Saturday, October 6, 2007

Is Pap Test an Accurate Method of Detecting Cervical Cancer?

The Pap test, also known as the cervical smear test, was named for its inventor George Papanicolaou and is used to detect cervical cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. Records show that since the test's introduction in the late 1940s, the death rate from cervical cancer in North America has dropped more than 70 percent.

One reason for the success of Pap tests is that most cervical cancers develop slowly; cells can take several years to become cancerous. Regular screening and pelvic exams lead to detection in plenty of time for treatment and also minimize the long-term risks of a single false-negative result.

But despite this impressive achievement, some 400 North American women die each year from a disease that, doctors say, is nearly 100 percent curable if caught early. According to one survey, many American and Canadian women are not being tested, and the proportion is increasing. [Read Full Article]

Chichen Itza, the Colosseum, and Statue of Christ the Redeemer

The ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza in Mexico, the Colosseum in Rome, and the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro were recently named three of the 7 'new' world wonders during a televised celebrity-studded ceremony held at Lisbon's Stadium of Light in Portugal on July 7, 2007. In a report from the Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Lisbon, the selection was made after nearly 100 million votes, cast on the Internet and through telephones, were counted.

Following is a brief description, from historical records and accounts, of each of the three 'new' world wonders:

Chichen Itza in Mexico:

The ancient Maya/Toltec city of Chichen Itza is situated 77 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Merida. It was established by the Maya around 600 AD and was a major center of the Toltecs in 1000-1200, after the decline of the Maya. [Read Full Article]

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Breast-feeding is Still Best for Babies - and Moms, too!

Nursing, the preferred method of feeding a newborn, greatly benefits both the infant and the mother. In fact, many health documents recommend that babies receive only breast milk for the first 4 to 6 months. With additional foods, breast-feeding may continue well into the second year of life.

Breast milk contains the right amount of fatty acids, water, lactose, vitamins, trace minerals, and amino acids for an infant. With at least 100 ingredients that formula does not provide - some impossible to duplicate - the milk helps to support the immune system and protects against diarrhea, rashes, allergies, and infections of the ear, urinary tract, and respiratory system. Nursing can also aid in tooth development, improve response to vaccines, and possibly reduce the chances of future diabetes or obesity. One study suggests that children who are breast-fed even do better in school.

Of course, some women are unable to breast-feed and must rely on infant formula. Though second-best, formula is still an excellent source of nutrition for a baby. Since homemade formula does not meet a baby's needs and can be dangerous, always opt for commercial brands that are iron-fortified. [Read Full Article]

A Health Guide to the Three Modern Methods of Saving Your Teeth from Decay

Seeing a dentist at least once a year is an advice we've all heard of since our younger years. The reasons for doing so are varied: for a cleaning, a filling, or a more complex procedure. By becoming aware of the many facets of both familiar and more advanced procedures, you may be able to improve the results.

Left alone, a decayed tooth can become infected, causing pain and eventually the loss of the tooth. Modern dentistry can prevent this from happening with these three methods:

1. Dental amalgams. For moderately decayed teeth, dentists drill the cavity and fill it with a strong material - usually a dental amalgam made of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. In the past decade, concerns have been raised over the mercury in amalgams. When fillings break down, as they all eventually do, small particles of mercury enter the bloodstream, and some people feared that this might increase the risk of arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. But studies have found no link between medical disorders and amalgam fillings that contain mercury. It appears that the amount of mercury released by the amalgam is so minute that it doesn't do any damage. Health experts say that amalgam is safe for all but a small number of people who are specifically sensitive or allergic to mercury and who may suffer severe health problems even from low exposure. [Read Full Article]

Great Wall of China

Thousands of tourists at the Great Wall of China on July 7, 2007 were unaware that the structure they were marveling at was just selected as one of 7 'new' world wonders during a celebrity-studded ceremony held at Lisbon's Stadium of Light in Portugal. According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report from Lisbon, "the televised event was not broadcast (in China), leaving thousands of tourists at the Great Wall unaware of the new designation."

Both a barrier and a gateway to the wealth and enigma of the Chinese Empire, the Great Wall of China is a man-made work on such a gigantic scale that it has been called the 'Eighth Wonder of the World.' Many people from around the world, in fact, noted that the recent accolade received from the said event in Lisbon was long overdue. This is because more superlatives have been heaped upon the Great Wall of China than on any other structure in the world: "The greatest construction project ever undertaken by man," "the longest bastion," and "the world's biggest graveyard."

Historical records and facts are clear: the wall stretches for some 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) across China, following a twisting, curving path that has been likened to the body of a dragon. It was constructed over a period of 2,100 years by millions of soldiers and laborers, and it cost the lives of untold thousands. [Read Full Article]