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Back to School? Don’t Ditch the Sunscreen Just Yet

As you prepare to send your kids back to school, the to-do lists and back-to-school shopping start to pile up. It’s no surprise sun protection slips down the list of priorities as you move away from outdoor activities and focus on classroom needs.

But don’t put the sunscreen away just yet. Studies show that children sustain significant amounts of sun exposure while at school. About 23 percent of lifetime UV exposure occurs before the age of 18. This exposure can have far-reaching effects. Because sun damage is cumulative, too much sun exposure during childhood can contribute to a higher risk of skin cancer later in life.

Consider the following tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation before your kids return to school.

Recess or Outdoor Activities:

Ask the school administration, teacher, or coaches about the planned breaks while the class is outside. UV rays are most intense from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Typically, students have outdoor recess or after-school sports between these peak sun hours. Ask if there are accommodations for shaded break areas. Covered areas like gazebos, roof structures, awnings, shade sails, and natural shade, such as thickly leaved trees, are some examples of shaded rest areas.

Clothing Choice:

Clothing choice is a basic form of sun protection. Dressing in densely woven and bright-colored clothes is the single most effective form of sun protection for the body. Send your children to school in densely woven and bright- or dark-colored fabrics. The more skin you cover, the better, so choose long sleeves shirts and pants whenever possible.

Head and Neck Protection:

Send children to school with a wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap and UV-blocking sunglasses to protect their face, neck, and eyes.

Sunscreen:

Make sunscreen part of the morning routine. At least 30 minutes before children go outside, parents should apply a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher to their skin. Older children should learn to apply sunscreen themselves and make it a routine habit. To remain effective, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. At a minimum, remind children to reapply sunscreen before after-school sports and outdoor activities. One ounce of sunscreen (about the size of a golf ball) should be applied to the entire body. Remind children to cover those easy-to-miss spots, such as the back of the ears and neck, as well as the tops of the feet and hands.

Expert Cancer Care

No two situations are the same. That’s why our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan that is unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to learn more.

Prep For Success With These Meal Planning Tips

Are You Ready to Start Eating Well?

If you are about to start a new nutrition plan, set yourself up for success as you restock your fridge with these easy steps.

Whether you’re switching up your diet as part of a lifestyle change, or you’re about to start cancer treatment and are looking for foods to keep you strong, knowing your goals and having a plan to follow will make it easier to stick to your plan.

Take the Time to Prep Before Jumping In:

  • Make a list. Go through your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to see what foods you need to add, and maybe which foods need to be thrown out and replaced with a healthier substitute.
  • Half the battle is preparing meals. To help you win, make sure you choose meals with easy prep – even frozen dinners or ready-to-eat cooked foods work for this.
  • Set up a routine for grocery shopping to keep your kitchen stocked with the foods you need. If going through cancer treatment, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your family or friends to help you shop on the days you need rest.
  • Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. Discuss your goals, or what to expect if going through cancer treatment. They may have recommendations or advice to help you meet your goals and keep you healthy.

Starting Cancer Treatment?

Oftentimes, your doctor or nurse can refer you to a dietitian who will help you choose the best food and drinks specific to your needs during and after treatment.

Eating problems can sometimes be a result of cancer treatment. Because everyone is different, there is no way to know if you will have eating problems from treatment and, if so, how severe the effects are. Eating problems can be mild, but sometimes it’s a little more complicated. It will depend partially on the cancer diagnosis, what part of the body the cancer is at, and the treatment type.

Don’t be alarmed if you do start to develop eating problems. Talk to your doctor, there are many helpful medicines and other ways to manage dietary issues they can walk you through.

Expert Cancer Care

No two situations are the same. That’s why our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan that is unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to learn more.

3 Common Types of Skin Cancer

Each year, there are 3.5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the United States. As the most common cancer type, it is important to perform regular self-checks to catch any suspicious spots early. If caught soon enough, the treatment success increases significantly.

There are many types of skin cancer which can be more common in different areas of the body and may show up in a variety of forms. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is typically found on the head or neck and may first appear as a pale patch of skin or a waxy translucent bump. A telling sign is a blood vessel or indentation in the center of the bump. If the cancer spots develop on the chest, it appears similar to a brown colored scar or flesh-colored lesion. Watch for bleeding or oozing, this is a sign it is more developed.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma can also take the form of a lump on the skin. These are firm lumps and are rough on the surface, unlike basal cells which have a smooth and pearly appearance. This cancer type usually develops on the head, neck, hands or arms, but also may develop in other areas such as genital region or in scars or skin sores.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Merkel cell carcinoma appear as raised, flesh-colored moles that grow quickly. These are small tumors and typically appear on areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun such as the face, neck or scalp.

