Updated Sun Safety Tips!

These are equally helpful for your children AND you!

DON’T FORGET! 
  • Use the shade, hats, and clothing for protection (especially for young children and infants).
  • Avoid peak sun hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
  • When buying sunscreen look for broad spectrum to cover both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use at least SPF 15, but there isn’t really a benefit to SPF over 50.
  • Use about 1 oz. of sunscreen (a shot glass) for a young adult.
  • Apply 15-20 minutes prior to sun exposure.
  • All sunscreen needs to be reapplied after two hours.
  • Water resistant sunscreen only lasts 40 or 80 minutes (as labeled).
  • Don’t forget lip balm with SPF and sunglasses that are UV protective.

National PTSD Awareness Day

     Post traumatic stress disorder is commonly misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. It is a severe anxiety disorder that occurs after witnessing a traumatic event. The public is becoming increasingly aware of the nonphysical trauma suffered by our servicemembers. There are other subpopulations of society equally affected by PTSD: those involved in natural disasters, fires, prisons, terrorist attacks. Many children and adults experience PTSD after being victims of abuse and rape.

    Huffington Post (via USC School of Social Work) had a great infographic on PTSD in honor of today (I’m a sucker for infographics!):

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10 ways your community can help those suffering from PTSD:

  1. Understand that anyone can experience trauma, such as accidents, assault, war, or disasters.
  2. Think broadly. When trauma happens, the survivor’s family, friends, coworkers, and community are affected.
  3. Learn about common reactions to trauma and readjustment to life outside a war zone.
  4. Be aware of where get help for trauma survivors, Veterans, and people with PTSD.
  5. Expand your understanding of how PTSD is identified and treated.
  6. Know that treatment for PTSD works.
  7. Ask a Veteran or trauma survivor if talking would help, but do not push if someone is not ready to discuss things.
  8. Realize that stigma is a barrier to getting treatment. Getting people to talk or seek help is not always easy. Your encouragement matters.
  9. Know the facts. More than half of US adults will experience trauma in their lifetime. About 7% of adults will deal with PTSD at some point. For Veterans and male and female sexual assault survivors, the figure is higher.
  10. Connect with self-help resources, apps, and videos about PTSD.

 

Useful PTSD Links:

National PTSD Awareness Day Resources: Camp Pendleton

PubMed’s PTSD page: NIH

 

New Study Supports Screening Mammography for Women in their 40’s.

Laura Bishop Wrote:
Research presented at a recent meeting of American Society of Breast Surgeons questions the newest USPSTF guidelines. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released guidelines in late 2009 recommending no screening mammographies for women under 50. This new research showed that screening women ages 40–49 by mammography was associated with finding smaller tumors, with less spread to the lymph nodes, than clinical breast exams alone, and this correlates with improved survival at 5 years. So, now more evidence has surfaced that will cause both physicians and patients to question not being screened in their forties. Bottom line: there should be a discussion between doctor and patient outlining reasoning behind the guidelines and patients should have opportunity to choose screening mammography in their forties.

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The American Society of Breast Surgeons held its 2011 annual meeting in D.C. from April 27 – May 1. Among the papers presented was Abstract #1754: “Mammography in 40 Year Old Women: The Potential Impact of the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) Mammography Guidelines.” You can find the press release, followed by the abstract, here. The main result was that screening women ages 40–49 by mammography was associated with finding smaller tumors, with less spread to the lymph nodes, than clinical breast exams alone, and this correlates with improved survival at 5 years.

The study, put forth by a group at the University of Missouri-Columbia in Columbia, MO, is  based on a 10-year retrospective chart review, from 1998 – 2008, of 1581 women treated for breast cancer at that institution. In this author’s opinion, a retrospective, chart-review type analysis of a medical intervention is about as low as you can get on the quality-of-data scale in a medical study. And, as emphasized by Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the ACS as quoted in HeathDay’s report on the matter, these are tentative findings, presented in abstract form at a meeting. He suggested that the 5-year follow-up is too short.

That said, I think the findings are significant and likely reflect what happens when mammography screening is done right, which is that it saves lives in women 40 and older.

The results focused on the 320 women – 20% of all those treated for breast cancer at the institution – between the ages of 40 and 49 at the time of breast cancer diagnosis. Among those, mammography detected the tumors in just under half (47%) of the cases; in 53%, there was a palpable mass – the “clinical detection” group. In those with cancers were detected by mammography, the average tumor size was 2 cm in diameter; in the clinical detection group, the average size was 3 cm. (From an oncologist’s perspective that’s a huge difference; for most breast cancer subtypes that 1 cm difference in diameter portends a distinct prognosis.) What’s more, the frequency of lymph node involvement in the clinical detection group was 56%, more than twice that in the mammography group (25%), another prognosis-changer. These findings were highly significant from a statistical perspective, with p-values

Tweet ML!The American Society of Breast Surgeons held its 2011 annual meeting in D.C. from April 27 – May 1. Among the papers presented was Abstract #1754: “Mammography in 40 Year Old Women: The Potential Impact of the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) Mammography Guidelines.” You can find the press release, followed by the abstract, here. The main result was that screening women ages 40–49 by mammography was associated with finding smaller tumors, with less spread to the lymph nodes, than clinical breast exams alone, and this correlates with improved survival at 5 years.

