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N.O. karate standouts say skills strengthen family, work life

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Sharon Brown, left, and Raymunda Semana spar at Tulane University's Reily Center in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. The two will be part of the USA team for the Shoto World Cup Karate Championship Tournament in October.

You might say these parents are just like everyone else. They put on their pants one leg at a time. But when they tie a black belt around their waists, they become parents with, ahem, super powers. Dimitri Papadopoulos, Sharon Brown, Devin Fadaol and Raymunda Semana are karatekas, or practitioners of karate. They are… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Sept. 29, 2014

How does HPV relate to cancer? Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. While there are many different strains of HPV, according to the National Cancer Institute, only 16 are considered high-risk and account for approximately 5 percent of all cancers worldwide. Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Sept. 29, 2014

Is there a link between getting concussions and developing Alzheimer’s? A concussion is traumatic brain injury that changes the way your brain functions. When the skull is jolted or impacted by a hard surface, the brain shifts, slamming against the skull, causing damage and swelling to the brain. If treated correctly, the brain will heal. If… Continue reading →

Is DNA key to your diet?: New weight-loss concept tests DNA to tailor diet to metabolism

With its well-earned reputation for culinary — and other — excess, New Orleans seems an unlikely base for a cutting-edge weight-loss business. “Or,” said GenoVive founder Vic Castellon, “maybe that makes it the perfect place.” Or, maybe it doesn’t matter. Ever heard that some people stay trim because of good genes? Castellon’s company puts a… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Sept. 22, 2014

What can you tell me about Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma? Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of a group of cancers called lymphomas. Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin’s disease accounts for the majority of lymphomas and is subdivided into about 60 other subtypes. The two major subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Sept. 22, 2014

What can I expect as my mom now experiences the later stages of Alzheimer’s? The later stage of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be very distressing for you and your family, and a time you should enlist support from others, complete advance directives and make decisions on hospice and palliative care. Because each individual… Continue reading →

An APP a day ...keeps the doctor at bay

Photo provided by The O-Bar uses technology to help patients navigate medical issues.

The automatic doors made a whooshing sound as Gloria Bienemy stepped into the health clinic for her appointment. But instead of seeing a nurse, Bienemy met with technology specialist Braden Lemon at a sleek counter topped with glossy iPads and began reviewing health-focused computer apps. The futuristic scene is called the OBar. A nod… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Sept. 15, 2014

What is Hodgkin’s lymphoma? Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is one of a group of cancers called lymphomas. Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Hodgkin’s disease accounts for around 11 to 12 percent of lymphomas and is the most curable type of lymphoma. Other cancers… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Sept. 15, 2014

My friend’s dad has developed alcohol-related dementia that is caused by Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Can you tell me about this syndrome? Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a neurological disorder that is typically associated with chronic alcoholism, yet could also be associated with malnutrition, a B vitamin deficiency or other nutritional deficiencies. The syndrome is often under-reported and… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Sept. 8, 2014

What is gynecologic cancer? Gynecologic or gynecological cancer is actually a group of several different cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, a gynecological cancer is any cancer of the female reproductive tract. Gynecological cancers include: cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, fallopian tube cancer, gestational trophoblastic tumor, ovarian epithelial cancer, ovarian germ cell tumor, ovarian… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Sept. 8, 2014

Does vitamin E assist in slowing down cognitive decline? No treatment will delay, prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Antioxidants may protect brain cells and other body tissues from certain kinds of chemical wear and tear. In the January issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers announced results… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Sept. 1, 2014

My brother was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer but is not on any treatment regimen other than what is considered “watchful waiting.” What exactly is that? According to the National Cancer Institute, “watchful waiting” is closely monitoring a patient’s condition but withholding treatment until symptoms appear or change. Watchful waiting can also be… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A, Sept. 1, 2014

