Go, Lance, Go!

May 11, 2009 by  
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It is cycling season once again. Giro d’Italia is starting this week. This is the 100th year of this annual cycle tournament that consists of eight stages totaling 2,448 kilometers (approximately 1,521 miles). And Lance Armstrong will be right in the middle of it.

Everybody knows who Lance Armstrong is unless you’ve been living in a cave all these years. He is one of, if not the best cyclists of all time. He is also one of the most well-known (and inspiring) cancer survivors and advocates.

Lance Armstrong, the sportsman

According to the Sports Injury Bulletin, Lance Armstrong is an exceptional endurance athlete. His vital statistics are unusually strong even for an endurance athlete and include

Lance Armstrong holds the record for winning the Tour de France seven times – consecutively from 1999 to 2005. The Tour is considered to be the toughest of all endurance sports. It lasts for about 20 days covering a distance between 3,000 and 4,000 kilometers.

I have been to the Pyrenees and have the seen some of the roads which are part of the Tour de France stages. They were really awesome.

Lance Armstrong, the cancer victim

Armstrong was 25 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996. He had an aggressive form of the disease which consisted of “60% choriocarcinoma, 40% embryonal and less than 1% teratoma.” The cancer has metastasized to his brain and lungs. His prognosis was poor.

His treatment consisted of

  • 2 surgeries to remove one cancerous testicle and lesions in the brain.
  • 4 rounds of chemotherapy

Lance Armstrong, the cancer advocate

Against all odds, Armstrong recovered from cancer and became a legendary sportsman. But the story doesn’t end there. He founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation even before he would make a full recovery. The foundation’s motto is “we unite people to fight cancer believing that unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything.”

After retiring from professional cycling in 2005, he decided to make a comeback this year to raise awareness of the global cancer burden. The LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign was launched on May 5 in Italy in cooperation with Italian cancer organizations. You can also participate (by walking, running, or cycling) in your own LiveStrong Challenge. Check put fo an event near you!

This week, Lance Armstrong takes on Giro d’Italia in the name of cancer awareness. Let’s cheer him on.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjcZNR6MiRE

An Interview with Mary Pat Boyd of Boyd Silver Works

January 28, 2008 by  
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I’m very happy to have to the opportunity to share with you an interview that I recently had with Mary Pat Boyd, owner and creative genius behind Boyd Silver Works, a unique custom jewelry design service specializing in cancer awareness pieces. Mary Pat is a two-time breast cancer survivor and a tireless advocate for cancer awareness and prevention through her volunteer work with the American Cancer Society. When I first came in contact with Mary Pat, I was intrigued and inspired by her stories of grace and strength under very trying circumstances. We’ve since become fast friends, and I’m so glad that she’s agreed to share her story with Batting Cancer readers.

 

mary-pat.JPGHow does your spina bifida affect your daily routines?I was 3 days old when I had the spina bifada surgery and there was early concern about hydrocephalus.  Aside from the possibility that the early radiations may have caused my cancer, my adult life has not been affected by the spina bifada.

Your business, Boyd Silver Works, is focused solely on creating beautiful cancer awareness jewelry. How did you first start making your works of art? I’d been working with metal for some time before my first cancer diagnosis, but my cancer awareness jewelry line began with the Silver Ribbon Ring that I designed while going through the first cancer battle.  I began making awareness jewelry because I wanted to share hope through jewelry design.   

Have you always been in a creative profession?Always.  I’ve worked in various mediums throughout the years but I really enjoy the metal working a lot.     

Before you were diagnosed with breast cancer the second time, you had difficulty convincing your doctor that something was wrong. What advice would you give to someone who is currently having trouble communicating with their doctor? My first cancer was estrogen negative.  The second cancer (in the same breast) was Paget’s Disease.  The mammogram for the second cancer didn’t reveal the tumor and my doctor didn’t think that I had cancer again.  I know my body though; and a nagging feeling hung over me so I sought a second opinion.  Women need to realize that we’re entitled to more than one medical consultation.  If you doubt what someone is telling you, seek advice from someone else.  And if you don’t have a good rapport with one doctor, then find a different one.  This is your body and you need to be an advocate for yourself.

