Posted in cancer, Entertainment, Health, news

Shannen Doherty Reveals Her Stage 4 Breast Cancer Diagnosis

The 48 year-old 90210 star revealed on Good Morning America that her breast cancer has returned.

Originally diagnosed in 2015, she went into remission within 2 years.  Unfortunately, it returned last year fairly aggressively.

She had hoped to keep the news private, but a concurrent lawsuit with State Farm involving damages to her house during the 2018 Woolsey Fire was going to cause her condition to be revealed in court papers and she would rather her fans, “hear it from her.”

She states, “Our life doesn’t end when we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”

Celebrities such as Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Olivia Newton-John, Christina Applegate and Cynthia Nixon have also revealed their breast cancer diagnoses, helping raise awareness for the most common cancer to affect women.  It’s the second most common cause of cancer death in females.

How common is breast cancer?

1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. According to Breastcancer.org, an estimated 276,000 cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the US this year with 48,500 cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

42,000 women and 500 men are expected to die this year of breast cancer.

 

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

Risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • Age greater than 50
  • Family History
  • BRAC1 and BRAC2 genetic mutations
  • Alcohol use
  • Never been pregnant or becoming pregnant for the first time over 35 years old
  • Early menarche at age 11 or younger
  • Obesity, especially after menopause
  • Dense breasts
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Previous “precancerous” tumors such as atypical hyperplasia
  • DES exposure
  • Previous radiation therapy

How is breast cancer staged?

Breast cancer is staged based on size of the tumor, if lymph nodes are affected and whether the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body.  Prognosis varies greatly on the stage.

 

Screen-Shot-2012-09-27-at-9.59.51-AM.png

IMAGE ABOVE FROM JOHNSTON HEALTH

 

Is family history a huge factor?

85% of breast cancer cases occur in women with NO family history.

 

Screening of breast cancer

Mammograms are the first line screening tool for breast cancer and are currently recommended biennial for women aged 50-74.  However for those at higher risk, mammogram screening should start earlier, with possible follow-up ultrasound, and be performed more regularly.

 

FullSizeRender (1)

3-D MAMMOGRAM IMAGE

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is Board Certified Family Physician

 

Posted in cancer, Entertainment, Health, news, Politics, Radio

Rush Limbaugh Reveals He Has Advanced Lung Cancer

69 year-old Rush Limbaugh has revealed on air that he has “advanced” lung cancer and will be undergoing treatment.

He was diagnosed in January after he was exhibiting symptoms of shortness of breath.

The conservative talk show icon will take some time off for treatment but still hopes to continue broadcasting.

“I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, and I thought about not trying to tell anybody, I thought about trying to do this without anybody knowing, because I don’t like making things about me,” he said. But “there are going to be days that I’m not going to be able to be here, because I will be undergoing treatment, or I’m reacting to treatment.”

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6129307883001#sp=show-clips

Early lung cancer can be silent.  As it progresses, however, symptoms such as chronic cough, wheeze, blood in sputum, lethargy and weight loss can ensue.

Limbaugh was known for his affinity for cigars.  It is unclear how much he smoked.

Although lung cancer risk drops dramatically the longer one avoids tobacco products, the resulting tissue damage, injury to one’s immune response, and genetic mutations may persist.  Moreover, lung cancer can occur even in non-smokers.

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer related death in the US for both men and women, surpassing breast and colon cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, they estimate in 2020 there will be 228,820 new cases and 135,720 deaths from lung cancer.

Prognosis depends on the stage of cancer at time of diagnosis.  According to American Lung Association:

The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 56 percent for cases detected when the disease is still localized (within the lungs). However, only 16 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. For distant tumors (spread to other organs) the five-year survival rate is only 5 percent.

