The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks – Book Review

As investigated by writer Rebecca Skloot has taken a decade-long odyssey through the life and family of where she had become part of the lives of Henrietta’s children and grandchildren as Skloot worked here was methodically back to the fateful day when HeLa was born.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, whose skillful writer, researcher and editor, takes use to the small town of Clover, VA where Helen began her life as a sharecropper. She earned a subsistence living, worked the same tobacco land that her grandparents had worked as slaves. We run across Henrietta when she enters the “Health Care Hall of Fame,” as a research team takes biomaterial from Henrietta, never planning to tell her at all what they were going to do with the material.

That they did the same thing to Henrietta’s husband and children is just another of the many examples of dubious African-American/white relations of the 1950s when the encounter happens. Indeed, it takes a full 20 years for the story to unfold as Skloot takes us through the ins and outs of not only the medical research community of the times, but also the knowledge that the family was uncertain of the fate of their ancestor’s biomaterial. The family never realized that HeLa – the stuff not only of viral, bacterial and other studies – was their grandmother’s.

Skloot hints that while the breakthroughs in medicine that have been as a direct result of having access to a pure, mulch-generational root biomaterial, it would also have been nice to have paid the family for the use of Henrietta’s biomaterial, as well as that of other family members from which it was taken and used without their knowledge or recompense.

Skloot puts a human face on HeLa. She has an excellent eye for detail and introduces the family members who, like Henrietta, were never paid, but whose biomaterial was also made part of the testing.

The funny thing is, readers are constantly reminded, that the methods used to “harvest” biomateirals in the 1950s were considered the proper way to handle things in the 1950s when a small needle was inserted into Henrietta’s arm – with the words “little stick” following the insertion. The medical establishment believed it had the right and responsibility to do this.

More to the point, as Skloot indicates through her controlled and deceptively simple, yet effective, writing is a world that is two generations removed from us, when such practices were the norm and not the exception.

It might interest Henrietta to know that if placed on a very big metrical scale, the amount of biomaterial created from that “little stick” is in the millions of metric tons and the work that researchers has been worthwhile.

Skloot is an excellent, accomplished author, who seems to have taken the time to write something a little more insightful than others.

Skin Resurfacing – The Complete Review

Introduction to Laser Skin Resurfacing
Maintaining beauty and a youthful appearance date back several thousand years to the ancient Egyptian. However, the advances in technology have never before awarded such a choice of modalities. Non-surgical skin rejuvenation, laser skin resurfacing, wrinkle treatment, fillers, face lift, and skin tightening are common approaches for improving the look of your skin. Particularly, the introduction of a multitude of skin resurfacing devices has caused a lot of confusion amongst consumers. Among these options, laser skin resurfacing is the most effective non or semi-invasive surgical approach to achieve drastic results.
First of all you must know that every new resurfacing laser or device is measured against the industry’s most powerful machine for the past 40 years, the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser. It was invented in 1964 and has been the most widely used laser in medicine. In the area of dermatology, its use has been predominantly for facial resurfacing. It often achieves desired results in a single treatment, works on fine and intermediate lines and acne scars, maximally tightens the skin and delivers results that last a number of years. Its drawback is a long, 10-14 day social downtime, making it less desirable for any working person. To overcome this handicap and minimize healing time, many devices that do not injure the uppermost layers of the skin (non-ablative) have recently been developed by the aesthetic industry. The single most important advance was the creation of fractional technology. Leaving small islands of normal skin behind, the skin regenerates much faster than with the traditional full ablation of skin.
You will learn about the current industry recognized ablative and non-ablative strategies that rejuvenate your skin and about the benefits and downsides of each of these techniques.

Fractionated Ablative lasers

Carbon Dioxide Laser – CO2 Laser

As an ablative laser, it vaporizes the tissue and is able to eradicate fine and intermediate lines, smoothes overall skin texture and acne scars, eradicates uneven pigmentation as well as tightens the skin. It lets you appear about 10 years younger and often replaces the need for a face lift unless skin sagging is severe. Preparation and postoperative care most closely resembles a full fletched surgical procedure, however, CO2 laser resurfacing can be performed under local anesthesia. The price you pay for the results is one to two weeks of social downtime while the skin reepithelializes. In addition, the resurfaced skin may appear pinkish for several months thereafter.

