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Ask Dr. Gott 3/21
Knuckle-popping worries grandma
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DEAR DR. GOTT: My 7-year-old granddaughter pops her knuckles. She cannot seem to break the habit of doing this. Will this cause any damage to her hands? If so, how can she stop doing this? This is very important to her, so could you please respond? She's worried it will make her knuckles large or some other problem that may come from doing this.
    DEAR READER: Although not every knuckle-popper is at risk of developing joint pain or arthritis, some people do suffer from joint diseases caused by this nervous habit.
    I recommend that this issue be addressed by your granddaughter's pediatrician, who will examine her hands for early damage and advise you about therapy, or whether the situation can simply be monitored as the child grows older.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 47-year-old woman who is planning to marry a 64-year-old man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago. He has had brachytherapy, cryosurgery and currently is undergoing hormone treatment because his cancer is now advanced to metastatic bone cancer. He tells me that his doctor has said he will be cured with the hormone treatments. I have read that metastatic bone cancer cannot be cured, only treated to reduce pain and slow the spread of cancer.
    Can he be cured, as he says his doctor says he will be? Will we ever be able to have a normal, satisfying love life, including sex? He has a heart condition, and I doubt that he would be able to use any of the sildenafil products.
    DEAR READER: From your brief description of your fiance's problem, I agree that the likelihood of a cure for his metastatic cancer is remote. However, miracles do happen, so don't lose hope. At the very least, his cancer can be slowed or arrested.
    With respect to his sex life, the future is grim. Your fiance should check with his urologist to consider a penile pump or other nonmedicinal methods that may help.
    To give you related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Reports "The Prostate Gland" and "Erectile Dysfunction."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I enjoy your advice column very much. This letter is not about a health problem, but a puzzlement about why Mother Nature plays a dirty trick on us as we grow old.
    Why does she cut off the energy that grew hair on our heads and devote that same energy to promote hair growth where we don't want, or need, it, i.e. in our ears, nose and bushy eyebrows? No wonder I'm a bit deaf, with all that hair blocking the entrance.
    I don't appreciate Mother Nature's sense of humor. Or does she not like us old men? I'm 92.
    DEAR READER: It is beyond my capabilities to understand Mother Nature and her sense of humor. Yes, the aging procedure can be hard: Getting old is not for sissies. I guess we oldies just have to do the best we can and maintain a positive attitude.
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