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The ABCDE’s of Melanoma – Know the Warning Signs of Skin Cancer

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Know the warning skins of skin cancer! Generally moles, brown spots and growths on your skin are harmless, but it’s important to regularly screen yourself for skin abnormalities. To help, doctors have come up with a warning sign acronym to help you keep track of your moles. This is called the ABCDE’s of Melanoma. A: Asymmetry: Moles Asymmetry The benign mole, left,  is not asymmetrical. If you draw a line through the middle, the two sides will match, meaning it is symmetrical. If you draw a line through the mole on the right,, the two halves will not match, meaning it is asymmetrical, a warning sign for melanoma.   B: Border Moles Border A benign mole has smooth, even borders, unlike melanomas. The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.   C: Color Moles Color Most benign moles are all one color — often a single shade of brown. Having a variety of colors is another warning signal. A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, white or blue.   D: Diameter Moles Diameter Benign moles usually have a smaller diameter than malignant ones. Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than the eraser on your pencil tip (¼ inch or 6mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.   E: Evolving Moles Evolving Common, benign moles look the same over time. Be on the alert when a mole starts to evolve or change in any way. When a mole is evolving, see a doctor. Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger. Please call your doctor immediately if you think you have any of ABCDE warning signs.

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

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skin cancer awareness April showers, bring May flowers... and May sun exposure! May also happens to be Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month to help bring awareness to the dangers of of skin cancer and the affects it can have on your skin. Skin Cancer Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV rays can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma. Warning Signs Warning signs of melanoma include moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless — but not always. Anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That's why it's so important to get to know your skin very well and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a physician immediately. The good news? Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early. But if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths. In 2016, an estimated 76,380 of these will be invasive melanomas, with about 46,870 in males and 29,510 in women.Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to prevent skin cancer or detect it early on. This month, spread the word about strategies for preventing skin cancer and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved. And talk to your doctor about your skin cancer risks.

Women’s Health: Reducing cervical cancer risk

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Reduce-the-risk-cervical-cancer The most important thing you can do to prevent cervical cancer is to be screened regularly. Your women’s wellness exam will often include the Pap test (pap smear) and the human papillomavirus (HPV) test, which detects HPV, the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, are used to detect cervical cancer. Pap tests can find abnormal cells that may turn into cervical cancer. Removal of the abnormal cells prevents cervical cancer. Pap tests can also find cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very high. In addition to the Pap test, the HPV test may be used for screening women who are 30 years old or older, or at any age for those who have unclear Pap test results. It also is used to provide more information when Pap test results are unclear for women aged 21 and older. Women should receive a Pap test starting within three years after becoming sexually active, or no later than age 21. If you are between 21 and 29 years old, it is important for you to continue getting a Pap test as directed by your doctor. Screening should be done every 2 to 3 years. At age 30, Pap and HPV test frequency can drop to every 5 years. This is called co-testing and should continue until age 65, according to the American Cancer Society. If you are older than 65 and have had a normal Pap test for several years, or if you had your cervix removed (for a non-cancerous condition, such as fibroids), your doctor may recommend discontinuing the Pap test. If you haven’t had your Pap test, it is important that you do so. Women need to be proactive in their own health care!

Easy Exercises for Acute Anxiety Relief

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Have you ever found yourself ruminating endlessly about something from your past or in your future, leading you to feel tense, nervous, apprehensive or stressed? If so, you may have experienced anxiety. For those who find anxiety a frequent but not debilitating occurrence, the following exercises can help quiet your alarm in the present and keep it less active in the future. Square breathing Have you ever hear of square breathing? This technique can help you calm down in any situation. It helps regulate the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body, which can balance you during anxiety bouts. Here’s how you do it. Hold inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and hold for another four. Repeat the cycle for several seconds and promote relaxation and clearer thoughts. square breathing Mindfulness Be in the present and live in the moment! By engaging your five senses you can practice mindfulness anywhere. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere and applied to any activity. For example, consider the process of taking a shower: Most of us just go through a pattern of steps, rushing through the routine to move forward with our day. A mindful shower would involve paying attention to the smell of your soap, the feel of the warm water on your different body parts, the sound of the water hitting your back and the steam enveloping the bathroom, for example. By observing things in real time and being aware, we can calm the part of the logical mind fixated on what comes next. This helps us appreciate things more and reduces stress and worry.   Progressive muscle relaxation One common physical reaction to anxiety is muscle tension. When we begin to experience anxiety, our bodies can stay tense without us even realizing it. Ironically, our brain then perceives this tension and treats it as a warning sign that there is reason to be worried, and the anxiety alarm starts to sound. It is a vicious cycle. Progressive muscle relaxation seeks to help your brain recognize what it feels like for your muscles to be in a relaxed, tension-free state. To initiate this practice, get comfortable in a seated position. Starting at the tips of your toes and working your way up, flex each major muscle group for a count of 10 seconds, then release for a count of 10 seconds. Move on to the next group of muscles, flexing for 10 seconds, then releasing for 10 seconds. This exercise can help you relax and release tension in your body when you are anxious. Make sure to reach out to your doctor if you are experiencing severe anxiety.  