Describe your volunteer work with the American Cancer Society.I’m proud to be a volunteer through the Reach to Recovery program that the American Cancer Society offers.  We’re certified volunteers who interact with cancer patients and survivors.  The ACS attempts to match volunteers with patients based on cancer similarities, etc.  It’s a wonderful outreach program.    

You’ve had to face a number of personal struggles in your life — what do you consider your greatest sources of strength?I talk to cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones often so I know that my own story is very unremarkable.  Their stories touch my heart and humble me.  I draw a lot of strength from those that I’m in contact with and I’m proud to be a voice in the war against cancer.  I honestly believe that we can make a difference, and that belief gives me strength and propels me forward.

What would you like to share with readers who are currently undergoing cancer treatment? Statistics clearly show that an early diagnosis will prolong one’s life or save a life, so it’s important to do monthly self exams.  And get that mammogram!  A mammo can’t detect all cancers, but it’s a terrific tool against the disease.  Also, a cancer patient often feels alone and isolated, but she doesn’t need to carry her cancer fears bottled within.  There are many volunteers and caring people who will listen to her concerns, so I think it’s important that she reach out to others for help.  Talk with your family, friends, and medical experts.  You’re not alone in this battle.   

Some individuals find that their relationships with friends and family members undergo a great strain after they are diagnosed with cancer.  What advice would you give to caregivers and friends of cancer patients?  Read more

Getting Nude for Cancer: 10 Calendars that Seek to Raise Funds and Eyebrows

December 11, 2007 by  
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Well, after all that yammering on about bringing stronger content to Battling Cancer yesterday, it looks like today I’m going to be talking about getting naked for charity.

Yesterday, I came across a story entitled “Cancer Research in Boxers: Italian Doctors Strip to Reveal Funding Shortfalls.” According to the Speigel Online, doctors, nurses, caretakers, and even the institution’s director at the Fondazione Pascale posed in their underwear in a 2008 calendar printed to bring attention to the lack of cancer research dollars in the southern part of Italy. Proceeds from the Pascal Foundation benefit the cancer association Lega per la lotta ai tumori. Getting naked may be a gimmick, but hey — it made me look!

The naked Italian doctors calendar is only available in Europe, but that didn’t stop me for looking for the perfect nude calendar to grace my kitchen wall. The following is a list of my 10 favorite calendars that seek to raise both cancer funds and eyebrows — order now in time for the new year’s! Read more

What Is Breast Cancer?

August 21, 2007 by  
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According to most sources, breast cancer is ‘cancer of the breast tissue’. Not very helpful. But digging a little deeper makes the answer clear. Cancer is a malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal or uncontrolled cell division. Normal cells become misshapen and grow too rapidly. The result is a mass or lump that continues to grow and may spread.

Not all lumps are cancerous. Most are benign. They reach a certain size and level off. They may be soft and fluid filled, like cysts. Or they may be firm like fibroadenomas, which also are benign since they don’t grow and spread. Or, they may simply be scar tissue or hardened fat.

But a true cancer in breast tissues is malignant and serious. Nearly 90% are a type known as ductal carcinoma (sometimes called DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ). Somewhat less than 10% of the rest are lobular carcinomas (LCIS). In both cases lumps may appear as a thickening in some part of the breast, or even in the armpit. Lymph nodes are located there and sometimes play a role in the development of the disease.

The American College of Physicians recommends self-examination beginning around age 20 and regular mammograms after age 40.

Though one shouldn’t become alarmed at every possible change, an alteration of the size or shape of the breast after maturity is one sign to look for. Fluid may leak from the nipple that doesn’t resemble milk. In cases of cancer, it’s typically a type of pus, indicating infection.

The nipple or areola (the darkened skin around the nipple) can also change size or shape.

