Talk­ing to kids about cancer treat­ment

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - VARIETY -

Q: My sis­ter was di­ag­nosed with breast cancer, and she’s go­ing to have to go through a lumpec­tomy and chemo­ther­apy. She’s re­ally ago­niz­ing over how and what to tell her 10-year-old daugh­ter. Any ad­vice? — Sharon B., Lin­coln, Ne­braska

A: At age 10, kids un­der­stand a lot, so your sis­ter doesn’t have to worry too much about her daugh­ter grasp­ing the ba­sic med­i­cal facts. They’re much more re­as­sur­ing than any wor­ries her daugh­ter might cook up or hear from friends. But emo­tional re­ac­tions need care­ful man­age­ment. It’s im­por­tant for your sis­ter to tell her daugh­ter about her di­ag­no­sis when ev­ery­one is rested and com­fort­able, and there’s plenty of time on the sched­ule.

First, she needs to ex­plain the ba­sics, such as what cancer is, that it isn’t con­ta­gious and that her spe­cific cancer is ef­fec­tively treated th­ese days.

Then, she should ex­plain why she’s de­cided on her treat­ment and men­tion that she may feel pretty rot­ten some­times, but when that hap­pens she’s get­ting bet­ter.

Your sis­ter should ask her daugh­ter what ques­tions she has or if she’d like to talk again later. Then she should keep an eye out for any change in be­hav­ior or mood swings. And make your­self avail­able to your niece. She might open up to you about con­cerns she’s re­luc­tant to dis­cuss with her mom.

Q: My hus­band, 62, has high blood pres­sure and heart dis­ease, and now I hear it can af­fect his brain. How does that work? — Kay D., Iowa City, Iowa

A: High blood pres­sure en­dan­gers blood ves­sels ev­ery­where, in­clud­ing in the brain.

A study re­cently pub­lished in Neu­rol­ogy found that high blood pres­sure late in life (65-plus) boosted the risk for con­stric­tion/block­age in the brain’s blood ves­sels that are as­so­ci­ated with vas­cu­lar de­men­tia by 46 per­cent. The re­searchers also found that el­e­vated sys­tolic blood pres­sure in­creased Alzheimer’s dis­ease-as­so­ci­ated tan­gles in the­brain.

Un­for­tu­nately, 50 per­cent of older folks with high blood pres­sure aren’t re­ceiv­ing ben­e­fi­cial treat­ment. In a 2013 study, re­searchers found that tak­ing potas­sium-spar­ing di­uret­ics re­duced the risk of Alzheimer’s nearly 75 per­cent.

A study pre­sented at the Alzheimer’s As­so­ci­a­tion meet­ing re­cently found that when sys­tolic blood pres­sure was low­ered to 120, folks were 19 per­cent less likely to de­velop mild cog­ni­tive and info-pro­cess­ing prob­lems and 15 per­cent less likely to de­velop cog­ni­tive de­cline and de­men­tia.

Email ques­tions for Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen to youdocs­daily@share­care. com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.