Courtesy of BPT
Archive for April, 2013
Research shows that racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to develop cancer and die from it than the general U.S. population, but are historically underrepresented in clinical trials. As part of lung cancer awareness month, Dr. Coleman Obasaju, a frequent speaker on health disparities around the world, provides his take on the issue. Obasaju is a clinical and senior medical director at Lilly Oncology.
Q: Why does lung cancer disproportionately impact minority populations?
Obasaju: Lung cancer maintains its status as one of the most prevalent and deadly of all cancers. Approximately 200,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year – globally this figure swells to about one million. This disease takes a particularly heavy toll on African Americans. Despite their lower smoking rates, African Americans are more likely than Caucasians to develop and die from lung cancer. It is not clear why African Americans have a greater risk for developing lung cancer, but researchers believe it may be in part related to a person’s genetics, environmental and socio-economic background.
Q: Why is it so critical for minorities to participate in clinical trials?
Obasaju: One way to get a better understanding of this situation is through increased diversity in clinical trials. Historically, minorities have been underrepresented. Several factors contribute to this, including a lack of awareness about the importance of diversity in cancer research. Economics, language and cultural barriers, coupled with a historical mistrust of the clinical trial process, also contribute to the low rates of minority participation.
Despite these challenges, we must continue to find ways to increase their participation. This change is vital to ensure researchers understand how lung cancer affects all populations and substantiate whether treatments are effective across all ethnic groups.
Q: What can be done to increase minority participation in clinical trials?
Obasaju: To start, research teams can identify clinical trial sites located in close proximity to minority groups. Other critical steps include translating details about clinical trial enrollment into different languages, creating culturally adaptable patient tools and working with patient navigators, who can help guide clinical trial participants through the treatment process. We need to continue to raise awareness on the importance of minority representation in clinical trials and trust that if minorities know more about this critical issue, it will inspire them to take action.
Q: Where can someone go for more information about participating in a clinical trial?
Obasaju: A healthcare provider is one of the best resources to explain how patients can participate in a clinical trial. Healthcare providers can direct eligible individuals to the most appropriate trial taking place in their area and explain the process for enrolling. There are also great resources available online, including the National Cancer Institute’s website (cancer.gov/clinicaltrials). This site allows users to search for trials that are currently enrolling participants and provides users with a variety of answers to the most pressing questions about trial participation.
Courtesy of BPT
Courtesy of BPT
Kids in general either hate brushing their teeth or they simply couldn’t care less. However, it is important to teach your kids how to brush their teeth to avoid dental and other health problems. With a little patience, creativity, and a handy tool, you should be able to get your kids to brush their teeth in no time.
It’s relatively easy to teach preschoolers, as long as it’s fun for them and is done through rhythm and rhyme. Let your kids know that there are germs that we can’t see living on their teeth and it’s important to get rid of them. You can even make a song about teeth brushing.
When teaching your kids how to brush their teeth, first show them the proper way to go about it. Once you have demonstrated the up and down, round and round process of brushing teeth, hand your kids their brushes and let them try. Use a safe kids’ step stool to help them reach the sink. Choose one that is self-retracting so that when your kids are done using the sink, the step stool automatically retracts underneath the sink and out of adults’ way. Once they are able to do the whole brushing process themselves, make the event and exciting and joyous one. Clap and cheer for your kids. Tell your other family members how good the kids were and have them cheer for the children as well. Have your kids show other family members how they too can brush their teeth.
Things to do:
• Show your kids how excited you are about brushing, and get even more excited when they brush.
• Make brushing a fun experience.
• Ask them to show you how well they can brush their teeth.
• Make it a point to show other family members how good the kids can brush their teeth.
For Grades K-3rd
Kids this age learn things through presentation and repetition. Offer your kids to watch you as you brush your teeth, explaining things as you go along. Come up with creative analogies: “plaques are invisible bugs that eat away at your teeth. The only way to get rid of them is to brush your teeth.”
Things to do:
• Regularly offer your kids to watch yourself brushing.
• Be consistent with brushing times
• Come up with creative analogies or explanations about brushing teeth
At this age, there is no better way to effectively teach your kids to brush their teeth than to show them what happens when a person does not brush his/her teeth. Gather pictures of people’s teeth the have serious decay. Or better, get pictures of people with rotten teeth. During your visits to the dentist, teach your kids about proper brushing by asking for pictures of people who do not brush their teeth and explaining to them, “This is what happens to people who do not brush their teeth.”
You can also add that there are health risks when they do not brush their teeth. Some of these include gum diseases such as gingivitis (swollen or inflamed gums), periodontitis, gum infections, bone destruction, and tooth loss. It has even been found that gum disease is a likely risk factor for heart disease and stroke for adults.
Things to do:
• Ask your dentist to share stories, pictures and information of the hazards of not brushing teeth.
by: Dana Mulder