Each Spring for the past four years I have made a 3-4 day trip to Arizona with my son, Ari, now 18, to be a baseball fan and attend Spring Training games. This year we saw three games at three different stadiums. Each time the look of the crowd was different and, unfortunately, the waistlines of the men got progressively bigger. I am worried about them. At the first game was the typical Seattle crowd – pretty active folks and not a lot of obesity. But game #2 the next day was in fashionable Scottsdale where San Francisco Giants fans...

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That day in April 1996 is still a vivid and unpleasant memory. That was the day my doctor told me I had leukemia, CLL, a disease I’d never heard of and had to work at understanding. Fortunately, over the almost 10 years since then, I connected with the very best experts in the field and was lucky enough to receive experimental therapy that has, so far, killed off millions of cancer cells and kept my leukemia at undetectable levels. I, like many of you, am in remission. But by no means do I think I am cured. I accept the...

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I have blogged before about my 12-year-old daughter Ruth and our 3-year battle against a rare gastrointestinal, usually autoimmune condition called eosinophilic gastroenteritis or “EG.” You may recall, it took us months to find out what we were dealing with, why Ruth’s stomach was painfully inflamed and why that inflammation led to chronic anemia that had to be corrected by periodic iron infusions. Ruth ended up missing 70 days of school last year, and you can imagine how that upended normal life in our family. Some of you are all too familiar with the anxiety of not knowing if this...

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Thousands of people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), both B-cell malignancies, are members of HealthTalk. Even though “cancer” isn’t in the name of our disease, we know we are cancer patients and survivors, even when some people we meet are clueless about exactly what we’ve got. Over time, we’ve been learning that various cancers are very different. Now it’s increasingly apparent that our B-cell conditions are not such a bad thing versus some other cancer types. Researchers say in our diseases there are proteins expressed by the cancerous B cells that can be targeted in a pretty...

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Friends and family call me these days for themselves and others when people are sick - usually very sick. The question from my mother-in-law the other night was typical: “Our friend was diagnosed with lung cancer years ago. Now it appears to have spread to several places around his body. How can he find a specialist who knows the latest on what can be done?” That’s a great question and implies that his regular doctor may not be in the know, which I will bet is probably true. Lung cancer is one of those diseases that’s very life-threatening, and any...

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You have probably heard by now that as many as 10 percent of women who develop breast cancer carry a gene that predisposed them to it. Dr. Mary Claire King in Seattle was instrumental in that discovery. Now Dr. King and other researchers have been looking at chimpanzees to see why they don’t get breast cancer, and the researchers are noticing subtle differences in otherwise similar genes. According to the study, posted on BiomedCentral: Cancer is a major medical problem in modern societies. However, the incidence of this disease in non-human primates is very low. To study whether genetic differences...

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Some people have been writing with questions about rare conditions. They are not confident their local doctor knows the latest. And if the condition could be fatal, they want to pursue an expert wherever they are. Here’s one approach: - Type in the name of your condition in Google or a similar search engine. - Look for articles that come up on respected sites such as on eMedicine. - Note the names of the authors of clinical studies cited. - Search on those first few names of studies that seem relevant. - If you can tie the expert to a...

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Last week, the U.S. Government revealed the results of an extensive study on glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis pain. The agency that released the information, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has also sponsored research about other natural medicines and their effectiveness, such as St. John's wort for depression and saw palmetto for prostate cancer. These studies seem to show we are spending $20 billion a year on pills and potions that don't work better than placebos. “Hogwash!” I hear you saying, because many people have seen benefit, from a little to a lot. So if you...

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Maybe you are like me this winter. I have had a cold that has dragged on for weeks. My nose ran, my sinuses hurt, then it got into my chest, and the hacking cough made it sound like I was dying. I lost my voice,  which was problematic because I host webcasts and radio. All this was happening while I needed to find a new primary care doctor. I wrote here previously that my doctor was moving, and I had been “assigned” by the clinic to Dr. C, who I did not know. So I called Dr. C’s office and...

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I just had to write this since I am from Seattle, home of the Super Bowl contending Seattle Seahawks. Hopefully, we will all watch them beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Then a worldwide audience will know Seattle not only for Starbucks and HealthTalk (smile), but also for excellence in NFL football. Now you may recall that I am a leukemia survivor (CLL), and having had a cold for a month, I haven’t felt the greatest. Since you are a HealthTalk reader, you may have serious health concerns that weigh on you and symptoms that go along with it. But...

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Page last updated on April 25, 2019