Sunscreen and Skin Cancer Prevention

Many of us enjoy soaking up the sun in the summer, however, it is important that we do so safely and with discretion to prevent skin cancer.

One of the best ways to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays is to wear sunscreen.  Studies show that using sunscreen regularly reduces the incidence of melanoma (a form of skin cancer) by 50-73%.

Sunscreen works by preventing the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin.   Your sunscreen’s ability to prevent radiation from damaging your skin is measured by its SPF (Sun Protecting Factor). It is highly advised that you use sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher, as this offers better protection.

The Skin Cancer Foundation also recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen which offers protection against UVA and UVB radiation. Too much exposure from either type of radiation has been linked to skin cancer.

Additional recommendations for proper sunscreen use include:

  • Applying sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before sun exposure to ensure the product has enough time to properly bind to skin
  • Applying sunscreen generously and regularly
  • Checking product instructions for how often  sunscreen should be applied
  • Reapplying sunscreen after swimming or excessive sweating

It is important to keep in mind that protecting your skin from the sun does not only include wearing sunscreen. Remember to wear protective clothing or accessories such as broad-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts and limit the amount of time spent in the sun.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

HPV Fast Facts

Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Every year there are 14 million new HPV infections. HPV also known as human papillomavirus is a virus that can cause certain cancers and diseases in both men and women. Unfortunately, because HPV often has no signs or symptoms, many people who have the virus are unaware.

HPV is transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person.

In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. However HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems such as genital warts and cancer.

  • Genital warts- usually appear as a small bump or groups of bumps in the genital area. They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. A healthcare provider can usually diagnose warts by looking at the genital area.
  • Cervical cancer- usually does not have symptoms until it is quite advanced, very serious and hard to treat.

Some health effects caused by HPV can be prevented with vaccines. The HPV vaccine is recommended for preteen boys and girls at age 11 or 12 so they are protected before ever being exposed to the virus. Catch-up vaccines are recommended for males through age 21 and for females through age 26, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger.

If your teen hasn’t gotten the vaccine yet, talk to their doctor or nurse about getting it for them as soon as possible. For more information about preventing and treating HPV please visit: http://www.hpv.com/what-is-hpv/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

metastatic-breast-cancer-treatment-options-featuredOctober 13 is observed as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The purpose of this observance is to spread awareness about the disease and the need for developing new and targeted treatments that will improve the rate of survival.

Metastatic breast cancer also called stage four or advanced breast cancer is cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body (most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain). Although metastatic breast cancer has spread to another part of the body, it is considered and treated as breast cancer. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the bones is still breast cancer (not bone cancer) and is treated with breast cancer drugs, rather than treatments for a cancer that began in the bones.

Currently there is no cure for MBC; however, individuals are able to live longer due to treatment that focuses on length and quality of life. While living with the disease is not easy you can face its many challenges with proper knowledge, tips, and support, you can be well equipped to face the challenges of MBC. Although today MBC cannot be cured, this does not mean it cannot be treated. Treatment focuses on length and quality of life. Together with your doctor, you can find the balance of treatment and quality of life that is right for you. Your treatment plan is guided by many factors, including:

  • Characteristics of the cancer cells
  • Where the cancer has spread
  • Your current symptoms
  • Age and health
  • Past cancer treatments

The types of treatments available for MBC are chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapies through drugs that target genes spreading cancerous cells. Clinical trials also offer the exploration of new treatment options that may be beneficial to you. Talk to your doctor about treatment options they suggest in order to find what works best for you.

Survival for metastatic breast cancer varies greatly from person to person but modern treatments for both early-stage and metastatic breast cancer have improved survival for women diagnosed today.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Top Men’s Health Issues

Men with xray screen showing their organs

It is no secret that men are less vigilant about receiving healthcare than women. In fact a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that men in the United States are 80% less likely than women to visit their doctor’s office regularly and schedule routine medical screenings.

There are several reasons given as to why men steer clear of the doctor’s office and delay treatment-some are, “there is probably nothing wrong” or “I’d rather tough it out.”  This laid-back approach to health care can unfortunately result in shorter or less healthy lives for men, if medical conditions go untreated. The good news is that many of the leading threats to men’s health are preventable and treatable if detected early. Here are few chronic health conditions that affect men the most:

 

  1. Cardiovascular disease also known as heart disease is one of the leading health risks facing men today. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than one in three adult men has heart disease. Although it may seem that something so serious should have warning signs, one may be developing heart disease without knowing it. Luckily, there are many lifestyle changes that can be made to ward off heart disease, such as not smoking, following a heart-smart diet, and being physically active.

 

  1. Lung cancer is one of the few cancers that can often be prevented simply by not smoking. Men who are at high risk for developing lung cancer may want to talk to a health care provider about quitting smoking- if they are smokers and getting yearly low-dose CT scans to test for early lung cancer.

 

  1. Prostate cancer is typically found in men over the age of 65. The chance of getting prostate cancer increases as a man gets older. For reasons that are still unknown, African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than other races. Men with a family history of prostate cancer are at a high risk for developing the disease.

 

  1. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of diabetes found in men. It affects approximately 95% of the 13 million men with the disease in the United States. Type 2 diabetes affects the body’s ability to use insulin properly. This can elevate sugar levels and cause damage to the body over time.

 

The first step to staying healthy is educating yourself, and then taking the necessary precautions to reduce your risk. It is equally as important to develop a relationship with your healthcare provider.  Your doctor can create a health care plan to screen, diagnose and treat diseases that you may at be risk for developing.

To schedule an appointment with a primary care physician, please call the Ambulatory Care Center at Flushing Hospital at 718-670-5486.

For more hospital events, highlights, health and  fitness tips, visit us on 

 Facebook.com/Flushing Hospital and follow us on Twitter @FHMC_NYC !

