New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 28, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
BAOI, November 28,1997
FDA ipprovM first chm for non Hodgkins lymphoma
WASHINGTON (AP) —
Thousands of patients with an incurable type of non-Hodgjrin’s lymphoma won their first new weapon in a decade Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration approved a novel, genetically engineered drug to attack the immune system cancer with far fewer side effects than standard treatment Rituxan is not a cure, but die FOA said it has an “excellent’* success Tate in shrinking tumors safety.
The approval makes Rituxan the nation’s first anti-cancer monoclonal antibody — a long-awaited biotherapy in which specially manufactured antibodies bind to cancer cells and trigger the immune system to do the killing instead of toxic chemicals.
One patient who tested Rituxan called the approval “something to celebrate this Thanksgiving.’*
“Even though my type of lymphoma is still considered incurable, Rituxan has renewed my hope of raising my three children,” said Dr. Wendy Harpham, a Richardson, Texas, physician who failed other treatments before Rituxan therapy put her cancer in remission.
Want fatly foods? Dont foffd tho vitamins
CHICAGO (AP) — It sounds like a recipe for a coronary: Serve Egg McMuffins and Sausage McMuffins for breakfast, with slabs of fried hash browns on the side, to captive research subjects. You can almost feel arteries slamming shut.
Yet when huge doses of vitamins C and E were added to the diet, an extraordinary thing happened: The subjects’ artenes responded to the high-fat meal as though they'd eaten a low-fat bowl of com flakes
Researchers caution that the small study's finding is preliminary, but it appears to bolster scientific thinking that antioxidant vitamins can decrease the heart-disease nsk posed by a fatty diet
The 20 subjects who ate the fat-packed MdXxiald’s breakfast had impaired blood vessel function for up to four hours afterwards But no such impairment was found on another day when they swallowed 20 times the recommended daily dosage of vitamins C and E immediately before eau ng the same meal tfz
fhe research appears in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association
“ The predominant mechanism by which a high-fat (especially saturated fat) diet leads to atherosclerosis is by des ating scrum cholesterol,” wrote the authors, led by Dr Gary Plotmck, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland Medical t enter
SJI diagnosis of cheat pain Is cftsapsr
CHICAGO (AP) - The nation cixiid sase hundreds of millions of dollars a year if patients complaining of chest pain were tested for heart attacks in the emergency room instead of being admitted to the hospital, researchers say
rhe researchers looked al the cost and effectiveness of what are known as chest pain evaluation units, which often operate as part of the ER An estimated 15 percent of the nation’s hospitals have established these units on the assumption they can do thorough testing for less money the findings were published in W edncsday’s Journal of the .American Medical Association.
The study indicates thai the emergency room “can maintain quality care in a cost-cutting environment,” said Dr. Rebecca R. Roberts, chief researcher The study, conducted at C ook C ounty Hospital, a large public hospital in C hicago, found that the cost of testing a patient admitted to the hospital was $2,095 vs. S 1,528 for those kept in an ER chest pain evaluation unit
Study: OIH* oil, butter gtpisUy bod In dotting
DALLAS (AP) — Real butter on your Thanksgiving Day green beans won’t do you any more harm in the short term than some other fats, a study suggests
According to Danish researchers, butter and poly- and monounsatunted oils are equal culprits in raising the level of a blood dotting factor that may boost the nsk of heart attack and stroke within hours of consumption The study didn’t look at the longterm eff ects of the vanous fats on blood levels of cholesterol. Instead, researchers led by Danish doctoral student Lone Frost Larsen studied what happened to blood levels of Factor VII hours atter healthy young men ate high-fat meals containing butter, canula ml or other bis, compared with when they ate low-fat meals
Turkey sandwiches are definitely in your future for the next week. The wishbone has been pulled and the wish made. And today is the biggest shopping day of the year.
All of this spells one thing: Christmas is around the corner (as in 27 days). And how are you reacting?
The holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year, but why is this?
