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Breast cancer: communicating with your treatment team matters

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There’s no right or wrong way to react to a breast cancer diagnosis. Once it’s time to begin treatment, however, effective and open communication between patients and their health care team is crucial. Patients who communicate well with their teams have been shown to deal with pain and treatment side effects better.

Be transparent
While they may be experts in their respective fields, the members on your team can’t guess what your worries or questions are. Without your full disclosure they won’t be able to adapt their approach, adequately reassure you or correctly inform you. Don’t feel like the onus is exclusively on you, however. If a member of your team isn’t receptive to your con¬cerns, bring it up with someone in charge.

Once treatment begins, be sure to share new information about your situation with your team. Let them know if you’re having trouble getting around or even if you have upcoming travel plans or events to attend. They’ll be able to suggest personalized solutions to help you better navigate your treatment period.

Expect transparency
Your health care team is responsible for providing you with all the information you need to make informed choices about your treatment. They’re required to lay out every option available to you as well as their potential benefits and risks. Ask for clarification when needed and don’t hesitate to request medical professionals repeat themselves if there’s something you didn’t catch.

Openly communicating with your health care team is an effective way to feel more in control of your treatment. It also allows you to build a trusting relationship with the professionals helping you, which is likely to reduce the stress and worry associated with your breast cancer treatment.

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Swim to stay in shape and slow down aging

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According to a recent study, people who swim three to five times a week showed delayed changes in traditional aging indicators such as loss of muscle mass, high blood pressure and reduced lung capacity. If you’re a senior who’s looking for a way to stay in shape, here’s why swimming may be right for you.

1. It’s low impact
Swimming is gentle on the body and over time, it can improve your flexibility. The water supports your weight and takes the strain off your limbs and joints, making it a great activity for those who struggle with joint pain or mobility issues.

2. It helps in maintaining a healthy weight
Even a leisurely swim is enough to burn a significant number of calories. Water is nearly 800 times denser than air and provides enough resistance to make even low-impact, gentle swimming a good way to shed a few pounds and help you maintain a healthy weight.

3. It improves cardiovascular and respiratory health
While high intensity swims are great for increasing your fitness level, you don’t need to get your heart pounding to reap the benefits. Regular swims, even gentle ones, can help your heart and lungs stay healthier.

4. It improves mental health
Like most physical activities, swimming can help improve your mental health. In addition, since water-based exercise is gentler on your body than other types, you can reap these benefits without risking getting injured.

5. It’s affordable
All you need is a bathing suit, a cap, a pair of goggles and access to a pool. No expensive equipment required.

Finally, visiting the pool on a regular basis may lead to you forming new friendships. This lends a social dimension to your swimming sessions that makes them all the more beneficial.

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Lingzhi mushroom: is it right for you?

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A staple of oriental medicine, lingzhi mushrooms are often sold as supplements. The fungus, also known as reishi, is thought to provide a host of health benefits.

There is evidence to suggest that lingzhi mushrooms can indeed bolster the immune system, reduce inflammation and help treat urinary tract infections. However, evidence for these claims is thin, and until more studies are conducted, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional to find out if lingzhi supplements are right for you.

In addition, some proponents hold that reishi may help treat cancer, for which there’s no strong evidence. A few studies suggest it may be a helpful complement to a more standard treatment, but it can’t replace it.

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4 reasons to swap your tampons for a menstrual cup

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While menstrual cups are increasingly popular, many women hesitate to make the switch. Here are four arguments that may convince you.

1. They’re affordable
Purchasing a menstrual cup means you won’t need to allocate part of your monthly budget to pads and tampons. A single menstrual cup costs around $30 and can last for as long as 10 years before it needs to be replaced.

2. They’re eco friendly

Disposable pads and tampons generate considerable waste. Reusable ones use up a lot of water and soap. By contrast, menstrual cups are an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.

3. They’re comfortable
When inserted according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing a menstrual cup. Plus, cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, meaning you can sleep through the night without ever worrying about leaks or having to get up and change your tampon or pad.

4. They’re easy to maintain
Most cups are made of either silicone or latex and require minimal maintenance. Simply wash yours with mild soap and water whenever you empty it. After your period, sterilize the cup by boiling it in water for a few minutes.

Additionally, menstrual cups are hypoallergenic and a less abrasive type of product than disposable tampons and pads. But regardless of what product you choose, to prevent infections, make sure to always wash your hands before and after you use it.

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STIs: a blind spot in elderly care

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It’s estimated that by 2030, over 20 percent of American citizens will be 65 or older. The growth of the senior population is likely to come with a number of challenges, one of which will be managing the increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among this group.

Seniors and STIs
According to a 2007 study, three quarters of seniors aged 57 to 64 are sexually active, and over half of those aged 65 to 74 are. (The availability of performance-enhancing drugs is likely driving the increase in sexual activity among seniors.)

