Guest Columnist Dr. Roy Sessions, M.D.-The Allure of Alternative Cancer Remedies

This is part of a series of columns on the doctor/cancer patient relationship by Seabrook resident Dr. Roy Sessions, MD, and Fellow of the American Council of Surgeons.RoySessions

In a recent series of essays, I focused on the interpersonal relationship between physician and patient – especially, but not exclusively cancer-related. Perhaps I’ll come back to that at a future date – it’s a bottomless trove of issues – and at that time, I’ll review what we have previously discussed, so as to make it easy to pick up where we left off. In a search for literary diversity, today I’ll change gears and talk about certain influences on the attitudes and receptiveness of patients undergoing the cancer experience; there are a number of potential extraneous matters available, but for starters, I ask the reader to consider the seductive appeal of alternative medicine and methods that have not been vetted by the appropriate scientific community. Continue reading “Guest Columnist Dr. Roy Sessions, M.D.-The Allure of Alternative Cancer Remedies”

Shark Facts and Safety Tips

Shark-Clipart-1According to the International Shark Attack File, ten individuals have been attacked by sharks so far this year along the coasts of North and South Carolina.  Six is the average annual number of shark attacks along this two-state coastline.

To reduce the risk of encountering a shark while in the water you should do the following:

• Always swim with a group.  Sharks are more likely to attack an individual swimmer.
• Do not wander too far from shore.  Doing so increases your vulnerability and places you further from help.
• Avoid going into the water during darkness or twilight hours.  This is when sharks are most active and can bring their sensory advantage to bear.
• Do not enter the water if bleeding from an open wound.  Use caution if menstruating.  A shark’s olfactory ability (sense of smell) is acute.  The presence of even small traces of blood from recent minor cuts or bruises may precipitate a shark attack.
• Do not wear shiny jewelry (e.g., bracelet or watch) because the reflected light resembles the sheen of fish scales.
• Avoid waters being used by sport fishermen, particularly if they are chumming or baiting the water to attract fish.
• Avoid waters where there are indications of feeding activity such as diving seabirds.
• Do not assume the presence of dolphins indicates the absence of sharks.  Both dolphins and sharks feed on the same prey.
• Exercise caution in cloudy water and avoid uneven tanning and bright colored clothing.  Sharks have excellent vision, but lack visual acuity.  They can easily mistake a human for natural prey.
• Refrain from excess splashing and do not allow pets into the water because of their erratic movements.  Sharks are attracted to motion.  They also possess the ability to sense the bioelectric field generated by an animal’s nerves and muscles.
• Exercise caution when swimming in areas between the beach and offshore sandbars or near steep drop-offs.  These are prime shark feeding grounds.

What to do if you are approached or attacked by a shark: Continue reading “Shark Facts and Safety Tips”