Breast cancer develops through identifiable stages which mark out the progression of the disease.

Stage 0 is when the condition first occurs. Stage I exists when the tumor is less than 2cm thick and hasn’t spread. By Stage II the tumor is between 2-5cm thick and there may be other areas affected. Once the disease reaches Stage III it has penetrated the chest wall. By that level, treatment becomes very difficult and the survival rate is correspondingly low.

Stage IV is the most serious. At this point the cancer has, as it’s called, metastasized. That means the cancer has spread and that it has formed secondary tumors which resemble the initial growth. Such cancers are very often fatal.

Because of these stages, and the increasing health consequences at each level, seeking diagnosis and treatment early is imperative. A simple lumpectomy may well cure the condition completely. If it progresses to the point that chemotherapy or radiation treatments are called for, the odds of recover are much lower and the cure is often as bad as the disease.

Fortunately, enormous progress has been made over the past 40 years. The latest equipment allows for much better diagnosis. Treatments have evolved to make the cure less painful and more certain.

Though any stage is a concern, there is an over 95% five-year survival rate for those that are identified and treated by Stage I. Improve your odds by careful monitoring and seeking early diagnosis.

Helping Someone With Cancer

August 13, 2007 by  
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By Charles Kassotis

Do you know someone with cancer? A cancer diagnosis can be crippling in itself, inciting fear and anxiety over an unknown or perhaps dreaded future. Victims worry about their health, their looks, and their families when a doctor pronounces this terrible sentence. If a friend or family member is struggling with one of the many forms of cancer, your support and encouragement are likely to be most welcome.

But how do you help someone who has cancer? There are several things you can do to make your friend or loved one feel more at ease.

1. Treat the person the same as always. Don’t approach her gingerly, as though she might break or fade away. Nor should you overdo it, however, by talking too much or roughhousing with children who may be physically fragile. Just treat the person the same as you would if he had not been diagnosed with this condition. Of course, if the diagnosis is grim, you need adapt your attitude accordingly and not gloss over serious implications.

2. Offer practical assistance. As you have time, run errands or bring in a home-cooked meal. Grocery shopping, letter mailing, and kid drop-offs at sporting events can save the sick person’s time and energy. Depending on how well you are acquainted with the victim, you might want to come over a few hours each week to clean house, baby-sit, or cook meals for freezing.

3. Be an encouragement. Send a funny get-well card or an inspiring note. Drop off a humorous video or suggest praying together before you leave. Using discretion, you might want to let others know about the ill person’s indisposition so they can possibly help out, too.

4. Be willing to listen. Sometimes those facing a serious problem like cancer, especially when a terminal diagnosis has been given, may simply want to reminisce about the past, discuss future plans, or share difficult emotions. Just being available to listen in person, by telephone, or via the Internet can provide a beautiful source of support. Don’t push or pry, however. Wait until the person is ready to talk.

5. If the situation warrants, consider donating financial support. A single mother with two fatherless children may need to get connected to social service agencies. Or she may have some general support already, but lack a little extra money for holidays or birthdays. You may want to send a card with a $20 check that could help pay for special occasions or real needs, needs, like medication, above and beyond any insurance coverage.

6. Provide transportation. If the person grows weak or is unable to drive and family members work at jobs that keep them from driving the sufferer to appointments, ask if you can take the person when you are available. Getting around is one of the greatest challenges facing people who become immobile with serious illnesses.

Whatever your circumstances, chances are you can offer some kind of help to a person who is struggling with cancer. It will certainly be appreciated!

For more information about helping someone who has cancer or to get help for a loved one or yourself, visit Cancer Directory at www.cancerdir.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Charles_Kassotis

Everyone Can Promote Cancer Prevention – It’s Easier Than You Think

May 4, 2007 by  
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By: Andi Michaels

Anyone can have a hand in cancer prevention. All you have to do is look for ways to make healthier decisions for you and your family. This could mean eating more servings of fruits and vegetables or steering clear of harmful second-hand smoke. Taking a step back and finding areas to change can be the most challenging part of fighting cancer. When you take the bait to become healthier, remember to tailor your program to fit specific needs for your body.

