March 2017
In this issue

Do you worry about saying the wrong thing when a friend or family member has cancer? Here's advice on what you should and shouldn't say, and how you can be helpful.
Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen differ in what they're best suited to treat. Choose according to the type of pain you're experiencing.
Apologies may help heal relationships when they are sincere and properly worded.
We're all familiar with kids who are picky eaters, but some adults also consume a very limited palate of foods. If you or someone you love is an adult picky eater, change is possible.
Recent research seems to confirm that exercise, especially vigorous exercise, helps lift depression and keep it at bay.

Shorties for Women
If you are an older woman with thinning hair, you may want to explore possible causes with your doctor if the onset of loss was sudden. Thin hair can be treated or disguised in a number of ways.
An expert who critiqued a social media post about monthly breast exams suggests women are too seldom told how they can lower the risk of developing breast cancer (and simultaneously, we note, many other diseases). You'll find these prevention measures listed at the article's conclusion.
Women with depression and other mental health conditions must evaluate whether to continue taking their psychiatric medications during pregnancy and immediately afterwards.
An app that helps women monitor their monthly cycles is the first device approved as a medical device for preventing conception. Using it to enhance the natural rhythm method of birth control may be effective - provided couples use it exactly as directed - but long-term methods of birth control are more reliable. (See "Birth Control" in our January 2016 issue.) 

Treating Recurrent Prostate Cancer
If prostate cancer returns after surgery to remove it, a recent study suggests treatment with both radiation and hormone blockers (antiandrogen therapy) leads to better survival rates and less subsequent spread of cancer than treatment only with radiation.

Here is an overview of hormone therapy for prostate cancer. Men should be alert to the possibility that hormone therapy may increase the risk of developing depression. 
Digestive Problems & IBS
Frequent abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation may be due to irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is a common but under-diagnosed condition that causes chronic and recurring digestive problems that vary from day to day and person to person. If you have symptoms, this article may help you decide whether to consult a doctor and know what to expect if you do.

If you have been diagnosed with IBS, you may want to learn about the low-FODMAP diet. Some research suggests it could be helpful.

Low Back Pain
A leading organization of primary care doctors has issued new treatment guidelines for non-surgical approaches to treating acute and chronic low back pain. The American College of Physicians (ACP) particularly stresses the value of non-pharmacologic therapies. If you are coping with low back pain, you may find these resources helpful:
For patients with certain symptoms or medical histories, imaging tests are appropriate. However, for most patients, imaging of the lower back is not worth its expense and other possible harms.
Additional information about drug and nondrug treatments for low back pain was included in last month's PlaneTalk.
Community Events

All events are open to the public. Some require pre-registration.
.....* Fee for participation
.....^ Scroll down the linked page

San Jose - Saturdays in March
Mountain View - Mon., 3/6
Palo Alto - Mon., 3/6
Santa Clara - Tues., 3/7
San Jose - Tuesdays, 3/7, 3/21, & 4/4
Mountain View - Wed., 3/8
Heart-health lectures & fair
Mountain View - Sat., 3/11
Palo Alto - Tues., 3/11
Los Gatos or webinar - Tues., 3/14
Palo Alto - Wed., 3/15
San Jose - 7-week class begins Thurs., 3/16 
Sunnyvale - Thurs., 3/16
San Jose - Thurs., 3/16
San Jose - Sun., 3/19
Mountain View - Sun., 3/19
Sunnyvale - Mon., 3/20
Meditation & relaxation
Los Altos - Mondays, 3/20, 3/27, & 4/3
Mountain View - Tues., 3/21
Palo Alto - Wed., 3/22
San Jose - Wed., 3/22
Navigating the American health care system (presentations in 5 languages)
Mountain View - Wed., 3/22  
Sunnyvale - Wed., 3/22
Palo Alto - Thurs., 3/23
San Jose - Thurs., 3/23
Mountain View - Sat., 3/25
Stanford - Sat., 3/25
Palo Alto - Mon., 3/27
San Jose - Tues., 3/28
Palo Alto - Wed., 3/29
Mountain View - Sat., 4/1
Save the date!
Campbell - Sat., 5/6
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