Sunday, February 26, 2012

Basic Principles for the poker and blackjack

The following paragraphs summarize the work of online poker and blackjack experts who are completely familiar with all the aspects of online poker and blackjack. Heed their advice to avoid any online poker and blackjack surprises.

The best time to learn about online poker and blackjack is before you're in the thick of things. Wise readers will keep reading to earn some valuable online poker and blackjack as online gambling experience while it's still free.

For the name, now I will give that as a basis for poker, so we can add the chips. In the past, a poker directly opposite each other. However, in the current era of technological things you can do online or play a board game online casino. The number of games that can be played online gambling as smart may force us to find the best casino before you buy a certain number of points. Yes, sometimes you are too hasty in making decisions that lead to errors. Below is a list of online games was provided There is nothing wrong with the big casino, we see the next prize in the first place. Try these recipes online gambling, you can do if you think he was an expert in the game. The poker game is expected to defeat their opponents, even if you belong to beginners. The confidence we have sown, and imagine playing in a casino in Las Vegas as a luxury. If you have any doubts, look at the video poker games and defeat our opponents.
Blackjack Ace player a peak (ie, Black Spade) and spade Jack, and the first card will be charged separately, and the player makes the name easy to remember.

The aim of this game is close, without excess in the number 21 ("bust").

Play a game:
Smoke Mamasang players in a circle in Paris. Dealer gives two cards to each player and himself a person and a person.

Blackjack is a game of double loop, which means you can play three hands at once. Enter Paris in a circle next to the central square, if you want to play a better grip. This makes the game more interesting and increase your chances of winning.

There are many online games I can not give a more detailed review, but not discouraged, because the next time I'll try to find information about craps, roulette, etc.

Is there really any information about online poker and blackjack that is nonessential? We all see things from different angles, so something relatively insignificant to one may be crucial to another.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Juniper Berry Benefits For Human Healths

If you're seriously interested in knowing about juniper berry for health, you need to think beyond the basics. This informative article takes a closer look at things you need to know about juniper berry for health.
It's really a good idea to probe a little deeper into the subject of benefits juniper berry for health. What you learn may give you the confidence you need to venture into new areas.
Juniper Berry For Health

Juniper Berry renal
Juniper berries have properties that act as diuretics. This means that these berries help increase the rate of urine, in the person consuming it. The beach can also break free and uric acid in the body, helps the person to urinate. It also helps to dissolve kidney stones. People with problems like water retention can also communicate with juniper berries, because they help to alleviate the problem through urine. The urinary tract is deleted, then the kidneys to perform their functions properly. However, note that the juniper berries should be used cautiously. The excessive and wasteful consumption of the berries can cause serious kidney damage and render them useless.

Juniper berries for skin
Juniper berry and its extracts have been shown to be effective in helping skin problems too. Acne, athlete's foot, dandruff and psoriasis are some of the skin problems most commonly encountered. If you want to get rid of these problems, all you do is to prepare local demand by simply pressing the berries and use the diluted juice as an ointment on the affected area. It was also said to use the juice on the surface acts as an anti-aging remedy. You may feel a sensation of heat and irritation when applied to the skin. You can mix the mixture until it bites and then when you feel comfortable, you can increase the level of concentration of the extract.

Juniper Berry for Diabetes
Juniper berries are a wealth of natural insulin. This can be very useful for people with diabetes. However, again, extreme caution should be exercised in consumption of juniper berry extract. This is usually done as a tea. Diabetics should be careful because excessive consumption can lead to excess glucose in the body.
Juniper Berry For Health
Juniper Berry digestion
Juniper has a highly volatile oils which they can increase the level of digestive acids in the stomach. As we all know, these digestive acids are an integral part of our digestive system and are necessary for digestion. Then eat the fruits can help speed up the digestion process and makes it safe. Moreover, it also helps to relieve gas system, to help people cope with problems and swelling.

Juniper Berry for menstrual problems
The next time you have those who torture menstrual cramps, you may want to meet a few of these berries taste bitter to help relieve pain and provide some relief of discomfort. Furthermore, extracts of juniper was able to help tone the uterus and help follow-up period of a woman if she has problems of periods of delay.

Other benefits of juniper berries
In addition to those mentioned above, juniper were also used for other purposes. Some of them are listed below.