The first step in the fight against cancer is to take a look at your family history. The University of Texas’ MD Anderson’s Cancer Center web site reports that five to ten percent of cancer cases can come from a person’s genetic make-up. The flip side of this statistic is that ninety percent of cancer cases can be controlled by the individual.

If someone in your family has battled cancer, researchers are now able to perform specific tests to find out if you carry altered genes which can cause certain types of cancers. The responsibility of getting the necessary tests and screenings lies with the individual.

Part of cancer prevention comes with heeding this responsibility and not ignoring the warning signs cancer gives to its victims. Research like this will help you to know if you should focus your efforts on breast and cervical cancer prevention or arthritis cancer prevention.

Aside from genetics, the most important part of cancer prevention is eating a well-balanced diet. This means incorporating more fruits and vegetables, meats that are low in fat and plenty of heart-healthy whole grains into your diet.

Certain vegetables, such as tomatoes and broccoli, carry antioxidants that support cancer prevention. If you can’t eat all your servings at one sitting, try to snack on them throughout the day. And because today’s society is surrounded by processed foods, reading nutrition labels is important when going to the store. Avoid foods that tend to be high in saturated fats, high fructose corn syrups and hydrogenated oils of any kind.

Once you have figured out how to eat healthier, the next step you should take is finding time to exercise. Finding ways to exercise does not mean you have to join a gym and hire a personal trainer. Exercise can come in simple forms, like vacuuming, walking your dog or playing with your children.

Doctors just recommend that you get at least thirty minutes of physical activity 3 to 4 times a week. Find ways to make exercising fun for you and your family by going for walks together or buying everyone bicycles. Not only will this help you include exercising into your weekly routine, but you will also be teaching your loved ones how to live healthier.

Cancer prevention involves changing habits, especially the bad ones. The University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Research web site reports that 87 percent of lung cancer victims were smokers. More and more research comes out every year about the harmful affects of smoking, and stopping this degenerative habit is a crucial part in the fight against cancer.

The Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation’s fall 2006 newsletter conveyed that even second-hand smoke can increase a person’s risk of heart disease by twenty-five to thirty percent and can increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer by twenty to thirty percent. Don’t give cancer to your children – stop smoking now.

Genetics can hinder a person’s efforts at cancer prevention. But asking your doctor for the proper screenings can assist in your efforts to live a healthy life. Prevention also means finding ways to improve your diet and incorporate more physical activity into your day.

Avoiding unhealthy habits that increase your risks of certain cancers should be first on your lists of to-dos. Cancer prevention does not have to be a hard task, but it could be one of the most important decisions you make in life.

Article Source: www.articlepro.co.uk/international

Andi Michaels has worked in healthcare and now runs health related websites on topics including cancer prevention as well as sites on asbestosis

What’s A Breast Cancer Ribbon?

May 3, 2007 by  
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By: Riley Hendersen

Wear a pink breast cancer ribbon, and you can raise awareness. Just by having your ribbon pinned on, or by having a pink ribbon in the window of your vehicle or in a public workplace, you remind women to get regular screening, to do self-exams, and to talk to their doctors.

Maybe the ubiquitous pink ribbon’s best purpose is to indicate solid social support to those who are fighting breast cancer. Research indicates that social support has significant positive impact on outcomes for patients.

Social support is sometimes experienced as a subjective feeling of connection to others. One recent study showed that women who had strong social connections to others were able to function better as they made their way through treatment, and experienced less anxiety, depression, and pain. In other words, not being isolated in the midst of crisis enhanced quality of life and helped women in the study cope.

It’s such a small gesture to wear or display a pink ribbon. This little ribbon reminds is that somewhere, someone’s life is at stake. Sometimes people need a reminder, since over 40,000 women die every year in the U.S.