Fractional CO2 Laser

Since the beginning of 2007, refined systems with partial degrees of ablation that leave small islands of normal skin from which the skin can regenerate much faster, have revolutionized the resurfacing market. Amongst these, the combination of DeepFx and ActiveFx, manufactured by the leader in CO2 technology (Lumenis) give results that most closely compare to the traditional laser resurfacing. This new technology offers faster healing times with still excellent results. In the meantime, a number of laser companies have now developed their own permutations of a fractionated CO2 laser and names include Fraxel re:Pair, Slim MIxto/SX, Exelo 2, Mosaic.

Erbium:YAG Lasers

The traditional erbium laser has produced results that were absolutely comparable to the CO2 laser yet it fell out of favor because of significant post operative bleeding. As with the fractional method developed for the CO2 laser, today’s erbium laser treatments are almost exclusively fractionated and may also be called pixelated. Names that you may read about are Pearl, Pixel, ProFractional and Starlux 2940. However, with the exception of the Pearl, these do not deliver results that mirror the original. While downtime is typically limited to 1-4 days, the downfall of most of the fractionated erbium technology is the very superficial nature of the resurfacing results, being excellent at improving sun damage, and skin texture, but will target only the finest lines. They are considered more like an aggressive peel. Several treatments are often necessary to achieve such results. These fractionated lasers do not significantly contribute to skin tightening, removal of wrinkles, let alone acne scars.

Non Ablative Fractional Lasers

Protecting the epidermis, the upper most layer of our skin, and thereby minimizing social downtime, non-ablative lasers deliver energy in the lower layers of skin, ideally only causing swelling which is socially much more tolerable than oozing. Amongst the non-ablative lasers, FRAXEL is the most marketed. Other brands include Affirm, StarLux-Lux, Mosaic.
Using a wave length lower than that of a CO2 laser, these lasers drive energy into the skin, stimulating collagen production and thereby tightening skin. Results after a single treatment are minimal and it can easily take 4-8 treatments to observe an effect. While its effects on wrinkles and lines after 4-8 treatments is fairly close to the results of a single CO2 laser treatment, it does not seem to deliver on scars as well. In addition, the Fraxel has been FDA approved for the treatment of melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy, which shows as symmetric pigmentation on the face as a result of sun exposure with increased estrogen levels.

Non-Laser Fractionated Resurfacing Devices

Plasma and radiofrequency devices belong to this category. Because of the more convincing results, plasma technology will be discussed here. The plasma device is not based on laser principle. Plasma is pushed into the skin to induce partial ablation of the epidermis and renewal of collagen beneath the surface of the skin. Treatments can be delivered in 1-2 aggressive sessions, results mimicking nearly those of fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing. When energy levels are minimized to allow for as a little as a few-hour lasting redness, several treatments will be needed for an effect. With the latter technique however, results tend to be much less dramatic. Having gained FDA approval in the second half of 2007, the technology is fairly new and long term results are not known yet.

In sum, many exciting technologies are available nowadays. The general rule of little downtime little results still applies. Non-ablative technology seldom achieves noticeable results in a single treatment and the overall outcome even after several treatments is often below expectations. Ablative devices appear to deliver best, require only a small number of treatments results and social downtime can effectively be lowered by the uses of fractional technology. Ultimately, your goals, your ability to tolerate social downtime and your wallet will steer you and your treating physician to a resurfacing plan that is tailored to you.

CO2 Laser ****
ActiveFX ***
Fractional Lasers **
TCA Peel **
Glycolic Peel *
Microdermabrasion *

Social downtime
CO2 Laser 5-14 days
ActiveFX 3-5 days
Fractional Lasers 1-6 days
TCA Peel 5-7 days
Glycolic Peel None
Microdermabrasion None

# Treatments
CO2 Laser 1
ActiveFX 1-2
Fractional Lasers 4-8
TCA Peel 1
Glycolic Peel 6-8
Microdermabrasion 6-8

Lasting results
CO2 Laser 10 years
ActiveFX 10 years
Fractional Lasers Unknown
TCA Peel 2 years
Glycolic Peel 1 year
Microdermabrasion 1 year

Average Cost
CO2 Laser $3000
ActiveFX $3700
Fractional Lasers $5000
TCA Peel $500
Glycolic Peel $700
Microdermabrasion $1000

Cold Sore Medicine Review – Abreva

You can find Abreva Cold Sore Treatment over-the-counter at most any pharmacy aisle in any store. Abreva is approved by the FDA and says it will reduce the healing time for a cold sore or fever blister. The question is, does it work? We will take a look in a minute.

