VIGILANCE FOR BRAIN CANCER

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.

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QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT CHEMOTHERAPY

Chemotherapy is a standard treatment for cancer. It kills healthy cells along with cancer cells, inflicting damage on the body and seriously compromising the immune system. Chemotherapy also kills most rapidly dividing healthy and cancer cells, but not all the cells are fast growing. Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a small population of cancer cells that are slow growing and thus resistant to treatment, do not die. Chemotherapy makes these cells even more numerous as the ratio of highly malignant cells….

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RESTORING DIGNITY AND ’DOS

For many women facing cancer, the most devastating aspect is learning they may lose their hair due to chemotherapy.  “Most women tell me that as soon as they hear the oncologist say, ‘You’re going to lose your hair,’ that’s the last thing they remember hearing,” said Eric Johnson, co-owner, with his wife, Jeletta, of Hair Institute in Lexington. “They can deal with the sickness; they can deal with the treatments; but it’s the hair loss that gets them the most.

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spend brushing. Whether you choose an electric or manual toothbrush, dental experts recommend you try not to brush too excessively or too hard. This can abrade enamel. Anything that boosts the beauty of your smile is worth looking into.

In the quest for good dental hygiene, you may find yourself trying to decide between using a manual or an electric toothbrush.


“A hygienist would say everybody should have an electric toothbrush,” said Dr. Patricia Takacs with Beaumont Family Dentistry. “You can’t push it too hard; it does what we can do with our drills; it polishes like we can polish; it can get below the gum line. But I still use manual toothbrushes.”


The American Dental Association (ADA) says manual toothbrushes can be just as effective as powered ones. According to Consumer Reports, a recent study showed electric toothbrushes reduced dental plaque 21 percent more and gingivitis or inflammation of the gums 11 percent more than a manual toothbrush after three months of use. What makes the difference is the brusher. Proper brushing technique is important whether you plug your toothbrush in or use your own power.


Toothbrushes have come a long way from the days when people used twigs stripped of their bark to clean their teeth. The earliest bristle toothbrushes were created in China in the 7th century. The first U.S. patent for a toothbrush was granted to H.N. Wadsworth in 1857. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies toothbrushes as medical devices, but they are generally considered to pose little harm to anyone and are subject to the least amount of regulatory control.   

BRUSH UP ON THE ELECTRIC VS. MANUAL DEBATE

An electric toothbrush can do almost 30,000 strokes per minute, compared to the manual average of 300 to 600 strokes per minute. There are several different types of electric toothbrushes. One type has a rotary brush that moves in a circular motion at 3,000 to 7,500 strokes per minute. Some toothbrush heads move in alternate directions; this is called rotation oscillation. Sonic toothbrushes use a side-to-side motion at about 31,000 brush strokes per minute. An ultrasonic electronic toothbrush has side-to-side motions that create vibrations that dislodge plaque. None of these are more highly touted over the other, so the choice about whether to go manual or electric is strictly up to you. One disadvantage is the cost. A top-quality electric toothbrush can cost up to $100 or more. As with regular toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads have to be replaced every few months.


If you have trouble physically moving your toothbrush around your mouth – perhaps because you have a touch of arthritis – an electric toothbrush can be a great asset. Children may enjoy using an electric toothbrush that features their favorite cartoon character. Also, an electric device with a timer can help them brush for the recommended two-plus minutes, which isn’t a bad idea for adults, either, since many people underestimate how much time they actually

TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler