Limited Healthcare Copywriting
We routinely collaborate with graphic designers
to create full-service brochures, feature articles and
other materials complete with logos and graphics. Here
we present only the text, versus bulky PDFs, for ease
Please contact us for additional samples
more closely aligned with your project needs, or for more
information on our healthcare copywriting services, including
a free estimate for your next project.
Feature Article, The International
Rett Syndrome Foundation
Consumer Article, Stillwater Healthcare
Consumer Article, Fireside Senior
Press Release, Common gene increases
risk of heart failure
Brochure, Statewide Medical Center
Feature Article, The Breast Cancer
Educational Literature, High Blood
Pamphlet, Sleep Disorders
Samples of Online Content
1. Feature Article, The International Rett Syndrome
"This is without a doubt one of the best
Rett Syndrome articles I have ever read. Itís not easy
to cover all the science and symptoms of Rett in a single
article, but you did a fantastic job, and it is very
easy to read and understand. It has already generated
a lot of support from our donors and Iím sure it will
continue to help our cause and raise awareness. Thanks
for a super job." Chuck Curley, Executive Director, International
Rett Syndrome Foundation
the client wanted: A full-length feature article for
newspaper/magazine publication to inform and help raise
the Odds: Rare neurological disorder changes lives near
Heatonís room says a lot about her. The walls surrounding
her inviting pink bed are plastered with posters of
shiny teen pop stars. Zac and Joe and Nick grin beneath
swept-up hair. Miley Cyrus has the place surrounded,
flashing her dimples and posing in various miniskirts
on just about every wall.
for the cart in the corner piled with medical supplies,
it is the room of a typical 14-year-old girl. And but
for a tiny, genetic mutation, Jessalyn would have been
that girl. The glossy photos of Miley would be idolized
because she can sing and act and danceónot because she
the daughter of John and Cindy Heaton, was born with
youíre a fan of this seasonís Celebrity Apprentice,
you may have heard Clint Black mention it (heís playing
for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.) But
most people know little or nothing about Rett.
Syndrome is a rare, debilitating neurodevelopmental
disorder. It affects areas of the brain responsible
for cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor and autonomic
functions. This can lead to a number of mental and physical
abnormalities, in things like learning ability, speech,
sensation, mood, movement and gait, breathing, heart
function, and digestion.
babies born with Rett appear normal for their first
6-18 months, and may even progress through early developmental
by age 2 parents will almost certainly see a delay in
developmentóparticularly in talking, purposeful hand
use, and other motor milestones. Often, as babies become
toddlers and the syndrome sets in, affected children
will regress. They may start to lose the social and
motor skills theyíd previously mastered, leaving parents
to watch their children inexplicably slip away, receding
into themselves, never to re-emerge.
of the most characteristic symptoms of Rett in children
is repetitive wringing and clasping of hands as they
lose the ability to control them. ApraxiaĀEthe inability
to perform motor functionsóeventually interferes with
all body movements, including eye gaze and speech. Communication
and social interaction are therefore extremely hampered.
general, individuals with Rett have no speech ability,
no purposeful hand use and poor motor coordination overall.
Many are wheelchair-bound from a young age.
to some similarity of symptoms, Rett is most commonly
misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy or autism. Indeed, Rett
is one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders. But Rett stands
out on the spectrum for a few key reasons.
it falls at the far end as the most severe of the autism
disorders. It is the most physically debilitating. And
itís the only one with a known genetic cause.
science of Rett
Rett could be called a disorder of chance.
1999, scientists discovered Rett is caused by mutations
on the MECP2 gene, located on the X chromosome. Itís
because of the location that male fetuses with the disorder
rarely survive to term (as they have only a single X
chromosome), and Rett Syndrome is seen almost exclusively
in girls. The discovery also means doctors can now do
a simple blood test to confirm a Rett diagnosis.
99 percent of the time, the genetic abnormality arises
by spontaneous, random mutationónot genetic inheritanceóin
as little as a single base pair in a single gene. Thatís
one gene out of 25,000 in the human genome.