The Abreva product comes in a relatively tiny 2 gram tube. You can find it retailing for approximately $15 in all stores, or through the Internet.

In reading the directions, it states that you should put the medicine directly on the area where you feel the cold sore coming on. You’re to do this 5 times throughout the day. Abreva says that the key is to begin treatment before the cold sore actually breaks out.

As someone who has cold sores a couple of times during the year, I know how tough they can be to deal with, especially after breaking out. So, I’m always looking for a cold sore medicine that works. With that said, here is my review of Abreva.

1. I found myself having some trouble getting the package open. There is no way to get it open without scissors. Then, when you do get to it, the tube is very tiny, leaving you to wonder if there is anything in it.

2. I found that Abreva took almost a week to take away my pain, not a few days that the product claims. I must say, prescription cold sore medicine is much faster working.

3. Abreva Cold Sore Treatment didn’t eliminate my cold sore quickly. It did work, but not as well as other cold sore medications I’ve used in the past, and nowhere near as fast as a prescription.

4. I was out of Abreva after only 10 days of use. I used it exactly as the directions stated, but the tube didn’t last long. I was a little disappointed to say the least.

I have talked with others who have had good luck with Abreva, but I’m not in that group. I can’t give Abreva a high rating compared to other cold sore medicines available.

Copyright 2006 – Terry Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active and do not edit the article in any way.

Doctor Reviews – A Topnotch Source For Finding Quality Medical Referrals

If you are wondering how to go about finding the best physician for your medicinal needs, then look no further than doctor reviews. The days of pestering friends and family for recommended practitioners are in the past, as the most efficient way to find professional care is much simpler. By utilizing the handy online database of doctor reviews from certain websites, you search will be completed without any trouble and in a short amount of time.

Most care-seeking patients might not think to consult the information super highway for their medical needs, but in fact, this is the best source available. After providing a small amount of personal information and a few mouse clicks, you will have located the provider of quality health care that you need.

The reasons for using this search strategy are many, but perhaps one of the best is because it is totally private. By going online and reading what other, former patients of a particular physician have to say about his or her practice, you can find the information you need without having to ask anyone in person. For instance, what if you have a medical condition that is of a sensitive subject matter and you would prefer to talk about it as little as possible? After all, medicine should be a totally confidential matter that is shared between patient and doctor.

The requirements for using this method are simple enough, as you only need access to a computer and the internet. For a lot of us, this will be possible without leaving your own home. What is even better is that it will likely require little of your time to find what you are looking for. Searching through doctor reviews can be done as you take care of other daily internet tasks, such as checking or writing emails.

The advantages continue to stack up for this great way to find health care, so more and more people are using it. This translates into more and more reviews and ratings to help make your decision easier. The more reviews there are for a particular, the more reliable the general consensus of the individual’s practice. This can make a difference between paying a lot for sub-par treatment or receiving the topnotch care you deserve and require.

Do yourself a tremendous favor and start looking today and find out what everyone is talking about when they mention how fast and efficient the use of doctor reviews are. These sites are trustworthy and can be accessed instantly. After you try this procedure, you will never go back to bothering friends and family about who to seek treatment from, as you will know that the internet is so much faster and reliable. To start, all you need to supply is type of clinician or treatment you are seeking and then enter your city’s name. In no time at all, you will be privy to all of the most reliable, locally accessible doctors near you.

The Alternative Medicine Review For Your Assistance

The alternative medicines are most widely and successfully used in the recent times as an alternative program to the conventional medicines. Magnetic therapy as an alternative therapy has been in use for a long time. Magnetic therapy is very effective in dealing with pains and aches, sprains and wounds. Often people who are suffering from arthritis choose to have magnetic bands and chains attached to their bodies rather than visit the physician millions of times and get lists of medicines that simply clutter their immune system and yet offer no satisfactory results.

One great factor about magnetic therapy as an alternative therapy is the fact that magnetic therapies are absolutely safe without any side effects or long-term hazards. Alternative medicine review of most medicines depict that the alternative therapy are effectual and do not have unfavorable side effects. It has also been seen that most of the alternative medicines work in conjunction and under the dictates of conventional medicine and thus, they are not a remote branch of medicine at all.

