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550 people to die today in Europe from preventable lung disease

On World Spirometry Day, doctors urge regular "MOT Tests for the Lungs"

With new data revealing 23 Europeans die each hour from a preventable lung condition, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) is calling on people across Europe to get their lungs tested on the first ever World Spirometry Day - 14th October.

Lung disease is the second biggest killer in Europe, and is rapidly becoming the third biggest cause of death worldwide.

With 550 Europeans predicted to die from lung disease today, doctors and nurses across the continent are championing spirometry testing as the only way to overcome the widespread under-diagnosis of serious lung conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The most prevalent and debilitating lung disease, COPD is under-diagnosed in 75% of cases, and global figures show half of patients remain un-diagnosed. Widespread under-diagnosis means sufferers only realise they have a serious lung disease once it is too late to prevent major damage, leaving them unable to carry on a healthy and active life. Women are as at risk as men, with those most at risk being over 40 and current or ex-smokers.

Regular and early lung testing helps people to identify potentially debilitating lung conditions before too much damage is done; giving them a chance to slow the disease's progression before it completely ruins their lung function - leading to an isolating, painful, and immobile later life.

Doctors and nurses are taking to the streets across the globe today to run hundreds of public lung testing events to raise awareness of spirometry testing - the most accurate way to reassure people that their lungs are healthy, or to identify any potential danger. Doctors have nicknamed spirometry testing "the MOT for your lungs," to remind people just how critical regular testing is.

"Living with a chronic lung condition can be no life at all," said European Respiratory Society President, Professor Marc Decramer. "In the same way we take our cars for regular engine checks, people need reminding that their lungs are the engines of their bodies. Taking regular tests to identify problems early can save millions from being forced to live large portions of their lives with painful, but preventable, conditions."

"In the time it takes to read this, someone will have died from a preventable lung disease in Europe," said Monica Fletcher, Chair of the European Lung Foundation. "Even scarier to consider are the millions of sufferers living with impaired quality of life because their conditions were not identified early enough. On World Spirometry Day we want people to know that their doctors' and nurses' are here to help - early testing is a positive first step and can dramatically improve outcomes. The message should be: don't be afraid to find out."

After being misdiagnosed with asthma for eight years, Leigh Wilkinson, 44 from Grimsby in the UK, was finally accurately diagnosed thanks to a spirometry test. "I am so grateful that I pushed my doctor to give me a spirometry test, which revealed that I had developed COPD and emphysema. I understand why people want to avoid learning about the damage they may be doing to themselves but when I took the plunge I did it as much for my family as myself and it's the best step I've ever taken," Leigh said.

World Spirometry Day is taking place as part of the Year of the Lung, a 2010 campaign to highlight the hundreds of millions of people who unnecessarily struggle for life and breath every day due to lung diseases.

For information about World Spirometry Day, and the testing events taking place in your area or across Europe, please visit:

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Dr. Lehman: 10 Tips for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection

Early detection of breast cancer offers the best chance for a cure

Here are the “10 Tips for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection" provided by Constance Lehman, M.D., Ph.D., director of Breast Imaging and medical director of Radiology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, US.

1. If you are over 40, get a mammogram. Early detection of breast cancer offers the best chance for a cure. The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance supports the American Cancer Society's recommendation that women begin annual mammography screening at age 40.

2. Where you go matters - choose a mammography expert. Many studies show that doctors who specialize in mammography are more accurate at interpreting the images when compared to physicians with less experience. Get your mammogram read by a doctor who specializes in reading them. The American College of Radiology offers an online search for accredited facilities and "Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence" such as the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

3. Go digital. Centers that specialize in digital mammography are best for women with dense breast tissue and for women under age 50. Digital scans can do a better job of detecting cancer in these women than traditional film mammography.

4. Don't put off screening because of discomfort. A mammogram should never be painful. Fear that the exam will be uncomfortable is one reason women put off scheduling a mammogram. To reduce discomfort, try to schedule the exam after your monthly period, when breast tissue is less sensitive. You may benefit by taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen before your mammogram. Above all, tell the mammography technologist about any discomfort you may be experiencing. They can work with you to make the experience more comfortable.

5. Don't put off screening because of fear. Most abnormalities found after a mammogram are not cancer. However, in some cases you may be called back for more tests, such as additional mammography or ultrasound screening, to confirm that the area on the screening mammogram is normal. That's why you may be asked to return for a follow-up exam.

6. Consider getting results while you wait. Particularly for your first mammogram, you may want to schedule your exam so you receive your results before you leave the imaging center. Or if you have found that you are frequently called back to your mammography center for a second scan, you can ask that your appointment include getting results to you while you wait.

7. Know how your breasts feel normally. Your health care provider can show you how to do breast self-exam. If you notice a change in your breasts, such as a lump or swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, talk to your health care provider.

8. In addition to mammography, have a regular breast exam by your health care provider. The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 and over should receive annual clinical breast exams. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of a periodic health exam by a health professional at least every three years.

