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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, July 20, 2003

Health briefs

Advertiser Staff

Soda spigots can have germs

The state Department of Health is asking restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses that use self-serve drink dispensers to post signs to educate customers about avoiding passing germs through drink spigots.

Officials warn of possible contamination of drinks because bacteria could be spread if a used cup came in contact with the dispensing nozzle of a self-serve beverage machine. The next person to come along could pick up the germs in the drink.

Health Department officials said there have been reports of customers refilling water bottles or used cups and letting the dispensing nozzle dip into the liquid.

Another problem is people drinking from a cup, then continuing to fill it.

Workshop on osteoporosis

Manakai O Malama Integrative Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center will host a free workshop on osteoporosis prevention and treatment at 7 p.m. July 30 at the Manakai O Malama facility, on the sixth floor of the Honolulu Club building at the corner of King Street and Ward Avenue.

The center works to bring together aspects of modern medicine with a mix of traditional healing arts. It is sponsoring a series of informal workshops aimed at health issues relating to women.

For more information or to reserve a space, call 535-5555.

Sun protection tips in Kahala

People can get information about how to guard against overexposure to the sun at the fourth annual

Sun Protection Exposition, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Kahala Mall.

"Most skin cancers appear after age 50, but the sun's damaging effects begin at an early age," said Dr. Kevin Mott, president of the Hawai'i Dermatological Society.

The exposition will feature free skin cancer screening by doctors, educational materials about skin cancer, door prizes and entertainment from the Lilikoi Boys, Jordan Segundo and others.

Obesity, cervix cancer linked

Being overweight doubles women's risk of cervical cancer, a new study finds.

"Obesity might be an important co-factor for cervical adenocarcinoma," said James V. Lacey Jr., an epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute and the lead author of the study, which appears in the Aug. 15 issue of Cancer.

Cervical adenocarcinomas account for about 10 percent to 15 percent of all cervical cancers, he said. Women with a Body Mass Index above 30, which is considered obese, were 2.1 times more likely to have adenocarcinoma, compared with women who had BMIs in the healthy range, under 25.

Doctors think excess fat tissue can influence levels of estrogen and other sex hormones, and that, in turn, can increase susceptibility to cancers. Every year in the United States, about 15,000 women are diagnosed with cancer of the cervix, according to the National Cancer Institute.