harder to see. If there’s blue sky, it’s easy to see. An older lady has clearer breasts, so it’s easier to see things.” Richard McKittrick breast cancer expert
patients at age 35 but I don’t start, you might say, twisting their arm until about age 40 or 45. I ask them about their family history. Some ladies don’t want to do it.” McKittrick tells women with a family history of breast cancer to take the age of when a family member was diagnosed and subtract 10 years. That’s the age when the woman should start getting tested. Medical experts agree that all women age 50 and older should get an annual mammogram. Risk factors for breast cancer other than family history are obesity, smoking and drinking. “You might find breast cancer in a 40-yearold but odds are you’re much more likely to find one in a 50- or 60-year-old.” The cancer is harder to detect in younger
Submitted photo Revised guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend women 40-49 discuss cancer screening with their health providers but do not encourage semi-annual mammograms for average risk women until age 50. patients, McKittrick says, so mammograms could be less reliable. “A younger lady has denser breasts. I tell people that it’s like looking at an airplane in
the sky. If there’s clouds up there, the plane is harder to see. If there’s blue sky, it’s easy to see. An older lady has clearer breasts, so it’s easier to see things.”
Food inspections l Jackson County The Jackson County Public Works/Environmental Health Division conducts inspections for cities other than Independence.
■ Casey’s General Store, 1251 AA Highway – On Sept. 21, an employee
drink was found in the kitchen without a lid, corrected. ■ Grain Valley Middle School, 901 S.W. Ryan – On Sept. 21, inspectors found a warming cabinet at 115 degrees. Ambient air temperature must be sufficient to hold food at 135 degrees or greater. Food
inside cabinet was meeting the temperature requirement today. Food was relocated to ensure temperature is maintained.
■ China Wok, 209 S.W. Greenwich Drive – On Sept. 21, inspectors found a
pan of cooked rice on the table next to the deep fryers was under no form of temperature control. Internal temperature of this product was 68 degrees, discarded. ■ Shamrock Hills Golf Club, 3161 S. Missouri 291 – On Sept. 21, inspectors observed there was no separate
hand washing sink in the kitchen, apart from the three-compartment sink. A food establishment must have a three-compartment sink and a hand washing sink (a total of four sinks) in a food prep area. – Jillayne Ritchie
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 Page 3
Cut fatality rates with early detection Talk to your doctor about individual risk factors “You have breast cancer” are words heard by over 192,000 women and almost 2,000 men annually. They are heart-stopping words. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Get educated. Breast cancer, what do you know?
True or false 1. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women. 2. Breast cancer usually “runs in families.’ 3. BRAC is a genetic marker for breast cancer. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with breast cancer are over age 50 with the average age at diagnosis between 55 and 65 years. There are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. You may be one of them or love one of them – or both. In 2009, about 40,000 died from breast cancer, the most common cancer among women. Although breast cancer strikes fear in our
Lori Boyajian O'Neill Sports and wellness Dr. Lori Boyajian-O’Neill can be contacted at email@example.com. hearts, it is heart disease that kills the most women annually. Early detection is key to survival. Mammography detects very small tumors in the milk producing areas of the breast where most cancer starts. Ultrasound and MRI are other imaging studies used to investigate breast
masses. Most breast masses, especially among women younger than age 50, are benign. But, early investigation of all lumps or breast discomfort is the most important factor in survival. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms and clinical breast examinations for those 40 and older with average risk and no symptoms. Most women with breast cancer do not have a “first degree” relative – mother or sister – with the disease, but having a mother or sister with breast cancer increases risk. Then there are those with several relatives with breast cancer, which indicates a strong genetic factor. In these circumstances a physician may recommend a blood test for BRAC 1 and 2. These are genes that, when mutated, significantly increase the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. BRAC testing, a simple blood test is not routinely ordered and generally reserved for those with a strong family history of breast cancer.
BRAC tests are advertised on television and the Internet but be wary of these companies. The best approach is to consult your physician to understand all options and to get unbiased information about the proper use of BRAC testing and the importance of using a reputable laboratory. During the month of October there are many special events and activities to increase awareness and promote early detection. Many hospitals are offering education programs, celebrations and mammograms at reduced cost. The 2010 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kansas City is a walk sponsored by the American Cancer Society. It will be held on Saturday, October 23 at the Liberty Memorial. Contact them at http://makingstrideskansascity.org to learn more about how you or your group can get involved. In the words of the American Cancer Society, “A world with less breast cancer is a world with more birthdays.” Happy Birthdays!
Answers 1. F 2. F 3. T
Not all changes are normal
Both women and men should look for irregularities Breast cancer… two words a woman does not want to hear. But a women-initiated movement to find a cure has resulted in research that has saved lives. Breast cancer is very often suspected when a lump is found either through a self exam or a mammogram. Most of the time, these lumps are benign, but sometimes they are cancer. Whether you are male or female, the breasts go through many changes in a lifetime. Some changes are normal and some changes are not. Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast divide and grow without normal control. About 85 percent of breast cancers begin in the mammary ducts that carry milk. The other 15 percent occur in the lobules that produce milk. Tumors of the breast usually grow slowly, so by the time you discover the lump it may be 10 years old. But, some types of breast cancer are aggressive and grow faster. Boys and girls begin life with similar breast tissue, but due to hormones boys will not develop the same complex breast growth and development as women. Men need to be aware
Larry Jones Larry Jones is director of the Independence Health Department. that even though the breast development is not the same as with women, all breasts have mammary ducts and lobules. In rare cases, men can be diagnosed with Paget’s disease of the nipple. Paget’s disease of the nipple is a breast cancer that begins in the milk ducts of the breast tissue, but spreads to the skin of the nipple. It can cause a scaly rash on the skin of the nipple. Although Paget’s disease is rare, it occurs more in men
than in women. The most common symptoms of breast cancer are a change in the look or feel of the breast or of the nipple and nipple discharge. Since men have less breast tissue, some of these signs are more noticeable. The symptoms are: n Lump, hard knot or thickening n Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening n Change in the size or shape of the breast n Dimpling or puckering of the skin n Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple n Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast n Nipple discharge that starts suddenly n New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away Getting regular screenings is important in the fight against any cancer. Know your risks, maintain a healthy weight, add exercise to your daily routine and limit alcohol intake. Breast cancer if caught early, is treatable. I encourage both male and females to do those so important self-exams and ask your doctor about screenings
Specializing in trauma, reconstructions and disorders of the hand, elbow and shoulder.
