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Making the Right Choices for Your Health

by Editorial Team September 18th, 2018 | Common Conditions
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In the times of our lives, we are all faced with the occasional big decision.  Often these are health related choices that can mean life, or death.  These vital moments of choice can often determine the destiny of not only the decision makers, but also the folks around them who can somehow be affected by it.  Parents have to make these types of health decisions for their children all the time.  So let’s examine the fundamentals of some of these choices and see if there are some signs to help us better decide what should be done.

To Operate or Not to Operate

Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, is basically about a man who can’t make up his mind, and if you listen to enough doctors opining on the efficacy of surgery, you might say the same of them.  That’s because opinions on cutting cancerous tissue out of your body are changing a lot these days.

Until recently, when it came to men’s health issues, if a blood test showed a level of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) above 4 nanograms-per-milliliter of blood, alarm bells went off.  A nanogram is a billionth of a gram, so this is an incredibly tiny amount of that antigen.  Yet, surgeons could point to studies where if that level of antigen were present in the blood, a biopsy of the prostate would reveal cancerous tissue about 40% of the time.

So the procedure was: 1. blood test, 2. high PSA, 3. Prostate biopsy, 4. cancer detected, and then – cut, cut, cut.

However, further studies started to reveal other data that seemed to question that inflexible procedure.  Long-term research revealed an alarming fact about men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer, but who did not elect to have surgery – a majority of them lived long lives (past 85-years-old) and did not die from prostate cancer.

As a matter of fact, the men who were cancer-diagnosed and did not have surgery tended to live longer than men who did have their prostates removed.  This has turned traditional surgical prostate cancer procedures from certainty to debatable in recent years.

There are also changing opinions concerning women who have mammograms that reveal irregularities in their breasts.  For years, the standard procedure has been to perform a breast biopsy and examine the extracted tissue for cancer.  If the disease was detected, it was off with the breast, as quickly as possible, no questions asked.

However recent studies have questioned whether this quick removal is the best answer for all women, every time.  Often times, if the woman is past 50-years old, or has had a hysterectomy, she will be taking Estradiol, to replace lost estrogen hormones.  These studies found that if the woman stops taking the estrogen hormones, the cancerous lump often disappears in about 3 months.  And then there is no need for surgery whatsoever.

So if your doctor gives you the horrifying news of a cancer diagnosis, and is urging you to have surgery immediately, at the very least, get another opinion.  He may just be a little behind on boat payments?

Choosing the Right Foods

There are so many opinions on what are the healthiest and proper foods these days that you’d need a dedicated app just to collate and organize all the data.  If you tried to read every new research study on every type of food you’d be too paranoid to eat anything.

First eggs, and nuts, were bad for your, because?  Cholesterol.  But now it turns out we need cholesterol to contribute to the membrane structure of crucial cells.

Eating absolutely nothing but raw foods was supposed to be the very best thing you could possibly do for a healthier lifestyle.  But now research tells us that abstaining from cooked foods can rob us of the vitamin D, which is released by cooking vegetables, necessary for absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth.

The best advice on food?  Try not to eat too much of it.

Which is Better; Dental Implants or Bridges?

For years the standard dental procedure when you lost a permanent tooth was to install a bridge to replace the tooth between two other capped teeth.  But now the dental implant, which surgically replaces the root of the tooth in the jawbone, is challenging that once conventional tooth replacement procedure.

According to Dr. Christopher Omeltschenko from TotalDentistryCincinnati.com: “Dental implants are the best option to replace missing teeth because they look, feel and act closest to your natural teeth.  Dental implants adhere to the jaw bone, making them permanent and long-lasting.”

They may cost a little more but research shows that implants outlast dental bridges by a considerable period of time.  So if you need to have a tooth extracted, make sure you explore all of the latest options for replacing it.

Brought to you by our friends at TotalDentistryCincinnati.com.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.