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The male breast self exam (MBSE) is one of the most over-looked medical procedures performed by physicians. In part this is due to that male breast cancer in comparison to female breast cancer is a relatively rare event. However, according to the latest cancer statistics from the American Cancer Society, about 2,140 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed resulting in approximately 450 deaths in 2011. Many of these deaths will occur because men typically are not diagnosed until a late stage cancer develops. To protect yourself from becoming another breast cancer mortality statistic, you can put your healthcare in your hands by performing a simple 60-second male breast self exam in the privacy of your home.

1. Prior to the self-exam, take a hot shower to soften the skin and relax the muscles.
2. Lie flat on your back and extend your left arm above your head.
3. Using your right hand, hold your index, middle and ring fingers together like a Boy Scout salute.
4. Place the three-finger salute on the outside of your left breast region and press down gently.
5. Move your fingers in a slow, circular motion that gradually spirals toward the left nipple while focusing for any lumps or irregularities.
6. Once you reach the nipple, squeeze it like a man (you know what I mean) and look for any sign of discharge.
7. Switch arm and hand positions and examine the right breast.
8. Report any bumps, irregularities or changes to your physician.

Is it Mold or Mildew that's Killing You?

If you love old homes you may be familiar with this picture. It is helpful to know the difference between mold and mildew. Mildew is a form of mold which grows flatly and is usually powdery or downy. Downy mildew starts out yellow in color, and then eventually fades to brown. Powdery mildew start whitish in color, then becomes yellowish brown and even...tually turns black. Mold is a fungus that grows in a form that looks like filaments. It is usually fuzzy in appearance, and varies in color from orange, pink, purple, green, brown, or black.

Mold has been proven to cause health problems such as allergic reactions and respiratory problems due to the toxins it releases. Mold derives its energy from food and other products, and it releases spores into the air. By the time a person smells the odor of mold and can actually see it, it has already cultivated into colonies with its spores. Mildew can cause more harm to plants and crops than humans. The effects of inhaling mildew can cause headaches, lung problems, coughing and a scratchy throat. Mildew can grow just about anywhere that the moisture content is high. Mildew loves window sills, bathrooms, showers, closets, basement, and damp areas. Both mold and mildew are the result of moisture. so it is important to keep your home dry and moisture free. This can be accomplished by using a dehumidifier, removing perishable foods within four to five days, or by purchasing mildew removers. According to the Center for Disease Control, individuals who are prone to allergies, who have asthma or other respiratory illnesses, or those with compromised autoimmune systems should avoid areas that could contain mildew. Indoors the home humidity should be kept between 40 and 60 percent, and ensure that showers and cooking areas are well-ventilated. If you find mold growth in your home, the source of the water problems should be repaired immediately to prevent health issues.

The US Environmental Protection Agency, emphasizes that since there are literally thousand of different types of mold spores, there is no way to prevent them in your home. However what you can do is control the spores so that they do not grow into colonies, by using household cleaning products that reduce mold. Replace damp carpet immediately to prevent mold. There are ways to control the build up of mold. When taking showers use the exhaust fan or ventilate the area. Use the exhaust fan while cooking. When removing mold or mildew wear protective eye wear and a mask, wear non-porous gloves and mix 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water to kill the colonies of mold, make sure the area has a lot of ventilation. There are some types of mold you may need to contact a professional to remove. In some instances the wood and surrounding materials must be replaced. So we suggest you search and destroy all mold and mildew, in your homes and place of business before the spores kill you slowly.

