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Preventive Care Key to Fighting Skin Cancer

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PHOTO COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES

(Family Features) Are you at risk for skin cancer? Do you know the signs? According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. That means odds are quite high that at least one in your circle of friends will face this dangerous disease. As the season for bare skin approaches, are you aware of the risks and preventative measures necessary to avoid sun exposure?

 

Approximately 58 million Americans are affected by actinic keratosis (AKs), the most common form of pre-cancerous skin damage known casually as “pre-cancers,” according to a report published by The Society for Investigative Dermatology and The American Academy of Dermatology Association. An estimated 10 percent of AKs will become squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer, within two years.

 

AKs are rough-textured, dry, scaly patches on the skin that are caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light such as sunlight. They occur most often on areas such as the face, scalp and ears. They can range in color from skin-toned to reddish-brown. They can be as small as a pinhead or larger than a quarter.

 

AKs predominately affect people over 50, and slightly more men than women. Individuals who are most likely affected by AKs include those who have risk factors including: fair skin; blond or red hair; blue, green or grey eyes; a history of kidney disease or weakened immune system; daily, long-term exposure to the sun; multiple severe sunburns early in life; and older age.

 

Fortunately, skin cancer can be avoided with treatment, yet many patients fail to seek treatment. What they may not realize is that there are actually many treatment options available, such as cryotherapy (freezing); topical medication; and photodynamic therapy. Additional treatment options include curettage, chemical peel, dermabrasion, surgical incision and lasers.

 

To reduce your risk of skin cancer you can take some precautions:

 

  • Regular skin evaluations by a dermatologist can catch the disease early so that it can be treated. Just as you schedule an annual physical or other routine checkups as part of your regular health routine, a recurring appointment with a dermatologist can significantly alter your chances of developing skin cancer.

 

  • In between visits to the dermatologist, perform thorough self-checks by examining your skin all over on a regular basis.

 

  • Avoid damaging sun rays and protect your skin by seeking the shade during high sun hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.); avoiding sunburns; and covering your skin with clothing and hats.

 

  • Do not use tanning booths!

 

  • Understand sunscreen, and use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

 

Do yourself a favor and get checked before the summer season to ensure you are properly caring for and protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. The skin is the largest organ of the human body. Make the call to your dermatologist today.

 

For more information, including additional details about AKs and how to identify the signs of skin damage, visit www.spotsignsofAK.com.

 

March 6, 2015 |

Posture Perfect: Smartphone Use Affects Spinal Health

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To hold a phone properly, keep it at eye level with a neutral, relaxed neck.

 

 

(Family Features) Despite the many benefits of having information at your fingertips, smartphones and tablets can do damage to your body and overall health in unexpected ways.

 

You may not realize it, but all that time spent with your head down checking email and texting may be creating more than a social gap — you may also be harming your spine. Research suggests that spinal pressure actually doubles with each inch you bend your head down.

 

Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, says Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, in his recent report for Surgical Technology International. As a result, back and neck pain have increased among users of electronic gadgets, and the effects may linger for years.

 

“Poor posture is easy to spot in the hunched over forms of older adults who have carried bad habits for a lifetime,” said Stephen Gubernick, Doctor of Chiropractic at The Joint Chiropractic. “However, few people realize that there are health implications that make good posture essential for healthy living at any age.”

 

Dr. Gubernick explained that a misalignment of your spine can affect your overall health and well-being. Your spine protects your nervous system, which controls and coordinates all the different functions of your body. Any disruption in nerve communication to your organs and tissues may result in abnormal function. “There are countless benefits from simply improving the alignment of the spine,” he added.

 

Poor posture negatively impacts your muscles and ligaments, as well as your spine, which can lead to a host of health problems ranging from neck and back pain to gastrointestinal problems and even hyperkyphosis — a condition in which the spine curvature is significantly exaggerated, with increased risk of pulmonary and arterial health problems.

 

When posture or other factors cause a misalignment, a spinal adjustment is one way to help restore normal nerve function and communication, thereby allowing your body to work normally and naturally.

 

In addition to recommending exercises that strengthen your core postural muscles in an effort to sustain and improve posture, a chiropractor can also assist you with identifying proper posture techniques to use during daily activities that help reduce the risk of injury.

 

To learn more about how your spine affects your body’s overall health, visit http://www.thejoint.com/spine.

 

Why Posture Matters

There are many benefits to practicing good posture. According to the American Chiropractic Association, keeping your spine aligned properly:

  • Ensures bones and joints are correctly aligned. This helps the muscles to be used properly, diminishing the abnormal wear which can cause degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
  • Places less stress on the ligaments which link the spinal joints, decreasing the chance of injury.
  • Creates efficiency within the muscle groups, helping the body use less energy and avoid fatigue.
  • Reduces the likelihood of back and muscular pain, overuse disorders and muscle strain.