This is a developing story.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in disease, Entertainment, Health, news, Parkinson's

Ozzy Osbourne Reveals He Has Parkinson’s Disease

In an interview on Good Morning America, Ozzy Osbourne, 71, revealed that he was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

He describes he recently had a cervical spine surgery and then was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder:

“I got a numbness down this arm for the surgery, my legs keep going cold,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s the Parkinson’s or what, you know, but that’s — see, that’s the problem. Because they cut nerves when they did the surgery. I’d never heard of nerve pain, and it’s a weird feeling.”

He continues:

“Coming from a working class background, I hate to let people down. I hate to not do my job,” said Osbourne. “And so when I see my wife goin’ to work, my kids goin’ to work, everybody’s doing — tryin’ to be helpful to me, that gets me down because I can’t contribute to my family, you know.”
“But you know, put it this way — I’m a lot better now than I was last February. I was in a shocking state.”

 

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, next to Alzheimer’s, and the most common movement disorder that affects 1% of the world’s population over 60 years old. In the US, 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.  It affects several areas of the brain, primarily the substantia nigra, altering balance and movement by affecting dopamine producing cells.

 

substantia nigra

IMAGE FROM THE SCIENCE OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE

 

It was first described in 1817 by James Parkinson as a “shaking palsy.”

What are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s?

Common symptoms of Parkinson’s include:

  • Stiffness and rigidity
  • Poor balance
  • Tremor at rest, especially a pill-rolling tremor
  • Slow movement
  • Inability to move
  • Shuffling steps, gait

and patients may later develop…

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Constipation
  • Decrease ability to smell
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pneumonia
  • Fractures from falling
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Dementia

Who is at Risk for Parkinson’s?

Most cases are idiopathic, meaning the disease arises with no specific cause.  However some cases are genetic and multiple genes have been identified that are associated with the disease.

The average age of onset is 60, but some cases may occur as “early onset”, before the age of 50, and if before the age of 20, it is known as juvenile-onset Parkinson’s.

Men appear to be more affected than women at twice the rate.

Risk may be enhanced with a history of head trauma.

Exposure to herbicides and pesticides has been linked to an increase risk of Parkinson’s as well.

 

How Quickly do Parkinson’s Symptoms Progress?

Average progression rates can last years to decades, however, earlier onset disease may manifest much quicker.

The stages of Parkinson’s are illustrated below:

What-Are-the-Stages-of-Parkinson_s-Disease

How is Parkinson’s treated?

Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, symptoms can be treated by a variety of measures.

  • Levadopa – converts to dopamine in the brain, helping replace the deficient hormone.
  • Carbidopa (Sinemet) – if given with levadopa prevents the latter from being broken down before it reaches the brain.
  • Dopamine agonists – mimic dopamine
  • MAO-B inhibitors – helps block the enzyme MAO-B, which breaks down natural dopamine
  • Other medications including COMT inhibitors, amantadine and anticholinergics
  • Medications to treat anxiety and depression
  • Deep brain stimulation – a surgeon implants electrodes into the brain, allowing stimulation of parts that help regulate movement.
  • Stem cell therapy – being investigated as a means to create dopamine-producing cells
  • Physical and occupational therapy

 

Famous People Diagnosed with Parkinson’s

  • Michael J. Fox
  • Janet Reno
  • Robin Williams
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Casey Kasem
  • Johnny Cash
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Pope John Paul II
  • Peanut’s creator Charles Schulz
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson
  • Neil Diamond

It’s been postulated Adolf Hitler suffered from Parkinson’s as well.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in children, Entertainment, Health, news, smart devices, Social Media, video games

Most Parents Are Concerned With Their Child’s Gaming Habits

A poll from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found 86% of parents feel kids spend too much time gaming.