We remember how it was last year, we certainly remember swearing that this year it would be different, and it almost certainly never is. A possible reason might be the stressor supreme: anticipation.
Nothing drives up our anticipation like past memories of Christmas or projected hopes for how this holiday is supposed to be. After all, who hasn’t seen Norman Rockwell Is painting of the three generations of family all gathered around the festive dinner table waiting for Father to carve the turkey? While
that image is idyllic, for foe vast majority of in such pictures are found in books, not our own dining rooms.
Take a deep breath and say to yourself,
“Christmas is just another day,” over and over again for foe next 28 days. And keep in mind Unit much of the hype of Christmas is exactly that — Madison Avenue advertising in full swing. Attempt to remember the true meaning of foe holidays by counting the blessings you already possess on this day.
Also the holidays might serve as emotional signposts for people who have had deaths or losses in their family and thus reawaken grief.
Rather than mask your sadness,
acknowledge your emotions by sharing them with someone with whom you feel safe and respected. Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal, allow yourself a good cry, or see a counselor or member of your clergy. Feel what you’re feeling, then come up for air.
Make plans, ask about holiday activities in which you can be a part and investigate volunteer work to help those less fortunate than yourself.
Isolating yourself might intensify depression, so fight back by being with others even if they are strangers. If you recall, your best friend was a stranger to you once.
For others, anticipation might be mort like dread if you’re going to be in contact with family members or Mends you find stressful. As the saying goes, you can always pick your friends, but you don’t have that choice with family. People may be unkind to you, but it is your choice on how you react or verbally respond. While obligation might be great to
attend or host family gatherings, you can lower your stress level. Decrease your time spent with family members who are hurtful, arid increase your time with people who are kind and respectful by possibly including them in the gathering. Or remember once "more that Christmas is another day out of 365.
Maybe by lowering our anticipation, reducing known stressors and creating new traditions, we can allow foe (rue joy of foe holidays to shine through.
Remember, it is foe small, simple things from true giving that create the sweetest memories. Ifs not the glitter of foe gift that counts but the gold in foe heart.
(Ms. Tallant is a professional counselor under the supervision of Myma Tucker, M D. board certified psychiatrist at Austin Street Medical Plaza. For questions or comments, write Ms. Tallant via this newspaper or e-mail at [email protected]
State health care programs can help low-income seniors
Some local physicians are concerned about health care decisions being made currently by Comal County senior citizens.
Many seniors are being wooed to switch from regular Medicare coverage with a supplement to the new Medicare HMO’s. Doctors in the area are concerned because some of the seniors might not understand that the HMO plans are a Medicare replacement policy.
Currently, a Medicare senior with a supplement policy and his doctor are free to choose nearly any available treatment among the options appropnate for his condition. The doctor can customize the treatment for the patient to the very best fit to his illness, lifestyle, personality and individual patient wishes with almost no outside interference in the decision-making process.
Referrals to a specialist only involve discussing the reason that this might be helpful with the patient and a phone call to the specialist’s office to schedule an appointment. The doctor and patient are also free to choose any hospital they wish for treatment.
In a Medicare HMO, this process changes fundamentally The decisions are no longer just between the ill senior and his physicians but also require the approv al of a managed care organization and often an insurance company as well.
In signing on with a Medicare replacement policy seniors are agreeing to comply with the restrictions included in these plans. These restrictions typically include having to leave their doctors for physicians on the HMO panel and having to see primary care physicians to obtain approval pnor to hospitalization, surgery or referral to a specialist Not following these procedures results in a financial penalty with a reduced percentage, or perhaps none, of the costs covered by the plan.
Often the prescription benefits included in these plans include a druggist where only certain medications, usually lower cost or generic, are approved by the MCO for coverage Patients who have been stable for years on particular medications might be forced to switch to an alternative drug on the formulary list that might not be as effective for them The approval process at each stage takes time and energy which can delay your care.
