Chewing Tobacco and Cancer, Sleep Study on Aging, Diamond Girl & Other News

Longtime Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling said that he has no doubt chewing tobacco was the cause of the cancer that he has been battling since February.

He is in remission now, but this week he gave a candid radio interview providing more details about his diagnosis, which came nearly by accident.

“I was driving and I went to rub my neck and I felt a lump on the left side of my neck,” Schilling said. “I knew immediately it wasn’t normal.”

A biopsy a few days later revealed it was squamous cell carcinoma.

“I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably that chewing [tobacco] is what gave me cancer and I’m not going to sit up here from the pedestal and preach about chewing,” Schilling said in a radio interview. “I will say this: I did for about 30 years. It was an addictive habit. I can think of so many times in my life when it was so relaxing to just sit back and have a dip and do whatever, and I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit.”

Here are blog posts on oral cancer and smoking:

What You Must Know About Oral Cancers
50 Years Later: Anti-Smoking Campaign Still Saving Lives


Insomnia Among the Elderly

A new study sought an answer to why many older people find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Researchers discovered that a group of “inhibitory neurons” in the brain that are vital for a prolonged sleep diminishes with age.  The findings suggest that losing the neurons that help the body fall into an undisturbed state of sleep has a direct correlation with actual disruptions in sleep.

The study’s authors said that the research participants in their 70s experienced  a  loss of sleep that was about one hour lower than the young adults in their 20s. The research team included senior author Clifford B. Saper, M.D.,  Chairman of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and James Jackson Putnam, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Researchers also said the loss of sleep can lead to other health issues, such as cognitive dysfunction, increased blood pressure, vascular disease and a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes.

Here are blog posts that shed more light on sleep disorders:

5 Health Risks of Sleep Deprivation
The Dark Side of Night Light
FDA Approves New Technology for Sleep Apnea


Diamond Girl: Mo’ne Davis Makes History

Little League superstar Mo’ne Davis, age 13, became the first Little Leaguer to appear on Sports Illustrated’s national cover, following her fast-pitching victories in the Little League World Series. And even though her team struck out of the World Series, Ms. Davis has inspired youth sports players of all types to up their own games, according to Sports Illustrated, which featured her on its cover.

Nationwide, kids are settling in to back-to-school routines, and many are gearing up to return to or join various sports teams, leagues and activities.  Whether your child is a new recruit or in line to be named the next MVP, there are several important safeguards for parents and coaches to keep in mind that can foster safe and healthy young athletes.

Information and advice from Baptist Health experts is offered in articles on this blog:

  • Beat the Heat: Safe Strategies for Back-to-School Sports Training
  • Unfair Odds: Girls more prone to knee injuries

    Gummy Bear Vitamins?

    How effective are gummy bear vitamins? That’s the question posed by a Yahoo news reporter, who turned to Patricia Bannan, a registered dietician and author of Eat Right When Time is Tight, for an answer.

    “Gummy vitamins contain the same kind of active ingredients, vitamins, minerals and other supplements, as traditional tablet or soft gel vitamins,” says Bannan. “They are just another form of taking your vitamins, in a tasty, convenient way.”

    Nutrition is an important topic for Baptist Health experts. Here’s a short menu of related stories:

  • Eat Your Vitamins
  • Take Charge of Your Bone Health
  • New Sugar Guidelines: Cut Down on Hidden Sugar
  • Healthcare that Cares

    With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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