No Smoking, Please
Almost a quarter of adults in Louisiana are smokers, but the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) has launched a community grant program aimed at drastically reducing that number. TFL has awarded a total of $500,000 to 22 nonprofit organizations across the state, four of which are located in the New Orleans area.

"We hope these grants are an opportunity to engage nontraditional partners in promoting awareness within local communities about issues related to the dangers of tobacco," TFL Regional Coordinator John Butts says. The TFL program involves organizations that work with youth as well as groups that deal with other populations targeted by the tobacco industry, such as elderly people.

Nonprofits that receive the grants will be trained to help people understand how the tobacco industry targets their communities and what they can do to fight against smoking. — Good

Fast Results, Less Pain
A doctor at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans has received a patent that could mean less pain for cancer patients. Dr. Eugene A. Woltering, the James D. Rives Professor of Surgery and chief of the surgical oncology and endocrine surgery sections at LSU, has developed a one-step method of identifying sentinel lymph nodes in cancer patients to determine whether the cancer has spread.

Woltering says his method of injecting a radio-labeled dye around cancer while the patient is anesthetized shortly before surgery allows doctors to track fluid draining from the tumor into the lymph node within about 10 minutes. Doctors then can biopsy the node to determine whether their cancer has metastasized and whether they need to remove other lymph nodes.

The current method for mapping the sentinel lymph node, especially in breast cancer, often requires doctors to separately inject a radioactive colloid compound and a dye several hours prior to surgery, before the patient has been anesthetized.

"Many (breast cancer) patients consider the injection of the radio-labeled colloid carrier as painful as childbirth," Woltering says. "[Being able to inject patients while they are asleep] may be the most valuable part of our invention. It prevents women from having a painful, scary procedure while they are awake and substitutes an equally effective injection performed while they are sedated or asleep."

The first phase of clinical trials, which focused on breast cancer, has been completed, and the second phase is under way. The procedure could be available to patients in about three years. — Good

Free Health Fair
Lakeview Regional Medical Center (95 E. Fairway Drive, Covington, 985-867-3800) is holding a health and wellness fair from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, July 19, in the hospital lobby and in tents outside.

Youngsters can learn about health and safety through hands-on activities and demonstrations on such subjects as bicycle safety, how to evacuate your house in case of a fire, and how to safely wear a backpack.

Lakeview dieticians will be on hand to talk with parents about preparing healthy snacks and school lunches, and state troopers will give advice about car seat safety.

The fair also offers free immunizations for children 18 years and younger (parents must bring the child's shot records) as well as free hearing and vision screenings. — Winkler-Schmit

Step Up to the Bar
Looking for a dancer's physique and flexibility? NOLA Pilates (6250 Gen. Diaz St., 483-8880; now offers the Xtend Complete Body Workout, in which participants use a ballet bar for a series of movements that tone, tighten and lengthen the muscles. Exercises on the bar focus on shaping muscles by increasing strength and then lengthening the muscles by stretching. Class members also use free weights and small props during the 55-minute workout, which was created by former dancer and choreographer Andrea Rogers. — Winkler-Schmit

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