Melanoma is a skin cancer many of us are familiar with. But have you heard of a skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC)? If not, you might be surprised to learn that CSCC is actually one of the most common skin cancers in the world – even more common than melanoma with an estimated 700,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. annually. CSCC can also be a deadly skin cancer. Every year, an estimated 7,000 people in the U.S. die of CSCC.
(BPT) - Most of us look forward to the balmy breezes and cheerful sunshine brought about by spring and summer, especially those of us living in climates where winter is long, gloomy and bitterly cold. Yet as we get our shorts, polo shirts and swimsuits out of storage, it’s important to remind ourselves to stay sun smart and vigilant against skin cancer.
Melanoma is a skin cancer many of us are familiar with. But have you heard of a skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC)? If not, you might be surprised to learn that CSCC is actually one of the most common skin cancers in the world – even more common than melanoma with an estimated 700,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. annually.
CSCC can also be a deadly skin cancer. Every year, an estimated 7,000 people in the U.S. die of CSCC. And in the southern part of the U.S., the number of deaths from CSCC may actually be higher than deaths from melanoma.
“The good news is that CSCC is usually highly treatable when detected early,” notes Dr. Sunandana Chandra, a medical oncologist at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center Northwestern University. “That’s why it is important to know about CSCC, so you can take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, know how to identify early signs of the cancer, and to understand your treatment options if it progresses. Being vigilant about your skin and reaching out to your doctor early with any concerns will allow you to consider more treatment options and possibly have better outcomes.”
So what do you need to know about CSCC? Here are three important tips:
If you think you or someone you know may have CSCC, contact a doctor and visit SkinCancer.org.
(BPT) - Heat and humidity can make anyone feel uncomfortable, but for the 400,000 people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the United States, warmer weather can make life particularly difficult to manage.
“When it’s warm and sunny, that’s when I want to spend the most time outdoors,” said Wendy Booker, who has been living with MS for almost 20 years. “I enjoy gardening, walking and eating outside, but the heat is sometimes too much to bear, and I find it difficult to even get out the door.”
Symptoms of MS, including dizziness, blurry vision and fatigue, can be unpredictable and often flare up during warm weather. High temperatures and humidity can cause a temporary, slight elevation in body temperature, which impairs nerves and can potentially worsen symptoms.
“The negative effects of temperature and humidity are generally temporary, but they can make the symptoms of MS worse and make it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks or enjoy activities outside,” said Carrie Lyn Sammarco, DrNP, FNP-C, MSCN, nurse practitioner in the NYU Langone Medical Center Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center.
If you or someone you care for is living with MS, what can you do to beat the heat?
1. Dress lightly. Clothing can make all the difference. Look for lightweight, open-weave fabrics that “breathe” by letting air flow in and out more easily. Also, protect yourself from the sun’s harsh rays by wearing a hat or other protective covering.
2. Hydrate. Drink plenty of cool fluids. Having a cold drink or summer treat, like an ice pop, can often provide temporary relief. “I often freeze a water bottle the night before participating in an outdoor activity so I know I’ll have a cool drink quickly available,” said Ms. Booker.
3. Stay indoors. It may seem obvious, but sometimes the best way to beat the heat is to avoid it altogether! Chill out inside an air-conditioned space, sit in front of a fan or head out to your local movie theater to see the latest flick.
4. Take a dip. “Exercising in a non-heated pool is a great way to stay both active and cool during warm months and something I often recommend to my patients living with MS,” said Dr. Sammarco.
5. Ask for help. The unpredictability of MS symptoms, especially in the heat, may mean you need to ask for help sometimes. Check out a new online resource, GatherMS.com, that provides links to existing, everyday services — from grocery delivery to free transportation. Ms. Booker, who serves as a spokesperson for GatherMS, uses the resource to help her accomplish daily tasks when the heat gets her down.
No matter how you choose to stay cool, talk to your doctor for the best advice on managing your MS year round, especially during the warmer months.
Enjoying the summer is about balance and planning. These tips will help your family stay happy, healthy and ready to tackle anything the summer months throw your way.
(BPT) - The sunny days of summer are here and school may be out, but your family is still as active and busy as ever. It's easy to get caught up in a hectic schedule of activities, but don't let the summer hustle keep you from a healthy lifestyle. Enjoying the summer is about balance and planning. These tips will help your family stay happy, healthy and ready to tackle anything the summer months throw your way.
1. Fuel up with breakfast
Set the tone for the rest of your day with a good-for-you breakfast. A complete breakfast gives you and your family the energy needed to take on the busy summer schedule. There are plenty of easy breakfast recipes that let you eat while you're running out the door. Try peanut butter or avocado on toast, hard boiled eggs or a fruit smoothie for a quick, satisfying meal.
2. Set a summer schedule
Create a master calendar to hang up in your kitchen. This should include everyone's daily activities for the summer so nothing is forgotten. Take a look at the calendar at the beginning of each week to get a sense of what's to come.
3. Remain active
Encourage your kids to get outside by planning a weekly outdoor activity as a family. From hiking, biking, a game of tag, skating and swimming, find something your family loves doing together. You can also get some extra steps in by taking an after-dinner walk around the block each night.
