We are so proud of our Run SSHS Team – Running As One – in the Boston Marathon as part of the John Hancock non-profit program.
Despite all the attention October brings to breast cancer awareness, the disease remains a significant health risk for many women. In fact, one in eight women in the United States will be affected by breast cancer at some point in her lifetime—the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
Emphasis has long been placed on the importance of regular examinations and mammograms to test for signs of breast cancer to find the disease in its earliest stages, increasing the chance of successful treatment and survival.
But did you know that not all mammograms are created equal? As technology continues to evolve, it’s important to keep abreast of the different types of screening tools available so that you can have an informed discussion with your primary care physician or other health care provider.
“I’m going to orientation.”
When people hear that phrase, they associate it with positive milestones in life, such as heading off to college or starting a new job. But for patients with a cancer diagnosis, getting oriented to their upcoming treatment meets only the dictionary definition of the phrase: “To acquaint with the existing situation or environment.”
As parents schedule their well-child visits, one vaccine that parents of older children have a lot of questions about is the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. HPV causes more than 30,000 cases of cancer in the U.S. every year and is the primary cause of cervical cancer in women. It’s also a contributing cause to several other types of cancer in women and men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children receive the HPV vaccine around age 11 to ensure maximum effectiveness, but only around half of kids are actually getting the vaccine.
As a pediatrician, I talk to parents often about their concerns with the vaccine. It can make parents of preteens particularly uncomfortable to think about a vaccine that prevents against the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). But it’s critically important to your child’s health as he or she enters adulthood.
Summer will officially be here in a few days, and with all the outside fun comes more exposed skin and more risk for skin cancer. Skin cancer occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. There are several different types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. While non-melanoma skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in US—more than 2 million people diagnosed each year—melanoma is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.
South Shore Hospital’s Breast Care Center has been granted another three-year, full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.
Before I personally became affected by its dreadful presence post-breast cancer treatment, I simply joined the rest of society’s collective yawn in not really concerning myself or knowing much about lymphedema at all. In fact, prior to diagnosis, I had no clue that March was Lymphedema Awareness Month.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it the second-most common cancer affecting American men (skin cancer is the first). Fortunately, however, treatment for prostate cancer is highly effective. More than 2.9 million men in the US who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today.
It is important to understand that prostate cancer doesn’t always present with any noticeable symptoms—especially in the early stages. As the disease advances, a tumor develops, causing the prostate gland to swell. This is when you will more than likely begin to notice symptoms.
Not unlike the all too familiar “birds and bees” conversation we may have had with our parents growing up, discussing colons and rectums with our physicians can seem less than comfortable for many. Our primary care physicians; however, are often the first to introduce us to the importance of screening exams—even screenings that take place in those embarrassing places.
Every year, millions of Americans pledge their New Year’s resolutions—vowing to make a healthy start to the year ahead. While diet and exercise changes top the list, preventive care and health screenings are just as important to start your year off right.