Centerpoint Medical Center 19550 E. 39th Street, Suite 410 Independence, MO 64057 Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30-5:00
Paul F Nassab, MD
Page 4 Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Battle against breast cancer begins with information St. Mary’s hosting free educational seminar tonight Did you know an estimated one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign started 25 years ago, in 1985, with just two founding members. Today, you probably already know, pink is used as a symbol of awareness for the expanding cause, but there is no stopping until every woman is educated. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 59, but many don’t realize there are an estimated two and a half million breast cancer survivors alive in the United States today. To help increase breast cancer survivors, early detection is crucial with a five-year survival rate of 96 percent. Two of the best tools
Richard kuckelman Richard Kuckelman is a radiologist at St. Mary’s Medical Center. for early detection are mammography and a breast MRI scan. The American Cancer Society recommends a mammogram every year for women age 40 and older. It is about 90 percent effective, which means we find about 90 percent of breast cancers using mammograms. But, it’s estimated that only 35 percent of women over the age of 50 follow the guidelines of a yearly mammogram. In a recent study, researchers determined mammograms as being one of the factors for reducing breast cancer mortality.
Another new, effective treatment is known typically the second step in treatment by using as Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI. Breast medicine to weaken the cancer cells. Following MRI scans can sometimes see cancer that is surgery or chemotherapy, radiation is used to not detected with a mammography or an ultrahelp reduce the risk of breast cancer reoccursound. rence and sometimes, hormone therapy is used It is also important for to stop the growth of cancer women just diagnosed with cells. breast cancer to have a breast Thinking about breast MRI so we can see more clearly cancer, its treatment and recov■ What: Free educational if the cancer has spread to ery is overwhelming. Take a seminar about breast health other areas. That information stand and arm yourself with ■ When: Tonight at 7 p.m., can impact the course of treatinformation. You never know with doors opening at 6 ment. MRI scans are beneficial when a friend or family mem■ Where: Education Center ber may be faced with breast for finding small cancers and at St. Mary’s, 201 N.W. R.D. providing additional informacancer. Mize Road, Blue Springs tion about the cancer. St. Mary’s Breast Center ■ Reservations: Call 816- is holding a free educational Surgery is generally the 228-3335. first step in treatment. When seminar about breast health cancer is found in the early and advances in detection and stages, the options are mastectreatment of breast cancer tomy (removal of all the breast tissue), a partonight in the Education Center at St. Mary’s, tial mastectomy (removal of about a quarter 201 N.W. R.D. Mize Road in Blue Springs. The of the breast) or a lumpectomy (removal of presentation begins at 7, but doors open at 6, the tumor and a small part of the surrounding so come early to take advantage of a little pamtissue). pering the Breast Center has planned. You still Depending on the severity, chemotherapy is have time to call for reservations, 816-228-3335.
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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Pink Party will start at 2 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Mid-Continent Public Library (north branch) in Blue Springs. The second-annual Pink Party, which was started as a way of teaching awareness and celebrating survival of breast cancer. It will feature a variety of fun learning experiences. Represenatives from the Susan G. Koman Organization, Cancer Action, St. Mary’s Mammography Department and Centerpoint Medical Center’s Bone Density Testing will be on hand to increase awareness about the impact of breast cancer. To register, call the library at 816-224-8772
Paint the Plaza pink for breast cancer awareness Many of Kansas City’s fountains will spout pink plumes for the seventh consecutive year to spotlight Breast Cancer Awareness in October. Kansas City Cancer Center will pink 17 area fountains for two weeks, starting with the J.C. Nichols fountain on the Country Club Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m. The pink fountains has become a tradition, reminding that the color is so closely associ-
ated with breast cancer awareness and strong life force and courage that is the spirit of so many people affected by breast cancer.
Halloween for grown-ups Saint Luke’s Hospital Foundation will host the second annual Boo Ball, a Halloween constume party for adults. The event will benefit the Saint Luke’s East Center for Breast Care. It will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Emaline Ballroom at 616 S.W. Third Street, Lee’s Summit. Individual tickets are $75 and sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information call 816-932-2252.