It’s the little things in life that make the difference. The first time you see the pink ribbon, you ask, what is that? Often that is the first time you ask about breast cancer, if your life or that of a loved one has not yet been touched by it.

The pink ribbon is an icon of hope for women. It not only reminds women to have regular screenings, it encourages everyone to give to research and other non-profit agencies, such as the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, agencies on the front lines of the struggle to educate, treat and promote awareness.

Every year, the “Race for the Cure” in over 100 U.S. cities and towns. Millions of Americans participate in this awareness-raising event, a five-K run/fitness walk. The sight of hundreds, even thousands, of women walking side by side in their pink caps and with their pink ribbons on their chests is undeniably the most hopeful image one could witness.

The American Cancer Society annually sponsors “Relay for Life,” a mobilizing awareness event where the pink ribbon is prominently displayed. Nationwide, over 4,800 teams of 8 to 15 survivors and supporters perform a 24-hour relay circling a track, with survivors taking the first laps. It’s a time of sharing and fun as well, as participants camp out with tents and sleeping bags with the goal of keeping one team member on the track at all times.

Women can survive breast cancer, a disease that strikes one out of eight American women, and even some men. But women need hope to heal themselves and to get through diagnosis and treatment. Women need support, something that anyone can provide by wearing a pink breast cancer ribbon!

Article Source

For more information on breast cancer try visiting www.breastcanceranalysis.com – a website that specializes in providing breast cancer related information and resources including information on the breast cancer ribbon.

Mesothelioma – Origin, Cause, and Prevention

March 24, 2007 by  
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By Ray Smith

Since the late 1800’s, Asbestos has been widely used for commercial purposes and the usage dramatically increased during World War II. Thousands of Americans who work I in the ship yard; commercial plants etc were exposed to Asbestos dust. This was the beginning of Mesothelioma. The people who had a widespread exposure to Asbestos were at an increased risk of developing Mesothelioma. This was the beginning of the cursed disease.

Mesothelioma is the medical name for cancer of the pleura (the lining of the lung and chest cavity) or cancer of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen). Mesothelioma can be caused even due to an exposure to Asbestos for 1-2 months but it is most commonly found in those who had prolonged or persistent exposure.

Mesothelioma, generally does not affect a victim immediately after your exposure to Asbestos. Its affects usually appear 20-50 years after the exposure. This long latency period is one main reason why the number of people suffering from Mesothelioma is increasing everyday, in spite of preventive measures taken by the government as well as individuals.

Very similar to other forms of cancer, Mesothelioma spreads rapidly, spreading not only throughout the pleura but also metastasizing to other internal organs. The common symptoms would include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing and loss of weight.

Mesothelioma can be effectively countered by Oxygen treatment and reducing sugar consumption. Otto Warburg discovered that the main reason of cancer is replacement of normal oxygen respiration of the body’s cells by an anaerobic [i.e., oxygen-deficient] cell respiration. Warburg’s theory helped us to understand that Cancer cells hate oxygen and that is the foundation of the modern oxygen treatment of cancer.

Another important information that we gathered from Warburg’s research is that Cancer cells metabolize through fermentation and fermentation requires sugar. Also, metabolism rate of a cancer cell is almost 8 times more than a normal cell. (Check how Mesothelioma works at Human anatomy animation ) This fact has been wisely used and concluded that reducing or stopping the intake of sugar can definitely work as an extremely useful deterrent to cancer growth.

The initial testing for Mesothelioma is done by X-rays and often followed by an open lung biopsy to confirm the test results. If diagnosed at an early stage the cancer can be removed surgically and full recovery can be achieved through regular chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

At an advanced stage, Mesothelioma is incurable; however, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other pain relief treatments can relieve the patient comparatively and increase the life span. The period of survival depends on the stage at which the patient has been diagnosed for Mesothelioma and his general health conditions.