A growing number of people across the Nation are foregoing traditional medical treatments for alternative methods. Or they are combining traditional methods with alternative methods. Herbal medicine is among a host of methods that make u...p what is termed “complementary and alternative medicine,” or CAM. Such methods can include diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, acupressure, meditation, reflexology, iridology, chiropractic care, healing touch, quantum touch, and massage among others. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines, or NCCAM, defines CAM as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine practiced by doctors and allied health professionals, such as physical therapist, psychologists and registered nurses. Dr. Deepak Chopra who writes for the American Medical Association stated that “The relationship between conventional and alternative medicine is like a bad marriage, only in reverse. It began with a divorce and has moved to the stage of wary mediation.” Many alternative treatments have become the norm for patients who are using chemo-therapy to fight for their life. Many major insurance companies pay for alternative treatments to combat pain, and auto-immune illnesses. While many physicians warn of the untested nature of some alternative treatments, some methods like acupuncture and chiropractic care have gained national acceptance. According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromuscular-skeletal complaints, including neck pain, back pain, knee pain, joint pain, and headaches. The way we view chiropractic care has changed during the last few decades. Chiropractors, are getting referrals from medical doctors, as a result insurance companies include chiropractic care in their coverage. Gaining acceptance is Tai Chi, Yoga, Liu Tong and Qi-Gong. One of the advantages that many alternative methods offer is fewer side effects than traditional methods. The laws have changed for those seeking and those providing alternative methods of coping with pain. Tapping is gaining acceptance, it involves lightly pushing on points of the body, while using visualization and verbal techniques to eliminate both physical and emotional issues like pain, obesity and phobias. When choosing alternative health providers, ask questions and remember to tell your healthcare provider you are using alternative and traditional methods to cure your body.

Healing Hands Magazine

The Ripple Effect

An Excerpt from Adults at Work: How Individuals and Organizations Grow Up
by William Frank Diedrich

Marci led a department in healthcare that included 25 nurses and aides. Sharon, one of two supervisors who reported to her, was difficult to manage. Sharon had a dominant personality. Where Marci was steady and reserved, Sharon was aggressive and extroverted. It was the policy of the department that purchases needed to be approved by Marci. Sharon would order supplies on her own and this was affecting Marci’s budget. Marci had asked her to stop breaking the rules but Sharon continued her behavior.

Marci was frustrated and felt that things were out of control with Sharon. She and I discussed the situation and I asked her how she had asked Sharon to change her behavior. Marci replayed her side of the discussion. Her body was slightly slouched and she seemed to be shrinking. Her breath was shallow and her tone was tentative and apologetic. I asked her if she was intimidated by Sharon, and she said that she was. Marci didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and she tended to soften what she said to people. Sharon was very assertive and seemed to have no worries about whether she offended anyone or not.

I asked Marci to play Sharon’s role while I presented the request to her, as she had demonstrated it to me. Through the role play, Marci saw her ineffectiveness and realized why Sharon didn’t respect her or believe what she said. We clarified Marci’s role as a manager, and I asked her to present her expectation to me directly, as if I were Sharon, and to speak with authority. We discussed how that would look and sound. Marci was knowledgeable and experienced. She understood that she was accountable for her budget and for the performance of her staff. These points gave her the confidence to speak with authority. When Marci spoke to me she was clear and convincing. I could feel her power, and she felt it, too. When I checked back with her at our next meeting I found that she had expressed clear expectations to Sharon and that Sharon had easily agreed to cooperate. Marci felt that she was in control. Of course, she was in control of herself, not others. Her self-control and her understanding of her role allowed her to have influence and to lead effectively.

Everything you think, feel, say, and do has an effect. When you walk into a room, there is a ripple effect. Your facial expression, your body language, your tone of voice, and the words you speak have impact on everyone around you. Your ripple effect comes directly from what you believe and how you feel about yourself. Marci was looking at her situation in terms of how Sharon was affecting her and then feeling victimized. This created fear in her, and she saw the situation as Sharon’s fault. It struck her that she had abdicated her power to Sharon. She was using her power to make herself powerless. The situation was never about Sharon. It was about Marci becoming accountable and discovering her own power.Many people seem unaware that they are centers of influence. They see themselves, instead, as centers of attention. Their focus is on what the world and others are doing to them, or on what the world and others should be doing for them. To be a center of attention is to believe that others should change to meet your needs and wants -- that others should fit your images and beliefs in order for you to feel complete.

In reality, how you see yourself sets the tone for how others will see you. If you see yourself as a victim, you will interpret the actions of others as trying to hurt you. You will find yourself drawn to people who take advantage of you. When you change your perspective, you offer others someone different to respond to. When Marci showed up differently--confident, authoritative, clear--Sharon took notice. More importantly, Marci discovered that behind her fears was a real adult ready to take her place in the world.

William Frank Diedrich is a speaker, Executive Coach, and the author of four books, including Adults at Work and Beyond Blaming. For information on Bill’s books or his inspirational and interactive workshop, “For Adults Only: Creating a Workplace Where Everyone Functions as an Adult,” go to http://adults-at-work.com .

From the common snail, there is a lectin called Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA) that is used as a prognostic indicator for some cancers, such as those of the breast, stomach and colon. HPA fixation on histological preparations of these tissues is associated with an ominous prognosis, indicating that HPA-associated glycoproteins are linked to metastasis of cancers.  The FDA has also shown interest in snails. In the 1980s, American investigators from the University of Utah evaluated hundreds of neurotoxins derived from sea snails. These are utilized as they attack their prey or their predators and induce a neuro-muscular blockage. This is why ziconotide (SNXIII), a synthetic peptide derived from snail venom, has been under FDA review since 1999. Pre-clinical and clinical studies of this new drug indicate a powerful anesthetic effect. During controlled clinical trials, ziconotide reduced pain intensity by 53% (compared with 18% for the placebo), even in patients insensitive to morphine .

Dr. Richard Teo, was a 40-year-old millionaire and cosmetic surgeon with a stage-4 lung cancer but selflessly, came to share with the D1 class his life experience on 19-Jan-2012. He passed away,  October 18, 2012.   Below is the transcript.


Hi, good morning to all of you! My voice is a bit hoarse, so please bear with me. I thought I'll just introduce myself. My name is Richard, I'm a medical doctor. And I thought I'll just share some thoughts of my life. It's my pleasure to be invited by Prof___________. Hopefully, it can get you thinking about how  as you pursue this. embarking on your training to become dental surgeons, to think about other things as well.


Since a young person, I have been the typical product of today's society. Relatively successful product that society requires.   I came from a below average family. I was told by the media, and people around me that happiness is about success. And that success is about being wealthy. With this mind-set, I've always be extremely competitive, since I was very young.


Not only did I need to go to the top schools, I needed to have success in all fields. Uniform groups, track, everything. I needed to get trophies, I needed to be successful, I needed to have colours award, national colours award, everything. So I was highly competitive since young. I went on to medical school, graduated as a doctor. Some of you may know that within the medical faculty, ophthalmology is one of the most highly sought after specialties. So I went after that as well. I was given a traineeship in ophthalmology; I was also given a research scholarship by NUS to develop lasers to treat the eye.


So in the process, I was given 2 patents, one for the medical devices, and another for the lasers. And you know what; all this academic achievements did not bring me any wealth. So once I completed my bond with MOH, I decided that this is taking too long, the training in eye surgery is just taking too long. And there's lots of money to be made in the private sector. If you're aware, in the last few years, there is this rise in aesthetic medicine. Tons of money to be made there. So I decided, well, enough of staying in institution, it's time to leave. So I quit my training halfway and I went on to set up my aesthetic clinic... in town, together with a day surgery centre.


You know the irony is that people do not make heroes out average GP (general practitioner), family physicians. They don't. They make heroes out of people who are rich and famous. People who are not happy to pay $20 to see a GP, the same person have no qualms paying ten thousand dollars for a liposuction, 15 thousand dollars for a breast augmentation, and so on and so forth. So it's a no brainer isn't? Why do you want to be a gp? Become an aesthetic physician. So instead of healing the sick and ill, I decided that I'll become a glorified beautician. So, business was good, very good. It started off with waiting of one week, then became 3 weeks, then one month, then 2 months, then 3 months. I was overwhelmed; there were just too many patients. Vanities are fantastic business. I employed one doctor, the second doctor, the 3rd doctor, the 4th doctor. And within the 1st year, we're already raking in millions. Just the 1st year. But never is enough because I was so obsessed with it. I started to expand into Indonesia to get all the rich Indonesian tai-tais who wouldn't blink an eye to have a procedure done. So life was really good.