Walk benefits speech impediment The 2010 Kansas City area Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech will be held at Waterfall Part on Oct. 23. Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder that causes children to have difficulty making sounds, syllables and words. The walk starts at 9 a.m. and registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Pre-registration is $20 for adults and $10 for children. Register online at www.apraxia-kids.org/kcwalk. – Michael Glover
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 Page 5
Just get a mammogram The excuses we make just arenâ€™t good enough By Terry Marotta GateHouse News Service
Last year I had a mammogram that I wrote about. â€œItâ€™s Cryinâ€™ Time Again, Youâ€™re Gonna Squeeze Me,â€? I jokingly called the piece, echoing the old Ray Charles song. Maybe it was funny in the early parts when I related my conversation with the imaging professional administering the exam: â€œI have to warn you, Iâ€™m a fainter,â€? I told her as she screwed together the Marotta two icy plates of her high-tech vise. But really I said this only after she had asked me four times if I was all right, which of course began to make me feel that I wasnâ€™t. The truth is I mostly fainted in my early years, like in church when I could often be found gurgling in the pew, half caught under the kneeler. Or like that time a creaky old GP offered to remove two tiny warts for me, causing me to still have twin scars of the exact kind youâ€™d get if someone stabbed two glowing cigarettes into your flesh. But the mammographer was breezy about all this. â€œBreakfast is the key,â€? she smiled. â€œPeople only faint if they havenâ€™t had breakfast. And nobody faints after 11 in the morning.â€? â€œOK,â€? I said as we stood there, she fully clothed, I as naked from the waist up as the Venus De Milo. It was well past 11. It was, in fact, 5:30 at night. Then she asked if I did regular self-exams, causing me to blurt out the terrible truth.
Guest column â€œSure! Er, sometimes. Well, no, not really.â€? â€œNobody does them,â€? she said, the geniality in her voice suddenly gone. She didnâ€™t chastise me the way they do at the dentistâ€™s when they ask about flossing and you lie and say you do it all the time. She didnâ€™t give me a lecture. She didnâ€™t so much as sigh. If I wanted to get sick it was fine with her, is what she was saying in all but words. Anyway she was dead on her feet: â€œIâ€™ve been doing this since 7:30 this morning.â€? And now here it was almost 6. â€œItâ€™s been a long day for you,â€? I said, hoping for the return of her former warmth. But â€œYep,â€? was all she said back. Just one little tight-lipped â€œyep,â€? and in the ensuing silence I felt the full weight of her frustration with a group of people who leave themselves open to all kinds of bad possibilities just because theyâ€™re too â€œbusy,â€? or too distracted, or too limited in their vision to slide their hands around on their own bare skin now and then. The memory of this visit lives vividly in my mind, and now here we are again in the month dedicated to breast cancer awareness. We women over 40 should get mammograms if our doctors recommend that we do. But even if itâ€™s true that a lump is hard to detect with self-examination, we should also show some sense and check ourselves out, in the shower, say, when the skin is soapy and we can really feel the tissue underneath. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a program called the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which works with health departments and other groups to provide low-cost or free mammograms to women who qualify. Find more information by calling your health department or 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).
healthSHORTS Did You Know? Your ears hurt when youâ€™re in a plane that is ascending or descending because the Eustachian tube, which connects the back of the nose with the middle ear, canâ€™t equalize the pressure changes fast enough. Itâ€™s especially
painful for children because their tubes are narrower. To reduce the pain, chew on gum or mints and give babies a pacifier or a bottle. The swallowing uses the muscle that helps unblock the Eustachian tube. Yawning also helps. â€“ GateHouse News Service
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Page 6 Tuesday, October 5, 2010
healthCALENDAR Items for the Health Calendar may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: The Examiner, P.O. Box 459, Independence, Mo. 64051, attention Jill Ritchie. The following items are for Oct. 6 through 12.
Independence TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) 0062 open house, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Northeast Baptist Church, 9412 E. Independence Ave. 254-9455 or 2543026. PUTTING ON THE PINK – Breast Cancer Awareness event, sponsored by Noland Road Baptist Church, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, The Spot, 4420 S. Noland Road (in Noland South Shopping Center). Guest speaker, Marcia Deitrick from Susan G. Komen. Activities: Information on awareness, treatment and ways to help others with breast cancer, plus prize drawings, free massages and bone density tests and more. For reservations, call 373-0106 or visit www. nolandroadbaptist.org/women. Kansas City TNC’S 60TH ANNIVERSARY event, 5 p.m. Sunday, Trezo Mare Restaurant. Enjoy a celebratory dinner and auction to benefit TNC Community, a non-profit agency that assists individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities to have a better quality of life. Cost, $75. For reservations, call 913-709-6458 or visit www.tnccommunity.com/Events.php
Independence Straight Talk, Narcotics Anonymous, 8 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, First Baptist Church. Narcotics Anonymous Help Line: 531-2250. Living Free – Al Anon meeting, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 1723 Appleton Ave. 461-0039. Community Substance Abuse Committee, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Independence Police Building. Blue Springs ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, meetings available daily, most sessions are closed, and there are beginner meetings also, 1428-B W. U.S. 40 (behind Betty’s Diner). There is a total of 29 meetings per week. For times, call 471-7229. CHAPEL HILL AL-ANON, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 9 a.m. Saturday, 1428-B W. U.S. 40 (behind Betty’s Diner). BLUE SPRINGS ALATEEN, 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, 1428-B W. U.S. 40 (behind Betty’s Diner). Raytown NEW DAY AL-ANON, 10 a.m. Wednesday, Blue Ridge Trinity Lutheran Church. 353-5446.
Blue Springs Widowed Persons support group, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Annex A. 2240677 or 229-8093. Independents Singles Ministry grief support group, 7 p.m. Tuesday, First United Methodist Church. 228-3788. Adult Bereavement support group, sponsored by St. Mary’s Medical Center, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. several times throughout the year, Vesper Hall. To register, 655-5490. Other Infant loss group, sponsored by Carondelet Health. 655-5582.
