Local health briefs: Nutrition lectures for cancer patients in Bradenton, Sarasota

April 16, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Cancer patients can learn about the importance of good nutrition during treatment at "Steps to Wellness for Oncology Patients," a seminar from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 18 at the Blake Medical Center's Cancer Resource Center, 2010 59th St. W., Suite 3400, Bradenton.

Chef Mark, who works at Blake, will show how to make a nutrition-packed smoothie and Bradenton radiologist Mary Koshy will talk about how nutrition affects cancer patients.

Maintaining good nutrition during active treatment and recovery can help decrease treatment side effects and also helps patients keep up strength and energy, said Koshy.

Cancer patients often need more protein to help the immune system and the healing process, she said.

"After surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, extra protein is usually needed to heal tissues and help fight infection," said Koshy.

The seminar is free. To reserve a spot, call 941-798-6267.

Nutrition lecture focuses on Omega-3

SARASOTA -- Physician Bo Martinsen will talk about the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids for cancer patients 1-2 p.m. April 17 at the Center for Building Hope, 5481 Communications Parkway, Sarasota.

Although there isn't strong evidence that Omega-3 fatty acids can prevent cancer, some studies have shown they may reduce the risk of the cancer spreading and increase survival rates, said Martinsen.

"Omega 3s are a family of extremely flexible molecules that are crucial for cell membranes to function," he said.

They are found only in fish oils and breast milk, he said.

Martinsen is a co-founder of Omega-3 Innovations; a company based in Venice that is making products like chocolate cookies that contain Omega 3 fatty acids.

To register for the seminar call 941-921-5539.

Kayak paddle at Mote a good workout

SARASOTA -- Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's Sunrise Kayak Paddle on Sarasota Bay is both an eco-tour and good workout. The 90-minute excursion begins at 7:30 a.m. April 20 at the boat launch behind the aquarium at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota.

"I took out a group of women recently and they were saying how this was such a great alternative to the gym and how it was great for their arms," said Gina Santoianni, a marine science educator at the aquarium, who leads the paddle.

It's a leisurely trip -- no need to rush -- as Santoianni talks about the dolphins, manatees, marine birds, the estuary and Mote Marine research.

"It's really quiet and there isn't boat traffic so it's nice for paddling," she said.

The aquarium offers three Kayaking with Mote excursions a month: one at sunrise and another at mid-morning on a Saturday and an evening paddle under the full moon.

Cost is $24 for aquarium members and $28 for nonmembers. All equipment is provided (kayak, paddle and lifejacket) and there is a short lesson on kayaking before the trip. Bring a hat, water and sunscreen.

For more information or to register, visit www.mote.org/kayaking or call Becky Wilson at 941-388-4441, ext. 348 or email bwilson@mote.org. Pre-registration is required by 5 p.m. April 19.

Conference held for families with disabled children

BRADENTON -- The Family Network on Disabilities of Manatee/Sarasota is holding a one-day conference about a concern for many families with disabled children: What happens once a disabled child grows up and leaves school?

"Life Beyond School: It's Never Too Late, or Too Early, to Start Planning" will be held 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Woodland The Community Church, 9607 State Road 70 E., Bradenton.

Disabled children who need special education classes are able to stay in public schools until the year they turn 22, said Mary Smith, executive director of Family Network on Disabilities.

But parents should be planning how children will make the transition into adulthood long before then, Smith said, adding that elementary school isn't too early.

The Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities provides services to the disabled but there are 30,000 people on the waiting list, Smith said. Other options can provide some help, but parents must know how to find them, she said.

Breakout sessions at the conference will focus on age groups from kindergarten to adulthood and keynote speaker George Tilson of TransCen will lead participants through a series of strategies including creation of a "Positive Personal Profile."

Cost is $25 per person or $40 per couple before April 25. To register or for more information, go to http://lifebeyondschool.eventbright.com.

Susan Hemmingway, Herald health correspondent, can be reached at shemmingway@hotmail.com.

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