Thursday, September 10, 2015
Doctor's Perspective Getting sick, making money

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

I usually spend an hour a day on my treadmill. It just so happens that I do that in late morning and I watch TV while doing it. That means that I am usually watching the news stations or game shows. A few months ago, I wrote an article entitled, You are what you watch. The purpose was to let everyone know that advertisers targeted their audiences.
I have noticed an interesting trend for the advertisers on game shows. Most of these shows give ordinary people a chance to win big prizes. It is logical to think that the watchers of these shows are themselves looking for a big instant payout.
I guess the lawyers have noticed that too. It is amazing at how many of the advertisers are lawyers telling the watcher that they can provide them with cash settlements for their injuries. The problem is that the lawyers would not be doing this if they were not the ones actually getting rich. Television commercial air time costs a lot of money so the payoff must be big for them.
I watch the ads from a doctor's vantage point. It gives me the chance to see that the information is very one sided.
For example, one common ad suggests that you call a lawyer if you have had an infection in an artificial joint replacement. They make it sound like the doctor infected you at the time of surgery.
It is common medical knowledge that joint infections come from the bloodstream and are not introduced at the time of surgery. They are more likely to come from bleeding in your gums when you brush your teeth. The bacteria from your mouth get into the bloodstream and cause the infection.
In addition, artificial joints are foreign substances put into your body. That in and of itself increases the risk of infection. That too is common medical knowledge. The lawyers in the ads don't bother with medical knowledge.
Another ad indicates that people that take Xarelto might have internal bleeding problems. Xarelto is used to prevent clotting and, in doing so, increases your risk for bleeding. Of course there might be internal bleeding as a side effect. The lawyers in the ads don't bother with the obvious.
A third ad suggests that Lipitor might cause diabetes. There is indeed a slight increased risk of diabetes with Lipitor. It is about 18 percent above expected. However, the risk from untreated high cholesterol is much higher.
A fourth ad discusses mesothelioma. Asbestos is a cause of mesothelioma. Exposure to asbestos was significant before we even knew about the relationship. Now that we know about it, much more care is taken to prevent it.
There is no question that game shows are a way to earn cash and prizes for the average individual. However, to suggest that getting sick is another way to make that happen, does not seem right. The advertisers during these shows are betting on people not realizing that.

Suicide prevention for veterans

This month - Suicide Prevention Month - the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA)Power of 1 Suicide Prevention outreach initiative emphasizes how just one act can encourage veterans and military servicemembers to reach out when they are in need.
VA's goal is to spread the word about available VA mental health and suicide prevention resources and encourage veterans, servicemembers and their families to use them.
Suicide Prevention Month efforts, coupled with community support and encouragement, are a great way to connect veterans with the support they've earned, says Robin C. Aube-Warren, director of the Wilmington VA Medical Center.We all have the 'Power of 1' to take simple actions that could make a difference to a veteran facing life challenges.
Some facts: Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 1.86 million calls. The crisis line has requested emergency dispatch services more than 50,000 times. Responders have engaged in more than 240,000 anonymous, online chats since the service was set up in 2009. A text-messaging service, added in 2011, has fielded more than 39,000 messages, providing veterans another way to immediately connect with confidential, round-the-clock crisis intervention support.
Together, the VA Power of 1, community outreach and VA Suicide Prevention Coordinators can help encourage veterans, servicemembers, and their families to learn more about suicide risk, how to identify warning signs and know the steps to take in a time of crisis.
Resources include: Veterans Crisis Line - 1-800-273-8255, chat online at or send a text to 838255 even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.
Additional VA Suicide Prevention and mental health resources are available at: Suicide Prevention Month Toolkit:; Make the Connection:; VA Mental Health website:; VA Suicide Prevention Website:

Active Aging Week at Manor House

The Seaford Manor House will hold Active Aging Week on Sept. 27-Oct. 3. Many events are scheduled. They include:
Monday, Sept. 28 - 8:30 a.m. Prayer Breakfast with US Senator Tom Carper
Tuesday, Sept. 29 - 9 a.m. - Walk for Wellness; 2 p.m. - National Coffee Day in Fellowship Hall with coffee and nutritional baking with Chef Beth Ann
Wednesday, Sept. 30 - 10 a.m. - National Yoga Day - yoga classes; 7:15 p.m. - Smooth Sound Dance Band in Fellowship Hall with Big Band era music.
Thursday, Oct. 1 - 9 a.m. - Fellowship Hall - Strength and Balance Class followed by a protein shake; 6:30-830 p.m. Fellowship Hall history class with William Cummings - A History of the First State: Pre-European Settlement to 1779 - in cooperation with Delaware Technical Community College. The class will take you from the earliest days of our state up to the turbulent times just prior to the formation of the United States.
Friday, Oct. 2 - 2 p.m. On the patio - 'Paint Ball Artistry' using paint ball guns to create a work of art; 6 p.m. - Depart for Salisbury University to see Colorful China a high-spirited song and costumed dance during Colorful China: For Peace
Saturday, Oct. 3 - 9:30 a.m. - Depart for Wings & Wheels Festival in Georgetown car show, WWII enactments, bi-plane ride, WWII planes or helicopters

DBCC plans fundraiser

The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) is preparing for the Sixth Annual Monster Miles for a Cause Walk at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 17.
The un-timed walk, which takes place during breast cancer awareness month, is a family friendly event for supporters to step onto the NASCAR track to benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.
Attendees are encouraged to walk in honor or in memory of someone in their life that has been impacted by breast cancer.
The event will include food, vendors, and team prizes. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the walk steps off at 10 a.m. To register online, visit
Monster Miles will be held rain or shine and costs $25 per individual in advance and $30 for day-of registration. Individuals can also participate as part of a team.