Independence Gentle Tai Chi for those 50 and older, 6 p.m. Monday, The Palmer Center. Free. 325-6200. Interval training/step aerobics class, 4 to 4:50 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Sermon Center. Cost, $25 for six week session. To register, 325-7370. LOW IMPACT EXERCISE, 9 a.m. Mondays, Wednesday, Friday, Fairmount Community Center. 254-8334. Wake Up Workout, 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, The Palmer Center. Cost, $2. 325-6200. Walk to the Beat, 8 a.m., Monday-Friday, Fairmount Community Center. 254-8334. PEPPI exercise classes, 10:15 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, The Palmer Center. Free. To register, 325-6200. PEPPI exercise classes, 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Fairmount Community Center. To register, 254-8334. Move to the Beat for ages 12 to 16, 7:10 to 7:50 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Sermon Center. Each six-week session costs $25 for a teen; $35 if you bring a parent. 325-7370. Parent Tot-ercise for ages 3 to 5, 9:30 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sermon Center. Cost, $15 for each parent/child unit per month; $17.50 if there are five Tuesdays. 325-7370. PAVEMENT POUNDERS 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Friday, The Palmer Center. 325-6200. SITTIN’ FIT chair exercises class, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday, The Palmer Center. Free. 325-6200.
| Yourtake | During Saturday’s seventh annual Princess Party that benefited StandUp Blue Springs’ Dental for Kids program, young princesses were asked how they take care of their teeth and gums. (Parents and guardians helped the children answer the question.) Andrea Juarez, 5 Raymore
“I brush my teeth two times a day, and I see the dentist.”
Nadia Regier, 5 Lee’s Summit
“I brush them – you have to take care of them. I like to eat apples.”
Chelsea Kling, 7 Blue Springs
“I usually use a toothbrush and toothpaste. My dad helps me use mouthwash.” – Adrianne DeWeese
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STRETCH AND TONE, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday, The Palmer Center. Cost, $1. 325-6200. ZUMBA GOLD, dynamic workout to Latin and international rhythms, 10 a.m. Wednesday, Palmer Center. Cost, $2. 325-6200. TAI CHI by the Three Dragons Way, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sermon Center. Cost, $35 for a fourweek session; $40 for a 5-week session. 325-7370. FIT FRIENDS CLASS for ages 18 and older, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Sermon Center. Cost, $25 per each session. 325-7370. WALK TO THE BEAT, 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, The Palmer Center. Free. 325-6200. Blue Springs Swimnastics, 9 to 10 a.m. and 8 to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday; 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Friday, Centennial Pool-Plex. Cost, $3.75 per visit. 228-0188. Therapeutic swim, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Centennial Pool-Plex. Cost, $3.75 per visit. 228-0188. Crosstrainer aerobics, 9 to 10 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $2.50 per class. 228-0181. Prenatal and postnatal exercise classes, 9:45 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 300 N.W. Mock Ave. 655-5400. Weight room for ages 50 and older, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $10 per month; $2 per visit; $96 for a year. 228-0181. Yoga — For beginners and beyond, 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $2.50 per class. 228-0181. YOGA-GENTLE FLOW, 6:45 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $8 per visit, $48 for six classes. 228-0181. Tai Chi, 8:30 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $2.50. 228-0181. Swimnastics, 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday and Friday, Centennial Pool-Plex. Cost, $3.75 per visit. 228-0188. Stretching exercise, 10 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, Thursday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $1.50. 228-0181. ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION EXERCISE PROGRAM for older adults, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Wednesday and Friday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $1 per session. 228-0181. Stretch AND TONE, 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, Vesper Hall. Cost, $2.50. 228-0181. Raytown Tai Chi, 11 a.m. Thursday, Elliott Place Retirement Community. Free. 313-6800. Kansas City WALK AND TALK, 7 to 10 a.m. Monday-Friday, Ascension Lutheran Church, 4900 Blue Ridge Blvd. 358-1919. PACE (People with Arthritis Can Exercise), 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Thursday, Truman Medical Center-Lakewood. 373-4415, Ext. 1175.
Independence MATERNITY UNIT TOURS, Centerpoint Medical Center. Call 751-3000 for dates and to register. Food handler/manager permit training classes, food handler classes, 3:30 p.m. Thursdays at Truman Memorial Building, 1 and 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Independence Health Department; manager classes, 9 a.m. Monday. There is a fee. To register, 325-7803. Blue Springs Break Time Club, sponsored by Shepherd Center of Blue Springs, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday,
Continued on page 7
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 Page 7
healthCALENDAR Continued from page 6 Timothy Lutheran Church. For older adults with some physical and/or mental limitations. A donation of $10 to the cost of the program is suggested. 228-5300.
Blue Springs Blue Springs/Lee’s Summit Tough Love support group, for families dealing with unacceptable adolescent behavior, 7:30 to 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, First Christian Church. 913-492-1200. Moms & Moms-to-be prenatal and postnatal class, 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, Family YMCA. 224-9620. Kansas City Truman Medical Center-Lakewood WIC Nutrition Program, for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or gave birth less than six months ago. 404-4WIC.
Independence Blood pressure checks for older adults, 9:30 a.m. to noon Monday, Sermon Center. 325-7370. HEALTH SCREENINGS for those 50 years and older, 10 to 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Palmer Center. Screenings for blood sugar, blood pressure and diabetic foot screenings. Free. 325-6200. Blue Springs DIABETIC FOOT SCREENINGS, sponsored by St. Mary’s Medical Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, 11 a.m. to noon Thursday, Vesper Hall. Free. 228-0181. Grain Valley IMMUNIZATION AND BLOOD PRESSURE CLINIC, sponsored by the Jackson County Health
Department, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Grain Valley Community Center. Blood pressure checks and childhood immunizations are free. TB tests and payable vaccines by appointment only. 404-6443.
