Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 20, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page B:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 20, 2014



What can you tell me about lung cancer 
screenings? My husband was a long-time smoker, 
but quit many years ago, so I�m wondering if he 
should be checked out. 

Concerned Spouse

Dear Concerned,

According to recent recommendations from 
the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force � an 
independent panel of medical experts that 
advises the government on health policies � if 
your husband is between the ages of 55 and 80, 
is a current smoker or quit within the last 15 
years, and has a smoking history of at least 30 
pack-years, he�s at high risk for lung cancer and 
should talk to his doctor about getting screened.

 Pack years are determined by multiplying the 
number of packs he smoked daily by the number 
of years he smoked.

 You�ll also be happy to know that lung cancer 
screenings � which are recommended annually 
to those at risk � will be covered by all private 
health insurance plans starting in 2015, and 
Medicare is expected to begin coverage this 
February or March. The Medicare screening, 
however, will only cover high-risk beneficiaries 
through age 74. 

 Lung cancer kills around 160,000 Americans 
each year making it the most deadly of all 
possible cancers. In fact, more people die of lung 
cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers 

 Lung cancer also occurs predominantly in 
older adults. About two out of every three people 
diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older, and 
the risk of lung cancer peaks at age 71. 

Lung Cancer Screening

The goal of annual screenings is to detect cancer 
early before symptoms appear, so it can be 
cured. The five-year survival rate among people 
with lung cancer when it�s caught in its earliest 
stage is 77 percent, versus only 4 to 25 percent for 
people whose cancer has spread. 

 To get screened for lung cancer, your husband 
will need a low-dose computed tomography 
(CT) chest scan, which is a painless, noninvasive 
test that generates detailed three-dimensional 
images of his lungs. 

For the screening, he will be asked to lie on a 
table that slides through the center of a large, 
doughnut shaped scanner that rotates around 
him to take images. Each scan takes just a few 
seconds, during which time he�ll be asked to 
hold his breath, because movement can produce 
blurred images. The entire procedure takes only 
a few minutes from start to finish. 

 You also need to be aware that a lung CT 
screening has its downsides. First, it exposes 
you to some radiation � about the same as a 
mammography but more that of a chest X-ray. 

 Lung CT screenings aren�t foolproof either. 
They can produce a high rate of false-positive 
results, which means they frequently detect 
small spots (abnormalities) on the lungs that are 
suggestive of cancer but aren�t cancerous. These 
false alarms lead to more testing and sometimes 
lung biopsies, as well as unnecessary worry and 


Because smoking causes 80 to 90 percent of all 
lung cancer cases, the best way to avoid lung 
cancer is to not smoke, and if you do smoke, quit. 
Even if you�ve been a smoker for a long time, 
quitting now still decreases your risk. Other 
factors that can increase the risk of lung cancer 
include exposure to secondhand smoke, radon, 
asbestos and other toxic chemicals or fumes.

 For more information on lung cancer 
screenings, call the American Lung Association 
at 800-586-4872, or use their online tool 
(, which 
will help you determine if your husband needs 
to be screened.


Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, 
P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to 
the NBC Today show and author of �The Savvy 
Senior� book.


Thursday, December 18 at 12:00PM

The annual holiday lunch is here! Join us on December 18 as the YWCA is providing a special 
menu of Cornish game hen, fresh sweet potatoes, corn, tossed salad and apple pie. The Senior 
Community Commission will be on hand to hand out raffle prizes! Be sure to make your 
reservation early, as seating is limited. Call the Senior Lunch Cafe at 626-355-0256 to RSVP.

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! � December Birthdays

Pat Karamitros, Joan Hufnagel, Mary Alice Cervera, Carol Horejsi, Shirley Anhalt , 
Mignon Grijalva, Helen Reese, Levon Yapoujian, Toni Buckner, Lottie Bugl, Pat McGuire, 
Sheila Wohler, Nan Murphy, Eleanor Hensel, Sylvia Curl, Elizabeth Levie, Gayle Licher, 
Cindy Barran, and Melissa Stute. * To add your name to this distinguished list, please 
call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart Park 
House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre


 YMCA San Gabriel Valley Intervale Senior Caf�: Monday-Friday at 12:00 Noon 

(Participants are urged to arrive no later than 11:45 A.M.) 

All seniors 60 and up can take part in the lunch program. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 
for those 60 and over and $3.75 for non-senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary as space is 
limited. Please call 24 hours in advance...626.355.0256

Free Balance Class: Every 3rd Monday, from 11:00 to 11:45 am with Shannon. All ability levels are 
encouraged and welcomed.

Hawaiian and Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10:00am to 11:00am. Join 
instructor Barbara Dempsey as she instructs you in the art of hula.

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00pm. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to 
join. May be canceled if less than 5 people. Canceled on August 5th and 12th.

Free Blood Pressure Testing: Held 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11:00am to 12:00pm. No 
appointment is necessary.

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, August 27th from 10:00am to Noon. Attorney Lem 
Makupson is available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, 
and Injury. For an appointment call 626-355-7394.

