Get the Gold Standard for Skin Cancer Removal

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There’s been a renewed focus on skin care in recent years and aisles are full of facial masks, creams, and other lotions and potions that promise to even your skin tone, eliminate acne, mitigate the effects of psoriasis, prevent aging, and so forth. By 2024, it’s predicted that the skin care market globally will hit a net worth of $180 billion! However, there’s another important advantage to taking care of your skin — and one that you might not have thought about. Paying attention to our skin means that we’re more attuned to skin cancer and implementing preventive measures so you don’t ever have to worry about skin cancer! We’ll discuss how you can keep your skin cancer free and what you should do if you see signs of skin cancer (and how to tell).

How Can I Avoid Skin Cancer? 

Using a broad spectrum sunscreen is one surefire way to help avoid skin cancer, especially if you’re out and about in the sun frequently. Sunscreens have also evolved, so if you’re worried about sunscreen making you break out with acne, or having oily skin, there’s likely something on the market now that can both protect your skin and keep you from a bad acne breakout.

Of course, staying out of the sun — either by staying in the shade or wearing sunglasses or a sunhat if you’re out in it — is also a good way to avoid skin cancer. You should also stay away from tanning beds and try to avoid getting sunburned.

Checking in with your dermatologist at least once a year is another smart idea — they can conduct a professional skin exam and clear you!

What to Know About Skin Cancer 

Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer, and luckily, has a high cure rate. ut one in five Americans will get a skin care diagnosis by the time they’re 70. There are five main types — basal and squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, Merkel cell skin cancer, lymphoma of the skin, and kaposi sarcoma. The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, which over four million Americans are diagnosed with every year.

If you have existing moles, it’s important to keep an eye on them — if they’re changing shape, size, or color, talk to your doctor. Between 70-80% of melanomas occur on what seems like healthy skin, but 20-30% are discovered in existing moles.

How Do I Tell If I Have Skin Cancer? 

One of the classic signs to look for is a mole that is changing or doesn’t look like other moles. Scaly patches or sores that won’t heal or continue to return are other things to keep an eye out for, as well as an unusual dome-shaped growth or a brown or black streak under a nail. Anything that itches or bleeds in a way that’s out of the norm pay attention to.

What Treatments are Available? 

One of the most successful treatments for skin cancer is Mohs surgery. It’s widely considered the gold standard in skin cancer removal, with a 98-99% success rate when it comes to curing skin cancer and has minimal impact on healthy skin. The surgeon only gets rid of the skin with cancer cells. You don’t need to go under — anesthesia is injected at the site that’s being operated on only. This type of treatment is generally used for basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.

A simple excision, cryotherapy, radiation, and topical chemotherapy are other common types of treatments as well. The treatment plan can depend on how aggressive the cancer is, what stage it’s in, and where it’s located. Your doctor and/or dermatologist will be able to map out the best treatment and recovery plan for you and your needs.

Don’t avoid putting sunscreen on because you’re worried about acne — you should take your skin protection from the sun very seriously. However, if you do everything right, and still find yourself with a case of skin cancer, it’s also great to know your options for treatment and what you can expect.

Chronic Illness And Keeping Up With Breast Cancer Screenings, Part 2

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3d mammography

In part one of our chronic illness and breast cancer series, we talked about a recent study that showed women with chronic health conditions were less likely to undergo regular breast cancer screening.

Here, in part two, we’ll dive deeper into why that is. We’ll also talk about why 3D mammography screenings are crucial whether you have one or more chronic health conditions or none at all.

Why do women with chronic illness choose not to follow-up?

Patients living with a chronic condition aren’t just living with the condition itself. They’re also living with the medications needed to treat the condition, the side effects of that medication, and the side effects of the condition.

When a patient has more than one chronic condition, the medications they’re taking can interact in a way that would make a breast cancer diagnosis nerve-wracking.

For instance, a patient without a chronic condition could be treated with chemotherapy if they had breast cancer. A patient with a chronic condition, or more than one, may have limited treatment options because of how their current conditions are already impacting their body.

Why is it still important to undergo breast cancer screening?

The average woman living in the U.S. has a one-in-eight lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Of all the age groups, women between the ages of 60 and 69 can benefit the most from routine 3D mammography screening.

A recent mammography study published in the journal of the American Cancer Society found that women who receive annual breast cancer screenings have a lower mortality rate and benefit more from therapy after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 52,000 women over a 40-year period between 1977 and 2015. They calculated the overall annual incidences of breast cancer, incidences of breast cancer-related mortality after 10 years, and mortality within 11 to 20 years.

Researchers found that women who participated in a breast cancer screening program have a 60% lower mortality risk within 10 years of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Women also had a 47% lower mortality risk within 20 years of their diagnosis.

These aren’t insignificant numbers.

