BREAST CANCER: EARLY DISCOVERY ENHANCES SURVIVAL RATE

All women need to know about breast cancer because it can be very serious and potentially fatal. Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any other cancer except lung cancer. Experts estimate one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. But the good news is that death rates are going down. Patients diagnosed with breast cancer today often do much better than in previous years.

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NEW SCREENING DEVICE AVAILABLE FOR PATIENTS WITH DIABETES

People who have diabetes must be vigilant about their eyes. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74 years, and 45 percent of patients with diabetes develop diabetic eye disease, which can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness, according to www.DiabetesSightRisk.com. One complication of diabetes that affects the eyes is diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, blood vessels become blocked and prevents areas of.....

….FULL ARTICLE

FEELING S.A.D. DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON? YOU’LL BE O.K.

The holidays are wonderful, but there is also a great deal of stress at this time of year. Not only are people expected to eat more than they should, drink more than they should and spend more than they can really afford, but they are also expected to be joyous and merry and full of good cheer. For some people, however, the holidays are not something they look forward to.

….FULL ARTICLE

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Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are often a winter inevitability. They are caused by the oral form of the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). The virus is highly contagious. According to one source, about 67 percent of the world’s population younger than 50 years old has HSV-1. Most people contract it in early childhood; it is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Once you are infected with it, the virus never leaves your body. Fortunately for most people, the virus remains inactive throughout their lives.


However, when the virus does wake up, cold sores may appear as red bumps or blisters on the gums and the outside of the mouth, lips and nose. You may also develop a fever or a sore throat or have swollen lymph nodes. The factors that trigger cold sores include stress, cold weather and fatigue. They usually last seven to 10 days. They are very contagious during this time period. The virus can spread from the mouth to the genitals, eyes and other parts of the body. Your doctor may examine the cold sore or take a culture from it or take a blood sample to test for antibodies.


There is no cure for cold sores. Most of the time they disappear on their own. You can ease the pain by taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen or vitamin C, applying ice and using over-the-counter numbing medicines. These medicines may reduce the duration of cold sores.

Your doctor may prescribe an anti-viral oral medication to facilitate healing. It is also a good idea to avoid spicy and acidic foods such as citrus fruits while the cold sores are active.


To prevent cold sores, be sure to:


•  wash your hands after you touch a cold sore;

•  replace your toothbrush;

•  avoid kissing someone who has a cold sore and don’t kiss anyone else when you have one;

•  use sunscreen; and

•  replace your lipstick or lip balm.


Don’t share toothbrushes, razors, water bottles, drinking glasses and silverware with someone who has a cold sore. Your best bet for avoiding cold sores is to stay healthy. A fever can trigger a cold sore outbreak, so you need to make sure you combat illness and strengthen your immunity by getting enough sleep

DEALING WITH COLD SORES

and exercise, eating healthily and staying hydrated. Hydration protects your lips from the dry air that comes with being inside during the winter. It may be a good idea to get a humidifier for your home. In addition, use products that will guard your lips against chapping caused by the wind and sunlight (even in the wintertime, the sun’s rays can cause damage). Soothe a sore mouth with a rinse that contains baking soda. Dress in layers to protect your body when it’s cold, including wearing hats and scarves.


If you do develop a cold sore, keep it clean by washing it gently with soap and water. It can become more serious if it leads to a bacterial infection, especially in people who have weakened or impaired immune systems.

DR. WESLEY W. JOHNSON

Dr. Wesley W. Johnson completed his family practice residency at the University of Kentucky in November 2004, joining Family Practice Associates of Lexington in December 2004. Dr. Johnson’s particular interests include chronic disease management, pediatrics and aviation medicine.

more articles by dr Johnson