Bladder Cancer Facts

I recently posted a podcast on this condition; if you haven’t had a chance, have a listen and then read on.

To frame the issue further, let me start with USA stats:

  • 500,000 people are living with bladder cancer
  • 75,000 newly diagnosed this year
  • 16,000 who will not survive their diagnosis this year
  • the fifth most commonly diagnosed (dx’ed) cancer in the U.S.
  • 3x more common in men than women
  • 1 in 42 people will be dx’ed during their lifetime
  • recurrence rate is 50-80%
  • most expensive cancer to treat on a per patient basis.

As you listen to your body, there are signs and symptoms that may indicate your bladder has abnormal cell growth (cancer). Like most medical illnesses and conditions, the recognition of the problem varies from person to person, but bladder cancer is most commonly misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection. Have questions or want to learn more? Go to this quite helpful website.

Immunotherapy may revolutionize cancer treatment, but much more research needs to be done. Want to support an organization doing something about bladder cancer?

Go to amp-up!




Bladder Infections

Urinary tract infection (UTI – doc talk) is a ‘bladder infection’. While our urine is made in each of our two kidneys, it travels down through the ureters on each side and into the bladder then when accumulates we let it out thru the urethra. At any point on that path a infection can occur, however they are most common in the bladder. UTIs can occur in young children and the elderly and commonly in women in reproductive age. There are tests commonly done ‘to work-up’ the problem. Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 5.07.46 PM

This is latest podcast topic at iTunes  “DocHandal Speaks! Listen Up” channel or at Doc’s feed.

Listen to hear information to help you avoid recurrence of UTIs. Prevention is in your hands literally!

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The FingerStick

Podcast EpisodeA drop of blood squeezed out of your body can offer so much health information. Quick and able to be done anywhere these tests can save lives. New medical testing exists and is on the horizon so listen up to a short update in DocHandal’s new podcast.

Long Term Use Oral Contraceptives (OCs) – BCPs UNSAFE

It has been well studies and published that OCs have many side effects and complications. A new study adds another risk for women using OCs for 3 years or more – that is glaucoma.

Study – Researcher (University of California San Francisco – UCSF), reviewed 2005-2008 data taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,( carried out by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).

They focused on females (>3,400 women 40 years and over) were surveyed regarding vision and reproductive history that then had eye examinations.

 Findings: “..females who had used oral contraceptives, no matter which kind, for longer than three years are 2.05 times more likely to also report that they have the diagnosis of glaucoma,” according to their press statement. birth-control-pills

Yes these data points to long-term use of OCs may be a risk factor for glaucoma.

Their are other risk factors for glaucoma read my blog or listen to DocHandal’s  podcast channel on this topic.

Remember  – when asked what medications (pills) you take mention everything you take not only prescribed include over the counter especially vitamins, supplements even liquids supplements.

Be sure if you are on OCs that you are screened for the eye disease no matter your age.

AEDs -Automated External Defibrillators

Have you seen an AED in a public place you frequent? My heart soared recently when I walked into my bank branch in Phoenix  and saw an AED was ON the wall.  Yes to know I could benefit whither I applied the device to save someone or had it used if my heart should flutter into not making a  pulse. So hurrah!

Know about  “AEDs” – Automated External Defibrillators – CPR alone is not always enough when someone collapses and the heart has to be restarted. AEDs save lives if used right away for certain types of cardiac arrests. Hearts can go into different electrical silence patterns when they stop pumping a pulse.

 This computerized medical device analyzes the heart and delivers electric shock (defibrillation) when needed through connected adhesive pads. The AED and you work through visual and audio prompts. User instructions (usually voice) are simple and directions are given one step at a time. Don’t be scared! Take 3 minutes and go to this AHA video – there is a online course to teach CPR and AED. Have a get-together for your closest friends and all of you learn!

aed wall

Make a Difference


Want to learn more listen to my free podcast on this topic have iTunes go to DocHandal Speaks! Listen Up – or go to this link

Diabetes Epidemic

I seem to devote many blogs and podcasts to this one medical condition. Read on to understand why – just the numbers along are staggering, never mind the negative effects this disease can have on our heart, eyes, kidneys and nervous system.

 In the United States there are:MH900161806

 – over 80 million Pre-Diabetics and most do not know it is coming!

– 26 million known Diabetics

– 50% of Native American belonging to the Pima tribe are diagnosed as Diabetics by age 40

– the number of newly diagnosed Diabetics doubles every 6 years!


MH900286867Horrifying numbers – so what can you do not to become one of these stats?

– weight loss can decrease your chance by as much as 60%

– watching your lipids-cholesterol and triglycerides – this is one of the routine blood tests you probably already have had – if you ever get a medical test do not presume it was ‘ok’ just because no one called you to say otherwise-find out even better get a copy of the results.

– do not burn out your ‘beta’ cells  , found in pancreas and produce insulin a hormone that breaks down glucose-sugar. Less intake of sugar less work the beta cells need to do.

– family history is a factor, if you have a Diabetic in your family get checked and followed.

My iTunes channel “DocHandal Speaks Listen Up” has a short podcast on recognition of these conditions do have a listen.




Doctor to the 1%

Along with so much else – – do the rich get better medical care?

The affluent hire specialists for almost everything, they do not have the time to research investments, tax issues NOR health care.  So why not hire someone to advise them on good medical care?

 This is so pervasive that an article about just this appeared in NYT (J. Rago, September 22-23, 2012).  Recognition that our health care system is far from perfect and that not all doctors and hospitals have excellent ‘report cards’ prompted a niche business. These folks are paid to research and seek out the top health care providers for you. They have created a referral database of  ‘2,200 specialists in ‘160 fields’ .

So in the debate of cost containment vs. quality can one have both in health care matters? Listen to my podcast in iTunes on how to choose a physician- Medical Care Control & Doctors’ Quality.

DocHandal Speaks! Listen Up is chuck full of medical common sense-short to the point FREE podcasts


Medical Errors Are Epidemic

A basic rule in medical care is ‘Do No Further Harm’!

It is drummed into us in medical training even the pre-hospital EMS get this repeated and repeated during their training. So why do medical errors kill enough people yearly to be the 6th leading cause of death in the USA- 98,000 die annually from medical errors.

Well you probably already figured out that many (20-30%) of drugs prescribed, tests ordered and procedures carried out  are not necessary. Yes we think medical care based on  ‘out of an overabundance of caution’, or ‘better to be safe than sorry’ is good care-it is not! It costs in more ways than one.

The hospitals are safe-right? The percent of hospitalized patients ‘hurt’ by medical errors is 25% according to New England Journal Medicine (NEJM).

It is the health of YOUR body so please use your brain – research a health care provider (do NOT use ease of parking as a determiner). Ask questions and listen to DocHandal’s related podcasts on the DocHandal Speaks! Listen Up Channel in iTunes –  ‘Medical Care Control’, ‘Doctor Searches’,  ‘Tips On Dealing with Doctors’.



Life Line

Rightfully called a Life-Line an intravenous line (IV)  opens the ability to infuse directly into the blood life saving blood, fluid, medication and even electric wires to control your heart! You may have had an IV or seen a person with one in place, but do you know much about it?  It’s one of the first things done in a medical situation. DocHandal lets you know when, how and most important what to watch for once an IV is ‘in’ – so Listen Up!