4. Snack healthy
Kids love to snack, especially when they're home for the summer. Stock up on easy go-to snacks like Snack Factory(R) Pretzel Crisps(R), fresh fruit, and granola bars so you'll be ready when their stomachs start to growl. Pretzel Crisps dipped in peanut butter or hummus create a filling, wholesome snack. They're packed in resealable bags, making Pretzel Crisps the perfect portable snack for the car rides between swim practice, summer camp and everything in between.
5. Stay hydrated
Instead of that third cup of coffee, you might want to be more conscious of your water intake. You and your family will need to stay hydrated in the summer heat, so always be sure everyone has a bottle of water with them. If there's a bottle within arm's reach, you're more likely to sip using little conscious effort.
6. Make a point to unplug
While it's important to let your kids stay connected to friends and peers during the summer, you should also be aware of your family's technology use. For example, you could make a pact to put away devices at dinner time and two hours before bedtime. Find an approach to regulating technology that works for you.
7. Stick with stellar sleeping habits
Your kids will likely want to stay up later in the summer, but make sure they're still getting adequate sleep. Work as a team to make sleep a family priority.
(BPT) - From annoying itchy welts to serious conditions like Malaria and West Nile virus, mosquitoes have been making humans miserable and sick for thousands of years. And now, there's Zika - a mosquito-spread virus that may be linked to serious birth defects. In fact, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the diseases mosquitoes spread make them the deadliest animal on the planet.
The arrival of warm weather means it's time to step up your mosquito prevention and protection efforts in order to help protect your family. The National Pest Management Association offers some information that can help:
* The type of mosquito that transmits Zika bites during the daytime hours. Most other types of mosquitoes bite during dusk and dawn.
* Within the U.S., mosquitoes have been known to spread West Nile virus, Chikungunya, and encephalitis-causing viruses in humans, and heartworms in dogs.
* Mosquitoes spread disease when they bite one person, fly to another and bite again, spreading the infection. What many people don't realize is that the saliva from the mosquito's bite causes the red, itchy irritation that we all know so well.
The NPMA recommends some ways you can help reduce your exposure to mosquitoes:
* Eliminate breeding areas - Mosquitoes need only about a half-inch of standing water in which to lay their eggs. Get rid of any stagnant water around your home, such as flower pots, bird baths, kiddie pools and standing water in low areas of your yard.
* Use repellent - Whenever you spend time outside, protect your skin from mosquito bites by applying an insect repellent that contains at least 20 percent DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. Also, consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes.
* Be aware of the time of day - Mosquitoes are most active around dawn and dusk, although the variety that transmits Zika prefers to bite during the day. Minimize outside activity during peak biting hours, or, if you must be outside, wear long sleeves, pants and repellent to thwart mosquitoes.
* Watch what you wear - Dark colors, floral prints and sweet-smelling perfumes or colognes can attract mosquitoes to you. Wear light colors and forego perfume when spending time outside.
* Protect your house - Screens help keep mosquitoes out of your house. Be sure all windows and doors are outfitted with screens, and that all are in good shape. Repair tears to keep mosquitoes from getting inside.
* Travel wisely - Mosquito-borne diseases that may be rare in the U.S. are common in many foreign countries, so if your summer vacation will take you outside the country, check what travel advisories may be in effect in your destination. If someone gets sick upon returning home, seek medical care immediately.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts at control, mosquitoes on your property can still be a problem. A licensed pest control professional can help you manage mosquitoes. To find a professional near you, visit the NPMA's website at pestworld.org.
Whether you’re planning outdoor fun for your backyard, a local park or the open wilderness, portable generators can take your outdoor recreation and summer fun to the next level, but their exhaust fumes can pose serious risks. So before you head out to enjoy a fun summer day, make sure you’re ready to protect your family from the potential dangers associated with portable generator use with these tips.
Protect Your Family During Summer Fun
(Family Features) Summer is the perfect time for outdoor recreational activities, from ballpark tailgates and camping trips to backyard barbecues or simply hosting a party outside. Portable generators can be used to make these activities even more enjoyable, but their exhaust fumes can pose serious risks. So before you head out to enjoy a fun summer day, make sure you’re ready to protect your family from the potential dangers associated with portable generator use.
Whether you’re planning outdoor fun for your backyard, a local park or the open wilderness, portable generators can take your outdoor recreation and summer fun to the next level. Portable generators make it possible to cook, use a cooling fan, play festive music, power a karaoke machine or even light up a string of twinkling lights to help set the stage for a great time.
“Some of our most beloved summer traditions can be even more enjoyable with electricity from a portable generator, but there are some notable risks,” said Susan Orenga, representative for the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association (PGMA). “Proper handling and taking the appropriate safety precautions can help ensure that users fully appreciate the benefits of portable power.”
The most serious risk comes from exhaust fumes containing carbon monoxide, a gas you cannot smell, see or taste. Excess exposure can have fatal consequences for both people and animals.
This summer, portable generators will be used for a variety of applications, providing a convenient, flexible energy source that is easily transportable. Taking proper safety precautions will help ensure you can enjoy the many benefits and capabilities of portable generator use without putting yourself or others in danger.
Before you use a portable generator to power up your summer activities, keep these safety tips from PGMA top of mind:
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
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