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.
(BPT) - While magazines make summer beauty look simple, in reality it's anything but. From bloat to breakouts, summer is wrought with beauty challenges.
The experts at the Mayo Clinic offer advice on eight of the most common beauty and health concerns of summer.
1. Maintaining a healthy (natural) glow
While tanning beds offer a quick-fix to achieving a golden glow, they also cause exposure to damaging UV radiation which can cause premature aging as well as increase the risk of skin cancer. If you'd like a sun-kissed glow without the risk, consider using a sunless tanning product. Whether in the form of a lotion, spray or done as a professional service at a salon, sunless tanning offers a safe alternative to both tanning beds and sunbathing.
2. Ingrown hairs
Swimsuit season often means shaving more frequently, which can result in painful and unsightly ingrown hairs. These hairs grow out of the skin slightly and then curl back underneath the skin. To avoid ingrown hair, use a lubricating shave gel followed by a sharp, single-blade razor. Shave in the direction of hair growth and avoid pulling the skin taut.
It's easy to get lost in the fun of the summer sun. Avoid sunburn by dressing in light layers and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Remember, sunscreen generally stays at original strength for three years. If you do get sunburn, take a cool bath or apply a clean towel dampened with cool tap water. Then apply moisturizer, aloe vera lotion or gel or a low-dose hydrocortisone cream.
Ice cream, hot dogs and fried goodies are cornerstones of traditional summer festivals. Unfortunately, too much of these types of foods can leave you feeling bloated and sluggish. Fight bloat by eating fresh foods grown locally, such as carrots, tomatoes, melons and berries. Want a healthier cool treat? Try freezing grapes for a no-guilt sweet dessert.
5. Cracked nails
Pool chemicals, hot sun, gardening and building sand castles can all cause cracked nails. To protect nails, keep fingernails dry, clean and rub moisturizer into the nail beds and cuticles. Consider applying a nail hardener to add a protective layer against summer elements. If brittle nails persist, ask your doctor about biotin, a nutritional supplement that may help strengthen weak fingernails.
6. Healthy, hydrated skin
Staying hydrated is a summer must, but skin hydration isn't as simple as drinking water. Dehydrated skin feels rough and loses elasticity. To maintain proper hydration, avoid prolonged exposure to dry air or chlorinated water. When bathing, use a gentle cleanser instead of soap and avoid using skin care products that contain alcohol. Moisturize immediately after cleansing. Also try incorporating antioxidant-rich foods into your diet such as spinach, blueberries or salmon.
Sunshine and heat can cause the body to sweat. This combo clogs pores and can lead to acne. Some chemical treatments can leave the skin more sun-sensitive, so natural treatments such as tea tree oil, azelaic acid and even green tea extract are a smart choice in reducing inflammation. Another potential cause for acne can be outdated cosmetics. Make sure the products you use are kept clean to avoid bacterial buildup and avoid using them past their expiration date - six months is a good rule of thumb.
8. Beautiful legs
From swimsuits to shorts, summer is the time most people show off their legs. This can be uncomfortable for some when faced with common leg woes such as spider veins and varicose veins. Several options are available to combat these issues which range from sclerotherapy and laser surgery, to more advanced techniques such as vein-stripping. To learn more, visit mayoclinic.org to find out what treatment is best for you.
To discuss these and any other persistent skin or summer-related health concerns, make an appointment with Mayo Clinic Dermatology today.
Interested in Publishing on The Health IDEA?
Send your query to the Publisher today!