9. Know your risk. If you have family members who have had breast cancer, especially a mother or sister, and if they had breast cancer before reaching menopause, tell your doctor, as your own risk of cancer may be higher than average. Some women at high risk may be recommended for annual MRI in addition to a screening mammogram.

10. Try an online risk calculator. The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, designed by the National Cancer Institute, is a questionnaire to help women determine their chances of developing invasive breast cancer. You can find it on the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance website at

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IMS: Improve vaginal health of postmenopausal women

Women and doctors urged to overcome taboo of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy

The International Menopause Society (IMS) has launched new Recommendations for the management of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy (VA), a distressing condition that will affect up to half of women after menopause.

The new guidance is launched to mark World Menopause Day, an annual event held on 18th October.

New research shows that one in two women with vaginal atrophy will live with their condition unnecessarily for over three years, despite effective treatments being available. The data suggests that this is largely due to poor awareness and understanding of the condition among women, and because VA is a "taboo" subject - even between a doctor and patient.

VA is characterised by symptoms including vaginal dryness, itching, increased tendency of infection and pain during sex. It occurs when the vaginal walls become thin, fragile and inflamed due to a reduction of oestrogen in the body.

While VA has an obvious impact on sexual intimacy, it also has negative consequences for a woman's personal relationships, self-esteem and overall quality of life. If left untreated, VA can lead to serious long-term urogenital problems, including incontinence. However, despite these negative implications, just one in four women will actually speak to her doctor about VA.

Dr. David Sturdee, President of the IMS and lead author of the Recommendations, said, "It is unacceptable that women are living with VA for so long, when various safe and effective treatments are available. So, to mark World Menopause Day, the IMS is launching the new Recommendations and is calling upon doctors to proactively raise the topic of vaginal health with postmenopausal patients. Women with VA are also encouraged to seek medical advice, as there is absolutely no need for them to continue suffering in silence."

The Recommendations note that many women may not report VA symptoms to their doctor because of concerns about taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Some of this reluctance is due to the adverse publicity for HRT over recent years, but, regardless of whether these concerns are justified, local oestrogen therapy for VA, which delivers a low dose of hormone directly to the vagina, is not associated with the possible risks of systemic (oral) HRT. Doctors need to ensure patients fully understand this, so that they can benefit from VA treatment.

In addition, women with VA may have cultural or religious reasons for not talking to their doctor about their symptoms, and women in general may be understandably reluctant to discuss such private matters, particularly with a male doctor. The Recommendations offer advice and guidance to healthcare professionals, to enable them to initiate a successful dialogue with their patient. Most women express relief and respond positively when a doctor initiates the conversation about this topic.

Results from the VIVA (Vaginal Health: Insights, Views & Attitudes) Survey, an international study involving over 3,500 postmenopausal women, show that 96% of postmenopausal women are incorrectly attributing VA symptoms to other conditions such as thrush or a bladder infection. The data also show that women do not understand that VA is a chronic condition, and are resorting to short-term symptom relief using lubricants and moisturisers, when treatment for the underlying cause is available from the doctor.

The VIVA Survey also found that half of women would not discuss VA symptoms with their physician. In addition, only two in five women would talk to their spouse or partner about VA and two-thirds reported that their mother never spoke to them about menopause, suggesting that VA is still very much a taboo subject.

Dr. Rossella Nappi, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Research Center for Reproductive Medicine and Director of the Gynecological Endocrinology & Menopause Unit, University of Pavia (Italy), said, "It is so sad that women are suffering in silence with this condition; many believe that VA is just an inevitable part of menopause and that they have no choice but to live with the consequences. However, this is not the case, so it is vital that a dialogue about vaginal health is initiated with postmenopausal patients as part of routine."

The Recommendations for the management of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy are available at
Patient education materials are also available.

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Good sex not a priority to UK women

Only 2% likely to end relationship due to poor sex, research by ELLE Magazine shows

Research amongst UK women has revealed that they are far more likely to end a relationship due to lack of emotional support than poor sex.

With emotional support and intimacy so crucial to relationship survival it is no surprise the proximity of today's digital technology brings new infidelity threats and definitions, with online sex and flirting-by-text both widely considered as cheating and grounds for relationship breakdown.

The research conducted to mark 25 years of ELLE Magazine, revealed that 'Emotional understanding & intimacy' is the most important element of a relationship for almost half of women (46%) whilst just 2% put sex top of their list.

When asked the most likely reasons to end a relationship only 2% of women cited 'poor sex life', versus 38% who said 'lack of emotional support' was a deal breaker.

The one-one-one intimacy of online and mobile infidelity emerged as a bigger threat to relationships than flirting in person - with both online sex and flirting-by-text strongly regarded as cheating by 65% and 35% of respondents respectively.

Some 58% of women considered infidelity unforgivable whilst 37% said their decision to end a relationship with a cheating partner would 'depend on the circumstances'.

Jenny Dickinson, deputy editor of ELLE said: “The research showed women do not always see relationships in black and white - we saw a good balance of both modernist and traditionalist thinking within the survey. However, the results raise an uncomfortable question around infidelity in terms of what women are prepared to accept in such an integral part of their lives. As infidelity (and the way it is dealt with by high profile women) becomes ever more visible, are we lowering our expectations and simply putting up with it as an inevitable part and parcel of modern relationships today?”

