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PlaneTree's websiteAugust 2010
Used Book Sale!
Bargains Begin Saturday, August 14

Preschool boy sitting on a tall stack of booksOodles of books!
We're making room for new items.

Medical texts & reference works:
Other books:
$8/brown grocery bag or $1/book
Illustrated booklets, cassettes, videos:
25¢ each

Come during open hours:
Tues. & Thurs., 2 - 8 p.m.
Wed., Fri., & Sat., 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sale ends Saturday, August 28.

Special Bonus: Receive a complimentary, signed copy of Saving the Soul of Medicine by local physician Margaret A. Mahony with a purchase of $10 or more while supplies last.
"What should medicine do when it can't save your life?"   
     Atul Gawande explores this question in his most recent New Yorker piece. He has found that the reluctance of patients, doctors, or family to directly face terminal illnesses often leads to treatments intended to cheat death, but which have little realistic hope of success. Ironically, these steps may actually hasten Image of an IV drip on a poledeath, as well as exacting heavy tolls on patients, family members, health care staff, and our health care system. If you have not already read Gawande's thoughtful article or caught his 20-minute interview on NPR's Fresh Air we recommend them highly.
     To assure comfort and control at life's end, you need to frankly and clearly discuss your wishes with family members and physicians. PlaneTree has two new books to help you: Jane Brody's Guide to the Great Beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally, and Emotionally for the End of Life and Jeanne and Eileen Fitzpatrick's A Better Way of Dying: How to Make the Best Choices at the End of Life. A related book which we often recommend, Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness, is now available online (scroll down and click on chapter titles), as well as from PlaneTree's library and bookstore.
     Of course, one aspect of prescribing the care you want is creating an advance care directive. If you need one, the Coda Alliance has a form and directions. (On a related topic, Coda's ninth annual Compassionate Care Conference will be on Thursday, October 21.)
News You Can Use
"The shin bone's connected to the thigh bone ..."  
A pair of crutches     Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears typically occur among athletes who make quick stops and rapid changes in direction. They are disproportionately common among adolescent females. Researchers have determined several factors that make tears more likely, a way to evaluate individual tear risk, and training practices that greatly lower risk. This article, its links, and the "Phys Ed" link below it are very informative, and include a freely available exercise program for coaches.

"The thigh bone's connected to the hip bone ..."  
Photo, part an artificial hip     
Lifestyle choices can lower the odds of ever needing to replace hip or knee joints, or at least delay the need. However, prior joint traumas (such as ACL tears) and disease require many older adults to eventually get artificial joints. These surgeries are usually safe and successful, but about 7% of hip replacements fail within 7.5 years. Learn about decisions and preparations you can make to improve the short- and long-term success of your surgery.

"These bones gonna move around!"
Photo of a happy older couple outdoors     Do-at-home exercises to help people with arthritis manage their pain and enjoy life more have been selected by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. The exercises are demonstrated in brief online videos.
     If you have epilepsy and need to keep a log, Seizure Tracker's online tools could make it easier to keep track of seizures, compare medication and dosage effectiveness, and share data with your doctor. 
     Epilepsy is a not life-threatening condition for most people who have it. However, for a few sub-groups, the risk of Image of person getting an MEGSUDEP - sudden unexplained death in epilepsy - can be as high as one in 100 per year. Some doctors do not discuss SUDEP with high-risk patients and their family members. Learn about risk factors and ways to reduce any risk with these FAQs from the Epilepsy Foundation. 
     Learn more about this disorder and its effect on patients and family members in the New York Times.
Can you guess...
     ... which cancer is most lethal for men? For women? The answer to each question is the same: killing more people than cancers of the breast, prostate and colon combined, lung cancer is the second-most frequently diagnosed cancer in the U.S., and easily the most deadly.   
Photo of woman with a terry turban     Here's another question for you: What proportion of lung cancer patients have never smoked? About one in ten among men, and one in five among women. In fact, nonsmokers are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than melanoma, kidney, or ovarian cancer.   
     Lung cancer diagnoses are often belated, especially in nonsmokers and most especially among younger nonsmokers, in whom they're least expected. For smokers and nonsmokers alike, the warning signs listed in "Just a Cough, or Lung Cancer?" are worth learning. (The links in this article to "Patient Voices" and a Jane Brody article are interesting too.)
In This Issue
What should medicine do...?
News You Can Use
Showcase Art
Men's Health Event
Cancer Care & Jane Brody
Woman wading in shallow water
At day's end on Saturday, August 28, library staff and volunteers will start our traditional end-of-summer break. We'll be back, refreshed and ready to help you research your health questions, when    we reopen on Tuesday, September 14.
    Our monthly book club will also take a break in September. We'll next meet on Saturday morning, October 2, to discuss the New York Times best seller The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
Weekend of
 October 9-10
Attribution/Noncommercial/Share Alike rights by Stéphanie Kilgast  
Photo of a miniature chocolate-strawberry torte
    The largest and oldest miniature show west of the Mississippi will be held in San Jose. Ten international artisans will be among the stellar dealers at the Showcase of Miniatures, a benefit for your favorite health library. Please hold the date and plan to come!
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    Join NFL alumni stars Mike Haynes (L.A. Raider) and Merril Hoge (Philly Eagle; now an ESPN analyst), plus Olympic swimmer Eric Shanteau for information about men's health on Saturday, September 25, 8:30 a.m. to noon. Sponsored by Good Samaritan Hospital, this free, official NFL/ American Urological Association "Know Your Stats" campaign event will be at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. The program is expected to be very popular; registration (1-888-724-2DOC) is required.
Cancer Caregiving...
Logo of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California
... will be the topic of a one-day conference at Stanford on Saturday, September 11.
    Patients, caregivers, families, and health care professionals will get a practical look at caregiving issues, resources, and problem solving. Jane Brody, the New York Times columnist and author, will be the keynote speaker.
    More information, including details about registration and CEU credits for professionals, is available from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC; formerly the Northern California Cancer Center).
   Note: Cancer survivors and African-American women with cancer may want to view other events on the CPIC schedule.
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Citywide Fitness
    We recently opened up San Jose's fall CityWide Activity Guide for the first time in several years - what surprises!
    Classes include "My Dog Could Be a Therapy Dog," an introductory cooking class for adults with developmental disabilites, and "Coping with Hearing Loss/Speech Reading." Options for exercising and socializing range from Ballroom Dancing to Zumba. Listed also is information about free income tax preparation for people age 50+ and a weekly gathering for people who want help with managing anger.
    Classes fill early; registration opens August 14. Browse a print copy of the Guide, available at PlaneTree and nearby community centers - or check it out online!