Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Healthy Habits: Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. On any given Sunday 1 in 7 men watching an NFL game will be diagnosed with this disease, but the odds increase to 1 in 5 if they are African American and 1 in 3 if they have a family history. These are stats that no one wants to see up on a scoreboard.
An estimated 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2017. Prostate cancer is also the third leading cause of cancer-related death among men, and there are often no symptoms. 
Early detection for prostate cancer is key, which is why, for the ninth year, the National Football League has teamed up with the Urology Care Foundation—the official foundation of the American Urological Association—on the Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer® campaign, an initiative to encourage men to know their prostate cancer risk and to talk to their doctor about whether prostate cancer testing is right for them. The campaign is led by Pro Football Hall of Famer and prostate cancer survivor, Michael Haynes.

In this interview Michael Haynes is joined by Brian McNeil, M.D. - Chief of Urology at The University Hospital of Brooklyn to discuss the risks for prostate cancer and the importance of early detection. Michael’s story gives hope to those newly diagnosed or in treatment, and also reminds families to talk about their health history. Remember, one new case occurs every 2.4 minutes and a man dies from prostate cancer every 19.1 minutes. Don’t sit on the sidelines, join Michael and learn about the winning game plan for prostate cancer and to save lives.

Station note: This interview is brought to you by the American Urological Association.

 About Michael Haynes: Michael is a former National Football League cornerback who played for the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Raiders. His professional football career began when he was selected in the 1976 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997. Haynes, a prostate cancer survivor, is the spokesperson for the Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer® campaign and speaks on their behalf to educate and encourage men to be proactive about their prostate health.

 About Brian McNeil, M.D.: Dr. McNeil is Chief of Urology at The University Hospital of Brooklyn; Vice Chairman, Assistant Program Director and Assistant Professor at SUNY Downstate Medical Center Department of Urology. Dr. McNeil participated in translational research evaluating novel markers of bladder cancer, collaborating with scientists at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at The University of Ghana. He undertook this research while at The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at John Hopkins. He is also is focused on increasing awareness regarding the various treatment modalities for urologic cancer in the Brooklyn community. Dr. McNeil lost his father at the age of 15 to advanced prostate cancer. Each day as a urologist helps him achieve his dream of helping families with members afflicted with urologic malignancies enjoy life a bit more than untreated disease would allow.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Nook: Where's Halmoni

I recently had a chance to review a cute book called Where's Halmoni? This bright book is written in a graphic-novel style, and is fun for all ages. The graphic-novel style will appeal to a little bit older readers, but the writing is appropriate for younger readers as well. There are all sorts of "Easter eggs" and things to discover throughout the book, meaning that adults will enjoy reading it with their children and kids will discover new things over several readings.

The book is a good way to introduce elements of Korean culture, with a variety of characters inspired by Korean folklore and two young Korean siblings who are bravely searching for their grandmother. The dialogue between the siblings is fun and believable, and the illustrations are full of action and imagination.

Julie Kim is an author and illustrator living in Seattle. WA. She has published with Cricket magazine, Scholastic, and Mondo. Where's Halmoni? is her authorial debut. Visit her online at JulieKimIllustrations.com.

Little Bigfoot, the children's
book imprint of Sasquatch Books, introduces the wonder found in the Pacific Northwest to young children and their families across the country. Based in Seattle, they publish high quality, enduring books for children of all ages that showcase the tremendous talent of the region through highly visual, engaging books.

Caring Causes: Kids Helping Kids By Writing Jokes

With the help from dozens of kids from two years old to teens the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation has collected family-friendly jokes for three new joke books recently released in time for National Literacy Month, which is recognized in September.
The joke books provide smiles and laughter while encouraging early reading among children, an important factor in the health of a child. In addition, proceeds from the books will be used to fund child medical grants for families around Florida.
The three joke books – Cool Jokes for SummerSweets, Treats & Eats, and Holidays, Celebrations & Birthday Jokes each include more than 300 hilarious jokes.  The books are ideal for children ages 4 to 12, and are available on Amazon for 5.99 each.
UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is currently accepting child medical grant applications atwww.uhccf.org.
Since 2007, UHCCF has awarded 14,000 grants valued at over $37 million to children and their families across the United States.  Grants are typically used to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.

Healthy Habits: Sunscreen Reminders

As we move into the fall and winter seasons, it's easy to forget sunscreen in many areas of the country when it's cooler. While the UV rays may be less, sun protection is still important (and in snowy areas the snow can actually reflect more sun back onto the skin; I've had friends get sunburned after a day of skiing or snowboarding).

According to The American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

Here are some tips from Brevard, Florida-based Dr. Richard C. Kirkpatrick who, being in Florida, sees many melanoma patients.  According to Dr. Kirkpatrick, "Understanding both application frequency and amount is essential to proper sun care. You cannot have one without the other."