Children 10 and under can walk for free with an adult. Sponsorship opportunities are available and those who cannot attend can register as Sleepwalkers to make a donation.
For more information, contact Michelle Marshall, DBCC event coordinator, at 302-593-9924 or

Battle of the Bartenders' benefit

Guest bartenders will battle to be the best bartender at Bethany Blues to benefit Delaware Hospice from 6-10 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at Bethany Blues in Lewes. Patrons may tip their favorite bartender and 100% of guest bartender tips will be donated to Delaware Hospice. Also, if diners mention Delaware Hospice, 20% of their dinner orders will be donated. Everyone is welcome. If you are unable to attend but would like to pre-tip your favorite bartender, visit to tip online.

National Take-Back Initiative

Take-back your unused prescription and non-prescription medications on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Delaware State Police Troop 4, 23652 Shortly Rd., Georgetown.
The DEA is coordinating this collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies that are focused on removing potentially dangerous controlled substances from medicine cabinets.
A national take-back day will provide a unified opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.
This one-day effort will bring national focus to the issue of pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse.
Visit to find out more about this program.

Hearing Voices focus group

Although one in 10 people hear voices, many choose not to talk about them.
AHearing Voices Groupwhere people can meet to talk about their experiences without fear of judgment is coming to the ACE Community Resource Center in Seaford. This group will offer mutual support and friendship, with the opportunity to explore experiences and learn from others with similar stories. Folks who hear voices are invited to a kick off focus group at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11 at the ACE Center to share their input on developing the new group.

2015 Blue Jean Ball

Individuals and businesses have joined Autism Delaware's mission to help people and families affected by autism by sponsoring and donating items for the 2015 Blue Jean Ball to be held at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 26.
The Blue Jean Ball raises funds that support Autism Delaware's much-needed programs and services across the state.
With the generosity of our sponsors and donors, we hope to raise $85,000 at this year's event, says Dorian Rowe Kleinstuber, esquire, who, with Susie Kelly, is a long-time co-chair of the hard-working Autism Delaware Blue Jean Ball Committee. This year's title sponsor is the Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships. Rounding out the event's exclusive sponsorship is Peninsula Oil and Propane, of Seaford, thanks to Autism Delaware board vice president John Willey. The event's diamond sponsor is Gilsdorf's Homegrown Produce.
This year's raffle item a 50-inch Magnavox Smart TV is courtesy of Aaron's. The honorary pit crew experience for two is the featured live auction item, thanks to NASCAR driver David Ragan and Michael Waltrip Racing.
Everyone can participate in the live auction, adds Kleinstuber. All you have to do is register. Thanks to the Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships, we have a BidPal link set up at
To support the Autism Delaware Blue Jean Ball, contact the event manager, Deanna Principe, at 302-224-6020. The Blue Jean Ball starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. Tickets are $85 each if purchased by Sept. 6; $100 if purchased from Sept. 7-26 or until tickets are sold out. For tickets and sponsorship information, visit

Basket Bingo

The Employee Activity Committee (EAC) of Nanticoke Health Services will hold a Longaberger Basket Bingo at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Seaford Moose Lodge, Rt. 13A, Seaford.
The filled basket bingo will consist of 20 games and feature several Longaberger baskets as prizes.Advance tickets are $20 per person, $25 at the door. Advance ticket includes a chance to win the Longaberger Hamper basket and Longaberger Wine & Cheese basket.Nearly 30 chances to win.
In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness month attendees wearing pink will receive a ticket for an exclusive drawing. Refreshments will be available. For ticket information, contact the EAC at 629-6611, ext. 8944 or

Better Breathers Club

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a Better Breathers Club on the third Monday of each month from 2-3 p.m. This free support group is open to anyone affected by a chronic lung disease including relatives and caregivers. The group's first meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 21, in the Medical Staff Conference Room.
Backed by the American Lung Association, the club offers a venue for participants to learn from featured speakers and educational materials, socialize with others affected by a chronic lung disease, and practice skills that will help them better manage their condition and improve their quality of life. Refreshments will be provided and registration is required.
For more information and to register, call 3629-6611, ext. 1010.

Grief Support Group

Delaware Hospice is offering a six week grief support group, Grief 101: Healing After the Death of a Loved One, for individuals who have lost a loved one. The group offers an opportunity to share and talk to others who are on a similar grief journey. Education is provided on various topics including coping methods.
The group will meet on Mondays from 5-6:30 p.m. on Sept. 14-Oct. 26. The group will not meet on Oct. 12.
To register or learn about other support groups at Delaware Hospice, contact Bereavement Counselor, Midge DiNatale, BA, GC-C at 856-7717 ext. 4120 or email

Rehoboth Beach ALS Walk

Friends, neighbors, acquaintances and supporters of Lou Gehrig's Disease are invited to walk with Don's Angels on Sunday, Sept. 12 in the Rehoboth Beach ALS Walk which begins at 9:30 a.m.
Don's Angels walk to raise money for a cure in memory of St. Paul's UMC former pastor, Don Murray.
The group, which will meet for registration at the Rehoboth Bandstand at 8 a.m., will be wearing orange shirts with the team name, Don's Angels.
For more information, contact Betty at 875-2713 or Kelly at 752-7032. If you are unable to walk but would like to make a donation call Betty or Kelly.