They report the following:

Among parents who say their teen plays video games every day, 54% reported extended gaming of 3 or more hours each day, compared to only 13% of teens that do not play every day; 13% of these parents believe their teen spends more time gaming than other teens, while 78% believe their teen’s gaming is less than or about the same as other teens. One in five parents (21%) say their teen does not play video games at all.
Most parents agree or strongly agree (86%) that teens spend too much time playing video games. Parents try a variety of strategies to limit the amount of time their teen spends gaming including sometimes or frequently encouraging other activities (75%), setting time limits (54%), providing incentives to limit gaming (23%) and hiding gaming equipment (14%).
Overall, parents say gaming sometimes or frequently gets in the way of other aspects of their teen’s life such as family activities/interactions (46%), sleep (44%), homework (34%), friendship with non-gaming peers (33%) and extracurricular activities (31%). Parents whose teen plays every day are more likely to report that gaming has a negative effect on their teen’s mood compared to those who play less frequently (42% vs. 23%).
Although many parents (71%) believe video games can be good for teens, some (44%) try to restrict the type/content of the games they play. Parents of teens 13-15 years, compared to teens 16-18 years, are more likely to use rating systems to make sure games are appropriate (43% vs. 18%), encourage their teen to play with friends in person and not online (25% vs. 18%) and not allow gaming in their teen’s bedroom (28% vs. 14%).

The Helicopter Theory

Many parents may have inadvertently fueled their child’s gaming habits as if their child is in their home playing a video game, they are not away and getting into mischief….a “helicoptering” if you will…..

Parents fear drug use, unsafe sex practices, DUIs, abductions with their teens and so gaming at home while socializing online seems safer and may not be discouraged in a household.

But it’s not “safe” as predators lurk online and hours of gaming can lead to obesity, blood clots, sleep disorders, and depression.

 

Gaming Disorder Now Considered “Mental Illness”

Those who find themselves playing video games for hours on end may end up with a mental health diagnosis.  The World Health Organization suggested adding “gaming disorder” to its list of disease classifications.

But do those World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Candy Crush fans need to seek professional help immediately?  Well to qualify as having a “gaming disorder”, the WHO suggests the following guidelines:

  • The compulsive pattern of behavior has to exist for at least 12 months.
  • The behavior affects one’s personal life, occupation or health negatively.
  • Once the behavior negatively affects one’s life, the behavior continues or escalates.

They write: impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

They continue:  The inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 follows the development of treatment programs for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures.

Why are we getting addicted?

Video games act on the pleasure centers of the brain, just as alcohol, opiates and chocolate do.  We get “rewarded” by certain behaviors, giving us confidence and ego boots that we don’t get in the real world.  We begin to prefer to be alone with our controller than outside being written up by a supervisor, or turned down by a potential date.  Colors, sounds, awards, level advancement is psychologically addicting.

How to treat a gaming disorder

Many times gaming disorders are accompanied by other internet addictions such as porn and online shopping.  The following are treatment options used to curb one’s compulsive gaming behavior:

  • Limit screen time to one hour a day
  • Screen time holidays, or only use screen time for academic, work purposes
  • Play old school games with the kids such as Chess, Monopoly, or Dungeons and Dragons
  • Encourage family and friend outings such as camping, hiking, and cool projects
  • Visits to the library to use encyclopedias rather than going to Google (avoiding online ads that could tempt one to continue playing/shopping)
  • Cognitive/behavioral therapy
  • Medications, such as Zoloft, that treat OCD.
  • Treatment of the underlying disorder…depression, anxiety, loneliness, etc.

___________________________________

Some play but some blay….

Blaying is when one continues to play a level of a game despite being bored and disliking it.

Researchers estimate over 420 million people are addicted to the internet.  Smartphone addiction is rising exponentially as well.  These addictions many times involve gaming.  Hours are spent playing online games and levels within these games many times require multiple attempts.  If the level is not mastered, one is “stuck” on the level, but continues to play it in hopes the next level will be “better”.  This is all too time consuming.

Those of you who play Candy Crush know exactly what “blaying is”.  For example, you get stuck on level 2124 and can’t advance until you master that level.  But you hate it.  You keep losing and are really bored with the level.  But everyday you return to blayin the hopes that your luck will change and you can advance to a new level.  Eventually that level gets tiresome and you must blay your way through that one.

maxresdefault.jpg

Another example:  Advancing to a new World of Warcraft level can be so tempting that one blays for weeks until they finally complete all the quests necessary to advance.

