Health Updates 23 June 2011

  • Mental health advocates opening up to remove stigma: “The nation’s mental health system is a shambles, they say, criminalizing many patients and warehousing some of the most severe in nursing and group homes where they receive care from workers with minimal qualifications.  Moreover, the enduring stigma of mental illness teaches people with such a diagnosis to think of themselves as victims, snuffing out the one thing that can motivate them to find treatment: hope”. (NY Times)
  • Country singer Glen Campbell reveals he has Alzheimer’s: “‘Glen is still an awesome guitar player and singer,’ the musician’s wife, Kim Campbell, told People magazine.  ‘But if he flubs a lyric or gets confused onstage, I wouldn’t want people to think, ‘What’s the matter with him? Is he drunk?”” (ABC News)
  • Older people less likely to spot melanomas: “Studies have found that at least half of all primary cutaneous melanomas are initially detected by the patient. ‘Melanoma outcome is strongly determined by tumor thickness at the time of diagnosis.  As such, there is considerable interest in improving melanoma outcomes through regular examinations of patients by dermatologists’.”  Skin care cancer and surveillance efforts need to focus on patients 50 years and older; seeking timely consultation for suspicious lesions may result in more successful treatment.  “Skin cancer surveillance efforts should focus on patients 50 and older as they are more likely to have difficulty spotting melanomas on their own”. (Chris Kaiser, MedPage Today)
  • Potatoes aren’t friendly to the waistline: “Daily consumption of an extra serving of spuds – French fries, crispy chips, mashed with butter and garlic, or simply boiled and baked – was found to cause more weight gain than downing an additional 12-ounce can of a sugary drink or taking an extra helping of red or processed meats”.  (LA Times)

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