STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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Brain cancer is a very serious form of cancer. Recently, Sen. John McCain revealed he has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive type of brain tumor. GBMs originate in the brain; it does not spread there from another part of the body. The cause is not known. This tumor has no relation to melanoma, the skin cancer for which McCain was treated in the past.


GBMs are tumors that arise from astrocytes, the star-shaped cells that make up the supportive tissue of the brain. These tumors are usually highly malignant because the cells reproduce quickly and are supported by a large network of blood vessels in the brain.


According to WebMD, brain cancers are not common. However, when they do occur, about four out of five aren’t GBMs. Men are more likely to develop them than women. The chances of developing this type of cancer increases with age. WebMD notes doctors diagnose nearly 11,000 GBMs cases in the United States each year. Symptoms include constant headaches, seizures, vomiting, changes in mood or personality, double or blurred vision and difficulty speaking. With any of these symptoms, contacting your family physician is the first step in intervention.


Vigilance on the part of patients and family members is critical in

VIGILANCE FOR BRAIN CANCER

addressing this form of cancer early as new cases are expected in 2017, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. The medical community recognizes GBMs as grade 4 tumors, which means they grow fast and spread quickly. It is easy for GBMs to invade normal brain tissue. The tumors make their own blood supply, which helps them grow. Glioblastoma is treated like most cancers, so treatment may include surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, then radiation and chemotherapy. Research in this area includes a number of bio-markers, or molecular signatures, that have the potential to contribute to diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of response to therapy for glioblastoma.


Sources and Resources


DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Department of Gerontology, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller