Sunday FYI–Colon Cancer

****First off…I am not a medical professional and any info I present is purely FYI and if you need more information then please visit your doctor for accurate information.****

The news is not good for there seems to be a rise in colon cancer among young adults and as we all know the older one gets the more ones needs to be vigilant on our health.

Colon cancer is on the rise among young adults, and the cases have been much more aggressive than they used to be. That’s why scientists hope the public pays attention to info out of a new study from St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine, which looked for early signals that someone may have colon cancer. NBC News notes that young adults typically don’t qualify for colonoscopies—that procedure is usually only offered at or after age 45—which is why the “red-flag signs and symptoms” spelled out in the research published Thursday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute are so important to look for and keep tabs on.

Among those early symptoms cited by the researchers, who looked at data from more than 5,000 patients diagnosed with early-onset colorectal cancer: extended bouts of diarrhea that seem to come out of nowhere, bellyaches, and iron-deficiency anemia. A fourth symptom, rectal bleeding, should especially raise eyebrows. These signs appeared up to two years before the patients’ diagnoses, with almost half of the study’s subjects experiencing at least one of those symptoms three months before diagnosis.

Researchers say people are often shy about talking to anyone about such things, especially when it comes to bloody stools and other subjects related to that part of the body, but that they shouldn’t be. “It can be difficult or embarrassing to talk about,” Dr. Matthew Kalady of Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center tells NBC. “But the reality is everybody deals with something like this.” The study’s authors urge anyone with such symptoms, especially if they last more than a week, to see their doctor, as they stress that colon cancer is a very treatable condition if caught early enough.

Again please check with your doctor if you have any signs or just want answers to your questions.

Have a great Sunday…..I will be grilling with my daughter and granddaughter….ribs and brisket…..beans and slaw.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Another Epidemic Waiting To Happen?

Some interesting news to start your month.

Sunday and I spent the morning checking the orchard out….the olives are in bloom, so is the plum, tangerine and satsuma are filled with small young fruit…..fig is coming along and the blueberries are plentiful….appears it will be a good year for fruit.

Now that the mundane is out of the way….let’s move on to other news.

We went through the all divisive Covid epidemic…..we have a flesh eating bug out there….even a brain eating beast….and now we have yet another problem waiting to explode.

More than six years ago, news of a newly discovered drug-resistant “killer fungus” started making the rounds in the US, and scientists hoped to “contain and stop the spread” of it. Now, a concerning development, as the CDC notes that the possibly fatal fungus has been charging through health care facilities around the country, reports NBC News. A new CDC study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on the fungus—a yeast called Candida auris that especially affects older people and those with weakened immune systems—found that not only is the number of people with an infection from the fungus spiking at an “alarming rate,” but the number of those carrying C. auris is also rising. The New York Times has the numbers: In 2019, state and local health departments reported about 500 cases of the fungal infection.

By 2021, that had reached nearly 1,500—a 200% increase. Although the study itself didn’t include 2022’s numbers, a CDC website noted that last year saw 2,377 cases. C. auris is now found in more than half of the nation’s states, with Nevada, Florida, California, Texas, Illinois, and New York seeing the highest concentrations, per the CDC site. The fatality rate of C. auris patients is also concerning: The CDC says about half of those who become infected die, though researchers acknowledge they aren’t able to point to the fungus itself as the main cause of death, as those who die often have other medical issues. Then there’s the fact that the fungus is highly resistant to various drug classes, including echinocandins. Per the Times, health officials say “if resistance to echinocandins becomes more common as the germ evolves, C. auris could become extremely difficult, if not impossible, to treat.”

Scientists believe that the fungal infection may have worsened during the pandemic due to attention and resources being directed toward COVID, and because medical professionals’ personal protective gear, which C. auris clings to, was changed out less often due to shortages. None of this means that fighting the fungus is a lost cause, as there has been progress on stopping the spread in New York and Illinois. And Dr. Waleed Javaid, an epidemiologist at Mount Sinai, says that patients who contract the infection are typically “extremely ill individuals” with other issues. “We don’t want people who watched The Last of Us to think we’re all going to die,” he tells NBC.

Oh goody something else to worry about these days….as if we do not have enough on our plates to worry about these days.

Be warned and be prepared.