Alternative medicines are generally natural methods of treatment and hence they are considered to be pure and safe. Medicine of any type affect different people in different methods and at times alternative therapy treatment can affect a patient fatally as much as conventional medicine can. However, it is generally seen that alternative therapy, being natural, does not have negative effects on the patient. Since the magnetic therapy constitutes the use of magnets and the magnetic field to cure pains, it is safe to read the guidelines before administering the magnet to the skin.

At times, men and women who benefit from a small treatment that they undergo in alternative therapy, care to believe that all major treatments in alternative medicine are also as effective. Well it might be but again there are chances of the major illnesses being not cured as effectively as the small problem. This is a case that is common to all medicines and one can resort to other methods if alternative medicine does not work. This is one of the greatest aspects about alternative medicines as one can jump to mainstream medicine if this branch fails to work.

Also as the alternative medicine review says, the money spent in alternative medicines is comparatively lesser than the amount that is generally spent in mainstream medicine. Alternative medicines treatment might take a period to effect the results. The magnet therapy works wonders only if you give it some time to function properly. So if you are a name who expects relief to come your way with the snap of your fingers then alternative medicine is not an approach that you should try.

Alternative medicine review talks about alternative medicine as being one of the best options to choose for treatment if you dislike hospitals and too many medicines. The magnetic therapy for curing pain is safe and easy method for permanent relief.

Concierge Medicine Review – Shared Doctor Appointments

Sharing a doctor to increase productivity? Sharing a doctor’s appointment to bond with other patients suffering from the same chronic condition? It is the kind of thing that concierge doctors are concerned over. Imagine paying full price, or your full co-payment, and going to a shared doctor’s appointment with 30 other patients who might be experiencing the same chronic condition that you are. Does this sound like a good idea, or a recipe for disaster?

“Shared medical appointments improve patient access, enhance patient and physician satisfaction, and increase practice productivity, all without adding more hours to a physician’s work week. There is even evidence that they promote better outcomes and lower overall costs of care.

Lets add some insight into the previous image; imagine paying full price for a doctor’s visit, visiting with that doctor in a room full of other patients, or ‘observers,’ who are able to ‘sit-in’ on your doctor’s appointment, share ideas, discuss symptoms, and listen to every word that you are telling your doctor. Not much room for privacy, huh?

And when it comes to privacy, there are two different thoughts on the matter. One patient told NBC that his experience with the shared doctor’s appointment was not all it was cracked up to be; “One on one I can talk to the doctor and ask personal things, not that I can’t do that here but I don’t want to take up the time.”

And yet a physician told another media out let the exact opposite; “The biggest surprise was patient confidentiality,” says Rajan Bhandari, MD, chief of neurology at the Kaiser Permanente Santa Theresa Medical Center in San Jose. “They reveal more about themselves than I would ever have known about them otherwise. They seem to really blossom when they’re in a warm, empathic environment where they feel nurtured, supported, and not alone.”

While the money spent is exactly the same, the confidentiality seems to be lacking, and the overall medical treatment might be deficient, physicians say the “real benefit is that instead of pretending that patients who have been living with chronic medical conditions don’t know anything about them, you actually involve them in the care-giving process.”

According a two-year study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation showed that patients participating in the cooperative-clinic model stayed independent longer and were more satisfied with their physicians and with their understanding of their medical conditions. Physician satisfaction also increased, while hospitalization and ER use decreased by 12 and 18 percent, respectively. Cooperative-clinic participants were 2.5 times as likely to stay with their physician and with Kaiser.

This method of medicine becomes not so much about the chronic condition itself, but about the person living with the chronic condition. This bonding between patients with like conditions and the ability to help one-another out in these shared doctor appointments seems to offer an “installation of hope.” In shared doctor appointments, patients no longer feel like they’re the only ones dealing with the chronic condition. They can see others living with the condition as well, whether in a greater way or a less fortunate way.

Another aspect of shared doctor appointments is the time spent with the doctor, though it might be ‘shared’ time. A general appointment with the family physician will run from between 8 to 10 minutes, while in a shared appointment that time is extended to 90 minutes, a benefit that makes patients feel as if their getting their money’s worth.

While it might be a little different, and may take some getting used to, it is creating a buzz in the medical community and it is getting people excited about more possibilities for healthcare. Shared doctor appointments are bringing more attention to the fact that patients are frustrated with the system, with the way they are treated in their 8 minute doctor appointments, and that they are looking for alternatives to general medicine.