Surprise. Did you know these items can affect your heart health? [Infographic]

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Did you know several factors can have affects on your heart health. Pollution, sleep, your teeth, weather, stress, snoring and loneliness are all items that you’ve probably never thought about when you are considering your heart. Take a look at this infographic and learn more. Heart Health Infographic

Cancer fighting foods that you should have in your grocery cart!

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You know fruit and veggies are healthy food options, but have you thought about other good foods that have health benefits, including helping cancer prevention foods. Here’s what to put in your cart: Produce: Fruits and vegetables protect against a variety of cancers, such as those of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus and lungs. Produce is high in fiber, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and help maintain a healthy digestive tract, among other benefits. For example, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard greens, and cauliflower can all turn on genes that slow cancer cell growth. Whole grains and fiber: Eating 6 ounces of whole-grain foods such as 100 percent whole-wheat bread each day may decrease your colorectal cancer risk by 21 percent. Oatmeal, a 100 percent whole-grain food, has been shown to reduce inflammation and could reduce your cancer risk. Eating as few as 10 grams of fiber per day may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by 10 percent — so look for cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Beans and peas: Dry beans and peas, such as kidney beans and split peas, contain health-promoting substances that may protect against cancer. These powerhouse foods are rich in fiber, protein and folate. They also contain phytochemicals that increase the destruction of cancer cells. Coffee: Even one cup of coffee per day could decrease your risk of endometrial and liver cancer by 7 to 14 percent. Drinking more may be additionally beneficial. Coffee speeds cancer-causing substances through your digestive tract and contains phytochemicals. Nuts: Walnuts and almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals that can decrease inflammation and damage from free radicals — harmful molecules that can lead to cancer. Talk to your doctor about additional foods you should be adding to your cart to keep you healthy.

World Health Day – 7 April 2017

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  What is World Health Day, you say? Well we are here to enlighten you. The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization. In 1948, the World Health Assembly held the very first World Health Day. They chose April 7th as the day each year to celebrate and raise awareness. The Day is intended to mark the World Health Organization’s founding, and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each and every year. The World Health Organization organizes international, regional and local events on the Day related to a particular theme. World Health Day is acknowledged by various governments and non-governmental organizations with interests in public health issues, who also organize activities and highlight their support in media reports, such as the Global Health Council. World Health Day is one of eight official global health campaigns, along with World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World AIDS Day, World Blood Donor Day, and World Hepatitis Day. All to bring awareness to global health issues and concerns. For more information on World Health Day, visit the World Health Organization’s website by clicking here

Save your vision

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save your visionYour vision is important. Anyone with vision problems, can attest. National Save Your Vision Month designates the month of March to promote eye health. This year, the American Optometric Association is promoting awareness around digital eyestrain and the importance of receiving regular, comprehensive eye exams from a doctor of optometry. The AOA's campaign will focus specifically on blue light's impact on overall health. According to 2016 AOA Eye-Q survey data, the average American spends seven hours per day using digital devices. Overexposure to blue light due to smartphones, tablets and other technology use for extended periods of time can cause vision damage, sleep problems and more. By analyzing data, research and trends, this campaign will provide tips on preventing digital eye strain while at home or work. Save your vision. Get your eye exam. And talk to your doctor about health related items that affect your vision.


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diabetes and kids           Diabetes is everywhere. About 208,000 children and young adults under the age of 20, have diagnosed diabetes. Most of them have type 1 diabetes. As obesity rates in children continue to soar, type 2 diabetes, a disease that used to be seen primarily in adults over age 45, is becoming more common in young people. Children with diabetes and their families face unique challenges when dealing with diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease. When you have diabetes your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Having too much glucose in your blood is not healthy. There are different types of diabetes:

  • With type 1 diabetes, your body cannot make insulin. You need insulin to use the food you eat for energy. With this type of diabetes, you need to get insulin from shots or a pump. Your genes and other factors may cause a person to get type 1 diabetes.
  • With type 2 diabetes, your body cannot use the insulin it makes. Teens are more likely to get type 2 if they weigh too much, are not active, or have a family member with diabetes. You are also more likely to get diabetes if you are a Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, African American, Asian American or Pacific Islander.
  • Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that some women get when they are pregnant. It increases the chances of both the mother and her child getting diabetes later on.
Specifically type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Exercise, weight management and eating healthy can make your chances of getting diabetes decrease. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you have questions about diabetes.

All about kidneys!

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kidneys           Your Kidneys are important! They are there to flush your system and keep the toxins out. The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health through the following functions:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day.
  • Regulating of the body's salt, potassium and acid content.
  • Removing of drugs from the body.
  • Balancing the body's fluids.
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure.
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones.
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells.
Kidneys filter 200 liters of blood a day, help regulate blood pressure and direct red blood cell production. But they are also prone to disease. One in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure. There are more than 26 million Americans who already have kidney disease, and most don’t know it because there are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed. March is also National Kidney month! Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your kidneys.