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45 am, except on the third Monday of the 
month when the balance class is held. A suggested donation of $5 at one of the classes is requested, 
but is not required.

Birthday Celebrations: Every second Thursday of the month the Hart Park House Senior Center 
celebrates birthdays of our patrons. The free birthday cake is provided by the Sierra Madre Civic 

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:45pm. A regular group of seniors play poker. Other 
games available for use.

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45pm to 1:30pm with Lisa Brandley. The class 
utilizes light weights for low impact resistance training. All materials for the class are provided.



Los Angeles Central Library (Los Angeles)

Date: Friday, January 23, 2015 Time: 9:30am to 3:30pm

Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center - Cost: $5.00 (does not include lunch)

A visit to the Los Angeles Public Library�s state of the art Central Library located in Downtown. 
A docent led tour will introduce you to the art and architecture of the Goodhue Building with 
its distinctive sphinxes and rooftop pyramid followed by a walk through the high-tech Bradley

Wing, designed by famed architect Norman Pfeiffer, where participants will gaze at the 8-story 
atrium and whimsical chandeliers. Finish the tour learning about the library�s comprehensive 
book, magazine, audio and videotape collections as well as its extensive network of formational 
databases. Lunch will be on your own at Grand Central Market where you can enjoy tasty treats 
or a leisurely meal from a variety of local vendors. Participants should bring money for lunch 
and souvenirs. Last day to register is Monday, January 12th. Level of walking: Medium to High


222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Sierra Madre, CA 91024 626-355-7394


Monday through Thursday


(closed on Fridays)

Hart Park House Office closed from

December 24 - January 2 for the holidays

Lunch Program open during regular days

except December 24 & 25 and January 1st

KATIE Tse..........This and That



There�s less than a week before 
Christmas. And if you have 
kids on your gift list, good luck! 
Hopefully you made it through 
Black Friday and Small Business 
Monday without any black eyes or police bookings. 
Kids these days expect the latest technological 
products with all their bells, whistles, and hi-
def resolution. A year or so ago I remember one 
of the tech guys at work jokingly informed us of 
the �iPotty,� a toilet seat with an iPad installed in 
front. It was supposedly intended to lure toddlers 
into toilet training, but 
it was just a matter of 
time before they came 
out with the adult 
version, complete with 
cup holders.

 Ahhh... Remember 
the good old days 
when life was simpler, 
and kids just wanted 
their two front teeth? 
While I�m not lusting 
after a new pair of 
upper incisors, I do 
wish I had fingernails, 
if only for a day. I don�t 
want �glamour nails� 
with rhinestones. Nor 
do I want nails that are 
long enough to fit an 
intricate reproduction 
of the Sistine Chapel 
ceiling. Just normal, 
healthy-looking nails 
would be fine for me.

 Since my early childhood, the ends of my nails 
have never extended beyond my fingertips. Of 
course this is entirely my fault, and I take full 
responsibility. You�ve heard of people who grind 
their teeth, pull out their hair, or engage in other 
compulsive behaviors. Well, I rip up my nails. I�m 
not proud of it, but it could be worse.

 The only time I made a conscious effort to grow 
out my nails was for my wedding. And then, the 
only reason was because I knew our photographer 
would take pictures of our hands wearing our 
rings. I was able to leave my nails alone for two 
weeks. Then there was a stressful meeting at work 
close to the wedding date. I could feel my fingers 
drawing together into rip position beneath the 

 �Don�t do it! You�ve worked so hard!� I told 
myself. And I did resist the urge to tear my newly 
grown nails --for about five minutes. Unable to 
stand it any longer, I yielded to the impulse and 
feverishly tore the tops off all 10 fingernails. Weeks 
of patience and restraint were undone in a matter 
of minutes. But oddly, I felt better.

 At the wedding, our photographer did arrange 
our hands for a couple close-ups of our ringed 
fingers. I tried to curl my fingertips inward to 
avoid exposure of my 
miniscule nails. (As a 
wife, it�s embarrassing 
if your husband has 
nicer nails than you 
do.) Somehow those 
photos never made it 
into our album...

 I used to think 
nail-biting (or nail 
decimation of any 
sort) was a sign of 
some deep-seated 
personality imbalance. 
Children might bite 
their nails, but adults 
are supposed to be 
above such things. 
Those were my 
thoughts until I met a 
very smart, very �put-
together� intern at our 
company. We�ll call 
her Lois.

 Lois was in the midst of grad school, a scary 
shadow land pitted with academic quick sand 
ready to swallow students whole. At least that�s my 
memory of it. Nevertheless, Lois was composed, 
confident, and cool as a cucumber. She also came 
to work every day with flawless makeup and not a 
single coiffed strand of hair out of place. Sigh... I 
supposed that�s how the other confident half lived 
--until I saw her fingernails. 

 Looking past her perfect hair and makeup, Lois�s 
fingernails (or lack thereof) betrayed the secret 
anxiety of all nail-biters. I never brought up nail 
biting as a commonality between Lois and myself. 
But at least I knew that I wasn�t alone in the world; 
there were other normal, functioning people with