50 percent of the time the mutation occurs, it does
so in a girl, and she will continue to develop. Rett
is estimated to affect every 1 in 10,000-25,000 girls
For those girls who are unlucky enough to have the spontaneous,
and yet painfully precise, Rett mutation, the severity
of the disorderóthe extent to which it will interfere
with their livesóis also a matter of chance.
females have two X chromosomes, one of the Xs is inactivated
in every cell in the body. In girls with Rettówho have
one normal X, and one which carries the faulty MECP2
geneóthis means that the severity of their symptoms
will depend on the proportion of cells which retain
the good X, versus the damaged one.
cells that randomly inactivate the faulty X will have
normal, healthy function. Girls who, by chance, have
more healthy brain cells will have less severe symptoms.
brain cells that inactivate the normal X chromosome,
leaving the damaged one, will have impaired function.
Girls who, by chance, have more of these neurons will
be more severely impaired.
by chance, falls in the middle.
The living room of the Heatonís house is full of photographs.
In one, a dark-haired toddler with enormous eyes sits
in a frilly dress and laughs, revealing the edges of
two erupting front teeth.
was my first baby,ĀEsaid Cindy Heaton, recalling both
the joy and the uncertainty of being a new mother.
points at the picture, at Jessalynís small hands. ďWe
didnít notice it then, but I can see it now,ĀEshe says.
this and many of her other childhood photos, Jessalyn
holds her hands at awkward angles or balls them up into
fists, a symptom only apparent in retrospect.
like other girls with Rett, appeared normal at birth
and for her first few months.
as Jessalyn grew she failed to reach several developmental
milestones. By 10 months Jessalyn showed no signs sheíd
soon start crawling. She didnít reach for toys or her
mother. And she didnít roll over.
appointments were a frustrating affair, when the experts
assured Cindy and John that Jessalyn was just late.
That sheíd catch up.
by age 2, their daughter still wouldnít feed herself.
And though she was walking and looked normal, she didnít
Cindy and John had their second child, Jared, born two
years after Jessalyn, the differences were too obvious
take him for his check-ups and Iíd sayóBut look at Jessalyn!
He was passing her on all the milestones.ĀE
Jessalyn was 3, doctors diagnosed her with autism, a
determination that never seemed right to Cindy. Jessalyn
soon started to have uncontrollable crying spells and
seizures. Then, when she was 5, a neurologist said Jessalyn
might have Rett Syndrome.
said ĎWhatís that?ĀEHe gave me a list of symptoms to
read and I just knew that was it. That was what she
had. If you think something is wrong with your child,
you have to keep pushing. You have to make them take
diagnosis was bittersweet: A relief to finally have
a name for Jessalynís differences, but a name that summoned
the dark nightmare of devastating disability.
pulls a little bit of your heart out ĀEand itís gone
forever. And you walk around like that, with this piece
missing ĀEbut somehow you learn to cope. You just learn
to take it one day at a time."
in 25,000; one in a million.
In a large frame designed to help Jessalyn maintain
good posture and get some exercise, she stands in the
living room and stares at the computer screen, bobbing
her head to Taylor Swiftís latest video on YouTube.
is one of Jessalynís greatest passions. Perhaps because
it is moving, in a world outside the physical. In music,
you can transcend the limitations of muscle and bone,
of random mutations and discordant brain waves, and
escape to the perfect rhythms and smooth movements of
her special class at Ellijay Elementary, Jessalyn is
one of the most interactive, affectionate students.
Her morning ritual includes her own version of ďhelloĀE
for teachers and students. At home, snuggling is a necessity.
can walk with assistance, unlike many girls with Rett.
And though she has never spoken, she can communicate
with her eyes, making clear choices between different
foods, or pictures that correspond to different activities.
ďIf she wants a bath,ĀECindy said, ďsheíll walk into
Jessalyn suffers from frequent seizuresónot a rare,
but a potentially debilitating, aspect of Rett. Even
as Cindy spoke of her daughterís seizures, Jessalyn
silently slipped into one. She didnít shake, but lay
still and rigid, her eyes wide open, her expression
frozen. And then, after less than a minute, she was
powerful drugs pumped into Jessalynís 90-pound body
to try to control these sporadic firings have taken
a brutal toll. She has regressed some physically since
starting the regime. Then, last summer, she spent almost
a month in the hospital suffering from severe gastrointestinal
problems, another common complication of Rett.
Jessalyn has refused to relinquish any more independence,
and continues to walk. ďSheís a fighter. Everything
she does is harder than for other people,ĀECindy said.
yet, for all her struggles, making an impact on people
comes natural to Jessalyn.
brings out the best in people,ĀEsaid Cindy. ďItís amazing.
We canít go to McDonalds, and I canít watch her run
into school. If I could just hear my childís voice Iíd
get down on my knees and praise God. But Jessalyn is
here for a reason. She makes you see the things that
really matter. Sheís only 14, but sheís changed the
The unknown and the immeasurable
after introducing her daughter, Cindy pulled out a packet
of papers and turned to a printout of a 2007 scientific
study on Rett.
just any study. But a groundbreaking oneóthe results
of which rippled through the scientific community, and
slammed into the Rett community like a welcomed tsunami.
reversed it in mice,ĀECindy said with restrained excitement.
and the other parents must be careful not to let themselves
be swept away by the siren-swell of hope the study has
set off. And yet itís almost impossible not to be somewhat
encouraged by the resultsóif not for your own child
then for future children with Rett.
the study, scientists took genetically engineered mice
who were exhibiting severe Rett-like symptomsóand in
some cases were even days away from deathóand restored
the faulty MECP2 gene.
result was a near complete reversal of symptoms. Tremors
disappeared, breathing normalized, mobility and brain
function were restored.
a similar treatment for humans is, if possible, still
far-off, the study holds promise for more disorders
than just Rett. The MECP2 gene has been implicated in
schizophrenia, autism and other learning disabilities.
That means the mouse reversal could open up new alleys
for treatments for an array of debilitating disorders.
Curley is the executive director of the International
Rett Syndrome Foundation, and the father of Caroline,
13, who was diagnosed with Rett when she was 3. Though
Curley is cautious when it comes to talking about treatments
or a cure for Rett in the foreseeable future, heís a
strong supporter of scientific research and hopes to
see research interest in Rett increase significantly
in the coming years.
in Rett opens doors and sheds light on other disorders,
including autism. We can look at Rett as a window to
other disorders, and a Rett cure as a window to other
cures," Curley said.
for now there are no treatments for Rett. In addition,
since the disorder is so rare and relatively newóit
wasnít officially named until 1983ólittle is known about
life expectancy. Itís just one more uncertainty families
must learn to cope with in the Rett game of chance.
good news is that Rett is not a progressive disorder.
Most who have it, though they continue to require maximum
care, live well into middle-age. Adults with Rett continue
to learn, and (like other adults) may become more emotionally
stable and communicative as they exit their teens.
Cindy doesnít like to look too far into the future,
preferring to ďtake today as today," she has no reason
to believe Jessalyn wonít continue to develop new skills.
now, ďShe surprises us all the time," said Cindy. ďYou
just donít know what she knows."
if on cue, Jessalyn broke out in a smile, struck by
something amusing, it seemed, in her internal world
in there," Cindy said, looking down at her daughter.
things you just donít know how to measure."
|2. Consumer Article, Stillwater
the client wanted: An educational article to inform and engage clients.
Blood. Whatís so special about the stuff?
Itís the bodyís communications network, food supplier,
waste removal system, and transportation superhighway.
have about 8 pints of it, and if more than a third of
your share should ever leak out, you must either get
a transfusion or prepare to meet your mortician.
the ages and across cultures blood has held an interesting
place in both medicine and mythology. But what is it
that makes blood such a biochemical marvel? What is
it on the microscopic level that gives the stuff its
is made up of three main parts that together traverse
our veiny interior.
blood cells give the fluid its burgundy blush. They
bump along, looking like jelly donuts with their middles
are sticky, misshapen cells that act as the bodyís little
Band-Aids. Both of these are suspended in a solution
of plasma, the watery portion of blood.
a team, the components course through the bodyís 100,000
miles of veins, arteries and capillaries. If all a personís
blood vessels were lined up end to end, they could encircle
the earth almost four times. A pint makes the journey
60 times an hour.
critical pit stopówith each pass, the river runs through
the fleshy mesh of the lungs. There, red blood cells,
the plump little powerhouses, pick up fresh oxygen as
they weave their way through the webs of the lobes.
refreshed cells, now oxygen-rich, are then shot back
out into the body, about two liters every minute, propelled
by the pump of our thickly muscled heart. As red blood
cells make the loop, squeezing through capillaries less
then half their width, they deliver oxygen to every
one of our roughly 100 trillion cells.
red blood cells arenít the only ones at work. Platelets
floating in their plasma bath patrol the smooth, inner
lining of blood vessels, looking for leaks. Using octopoid
arms to feel for imperfectionsóany rips and tears in
vessel wallsóplatelets are perpetually poised to clot.
Should they come across a cut, platelets press themselves
against the wall to plug up the hole, thus preventing
a small slit from bleeding us dry.
a wound is severe, cells recruit the help of a bigger,
more powerful protein, which forms a fibrin web to trap
more platelets and passing red blood cells at the site,
the river magically morphing from liquid to solid.
system cells also ride the red tide to reach organs
in trouble or attack bodily invaders.
the vascular currents carry away metabolic trash dumped
in the river by surrounding cells, washing things like
carbon dioxide and ammonia downstream to one of the
bodyís disposal centers.
no getting around it: the crimson ribbon that flows
through our veins is vital for vibrant life, critical
for keeping our cells humming in synchrony.
In your blood
- Blood is made of three main components ĀEred blood
cells, plasma, and platelets. Donated blood is separated
into its three parts at a lab. Patients who get transfusions
may need only a single component, or all three.
- Red blood cells look like a jelly donut with the middle
caved in. They supply oxygen to depleted cells. Car
accident victims may need up to 100 units of red blood
cells. Premature babies may need four units.
- Platelets are responsible for clotting. Cancer patients
and others with compromised immune systems need transfusions
- Plasma is the watery portion of blood. Plasma transfusions
are used to bulk up blood volume.
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|3. Consumer Article, Fireside
the client wanted: A informative, readable
article to include with mailings of marketing materials.
Can ĎCognitive Exercise' Help Alzheimerís Disease?
What is Ďcognitive exercise,' anyway?
everyone knows someone stricken with Alzheimerís Disease.
of the body, Alzheimerís attacks the brain. It steals
into the gray folds that store a lifetime of memories,
and erases them, one by one. Victims become confused and
frustrated. Family members are forced to watch their loved
one fade away.
whoís watched this cruel robbery play out knows what a
painful process it is. But even though a cure for Alzheimerís
remains elusive, new research suggests we may be able
to slow the progression of the disease Ā-- or even decrease
the chances of developing it.
the secret? Itís called Ďcognitive exercise.' And itís
not as hard as it sounds.
though, you have to understand some of the basics of Alzheimerís
several factors, such as genetics and general health,
may influence the onset of Alzheimerís, the main risk
factor is age. The likelihood of developing Alzheimerís
doubles about every five years after age 65. After 85,
the risk reaches nearly 50 percent. As about 78 million
baby boomers enter their senior years, the incidence of
Alzheimerís is expected to increase significantly.
is a progressive, degenerative disease, which means its
victims lose more and more of their brain tissue over
time. In its earliest stages, Alzheimerís Disease disrupts
normal neuronal function. The leading theory behind the
disease is that a proteinóbeta-amyloid, present in the
brains of all peopleófor some reason becomes misshapen.
Over time, more and more misfolded proteins clump together
in the extracellular goo surrounding neurons, forming
classic, toxic beta-amyloid plaques.
interfere with normal neurotransmission, essentially gumming
up the works so cells canít communicate properly. And
a cell that exists in isolation ĀEa cell that receives
no stimulation ĀEwill wither and die.
time, enough cells die so that the cognitive symptoms
of Alzheimerís start to manifest. These include memory
loss, loss of motor function, disrupted speech, and general
cognitive decline. Symptoms also worsen with time.
for this reason James Siberski says slowing the progression
is so important. The best way to do that, he says, is
to keep the brain active.
as the body needs exercise to stay fit and healthy, so
too does the brain.
exercise is essentially anything that encourages active
thought. This could mean doing crossword puzzles, word
games, math problems, strategic or analytical tasks ĀE
anything that gets those gray cells firing.
people already exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimerís, cognitive
exercise, in conjunction with medication, may help slow
mental decline, Siberski said, by keeping remaining healthy
brain cells healthy.
addition, if youíre symptom-free but are at risk of developing
the disease (essentially, anyone whoís aging) exercises
might help to delay the onset. In some cases, people may
technically have Alzheimerís Disease without displaying
any symptoms. In well-toned brains, the high-functioning
areas can actually assume the duties of the diseased,
of which means: Young or old, diseased or dementia-free
ĀEexercise canít hurt.
several companies advertise products that promise to tone
the mind people need not purchase anything. In a recent
study from Misericordia University, patientsĀEdementia
symptoms improved after doing hidden picture puzzles,
mazes, crosswords, mathematical calculations, and decision-making
the studyís end, subjects who had exercised their brains
had a decrease in their dementia symptoms.
goal is to integrate cognitive exercise into caretaking
regimes for the elderly, and to get people of all ages
to work their minds throughout their lives.
is hope. So until a cure becomes a realityóeat right,
exercise body and brain, and you just might increase your
chances of meeting Siberskiís mission for mankind: ďLive
long and die short."
Back to top.
|4. Press Release
Gene Increases Risk of Heart Failure in South Asians
analyzing the DNA of individuals from 63 world populations,
scientists have found that 4% of individuals of South
Asian ancestry carry a common genetic variant associated
with cardiomyopathy (CM), a condition known to contribute
to heart failure. The gene increases the risk of heart
failure is a leading cause of death in South Asia and
often stems from CM, a condition in which the heart muscle
deteriorates leaving the organ unable to pump properly.
More than 200 genetic mutations, affecting more than 20
different genes, have been identified in connection with
CM. One such gene is MYBPC3, which encodes cardiac myosin
binding protein C (cMyBP-C). CMyBP-C helps hold heart
muscle fibers together, and is therefore important for
both structural integrity of the myocardium and for regulating
the study, which appears in the January issue of Nature
Genetics, an international team of 25 researchers first
analyzed the DNA of Indian subjects who either did or
did not have a history of CM. They found a MYBPC3 mutation,
a 25-bp deletion, was more than seven times more common
in patients with CM than in healthy, control subjects.
In addition, researchers said homozygous deletion may
result in a more severe, early-onset form of CM.
investigate how widespread the mutation is, researchers
then screened 6,273 individuals from 107 different ethnic
populations in 35 states in India. The mutation was present
in about 4% of individuals in all major populations, but
was absent in Northeast Indians, Siddis (from Africa)
and Onges (from the Andaman Islands). Mutation frequencies
were significantly higher in populations in southern and
western Indian states than in northern states. The finding
correlates with the geographical spread of heart failure
rates, which is more prevalent in southern Indian.
Thangaraj and colleagues then further broadened their
study sample. They analyzed the DNA of over 2,000 individuals
from 63 world populations including 26 countries on all
five continents. They found the same MYBPC3 mutation in
individuals from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Malaysia,
but not in others.
authors conclude that while the mutation is undetectable
in other world populations, it is common in individuals
from South Asia. Chronologically, the most recent common
ancestor for the deletion is 33 plus/minus 23 thousand
years. As this postdates the arrival of the first modern
human settlers from Africa about 50,000 years ago, the
authors suggest the mutation arose within the subcontinent
and spread to two populations in Southeast Asia via gene
results may help doctors identify and treat individuals
predisposed to heart failure.
5. Brochure, Statewide
the client wanted: This hospital wanted an educational,
promotional brochure to generate public awareness and
participation in their quarterly blood drives.
Medical Center and The American Red Cross are rolling
up their sleeves and teaming up for local blood drives.
whatís so special about blood?
- Blood is the bodyís river of life. It is our communications
network, food supplier, waste removal system, and transportation
- Adults have about 8 pints of blood. Blood circulates
the body in blood vessels called veins, arteries, and
capillaries. If all our blood vessels were lined up
end to end, they would circle the earth almost four
times! Every pint makes this journey about 60 times
- Blood carries oxygen to every cell in the bodyóover
100 trillion! Without fresh oxygen, our cells would
suffocate and die.
- Blood carries nutrients, like messages in a bottle,
from the tips of our toes to the folds of the brain.
- And blood carries the bodyís own brand of Band-Aid.
Sticky little cells that float in our blood seal up
any cuts and keep little nicks from becoming big problems.
amazing stuff, isnít it?
imagine if you or a loved one needed blood, and there
almost impossible to imagine, thanks to The American
Red Cross and centers like Statewide. Theyíre working
hard to make sure it doesnít happen. But they canít
do it alone.
