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HEALTH   -   HEALTHY & HAPPY
Healthy & Happy
July, 2018 - Issue #166
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

What You Need to Know about Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP injection is a non-operative treatment option that relieves pain by naturally promoting long-lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. PRP has already become popular among professional athletes. Many have attributed PRP injections with enabling them to return to regular activity and competition after a sports injury. This technique is also showing promising results for conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis and ligament injuries. PRP is not something that wears off over time, such as a traditional pain injection like cortisone. Although short-acting, cortisone is a popular choice because it works quickly and also because it is usually covered by insurance. However, PRP provides patients with a long-lasting, potentially-permanent solution. PRP is derived from your own blood by taking a sample, placing it in a special tube and spinning the blood in a centrifuge for about 15 minutes. This separates the whole blood into its components including red blood cells, platelets and plasma. The middle layer constitutes PRP, which contains highly-concentrated platelets. Platelets are the cells normally known for their importance in clotting blood, however, they also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors that are important in the healing of injuries. The basic idea behind PRP injections is to deliver high concentrations of growth factors to an area of injury, stimulating a healing process and reducing inflammation in the tissue. PRP stimulates and accelerates the body's natural healing process. Once PRP is ready, it will then be injected into the affected area. The entire procedure typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes. It is expected to take up to six to eight weeks to adequately assess your response to the PRP injection. If you are considering PRP injections, call AVORS to schedule an evaluation.
AVORS Medical Group 705-5100

CUSTOM CARE: PERSONALIZED TREATMENT FOR BREAST CANCER
If you've received a breast cancer diagnosis, you're probably wondering what "personalized breast cancer care" really means. At City of Hope Santa Clarita and Mission Hills, your treatment team will use state-of-the-art breast imaging technologies and laboratory techniques to design a treatment that's tailored just for you. Genetic testing is one of the major advances made in breast cancer treatment, said Dortha Chu, MD, PhD, an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery at City of Hope. Different breast tumors have their own unique genetic signatures. By testing for genetic markers in those cancers, doctors can determine what type of breast cancer is present and how a tumor might behave, Chu said. In some cases, doctors can even predict which chemotherapy medications will be effective for treating a tumor - and which won't work as well. "We can offer you therapy that would give you the maximum benefit, hopefully with the fewest side effects," Chu said. For most patients with breast cancer, surgery is the first step - and many factors go into choosing the right procedure. Surgical options include lumpectomies, in which a portion of the breast is removed, and mastectomies, in which the entire breast is removed. There are sometimes nipple-sparing or skin-sparing options to consider. Doctors will consider factors, such as the size of the breast, the size of the tumor, the cosmetic impact of different treatments and each patient's personal concerns and goals. "The advances are wonderful, but they can become very confusing," Chu continued. To Chu, personalized medicine starts with helping the patient fully understand the disease and their own unique test results. The next step is to discuss treatment options. That means talking about the science, but also personal factors such as how a patient feels about different therapies and how well she can tolerate potential side effects. Genetic advances have been a major step forward in providing customized treatment, Chu said. "And City of Hope has been on the forefront of helping to develop those kinds of treatments and establish their safety and efficacy."
City Of Hope 799-1999

Prevent Falls for Seniors
The biggest safety issue that seniors face is falls. Falls can cause great injury for everyone, but for seniors, a fall can be catastrophic. Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. Most of these falls happen in their own home, which is why prevention is so important - and effective. Removing small throw rugs; installing sturdy handrails and bright lights on staircases, as well as in tubs and next to toilets; using non-slip mats in the tub; encouraging the wear of supportive footwear inside and outside the home; and removing things one could trip on near stairs and walkways can go a long way in making homes safer for seniors. Visiting Angels is passionate about improving the home safety of those they care for and reducing the risk of falls so seniors can stay safe at home.
Visiting Angels 263-2273
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

5 Things You Should Know Before You Whiten your Teeth
Having a bright, white smile can do wonders for your confidence, not to mention your social and financial success. Whether you choose an over-the-counter kit or go to a dentist, however, know that how quickly your teeth will respond to treatment or how much "lighter" they will look afterward will depend on the following:

1. The porosity of the enamel. Our teeth have two layers: a semi-porous outer layer called the "enamel" and an innermost yellow layer called the "dentin." The more porous the teeth enamel is, the easier it will be for the bleaching solution to penetrate and neutralize any discoloration coming from food or beverage stains.

2. Your genes. Our genes dictate the thickness and the smoothness of our teeth enamel. A smoother enamel will reflect more light, making teeth look whiter. The inverse is also true.

3. Any dental work you had done. Bleaching doesn't work on fillings, veneers or crowns. So when you whiten your teeth, know that there may be a color difference between the new shade of your teeth and your previous dental work. Being able to choose the right shade to make the transition look natural, or redoing your fillings or veneers to make the coloring even, helps.

4. What type of staining is present. Organic stains from food and beverages respond the best to whitening. Inorganic stains from chemicals, from having taken the antibiotic tetracycline or discoloration coming from trauma usually produce ineffective results.

5. The product that you buy and how well they fit your teeth. Over-the-counter whitening kits are less effective than the prescription kits you get from your dentist because they have a lower concentration of bleach. Making sure the bleaching trays are molded properly to your teeth is also key, because the gel has to be properly sealed in and your saliva kept out of the tray.
Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry 200-0677

Don't Live with Pain if You don't have To
Dr. Tony Avakian and his staff at Valencia Foot & Ankle Center know that you shouldn't live with pain if you don't have to. That's why they offer the latest medical technology to treat your pain so you can enjoy your life. Over 90 percent of their patients get better with conservative treatment; rarely does a patient require surgical intervention. Valencia Foot & Ankle Center treats all disorders relating to the foot and ankle.
Valencia Foot & Ankle Center 288-2321

Have a Safe & Clutter-free Summer
We all hold onto those "precious" possessions in our lives, often way too long. There may be a sentimental attachment to the items, or we feel obligated to keep things that were given as gifts. But, clutter can easily grow into hoarding for some seniors, and that can pose a real danger in regard to fall risks and unsanitary living conditions. If clutter is becoming a problem, here are some tips on creating a clutter-free home. First, don't be overwhelmed... start small, one room at a time. Figure out which part of the house poses most danger and begin there. For example: Check out the bedroom for papers and magazines under the bed; these can be a fire hazard. An overfull closet or drawers can lead to confusion and a sense of disorganization that spills over into other rooms. And, medicine cabinets chock full of expired prescriptions can lead to accidental errors and harmful side effects. Need a helping hand? Call Home Instead Senior Care.
Home Instead Senior Care 254-8701

Struggling with Hearing? What You're Really Missing
It's not uncommon for those struggling with hearing to become defensive when a friend or loved one suggests that they have their hearing checked or, worse, get hearing aids. They might be saying, "I'm concerned about your hearing health," but it could sound more like, "You're old and deaf!" to you. The next time you're tempted to become frustrated when the, "You need to see an audiologist," talk begins again, read between the lines. The people you live, work and socialize with know what you're missing out on - and they want you to be part of it again. Whether that's participating in heated discussions in the board room, intimate conversations between partners or reveling in the happy squeals of children, your inability to fully engage in the world around you is preventing you from living your best, most fulfilling life... and they know it. They want you to be happy, healthy and hearing better. They want to have a better connection with you - one that's based on communication and understanding. They do want you to go to an audiologist, not because, "you're old and deaf," but because they care about you. And, if the feeling's mutual, you will go - especially because, right now, your hearing check up is free.
Nola Aronson's Advanced Audiology 425-9330
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