Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cognition Pharmaceuticals Reports its Lead Compound Statistically Significantly Improves Memory in Ills

Cognition Pharmaceuticals LLC of New York has reported very compelling results of a Phase II trial that demonstrated statistically significant results in a population of patients with cognitive decline associated with Multiple Sclerosis. The results are interesting on many levels. The trial failed to meet its primary end-points that were supposed to measure a drug effect on executive function but its secondary end-points that measured the drug’s effect on memory were significant. It seems Cognition may have had a case of asking the wrong question, but getting a better answer than they either hope for or expected. Cognition, it is time to change the hypothesis.

I tend to cast a jaundiced eye to trials with mixed results; however, the provenance of this agent is extraordinary. Its developers include Mark Bear, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience at MIT (the blog covered his pioneering work in identifying a path to curing Fragile X), Nobel Laureate, Leon Cooper and Neurosurgeon, Mel Epstein. This team represents the smartest kids in the class. The original theory of the compound’s mechanism of action was it would improve memory consolidation. This trial clearly illustrates that type of activity. The trial also confirms results from the compound's results animal models. The former CEO of the Sention, the company that originally developed the compound, commented in a recent book Can't Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Front Lines of Memory Research by Sue Halpern, that it, “…shot for the moon and missed.” In fact, Sention was probably on the mark and the compound was simply abandoned before broadly targeted trials were executed (Ms. Halpern, it is time to update your book before its next printing).

Central Nervous System (CNS) drug development is the Vietnam of the pharmaceutical industry. In the last year we have seen compounds from Myriad Genetics, Lexicon, Targacept (multiple indications), Memory Pharmaceuticals (multiple compounds and multiple indications), Nurochem, and Elan, all failed to meet primary end-points and almost all these compounds showed no signal in ills. Thankfully the C105 trial seems to have been well designed and executed. In a rare circumstance, a drug company maintained a mindset driven by science instead of marketing. This trial clearly demonstrates C105 is an active compound. Furthermore, the compound mechanism of action would argue a wide use across a wide variety of indications including but not limited to chemobrain, mild-Cognitive Impairment, cognitive impairment associated with Parkinson’s disease, cognitive impairment associated with Multiple Sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and Cognition believes childhood learning disabilities.

Given that C105 is a member of the widely used amphetamine family, the development risk for this compound should be limited. Given its safety profile is good, it could be broadly prescribed. Given the dearth of compounds available to treat cognitive conditions, neurologists and psychiatrists are largely confined to offering off-label scripts that have little if any effect on memory improvement such as modafinil (fatigue), anti-depressants and ADHD drugs (attention); this agent demands to be put into multiple trials across a range of illnesses as the patient community not only will desire it but they deserve it. This drug may address a range of underserved illnesses for patients with unmet needs. Time is of the essence.

I will follow-up on this trial once more information is available.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Holidays from The Healing Project

Everyone at the The Healing Project wishes that everyone in our community have the happiest and healthiest of Holidays.

Donations may be made online by following this link to make a donation.

If you don’t care to make an online donation, please feel free to send a donation by mail to:

The Healing Project Inc. (THP)
5 Laurel RdSouth Salem, NY 10590
EIN: 20-4345105
E-mail: -

THP is 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization; all donations are tax-deductible.

If your employer has a giving program, please be kind enough to apply for a matching donation.

Finally, if your company wishes to donate, please have its giving officer contact Melissa Marr, to discuss sponsorship.

Thank you so much for your generous support

May you also have a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Change Is Coming to the Veterans Administration

President-elect Obama has announced his new Secretary of Veterans Affairs and it is Gen. Eric Shinseki. He was severely wounded in Vietnam and spent 11 months in the hospital General Shinseki was the US Army Chief of Staff and was forced to retire by Donald Rumsfeld because he was not acting like part of the team. He dissented vigorously regarding the prosecution of the invasion of Iraq. His resolve cost him his job, and he has since been proven right.

His resolve will be tested again as the Bush Administration filled the VA with hacks, incompetents and apologists. James Nicholson followed the Bush party line right off a cliff. Then, General James Peake became Secretary. General Peake when in uniform, as the US Army Surgeon General, failed to acknowledge, prepare and deal with either Traumatic Brain Injury and mental health issues. As a civilian, he continued the policy as it might expose his incompetence. Hopefully, he will quickly retire from the practice of medicine, his tenure has been a disgrace.

General Shinseki should first resolve to clean-up the VAs administrative mess that fails to screen, admit and treat our wounded warriors. The VA would make Soviet apparatchiks blush with its indifference and ineffeciency. Second, he should immediately demote and fire the entire senior management of VA in mental health and traumatic brain injury. The signature injuries of OIF/OEF can be acknowledged and treated. The very capable staffs of many VA sites can be supplemented with civilian resources to get these service members squared away. The policy of denying benefits based on phony science and mindless research by both the DoD and VA can quickly come to an end. Finally, he must seek to chart an independent path; the DoD has an agenda quite seperate from treating and honoring our warriors.

Hopefully this action will signal to Military Health Systems that it is time to clean its house.


The Institute of Medicine reported this week Military personnel who suffer severe or moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) face an increased risk for developing several long-term health problems. This evidenced based study reported that conditions include Alzheimer's-like dementia, aggression, memory loss, depression, and symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease. Even mild TBI is associated with some of these adverse consequences, noted the committee that wrote the report.

In addition, the report notes that brain injuries sustained as a result of exposure to the force of an explosion without a direct strike to the head -- one of the most common perils for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan -- may be underdiagnosed due to the lack of research on blast injury. It calls for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to step up clinical and animal studies of blast-induced neurotrauma (BINT).

The Healing Project would go further and immediately screen and database the 300,000 to 400,000 service members exposed to blasts.

"Explosive devices and other weaponry have become more powerful and devastating throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are seeing much higher rates of nonpenetrating traumatic brain injury and blast-induced injury among military personnel who have served in these countries than in earlier wars," said George W. Rutherford, professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine and vice chair, department of epidemiology and biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, and chair of the committee that wrote the report. "It is important to identify and understand any long-term health effects of these injuries so that wounded service members do not lose valuable time for therapy and rehabilitation."