The need for new donations is rising every
- Every two seconds someone in America will need a
transfusion. These could be trauma victims, surgery
patients, newborn babies, and patients receiving treatments
for cancer and other diseases.
- Victims of car accidents may need up to 100 units.
- Premature babies may need four units.
Thatís why itís so important for hospitals
to have enough on hand.
- Last year, U.S. hospitals used an average of 80,000
units of blood a day.
- The need for blood is increasing at about 6% a year.
- New donations are needed every day.
Be someoneís hero.
Donate today to save a life tomorrow.
Back to top.
6. Feature Article, The
Breast Cancer Survivorís Network
"Hired Gunís staff are just such a pleasure to work with.
Becky is attentive and professionalóbut also genuinely
caring and creative. She does exactly what she says
sheís going to do. That shouldnít be a rare quality,
but it is these days. And sheís got it." Lynn Garner,
The Breast Cancer Survivorís Network
the client wanted: An engaging, informative article
with a personal touch to educate and raise support.
Support Group Offers Breast Cancer Patients
What Doctors Often Can't
They say the day before, the day of, and the day after
chemotherapy you feel great.
course through the bloodstream, speeding toward tissues
and organs, each molecule like a little shot of espresso
for cells soon to come under attack. The body buzzes
with the boost. The brain bursts with hope, renewed.
Even if only for three days. Even if only as a precursor
to the depletion to follow, like how a light bulb gets
brighter right before it burns out.
on day three, it hits you.
tables turned after that,ĀEsaid Nancy Deal at the monthly
meeting of the Breast Cancer SurvivorsĀENetwork, a support
group for breast cancer patients and survivors. ďAll
of a sudden, I couldnít put one foot in front of the
diagnosed last January, was new to the patient role.
The disease, though, was somewhat of a lifelong foe.
a registered nurse, sheíd dressed the wounds of women
whose cancer had gone untreated ĀEwomen whose tumors
had eaten away at the surrounding tissue and left weeping
sores on their skin.
didnít wait to seek treatment.
even with her experience, ?I didnít know what to expect
going in,? she said.
cancer strikes many, but each attack is personalized.
skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common form
of cancer among American women. One in eight women who
lives to be 85 will be diagnosed with the disease. Doctors
diagnose about 180,000 new cases a year in women, and
about 2,000 in men. Incidence is expected to increase
incidence is one reason the Breast Cancer SurvivorsĀE
Network, based in Peachtree City, has been forming new
groups across Georgia. The nonprofit network offers
free breast cancer supplies at six Georgia locations,
assistance with medical referrals including help finding
affordable mammograms, and provides a traveling library
of literature. (The Internet, while potentially useful,
can be a frightening world to navigate.)
Union, and Towns counties currently hold monthly SurvivorsĀE
Network meetings. The Gilmer group, led by Lynn Garner,
met for the first time in October.
itís just getting started, members bring wisdom that
spans three decades of breast cancer research.
a recent meeting, discussions ranged from personal stories,
to new treatments and studies, to what to expect (demand)
during doctor visits.
like MammoSite, molecular detection, globular counts,
and platelets floated around the room and met with nods
down to eight grams,ĀEsaid one woman whose cancer had
returned three times.
I had it to do over, Iíd do a double mastectomy,ĀEsaid
another, their words spoken beneath the buzz of florescent
lights, amid the intimacy of strangers who share an
the unknown that scares you,ĀEsaid Deal. ďYou have to
diagnosed at age 46 (her doctorís third diagnosis that
morning) and now a survivor, is a strong advocate of
self-empowerment. At a recent meeting, her face constricted
as she told of a patient she once met who knew neither
the type of breast cancer she had, nor her doctorís
name. Knowledge, Garner believes, must be wielded as
both a weapon and a salve.
a big part of what makes meetings beneficial is the
dynamic mix of members, from long-term survivors to
women still in the thick of the fight. Veterans help
guide newcomers through the tunnel to the light of remission
ĀEoffering invaluable insider information that even
the best doctors donít have access to.
is, some things only come by way of personal experience.
Some things transcend medical technicalities: Like what
it feels like to have your strength sapped, day after
day. Like the thoughts that rob your sleep and try to
sneak off with your hope. Like how to throw a proper
head-shaving party; that wigs are itchy; chemotherapy
is cold-blooded; and sometimes cake and ice cream are
the best medicine.
finally, what it feels like to beat the disease and
reach out to others.
Leter, another group member, is a two-time breast cancer
survivor. Her first diagnosis came 18 years ago, when
she was only 39. Then, last year, doctors found a second
tumor in the opposite breast.
experiences make her something of an expert in treatments
and advancements ĀEan intuitively unwanted title when
it comes from personal experience, but one sheís nonetheless
embraced to help others fight the disease.
besides the emotional toll, itís the number of treatment
options, individual variables, and endless unknowns
that can make a breast cancer diagnosis so daunting.
mastectomies, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone-blocking
drugs, experimental treatments ĀEmaybe a combination
of several. And yet, as daunting as it seems, group
members are living proof that the spirit can conquer
the injustices of the flesh.
Deal sports the fuzzy sprouts of remission on her 66-year-old
head, and tells her story with the ease that acceptance
eventually allows, her cancer fight now folded into
the pages of her history.
got to take ahold of this disease," Garner said.
ďYouíve got to wrap your arms around it and be your
however strong the grip, a group effort will be stronger.
should go through this alone."
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|7. Educational Literature,
Stillwater Healthcare Services
the client wanted: A highly readable article to educate
their clients on high blood pressure and how to prevent
Excerpt: High Blood PressureóWhat it is, and how you can
keep your pressure from rising
Put your fingers against your neck. Feel that pulse? Thatís
the blood spurting against the walls of your carotid artery
with every beat of your heart, or your blood pressure.
Now go sit in traffic. Blood pressure is a measure of
the force of blood against the walls of the arteries.
The higher your blood pressure, the harder the blood is
pulsing against your artery walls, and the harder your
heart has to work to keep things flowing.
example, imagine youíre blowing liquid through a straw.
With no resistance--like when the liquid is thin or strawís
opening is wide--you donít have to blow very hard. That
means there isnít much pressure on the walls of the straw.
But increase the resistance--by blowing molasses down
the straw, or by covering up most of the strawís end with
your thumb--and you have to blow a lot harder. That puts
a lot of strain on the inner walls of the straw.
arteries are like the straw, and the engine doing the
blowing is your heart. When the heart has to work harder
to pump blood through the arteries (as with high blood
volume or narrowing arteries), it places more stress on
the heart and artery walls, and raises blood pressure.
person may be diagnosed with high blood pressure if the
force on artery walls stays too high over time. The normal
range is less than 120/80. High blood pressure--also
called hypertension--is anything above 140/90. The middle
ground between normal and high means you are at risk for
developing high blood pressure in the future.
1 in 3 Americans has high blood pressure. Middle-aged
Americans over the age of 55 have a whopping 90% chance
of developing high blood pressure in their lifetimes.
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|8. Educational Pamphlet,
Piedmont Mountainside Sleep Disorder Center
Excerpt: Common Sleep Disorders
Common sleep disorders include:
Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
is at risk: Stress, depression, poor sleep habits, use
of stimulants such as caffeine, chronic pain, and lack
of regular exercise may all contribute to insomnia.
and Treatment: Insomnia is often due to some other cause
so doctors may perform a physical exam to assess overall
health, or may recommend a sleep study. Treatments include
making changes to lifestyle and sleep habits, or medication.
Patients with sleep apnea stop breathing during sleep
when the airways of the nose, mouth, or throat become
blocked by the tongue or throat muscles. This causes
the person to jerk awake suddenly in order to take a
breath. This can occur anywhere from 5 to over 100 times
per hour, but patients usually donít know they are waking
up at all. Often times it is a patientís bed partner
who notices the patient gasps, snores loudly, or wakes
up in the night. People with sleep apnea awake in the
morning feeling groggy and unrested, sometimes with
a headache, and are often tired throughout the day.
is at risk: People who are overweight or use certain
medications or alcohol before bed are more at risk.
and Treatment: A sleep study is usually needed to diagnose
sleep apnea. Treatment ranges from weight-loss to surgery
to sleeping with a continuous positive airway pressure,
or CPAP, machine.
A tingling, itching, or prickling sensation in the legs
when lying down or falling asleep. The sensation causes
people to feel an irresistible urge to move their legs,
which brings short-term relief. Limbs may also jerk
or move during sleep, called Periodic Limb Movement
in Sleep (also known as ďjimmy-legs").
is at risk: Causes are unknown, but the problem often
runs in families.
and Treatment: Doctors may order a sleep study that
records how often the legs jerk or move during sleep.