Please people do not run out and buy up all the toilet paper you can find…..see where this is going before you panic.

Enjoy your Sunday….Be Well and Be Safe.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Still Under The Weather

Thanx to everyone for their kind wishes…..I am still in the grips of a punishing head cold….I will not be posting much until after Christmas.

Thanx for visiting even if there is little of substance….please bear with me and all will return to what passes for normal here on IST.

Everyone take care….be well and be safe….

Medicare Advantage Plans

I know you have seen those Medicare Advantage plans on TV…..I have written what I think about these plans…in short a con job to separate seniors from their money….

Those MediCare Advantage Plans

It appears that Congress will attempt to investigate these scams….

The Biden administration on Wednesday proposed a ban on misleading ads for Medicare Advantage plans that have targeted older Americans and, in some cases, persuaded them to sign up for plans that don’t cover their doctors or prescriptions. The rule, proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, would prohibit ads that market Medicare Advantage plans with confusing words, imagery, or logos. The rule also would ban ads that don’t specifically mention a health insurance plan by name, the AP reports.

It’s an aggressive step to tackle a growing problem in the Medicare Advantage marketplace, a booming business that offers privately run versions of the government’s Medicare program for people who are 65 and older or have disabilities. Nearly half of all Medicare enrollees—about 28 million—are now turning to Medicare Advantage plans. And some have been deceived by television commercials, online ads, and mailers put out by the marketing agencies and brokers that some insurers have hired to win over customers. The proposed rule “takes important steps to hold Medicare Advantage plans accountable for providing high quality coverage and care to enrollees,” said agency Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in a statement.

The problem has become so pervasive that CMS agents have been secretly shopping for plans by calling the phone numbers in advertisements, finding in some cases that brokers have overstated the benefits that enrollees would get and the money they would save in the new plans. Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee released an investigative report last month showing that several states also reported an increase in complaints about deceptive marketing schemes in 2021. “These proposals are an important step towards protecting seniors in Medicare from scammers and unscrupulous insurance companies and brokers,” the committee’s chairman, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Will this put a stop to these types of scams or is it just going through the motions to look like the government actually cares?

Whatcha think?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2023 Medicare Cuts Pending

As a retired senior I am constantly watching for news on Medicare so that I can bring the news to my senior readers…..a public service from IST….

In 2023 we will have a new Congress and there is already cuts on the books to Medicare without the silliness from the GOP.

If you are a senior that depends on Medicare for your medical needs you need to read this and be aware of the changes we are looking at for the coming year.

New changes are set to come to Medicare next year. They will likely make expenses tighter for doctors, and put vital healthcare out of reach for some older patients. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, announced several policy changes in early November that will come into effect at the beginning of next year.

Among them are Medicare cuts to doctors through the Physician Fee Schedule, which is used to determine which services doctors are reimbursed for, and how much they get. Medicare reimbursement will decrease by about 4.5%, and ​​surgical care will face a nearly 8.5% cut.

“It’s affecting how doctors can run their businesses,” Christian Shalgain, Director of Advocacy and Health Policy at the American College of Surgeons, told Insider. “I’ve talked to doctors who are saying, ‘I have to decide whether to hire a new person or buy a new piece of equipment.’ That’s a significant problem from a patient’s perspective.”

If healthcare providers get less money through Medicare, they won’t be able to hire as many nurses, doctors, and other staff, as well as fund necessary equipment for services. It affects the quality of care patients are able to get, and can even impact how many Medicare patients a healthcare provider can take on, Shalgain said.

In years past, Congress has been able to postpone these preplanned cuts until the next year, varyingly achieving full scraps of the plan, or reduced cuts. Doctors’ groups lobby annually for Congress to intervene, because they say that it stretches their budgets thin, which is especially a problem given that hospitals are already strained from COVID and healthcare costs are skyrocketing.

The good news is that your insulin may be more affordable….the bad news is the rest of your health needs will be more expensive.

Before you get excited maybe you should read this……

Peace and economic justice advocates responded to the imminent unveiling Friday of the United States Air Force’s new $750 million-per-plane nuclear bomber by reiterating accusations of misplaced priorities in a nation where tens of millions of people live in poverty and lack adequate healthcare coverage.

Military-industrial complex giant Northrop Grumman is set to introduce its B-21 Raider on Friday. The B-21, whose development was 30 years in the making and whose total project cost is expected to exceed $200 billion, is tapped to replace the aging B-2 Spirit.

“One thing the world definitely does not need is another stealth bomber,” Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group CodePink,

That’s right we will get stale bread crumbs and the M-IC gets champagne…..

And you vote for these people….shame on you!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Up Uranus

Sunday and thought I would give you a little FYI… is a little medical news….

Remember the days when Pharma pushed a drug for those that cried and laughed uncontrollably?  Or maybe you will recall the “Restless Leg Syndrome”?

Now we have another ‘new’ disease that will need a drug to control….

The condition is called “Phantom Rectum Syndrome”…..

You may have heard of phantom limb syndrome, a particularly odd condition that 80-100 percent of people experience after going through an amputation.

Amputees can experience sensations, discomfort, and pain that feels like it’s coming from a limb or appendage that is no longer there. Though common after limb amputation, the condition can also affect people who have had other body parts removed, including breasts, tongues, penises, and even internal organs. In fact, if you can feel sensations in it pre-removal (we’re looking at you, stomach and bladder) then it’s possible to have phantom discomfort or pain in it after operation. 

This is true also of people who go through operations to have their rectum and colon removed (for instance following rectal cancer located low down in the rectum), leaving patients with a condition known as “phantom rectum syndrome”.

“People who have lost a limb, still feel pain or itching or they feel like their limb’s still there,” BBC presenter Sam Cleasby, who runs the website So Bad Ass documenting her experience following a colectomy in 2013, told the BBC. “So that’s the same but in your rectum. It’s like your brain doesn’t know that it’s not attached anymore.”

The syndrome affects somewhere between 32 and 68 percent of patients following rectum resection, and varies in its effects. Around half of people who experience it do so as pain, with others feeling sensations such as itching, feeling of feces in the rectum, an urge to defecate, feeling like your anus is contracting, feeling like you are passing wind, tightness, stinging, shooting pains, and pins and needles.

As long as we are on Uranus… would you like to earn as much as $180,000 a year?

In these days of high inflation we all could use some extra cash…..

If so I have an answer for you.

Every time you poop, you might be flushing money down the toilet.

It’s true. Some medical companies will pay healthy donors for their stool. Depending on the company, the poop is then used for microbiome studies or in treatment of patients with Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes infections in the colon.

Looking for a side hustle? Your poop could save lives and make you some cash in the process.

Here’s what you need to know to sell your poop.

The amount you earn with each donation depends on the company.

  • HumanMicrobes pays $500 per stool donation. If you poop daily and send it, you could net up to $180,000 per year.
  • GoodNature offers $25-75 per visit and up to $1,500 per month.
  • Poop With Purpose pays $50 per donation and up to $1,500 per month.

Like any other side hustle, get details on compensation before you sign any contracts or make any commitments.

While everybody poops, not everyone is eligible to be a donor. Each company has health and geographical requirements.

How to Make Up to $180,000 a Year Selling Your Poop (If You Can Stomach It)

Now you have all the health news for this Sunday…..

Be Well….Be Safe….

“lego ergo scribo”

Do You Drink Diet Sodas?

I know we all are concerned about our health and the first place many start is the cutting out of sugar from their diets….but is that a wise decision?

First question to ask is….are these sodas healthier?

Diet sodas are popular beverages all over the world, especially among people who want to reduce their sugar or calorie intake.

Instead of sugar, artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame-k, or sucralose, are used to sweeten them.

Almost every popular sugar-sweetened beverage on the market has a “light” or a “diet” version — Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, Sprite Zero, etc.

Diet sodas were first introduced in the 1950s for people with diabetes, though they were later marketed to people trying to control their weight or reduce their sugar intake.

Despite being free of sugar and calories, the health effects of diet drinks and artificial sweeteners are controversial.

This is what happens to your body with the consumption of diet drinks…..

Every food or drink you include in your diet can affect your health. From orange juice consumption being linked to immune support to a cup of tea being linked to reduced inflammation, your dietary choices can profoundly impact your overall health.