Cough, select and chests resulting congestion can delete extract of juniper berries.
Juniper berries, and choose whether to help weight loss, detoxification capacity because they have to help cleanse the body.
Beaches, choose coated were used in ancient times to avoid hunger pangs.
They also have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory that helps the body fight infections inside and outside.
, Choose disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, nerve and muscle tension, etc., can be treated using juniper berries. The application beaches or local consumption, both of these treatments help.

When word gets around about your command of juniper berry for health facts, others who need to know about juniper berry for health will start to actively seek you out.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The high cost of drugs: treating cancer and cholesterol while building profit

The cost of drugs can be enormous, as anyone who is on many of them, or even one expensive one, can tell you. For most people with good health insurance, the amount that they pay is only a portion of the cost (as with much of health care); still, the co-payments for some drugs, particularly non-generics, can be high enough to be significant for even upper-middle-class people. Lower income people may have to choose between medication and other frivolities – like food. For very high cost drugs, like many of those made artificially by “recombinant DNA” that are used for conditions including cancers, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, neurologic conditions like multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s, the cost is enormous.

The high cost of cancer drugs, in particular, is the foundation of several industries. The most obvious, of course, are the drug companies who manufacture them, and make great profits. The markup price that health insurers (including Medicare) pay for the administration of these drugs, however, is a major source of revenue for hospitals and the doctors who supervise their administration. The staggering growth of “cancer centers” in almost every hospital that can put one together is testimony to this. Most hospitals pursue certain “product lines” (sorry if it offends you to be a widget in a product line) that they see as the most profitable. Yes, medical need is one component; there has to be demand. Clearly cancer, and heart disease are very common and very serious for the people who have them, as well as being high-profit product lines. If less common, diseases that can be treated by neurosurgery are also serious. Indeed, even some neurological conditions that have not been historically treated by surgery, such as stroke, are becoming profit centers when procedural intervention (by, “interventional radiologists”) can be used to treat them. But there are lots of conditions which are also common and serious and are not among the “product lines” hospitals often develop because they are not “profit lines”; obstetrics and psychiatry and pediatrics come to mind (although neonatal intensive care and pediatric cancer treatment, as well as certain types of high-intervention obstetrics, are exceptions).

It is that cancer-drug markup that makes treating cancer profitable. Anecdote: a relatively high-income colleague received the bill for her first set of breast cancer chemotherapy. $30,000. Her husband hid it for several months. (“That’s not so bad,” she was told by a staff member, “we recently had an uninsured woman get a bill for $45,000.” Didn’t make her feel a lot better.) After that initial event, her copayments for treatment were on the order of $600 a month. Because she had good insurance. And she could afford it. Not without some pain, you understand, but much more than someone in one of the lower income groups. Or who is uninsured. Sure, she is happy her cancer could be treated. The point is that hospitals invest in – and advertise their expertise in -- treatment for this kind of disease, and not that kind of disease based on the profitability of it, not the seriousness of the disease.

In addition to the hospitals and the pharmaceutical manufacturers, scientists and the universities that they often work for depend on deals with drug manufacturers to bring their discoveries to market. This can be very lucrative for the universities who employ these scientists, as well as (often) the scientists themselves. It is big business. Bad? Not necessarily. Only a small percentage of the compounds being researched lead to profitable drugs, which is one of the main arguments that pharmaceutical companies use for their high prices and profits (they are consistently, and by far, the most profitable industries in the world if we include only those industries that produce something; the financial industry is something else). Of course, by the way, most of the initial research that produces these new drugs is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- which would be you, the taxpayer. So most of those compounds are developed and studied at public expense; then only the most promising are bought by drug companies. Yes, many of these don’t become marketable, not to mention blockbuster profit centers, but the yield is much greater than it was before all the publicly-funded research culled them out. Oh, by the way, even though you funded that research, you don’t get a discount on the drugs that finally come to market. Sorry.

Sometimes, of course, there are drugs that are “blockbusters”, and they are not always the most expensive cancer drugs. They are big because they treat (or sometimes are thought to treat) conditions that are very common, so that there are millions of users. These are not as likely to support the development of new hospital product lines (where the profit-per-user has to be very high) but make a lot of money for the manufacturers. In the past these have included anti-anxiety drugs of the benzodiazepine class (eg., Valium ®, Librium ®), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for arthritis pain (including a few taken off the market for major side effects like Vioxx ®), and most recently “statin” drugs that reduce cholesterol. These drugs not only work for that purpose, they seem to have other beneficial effects in prevention of heart disease, the reasons for which are not entirely understood, so they are very popular. While selling such heavily-used drugs is always profitable, the greatest profit comes in the first decade (or so) when it is under patent and there are no generic competitors.

