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Health Checkup: January 10, 2008

What Is Body Mass Index?

The Body Mass Index is one way to determine whether or not an adult is overweight. BMI assesses height and weight; muscle mass is not a part of the equation.

BMI can be calculated by multiplying weight (in pounds) by 705, then dividing by height (in inches) twice.

What Is A Healthy BMI?

A person with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be at a healthy weight. A person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered to be overweight. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. A BMI of 40 or above indicates that a person is morbidly obese.

* Source:

Resolutions For A New You In The New Year

The holiday season is a great opportunity to relax, spend time with family, reflect on the past year, and focus on new goals for the next 12 months. These top resolutions, offered by the American Medical Association, arm you with knowledge to become a healthy new you in 2008.

"Creating and sticking to a new year's resolution to get healthier is the best gift you can give yourself this holiday season," AMA president Ron Davis, M.D. said. "Talk to your physician about your health care plan and what you can do to ensure you remain healthy in 2008 and for many years to come."

1. Eliminate trans fat from diet.
2. Get more exercise.
3. Quit smoking.
4. Keep heart healthy.
5. Stay away from excess salt.
6. Get a flu shot.
7. Screen for cancer.
8. Protect skin from the sun.
9. Vote with the uninsured in mind.
10. Talk to a physician.

"Making even small changes to your lifestyle can help you look and feel great all year," Davis said. "Eating right and exercising are two resolutions that can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis."

* Source: American Medical Association

Link of the Week

The world-renowned Mayo Clinic offers general health information for men, including preventive care. It also has interactive tools and answers to frequently asked questions from Mayo Clinic specialists.

Where The Heck Is My Prostate?

Dr. Dan Dietrick, M.D., F.A.C.S. from Chesapeake Urology answers your questions about the often misunderstood male sex gland.

Q. What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is shaped like a doughnut and surrounds the tube (called the urethra) that carries urine out of the bladder. The prostate produces fluid that mixes with sperm when a man ejaculates.

Q. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
In its early stages, prostate cancer has no symptoms at all. Other symptoms, like trouble passing urine, frequent urination (particularly at night), weak or interrupted urine flow, pain when urinating and blood in the urine are all symptoms of prostate enlargement, as well as cancer. Men experiencing any of these symptoms should consult a urologist specializing in prostate cancer and prostate problems. In our region, the prostate cancer specialists at Chesapeake Urology are among the most advanced in their treatment and care of prostate cancer patients.

Q. What tests can be used to detect prostate cancer?
The PSA blood test is an important tool in helping to detect prostate cancer, especially when it is done along with a digital rectal examination. The results of these tests help us decide whether to check the patient further for cancer. All men over 50, or those over 40 who are black or have a family history of prostate cancer, need to visit their doctor annually for these tests.

Q. Who is most at risk?
About one in six men will get prostate cancer. Black men are at greatest risk. Men who have a father or brother who has prostate cancer have a lifetime risk two or three times higher as well.

Q. Can prostate cancer be cured?
Yes. Early diagnosis is important. When caught early, treatment is highly successful. Modern techniques minimize side effects. However, when the cancer is advanced and spread, it normally cannot be cured.

Q. If I'm diagnosed with prostate cancer, what should I do?
A. Don't wait. See a board certified urologist immediately.

Daniel D. Dietrick, M.D., F.A.C.S., Chesapeake Urology Associates, P.A.

Daniel Dietrick, M.D. received him medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and completed his residency in general surgery and urology at Stanford University. Certified by the American Board of Urology and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Dietrick specializes in male voiding problems and diseases of the prostate.

Issue 3.2: January 10, 2008