·         Limit sun exposure, particularly between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun's harmful UV rays are the strongest and most damaging to your skin.
·         Apply sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
·         Use a golf ball-sized amount (1 oz.) each time you apply or reapply sunscreen.
·         Sunscreen should be broad-spectrum, at least SPF 30 and water-resistant to help protect from UVA and UVB rays.
·         Remember, spray-on sunscreens MUST be rubbed into the skin to be effective.
·         Your lips need protection, too—use an SPF 15 or higher lip balm.

If you're traveling, stick sunscreens may be easier to deal with - less likely to leak and better for getting through TSA checkpoints. Ocean Potion, No-Ad, and Bullfrog, as well as many other manufacturers, make stick sunscreen.

Parenting Pointers: More Back-to-School with Ereka Vetrini

On Wednesday, September 6th, Ereka Vetrini, the host of TLC’s Sunday Brunch shared her back-to-school survival guide for all things classroom 101. She offered insights on everything from keeping your kids entertained and educated to staying healthy inside and out of the classroom. With this variety of great tips, you may find that your kids could even want to go back to the classroom!
Ereka covers:
  • Educational and entertaining app’s for your kids
  • Ways to keep your kids and family healthy
  • Fun ways to give back when buying your back to school supplies

Station Note: This segment is provided by ZiMAD Games, Lysol, and Nix®

Book Nook: Mackenzie Goes Adventuring

Mackenzie Goes Adventuring is an imaginative new book that I got to review. The action takes place in Snookton, a happy town full of Snookies (a word that makes me smile just like wookie and cookie). One day, Mackenzie convinces a friend to take a new way home, despite the warnings by their teacher to stay on the right path. They encounter danger and delight, and still need to make their way home.

Along their journey, they meet friends who ultimately show them the value of education, paying attention, and making wise decisions. It's an important lesson for children of all ages, and this book is appropriate for early elementary readers - a little bit long for the youngest readers, although the images are captivating enough that it would work as a parent-read book for younger kids. The story is relatable - what kid doesn't dream of going a different way and discovering new things? It's also appropriately cautionary without being scary or boring.

The edition available at the website is a softcover binding with tear-resistant pages and will come signed by the author.

J.L. Baumann is the author of the children’s book Mackenzie Goes Adventuring (www.snookton.com) and numerous works for adults, including A Gothic Rendezvous and Sonnets of the Provocative Kind. He is the father of four children, all of whom were home schooled, and has a background in accounting. He is also the founder of Prosperity Financial Services Inc.

Book Nook: Max and Bird

Children's picture books are fun to review, so I was happy to review Max and Bird, a new picture book featuring Max the Cat. This time, the lovable kitty decides to make friends with a bird, even though he wants to eat Bird. Bird wants to fly, but he's a little bit afraid to, and also a little bit afraid (naturally) that Max will eat him.

It's a cute little book that will delight kids with the unexpected - Max trying to learn to fly right along with Bird, and the idea of a bird and a cat being friends. The simple bold illustrations go well with the story and add to the enjoyment for parents and children.

Ed Vere is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Max the Brave(Sourcebooks, 2015), which was also named one of the Sunday Times’s 100 Modern Children’s Classics.
His book ‘Mr Big’ was chosen by Book Trust as the official Booktime book for 2009 and was distributed to 750,000 British schoolchildren, making it the largest single print run of a picture book. Vere was also the World Book Day illustrator for 2009. In addition to writing and illustrating children’s books, Vere is also a painter and is represented by galleries in London and Los Angeles. He lives in London.