Treatment includes changes to diet and sleeping environment,
massage, or medication.
Sudden, uncontrollable onset of sleep during the day,
usually with disturbed sleep at night.
is at risk: Causes of narcolepsy are unknown, though
there are links between narcolepsy and certain genetic
and Treatment: A sleep specialist can diagnose narcolepsy.
A sleep study may be needed.
Medications, such as nervous system stimulants.
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|9. Online Content
Clips of optimized online content for healthcare providers.
For a dermatology group.
for: acne, causes of acne, acne treatment, acne breakouts,
you ever woken up in the morning and felt another sore
spot on your cheekóand wanted to pull the covers over
your head for the rest of the day? Maybe even the rest
of the week?
of Americans suffer from acne. Itís not just teenagers.
Pimples and breakouts also affect millions of adults.
day, acne sufferers try to treat breakouts with expensive
creams and washes. They try strange diets and follow
the bad advice of snake oil salesmen. They treat the
surface symptoms of acne and hope the problem will go
unless you start treating the deep causes of acne, you
probably wonít see clear skin anytime soon. Of the millions
of people living with acne, you donít have to be one
dermatologists and medical researchers have developed
effective acne treatments for all different skin types
and types of acne. Once you and your dermatologist identify
the type of acne you have, you can immediately start
treatment and start seeing real, clinically proven results.
are better days ahead. Itís time to face your acne problems
a LASIK surgery center.
for: LASIK, LASIK surgery, vision correction, eye surgery,
LASIK surgeon, eye surgeon
is the most commonly performed type of vision correction
the procedure, a skilled LASIK surgeon typically uses
a laser to make a small cut in a patientís cornea. The
cornea is then reshaped so the eye can better focus
light onto the retina, thereby providing clearer vision.
some patients may feel some initial squeamishness toward
eye surgery, LASIK is rapidly attracting new patients.
So why is LASIK so popular these days? And, if you are
one of the millions of Americans with imperfect vision,
should you continue to turn a blind eye to the procedure?
starterís, LASIK eye surgery has advantages over other
corrective vision procedures. LASIK patients experience
a relative lack of pain during recovery, and most enjoy
improved vision by the very next day. With todayís focus
on instant gratification, such benefits are crystal
a medical association for the prevention of heart disease.
for: heart disease, heart attack, coronary heart disease
disease is a highly familiar term to just about everyone
living in the U.S. today. In fact, most Americans have
a close family member or friend who died from a heart
attack stemming from heart disease.
the term is also a broad one, and includes several more
specific heart conditions. The most common heart condition
in the U.S. is coronary heart disease, which can lead
to heart attacks in addition to serious conditions.
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
CHD is the most common type of heart disease. CHD occurs
when plaque accumulates in the coronary arteries, which
supply blood to the heart muscle, and arteries become
hardened and narrowed. This plaque buildup and narrowing
and hardening of the arteries is called atherosclerosis.
A personís blood and oxygen supply to the heart can
be reduced or even fully blocked by building plaque
in the arteries. Plaques may also rupture and cause
blood clots that block arteries.
All these facts mean that CHD, when left untreated,
commonly leads to a full-blown heart attack.
a health and nutrition site.
for: emotional eating, how to stop emotional eating,
weight gain, overeating
feeding your feelings! Putting an end to emotional eating.
all use food to enhance certain occasions, like family
gatherings, watching a movie, or going to a ballgame.
These days, a wide variety of social events seem incomplete
unless some sort of food is involved.
because food not only satisfies our hunger, but also
has the potential to satisfy our feelings. Many people
turn to food for emotional nourishment even when theyíre
youíre happy, you might dine on burgers or pizza. When
youíre upset or sad, cake and chocolate might fill your
plate. And when youíre tired or bored maybe you pull
out the potato chips.
sort of eating is called ?emotional eating.? Emotional
eating is the consumption of comfort foods to satisfy
your feelings when youíre arenít actually hungry. And
emotional eating is a leading cause of weight gain among
what are the telltale signs of emotional eating? Which
foods are the most likely culprits? And how people conquer
their emotional eating habits?
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