At the same time, the rate of STIs is climbing in adults who are over 45 years old. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that people aged 50 and over account for 15 percent of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses.

A difficult topic for seniors
There are many factors that make it difficult to address the issue of STIs in seniors. For starters, they typically don’t consider themselves as being at risk for STIs and HIV/AIDS.

Furthermore, some individuals feel guilt or shame when noticing symptoms such as a rash or discharge. Others may mistakenly blame aging for signs of a health problem and therefore disregard them.

Finally, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors may face social stigmas when discussing their sexual health.

Institutional and social barriers
Most concerning is the lack of resources devoted to the sexual heath of the elderly population. According to some reports, seniors are excluded from close to 75 percent of clinical trials related to STI treatment and risk reduction. What’s worse is that healthcare professionals themselves often avoid discussing elderly patients’ sexual health.

Finally, though information is key in fighting the spread of STIs among seniors, there’s a noticeable lack of sexual education programs tailored to them.

Seniors need to practice safe sex and remember to discuss matters pertaining to their sexual health during doctors’ visits. As uncomfortable as it may be, there needs to a change in the way we deal with aging and sexuality. Doing so will ensure that our elders receive the care they deserve.

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Can you drive if you have epilepsy?

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Individuals afflicted with a seizure disorder may be able to drive in some cases, either with a regular license or one that imposes certain restrictions. While the specifics are regulated by state legislation, in general, those with epilepsy may be able to drive if:

• They’re on medication that prevents seizures
• They haven’t had a seizure in a certain number of months (it can range from three to 24, depending on state laws)

• They only have nocturnal seizures
• Their seizures don’t impact their consciousness or cognition
• They submit medical reports attesting to their competence

In all cases, those with a seizure disorder should confer with their doctor when determining whether or not it’s safe for them to drive. However, even if the doctor attests that the individual can drive safely, the final decision rests with the state licensing agency.

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5 facts about testosterone

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Testosterone is often associated with stereotypically male traits like impulsiveness, competitiveness and a high sex drive. However, this hormone is a lot more complex than you think. Here are five interesting facts about it.

1. Peak levels. Testosterone levels peak at around 30 years of age. After that, they drop off steadily at a rate of about one percent a year.

2. Not just a male hormone. Women also produce testosterone. However, they do so at a rate of six to 10 times less than men.

3. Anabolic steroid. Testosterone is often used in supplement form by athletes looking to increase their muscle mass quickly. These supplements come with a number of serious side effects, many of which are life threatening.

4. Role in fetal development. Fetuses developing into baby boys will begin producing testosterone during the seventh week of pregnancy, around the time the testicles begin to form. Before this, there’s no difference between a male and female fetus.

5. Production. Testosterone is chiefly produced by the testicles, with the adrenal glands also producing a small amount. Hormone production itself is regulated by two glands located at the base of the brain: the hypothalamus and the pituitary.

Worries about low testosterone levels are common, especially as men get older. However, keep in mind that it’s a complex hormone that performs multiple functions within the human body. Many conditions can affect your testosterone levels, so always consult a doctor if you have concerns and steer clear of herbal remedies and fad diets that purport to boost its production.

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King Cartoons

‘Tis the Season

video

Front Royal
33°
Rain
07:2216:51 EST
Feels like: 33°F
Wind: 0mph SSE
Humidity: 75%
Pressure: 30.36"Hg
UV index: 0
FriSatSun
38/36°F
50/39°F
46/33°F

Quotes

Upcoming Events

Dec
13
Fri
6:00 pm Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Dec 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Ruby Yoga will host a Holiday Open House Friday, Dec. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m. with free gentle yoga starting at 6:20, followed by refreshments and door prize drawings.
7:30 pm Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Blue Ridge Singers presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “Canticum Novum:  Sing a New Song” featuring some of the finest Christmas choral music across the centuries at one of the most popular events in[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]
11:00 am Saturday with Santa @ Warren County Community Center
Saturday with Santa @ Warren County Community Center
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Saturday with Santa @ Warren County Community Center
Bring the kids and your camera for yummy snacks, crafts, and a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus! All are welcome!
1:00 pm “Clara, Little Mouse & the Golde... @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
“Clara, Little Mouse & the Golde... @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Dec 14 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
"Clara, Little Mouse & the Golden Key" @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Join us for this original version of the timeless story ballet The Nutcracker Suite. Follow Clara and Little Mouse on a journey to find what the Golden Key unlocks… Christmas will never be the same[...]
Dec
15
Sun
4:00 pm R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas Concert @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
The local community is invited to join the Randolph-Macon Academy family for an afternoon of holiday spirit with the R-MA Band and Chorus! The annual R-MA Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 15th,[...]
Dec
17
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 17 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
7:30 pm Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert | Presented by the American Legion Community Band Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus in Front Royal, VA
Dec
18
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 18 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
19
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 19 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]