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Top 5 Women’s Health Issues

hypertension-87650188Do you know which health conditions pose the biggest threat to American women? The good news is that many of the leading threats to women’s health, which can vary based on a woman’s age and background, are preventable. Find out which conditions to be aware of to maximize your health today.

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. Luckily, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to ward off heart disease, such as not smoking, following a heart-smart diet, and being physically active.

 

  1. Stroke poses a significant risk to women’s health in the United States. Almost 55,000 women suffer from stroke each year, and about 60 percent of overall stroke deaths occur among women.

 

  1. Two of the most common cancers affecting women are breast and cervical cancers. Early detection is the key to keeping women alive and healthy. The most recent figures show that around half a million women die from cervical cancer and half a million from breast cancer each year.

 

  1. Sexually transmitted diseases are responsible for one third of health issues for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years. Unsafe sex is a major risk factor – particularly among women and girls in developing countries.

 

  1. Depression is the most common mental health problem for women and suicide a leading cause of death for women under 60. Evidence suggests that women are more prone than men to experience anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints – physical symptoms that cannot be explained medically.

 

The first step to staying healthy is educating yourself, and then taking the necessary precautions to reduce your risk. While you can’t eliminate risk factors such as family history, you can control many other risk factors for heart disease, stroke and cancer. Also be sure to consult your doctor about when you should have mammograms and other cancer screenings. The Outpatient Mental Health Division at Flushing Hospital Medical Center has an experienced and friendly staff readily available to assist you. To make an appointment please call, 718-670-5562. If you are experiencing stroke or heart disease symptoms please refer to the Ambulatory Care Center at Flushing Hospital. To make an appointment, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month

In 2000, President Clinton officially dedicated March as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. This designation provides patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates throughout the country an opportunity to join together to raise awareness about colon cancer and the importance of early detection.

ThinkstockPhotos-474824404The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women with an average risk of developing colon cancer be tested beginning at age 50. People with certain risk factors, such as a family history of colon cancer or a history of inflammatory bowel disease should be tested earlier.

Early detection can save lives, but unfortunately, less than half of the people age 50 and older get tested for colon cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., yet there is a 90 percent cure rate when detected early.

There are a variety of different tests used to diagnose colon cancer. They include:

Standard (or optical) colonoscopy – During this test, the rectum and entire colon are examined using a colonoscope, a flexible lighted tube with a lens for viewing and tool for removing tissue. During a colonoscopy, any abnormal growths in the colon and rectum can be removed.

Sigmoidoscopy – During this test, the rectum and the sigmoid colon are examined using a sigmoidascope. The instrument is inserted through the anus and into the rectum and sigmoid colon as air is passed pumped into the colon to expand it so the doctor can see it more clearly.

High-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) – This exam checks for tiny amounts of blood in feces (stool) that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The stool samples are collected by the patient and the doctor has the samples tested.

Speak with your doctor about when to begin screening for colorectal cancer and what test(s) are best for you. If you do not have a doctor, Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center has doctors that can help. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. During this time of month, Flushing Hospital urges everyone to adopt healthy lifestyle practices to reduce the likelihood of developing cancer.

ThinkstockPhotos-159290583According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) there are three factors that we have control over that affects our risk of developing this terrible disease. They are: What we eat, how active we are and how much we weigh. The AICR states that the best protection against cancer is to control all three.

Let’s look at them one at a time:

What We Eat
Choosing a diet consisting mostly of plant foods and limiting red meat and avoiding processed food is the best defense. Preparing meals focused around vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans will help you fortify your body against cancer.

How Active We Are
Being physically active for at least 30 minutes each day. Participating in any number of physical activities can lower your risk for colon cancer and possibly several other cancers as well. To fit time in your schedule, try breaking activities into 10-15 minute sessions.

What We Weigh
It is the third key to help protect against as many as six different types of cancer. The good news is that once you start following the first two guidelines about diet and physical activity, you’ll find it easier to accomplish this one.

Flushing Hospital joins the American Institute of Cancer Research to bring awareness to how we can reduce our chances of getting cancer by altering our daily lives.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that colon cancer is one of the most preventable, and if detected early, most treatable forms of cancer? March is Colon Cancer Awareness month and screening is the number one way you can increase your chances of survival. Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the US.  In 2015, the American Cancer Society estimates 93,090 new cases of colon cancer and 39,610 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed.

On average, the lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about one in 20 (5%), but this can vary according to individual risk factors. All men and women should be screened every five years beginning at age 50, or earlier if you have a personal or family history of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or are experiencing symptoms.  African Americans should begin screening at the age of 45.

Some tests that detect cancer and polyps, growths that occur on the inner lining of the large intestine and protrude into the colon, include:

.Colonoscopy — The inside of the rectum and entire colon are examined using a long, lighted tube called a colonoscope.

.Flexible Sigmoidoscopy — Examines your rectum and lower part of the colon with a lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope.

.Virtual Colonoscopy — Uses x-rays and computers to take 2- or 3-dimensional images of your colon and rectum.

.Double-Contrast Barium Enema (DCBE) — Air and barium are pumped into your rectum. The solution will show polyps or tumors on x-rays.

Screenings for fecal occult blood tests or FOBT, may also be used to test the stool for signs that cancer may be present. They are less invasive and easier to have done but are less likely to detect polyps.

Please discuss all screening options, as well as when to be screened, with your healthcare professional.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides a modern, fully equipped endoscopy unit for patients with abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or any other gastrointestinal concerns. Using the newest high-technology video equipment, an expert team provides comprehensive patient care. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Ambulatory Care at 718-670-5486.

For more health and fitness information, join us on Facebook.com/FlushingHospital or follow us on Twitter @FHMC_NYC

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.