If I suspect I have some kind of memory impairment, possibly Alzheimer’s disease, what kind of evaluation or assessments should I expect when I visit my physician? An early and accurate diagnosis can ensure you get appropriate treatment and care, and that you can access educational resources and support. The first step is to make… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Aug. 25, 2014

What are some different types of complementary therapies? According to the National Library of Medicine, “Complementary and alternative medicine is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard care.” When these therapies are performed at the same time as standard treatments as prescribed by doctors and… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A, Aug. 25, 2014

What is normal pressure hydrocephalus? Hydrocephalus is a condition in which the cerebrospinal fluid that encases and cushions the brain doesn’t absorb again into the bloodstream as it should. This causes the ventricles to enlarge, which, in turn, causes more pressure on the brain. The enlargement compresses brain… Continue reading →

Bone marrow donors needed

Advocate staff photo by KYLE PEVETO -- Sally-Ann Roberts, an anchor at WWL-TV in New Orleans, says more bone marrow donors are needed nationwide. Roberts gave life-saving bone marrow to her sister, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts.

Learning that she could help save the life of her sister was one of Sally-Ann Roberts’ proudest moments. Her sister, Good Morning America co-host and television personality Robin Roberts, needed a bone marrow transplant in 2012. Luckily, Sally-Ann Roberts was a match. “It was the most exhilarating, rewarding experience of my life,” said Sally-Ann Roberts,… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Aug. 18, 2014

What are some tips for improving my memory now that I’m finished with my chemotherapy? Memory and concentration problems can begin soon after treatment ends, or they may not appear until much later. If a person is older, it can be hard to tell whether these changes in memory and concentration are a result of treatment… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A, Aug. 18, 2014

Does a urinary tract infection (UTI) cause changes in behavior or personality in someone with Alzheimer’s? Yes, if an individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia suddenly and without reason exhibits sudden changes in his/her behavior such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations or withdrawal, it might be caused by a UTI. The individual might not have the ability to… Continue reading →

Start your day with a workout and burn up more calories

They are shadowy figures moving in the dark while other people are sleeping. And they are everywhere — in parks, on the streets, even in stairwells. If you are one of those who rises before dawn to burn calories, these are your people. Dorothy Mann, of New Orleans, is a full-time mother of three small children,… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Aug. 11, 2014

I’m worried about coping with pain during my cancer treatment. What should I know? While cancer patients can experience many different types of pain related to both their disease and the treatment, the important thing to remember is that the pain can be managed. Pain can be caused from a tumor that is pressing on bones,… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A, Aug. 11, 2014

Is there a link between Alzheimer’s disease and oral hygiene? A study by the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2013 revealed that people with poor oral hygiene or gum disease may be at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It validates a previous U.S. study in which researchers reported that… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Aug. 4, 2014

Why does food taste differently now that I’m getting treated for cancer? Changes in the way food tastes is a common side effect of many cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation. There are several things that might help with this. You can rinse your mouth with baking soda and water, or lemon juice and… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A, Aug. 4, 2014

My mom passed away six months ago from Huntington’s disease. What information can you provide about this disease and should I get tested? Huntington’s disease, a cause of dementia like Alzheimer’s, is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that leads to cognitive decline, psychiatric problems and affects muscle coordination. The disease was formerly named Huntington’s chorea because it… Continue reading →

40-year-old with kidney ailment makes the Saintsations

New Orleans Saints Saintsation Kriste Lewis performs during a photo shoot at the NFL football team's training facility in Metairie, La., Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Lewis is one of only two NFL cheerleaders in her 40s. The other dancer is 45-year-old Laura Vikmanis, who has been with the Cincinnati Bengals dance team, the Ben-Gals, since making the squad at age 40. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) ORG XMIT: LAWH104

When Kriste Lewis went out for the Saints’ cheerleading squad this year, she never dreamed she’d win a place. Or that doing so would make her a national news story. The 40-year-old mother of two from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is now one of only two NFL cheerleaders over the age of 40. Her age, and the fact… Continue reading →