In a recent Perspective, “Generic atorvastatin and health care costs”,  in the New England Journal of Medicine, Jackevicius and colleagues look at the impact of the costs of statin drugs on health care costs by examining the projected savings on atorvastatin, initially sold as Lipitor®, which became generic this last November.[1] They used the data on the gradual price reduction that followed simvastatin (Zocor®) becoming generic in 2006. There are some differences; atorvastatin is more potent than simvastatin and less likely to cause muscle pain (myopathy), so it may be preferable to many. When neither was generic, Lipitor® had by far the biggest share of the market, but when simvastatin became generic in 2006, it became the biggest seller, with Lipitor® dropping precipitously and brand name Zocor® almost disappearing. Because of its two advantages (greater potency, less myopathy) generic atorvastatin should become the number one statin in the near future. The savings are projected to be enormous: “The overall cost savings from the availability of generic atorvastatin are projected to reach $4.5 billion annually by 2014, equivalent to 23% of total expenditures on statins in that year.”

That’s a lot of money. It is good to be saving it. However, that “saving” means that we have been spending it for the last decade or more. Yes, drug companies deserve to make a profit. Yes, there are investments made that need to be recouped. But this – like, if perhaps not quite so egregious as what we have seen lately in the financial sector – seems to be excessive.

We should not use drugs that harm us or are unnecessary. The question is can we, as individuals or a society, afford to pay so much for the drugs we need in order for their profits to be so high?

[1] Jackevicius CA, Chou MM, Ross JS, Shah ND, Krumholz HM, “Generic atorvastatin and health care costs”, NEJM 19Jan2012;366(3):201-3.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Komen and Planned Parenthood: The politics of abortion meet the politics of breast cancer

As of this posting it appears that Komen has restored its funding for Planned Parenthood. I thought I would run this post anyway. I think it makes some important points.

As reported in the New York Times on February 1, 2012, “Cancer group halts financing to Planned Parenthood”, the Susan G. Komen Foundation will abruptly end a program that gave about $700,000 to 19 Planned Parenthood (PP) affiliates to fund breast mammograms and ultrasounds for women who cannot afford them. Just to be clear, the Komen Foundation, the world’s largest breast cancer foundation which is famous for its pink ribbons and “Run for the Cure” races, has not changed its position on screening for breast cancer. It just doesn’t want to fund this screeining through Planned Parenthood, which will present a problem for the three-quarters of a million women who have had their mammograms through that organization.

Why? There has been a very long standing relationship between these two organizations committed to women’s health, and this decision seems to be very sudden. According to the Times, “A spokeswoman for the Komen foundation, Leslie Aun, told The Associated Press that the main factor in the decision was a new rule adopted by Komen that prohibits grants to organizations being investigated by local, state or federal authorities. Ms. Aun told The A.P. that Planned Parenthood was therefore disqualified from financing because of an inquiry being conducted by Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, who is looking at how Planned Parenthood spends and reports its money.”

On the face of it, this is absurd; any state legislator can do an investigation into any organization for any reason, and they do. Unlike investigations by law enforcement bodies, in which presumably there is at least a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity. It can only be inferred that this “new rule” was specifically instituted to remove funding for PP. And Komen didn’t have to wait for Rep. Stearns; my state of Kansas has been regularly investigating our Planned Parenthood, starting under former Attorney General Phill Kline, who illegally kept subpoenaed records after he left office. When it finally went to trial after several years, the case was decided by a jury in less than 30 minutes, for PP. More recently, the current administration (also, coincidentally, Republican) has tried promulgating new health department rules regulating abortion providers that were absurdly picky, such as the size of janitorial closets. This has also been discarded.

Wait, Planned Parenthood does abortions? Could that be part of the reason? Why yes. Some, but not all, PP affiliates perform abortions. PP provides comprehensive women’s health services, including contraception and education, as well as breast cancer screening. The Times article notes that many have suggested that it is pressure from right-wing anti-abortion groups that has caused this action. For example, “…in December, LifeWay Christian Resources, which is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, said it was recalling a pink Bible it was selling at Walmart and other stores because a dollar per copy was going to the Komen foundation and the foundation supported Planned Parenthood.” Of course, this is not really a different reason; the reason that Rep. Stearns and AG Kline and others have for investigating PP is because they do abortions.