Studies conducted in Iraq by the Air Force Medical Service with the Headminder system would argue that up to 5% of exposures, that is 15,000 to 20,000 m-TBI injuries, would require additional follow-up. The DoD is only reporting 5,500 injuries total traumatic brain injuries. Furthermore, while animal studies are useful, replicating injuries in animals models are unlikely to provide necessary data to provide human clinical guidance. It is time to implement a web-centric longitudinal screening technology to track the evolution of these injuries in an epidemiologically sound fashion.

While we agree with the Institute in broad strokes, scientists and clinicians have been aware of the injuries and the likely outcome of these injuries since 2004. Neither the DoD or the VA has demonstrated any real interest in identifying or treating M-TBI dealing with its attendant co-morbidities. Both organizations have used research to delay the identification of and/or deny the very existence of the injuries. The report makes it clear blast concussion is not like a sports injury nor is it PTSD (two of the DoDs and VAs favorite excuses why they do nothing). Now that we have a change of government, it is time for Secretary of Defense Gates to clean out DoD HA and US Army Medcom. The delayers, the deniers and the dinosaurs need to be quickly cashiered and replaced by people who will get the job done now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1st through the 7th is National Aplastic Anemia and MDS Awareness Week

Aplastic anemia (a-PLAS-tik uh-NEE-me-uh) is a rare and serious blood disorder in which bone marrow stops making enough new blood cells. Bone marrow––the spongy material inside bones—makes new blood cells called stem cells. Stem cells normally develop into three main types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Each type of blood cell has its own functions in the body.

Aplastic anemia is a rare condition. In the United States, about 500–1,000 people develop this type of anemia each year. It is two to three times more common in Asian countries.

The two main types of aplastic anemia are acquired and hereditary. Acquired means a person develops the condition during his or her lifetime. Hereditary means a person is born with the condition. Acquired aplastic anemia is the most common type, and it is sometimes a temporary condition. It can be triggered by exposure to:

  • Toxic chemicals
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Radiation
  • Virus infections

However, the cause of acquired aplastic anemia is often not known.

Hereditary aplastic anemia is rare. It occurs with some inherited conditions, such as Fanconi anemia.

Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 310
Churchton, MD 20733-0310
(800) 747-2820
(410) 867-0242
(410) 867-0240 Fax
Materials available
Contact: John Huber

Friday, November 28, 2008

December 1st is World AIDS Day

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

Quick Facts on AIDS in the United States

UNAIDS Secretariat:
20, Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Telephone: +41.22.791.3666
Fax: +41.22.791.4187
Materials available
Contact: None designated

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving From The Healing Project

The Healing Project wishes that everyone in our US community has wonderful holiday.

Given this is a celebration on America's bounty, please take a moment to reflect on those that are less fortunate and make a donation to extend our reach to those that have unmet medical needs.

Again have a happy, healthy and enjoyable holiday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 20th is Great American Smokeout

It is time to pack it in. The Healing Project knows it isn't easy to go cold turkey but newer drugs like Chantix have demonstrated amazing results in smokers with manageable side-effects. Check for Great American Smokeout programs in your local communites and give it a shot.

Great American Smokeout
American Cancer Society
250 Williams Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
(800) ACS-2345 (227-2345)

Materials available
Contact: National Office

Friday, November 14, 2008

November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month

What is PH?
Pulmonary hypertension is a rare blood vessel disorder of the lung in which the pressure in the pulmonary artery (the blood vessel that leads from the heart to the lungs) rises above normal levels and may become life threatening.

Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
801 Roeder Road, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(800) 748-7274 Helpline
(301) 565-3004 x109
(301) 565-3994 Fax

Materials available
Contact: Katie Kroner

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November is National Hospice Palliative Care Month

The Healing Project strongly advocates the pateints and caregivers consider hospice care as the end-of-life approaches. These facilities offer a kind and compassionate place to come to terms with one's mortality.

1.3 million people with life-limiting illness received care from the nation’s 4,500 hospice providers last year. This represents continued growth in both patients served and number of providers. Approximately 35 percent of all deaths in the US were under the care of a hospice program.

Additionally, the top five diagnoses among hospice patients reported by NHPCO show the continued trend of less cancer patients among those served. The top five diagnoses seen in hospice for 2006 are as follows:

Cancer 44.1 percent
Heart Disease 12.2 percent
Debility 11.8 percent
Dementia 10.0 percent
Lung Disease 7.7 percent

Throughout the month of November, hospice and palliative care organizations across the nation are hosting activities to educate the public and other healthcare professionals about the benefits of hospice and palliative care.

Hospice is not a place but a philosophy of care created to help people live with dignity, comfort, and compassion at the end of life. Palliative care works to bring this philosophy of care to people earlier in the course of a serious illness.

Hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families. They also serve as valuable community resources about care options.

Additional information about hospice, palliative care, advance care planning, and talking with loved ones about these important issues is available from NHPCO’s Caring Connections. For information, to find a local hospice, or to get a free state-specific advance directive form, visit or call the HelpLine at 800/658-8898.

National Hospice Palliative Care Month
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 625
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 837-1500 or (703) 837-3139
(703) 837-1233 Fax
Contact: Jon Radulovic

The New President and Healthcare - Part II - Medical Services

Before wholesale changes are made to US healthcare system, Mr. Obama should fix the two health systems that federal government controls. The Military Health System and the Veterans Administration are two of the largest health systems in the United States and have serious problems.

The critical problems with these entities are led by incompetent, indifferent and anti-scientific management. Mr. Obama should immediately request the Bush Administration remove S. Ward Casscells, M.D. and Ellen Embrey. These two individuals are directly responsible for the lack of progress in the treatment of mental illness, mild-traumatic brain injury, traumatic brain injury, suicide and PTSD. They have led a campaign to continue the Bush Administration policy to underreport casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Further, these individuals have aided and abetted the US Army’s program to deny benefits to wounded and disabled service members. Finally, they will babble endlessly about what we don’t understand about these injuries so it will require years of research. In fact, much more is known about these injuries then they would like Congress to believe. However, these scientific facts fly in the face of their political objectives so they have let contracts to friends of the US Army who will confuse the issue for years.

What to do following the dismissal of Dr. Casscells and Ellen Embrey.

First, quickly review all contracts let by these individuals for contract irregularities and pursue criminal prosecution. Next, remove the US Army from all leadership positions in programs related to mental health and brain injury. The US Army personnel should be replaced by officers from the Air Force and the Navy. The Air Force and Navy are more technologically enabled and lack a political agenda as both branches have honored their disability payments. It is not to say the US Army lacks officers with technical expertise in the areas of mental health or traumatic brain injury but they were excluded from the process because they could not get with the program. Instead, the US Army replaced them with people qualified as occupational therapists and physicians’ assistants. It is time to get organized and led by the right talent. Mental health and traumatic brain injury issues can be solved and could have been largely avoided if it had not become political. Finally, embrace the civilian medical sector. Much of the most advanced research in mental health and traumatic brain injury is at specialized centers such as the Kessler Institute in New Jersey. Civilian entities were willing an able to take a leading role in solving these problems but were denied participation by the hacks running MHS and the VA.

With regard to the VA, Mr. Obama should immediately remove the entire senior management. Dr. Jim Peake is the former US Army Surgeon General. When in uniform, he was part of the program that left the nation unprepared to deal with mental health and traumatic brain injury issues. He not only failed for active service members but also rewarded with even greater responsibility so he could fail them once of service members became veterans. Since the VA is evolved into a system to treat geriatric patients, the surge in younger service members should be guided to civilian medical resources at government expense. The major exception is in PTSD where the VA and CDC did some of the most distinguished work both scientifically and clinically. The VA needs to get some younger more aggressive leadership in this area and capitalize on the VAs expertise. It should also embrace private psychologists to screen and treat the less serious cases locally and triage the most complex cases to VA centers of excellence.

Again, the medical failure at MHS and the VA is not as much a monetary problem as it is a management problem. Last year $2,1B was distributed by Congress to the VA and MHS to treat wounded with TBI and mental health issues. Nonetheless, the leadership is unable to account for much of the spending and the results have been almost nonexistent. With little doubt, the bulk of our service members could have been identified and started treatment. It does and will require funds but funds well spent. Let’s fix the problem and stop the talk.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The New President and Healthcare - Part I - Research

Now that the United States has elected a new president, it is time for Mr. Obama that his talk of change is more than just talk. Mr. Obama has also implied that the US Federal Government can have a powerful and positive impact on healthcare.

The Federal Government is already a major force in healthcare ranging from basic research to direct provision of medical services to reimbursement of fee for service medical services. While enormous amounts of money are thrown into US healthcare, the results are have been less than stellar for the past 30 years. It is time to clean this mess up, and he should start will what the Federal government directly controls.

US Government research has been corrupted by politics for decades. The NIH, CDC and DoD value filling out forms more than the quality of the minds engaged in research. The peer review panels guide funding to politically connected individuals and entities or influenced by professional conflicts. The research is often conducted in the districts of well-connected congressman at third and fourth tier universities by third and fourth tier researchers. Much of the research is funded without results. Failure is fine and expected but what is unconscionable is that so many projects do not advance the field. Alzheimer’s disease, Traumatic Brain Injury and AIDs research are all examples heavily funded scientific political cesspools that have shown unremarkable progress in the past 20 years.

It is time to turn back the clock when NASA, NIH, DARPA, DoD, ONR and CDC when these organizations were led by people who were public intellectuals and visionaries. It was their mandate to identify the best talent and facilitate conquering an objective. Proficiency in filling out forms was low on the list of priorities. Speed and intellect were what counted. The average age of the team of scientists and engineers that put a man on the moon was 26. The average age of NIH grantee is approaching retirement age. Scientists and engineers make their great leaps forward in their 30’s and 40’s and generally extend the same line of work for the balance of the careers. Of course, there are exceptional minds that are super intellects (1% of 1%) and should be given unique permanent funding to indulge their interests. For the rest of the scientific, engineering and math communities, funding should be limited to 3 to 5 years renewable for 5 years. The funding should be based on clear objectives. Progress should be judged by peers in other fields as well as those in the art. Panels used by funding agencies tend to be filled with people who are third and fourth tier minds in the art who have nothing better to do than sit on a government panel. Identify people that don’t want to serve and who have something better to do and encourage them to identify and support the next generation of big brains.

People in the field, if infected with any degree of humility, can identify the most talented minds and people outside the field can generally identify those that are truly gifted from those that are merely hardworking. This will disturb many in Congress because the balance of funding will be concentrated on the coasts at the leading US research institutions like Columbia, Harvard, Yale, UCal, and Stanford and leave out East Podunk University. On the other hand, some of the most creative thinkers find their homes in the most unlikely places as their radical thoughts run contrary to orthodox views. It is incumbent on the federal government to find skilled administrators to find the talent and support it regardless of location or political influence. It is time to move the ball forward. It is also time to move it quickly and cost-effectively. More money without better methods will get us nowhere.

Part II – will deal with the US federal government’s provision of healthcare.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; today, the number of people with the disease has soared to more than 5 million. By 2050, 11 to 16 million people will likely have Alzheimer’s.

Later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s himself, President Reagan died in 2003.

While there is much we don’t yet know about Alzheimer’s disease, tremendous progress has been made since 1983. National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease and to shed light on the importance of finding breakthroughs in diagnosis, prevention, treatments and, eventually, a cure.

The Healing Project would also like to emphasize that Alzheimer's is only one of several types of dementia and there is a grwoing body of evidence that many patients present with multiple forms of dementia. The cure will not be easy and will require an open mind.

National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month
Alzheimer's Association
225 North Michigan Avenue, 17th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-7633
(800) 272-3900
(866) 699-1246
Materials available
Contact: None designated

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November is American Diabetes Month

The Healing Project cannot understate the magnitude of the diabetes epidemic. This is the most serious health problem impacting the US, if not the world. It is time to get this under control.

All About Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

There are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 6.2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease.

American Diabetes Month
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
(800) DIABETES (342-2383)
(703) 549-1500
(703) 549-6995 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Local Affiliates

For Information About Vision Related Diabetes Problems:
Diabetic Eye Disease Month
Prevent Blindness America
211 West Wacker Drive, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60606
(800) 331-2020
(847) 843-8458 Fax
Materials available
Contact: PBA Consumer and Patient Hotline

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer research is terribly underfunded even though billions of dollars of taxes are taken every year from smokers. It is time that these funds are directed, as they were intended, to pay for healthcare. The Healing Project advocates a small portion of these funds be allocated to Lung Cancer research and diagnosis. This new funding would represent a leap in an order of magintude and bring this scourge to an end.

Lung Cancer Facts
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Lung cancer causes 30% of all cancer deaths.
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer among Caucasians, African-Americans, Asians and Hispanic males.
In 2007, an estimated 213,380 people were diagnosed with lung cancer and 160,390 died from it.

Lung cancer will kill more people this year than:
• breast cancer
• prostate cancer
• colon cancer
• liver cancer
• kidney cancer
• melanoma...combined

The 5-year survival rate for…
• Breast cancer has reached 88%
• Prostate cancer – 99%
• Colon cancer – 63%
• Lung Cancer – 15%!

Lung cancer will kill three times as many men as prostate cancer this year.
Lung cancer will kill nearly twice as many women as breast cancer this year.
Over 50% of new lung cancer cases will be diagnosed at a very late stage—Stage IIIb or IV— and only 5% of them will live for 5 years.
Current smokers represent 35-40% of new lung cancer cases.
Former smokers represent 50% of new lung cancer cases.
People who never smoked represent 10-15% of new lung cancer cases.
The rate of lung cancer among women has risen 60% since 1990.
Lung cancer surpassed breast cancer as the #1 cancer killer of women in 1987.
31,000 more women will die of lung cancer than breast cancer this year.
3 out of 5 patients diagnosed with lung cancer will die within 12 months.
Only 15% of lung cancer patients will be diagnosed early enough to survive for five years or more, compared with 5-year survival rates of 88% for breast cancer, 100% for prostate cancer, and 64% for colon cancer.
Despite lung cancer being the #1 cancer killer, roughly $1,800 is spent per lung cancer death compared to around $23,000 per breast cancer death for research!

The Thomas G. Labrecque Foundation
Joan's Legacy
Lung Cancer Alliance

Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Lung Cancer Alliance
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1150
Washington, DC 20006
(800) 298-2436 Lung Cancer Information Line
(202) 463-2080
Materials available
Contact: Kay Cofrancesco

Friday, October 31, 2008

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Quick Facts About Pancreatic Cancer:

  • It is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

  • It is the 3rd leading cause of cancer death among 40-59 year old men.

  • Approximately 37,170 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year in the United States.

  • Approximately 33,370 people will die of pancreatic cancer this year in the United States.

  • The number of Americans diagnosed each year of pancreatic cancer continues to rise.

  • For all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the five year survival rate is only 5%; the lowest survival rate of all major cancers. The average life expectancy after diagnosis with metastatic disease is just 3-6 months.

  • 52% of pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed with metastatic. Men are 20% more likely to develop cancer of the pancreas than women.

  • African Americans are 40-50% more likely to develop cancer of the pancreas than Caucasians.

  • Less than2% of the National Cancer Institutes was spent of Pancreatic Cancer Research.

It is time to take action against a disease that has been ignored for too long.

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
2141 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 7000
El Segundo, CA 90245
(877) 272-6226
(310) 725-0025
(310) 725-0029 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Sue Kim

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October 31st is Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Day

What is Interstitial Cystitis
IC is a painful and often debilitating chronic condition where the bladder lining becomes irritated and inflamed causing symptoms such as pain in the pelvis, bladder, back or thighs; an increased need to urinate frequently or urgently; and/or pain during/after sexual intercourse.

Research indicates that the number of people who have IC may actually be higher than the current estimate of two million Americans since many people are not appropriately diagnosed and continue to face the daily frustrations associated with IC.

IC can be tricky to diagnose because symptoms are easily mistaken for other urologic and gynecologic disorders, such as endometriosis, recurrent urinary tract infections and overactive bladder. As a result, it can take years and numerous visits to multiple healthcare professionals to achieve a correct diagnosis. In the survey, more than half of the respondents (58 percent) said their IC diagnosis took a year or more. More than half (56 percent) also said they had seen three or more healthcare professionals before their diagnosis.

Some Education Films

Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Day
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health
505 C Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 543-9693
(202) 543-9858 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Susan Wysocki

Friday, October 17, 2008

October is National Spina Bifida Awareness Month

What Is Spina Bifida?
Spina Bifida, or “split spine,” is a condition that occurs in the embryo within the first month of pregnancy; it results from an incomplete closure of the spinal column. Spina Bifida is the most frequently occurring permanently disabling birth defect. Every day in the US, an average of eight babies are affected by Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.

What Causes Spina Bifida?
The cause of Spina Bifida is not known with certainty. However, scientists believe that geneti Many things can affect a baby, including family genes and things women may come in contact with during pregnancy. Taking folic acid cannot guarantee having a healthy baby, but it can help.

Many things can affect a baby, including family genetics and things women may come in contact with during pregnancy. Taking folic acid cannot guarantee having a healthy baby, but it can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects like Spina Bifida.

What is folic acid?
Folic acid is a B-vitamin that helps build healthy cells. During periods of rapid growth, such as pregnancy and fetal development, the body's requirement for this vitamin increases. Research has shown that if all women who could possibly become pregnant were to take a multivitamin with folic acid, the risk of neural tube defects like Spina Bifida could be reduced by up to 70%. Since Spina Bifida occurs early in pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant, it is important to take folic acid every day. Taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy reduces the risk of Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects.

National Spina Bifida Awareness Month
Spina Bifida Association
4590 MacArthur Boulevard NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20007-4226
(800) 621-3141
(202) 944-3285
(202) 944-3295 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Amanda Darnley

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month

Celiac Sprue Association/ United States of America, Inc. (CSA/USA, Inc) is a member based non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis worldwide through education, research and support.

National Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Celiac Sprue Association
P.O. Box 31700
Omaha, NE 68131-0700
(877) 272-4272
(402) 643-4108 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Mary Schluckebier

A Proven Technology Detects mild-Traumatic Brain Injury in Combat

On October 12 at the International Conference on Behavioral Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, Paterson, NJ, HeadMinder, Inc., presented results of the first Military IRB-approved prospective study to be conducted in-Theater.

The study compared the HeadMinder Cognitive Stability Index (CSI) computerized test battery and the Department of Defense (DoD) Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metric (ANAM) with the Repeatable Battery for Assessment of Neuropsychological Symptoms (RBANS), a paper-and-pencil neurocognitive test currently used by the DoD to screen soldiers.

The study was designed by Lt. Col. (sep.) Gerald Grant, MD (USAF), Maj. William Isler, PhD (USAF), Maj. Monty Baker, PhD (USAF), David Erlanger, PhD (Chief Scientific Officer and co-Founder of HeadMinder), Tanya Kaushik, PsyD, and Col. Robert Seegmiller (USAF). The objective was to determine the validity and reliability of both computerized screening measures as compared to the RBANS. The CSI was accurate in assessing the severity of cognitive compromise following concussive blast injuries. The CSI Total Score correlated very strongly with the RBANS Total Score (.789) and also showed strong concurrent validity with the RBANS in the domains of Attention (.706) and Memory (.680), domains critical in the assessment of blast-related concussion. ANAM was not useful for identifying memory problems, the domain most frequently impaired on the RBANS, and only a subset of ANAM measures seemed useful for screening attention problems.

The CSI is a 30-minute, Internet-based, computerized test that provides automated, objective measures of attention, memory, response speed, and processing speed for initial evaluation of cognitive functioning. The CSI produces standardized reports that enable triage and decision-making appropriate to a user's qualifications – from medic to neuropsychologist to neurologist and other treatment team members.

Dr. David Erlanger, Chief Scientific Officer of HeadMinder, commented, "The CSI has now been shown, under combat conditions, to be the only telemedicine tool capable of serving the needs of the armed services. Especially given the large backlog of unscreened service members exposed to blasts, the HeadMinder System offers a simple, accurate, and objective screening method that can play a key role in identifying and treating servicemen and servicewomen with undiagnosed brain injuries. The CSI is unique in its ability to track improvement over time as soldiers travel between the Military Health System and the Veterans Administration and civilian medical resources. We believe the HeadMinder platform provides the Department of Defense the opportunity to fully comply with the Wounded Warriors Act by screening and tracking exposed service members' long-term well-being. If implemented today, the entire backlog could be cleared in less than two years."

After 5 years of ducking the issue, the DoD can get off their collective bottoms and start screening the 400,000 troops that have been exposed to blasts in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the study in no way implied that every service member exposed suffered m-TBI, it did imply that approximately 20,000 service members have suffered the injury. It is time to identify them and treat them. There is no need for mindless dead-end research projects.

Since S. Ward Casscells, MD , Undersecretary of Defense - Healthcare, has actively and willfully avoided detecting and treating both m-TBI and mental health issues, it is time to contact your representatives to start getting answers (find your representative, find your senator). His desire to deny disability payments and under report causalities is repellent.

A special note if you are represented by any of the following members:

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Congressman Jack Murtha (D-PA)
Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Congressman Todd Platts (R-PA)

make an effort to contact them as they have taken leading positions to help service members with mild-Traumatic Brain Injury, PTSD and mental health issues.

The study was initially funded by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. After funding was discontinued, the study was completed with funding provided by PanMedix, Inc., and HeadMinder, Inc.

PanMedix was founded in New York City in 1999. Initially focused on the development and deployment of assessment software, the company has evolved to encompass a full range of pharmaceutical and medical assessment services.

Founded in New York City in 1999, HeadMinder is a technology company that is dedicated to the development of Internet-based neurocognitive assessment tools. HeadMinder tests have been shown to be valid and reliable instruments for evaluating cognitive deficits in a range of injuries and illnesses, including concussion, mild-to-moderate TBI, Multiple Sclerosis, ADHD, Alzheimer's Disease, and chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction in cancer patients.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Some Quick Facts:
One in every 733 babies born in the U.S. has Down syndrome. The life expectancy of people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades - from 25 in 1983 to 56 today. In that same span of time, advancements in education, research and advocacy have had a tremendous impact on the opportunities that individuals with Down syndrome have to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

Today, many people with Down syndrome:
Attend neighborhood schools and learn in typical classes alongside their peers without disabilities.
Graduate from high school and go to college.
Comprise a vibrant part of the American workforce.
Actively participate in the social and recreational aspects of their communities.
Live independently, make their own choices, and advocate for their rights.

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
National Down Syndrome Society
666 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(800) 221-4602
(212) 460-9330
(212) 979-2873 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Educational Services

The Healing Project is Pleased to Announce the Release of Voices of CareGiving

Voices of Caregiving is available for purchase at Amazon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month

First Candle is a national nonprofit health organization uniting parents, caregivers and researchers nationwide with government, business and community service groups to advance infant health and survival. With help from a national network of member and partner organizations, we are working to increase public participation and support in the fight against infant mortality.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month
First Candle/SIDS Alliance
1314 Bedford Avenue, Suite 210
Baltimore, MD 21208
(800) 221-7437
(410) 653-8226
(410)653-8709 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Laura Reno

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 17th is National Mammography Day

The American Cancer Society Reminds You:
•Women 40 years and older should receive a yearly mammogram for as long as they are in good health.
•Women in their 20s and 30s should receive a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic health exam about every three years; women 40 and older should receive a CBE every year.
•Women should know how their breasts normally feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care providers. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.
•Women at high risk (greater than 20 percent lifetime risk) should get an MRI and a mammogram every year and women at moderately increased risk (15 to 20 percent lifetime risk) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram. Yearly MRI screening is not recommended for women whose lifetime risk of breast cancer is less than 15 percent.

Early Detection and Treatment will Save Your Life. Get Screen Today!

What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in one or both of the breasts. Breast cancer usually develops in the ducts or lobules, also known as the milk-producing areas of the breast.October 17th is National Mammography Day. Many sites will be offering free and low-cost mammographies.
If you have not had a mammography recently, please sign up.

Free and Low-Cost Mammographies (Some programs are for this month only or on October 17th):
The American College of Radiology - Search for these facilities in your area. The facilities that are participating will be listed with a pink ribbon designation.
Local Susan G. Komen Foundation Affiliate: Komen affiliates raise money to help local underserved women obtain breast health services. The affiliate will have a listing of organizations to which they have granted funding, so call to see what services might be available in your area. To locate your nearest affiliate, log onto the Komen Foundation Web site.
Planned Parenthood Clinics: Women can make an appointment for all types of low-cost or free health services, including breast health, with the clinic nearest them by calling 1-800-230-PLAN (800-230-7526).
YWCA Encore Plus Programs: Services are provided on a sliding scale. Screening mammography is available to women 35 years and older who are medically underserved. Call 1-800-95-EPLUS (1-800-953-7587).
CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Programs: Offer low-cost mammograms and clinical breast exams to women between the ages of 40-64. States are legally able to narrow the age range, so call your state to find out if you are eligible for this program. They may also have information about other facilities in their area for younger women. Call toll-free 1-888-842-6355 or log onto the above Web site for information specific to your area.

• Mammograms: Questions and answers about screening
• National Cancer Institute: What you need to know about breast cancer
• Visit The Healing Project's Resource Page and Select Breast Cancer for an exhaustive list of Breast Cancer Resources.

National Mammography Day
American Cancer Society
250 Williams Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30303(800) ACS-2345 (227-2345)
Materials available
Contact: National Office

Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 12 through the 20th is Bone and Joint Decade National Action Week

Take care of your bones and joints to have a fulfilling active life.

Bone and Joint Decade National Action Week
U.S. Bone and Joint Decade6300
North River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 384-4010 (847) 823-0536 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Toby King

Friday, October 10, 2008

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

The Healing Project would like to remind the community that proper care of your teeth and gums is not cosmetic. More and more research indicates that dental well-being impacts your enitre body.

National Dental Hygiene Month
American Dental Hygienists' Association
444 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60611-3980
(800) 243-ADHA (2342)
(312) 440-8900
(312) 467-1806 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Communications Division

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 10th is World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day 2008

Its time to reflect and look toward the future. With the final goal of making mental health a global priority in every country – what needs to be changed or what action needs to be taken in order to fulfill that goal? The 2008 WMHDAY material will focus on where we came from and what needs to be done yet for the future. We will highlight different levels of advocacy and its role in creating change and the need for scaling up services so all people have access to information, personalized treatment, and resources to assist them in all aspects of their recovery.

World Mental Health Day
World Federation for Mental Health
6564 Loisdale Court, Suite 301
Springfield, VA 22150-1812
(703) 313-8680
(703) 313-8683 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Deborah Maguire

Friday, October 3, 2008

October 4 is Sarcoidosis Awareness Day

No one knows yet what causes Sarcoidosis. Some physicians believe that Sarcoidosis may result from a respiratory infection caused by a virus. Others feel that exposure to toxins or allergens in the environment are to blame. Most scientists do agree that Sarcoidosis is a disorder of the immune system, with some people vulnerable to getting the disease while the majority of the population remains healthy and unaffected.

Sarcoidosis Awareness Day
National Sarcoidosis Society, Inc. and Affiliates
2525 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 567-6626
(312) 567-6144 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Glenda Fulton

Monday, September 29, 2008

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month occupies a special place on The Healing Project's (THP) calendar. Our organization was founded by Debra Lachance, a breast cancer survivor. Our Board of Directors includes scientist H. Michael Shepard, PhD who led the Herceptin discovery team at Genentech. Dr. Shepard continues to develop novel medications for treating a range of diseases including Breast Cancer as president and CSO of Receptor BioLogix. THP has also benefited greatly from the support of Scientific Advisory Board Member, Stephanie F. Bernik, MD, FACS. Dr. Bernik is Chief of Breast Surgery for the comprehensive breast program at St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York City. She is noted for her efforts in creating treatment protocols for women under 40.

Fast Facts About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States.
178,480 women in the United States will be found to have invasive breast cancer in 2007.
40,460 women will die from the disease this year.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer).
2 million women are living in the United States who have been treated for breast cancer.
African American Women are much likely to die of Breast Cancer.
2,030 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men in the United States.

Early Detection and Treatment will Save Your Life.

What is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in one or both of the breasts. Breast cancer usually develops in the ducts or lobules, also known as the milk-producing areas of the breast.

October 17th is National Mammography Day. Many sites will be offering free and low-cost mammographies. If you have not had a mammography recently, please sign up.

Free and Low-Cost Mammographies (Some programs are for this month only or on October 17th):
The American College of Radiology - Search for these facilities in your area. The facilities that are participating will be listed with a pink ribbon designation.
Local Susan G. Komen Foundation Affiliate: Komen affiliates raise money to help local underserved women obtain breast health services. The affiliate will have a listing of organizations to which they have granted funding, so call to see what services might be available in your area. To locate your nearest affiliate, log onto the Komen Foundation Web site.
Planned Parenthood Clinics: Women can make an appointment for all types of low-cost or free health services, including breast health, with the clinic nearest them by calling 1-800-230-PLAN (800-230-7526).
YWCA Encore Plus Programs: Services are provided on a sliding scale. Screening mammography is available to women 35 years and older who are medically underserved. Call 1-800-95-EPLUS (1-800-953-7587).
CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Programs: Offer low-cost mammograms and clinical breast exams to women between the ages of 40-64. States are legally able to narrow the age range, so call your state to find out if you are eligible for this program. They may also have information about other facilities in their area for younger women. Call toll-free 1-888-842-6355 or log onto the above Web site for information specific to your area.

• Mammograms: Questions and answers about screening
• National Cancer Institute: What you need to know about breast cancer
Visit The Healing Project's Resource Page and Select Breast Cancer for an exhaustive list of Breast Cancer Resources.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Board of Sponsors
1800 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19850-5437
Contact: Cynthia Church

October is Healthy Lung Month

Healthy Lung Month is sponsored by the American Lung Association and seeks to increase awareness of issues pertaining to the maintenance of healthy lungs.

Healthy Lung Month
American Lung Association
61 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10006
(800) LUNG-USA (586-4872)
(212) 315-8700
Materials available
Contact: None designated

Saturday, September 27, 2008

October is "Talk About Prescriptions" Month

NCPIE is a coalition of over 125 diverse organizations whose mission is to stimulate and improve communication of information on appropriate medicine use to consumers and healthcare professionals. NCPIE is the nation's leading authority for informing the general public and health care professionals on safe medicine use through better communication. Better medicine communication can lead to better health outcomes and improved quality of life.

The Healing Project would like to urge its community to educate itself about the benefits of pharmaceuticals and their proper uses. Further, natural substances, nurtriceuticals and supplements are often contain powerful chemicals that can have adverse effects and negative interactions with ethical drugs. Take the the time to read labels, consult with your doctor and speak to your pharmacist. Finally, THP would like to remind you to take antibiotics sparingly. The overuse of antibiotics has caused the rise of powerful resistant strains of bacteria that threaten uncontrollable epidemics of lethal diseases.

"Talk About Prescriptions" Month
National Council on Patient Information and Education
4915 Saint Elmo Avenue, Suite 505
Bethesda, MD 20814-6082
(301) 656-8565
(301) 656-4464 Fax

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

National Cholesterol Education Month
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Health Information Center
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
(301) 592-8573
(240) 629-3255 TTY
(301) 592-8563 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Information Specialist

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September is Healthy Aging® Month

The Healthy Aging® Campaign — a national ongoing health promotion designed to broaden awareness of the positive aspects of aging and to provide information and inspiration for adults, age 50+, to improve their physical, mental, social, and financial fitness. Healthy Aging® represents the best there is about aging.

Healthy Aging® Month
Educational Television Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 442
Unionville, PA 19375
(610) 793-0979
Materials available
Contact: Information Specialist

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

Recovery Month effort aims to promote the societal benefits of alcohol and drug use disorder treatment, laud the contributions of treatment providers and promote the message that recovery from alcohol and drug use disorders in all its forms is possible.

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Office of the Director, Consumer Affairs
1 Choke Cherry Road, 2nd Floor
Rockville, MD 20857
(800) 729-6686
(240) 276-2750
(240) 276-1630 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Consumer Affairs

Monday, September 1, 2008

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Some Quick Facts About Ovarian Cancer

  • Only 15% of women are familiar with the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
  • 67% of women incorrectly believe that a yearly Pap test is effective in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
  • In 2007, an estimated 22,430 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,280 women will die from the disease.
  • As of January 1, 2003 there were 171,840 living women who had a history of ovarian cancer. (Latest figures Available)
  • One in 69 women will develop ovarian cancer.
  • One in 95 women will die from ovarian cancer.
  • 5-Year Survival relative rate survival rate for all women with ovarian cancer is 45.

The Healing Project believes there is a need to greatly increase Ovarian Cancer awareness, clinical education and pharmaceutical research. While it is a common cancer, the public and medical community needs to get speed so it can be detected early. Finally, the National Cancer Institute and research community must invest time and effort in developing better diagnostics and therapies to make this a cured or chronic condition.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
500 NE Spanish River Boulevard, Suite 8
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(888) OVARIAN (682-7426)
(561) 393-0005
Materials available
Contact: Jane E. Langridge

Saturday, August 30, 2008

September is Fruit and Veggies - More Matters Month

The Healing Project wishes to remind its community that eating a diverse range of fruits and vegetables is key to enjoying a healthy life. If possible, buy seasonal local produce and help your the farmers near you and help the environment.

Fruit and Vegetable Program Office

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Produce for Better Health Foundation
4770 Buford Highway NE, MS K-26
Atlanta, GA 30341
(770) 488-5413
(800) 243-7889 TTY
Materials available
Contact: Laura Tanase

September is Prostate Cancer Month

Quick Facts About Prostate Cancer:
Approximately 220,000 new cases are expected in 2007.
It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in America among men.
An estimated 27,000 American men will lose their lives to prostate cancer in 2008.
It is most common cancer in American Males accounting for more than 33% of the cases.
1 in 6 American men is at lifetime risk of prostate cancer.
10 year survival rates of non-metastatic early-stage prostate cancer is almost 98%
If a close relative has prostate cancer, a man's risk of the disease more than doubles. With 2 relatives, his risk increases 5x. With 3 close relatives, his risk is about 97%. So if it runs in your family, get screened early and often.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
National Prostate Cancer Coalition
1154 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(888) 245-9455
(202) 463-9455
(202) 463-9456 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Jamie Bearse

Friday, August 29, 2008

September is Craniofacial Acceptance Month

What is a craniofacial disorder?
A craniofacial disorder refers to an abnormality of the face and/or the head. Craniofacial differences can result from abnormal growth patterns of the face or skull, which involves soft tissue and bones. A craniofacial condition may include disfigurement brought about by birth defect, disease or trauma.

Craniofacial Acceptance Month
Children's Craniofacial Association
1340 Coit Road, Suite 517
Dallas, TX 75240
(800) 535-3643
(214) 570-9099
(214) 570-8811 Fax
Contact: None designated

Thursday, August 28, 2008

America On the Move's Steptember Campaign

America On the Move's Steptember Campaign was created to improve health and quality of life by promoting healthful eating and active living among individuals, families, communities and society.

America On the Move's Steptember Campaign
America On the Move Foundation
44 School Street, Suite 325
Boston, MA 02108
(800) 807-0077
(617) 367-6894
(617) 367-6899 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Sani Liu

Friday, August 15, 2008

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month

About psoriasis

Psoriasis [pronounced sore-EYE-ah-sis] is a noncontagious, lifelong skin disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis.

About 10 percent to 30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic [sore-ee-AA-tic] arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints.

Psoriasis Awareness Month
National Psoriasis Foundation

6600 SW 92nd Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97223-7195
(800) 723-9166
(503) 244-7404
(503) 245-0626 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Paula Fasano

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Get Your Daughters Vaccinated for HPV Now

The first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases, human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes and trichomoniasis, among girls and young women (ages 14 to 19) has found that one in four are infected with at least one of the diseases, federal health officials reported in March. 18% had HPV and 15% had multiple diseases. The most common forms HPV can be vaccinated against and should be done so on mandatory basis.

The $1.5B abstinence program should be declared a failure. The behavior of subsets of teens subscribing to abstinence programs outlined in studies conducted by Mailmen School of Public Health at Columbia University made me blush. It followed the Clinton line of reasoning that certain acts are not sex (this has nothing to do with the medical definition). Teens have sex; parents wake up and smell the coffee. Talk to your children and encourage them to be responsibly. On the other hand, get your young ladies vaccinated offer access to condoms and have them screened and treatment.

A Few Notes about HPV

What is HPV?

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a virus that is common in the United States and around the world and can cause cancer and genital warts. HPV is spread through sexual contact. There are about 100 types of HPV. HPV is the major cause cervical cancer in women and is also associated with several other types of cancer in both men and women.

Some Fast Facts about Cervical Cancer:

Number of people affected by HPV: About 20 million in the United States. 80% of women by age 50 will test positive for HPV.

New cases each year: 6.2 million

Health effects: Usually causes no symptoms, but certain strains can lead to cervical cancer and/or genital warts.

Cervical cancer data in the United States: 9,700 new U.S. cases a year. 3,700 deaths.