Physicians in New Braunfels are aware that some seniors no longer can afford a supplementary insurance Government statistics
show that about 20 percent of Comal County senior citizens have yearly incomes under $10,000.
Fortunately, there are some state programs that can help these lower income seniors, but very few of those eligible have so far applied for this help.
One of these programs is called QMB, which stands for Qualified Medicare Beneficiary. To be eligible, the senior citizen has to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and be over 65 unless he has chronic renal disease or has been receiving disability benefits for 24 months or more. If the person’s monthly income is less than $678 with resource less than $4,000 or the couple's income is less than $905 and their resources are less than $6,000, they qualify for this aid. The QMB essentially functions like a supplemental insurance plan by paying the Medicare deductible and copay amounts. The QMB also pays the Medicare Part B premium that currently is deducted monthly from social security checks.
Another plan is called SLMB or Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries. The eligibility requirements for this plan are the same as QMB except an individual income can be $809 per month or $ 1.081 in the case of a couple. This plan does not cover the Medicare copayments and deductibles, but does take over paying the Medicare Part B premiums for SLMB eligibles.
There is another program called MQMB or Medicaid Qualified Medicare Beneficiary, which includes prescriptions benefits, but has lower income and means eligibility criteria than the QMB program None of these programs are of any use, however, unless the person applies for them.
Seniors interested in the above programs can call Health Reach at
November 20 - November 30,1997 PRESENT THIS AD FORA - - -
Free - $5.00 gift certificate!
.with every purchne of $25.00 or more. Certificate can be used towards any merchandise on your next vtaftt to our store!
On Bitters near 281 behind Target 494-8228
Walnut Squares New Braunfels next to Target •09-9228
Many of the doctors in Comal
warsawswwsw UM aaa wwissuai
County ara willing to help with health cero costs in various ways »
830-606-21TO to request additional information on these programs.
Finally, I would encourage seniors who are in financial difficulty to discuss this with their doctors. Many of foe doctors in Comal County are willing to help with health care costs in various ways, but they are probably not aware of your financial circumstances. Some doctors even have staff members assigned to help with prescription assistance plans or installment payment plans that can help keep health care affordable for seniors without resorting to foe bureaucracy and restrictions of a medicare HMO.
(Dr. James Bartay is a family practice physician whose offices are at 876 Loop 337Suite WI. This article was provided by Health Reach, a health care organization composed of McKenna Memorial Hospital and 74 locally based pjiysidans who work together to
provide a complete system cf health you have a medical or insurance
care services to the community. If question, call 606-2170.)
Open- tin J.
IN .1 t ll I ll
11.1 ii l\ > U11 I
Ope n vI.
, I iI\ t I I ' 111
ll' .t ill
Fresh cut, cold-storage shipped Noble and Fraser Firs from award-winning Tilton Valley Farm in Morton,
Washington. We also have potted Pine and Cypress trees and Texas grown Virginia Pines.
Dorothy Mercer Resident Caretaker 830*629-4518 or
h the Horizons Edition
day, January 18, 1998 unday, January 25, 1998
sections will be called "Neighbors".
will be a section which depicts hips between local family, friends & jfij^Wfefre requesting photos and information HZaioiorofn you, our readers.
Here’s how it works...
9 KMill WI MMT MVvreS/M NUN MMM MMT M|MVrl M
iptrid ririags • pvtkvlv asifhbar dots if why • asifbbar b
* SaWuiBBf my bt u Uaysr tku SOO words.
• Cftnaina jgg. lean laMMMnaaad mgl jb4 zJLsa asm
MOfreS CMI ll mippM III II nre nViSv MIM| IIINM re
Mailid to# "NtiglAirs* ,</0 Now tenhb Harold-Zaftiag, 707 buds St, law lr—rfih, hum 78131
9 Daadba far ssbsrissisB is Dawdar I ta adaw far
* Mwforst Idmasaa wfl ba tba casted far my tpssfisas dust rids sadism