Parenting Pointers: Embracing Your Future Post-Divorce

When your divorce is finally final, how do you begin again? The transition can be liberating for some, daunting for others. Mixed feelings – anger, relief, sadness, joy, fear and uncertainty – are common and may take time to sort out.
Meanwhile, the clock on your new life is ticking, and regardless of your emotions, it is time for a freedom-inspired relaunch, says Jacqueline Newman, a Manhattan-based divorce lawyer and author of Soon To Be Ex: A Guide to Your Perfect Divorce & Relaunch(www.Jacquelinenewman.com).
The divorce proceedings – all the time spent with your attorney and in court,  all the hours burned while considering highly emotional and financial factors, from the impact on your children to the division of assets – put a big part of your life on hold, not to mention a major strain on it. And now with the difficult process over, Newman says, it is important to focus on creating a brand new you.   
 “The last umpteen months have been about your kids, your ex, and your divorce,” says Newman, “thus, a little ‘me’ time is in order. Here is an opportunity to be free from having to answer to anyone but yourself. So live your life to its fullest.”
Newman’s message is that divorce does not have to be the worst thing that could have happened to you. There are silver linings as you begin to take control of what you can, and she offers three tips on how to relaunch after a divorce.
     •    Treat yourself.  Right out of the divorce gate, buy something meaningful for yourself. Lose the guilt your ex made you feel for spending on clothes or expensive shoes. Your gift could be something symbolic and therapeutic that fires a shot back at your ex. “I would absolutely recommend you buy yourself a divorce present of some kind,” Newman says. “You deserve it. One woman I represented was constantly mocked by her husband during their marriage for being flat-chested. It is easy to guess what she bought as soon as her cash payment cleared.”
   •      Embrace singlehood. This does not mean you have to hug your first post-divorce dinner partner. It means embracing a new stage of discovery, with the different, interesting people you meet while dating becoming part of your growth.  Newman recommends online dating as a way to “relearn how to date.” Many newly divorced people feel insecure about dating, but Newman suggests learning about people outside your comfort zone. And rather than trying to focus on finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, Newman says, “Give yourself some time to look around and meet different types of people. You may learn something that can broaden your perspective on life. If you can start seeing relationships not as the goal but as opportunities for growth, then you can start being more accepting with the outcome of each relationship.”
   •      Expand your freedom.  Use your new windows of time to catch up with friends you have not seen. Newman recommends Facebook as an easy way to reconnect. On weekends when the ex has the kids, strengthen your friendship circle and broaden it. Explore and re-discover yourself. Pursue new hobbies or renew ones you did not have as much time for in marriage. Advance your career. “Your post-divorce life is offering you a chance to go after the promotion you have been dreaming about,” Newman says.
            By doing the things you long wanted to do, you can find the new you. 
“You are free to be who you are without judgment from a spouse,” Newman says, “and to do whatever you want. Learn to love yourself.”

                                           About Jacqueline Newman
Jacqueline Newman, author of Soon To Be Ex: A Guide to Your Perfect Divorce & Relaunch (www.Jacquelinenewman.com), is the managing partner of Berkman Bottger Newman & Rodd, LLP, a New York divorce law firm. Ms. Newman has been an expert commentator on various television and radio shows, and she has been quoted as an expert in numerous publications, including U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, USA Today, Time.com, Yahoo Parenting, Woman’s Day, CNBC.com, The New York Post, Reuters.com and The Huffington Post.

Book Nook: Good Night, I Love You - A Widow's Awakening from Pain to Purpose

Sometimes I review books that are hard to read, but still very much worth while. That was the case with  Good Night, I Love You by Jene’ Ray Barranco. When the author's husband died suddenly and unexpectedly, she wrote a book about the grief that threatened to take over, and the perceived silence of God through this monumentally difficult experience.

Originally she wrote as a way to cope through her pain, and the stress of being a newly single mom to three teenagers. The book is a compilation of what she wrote during those times, and offers a raw, honest look at her grieving process and coming to terms with her loss. Along the way, readers will see not only her grief journey, but how it shaped her faith and relationship with God. She explores what it means to live a meaningful life and be depending on God and His will and plan.

I have a friend who lost her husband several years ago, and while grieving is a very personal thing, I know enough about her journey to know that this book captures many universal feelings of love and pain, struggling with being a newly single parent and working to shape a new identity while still trusting in a loving God despite the sorrow. This is a good read for anyone, but especially for those who have experienced loss or have a friend or family member who has.

Healthy Habits: How Heavy Is Your Child’s Backpack?

When kids carry more than 10% of their body weight, injuries can lead to health problems lasting into adulthood
Schools are in session across the U.S. and more than 79 million backpack-carrying students are settling into new routines – some of which include bringing the same items home each afternoon. Think the books and school supplies that your child is carrying in a backpack slung haphazardly across one shoulder are harmless? Think again. Heavy loads can cause injuries and low back pain that often lasts through adulthood.
“A child wearing a backpack incorrectly or that is too heavy can be contributing risk factors for discomfort, fatigue, muscle soreness, and musculoskeletal pain especially in the lower back,” says Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CPE, clinical professor of occupational therapy at Boston University, and an expert on school ergonomics and healthy growth and development of school-age children.
Luckily, preventing discomfort and pain is simple. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offers the following tips for keeping kids safe while toting books to and from school:
  • Always select a backpack that is the correct size for your child.
  • Make sure the height of the backpack extends from approximately 2 inches below the shoulder blades to waist level, or slightly above the waist.
  • Always wear well-padded shoulder straps on both shoulders so the weight is evenly balanced.
  • Distribute weight evenly. Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back and balance materials so the child can easily stand up straight.
  • Wear the hip belt if the backpack has one, to improve balance and take some strain off sensitive neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Check that the child’s backpack weighs no more than 10% of his or her body weight. If it weighs more, determine what supplies can stay at home or at school each day to lessen the load.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy for the child, consider a book bag on wheels.
Thousands of students, educators, parents, and health professionals will mark National School Backpack Awareness Day on Sept. 20 with backpack weigh-ins, backpack check-ups, activities, and special events.
To learn more about National School Backpack Awareness Day, visit www.aota.org/backpack.
Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 213,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to www.aota.org.