Independence Domestic violence group for men, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Family Conservancy of Eastern Jackson County. 373-7577. Caring Communities Kinship, 7 p.m. Monday, Cler-Mont Community School. LiLi Moe, 796-6041. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS “Rebel Lunch Bunch” luncheon, 1 p.m. Tuesday, O’Charley’s. Kimberly, 4194276 or Nita, 255-8944. ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP, 10 a.m. Tuesday, Villages of Jackson Creek-Memory Care. Free and open to the public. Call Monica Benson, 478-5689. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, East Independence Church of Christ. Kathleen Bessmer, 913-613-5251. Multiple Sclerosis, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Red Lobster. 833-4151. Moms Off Meth, 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, First Christian Church, Room 206. Free. Terri, 210-9574. CARETAKER’S OF PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S, 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Comprehensive Mental Health Services. Call Pat Aldridge, 254-3652, Ext. 222. SARCOIDOSIS support group, 7 p.m. Thursday, Trinity Episcopal Church. Call Jon Egger, 309-0381. ALZHEIMER’S support group, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Fairmount Community Center. 254-8334. VOID (Victims Of Impaired Drivers), 6 to 7 p.m. business meeting; 7 to 9 p.m. support meeting, Friday, Walnut Gardens Community of Christ, 19201 R.D. Mize Road. Call 816-536-2853. Caring Communities Divorce and Step
Family, 6:30 p.m. once a month, days vary, Blue Hills Elementary School. 796-6290. Blue Springs Overcomer’s Outreach 12-step, 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Blue Springs Assembly. 229-3298. Arthritis lecture series, 10 a.m. Thursday, Family YMCA. Topics: Fibromyalgia, living with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and more. 224-9620. Diabetes, 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, St. Mary’s Medical Center Birthing Center Conference Room. 655-5244. CHADD (Parents of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder), 7 p.m. Tuesday, Care Net Clinic. Call Jessie Roggenbach, 228-6222. CANCER support group, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, First United Methodist Church, Room 100. Call 2298108. Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue, Blue Springs Wellness Group, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, James Walker Elementary. 220-7356. PARENTS OF NICU BABIES, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, St. Mary’s Birthing Center. Moms delivering at other facilities are welcome. 655-5574, option 5. Breastfeeding, offered by St. Mary’s Medical Center, 10 a.m. Thursday, 206 Mock Ave., Suite 101. 655-5574. CARDIAC REHABILITATION support group, Thursday, St. Mary’s Medical Center. Time varies, call 655-5433. CHRISTIAN 12-STEP RECOVERY PROGRAM, 7 p.m. Friday, Blue Springs Christian Church. Call Steve, 229-7311, Ext. 243. Buckner Caring Communities ADHD Parents, 7 p.m. Thursday, 13 Sibley Road. Call Ms. Gordan, 650-4415. Lee’s Summit Dealing with loss, 1 p.m. Monday, John Knox Village, Ambassador meeting room. Call Darlene Gut-
shall, 347-2310. Self-help group for people with Multiple Sclerosis, 7 p.m. Thursday, Cass Browning Community Center. Call Pauline Felkins, 524-7702. Raytown Autism and ADHD, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, First Baptist Church. Call Johnna, 525-2931 or Janet, 4788117. Dietary Intervention Network for Autism (D.I.N.A.) meeting, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, First Baptist Church. 419-3705. Cancer, 7 p.m. Tuesday, First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. 525-9876. Other Agoraphobia, 7 p.m. 649-9863. Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, daily meetings, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault. 931-4527. Groups sponsored by Carondelet Health. For the BreathEasy group call 655-5236; and for cancer group call 224-3489. National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Center, 913-652-1542 or visit www.nocirc.org.
Independence Women’s Empowerment Groups, sponsored by the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA), 6:30 to 8:30 Monday. For locations, call Karen Costa, 2528388, Ext. 16. Other Hope House Inc. weekly support groups, open to any female who has been or is now involved in an abusive relationship. For times and location, call the hotline at 461-4673. – Compiled by Jillayne Ritchie
healthSHORTS New Research: Breast cancer survivors report sexual issues Seven out of 10 younger breast cancer survivors reported problems with sexual function at the first follow-up after treatment, a large Australian study showed. Overall, 59 percent of study participants reported some issue related to sexual function, and among those younger than 70 who had a regular partner, the prevalence of sexual dysfunction was 70 percent, as reported online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The analysis showed that vasomotor symptoms and treatment with aromatase inhibitors increased the likelihood of sexual dysfunction. “Over 80 percent of all women in our study declared that their sex life before breast cancer was good and satisfying,” wrote Mary Panjari, Ph.D., of Monash University in Australia, and her co-authors in their discussion of the findings. “The group with sexual function prob-
lems was more likely to have experienced loss of desire (and) a decrease in sexual activity (and was more likely to) be concerned about this and want an increase in their level of desire.”
