Archive for Fitness and Health

Just Out: New Book On Solving Health Care Crisis

I just read about the new book, Solving America’s Health Care Crisis by Dan Perrin and Pat Rooney, in the Downsize DC newsletter. Downsize DC is an organization with principles of downsizing government and personal responsibility that I support. So I went to Amazon to check out the reader reviews. The book is new – released May 2 – so there aren’t a lot, but all eight of them are 5-star ratings.

I’ll be checking this out. Health care in the US clearly needs an overhaul, and Euro-style social medicine is equally clearly not a useful answer. Government never, ever, runs anything like health care (or education, welfare, or anything else) effectively, instead creating an ever-growing bureaucracy that produces less and less for more and more dollars. Hopefully Perrin and Rooney and provided a roadmap to a system that gets people the health care they need with the proper incentives to keep costs under control.

New Prostate Cancer Test Show Promise

A little over a year ago I lost a long-time friend and mentor to prostate cancer. He was a relatively young, healthy 60 years old. He was diagnosed in August of last year. He died in January. By the time he died the cancer had spread to his lungs and his brain. His loss will be felt for a long, long time.

The statistics on prostate cancer are discouraging – it’s the most common malignancy among American men. The treatments are barbaric, and our ability to diagnose early or with any specificity is poor, at best. But there is good news on the horizon.

As reported at MedicineNet, a new protein, called prostate cancer antigen-2 (EPCA-2), looks like it’s going to provide a far more accurate marker for cancer cells than the common PSA test:

“We’ve been able to show that blood levels of it are low in normal individuals and high in prostate cancer, and that it distinguishes between cancers that are confined to the prostate and those that have spread outside the gland,” explained study lead researcher Dr. Robert H. Getzenberg, professor of urology and director of research at Johns Hopkins University’s James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, in Baltimore.His team published its findings in the May issue of Urology.


Spotting especially life-threatening prostate tumors is “the holy grail” of diagnosis, he said. Current PSA testing cannot distinguish between cancers that will grow so slowly that they pose no danger to life and those that require quick action. The hope is that the ECPA-2 test will identify men whose slow-growing cancers make them candidates for “watchful waiting” rather than immediate surgery or other treatment.

Speaking of curing cancer, if you want to donate to one of the world’s most efficient charities (by efficient I mean in excess of $.90 of every dollar goes directly to research) Seth has his Pan-Mass Challenge page up. All proceeds go to the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

I Stye

A couple of weeks ago I was on a flight from STL to ATL and my left eye was really bothering me – felt like I had something in my eye the whole trip, but I couldn’t find it. When we landed I went to the restroom and managed to see that I had what I can only describe as an in-grown eyelash. It was sort of curled back in on itself and part of it was caught under the eyelid causing irritation.

styeSo I managed to get ahold of it and pull it out. Actually, it pretty much fell out when I touched it. And all was right with the world. Until yesterday. My eye got sore yesterday morning. By afternoon I had developed a whopping stye in exactly the same place as that in-grown eyelash. Boy, does that hurt. According to AllAboutVision the best treatment is mostly doing nothing – maybe use a little ointment or eyedrops to increase comfort. I have antibiotic opthalmic ointments and homeopathic eyedrops. Guess that’s all I can do for it at the moment.

It’s a beautiful day for a motorcycle ride, but I’m not sure I want to ride with only one good eye…