This article is written by Ray Smith, a marketing expert with years of experience in different industries and specialized knowledge on branding and internet marketing.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ray_Smith

Breast Cancer Awareness

March 23, 2007 by  
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By Steve Valentino

In recent years, the incidence of breast cancer among women has increased. As a result of this, organizations that aim to raise breast cancer awareness have doubled their efforts to give women around the world the right information to help them prevent and deal with this disease. These organizations teach women to detect early signs of cancer and recognize the symptoms of the disease. It has been proven that early detection increases a woman?s chance of survival by as much as 96 percent.

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms that women are told to watch out for include lumps, which are usually firm and painless. Other possible symptoms include swelling on the underarms and on the skin on the breasts which then develops an unusual appearance. Women are also asked to look out for veins that become prominent in the breast area. Other symptoms also include inverting of the nipples, rashes and changes in skin texture, depressions on the breast area and discharges other than breast milk.

Early Detection Plan

However, looking out for symptoms is usually not enough in detecting this disease, since there are instances in which patients are asymptomatic until the cancer reaches stage 3 or 4. To be able to prevent this, breast cancer organizations encourage women to come up with an early detection plan, which includes clinical breast examinations every three years for women aged 20 to 39, then every year thereafter. A monthly breast examination for women beginning at age 20 is also encouraged. Mammograms every two years for women in their 40s and yearly mammograms for women in their 50s are also being emphasized. Women are also told to keep a record of these exams and their appointments with their doctors. Additionally, women are urged to eat a low-fat diet, engage in regular exercise and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.

The importance of early detection of breast cancer cannot be denied since it has been proven to increase a cancer patient?s survival rate by as much as 96 percent. Given this, it is then important for women to do what they can to prevent having to suffer unnecessarily from this disease. Having an early detection plan is an effective way of doing just that.

Breast Cancer provides detailed information on Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Treatments, Breast Cancer Symptoms, Cause Of Breast Cancer and more. Breast Cancer is affiliated with Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Valentino

Some Answers To Colon Cancer Questions

March 19, 2007 by  
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By Groshan Fabiola

1. What is colon cancer?

Cancer is a disease which can affect cells from all organs. The colon cancer affects the cells of the colon, determining them to proliferate in an uncontrollable way. This mass of abnormal cells will form a tumor inside the colon. The cancer of the intestine is quite frequent and two thirds of this type of cancer is situated in the colon.

2. Who can develop colon cancer?

You are at risk of developing colon cancer if you drink a lot of alcohol and you are obese. Also if other members of your family had colon cancer or breast cancer you could inherit some genes that make you more sensible to cancer. If you have polyps on your intestine and you leave them untreated for a long time, they can transform into malign polyps, meaning that cancer had occurred.

3. Is my diet involved in cancer development?

Following a diet which is rich in fats and proteins could expose you to cancer. If you eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and high fiber foods you can prevent colon cancer from occurring.

4. Does colon cancer come with any symptoms?

There are some symptoms which could announce that cancer is installing, but they also appear in other diseases. Some of the symptoms are: seeing blood in your bowels, alternation of diarrhea with constipation, and low abdominal pains.

5. How does the doctor know that I have cancer?

The doctor will perform a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy to examine the insides of the colon. Also x-rays of the colon will be performed. These methods will see if tumors are present inside the colon. In order to stage colon cancer CT and ultrasound will be used.

6. Can colon cancer be treated?

Generally the most indicated procedure in trying to treat colon cancer is surgery. By surgery the doctors will remove the tumor from the colon. If the cancer spread, giving metastasis, the doctors will recommend you chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These are hard bearable due to their side effects like nausea, vomiting, loss of hair, fever, and tiredness.

7. Is the treatment effective or not?

If the colon cancer was diagnosed in its early stages and it has not spread to other organs the treatment will be 90% effective and patients will survive even five years after. If the cancer has given metastasis the treatment will not be so effective any more and half of the diagnosed patients will live less that five years.

For greater resources on colon cancer or especially about colon cancer symptoms please visit this link www.colon-cancer-center.com/colon-cancer-symptoms.htm

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Groshan_Fabiola

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.