Fire Prevention Week begins with alarming results In honor of Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 3 through 9), First Alert is urging Americans to “Get Alarmed!” in a nationwide public education campaign focused on elevating awareness about fire and carbon monoxide protection. A recent nationwide survey conducted by First Alert revealed that 66 percent of U.S. households are not in compliance with the NFPA’s recommendation for the number of smoke alarms per home, 90 percent of homes do not meet the recommendation for carbon monoxide detectors, and 40 percent of households admit having zero carbon monoxide
detectors. “Each year, nearly 3,000 Americans die from home fires, and CO poisoning claims another 450 lives,” said Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for First Alert. Despite the low number of NFPA-compliant homes, 91 percent of survey respondents reported feeling “certain” that their homes are adequately equipped with smoke alarms, and 62 percent reported the same “certain” feeling for CO alarms. The current recommendation from the NFPA is to have at least one CO alarm on each level of a house and one in or near every bedroom. For smoke alarms, have one installed at the top of each staircase and one in every bedroom. This means the average-size home in America -- a two-story, three-bedroom house -- would need a minimum of four smoke alarms and five carbon monoxide alarms to comply with NFPA guidelines. The Home Safety Council suggests implementing the following precautions at home:
n Regularly test smoke and CO alarms. n Plan and practice a fire-safety drill. n Check out technical advances in alarms.
Health Tip Pomegranates are high in fiber and they provide potassium, vitamin C, loads of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Furthermore, they help keep blood platelets from clumping together and forming clots. Best of all, they are now in season. Choose a heavy pomegranate that is deep red in color. To eat it, cut off the crown, cut into sections and place the sections in a bowl of water. Roll out the seeds with your fingers and then drain the water. Eat the seeds alone or with a salad.
Number to Know: 30 According to new Dutch research, cigarette smokers are 30 percent more likely to take off 10 to 24 days of work because of poor health. – GateHouse News Service
Page 8 Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Symposium focuses on treatments, emotions Survivors find support through volunteering By Shannon Tebben-Sandoval GateHouse News Service
It’s been seven years since Chris Morgan was diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly six and a half since she received her last treatment. “We’re very lucky to be here, because there’s parts of the country where they have to (drive) hours for treatment. We are very fortunate to have what we have here,” Morgan said. Just two weeks after her diagnosis, Morgan underwent surgery and was part of a clinical trial that was testing a new procedure in which radioactive dye is used to help identify cancer cells and cut down on the number of lymph nodes that are removed from the breast. Morgan said that procedure is considered a standard treatment today - just one example of how fast technology is moving in the effort to diagnose and treat breast cancer. That’s why more than 250 healthcare professionals from around the world gathered in East Peoria, Ill., this week for a two-day symposium
to learn about the latest advancements and options for treating women like Morgan. The third annual Breast Cancer Symposium is a joint effort between the Department of Surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Peoria Memorial Affiliate. The symposium was also funded in part by donations from local hospitals and individuals. Dr. John Murray of Illinois Plastic Surgery has chaired the event each of its three years and said this year’s symposium had the largest number of attendees yet. The doctors, nurses, physician assistants, radiological technicians and other professionals will hear presentations from 22 different people while covering topics like handling complex cases, the role of hormonal influences in breast cancer, the use of MRI in the detection of breast cancer, surgical treatment options and the emotional side of breast cancer from a patient’s perspective. Presenters have come from places like Sweden, Oregon, Chicago and St. Louis.
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“The breast cancer research and clinical management moves very quickly, and so this symposium is meant to disseminate the latest information regarding research and management of breast cancer as a definitive regional source for that information,” Murray said. “At the completion of the symposium, they should be more well-educated in those specific areas ... to improve health care delivery regarding breast cancer.” Morgan and another breast cancer survivor, Karen Welch, were both at the symposium volunteering their time to help run the registration table. Both women have helped at the event for each of its three years and say they’ve seen it grow in both the scope of the information presented and the number of people attending. “We know they’re learning something that’s going to be able to help us and ladies down the road,” Welch said. Welch has been a breast cancer survivor for nearly 30 years and said that when she was diagnosed, the disease was not well understood or supported. That’s why she volunteers not just at the symposium, but also as a mentor to help women cope with breast cancer treat-
ment. “We feel that if we could just help one lady, to give her peace of mind and help her get through this trying time, it’s very rewarding for us,” Welch said. “Unfortunately, we can still get it back,” Morgan said. “There’s not a 100 percent cure for it, so we just hope and keep praying they find more and more things (in research). There’s something new each year, there’s more research out and there’s more things they find that are working.” Both Welch and Morgan feel strongly that women should get annual mammograms by age 40 and do regular self-exams. They also say they are both examples of why early detection and early treatment are critically important. “I know before I was diagnosed I would always say, ‘I’ll do that when I retire,’” Welch said. “When I was diagnosed I thought, ‘I’m going to do it now.’” Morgan agreed that the experience of breast cancer changes a person forever. “I enjoy life every day and I don’t let the small things bug me anymore,” she said. “I’m proud to be a survivor and I don’t mind helping out (at the symposium) at all.”
