Monday, June 9, 2008

Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show for June 9, 2008

Summer is coming, and in fact, at 90 degrees before I even started broadcasting this morning, its already here in New York City. Fortunately traffic is light, and the Vespa provides its own natural form of a/c, in addition to like 55 miles per gallon in NYC traffic. Today, we had several summery topics as well as some important cancer information. We also spoke to a young, newly minted physician on his time trying to help the medical system in Ghana!

Shawn Talbott, PhD. is an author, an athlete, and an expert on the the use of vitamins and supplements in health. He just wrote a book called "The Metabolic Method," which describes how small changes in diet, lifestyle, exercise and sleep (how I wish I could get more!) can help you lose weight and be healthier.  Shawn and I talked about how sleep is important to dieting, and many callers had questions for both of us on the importance of sleep in controlling weight.  

We switched gears after this.  Colon Cancer is, unfortunately, still extremely common in the US, with about 150,000 new cases diagnosed every year and 50,000 deaths.  While colonoscopy may save a significant percentage of these cases from occurring, not everyone does this when they should.  

Genetic differences in people with a family history of colon cancer may play a role in how people react to various therapies, such as chemotherapy.  This was demonstrated in a recent study in the Journal JAMA.  Leonard Saltz, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center came on the air and we talked about this study, of which he is one of the authors.   The other, really interesting thing we talked about is how, in patients with a known history of colon cancer, exercise may improve overall prognosis.  Although this is a very preliminary finding, it certainly is worthy of more study.  There were several calls on the colonoscopy prep, which is terrible, but a worthwhile price to avoid getting colon cancer!

After the break we really changed gears.  I spoke with the freshly minted Dr. Brian Levine, who is a recent graduate of the NYU School of Medicine and also a Reynolds Scholar.  Reynold's scholars are designated because of their interest in public service and entrepreneurship.    Brian actually set up a phone system amongst doctors in Ghana, helping the 2000 doctors in this country of 22 million people communicate with each other.  Although Brian is about to get buried as an intern and resident, I am sure we will be hearing more from him as the years to on.

Finally, it was about tomatoes.  Not the Killer Tomatoes, but normal plain old tomatoes with salmonella in them and on them.  Not good.  The FDA has an OK (to busy, in my opinion) website with a link to current tomato warnings and news.  I spoke on the telephone with Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh,  an epidemiologist and lead investigator for the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.  She answered many interesting questions on how the disease detectives from the CDC try to isolate the source of an infection such as this one.  We also answered listener questions about the outbreak.  The links in this paragraph should lead to up to date information from the FDA and CDC.

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