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Is it possible to get a date by texting women?

Dennis Miedema explains mistakes men make when they’re texting women

The cell phone has become an important part of everyone’s daily life. Most people in fact can’t imagine a life without a cell phone!

People have obviously always used their phones to call others, but the text message was mostly a thing for teens. Until now.

Research firm Pew Research has released a report on adults and how they use their cell phone. The study shows that the number of adults sending and receiving text messages has increased from 65 percent to 72 percent since this time last year. The report also shows that 5 percent of all adults send 200 or more messages per day, every single day!

Top dating coach for men Dennis Miedema was one of the first to comment on the findings: “All these text messages, billions of them worldwide, are sent every day and yet almost no single guy knows that getting a date by texting women is possible! Most guys tried it once or twice and then gave up, but if they don’t know how to text women then does that mean all men on the planet can’t get a date by texting women? Hell no! Men simply need to know the mistakes so they don’t ruin their own chances to get a date, because lots of men don’t know what they are doing wrong! Why are men still making these mistakes? They really don’t have to!”

To help single guys, Dennis wants to ask men everywhere if they are making these mistakes when they’re texting women. He starts to explain how to text women with: “If men want to know how to text women, then they first have to realize that texting women is not a substitute for calling women. Here’s the deal: when a guy gets a girl’s phone number and he texts her the day after instead of calling, guess what the girl will think? She will think the guy doesn’t have the balls to call her, that he’s insecure. So men should not text women the first time after getting women’s phone numbers!”

Then Dennis provides a solution: “It’s better to make a quick call, create some more attraction, and then get the date with text messages. Why? Because texting with a woman forces her to wait and hope for a response after she replies to a guy’s text message, which creates sexual tension because when exactly the guy will text back is unpredictable. And unpredictable is attractive to women: bad boys are 100% unpredictable for example…”

Dennis continues with: “Speaking of calling women and how it relates to texting women: text messages can be a perfect way to test if a woman’s available to talk on the phone! All men have to do is grab their phone, send a woman a text message, and the moment she replies? They will know she has time to talk or she wouldn’t text back. This is a good way around one of the biggest disadvantages of calling women: not knowing if the call is made at a bad time or not, so not knowing if a woman’s busy or not. With this text message test men are able to know when they can call women and when they can’t, which makes asking women out over the phone a whole lot easier because there won’t be that many voicemails to be bothered by anymore! If men want to know how to text women and why it’s a smart idea, they should start to see the light by now.”

Then Dennis explains a third mistake men make when they’re texting women: “Most single guys forget that text messages are all about, surprise, surprise, text! They can only talk to women and boost the attraction by using text and this leads to many, many misunderstandings. For example: how does a woman know when a guy is being serious, being a jerk, or just teasing her? She doesn’t know, which can result in arguments, her rejection of the guy, and other bad stuff. The trick is that guys should give text messages the meaning they want them to have by using emoticons. By using the :P emoticon for example, they can clearly let a woman know that they’re in a playful mood and only teasing her. Not using :P could mean a woman thinks they’re insulting her because they’re angry or something along those lines…”

He goes on to say: “But not only do guys stop misunderstandings, arguments, and rejection by women when they use emoticons. There’s more to how to text women. By using emoticons men can also give their text messages a much bigger impact, simply because attraction is a feeling based on emotions and using emoticons means putting more emotion into a text message! As one can see: more emotion means more attraction, especially if emoticons are used to tease women.”

Dennis Miedema gives away one more clue about how to text women: “When one talks about the dating game, one has to understand that women test men to see if they are genuinely interested in them. Not showing a genuine interest means getting rejected. Men should remember that when they’re texting women, because there are certain moments where they can show a genuine interest without much effort! For example: women tend to think about the things and people that matter the most as they lay in bed thinking about their day, right before they fall asleep. If a guy sends a woman a kiss good night, he shows a genuine interest in her, he will be the last thing she thinks about before she falls asleep, and she will think he’s a romantic guy. Women love this! These three things are all things that make women feel more attracted to men, which is why men should start sending text messages with good night kisses every damn night!”

He concludes: “Once men everywhere start remembering and using the tips for texting women that were just shared, then they will be able to get dates when they’re texting women 9 out of 10 times instead of failing 9 out of 10! That makes using a phone only for calling women a stupid… a real stupid idea. The quantity of text messages is growing and now it’s time for the quality to improve, especially in the dating game.”

Dennis Miedema is the author of The Simple Inner Game System and a trusted authority on dating advice for men. During the last two years, he has helped at least 2,321 men approach 18,568 women, get 4,642 phone numbers, and go on 1,547 dates.

He has spoken in front of hundreds of single guys on such topics as how to text women, asking women out over the phone, how to get women’s phone numbers, how to keep a relationship interesting by using the phone and more. As more and more people keep sending more text messages, he hopes that men everywhere will take the time to learn how to text women so they can get more dates without much effort.

For more about how to text women, go to to check out Dennis Miedema’s newsletter with free tips for texting women and calling women.

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