Sunday, May 13, 2012

Odds and Ends

Infections and Cancer >> Many of our new cancer cases are related to infections that in some instances can be avoided.  They are Hepatitis B and C, HPV and H. Pylori (ulcer bacteria).  Two of these have a vaccine associated with them and though there doesn't seem to be a way to prevent the H. Pylori bacteria, there is a treatment to remove it from the stomach.  I would like to point out that that news stories this week discussed HPV and its link to cervical cancer but not its link to oral cancer.  We need to start talking about that connection because it is important and unexpected.

Labeling Delay>> Please refer to this post written almost a year ago on the FDAs decision to require changes in sun screen labeling.  It has to do with being clear that lotions do not block the sun, that they must be reapplied, should offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays, and that SPF cannot be suggested above the number 50.  SPF also does not tell you how long you can safely be in the sun.  Anyways, the label changes discussed in the past blog past are being delayed until 12-2012 or 2013 for smaller companies.  This does NOT mean that you have to wait to  make smart decisions about the product you buy.  Also this week, more caution on getting burned and the dangers of using a tanning bed.  We cannot and should not ban the SUN, we need our Vitamin D, but tanning beds?  Legal?  Really??

HIV Prevention>>  With a pill?  How exactly is that studied?  It must be that researchers ask people about their past year(s) sexual behavior, i.e how often, who with, use of protection, type of sex,  and determine the persons HIV status.  But drug trials mean that some people get a drug to take and others don't.  The researchers are obligated to promote condom use and safer sex to the study participants.  It would be interesting to read the most recent study to see how the scientists handled this. 

Helmet Message>>  This week I saw several families out riding bicycles.  I was happy to see more adults wearing helmets along with their kids, but some were not.  I believe that the unhelmeted adults are giving kids a message that, because of the age requirements in many states, a helmet is warn because it is the law.  The better message, which is true, is that helmets protect against head injuries and save lives.  If you, as a parent, are teaching your children the law part only, your children may stop using helmets when they are 16 or 18.  Don't you want your children to be safe for EVER?  Role model helmet use - everyone should wear a helmet.

Counter Attack>>  Yesterday I shopped at a full, large, retail grocer with a nice produce section.  I needed to go to the other side of the store, about a foot ball field length, and  walked in a straight line to get there.  I passed no less than 10 free standing, middle of the aisle, candy displays.  One of which was for Avenger M&Ms, I think.  This kind of in your face, branded, low cost, junk food marketing is one of the reasons why having access to fresh foods is not in itself a cure for the obesity problem.

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