Melissa Etheridge soldiers on Upbeat album follows battle with cancer By Alan Sculley GateHouse News Service
During what could have been the worst time in Melissa Etheridge’s life - when she was diagnosed in 2004 with breast cancer and had to go through painful, debilitating chemotherapy as part of her treatment - she made a profound discovery that has made her life better than ever. It’s why she often quips that cancer was the best thing that ever happened to her while knowing there is very real truth to that remark. During the process of chemotherapy, Etheridge could do nothing but lie still and think about her life, about her future, about who and what she wanted to be. And she realized a lot of what happens in her life and how she feels about her career and her future was within her control. “I used to think life happened to me,” Etheridge said. “And now I wake up and I realize I create my life in how I feel. So my day is filled with, ‘I want to put good food in my body because I want to feel good. I want to put good energy out to people because then that’s what comes back to me.’ And that’s my intention I wake up with.” Etheridge’s ability to create her own reality and her own happiness is getting tested now, as she moves into both a next phase in her music career and especially into a new period in her personal life. Just as she was heading into promoting the April release of her latest CD, “Fearless Love,” Etheridge and her partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, announced that they were splitting up after nine years together. They had twins in October 2006. The timing was awful, but announcing the split became preferable to keeping it under wraps. “Of course, I would have not wanted it to happen this way,” Etheridge said. “I even considered waiting until after the big media blitz to announce it. But then I realized everybody was asking me what’s it like to be in such a great marriage? I thought, ‘Oh, I’m just going to have to lie.’ I don’t want to lie to people. And I started kind of giving them not-quite answers. Then the curious ones started snooping around, and it was like ‘I don’t like that.’ So we agreed to put it out there, right before (the album). It’s out there so I can speak truthfully because I’d much rather speak truthfully than not.” But Etheridge said she doesn’t have answers to why and how it happened. “It’s still mid-process,” she said. “This is an ongoing situation. I don’t know... as time
passes, we’ll all be able to see it clearer.” Etheridge may be just now beginning to process the breakup and how her life is changing. But she sounds upbeat and like someone who believes she’ll do just fine and come out of this major change in life. One thing that is bringing excitement to Etheridge’s life is “Fearless Love” and touring behind the CD this summer. The idea to create a CD centered around choosing to live life, not out of fear, but out of love, actually came to Etheridge during the time she was doing her 2008 CD, “The Awakening,” whose title referred to discovering a higher level of consciousness. The musical direction for “Fearless Love,” meanwhile, came into focus a bit later, while Etheridge toured behind “The Awakening” album. While that 2008 CD had its rock songs, it was an introspective album that had its share of restrained and more acoustic-based material. But that tone didn’t fully carry over to her live shows. “I’ve always rocked out in my concerts,” she said. “It was like, ‘OK, that emotion, now let’s take that and put it into some new songs and into this new thought that I have.’” Etheridge delivers on that intention. “Fearless Love” is one of her most rocking albums. It’s also one of her catchiest and most upbeat efforts, with songs such as “Miss California,” “Nervous” and “The Wanting Of You.” “Many of these (new) songs, my intention is they would be just awesome to play live,” she said. “I’ve got my hits that people want to hear, I’ve got these new songs and then I’ll throw a couple of deep album cuts in for the fans that have seen 30 or more shows. That’s going to be the show. I have a brand new band, and I think it’s going to be the most fine-tuned, just sharpedged, just perfect kind of rock show that I’ve been practicing for 20 years now.”
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 Page 9
healthSHORTS How will new health care laws affect Medicare? Health care legislation passed earlier this year may make Medicare annual enrollment season particularly challenging for the millions of baby boomers aging into Medicare and for seniors already enrolled who are considering different coverage for 2011. Annual enrollment runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31, allowing people to select their Medicare coverage for 2011. According to Adrienne Muralidharan, senior Medicare specialist for Allsup Medicare Advisor, the most important ways the new health care legislation will affect Medicare beneficiaries for 2011 include: Prescription drug costs should be lower in the “doughnut hole.” For 2011, Medicare beneficiaries will receive a 50 percent discount for the cost of brand-name prescription drugs and a 7 percent discount for generic drugs.
Medicare Part B will fully cover preventive care. Beginning in 2011, Medicare beneficiaries will no longer have to pay deductibles or co-pays for preventive services that fall under U.S. Preventive Service Task Force guidelines, such as an annual wellness exam. More beneficiaries may have higher costs for Medicare Part B and Part D (prescription drug) coverage. The Part B income threshold freezes at the 2010 levels through 2019. As a result, individuals with modified adjusted gross income exceeding $85,000 and married couples with income exceeding $170,000 will have to pay higher premiums. Open enrollment has now been replaced with a shorter annual un-enrollment period, which runs from Jan. 1 through Feb. 14. During this period, the only change that can be made is to un-enroll from a Medicare Advantage plan in order to enroll in traditional Medicare and join a Medicare Part D plan. –GateHouse News Service
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 Page 11
â€˜Think pinkâ€™ with cancer-fighting foods Healthy lifestyle, diet can reduce risk significantly The statistics are frightening: one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and most women know of someone who has been affected by this disease. Some studies have found that as many as 40 percent of all cases of breast cancer could have been prevented with small lifestyle changes. The best advice today in the fight against developing breast cancer is to maintain a healthy body weight and a healthy lifestyle. Research shows there are cancer-fighting benefits from eating healthy foods, limiting alcohol consumption, exercising regularly and breastfeeding your baby. n Healthy Foods: some foods have actually been linked to helping prevent breast cancer. These include beans, berries, cruciferous
Tracey Shaffer Food for Thought Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. E-mail her at email@example.com. vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts and cabbage), citrus fruits, flax, garlic, teas, soy, tomatoes and whole grains. These foods may offer protective pytochemicals against breast cancer.
n Maintain a healthy weight: being overweight or obese is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, especially for women after menopause or if the weight gain took place during adulthood. The risk seems to be higher if the extra fat is around the waist. n Regular exercise: women should get 30-45 minutes of exercise or physical activity each day. According to the National Cancer Institute, women can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by 25 percent just by incorporating regular exercise into their daily routine. n Limit alcohol: women should limit their alcohol consumption to no more than one or two drinks each day. Women with a higher risk of developing breast cancer may want to consider avoiding it all together. n Breastfeeding: there is evidence that breastfeeding slightly lowers a womanâ€™s risk of developing breast cancer especially if she breastfeeds for at least 1 1/2 to 2 years. Most important, remember your monthly breast exams and annual mammograms. They are important for early diagnosis and the treatment of breast cancer. Hereâ€™s a recipe full of cancer-fighting foods.