Although women with chronic health conditions may need to undergo different breast cancer treatments if diagnosed, it’s still worth it to undergo routine 3D mammography screenings. To learn more about 3D mammography screenings or to schedule your own breast cancer screening, contact us today.

3 Reasons Cycling Is Better Than Running

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When it comes to cardio, gyms offer many options. Many fitness classes are available at most gyms, as well as yoga classes and other gym equipment. Two very popular options, cycling and running, may be hard to choose from, especially if you are a beginner. However, there are plenty of reasons cycling is way better than running, whether you’re indoors or out.

There’s much less impact
Running is much harder on your body than cycling is. Running is a very high-impact activity that can cause muscle strain, inflammation, and other injuries. A research study revealed that long-distance runners saw between 133% and 40% more muscles damage, 256% high inflammation levels, and 87% more muscle soreness compared to cyclists in the following 38 hour recovery period. Study author David Nieman, MPH, professor of public health at Appalachian State University, said these results were surprising and much greater than anticipated.

You can go places
Unless you want to show up somewhere really sweaty and out of breath, running to your destination is probably not a great idea. You can take a bike to work, the grocery store, a friend’s house, or really anywhere within a reasonable distance. You can cover a lot more ground and see some amazing sights at the same time when you ride your bike places. You can’t do that when you run. Of course, if you’re cycling at the gym, you won’t be going anywhere physically, but you’ll certainly be peddling down the metaphorical path to better fitness.

Think about the accessories
Runners can basically buy themselves cool shoes, and that’s it. Road bikers can deck out their helmets, saddlebags, shoes, and entire bikes. This means more gift ideas, and more ways to treat yourself! You can express your personal style way more with cycling than you can while running. While you take an indoor cycling class, building up those muscles for the tougher terrain outside the gym, you can dream about all that awesome apparel you’ve had sitting in your online shopping cart.

What else is great about cycling? Studies show that cycling at least three times a week at a moderate intensity can stimulate dopamine production, which increases energy levels by roughly 20% and reduces fatigue up to 65%. If you want a great way to get in shape and have fun at the same time, try cycling! It’s easier on your body, you can go places, you have more accessory options, and it’s just really fun!

A Brief History of Diagnostic Imaging

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heart servicesDiagnostic imaging has evolved over the years to produce clearer, more efficient images. The medical industry uses diagnostic imaging every day to provide heart services at cardiovascular centers, to aid in emergency surgery services, diagnose bone breaks and fractures, and to provide ultrasounds at maternity centers. Effective diagnostic imaging is a crucial aspect of diagnosing and treating medical conditions. But how did this life saving technology become what it is today? Let’s take a look at a brief overview of the history of diagnostic imaging.

Wilhelm Rontgen was the first person to discover the x-ray. He was the groundbreaking physicist who introduced x-rays in January 1896. Rontgen actually took the first ever X-ray photograph of his wife Anna Bertha’s hand (Bertha famously said, upon seeing this historic x-ray, “I have seen my death!”). It wasn’t until years later that the clinical potential of this diagnostic imaging technology was recognized and commercialized.

When radiology first started being used in the medical field, the main examination involved focusing x-rays through the necessary body part. The image was then directly put onto a single piece of film in a special cassette tape. This process required long exposure times, which was found to be damaging. Fortunately, today’s x-ray methods only take milliseconds to complete. These early x-ray cassette tape images had poor resolutions and contrast.

Not too long after, contrast medium was developed. This significantly improved the visualization of organs and blood vessels, which could finally be seen more clearly. The contrast dyes were originally administered orally or through vascular injection. This development made it possible for doctors to see individual blood vessels, bile ducts, gallbladder, and digestive and gastrointestinal systems, revealing the human body in entirely new ways.

After the cassette tape images came fluorescent screens. A doctor could see x-ray images in real time by utilizing a fluorescent screen and special glasses. But this meant the doctor has to stare directly into the x-ray beam, leading to unwanted radiation exposure.

However, x-rays are hardly the only form of diagnostic imaging. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the principles of sonar technology were applied to diagnostic imaging. Ultrasound scanning involves placing a transducer against the area of interest. The transducer then produced high-frequency sound waves to penetrate the body and bounce off the organs inside. Once the sound waves are bounced back, the ultrasound machine receives the image of what’s inside. Because it doesn’t involve shooting potentially dangerous radiation directly at a developing baby, ultrasounds are an ideal technology for viewing fetal development in the womb.

Finally, in the 1970s, digital imaging techniques were implemented. Additionally, analog to digital converters were adapted to conventional fluoroscopic image intensifier systems. The adaptation of digital technology has helped create the ability to provide many services, including organ, bone, and heart services, over the years.

With bone fractures accounting for 3.5 million visits to the emergency room every year, diagnostic imaging is crucial in determining the best treatment method of not just breaks and fractures, but all other conditions as well. So whether it’s emergency heart services or taking a closer look at a kidney, diagnostic imaging is a critical element of modern medical care.