If you’ve been reading Ciao, Cancer!, you know I love coffee. And so of course I had to share with you the latest news about this very special substance. Coffee Drinkers May Live Longer is the title of an article published in today’s New York Times. It’s worth a read, but here are some highlights:
A graduate student and director of a women’s health care center is working on a survey about women and mammograms. All information is confidential and the survey can be filled out anonymously. Here you go: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BTJ5664Q7
The New York Times reported today that a massive, government-funded study has revealed that annual lung CT scans for current and former heavy smokers can result in a 20% reduction in mortality. That’s great news, since there hasn’t been any effective tool for early detection of lung cancer. But there’s something we need to know–or figure out–and that’s who’s going to pay for it?
I didn’t get much sleep last night. After throwing my back out the night before, and things worsening throughout the day, I couldn’t find a position that would make the pain go away.
At six this morning, I decided to throw in the towel. I’ll get out of bed and make some coffee, I thought. But as I tried to sit up, an excruciating surge of pain went through my back. I knew right away I’d need to see a professional. But where to find one? I didn’t know. That’s when Facebook came to mind.
Last week I learned from my cardiologist that there are two ways elevated cholesterol levels can kill me. The first is by increasing the likelihood of a heart attack. The second is at the hands of my doctor, should I continue to refuse to follow his advice. In his two-year battle to put me on a statin drug, the heart attack argument never worked, but his demonstrated aggravation in our Wednesday morning appointment went the distance toward securing his victory. As I walked to the pharmacy to drop off my prescription, I asked myself why this doctor is so doggedly committed to ensuring my good health—especially given my resistance to following his advice—and pondered over whether we as patients can actually affect the quality of care we receive. After cogitating on this over the weekend, I came to a conclusion—an emphatic yes—and identified things we can do to ensure first-class treatment.
I had just finished my first cup of joe yesterday—a morning ritual of great importance to me—when I stumbled upon a Reuters story that said there was no link between coffee consumption in men and prostate cancer. Coffee, in this case, was vindicated, but I wasn’t aware that it had been a suspect, at least not for several years. A number of recent studies have shown that coffee—and most likely caffeine—has a protective effect against certain types of cancer; others show no association between coffee and a broad range of cancers. Since I consume so much of the stuff, I thought I’d best do a little digging, and I must say that I was pretty surprised by what I learned.
I love public service announcements, especially when they’re for causes closest to my heart. Here you can watch girls swoon over Zac Efron as he steps into an elevator. This happens to me all the time.
Several years ago I came to terms with the fact that despite my distaste for getting up early in the morning, living in New York City makes you do it, and my choice was either to move or learn how to cope. I didn’t want to leave, so I turned to one of the most powerful, natural tonics mother nature has kindly provided humankind: coffee. If I don’t get my morning dose of—get ready—four cups, I’m neurologically dysfunctional, tired, and grumpy. But this past Saturday, for reasons I will explain in due course, was entirely different. I jumped out of bed at 5:45am, was out the door half-an-hour later with less than a single cup ingested, and—are you ready for this?—I was happy.