The study, put forth by a group at the University of Missouri-Columbia in Columbia, MO, is  based on a 10-year retrospective chart review, from 1998 – 2008, of 1581 women treated for breast cancer at that institution. In this author’s opinion, a retrospective, chart-review type analysis of a medical intervention is about as low as you can get on the quality-of-data scale in a medical study. And, as emphasized by Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the ACS as quoted in HeathDay’s report on the matter, these are tentative findings, presented in abstract form at a meeting. He suggested that the 5-year follow-up is too short.

That said, I think the findings are significant and likely reflect what happens when mammography screening is done right, which is that it saves lives in women 40 and older.

The results focused on the 320 women – 20% of all those treated for breast cancer at the institution – between the ages of 40 and 49 at the time of breast cancer diagnosis. Among those, mammography detected the tumors in just under half (47%) of the cases; in 53%, there was a palpable mass – the “clinical detection” group. In those with cancers were detected by mammography, the average tumor size was 2 cm in diameter; in the clinical detection group, the average size was 3 cm. (From an oncologist’s perspective that’s a huge difference; for most breast cancer subtypes that 1 cm difference in diameter portends a distinct prognosis.) What’s more, the frequency of lymph node involvement in the clinical detection group was 56%, more than twice that in the mammography group (25%), another prognosis-changer. These findings were highly significant from a statistical perspective, with p-values

Tweet ML!

Original Link: http://www.medicallessons.net/2011/05/new-study-presented-at-a-meeting-of-breast-surgeons-supports-that-mammograms-save-lives-of-women-in-their-40s/#utm_source=feed&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feed

Sunscreen.

As summer is on the horizon, more sun exposure is inevitable (and desirable). Here are some tips on sun exposure and sunscreen usage for you and your children during fun in the sun. 

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EVERYONE

  • Limit sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm (when UV rays are strongest).
  • Protect your eyes!
    • Wear polarized sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection.
  • Sunburns happen on cloudy days too, wear it anytime you are in the sun. And especially around water, sand, or snow (reflection increases UV exposure).
  • Check your birthday suit on your birthday. Any suspicious lesions should be noted and shown to a physician.
    • Suspect lesions = anything that has grown or changed color.
    • ABC’s – Asymmetrical, irregular Borders, Color changes/multiple colors, large Diameter or rapidly Evolving.

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CHILDREN

  • First and foremost, keep babies under 6 months out of direct sunlight and keep older children in cool, light-weight pants, long sleeves, and hats. The tighter the fabric weave, the more sun it will block.
  • Babies younger than 6 months –  use sunscreen on small areas exposed to sun (most should be covered – see above): hands, face. 
  • Children older than 6 months Apply all over, avoiding eyes.

SELECTING SUNSCREEN

  • Look for broad-spectrum on the label. This ensures UVA and UVB coverage.
    • UVA rays cause aging and UVB cause burns leading to skin cancer.
    • New UVA rating system – “stars”  
      • One star is low UVA protection.  
      •  Two stars is medium protection.
      • Three stars is high protection.  
      •  Four stars is the highest UVA protection available in an over-the-counter sunscreen product.
  • SPF = sun protection factor. You should use at least SPF 15. Higher SPF gives more coerage, but there is little gain after SPF 30.
    • Don’t be tricked by SPF 60+ as it does not confer additional protection.
  • Waterproof is a misnomer, as no sunscreen is waterproof; however, some is water resistant. All should be reapplied after 40 minutes in the water. 

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HOW TO APPLY SUNSCREEN

a no brainer, right? 

  • Cover all exposed areas:
    • Focus on nose, ears, feet, and hands.
    • The back of the neck, knee and elbow creases are commonly missed spots.
  • Apply enough sunscreen. So important that it bears repeating: Apply enough sunscreen!
    • 1-2 ounces for an adult.
    • That is approximately 1/2 teaspoon for the head, neck, each arm and 1 tsp for chest, back, and each leg.
  • Put sunscreen on 30 minutes before going outdoors. It needs time to absorb into the skin.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. Sunscreen wears off after swimming, sweating, or just from soaking into the skin.

USEFUL LINKS

HealthyChildren.org’s Sun Safety TIps

American Academy of Pediatrics Summer Safety Tips

American Academy of Dermatology on Sunscreen