Four Important Things Everyone Should Know about Lung Cancer Screening during Lung Cancer Awareness Month

By: Rubina Abrol, M.D.
Physician Leadership American Lung Association Houston, TX
Every five minutes a woman is told that she has lung cancer, and yet only three percent of women consider the disease a top-of-mind concern. Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cause of cancer deaths, and this year 14,500 Texans will be diagnosed with the disease. During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative is highlighting the new availability of a lifesaving tool – lung cancer screening.
Part of the reason that lung cancer is so deadly is that many patients don’t experience symptoms until the cancer has spread and developed into late stages, making it more difficult to treat. While anyone can get lung cancer — which is caused by smoking, radon, genes, particle pollution and hazardous chemicals—lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan is a powerful tool to…

Breast Cancer Awareness, Prevention, and Screening

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

October is breast cancer awareness month, and with one in eight women likely to become breast cancer victims at some point in their lives, October is the perfect time to increase our awareness of this serious problem and learn more about breast cancer detection and prevention.             As women grow older, the risk of breast cancer increases.  Nearly 8 out of 10 breast cancers occur in women older than age 50, according to American Cancer Society statistics.  That’s not to say that younger women can’t get the disease also.  In fact, an alarming number of young women in their 20’s and 30’s have had to deal with the numerous scary aspects of breast cancer, such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, drug side effects, and the possibility of death or, at least, infertility due to cancer treatment.             The various contributing causes of breast cancer are not all known at this time, and therefore, no definite way to preven…
What We Can Do to Preserve Cognitive Health

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

Note:  Regular readers of this blog may have wondered, “What happened to Part 3 of the August topics on vaccines, travel tips, and foot health?”.  The short answer, in two words, is Hurricane Harvey.  The third installment of the August story was due to be published the last week of August.  Unfortunately, this writer was too busy securing property and getting ready for Harvey’s arrival to submit the final installment of that health topic. Harvey may have delayed a whole lot of everyone’s progress, but the hurricane will not stop this blog from covering the health subjects outlined for the year.  To get “back on track”, we’ll look at Alzheimer’s disease in September and breast cancer in October.  The foot health story will appear before year’s end, probably during the second half of November.  Early November is devoted to diabetes awareness, prevention, and treatment.  Because diabetes…

Important Vaccines, Healthy Travel, and Happy Feet (Part 2)

Part 2 of Vaccines, Healthy Travel, and Foot Problems

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read the first “installment” of this month’s article, which came out at the beginning of August.  If so, you’ll know this month, we’re looking at three topics, each of which has so much information pertaining to it, that it seemed best to divide the story into segments for easier reading.  As we continue our investigation of important vaccines, healthy travel tips, and troublesome foot problems, we should first take a look at an important caution regarding vaccinations.


Important Caution:
Often times, people are tempted to ease the resulting pain from a vaccine by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.  Actually, that’s not a good idea from the standpoint of producing maximum immunity from the disease for which you were vaccinated.  Anything that reduces the body’s immune response, such as ibuprofen, or even ice, can potentially r…

Important Vaccines, Healthy Travel, and Happy Feet (Part 1)

Important Vaccines, Healthy Travel, and Happy Feet

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

            For many people, August is a time of transition into something new and a time for completion of summer time goals.  During the month of August and often extending into the first two weeks of September, people take their final summer trips, start new school routines, and slowly push toward concluding summer’s more relaxed, if very hot, pace of life.  People start thinking about the details of fall’s activities.             End-of-summer vacations, new school years, and fall trips for business or personal needs all have a few things in common from a health standpoint.  Those things are: (1) immunizations for the whole family, not just the kids; (2) helpful tips on how to stay healthy while traveling; and (3) how to deal with a variety of foot problems from the serious conditions to the everyday annoyances.             There is so much information about these three to…

Arm Yourself Against the Crippling Disease of Arthritis

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

There are many forms of arthritis, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to produce debilitating pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the body’s joints and connective tissues.  Just as there are common threads of symptoms among the many forms of arthritis, there are also common threads of remedies to help treat the misery-inducing ailment, which afflicts millions of Americans every year.             Let’s look at some factors that can both help prevent (or delay onset of) arthritis and also help treat the condition.             •  To begin, limit intake of pro-inflammatory diet influences, such as simple sugars and carbohydrates.             •  Next, increase intake of fish and flax seeds and fish and flax oils for their inflammation reducing Omega-3 fatty acids.             •  Thirdly, keep moving.  Any sort of “exercise” can help improve blood circulation, strengthen muscles, bones, and connective tissues an…

Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Chronic Pain

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher