Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cure For Cancer Goes Unnoticed

So I read this article today, and I thought it was some pretty exciting news. That is, until I realized that it was published in 2007…

It turns out that at the University of Alberta researchers discovered a new way to fight cancer, a way that, until recently, scientists and doctors had never considered. Inside of every cell there is a useful little organelle called the mitochondria. You probably know it from your high school biology classes as the energy producing part of the cell, but the mitochondria has a second, very important function: self-destruct. In cancer cells, the mitochondrion’s self destruct function is switched off. This is why cancer tumors continue to grow and spread, the cancer cells never die. Since the 1930’s scientists have believed that the mitochondria in cancer cells were permanently damaged and that was a result of, or even the cause of the cancer. In Alberta they figured out a way to reactivate the mitochondria in cancer cells, allowing them to self-destruct and causing cancer cells to diminish.

But here is the real beauty about this whole thing. The treatment that they are developing only affects cancerous cells, and leaves healthy cells alone. This means that there are very few side affects to the treatment. Even better, the treatment (called DCA) cannot be patented and can be produced pretty cheaply. So there is a cheap, affective cancer treatment out there with few side-affects? Hallelujah!

So why am I only just hearing about this now? This initial research was done back in 2007, surely 5 years is enough time to have gotten the ball rolling on this one. It’s obvious, according to this DCA update site, that this research is ongoing, so what’s the holdup?

Well, here’s where things get sticky. Some people think that pharmaceutical companies aren’t backing this research because the treatment can’t be patented and therefore wont make them any money. So you mean to tell me that we’re not investing in a possible cancer treatment because there is no way to make money off of it? The original researcher, Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, even said that he was worried he would not be able to get much funding for that very reason.

So what gives Big Pharmacy? Can’t we invest in just helping people? I admit that it’s possible that this research is just not providing sufficient findings, but everything I’ve read suggests otherwise. Something must be stopping this treatment from gaining some ground and I don’t know what else it could be.

I just get so worked up thinking about all of our elders suffering from this disease in nursing homes and hospitals when with this treatment they might be able to come home and spend their golden years in their own homes or with their families. Of course, I would never let my parents go without their medical alert system to keep them safe.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Medical Alert Home Safety Guide For Seniors

General Tips for Home Safety

• Plan and practice an emergency escape route with your elder, in case of fire. This should include a safe meeting place outside the home.
• Subscribe your elder to a personal safety response service in case of emergency. They
will receive an emergency call button to wear as a necklace pendant, on their wrist, or
clipped to their belt. If they fall and can’t get up, they can press the call button; that will automatically activate an emergency call for help over their telephone.

• Telephones should be in each main room, and
should be low enough so they can be reached
from the floor in case of a fall.
• Program telephones with emergency numbers:
doctor, fire department, police, family contact,
poison control, a neighbor, caregiver, and so
on. Also, post a list of these numbers by each telephone.
• Make sure the ringer volume on the telephone
is loud enough for your elder to hear, even
when watching TV or listening to the radio.
• Make sure any door thresholds are low, and
don’t serve as a tripping hazard. If they are too high, remove them.
• Replace round doorknobs with lever-action
• Remove interior locks on all doors to prevent
your elder from locking him/herself in.
• If anything in the home is broken (window,
stove, floor tile, door lock, etc.), fix or discard it.
• All appliances, lamps, and cords should be in
good condition.
• If there are any exposed light bulbs, cover them with a shade or globe to reduce glare.
• Use light bulbs of the maximum wattage
allowed by the fixture. If you don’t know the correct wattage, use 60-watt bulbs.
• Have an electrician check the fuse box or
circuit breakers to ensure that the house is wired properly.
• Protect your elder from electrical overload with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). GFCIs
are especially important in the kitchen and bathroom.
• Be certain that no outlets or switches are unusually warm to the touch. If they are, stop using the outlet immediately, and call an electrician to check the wiring.
• Make sure all outlets and switches have cover plates.
• Make sure that extension cords are not
• Replace any electrical cords showing signs of wear and tear.
• Cords should be placed away from high traffic areas, and out from underneath furniture and
rugs (this is a fire hazard). Never run cords across walkways.
• Do not attach cords to the wall or baseboards
with nails or staples. Use electrical tape instead.
• Make sure smoke detectors are located
throughout the home, and are in perfect working condition.
Check the batteries at least twice a year.
• Install radon and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Remove all poisons from the home.
• Close all rodent holes, and hire an exterminator
if needed.
 Windows should open easily from the inside,
with secure locks to prevent entrance from the outside.
• Put eye-level decals or reflector tape on glass
and screen doors.
• Make sure the home thermostat is not set too
high or too low, especially in summer heat and
winter cold.
 Ventilate rooms properly, using windows or
• Replace air filters often. Dirty filters will release
dust and dirt particles into the air, which can adversely affect your elder’s health.
• Do not allow others to smoke in the house.
• Remove all clutter: if something does not serve a purpose, get rid of it.