Health Notes


October 25, 2006

Retreat planned for cancer survivors

Anne Arundel Medical Center's Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute is hosting the fourth annual Breast Cancer Survivors Retreat this weekend.

The event at the Aspen Wye River Conference Center in Queenstown is for those who have completed radiation, chemotherapy treatment or surgical intervention for breast cancer. AAMC's goal is to offer survivors an opportunity to celebrate with other survivors.

The theme for this year's event is "Transitions." The program will include education about new developments in therapy, living with a cancer diagnosis, and the use of complementary healing techniques.

The keynote speaker will be Mark Silver, author of the book Breast Cancer Husband. Educational sessions will cover legal and political concerns, spirituality, nutrition, Nia, yoga, tai chi, and hula.

The event is sponsored by the AAMC Breast Center, which is part of the DeCesaris Cancer Institute, and the Annapolis community support group Stepping Out for Breast Cancer.

"We know how difficult the process of healing can be -- both mentally and physically," said Dr. Lorraine Tafra, medical director of the Breast Center. "However, in addition to the traditional treatment of breast cancer, we firmly believe there is a whole other world of additional healing opportunities that people don't know about. We hope this retreat offers a path to that world."

The fee is $85 for Saturday and Sunday and $50 for one day. There is an additional cost for overnight accommodations. Reservations are required. 443-481- 5316 or

Groundbreaking for medical/fire facility

Anne Arundel Medical Center and the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department broke ground Saturday for a new medical facility and fire station in Queen Anne's County.

The hospital's 55,000- square-foot ambulatory care facility and the adjacent 27,000-square-foot fire station will be located on the north side of U.S. 50 at Route 18 in Stevensville.

AAMC's facility will include a radiology area featuring MRI and CT diagnostics, lab services, a walk-in medical clinic, ambulatory surgery, and space for general surgeons, primary care, pediatric, cardiology, OB/GYN, pain management, perinatology, neurosurgery and orthopedic offices. There also will be space for wellness and birthing classes and community outreach events.

"One of our goals always is to provide accessible and convenient care to the folks we serve," said AAMC President Martin L. Doordan. "The Kent Island facility will permit us to reach this goal for the residents of the Eastern Shore."

The firehouse and the medical facility are slated to open in 2008.

E-cards for teens aim to curb smoking

With two new e-cards from the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, teens can send one another messages about what they think about smoking.

The animated cards are accessible from the Smoking Stinks Web site, The cards use vibrant designs and edgy humor to discourage kids from smoking. Teens can send them to friends who, in turn, can send them to others.

The first card encourages smoking teens to quit. It features two furry creatures, Hack and Yack, who sing a song about smoking by puffing on cigarettes and then coughing themselves senseless. The card links to a download of "I Quit," a cessation booklet for teens, on the Smoking Stinks site.

"Ashtray Mouth," the second card, aims at smoking prevention. It shows a teen girl who vomits up a screen-full of cigarette butts while her friends laugh at her. At the end, teens are invited to view graphic cancer images in the Chamber of Horrors of the Smoking Stinks site.

"Teens may tune out adults who tell them smoking is bad," said Wendy Mahan, manager of the Department of Health's Youth Risk Reduction program. "But if their best friend e-mails them a funny card, they're more likely to pay attention."

The e-cards are part of Learn to Live, the healthy living program of the county Department of Health.

Cancer survivors can meet at Tate

The Tate Cancer Center at Baltimore Washington Medical Center has started a new bimonthly support group for cancer survivors looking to connect with other survivors.

"Journeys" will give participants an opportunity to learn about common cancer issues while sharing their experiences. Dates include tomorrow, Nov. 9, and Dec. 14 and 28.

Meetings are held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the first-floor conference room of the Tate Center. 410-553-8129.

County schedules flu-shot clinics

The county Department of Health is offering flu immunizations for Anne Arundel residents at a series of clinics..

Vaccinations are recommended for people age 50 and older; people with medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS; children ages 6 months through 4 years; pregnant women; health care personnel who provide direct patient care; and household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children under 5 years old.

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