Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Mayo Clinic offers tips on what to do to lower risk of getting skin, breast, and lung cancers

February is National Cancer Month, so the Mayo Clinic News Network has had Laurel Kelly compile tips on how you might be able to prevent three cancers.

The trio — skin, breast, and lung cancer — comprise the "top three most common cancers diagnosed in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute," says the story that appeared in the daily Marin Independent Journal this week.

Regarding skin cancer, what's advised is to limit or avoid exposure to ultraviolet, or UV, radiation. "Avoid the sun during the middle of the day," Kelly writes. "Wear sunscreen and protective clothing year-round. Avoid tanning beds. Also, be aware of sun-sensitizing medications, and check your skin regularly and report changes to your health care team."

About breast cancer, the article urges limiting alcohol, eating healthfully, maintaining a good weight, and being active. Regular mammograms and other screenings can detect it early.

And the Mayo Clinic piece notes that insofar as lung cancer is concerned, smoking, as has been known for years, is the greatest risk — a peril that "increases with the length of time and number of cigarettes you've smoked." A reduction in danger is possible by quitting, regardless of how many years you've smoked, the story contends.

More information on how to prevent and treat diseases can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Reader of ‘The Roving I’ compares collection of columns to Mark Twain’s pithy humor, seriousness

My latest book, The Roving I, has drawn an endorsement that absolutely blows me away.

Mark Twain
Fiona Quinn of Chicago, after writing that my “collection of essays is brilliant,” has also written that I have “the rare capacity to connect with readers through humor and thoughtful analysis simultaneously. That is no small feat, and this collection can be compared to Mark Twain’s pithy humor, which camouflages the depth and seriousness of his subject matter.”

That amazing comparison, to my way of thinking, is as flattering as any might be.
Quinn, whom I thank profusely for her commendation, gives a specific example of why she’s come to her conclusion: “For example, writing about the death of a dear friend named David, the writer says: ‘On his deathbed, my psychologist/consultant pal, still boyishly good-looking despite being sixty-something, and still a pig-headed St. Louis Cardinals fanatic, revisited his spiritual feelings.’
“The author’s reference to David’s fanaticism about the Cardinals expresses more about the jokey, intimate nature of their friendship than any narrative could. And it also poignantly clarifies how much David’s absence will be felt.”
Quinn closes with a direct appeal for readers who especially enjoy good writing to buy The Roving I: “Every essay in this collection is spiced with jokes, puns, hilarious observations, deep compassion, and eternal truths. Get this book! It’s deeply satisfying on every level.”
Anyone who wants to follow her advice, or to check out my two previous books, can do so by clicking on my website, https://woodyweingarten.com.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

U.S. service members who've handled nuclear missiles are getting cancers, document charges

"Missileers" — American service members "tasked with manning the nation's nuclear missile launch control centers" — have been contracting cancer out of proportion to the general population. 

A story by Meryl Kornfield early this month in The Washington Post cites a document that ties 30 cancer cases "to people who worked at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana."

Sen. Jon Tester
The article quotes Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), chair of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, as saying that he's asked "the Air Force for a full accounting of the cancer cases and other illnesses at Malmstrom, which house 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile silos, as well as other bases where missileers operate."

Tester also maintains that any former or current missileers at the bases should be screened. 

The revelatory document is an unofficial, crowdsourced one "created by a Space Force officer and obtained by The Washington Post," Kornfield's piece indicates. The cancer cases, which reportedly have been spread over half a century, included 13 from lymphoma, with four of those patients dying.

Most, the story reports, "were men in their 30s and 40s, well below the median age of 67 for a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis."

An Air Force lieutenant colonel argued in a Jan. 11 letter that one man's terminal cancer "was caused by the thousands of hours spent in the subterranean missile bunkers at Malmstrom."

The letter notes, the Post article continues, "that the cancer cluster was being investigated by the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General after a complaint by another missile who suffers from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma."

The story maintains that a congressional inquiry "has also begun and there is a mounting panic among the community of missileers" — and that Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere, who leads Air Force Global Strike Command, says "the Air Force School f Aerospace Medicine has started a formal investigation."

Radon and polychlorinated biphenyls, "which Air Force employees said they were exposed to, are often linked to cancer diagnoses, according to experts," the Post piece explains — adding that "those chemicals can pose a stronger impact if they're exposed to workers in cramped spaces with weak ventilation."

More information about the dangers of nuclear devices, including X-ray and other screening machines, can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, its author, aimed at male caregivers.

Monday, February 6, 2023

East Coast readers join with West Coast readers in praising 'The Roving I' collection of columns

Readers on both coasts have applauded The Roving I, with praise that ranges from “warm, witty, thoughtful, and charming” to “insightful, entertaining, and informative." 

Arlene Miller of Tampa Florida, for example, says the book is “beautifully written with cleverness and empathy. The Roving I exhibits a wide array of very readable stories taken from real life — from celebrations to births to deaths to pets and everything in between. You will chuckle, you might cry, but you will definitely relate to these enjoyable bite-sized essays.”


Dan Pine of Albany, California, meanwhile, declares that “Woody Weingarten brings the sharpest of eyes and keenest of ears to this bracing collection of his newspaper columns. No subject, large or small, escapes his powers of observation and instinct for getting to the heart of the matter. Whether recounting the simple joys of grandparenting, a harrowing Holocaust survivor's tale, or cataloguing the best of eavesdropped conversations in the mall, he remains first and foremost a reporter of unflinching honesty and inerrant lyrical style.” 


Lance Woodruff of Philadelphia notes that I, Woody Weingarten, the book's author, raise his spirit when I write "of the varieties of human experience: A refugee from Cambodia’s Maoist Khymer Rouge, a school janitor, a bus driver, the homeless, and the hungry. The Roving I is ecumenical, sometimes as personal as his lifelong adoration of his wife — as well as his lifelong appreciation of other women who catch his eye.”


Michael Rosenthal of Fairfax, California, simultaneously flatters and humbles me by saying that my “columns are warm, witty, thoughtful, and charming, much like the man himself.”


Ann Israel of Hudson, New York, says, “Like my experience with The Squid Game, which I binge-watched in one weekend, I just binge-read all the columns in The Roving I and loved every single one. The author makes words — and his observations — come alive.”


And Gloria Dunn-Violin of Novato, California, writes that “Woody Weingarten uses his amazing writing talent to tell unique stories that are inciteful, entertaining, and informative.”

To learn more about this book, to buy it, or to check out my two earlier books, click on https://woodyweingarten.com.