Can HPV be treated?

There is no treatment for HPV. But there are treatments for the health problems that HPV can cause, such as genital warts, cervical cell changes, and cancers caused by HPV.

What can you do?

A vaccine, Gardasil (Approved by the FDA on June 8, 2006), which is effective against four HPV strains is available. Two of the HPV types, Type 16 and 18 cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers. Combined, all four types of HPV in the Merck Gardasil product account for about 90% of Genital warts. It is delivered in a course of the three shots.

Recommended recipients: Girls 11 and 12 years old, or before onset of sexual activity. The vaccine can be given to girls as young as 9. The vaccine is also advised for 13-to-26-year-olds.

Cost: $360 for a set of three shots over a six month period. Now being covered by vast majority of insurers.

Side effects: No serious ones reported; some pain at injection site.

How can I get the vaccine if I don’t have insurance?
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program helps families of children who may not otherwise have access to vaccines by providing free vaccines to doctors who serve them. The VFC program provides free vaccines to children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age, who are either Medicaid-eligible, American Indian, or Alaska Native or uninsured. There are over 45,000 sites that provide VFC vaccines, including hospital, private, and public clinics. The VFC Program also allows children and adolescents to get VFC vaccines through Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Centers, if their private health insurance does not cover vaccinations. For more information about the VFC, visit the VFC web site. Some states also provide free or low-cost vaccines at public health department clinics to people without health insurance coverage for vaccines.

Source: National Cervical Cancer Coalition and the CDC.

For More Information:National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC)
6520 Platt Avenue, #693
West Hills, CA 91307
(818) 909-3849
(818) 780-8199 Fax

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

All children should be vaccinated against childhood diseases. If you are unable or someone you know is unable to afford vaccinations, free and reduced cost vaccinations are available throughout the United States. The Healing Project acknowledges that many people are concerned about the possible adverse-effects of immunization, particularly in children. While ingesting any substance has its risks, the benefits of vaccinations greatly out way the risks. Finally, we are also aware that members of the community are concerned that vaccinations may result in Autism. Careful scientific studies not only in the United States but also throughout the world have not demonstrated any causal relationship between vaccination and Autism. Please see a qualified health provider and see your children are vaccinated before they return to school.

For more information:

National Immunization Program
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE, MS E-05
Atlanta, GA 30333
(800) 232-2522
(800) CDC-INFO (232-4636) English/Spanish
(888) 232-6348 TTY
(888) CDC-FAXX (232-3299) Free fax-back

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

August 1st is National Minority Donor Awareness Day

The Healing Project encourages all members of our community to particpate in organ and tissue donation programs. It is a gift of life.

August 1 is National Minority Organ Donor Awareness Day, and the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program (National MOTTEP®) was established to encourage the minority communities to actively particpate in these programs to save lives.

Why is it so important to have more minority organ donors?

• More than 83,000 persons are currently on the national transplant waiting list.

• 16 people die each day waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

• More than 50% of people waiting for transplants are racial/ethnic minorities including: 23,558 African Americans; 13,059 Hispanics/Latinos; and 5,158 Asians/Pacific Islanders.

• Patients in need of a transplant are more likely to find a genetically compatible match within their own racial/ethnic group.

• Minority donors account for only about 25% of the available donor pool.

National MOTTEP® is the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program. It is the first program of its kind in the country designed to:

Educate minority communities on facts about organ and tissue transplantation
Empower minority communities to develop transplant education programs which allow them to become involved in addressing the shortage of donors
Increase minority participation in organ/tissue transplant endeavors including signing organ donor cards
Encourage and increase family discussions related to organ and tissue donation
Increase the number of minorities who donate organs and tissues

The mission of the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program, (MOTTEP®) is to decrease the number and rate of ethnic minority Americans needing organ and tissue transplants. MOTTEP® will achieve its mission by implementing a national information and education campaign that emphasizes both prevention and intervention strategies that result in:

healthier life styles and behavioral patterns
increased number of minority donors and transplant recipients
increased number of family discussions regarding organ and tissue transplants
increased number of minority donor pledges

Why is there a National MOTTEP®?
National MOTTEP® was originally established to increase the number of minority organ and tissue transplant donors. The mission of National MOTTEP® was later revised to incorporate a preventive focus by addressing the diseases and behaviors which lead to the need for transplantation such as diabetes, hypertension, alcohol and substance abuse, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

National Minority Donor Awareness Day
National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program

Ambulatory Care Center
2041 Georgia Avenue NW, Suite 3100
Washington, DC 20060
(800) 393-2839
(202) 865-4888
(202) 865-4880 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Norman Brooks

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July is UV Safety Month

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and Eye M.D.s around the country encourage everyone to protect their eyes from UV-related damage.

The same UV-A and UV-B rays that can damage your skin can harm your eyes as well. When you protect yourself from the sun, don't just think sunscreen – think sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.

Excessive, prolonged UV exposure may be linked to the development of eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Extensive or intense exposure to UV rays can cause "sunburn" on the surface of your eye. Similar to a skin sunburn, eye surface burns usually disappear within a couple of days, but may lead to further complications later in life so protect your eyes.

To protect your eyes, wear a brimmed hat and the right kind of sunglasses when you are going to be exposed to UV light.

Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.

If you spend time on the water or in the snow, consider purchasing goggles or sunglasses that wrap around your temples because they block the sun’s rays from entering on the sides, offering better protection.

Remember sunglasses don't have to be expensive to offer the right kind of UV protection. Even inexpensive glasses can protect your eyes if they offer 99 to 100 percent UV-A and UV-B protection.

Don't forget the kids. Protect their eyes with hats and sunglasses. In addition, try to keep children out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. when the sun's ultraviolet rays are the strongest.

It's important to protect your eyes when UV light is most intense.
Generally, UV light is at the greatest level at midday (10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.), but you need to protect your eyes whenever you're outside for a prolonged period, even when it's gray and overcast.

Reflected sunlight off water, snow and pavement can be the most dangerous type of UV light because it is intensified.

Your eyes can be harmed by UV light sources other than the sun, such as welding lamps or tanning lights. So remember to wear eye protection when using these sources of invisible, high energy UV rays.

UV Safety Month
American Academy of Ophtalmology

P.O. Box 7424
San Francisco, CA 94120-7424
(415) 447-0213
(415) 561-8533 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Georgia Alward