Friday, January 26, 2024

Valentine's Day is just around the corner; new MysteryDates® book can make it zing

Hey, have I got the perfect Valentine's Day gift, one that can make the holiday zing, for you or a loved one.

It's MysteryDates®, my brand new memoir/travel guide that offers hundreds of ways to help you retain, resuscitate, or refresh the sizzle and joy that flared when sparks first sparked between you and your partner.
The lighthearted 282-page book — now available in paperback and e-book editions (the hardcover will be coming soon) — provides countless tips on what to do, how to do it, and where to go (locally, nationally, globally). 
Its personal anecdotes were culled from 35 years of dates that either I or my wife have concocted; the other tips emerged from endless hours of research.
To buy a copy of MysteryDates, just visit and push a button for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, or another of your favorite booksellers.
My latest book, sprinkled with humor, explains how you can surprise your partner with a spontaneous lunch or a flight to a weeklong visit to a best friend in another state, how to eliminate the expected spasms of Valentine's Day or other special occasions and substitute a non-stressful and loving event, and where to go in your own 'hood — or across the ocean — to easily find delight. 
It can delight you just to read about free food or a $30 million gown, about beer-bathing or the International Spy Museum, about the annual testicle festival or the time when Nancy Fox, my three decades-long partner, and I helped turn each other into San Francisco clowns.
As the old television food commercial suggests, "Try it — you'll like it."
Pre-publication readers agree with that idea.
For example, Toby Adelman, PhD, RN, from Mars Hill, Maine, says, "What a delight. This is a book that, using the exciting concepts of creativity, spontaneity, and trust, is destined to be one of the best ‘relationship' books a couple might receive for a wedding present. Not to mention the incredible overview of interesting activities and places available for MysteryDates close to home and around the world. In a category of its own. Love it!" 
And Roberta Bienenfeld, an editor and translator from Raat Beit Shemesh, Israel, writes that "Woody Weingarten’s new book, MysteryDates, offers hundreds of ideas — as well as personal anecdotes — to get you out of your house and into a world filled with possibilities. A MysteryDate can be almost anything, from something simple — taking out the time to watch a sunset in your own backyard garden — to boarding a plane to Hawaii to visit a volcano."
Remember, all you need to do is click on and then push your favorite "buy" button. You can check out my three other books on that same website, by the way. In fact, for a limited time, Amazon is selling the handover edition of The Roving I, the collection of 70 of my newspaper columns, at a major discount ($5.44) and, similarly, Grampy and His Fairyzona Playmates, the children’s book I wrote with my granddaughter, is being discounted to $6.95.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Researchers identify possible new risk for breast cancer for aging women with dense tissue

"While breast density declines with age, a slower rate of decline in one breast often precedes a cancer diagnosis in that breast."

That conclusion is reported in a story published a while back by Roni Caryn Rabin in The New York Times that I just unearthed.

Rabin writes that a study published in JAMA Oncology says, "Scientists has long known that dense breast tissue is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in women" but these new findings apparently indicate another risk.

Sue (Joy) Jiang, PhD
Shu (Joy) Jiang, the study's lead author, a PhD and an associate professor of public health sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, says that "right now, everybody only looks at density at one point in time" but, since women have mammograms at regular intervals and the density of each breast is measured each time, "this information is actually already available but [is] not being utilized."

Jiang hopes the findings can be put "into clinical use as soon as possible — it will make a huge difference."

Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, over a 10-year period, analyzed breast density changes in 10,000 women.

Dense breast cancer tissue, it's long been established, makes tumors harder to detect in imaging scans.

More information about density issues 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.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Washington Post writer explains why our general fear of cancer is outdated — and is harmful

Has cancer-phobia become an outdated — and harmful — concept?

In an opinion piece by David Ropeik in editions of The Washington Post earlier this week, the writer maintains that "our cancer phobia [is] a fear that in some ways no longer matches the facts."

David Ropeik
His column explains that we now know "that tens of thousands of common breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers that are detected early never go on to do any harm." 

Still, he writes, people "'over-diagnosed' with these types of cancer are understandably frightened and usually choose more aggressive treatment than their clinical conditions require. Some 'fear-ectomies' cause great harm, leading to side effects that range from moderate to severe and include death itself."

The columnist goes on to say that "we spend an estimate $5.2 billion a year on…clinically unnecessary treatment, 3 percent of the total spent on all cancer care annually."

Ropeik, author of Curing Cancer-phobia: How Risk, Fear, and Worry Mislead Us, maintains that "a diagnosis of cancer is still thought to be a death sentence [despite the fact that] mortality in the United States is down 33 percent in the past three decades [and as] many as two-thirds of all cancers can now be treated as chronic conditions or cured outright."

There apparently are more than 200 types of cancer, which all told kill roughly 600,000 people each year.

Ropeik, a former environmental journalist and retired instructor in the environmental management program at Harvard University's School of Continuing Education, writes that we collectively "have feared cancer more than any other disease since it became the No. 2 cause of death in the United States in the 1920s (after heart disease)."

The writer's opinion piece asserts that although "a majority of people believe that most cancer is caused by environmental carcinogens…we now know that cancer is principally a natural disease of aging, which allows DNA mutations that cause uncontrolled cell growth to accumulate." 

Despite that information, he says, "governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year to reduce the risk from environmental carcinogens [and] we spend billions on organic foods, vitamins, and supplements, as well as many other products that promise to reduce our risk of cancer but don't." 

Ropeik concludes that even though "we cannot absolutely cure cancer, nor will we ever entirely erase our cancer-phobia…we need to understand and battle both the disease and our fear, because both are doing terrible harm."

More information about fear of 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.