Remember “Around the World” in basketball.  One shoots from  different markers on the court and can’t advance until they make a basket.  But some of us get stuck forever on level 3, and cringe everytime we miss.  But we continue to blay until someone wins or has the chutzpah to say “This is boring!”.

But the psychology behind it is fascinating in that rather than having a quitting mentality, the gamer drudges on.  But why go through such boredom and anguish?  If we can get to the psychological root of blaying, maybe we could be a step closer to fighting internet addiction.

______________________________________

 

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in cancer, Entertainment, Health, news

Eddie Money Dies at Age 70 After Battling Esophageal Cancer

70 year-old music legend, Edward Mahoney “Eddie Money”, who last month revealed in a video released by his realty TV series “Real Money” that he had stage 4 esophageal cancer, has sadly passed.

Per Variety: A statement provided by his family reads: “The Money Family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning. It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father. We cannot imagine our world without him. We are grateful that he will live on forever through his music.”

 

He recently underwent heart valve surgery and reports say he also battled pneumonia.

Despite the cancer having had spread to his liver, lymph nodes and stomach, he appeared optimistic in a recent interview saying cancer has come a long way since the 1950’s and 60’s and “everyday above ground is a good day.”

What is esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the gullet/food pipe.  There are different types such as adenocarcinoma (lower portion near the stomach), more commonly seen in Caucasians, and squamous cell carcinoma (middle to upper esophagus) more commonly seen in African Americans.  It’s the 6th common cause of cancer death worldwide and comprises 1% of all cancers diagnosed in the US.

According to the American Cancer Society, estimates for 2019 include:

  • ABOUT 17,650 NEW ESOPHAGEAL CANCER CASES DIAGNOSED (13,750 IN MEN AND 3,900 IN WOMEN)
  • ABOUT 16,080 DEATHS FROM ESOPHAGEAL CANCER (13,020 IN MEN AND 3,060 IN WOMEN)

a-medical-illustration-of-esophageal-cancer-original.jpg

 

What are the symptoms of esophageal cancer?

Early esophageal cancer may not exhibit any signs. However if it progresses, symptoms may include any of the following:

  • abdominal pain
  • heartburn
  • feeling full despite not eating
  • nausea
  • vomiting blood
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • chest pain
  • cough

 

What are the risk factors for esophageal cancer?

Although esophageal cancer appears to afflict men more than women, risk factors  include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Frequent imbibing of hot liquids
  • Obesity
  • Chronic GERD or heartburn that may have led to esophagus lining changes such as Barrett’s Esophagus disease
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Drinking liquids that contain lye, an alkaline  chemical present in many soaps
  • Prior radiation to the chest

 

What is the prognosis of esophageal cancer?

If caught early and localized, the 5-year survival rate is over 45%. However, if it has spread, the 5 year survival rate can range any where from 5-20%.

 

How is esophageal cancer treated?

There are a variety of treatments for esophageal cancer including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in cancer, Entertainment, Health, news

Eddie Money Reveals He Is Battling Advanced Esophageal Cancer

70 year-old music legend, Edward Mahoney “Eddie Money”, revealed in a video released by his realty TV series “Real Money” that he has stage 4 esophageal cancer.

The episode airs on AXS TV on September 12 and discusses how he went in for a routine screen when he was diagnosed.

He recently underwent heart valve surgery and reports say he also battled pneumonia.

Despite the cancer having spread to his liver, lymph nodes and stomach, he appears optimistic saying cancer has come a long way since the 1950’s and 60’s and “everyday above ground is a good day.”

What is esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the gullet/food pipe.  There are different types such as adenocarcinoma (lower portion near the stomach), more commonly seen in Caucasians, and squamous cell carcinoma (middle to upper esophagus) more commonly seen in African Americans.  It’s the 6th common cause of cancer death worldwide and comprises 1% of all cancers diagnosed in the US.