Spinach lettuce salad All You Need: 1 bag baby spinach lettuce leaves 1 bag romaine lettuce 1/2 red onion 1 container fresh strawberries 1 8 oz can mandarin oranges 1 4 oz bag chopped pecans or slivered almonds All You Do: Wash and tear spinach and romaine lettuce, combine in bowl with chopped red onion, sliced strawberries, and drained mandarin oranges. Sprinkle nuts over top.
Vinaigrette Â˝ cup canola oil Â˝ cup red wine vinegar Âž cup sugar Âź tsp dry mustard Â˝ tsp salt Â˝ tsp pepper In a shaker, combine ingredients and shake well. Best refrigerated before serving.
healthSHORTS Health screenings, flu shots at Samâ€™s Club Samâ€™s Club will be offering free health screenings on Oct. 9. The screenings will at the Samâ€™s Club at 4100 Bolger Road. The screening will include blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose. Flu shots will be available for $24. It will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dentist to donate $1 per procedure to cancer research The Independence dental practice of Dr. H. Ross Morrison will be donating $1 for each den-
tal procedure done this month. The money will be given to the Susan G. Koman Foundation to fight breast cancer. The office,at 17000 E. U.S. 40, decided on the initative to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Also, the dental assistant staff will be wearing pink scrubs and pink ribbons to recognize the awareness month. Morrison decided get involved in the iniative because heâ€™s had patients who have been affected by the cancer and several family members. The dentist said money could raised could be from $500 to $1,000.
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Food inspections l Independence The City of Independence Environmental Health Division conducts inspections anywhere food is handled, prepared and served to the public within city limits. Critical violations must be handled within 72 hours.
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40 â€“ On Sept. 15, inspectors noted there were no hand towels behind the bar, corrected. Roaches were observed in the kitchen, on the floor, on prep surfaces and on shelves. Roaches were of a variety of sizes, indicating a substantial infestation. Request to see extermination records. â€“ Jillayne Ritchie
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Page 12 Tuesday, October 5, 2010
How microwaves work DEAR DR. BLONZ: Why do people always say that microwaves work from the inside out? There is an ongoing discussion in the break room at work. It is my understanding that they penetrate only slightly and that most of the heating works its way in. When you have a frozen product, the outside may be boiling while the inside is still frozen. The only exception is when the outside of the food has little or no microwave absorptive qualities and the inside is very microwave absorptive. An example might be a jelly doughnut. There, the microwaves pass through the very lowdensity dough and interact with the very microwave-absorptive jelly. The product may feel cool to the touch and be very hot inside. -- S.S., Danville, Calif. DEAR S.S.: You have it right. Microwaves do penetrate, and the power will dissipate as it is transferred to receptive molecules, such as water. These “energized” molecules then move faster and generate heat much in the same way that you can heat up your hands by rubbing them together. If more receptive molecules happen to be in the middle, as with your jelly doughnut example, the inside will cook faster than the outside. When the food has receptive molecules throughout, cooking instructions might involve microwaving in multiple steps at varying intensities, or include a step where the food is to sit for a period of time to allow even distribution of the heat. Other forms of cooking increase the temperature of the compartment that contains the food. Whether it is an oven, pan or the oil in a deep fryer, it will first heat the surface of the food, and the heat gets passed inside via conduction to complete the job. Microwaving is more energy efficient in that the energy is transferred directly to the excitable molecules in the food. No energy is wasted on heating up the compartment containing the food, but
Ed Blonz On Nutrition Ed Blonz, Ph.D., is a nutrition scientist and author. Send questions to: “On Nutrition,” Ed Blonz, c/o Newspaper Enterprise Association, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. the plate on which the food rests can get hot as heat is given off by the food itself. DEAR DR. BLONZ: What is the difference between regular table salt and the salt substitutes? -- A.R., East Orange, N.J. Dear A.R.: Table salt is made from sodium chloride. (There also may be very small amounts of compounds to help prevent the salt from caking.) Salt substitutes can be made up of any of a number of compounds. The only thing that the pseudo salts have in common is that they are designed to serve as a culinary substitute for table salt. Some substitutes contain lesser amounts of sodium chloride mixed with powdery fillers, such as maltodextrin. Other salt substitutes rely exclusively on herbs and spices. One of the first salt substitutes was based on potassium chloride, a compound that has a “salty” albeit slightly bitter and metallic taste. Newer brands are formulated to eliminate the bad taste. Potassium chloride, however, should be used with caution by those with kidney problems, or by those taking diuretic medications that affect how potassium is eliminated through the urine.
healthSHORTS Tips to help prevent food allergies Take special care with feeding practices during your child’s first years, especially if someone in your family - including grandparents, cousins, aunts or uncles - is allergic to any foods. While following these feeding tips cannot guarantee a child will not develop a food allergy, it may help reduce the risk. Exclusive breastfeeding for at least four months decreases the incidence of atopic dermatitis, cow’s milk allergy and wheezing in early life. The use of soy-based infant formula does not appear to play a role in allergy prevention.
Solid foods should not be introduced before 4 to 6 months of age. Delaying the introduction of solid foods beyond that age does not appear to provide significant protection. At this time there is insufficient evidence to recommend further dietary interventions such as avoiding specific foods (including fish, eggs or peanuts) during pregnancy, breastfeeding or beyond 4 to 6 months of age. If at any time your infant reacts badly to a food, such as suddenly developing a skin condition, wheezing, vomiting or excessive diarrhea, call your pediatrician immediately. –GateHouse News Service