 

 

Maintaining Good Posture

Ditching your smartphone probably isn’t a practical solution for improving your posture, so instead work to keep your posture in check with these tips:

  • To protect your posture while using your phone and other electronic devices, avoid angling your head down for prolonged periods. Raise the device closer to eye level, or use a stand to prop the screen.
  • Treat back and neck pain, which may signal a posture problem or worsen poor posture habits, with regular chiropractic adjustments to keep your body balanced and flexible.
  • When sitting, avoid crossing your legs and keep your knees at or below hip level. Use a back pillow to support your lower and middle back. Relax your shoulders and avoid sitting in the same position for extended periods of time.
  • While standing, keep your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Stand straight with your shoulders pulled back and your stomach tucked in.

What to Expect When You Visit the Chiropractor

If you’ve never visited a chiropractor before, you may find yourself intimidated by the unknown. Take heart, you’re not alone. According to The Joint … the chiropractic place, the following are answers to some patients’ most common questions:

 

Do I need an appointment? You will most likely need an appointment at traditional chiropractic clinics but not at The Joint where chiropractors are available on a walk-in basis, including during evening and weekend hours.

 

What will happen during the visit? After a full exam and consultation, you will be adjusted on a comfortably cushioned adjustment table. You will remain fully clothed for the duration of your visit, so wear non-restrictive clothing to make it easier to rest comfortably while lying down on the table.

 

How long will my visit take? You should plan around 20 minutes for your first visit,SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/marybeth/Desktop/12491_UF.doc

though follow-up visits can take as few as five minutes or so. At the end of your visit,  your doctor will determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

 

Will I experience side effects? Although chiropractic is a proven safe and effective treatment, you might experience side effects after your first visit, such as headaches, fatigue and soreness. Side effects from chiropractic care typically are mild and disappear within 24 hours.

 

What will it cost? Many insurance plans cover a limited number of chiropractic visits. Average appointment costs may range anywhere from $40 to $125 per session, and no-insurance clinics, such as The Joint, offer affordable plans and packages that eliminate the need for insurance.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

February 24, 2015 |

UV and You: Protecting Your Peepers From the Sun’s Harmful Rays

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(Family Features) Most people aren’t aware that the sun can do damage to their eyes when they are unprotected from ultraviolet (UV) rays.

 

Ultraviolet radiation is invisible to the human eye and damage is cumulative over time, so it’s imperative for everyone – from young kids to grandparents – to take the necessary steps to protect their eyes. Wearing sunglasses is an easy way to shield the eyes while outdoors, but it’s important to look beyond the choices in frames and find sunglasses with lenses that offer the best UV protection.

 

E-SPF®, or Eye Sun Protection Factor, is a global index created by Essilor International that rates the overall UV protection clear and sunglass lenses provide for the eyes versus going without eyewear.

 

Varied degrees of protection

Lenses with an E-SPF index of 50+ means your eyes are 50 times more protected than they are without wearing lenses at all. The index ranges from zero to 25 for clear corrective lenses and from zero to 50+ for polarized sunglass lenses.

 

Finding the right shades

To better protect your eyes from harmful UV rays outdoors look for sunglasses that offer the following:

  • Lenses with an E-SPF index of 50+
  • Large, close-fitting wrap-around frames to reduce exposure to rays coming from around the lenses
  • Polarized lenses – adds protection by reducing glare reflecting off of water, asphalt, windows and snow

 

Many people are not aware they can also get their eyewear prescription in sun lenses, and a majority of people don’t know there are options for lenses beyond the ones already in the frame. Xperio UV™ superior polarized lenses provide users with comprehensive UV protection on both the front and backside of the lenses and reduce the amount of glare from reflective surfaces. Xperio UV lenses have an E-SPF index rating of 50+ and deliver maximum scratch resistance and cleanability.

 

From everyday activities to outdoor sports and recreation, your eyes deserve protection from harmful sun exposure. To learn more about protective eyewear for any season, including Xperio UV polarized sunglasses, visit www.xperiouv.com.

*These materials were provided by Essilor of America

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

February 24, 2015 |

Counseling Corner: Suggestions for Helping an Overweight Child

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Counseling Corner by American Counseling AssociationBy The American Counseling Association 

              The U.S. Center for Disease Control reports that as many as one-third of American children are overweight or obese.  That’s a problem that not only brings increased health risks, but also can subject a child to taunting, discrimination, and self-confidence issues.

A starting point for helping your child is to be your child’s friend in regard to weight issues. Don’t lecture your child about his or her weight, or act like the food police restricting food choices. Lectures and restrictions can leave a child feeling deprived, different and controlled. The result can be lowered self-esteem and eating habits that may include hiding food or binging on restricted foods.

Instead, listen to your child’s concerns about his or her weight, then try to be a guide to healthier eating and a healthier weight.  (more…)

October 28, 2014 |

The Lowdown on Heavily Caffeinated Energy Drinks

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To Your HealthTO YOUR HEALTH
Courtesy of
Ferdinand Esser, DC
Chiropractic Sports & Wellness

Many energy drinks claim to increase energy and vitality. In making this claim, the manufacturers often load their concoctions with a variety of substances, including but certainly not limited to caffeine, herbs and various amino acids. That brings us to an interesting question: Do these drinks actually have health benefits, or are there hidden health dangers? (more…)

July 7, 2014 |
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