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Geisinger Media Tip Sheet

Story ideas and photo opportunities for October

Contact: Wendy Wilson, Vice President, Corporate Communications, 570-703-7807,

Some tricks aren't a treat: On Halloween, kids are distracted - they're wearing unusual outfits; they may be a bulky mask or elaborate face paint; and they're suddenly allowed to knock on all of your neighbors' doors and eat candy all night long. But did you know, According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, twice as many children are hit by a car while walking on Halloween than any other day of the year. Geisinger pediatricians have all the tips to help your kids get the treats with no tricks attached.

Influenza bonanza: It takes two to four weeks to develop immunity after vaccination, so if you haven't already, it's time to start thinking about getting your flu shot. It's possible to have the flu and not even know it; otherwise healthy adults can pass on the flu to someone else one day before feeling symptoms. And you can keep infecting others with the flu up to five to seven days after you become sick. No matter how healthy you are, anyone can catch the flu - that's why getting your annual flu shot is so important.

Replacement parts: Walking, climbing stairs, or even just sitting or lying down. It all hurts your knees. But how do you know when you should consider knee replacement surgery? According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the number of knee replacements in the U.S. has increased to 600,000 a year - that figure has almost doubled in the past decade. Why is this? Geisinger's joint replacement surgeons are certified as some of the best in the nation at this procedure and can explain all the advances, benefits and life-changing results.

Remember when… : More than 5 million Americans are living with this disease and someone in the U.S. develops it every 67 seconds. More alarming, it's the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. What are we talking about? It's Alzheimer's disease, the degenerative cognitive disease that is plaguing our nation and troubling families of those affected. But hope is on the horizon as doctors -including those at Geisinger - learn more about a disease that has seemingly touched someone in everyone's life.

Runners' recovery: 26.2 miles. Most of us would only consider a car to travel that distance. But for those who are travelling it the old fashioned way at this month's Steamtown Marathon, the aftermath might be more frightening than the training. Recovery times and methods vary depending on who you talk to. A day for each mile? A week? A high-carb diet? A high-protein diet? Turn to the experts at Geisinger to learn the best way to make sure you can walk down the driveway after a day of running throughout the city.

More than morning sickness: The news from London is exciting for folks all around the world: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is pregnant with her second child. And, as with her first pregnancy, Kate is suffering from severe morning sickness. Morning sickness is common for pregnant women, however, a small percentage of women suffer from a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) - severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. This condition is a major dehydration risk that requires special attention and sometimes even hospitalization. Thankfully, Geisinger physicians treat this often and make sure no woman goes at this fight alone.

Story ideas and photo opportunities for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Keeping abreast of your risk: This year, the American Cancer Society estimates that about 232,670 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. But when does breast cancer happen? When normal cell growth goes haywire. In normal circumstances, new cells replace old, damaged cells that eventually die, but sometimes old cells don't die; instead, they eventually create a mass of extra cells, aka a potentially cancerous tumor. Finding that tumor as early as possible, before it spreads, is key to beating breast cancer, something Geisinger primary care and cancer physicians stress daily with their patients.

Breast cancer diagnosis… Now what?: The American Cancer Society estimates that about 300,000 women this year will find out they have breast cancer. Frightening words that can send the mind reeling with questions. What's going to happen to me? What about my kids? My family? How are we… how am I… going to get through this? A cancer diagnosis is never easy to hear, and these questions are perfectly legitimate. Geisinger's comprehensive cancer team that includes doctors of several specialties, nurse navigators and social workers are there with newly diagnosed patients every step of the way to help with answers these difficult questions.

Celebs are doing it. Should I be?: Last year, award-winning actress Angelina Jolie made the surprising announcement that she had both breasts removed to reduce her risk of getting cancer. That decision brought a lot of attention to the controversial concept of preventative mastectomies. It also left many women asking if they should take the same steps. The answer lies in genetics. While most women can manage their risk through lifestyle, a small percentage of women may be candidates for these preventive measures. Thankfully, Geisinger experts have been involved in this research and can let you know if this extreme measure is right for you.

Open the screening door: You know you're supposed to get regularly screened for breast cancer, but you're not quite sure when to start and how frequently you should go. Although there has been some disagreement over breast cancer screening recommendations the last few years, six health agencies (including the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, and the National Cancer Institute) as well as the larger medical community all agree on this: All women should get a mammogram once a year, beginning at age 40. For details on when to get mammograms and other screening when's where's and how's, speak with a Geisinger oncologist.

Side effects are a main course: Discovering you have cancer is a major life-changing moment. It's an invitation to a battle you didn't want, sure to be filled with both physical and emotional struggle. But there is help to be had. It's important to know there are a number of resources and people available to assist you through this time and better manage both the physical and emotional side effects of cancer. From nausea and vomiting, anema and fatigue, memory issues and welling to hot flashes, night sweats and mouth sores, all the side effects of cancer treatment will be new, and Geisinger offers a place to turn for support.