And while you might lean on diet soda for that distinct sweet effervescence without worrying about loading up with sugar, doing so may have other effects on your health that you may not realize. Here are six other effects (positive and negative) that can happen when you sip diet sodas on the regular.

You can break your Diet drink addiction…..

There are plenty of simple steps you can take to decrease your intake of diet soda.

Start by slowly swapping it for other drinks in your diet. Here are a few alternative drinks to consider:

Look for versions of these drinks that either are unsweetened or have a lower sugar content. Try adding a splash of juice to water or seltzer.

You can make flavored water by adding cucumber slices, fresh or frozen fruit, herbs like basil and mint, or citrus fruits like lime or lemon to plain or sparkling water for a hint of flavor without added sugar.

Tye best way to handle this is talk with your medical professional….for I am in no way qualified to give medical advice…..

This post is just FYI and a place to start if you have an addiction to these drinks….

Always put your health first.

Have a great weekend…..Be well and Be Safe…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those MediCare Advantage Plans

You have seen the ads…..everybody sells these plans, even AARP, that say they can put money back into your Social Security check….but what of these plans?

First of all the whole US health care system is a scam.

But what of these ‘advantage’ plans?

At least one Senator is not convinced these are anything but a deception….

Sen. Ron Wyden on Tuesday launched an inquiry into “potentially deceptive” marketing tactics being used by private insurers and other companies that offer Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans, citing “alarming reports” about contractors “engaging in aggressive sales practices that take advantage of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities.”

In his capacity as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal healthcare programs under the Social Security Act, including privately run Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D drug plans, Wyden (D-Ore.) sent letters requesting more information from 15 state insurance commissioners and state health insurance assistance programs.

The letter—sent to officials in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas—comes amid a surge in complaints about MA and Part D marketing materials that purport to inform seniors of their coverage options.

In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which has the authority to regulate materials used to market MA and Part D plans, reported that complaints from seniors more than doubled from 2020 to 2021.

Among other things, Wyden wants officials to provide data on the number of complaints about MA and/or Part D marketing materials they have received in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, including possible patterns of discrimination, as well as “examples of potentially false or misleading marketing materials and advertisements in MA or Part D, including mailers, robo-calls, websites, television commercials, and online advertisements.”

Of Medicare’s 60 million beneficiaries, nearly half are enrolled in MA plans and 50 million are enrolled in Part D plans. Corporations that manage MA plans have come under fire for upcoding, or exaggerating patients’ illnesses in order to reap larger payments from the federal government—something they do while refusing to provide necessary care for tens of thousands each year.

So the question remains….is Medicare Advantage a necessary expense?  Is it a scam?

My thoughts are this is an unnecessary expense with promises that may not be realized or needed.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time For Men To Pay A Price

Roe v Wade decision has made our women second class citizens yet again….their personal choices out of their hands and put it into the hands of the old farts that run state governments.

Some have said that there should be some price for men to pay as well…..most of the concern is that of the popularity of Viagra….but I read about one idea that I could get behind and maybe you should as well if you are at all concerned about the loss of the right of choice.

An Oklahoma Democrat has proposed that young men in his state be forced to have vasectomies in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning the Roe Vs Wade ruling.

Last month, Mickey Dollens invited his fellow lawmakers to co-author a bill which would give a mandatory vasectomy to every young man in Oklahoma.

The vasectomy would only be reversed once each man could prove they were financially and emotionally stable, and not a moment before.

If any of this is sounding insane, that’s because Dollens is only raising the bill to make a point that the state having such invasive control over a person’s body is, indeed, insane.

This invasive control is exactly what will happen to many US women after the Supreme Court made the decision to overturn Roe Vs Wade last week, effectively ruling that the constitution doesn’t safeguard a woman’s right to an abortion.

The only exceptions to Oklahoma’s new abortion laws are in the case of rape or incest, and even then only if they have been reported to the authorities.

Saying he was thinking about introducing the legislation on forcing men to have vasectomies next year, Dollens suggested to Republicans who thought he was being ‘crazy’ that now ‘maybe you understand how 50 percent of Oklahomans feel’.

Republicans have argued that there is ‘nothing higher or more critical than the defence of innocent, unborn life’.

It may sound a bit extreme but no more so than taking a woman’s right of choice.

I agree with this idea…..let men pay for a price as well as the women.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”