So what do I do with the spare cash. How do I spend my weekends? Typically, I'll have car club gatherings. I take out my track car, with spare cash I got myself a track car. We have car club gatherings. We'll go up to Sepang in Malaysia. We'll go for car racing. And it was my life. With other spare cash, what do I do? I get myself a Ferrari. At that time, the 458 wasn't out, it's just a spider convertible, 430. This is a friend of mine, a schoolmate who is a forex trader, a banker. So he got a red one, he was wanting all along a red one, I was getting the silver one.


So what do I do after getting a car? It's time to buy a house, to build our own bungalows. So we go around looking for a land to build our own bungalows, we went around hunting. So how do I live my life? Well, we all think we have to mix around with the rich and famous. This is one of the Miss Universe. So we hang around with the beautiful, rich and famous. This by the way is an internet founder. So this is how we spend our lives, with dining and all the restaurants and Michelin Chefs you know.


So I reach a point in life that I got everything for my life. I was at the pinnacle of my career and all. That's me one year ago in the gym and I thought I was like, having everything under control and reaching the pinnacle.


Well, I was wrong. I didn't have everything under control. About last year March, I started to develop backache in the middle of nowhere. I thought maybe it was all the heavy squats I was doing. So I went to SGH, saw my classmate to do an MRI, to make sure it's not a slipped disc or anything. And that evening, he called me up and said that we found bone marrow replacement in your spine. I said, sorry what does that mean? I mean I know what it means, but I couldn't accept that. I was like “Are you serious?” I was still running around going to the gym you know. But we had more scans the next day, PET scans - positrons emission scans, they found that actually I have stage 4 terminal lung cancer. I was like "Whoa where did that come from?” It has already spread to the brain, the spine, the liver and the adrenals. And you know one moment I was there, totally thinking that I have everything under control, thinking that I've reached the pinnacle of my life. But the next moment, I have just lost it.


This is a CT scan of the lungs itself. If you look at it, every single dot there is a tumor. We call this miliaries tumour. And in fact, I have tens of thousands of them in the lungs. So, I was told that even with chemotherapy, that I'll have about 3-4months at most. Did my life come crushing on, of course it did, who wouldn't? I went into depression, of course, severe depression and I thought I had everything.


See the irony is that all these things that I have the success, the trophies, my cars, my house and all. I thought that brought me happiness. But I was feeling really down, having severe depression. Having all these thoughts of my possessions, they brought me no joy. The thought of... You know, I can hug my Ferrari to sleep, no... No, it is not going to happen. It brought not a single comfort during my last ten months. And I thought they were, but they were not true happiness. But it wasn't. What really brought me joy in the last ten months was interaction with people, my loved ones, friends, people who genuinely care about me, they laugh and cry with me, and they are able to identify the pain and suffering I was going through. That brought joy to me, happiness. None of the things I have, all the possessions, and I thought those were supposed to bring me happiness. But it didn't, because if it did, I would have felt happy think about it, when I was feeling most down.


You know the classical Chinese New Year that is coming up. In the past, what do I do? Well, I will usually drive my flashy car to do my rounds, visit my relatives, to show it off to my friends. And I thought that was joy, you know. I thought that was really joy. But do you really think that my relatives and friends, whom some of them have difficulty trying to make ends meet, that will truly share the joy with me? Seeing me driving my flashy car and showing off to them? No, no way. They won’t be sharing joy with me. They were having problems trying to make ends meet, taking public transport. In fact I think, what I have done is more like you know, making them envious, jealous of all I have. In fact, sometimes even hatred.


Those are what we call objects of envy. I have them, I show them off to them and I feel it can fill my own pride and ego. That didn't bring any joy to these people, to my friends and relatives, and I thought they were real joy.