According to the American Cancer Society, estimates for 2019 include:

  • About 17,650 new esophageal cancer cases diagnosed (13,750 in men and 3,900 in women)
  • About 16,080 deaths from esophageal cancer (13,020 in men and 3,060 in women)

a-medical-illustration-of-esophageal-cancer-original.jpg

 

What are the symptoms of esophageal cancer?

Early esophageal cancer may not exhibit any signs. However if it progresses, symptoms may include any of the following:

  • abdominal pain
  • heartburn
  • feeling full despite not eating
  • nausea
  • vomiting blood
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • chest pain
  • cough

 

What are the risk factors for esophageal cancer?

Although esophageal cancer appears to afflict men more than women, risk factors  include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Frequent imbibing of hot liquids
  • Obesity
  • Chronic GERD or heartburn that may have led to esophagus lining changes such as Barrett’s Esophagus disease
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Drinking liquids that contain lye, an alkaline  chemical present in many soaps
  • Prior radiation to the chest

 

What is the prognosis of esophageal cancer?

If caught early and localized, the 5-year survival rate is over 45%. However, if it has spread, the 5 year survival rate can range any where from 5-20%.

 

How is esophageal cancer treated?

There are a variety of treatments for esophageal cancer including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in cancer, Entertainment, Health, news

Olivia Newton-John Bravely Fights Stage 4 Breast Cancer and Rumors of Her Dying

The 70 year-old singer and actress revealed in an interview with 60 Minutes Australia that she prefers to not know how long she has to live and is tuning out the chatter on her prognosis.

Citing the concept that we all are dying at any time could be hit by a truck, she is focusing on the life she has.

She states:

“When you’re given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you’re suddenly given a possibility of a time limit.”

If somebody tells you, you have six months to live, very possibly you will because you believe that,” the actress continued. “So for me, psychologically, it’s better not to have any idea of what they expect or what the last person that has what you have lived, so I don’t, I don’t tune in.”

Last Fall she reported using both traditional and alternative medications to treat her metastatic breast cancer.

After successfully keeping the cancer at bay, it returned for a third time 2 years ago and metastasized to her sacrum, a part of the low back.

 

PE-Sacroiliac_fig1.jpg

 

In addition to her current medical regimen the Australian native grows cannabis at her Santa Barbara, California home and uses its oil to help with the pain.  She states, “My dream is that, in Australia soon, it will be available to all the cancer patients and people going through cancer that causes pain.”

In 1992, Newton-John first battled breast cancer by undergoing chemotherapy and by having a modified radical mastectomy (removing the breast and lymph nodes).  She immediately had breast reconstruction and included yoga, acupuncture and massage in her treatment regimen.

In 2013, after a minor car accident, a lump in her left shoulder revealed it was breast cancer.

In an interview with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, she shared her personal story.  “I meditated every day, did yoga, used homeopathy, ate well—I boosted my inner strength as much as I could. When bad thoughts came in, I pushed them right out. I had what’s called a modified radical mastectomy with reconstruction done to my breast immediately—a woman can be traumatized waking up with nothing there.

She remained cancer free for years.

In a recent interview with People Magazine, she states she believes she will win “over it,” but adds, “I don’t go there. I’d be lying if I said I never go there. There are moments, I’m human. So If I allow myself to go there, I could easily create that, you know, big fear.”

 

71bfd998f89eb7e431b8054a6bd5b2f4.jpg

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN IN 1978’S GREASE

 

Breast cancer is one of the few cancers that spreads to the bone. Other cancers that may rear its ugly head in the bone include thyroid, kidney, pancreas and the liver.

According to the American Cancer Society, Stage 4 Breast Cancer (spreading to other parts of the body) has a 5 year survival rate of 22%, as opposed to Stage 3, whose 5 year survival rate is 72%.  Treatments today are improving survival rates.

 

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Great Gift!!!

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.