Cervical Cancer Screening – Simple Facts

A painless quick PAP test (named after the human papillomavirus-HPV) can detect abnormal tissue, HPV infection that can pelvic examlead to cervical cancer. High risks for developing abnormal cervical tissue or cervical cancer include: intercourse at an early age, multiple partners, history of the sexually transmitted diseases (STD)- genital warts (caused by HPV virus) or herpes, HIV injection or immune deficiency (ex. transplant recipient). Also smoking has been associated wither casual or directly with abnormal cervical tissue. As always you need to be totally honest with your health care provider most especially as regards your sexual history.

Generally speaking women age 21 – 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years, thereafter till age 65 every 5 years. After age 65 you can stop having a Pap test!

As in too many medical procedural tests a false positive or false-negative are possible. To decrease odds follow these simple steps: no douching, use vaginal medication, spermicide or lubrication for 3 days before the test.

If your report reveals abnormalities ask for details the specifics and the significance. Cell abnormalities can be from the outer or the inner cervix or they can contain changes of ‘low or ‘high’ grade signifying “precancer” or the test result might show cancer cells. It might not be a simple positive or negative.

 

Medical Radiation Exposure

It is well-known many cancers are caused by radiation exposure, even the sun radiation cause skin cancer the #1 cancer in MH900360996the US. Medical radiation exposure is your responsibility! Every wonder what happens to all the radiation you receive when you have ‘medical imaging’ tests for such things as broken bones, stomach pains, headache, heart disease? Sadly it accumulates in your body! If you want to calculate how much you have in your body, check out the website calculator by The American Society of Radiologic Technologists –  it is user-friendly.

Some tests expose you to small amounts others too much more. Radiation, harmful rays of ionizing energy, cause not just skin cancer but blood and other cancers result from our bodies being dosed. Before you have another test read this useful patient info.

Before you agree to exposure to these harmful rays ask “what difference the results would make in your care’.

Online Pharmacy Dangers

MH900390552A recent FDA study -1 in 4 Americans have purchased prescription medicines online. At this writing there are approximately 35,000 – 50,000 online drug-seller websites.

Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, Internet Pharmacies: Federal Agencies and States Face Challenges Combating Rogue Sites, Particularly Those Abroad detailing the large and grave problem of illegal, online pharmacies. You need to know it concluded that 97% of all online drug sellers operate illegally.  In 2012 FDA sent warning letters to one internet company ‘CanadaDrugs.com’.

FYI: It is illegal to in the US to get prescription meds without having had a recent medical evaluation – that is one needs a valid prescription. There are many good health reasons this is so:

– you may have been taking medication in the past but your body and it reaction to the medication can change with time,

– do you need a stronger dosage,

– are you having complications

– no or not sufficient improvement with the medication

All too common many of the medications purchased online are counterfeits or misbranded drugs.

HONESTLY – Do you want to put a chemical that you purchased from an illegitimate sources into your body?

HIV Test – New & Better

t cellFDA just (August 9th) approved the first rapid finger stick Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) test that not only reveals if you have antibodies to HIV -1 or 2 but if you only have the virus (i.e. you have the antigen p-24)!  In this 20 minute test the presence of  the virus can be found  12-26 days after exposure. Prior to this 4th generation test one would have to wait till your body made antibodies – anywhere from 20-45 days after exposure. Note: this test however does not distinguish between antibodies to HIV-1 vs. HIV-2.

Now health care professionals have a quick tool that can independently distinguishes in a single test HIV antigen from HIV antibodies. Early infections yield antigen positive while only when the body starts fighting do HIV antibody develop.

Why this is a ‘big deal’ is  you could be walking around undiagnosed spreading HIV infection because your body has not made antibodies.  NOW infection can be recognized,  treatment, and prevent spreading HIV infeon. At this writing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in US each year approximately 50,000 people are infected with HIV. Of the more than 1 million people living with HIV, approximately 20%  have not been diagnosed.

 BACKGROUND: Being injected with the HIV virus can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. This virus damages your body’s immune (defense) system – by destroying CD4+ T blood cells which are key to fighting diseases. At present there are two types of the virus- HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is worldwide while to date HIV-2 is mostly in West Africa, although increasingly HIV-2 is being reported cases in Europe and North America.

Medications – As Directed?

Half of the 3.2 billon Rxs dispensed annually are not taken as prescribed.

       Are you surprised by this fact?

Man is different for other “animals” due to our ability to rationalize-defined as attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate’.

So why is the above statistic not surprising? My take-here goes:

“I’ll save the remainder for next time I’ve the same thing.”

“Feel better so really do not need the ‘over kill.”

“I’ll save and use for others when the get the same thing or catch ‘what I got.”

FIND OUT! When handed a prescription (chemicals to put into your body for ‘good’) ask do I really need this? Ask under what circumstances, if any, can I stop before finishing all the pills? Some many viral infections resolve wither or not on antibiotics.

 

 

 

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

 

WHEN TAKING MEDICATION (MEDS) USE COMMON MEDICAL SENSE

 Otherwise it likely will NOT help you

  • Always take pills with 8 oz of water unless specifically stated

  • Read carefully if should be taken on an empty stomach or with a meal, new generation antibiotics are to be taken specific hours before or after meals-SO READ printed material carefully that comes with your prescription meds.

  • Always take meds at the same time of day.

  • Read the information on how to care/store the meds – typically the storage environment should be between 20° and 25°C (68° to 77°F), but it can vary between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F).

  • Realize mail order medications CAN sit in a mailbox and on a non-air-conditioned delivery truck.

  • Not all meds start to work immediately some require weeks to build up/have