Well, let me just share another story with you. You know when I was about your age, I stayed in king Edward VII hall. I had this friend whom I thought was strange. Her name is Jennifer, we're still good friends. And as I walk along the path, she would, if she sees a snail, she would actually pick up the snail and put it along the grass patch. I was like why do you need to do that? Why dirty your hands? It’s just a snail. The truth is she could feel for the snail. The thought of being crushed to death is real to her, but to me it's just a snail. If you can't get out of the pathway of humans then you deserve to be crushed, its part of evolution isn't it? What an irony isn't it?


There I was being trained as a doctor, to be compassionate, to be able to empathize; but I couldn't. As a house officer, I graduated from medical school, posted to the oncology department at NUH. And, every day, every other day I witness death in the cancer department. When I see how they suffered, I see all the pain they went through. I see all the morphine they have to press every few minutes just to relieve their pain. I see them struggling with their oxygen breathing their last breath and all. But it was just a job. When I went to clinic every day, to the wards every day, take blood, give the medication but was the patient real to me? They weren't real to me. It was just a job, I do it, I get out of the ward, I can't wait to get home, and I do my own stuff.


Was the pain; was the suffering the patients went through real? No. Of course I know all the medical terms to describe how they feel, all the suffering they went through. But in truth, I did not know how they feel, not until I became a patient. It is until now; I truly understand how they feel. And, if you ask me, would I have been a very different doctor if I were to re-live my life now, I can tell you yes I will. Because I truly understand how the patients feel now. And sometimes, you have to learn it the hard way.


Even as you start just your first year, and you embark this journey to become dental surgeons, let me just challenge you on two fronts.


Inevitably, all of you here will start to go into private practice. You will start to accumulate wealth. I can guarantee you. Just doing an implant can bring you thousands of dollars, its fantastic money. And actually there is nothing wrong with being successful, with being rich or wealthy, absolutely nothing wrong. The only trouble is that a lot of us like me couldn't handle it.


Why do I say that? Because when I start to accumulate, the more I have, the more I want. The more I wanted, the more obsessed I became. Like what I showed you earlier on, all I can was basically to get more possessions, to reach the pinnacle of what society did to us, of what society wants us to be. I became so obsessed that nothing else really mattered to me. Patients were just a source of income, and I tried to squeeze every single cent out of these patients.


A lot of times we forget, whom we are supposed to be serving. We become so lost that we serve nobody else but just ourselves. That was what happened to me. Whether it is in the medical, the dental fraternity, I can tell you, right now in the private practice, sometimes we just advise patients on treatment that is not indicated. Grey areas. And even though it is not necessary, we kind of advocate it. Even at this point, I know who are my friends and who genuinely cared for me and who are the ones who try to make money out of me by selling me "hope". We kind of lose our moral compass along the way. Because we just want to make money.


Worse, I can tell you, over the last few years, we bad mouth our fellow colleagues, our fellow competitors in the industry. We have no qualms about it. So if we can put them down to give ourselves an advantage, we do it. And that's what happening right now, medical, dental everywhere. My challenge to you is not to lose that moral compass. I learned it the hard way; I hope you don't ever have to do it.


Secondly, a lot of us will start to get numb to our patients as we start to practice. Whether is it government hospitals, private practice, I can tell you when I was in the hospital, with stacks of patient folders, I can't wait to get rid of those folders as soon as possible; I can't wait to get patients out of my consultation room as soon as possible because there is just so many, and that's a reality. Because it becomes a job, a very routine job. And this is just part of it. Do I truly know how the patient feels back then? No, I don't. The fears and anxiety and all, do I truly understand what they are going through? I don't, not until when this happens to me and I think that is one of the biggest flaws in our system.


We’re being trained to be healthcare providers, professional, and all and yet we don't know how exactly they feel. I'm not asking you to get involved emotionally, I don't think that is professional but do we actually make a real effort to understand their pain and all? Most of us won’t, alright, I can assure you. So don't lose it, my challenge to you is to always be able to put yourself in your patient's shoes.