What are the Signs of Skin Cancer?

Typically, skin cancer develop on exposed areas of the skin, making early detection more possible. It’s important to regularly examine your skin to catch any unusual changes to an existing mole or a suspicious growth.

Although skin cancer can develop in a variety of locations, and appear in different forms, there are common symptoms to look for when checking your skin for suspicious spots no matter the location. Here are some common signs of skin cancer to keep in mind:

  • An unusual skin growth or sore that has not gone away
  • Spots that are raised and/or bleed easily
  • The size and shape of the spot changes over time

When performing a self-screen, remember to check less exposed areas of the body, as these can still develop skin cancer although less likely: underneath nails, on the palms of hands, soles of feet, genitals and the eyes.

If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your primary care provider or dermatologist about your concerns.

Expert Cancer Care

Our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to explore available cancer screenings and treatment options.

July is Bone Cancer Awareness Month – Know the Types, Causes and Symptoms

What is Bone Cancer?

Bone cancer can be found in any bone of the body and has the potential to spread. Typically, bone cancer develops in the pelvis or the long bones, such as the legs and arms. Although it is less common than other cancer types, it’s good to be proactive and understand the different kinds of bone cancer, who’s at risk and the symptoms associated.

Primary Bone Cancer VS Bone Metastasis

Primary bone cancer can begin in any part of the bone structure including the bone itself, the muscle, tissues and blood vessels.

There are many types of primary bone cancer. Some are rarer than others, the most common types are as follows:

  • Chondrosarcoma starts in the early stages of cartilage cells. Chondrosarcoma can develop anywhere there is cartilage. Most often it starts in the pelvic bones, legs or arms. The risk of chondrosarcoma increases with age.
  • Ewing sarcoma is a group of tumors that start in the bone or nearby soft tissues. Although these tumors can develop at any age, they are most common in older children and teens.
  • Osteosarcoma is the most common type of primary cancer. It is found in the early forms of bone cells and often occurs in young people between the ages of 10 and 30.

Bone metastasis differs from primary bone cancer because it spreads into the bone from an advanced cancer such as prostate cancer or breast cancer. This is more common than primary bone cancer. When bone metastasis occurs, the cancer cells will need the same treatment as the advanced cancer the metastasis stems from.

Signs and Symptoms of Bone Cancer

Because there are many different types of primary bone cancers, the symptoms can differ depending on the type, location and the extent of the cancer. Common symptoms associated with most types of bone cancer are pain, a lump or swelling, and fractures.

Similar to other cancer types, bone cancer can cause weight loss or fatigue. If the cancer has spread beyond the bone, you might experience symptoms specific to the infected part of the body. For example, if bone cancer spreads to the lungs, you might experience difficulty breathing.

Symptoms are typically associated with other conditions, such as injuries or arthritis. If you notice persistent symptoms related to bone cancer or metastasis, see a doctor to catch tumors early.

Expert Care

No two situations are the same. That’s why our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan that is unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to learn more.

Cancer Care and the Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is known to have a number of health benefits and helps sustain a higher quality of life. The amount of physical activity an individual participates in might change with age; at any stage of life, regularly engaging in a form of exercise can significantly impact your health.

Exercise can be anything from light physical activity to intense workouts. Activities like walking, running, dancing, biking, swimming, performing household chores and playing sports are great ways to be physically active.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there is strong evidence linking higher physical activity to lower cancer risk in several types of cancer including the following:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Stomach cancer

How Does Physical Activity Reduce the Risk of Cancer?

An over-sedentary lifestyle such as sitting, reclining, or lying down for extended periods of time (other than sleeping) increases the risk of developing chronic conditions and can lead to premature death. According to the National Cancer Institute, physical activity reduces the risk of cancer in these ways:

  • Prevents high blood levels of insulin
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves the immune system’s function
  • Alters the metabolism and bile acids which decrease exposure to the gastrointestinal tract to theses suspected carcinogens
  • Reduces the time it takes for food to travel through the digestive system which decreases gastrointestinal tract exposure to possible carcinogens
  • Helps prevent obesity which is a risk factor to many cancer types
  • Lowers the level of sex hormones such as estrogen and other growth factors that can be associated with cancer development and progression, more common in breast and colon cancers

What is an Appropriate Amount of Physical Activity?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, released in 2018, recommends the following to reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic disease in adults.

  • 150 to 300 minutes of light to moderate-intensity exercise or 75 to 100 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. Your weekly exercise routine can be broken into separate episodes of any length, just try to hit the weekly amount appropriate for the level of the aerobic intensity
  • Along with your aerobic exercise, add in at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities a week
  • Incorporate balance training to your workout routines

EXPERT CARE

No two situations are the same. That’s why our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan that is unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to learn more.