In further “explanation” (since the original one was so nonsensical), the Komen “…foundation issued a statement saying it was seeking to ‘strengthen our grants program’ and had ‘implemented more stringent eligibility and performance criteria….While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a longstanding partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission.” I had to include this last sentence so that I can recommend that you copy it and save it for a time when you need a piece of corporate double-speak jargon that says nothing except “We’re lying here.”

Planned Parenthood affiliates who do offer abortion services see them as part of the continuum of women’s health care. They offer sex education and contraception, but sometimes this fails – or hasn’t been used -- and women seek an abortion, which may be their first contact with PP. And they may then avail themselves of PP’s other services so they do not have another unwanted pregnancy.  Of course, there are many people who are opposed to abortion who support these other missions (contraception and sex education, as well as breast cancer screening). Therefore, PP usually segregates its funds so that only donations that are unrestricted or specifically intended to support abortion services are used for that purpose. However, there are many others, particularly organized “right-to-life” groups, who are not only opposed to abortion, but to the other missions as well.

A rational, data-driven approach would note that the only things that have ever been shown to reduce the abortion rate are comprehensive sex education and easy availability of contraception. This is why the abortion rate in many countries where abortion is legal is lower than in others where it is not – because those same countries provide sex education and contraception. And, of course, they also provide safe abortions so that the women who receive them are much less likely to develop infections, become sterile, or die.

The only way to understand the opposition to contraception and sex education is to recognize that it is really about being opposed to sex. If you hold the view that sex should only occur in marriage, and then only for the purpose of procreation (thus, only heterosexual marriage), and should not be for fun (and maybe should not ever be fun) this starts to make sense. In a bizarre way. Of course, this excepts the many religious and anti-abortion leaders who are involved in active and extramarital sex. They seem to have no problem telling women what to do with their lives, while living their own lives in total hypocrisy. Of course, but these are mostly men, so what do you expect? They don’t get pregnant.

In another big news item in the same issue of the Times, we are informed that rates of second surgery after lumpectomy for breast cancer vary widely by surgeon, from 0% - 70%. (Breast Cancer Surgery Rules Are Called Unclear by Denise Grady reports on Variability in Reexcision Following Breast Conservation Surgery by Lawrence McCahill and colleagues, published in JAMA, February 1, 2012. In doing lumpectomy for breast cancer, there is a cosmetic reason for taking only the least amount of tissue necessary to remove all the cancer. After all, this is the reason that lumpectomy was developed to replace mastectomy. Sometimes, on pathological examination, the “margins” are not “clear”; that is, cancer cells are found microscopically up to or past the border of the excision, and an additional surgery is required to get the rest. The question is whether there are surgeons who regularly seem to do this more often, that is take too little tissue, rather than random variation; the answer seems to be “yes”.

However, the study shows that there seem to be many more surgeons who often do a second surgery even though the margins are clear than there are surgeons who regularly take too little and need to repeat the surgery. This also means that many surgeons who have the former practice may often take too much tissue the first time to avoid the repeat surgery. This is because they believe that there need to be larger margins of normal tissue, of 2-5mm, between the cancer the edge of the excision. Comments by McCahill and other expert breast surgeons indicate that there is no data showing the larger margins provide any lower rate of recurrence than smaller ones.

What is clear, however, is that cancers found earlier and smaller are more likely to require less invasive surgery and have a greater chance of recovery. While the age of starting and the frequency of screening may be controversial (see my perspective on October 30, 2010, Breast cancer screening: conflicting evidence? what are the important questions for health?), it is hard to argue that having making it more difficult to obtain that screening for 750,000 women who use Planned Parenthood is good policy if your goal is to identify and treat breast cancer as early as possible.

Which, of course, is supposed to be the Komen Foundation’s mission.

 The “Lede” story on the Komen Foundation’s reversal, Cancer Group Backs Down on Cutting Off Planned Parenthood quotes Komen’s Twitter post (@komenforthecure): “We want to apologize for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.”

And for thinking that they could just do this and not ignite a firestorm of protest. Good to see some life in the reproductive rights movement! The anti-abortion-people-who-talk-only-to-themselves-so-much-they-think-everyone-agrees-with-them were unsuccessful in this attempt. Hopefully the women’s health and pro-choice community can remember that these rights are not guaranteed by anything but the willingness of the people to fight for them.