Because the pain, the anxiety, the fear are very real even though it's not real to you, it's real to them. So don't lose it and you know, right now I'm in the midst of my 5th cycle of my chemotherapy. I can tell you it’s a terrible feeling. Chemotherapy is one of those things that you don't wish even your enemies to go through because it's just suffering, lousy feeling, throwing out, you don't even know if you can retain your meals or not. Terrible feeling! And even with whatever little energy now I have, I try to reach out to other cancer patients because I truly understand what pain and suffering is like. But it's kind of little too late and too little.


You guys have a bright future ahead of you with all the resource and energy, so I’m going to challenge you to go beyond your immediate patients. To understand that there are people out there who are truly in pain, truly in hardship. Don’t get the idea that only poor people suffer. It is not true. A lot of these poor people do not have much in the first place, they are easily contented. for all you know they are happier than you and me but there are out there, people who are suffering mentally, physically, hardship, emotionally, financially and so on and so forth, and they are real. We choose to ignore them or we just don't want to know that they exist.


So do think about it alright, even as you go on to become professionals and dental surgeons and all. That you can reach out to these people who are in need. Whatever you do can make a large difference to them. I'm now at the receiving end so I know how it feels, someone who genuinely care for you, encourage and all. It makes a lot of difference to me. That’s what happens after treatment. I had a treatment recently, but I’ll leave this for another day. A lot of things happened along the way, that's why I am still able to talk to you today.


I'll just end of with this quote here, it's from this book called Tuesdays with Morris, and some of you may have read it. Everyone knows that they are going to die; every one of us knows that. The truth is, none of us believe it because if we did, we will do things differently. When I faced death, when I had to, I stripped myself off all stuff totally and I focused only on what is essential. The irony is that a lot of times, only when we learn how to die then we learn how to live. I know it sounds very morbid for this morning but it's the truth, this is what I’m going through.


Don’t let society tell you how to live. Don’t let the media tell you what you're supposed to do. Those things happened to me. And I led this life thinking that these are going to bring me happiness. I hope that you will think about it and decide for yourself how you want to live your own life. Not according to what other people tell you to do, and you have to decide whether you want to serve yourself, whether you are going to make a difference in somebody else's life. Because true happiness doesn't come from serving yourself. I thought it was but it didn't turn out that way.


Also most importantly, I think true joy comes from knowing God. Not knowing about God – I mean, you can read the bible and know about God – but knowing God personally; getting a relationship with God. I think that’s the most important.


So if I were to sum it up, I’d say that the earlier we sort out the priorities in our lives, the better it is. Don’t be like me – I had no other way. I had to learn it through the hard way. I had to come back to God to thank Him for this opportunity because I’ve had 3 major accidents in my past – car accidents. You know, these sports car accidents – I was always speeding , but somehow I always came out alive, even with the car almost being overturned. And I wouldn’t have had a chance. Who knows, I don’t know where else I’d be going to! Even though I was baptized it was just a show, but the fact that this has happened, it gave me a chance to come back to God.


A few things I learned:

 1. Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart – this is so important.

 2. Is to love and serve others, not just ourselves.


There is nothing wrong with being rich or wealthy. I think it’s absolutely alright, because God has blessed. So many people are blessed with good wealth, but the trouble is I think a lot of us can’t handle it. The more we have, the more we want. I’ve gone through it, the deeper the hole we dig, the more we get sucked into it, so much so that we worship wealth and lose focus. Instead of worshipping God, we worship wealth. It’s just a human instinct. It’s just so difficult to get out of it.


We are all professionals, and when we go into private practice, we start to build up our wealth – inevitably. So my thoughts are, when you start to build up wealth and when the opportunity comes, do remember that all these things don’t belong to us. We don’t really own it nor have rights to this wealth. It’s actually God’s gift to us. Remember that it’s more important to further His Kingdom rather than to further ourselves.


Anyway I think that I’ve gone through it, and I know that wealth without God is empty. It is more important that you fill up the wealth, as you build it up subsequently, as professionals and all; you need to fill it up with the wealth of God.