Our July 2012 newsletter (there’s something special for summer inside!)
Learn more about Cornerstone’s exclusive technology, a special summertime offer, Jessica’s recent nerve-wracking leap, Dr. Dowd’s family vacation and some ideas for sweet treats. It’s all in this month’s edition of In Your Corner: July 2012!
(Not so) Sweet Dreams – When a Good Night’s Sleep Isn’t so Good
A study out this week in BMJ Open found an association between the use sleep medications and significantly higher mortality and cancer risks. Even the use of sleep medications fewer than 18 times per year was found to carry more than three times the mortality risk compared with no use. The risk seemed to be increased independent of things like smoking and alcohol use, and was seen with many different sleep medications. Click here to read a summary of the BMJ Open article.
Are you addicted to…Light?
Last year an Addiction Biology study looked at addiction and indoor UV tanning. With the cold, dark days of winter upon us, and many people taking up tanning to keep a “healthy glow”, we thought taking a look at this study might shed some light on the subject. The study found that people were able to tell if they received true UV light during their session or if it was false light. If it was false, they exhibited the same desire to tan after their session as they did before they went under the light. Furthermore the parts of the brain linked to addition lit up more when the tanners were exposed to the true UV lights. The study was a pilot study, but it’s findings are nonetheless intriguing.
So if you’re thinking about tanning at a salon, please think twice and use caution–it seems that it can create a true “UV addiction.” This, paired with UV radiation’s propensity to damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer, can be a dangerous combination. If you find yourself craving some light during the winter months, take the opportunity to engage in fall/winter activities like walking in the park, skating, football, etc.
More details can be found in the Abstract.
Vitamin E & Prostate Cancer
Another study showing that just because something has the word “vitamin” in it, doesn’t mean that it is good for you. Last month’s report on the SELECT trial, which looked at over 35,000 men, found that men taking vitamin E supplementation had a 17% increased risk for prostate cancer. The original study was actually stopped early because of the increased cancer risk, and now they’ve found that the increased risk has persisted despite the study and supplementation being stopped 3 years ago. Vitamin E is often included in multivitamins and is often praised as an antioxidant, but it seems that it fails to deliver in some important health conditions. Because some vitamins and supplements can be beneficial, and others appear to be harmful, I encourage you to talk with your physician about them. To help facilitate that conversation, bring in the bottles of the supplements you are taking.
The Mammogram Debate continues…
In 2009, new mammogram guidelines were issued by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), recommending that mammograms be given only once every two years. Further, these only advised routine testing for women between the ages 50-74. Now, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has released contrasting recommendations that providers not only offer mammograms to women annually, but to women as young as 40. According to ACOG, breast cancer, second only to skin cancer in women, tends to grow faster in younger women than in older women. The earlier tumors are identified, the less likely they are to spread, and the more likely they are to be treated successfully.
Part of the rationale behind the USPSTF’s opposition to routine mammograms in women under 50 was to decrease radiation exposure and to avoid unwarranted anxiety or surgical procedures from false positives. ACOG, while recognizing that not having mammograms every year may be more economical, believes that the true costs might be greater than what comes out of someone’s pocket.
At Cornerstone Private Practice, we believe that deciding when and how often to obtain mammograms is a choice that should grow out of a two-way dialogue with your doctor. Balancing the importance of limiting radiation exposure, anxiety, and possible surgical interventions versus the benefit of detecting breast cancer sooner is a personal decision best made in the context of a trusted doctor-patient relationship. (Photo from digitalart)
FDA’s New Graphic Cigarette Warnings
Following up on our posts from back in November, the FDA recently released nine graphic images which, come next summer, will be required to be on all cigarette packages, cartons, and advertisements alongside their warning labels. They’re intended to not only steer away potential smokers, but to actualize the risk of smoking. What do you think? To read the article and view the graphics, check out the Washington Post article. Warning: the images are graphic.
How Good is Your Sunscreen?
Dear 16-year-old Me
Who said Sunscreen doesn’t reduce Melanoma?
Did you know that there has been some controversy about whether or not sunscreen reduces all types of skin cancer? Melanoma prevention specifically was the subject of debate. Australian researchers recently reported findings that will make it harder for naysayers to continue arguing though. These researchers found that 10 years after a group of Australian adults were asked to use sunscreen daily, the incidence of invasive melanoma was decreased by 73%! The sunscreen used by the study group was SPF-16.
Happy Skin Cancer Awareness month!
The sunny days of summer will be here soon so somebody was thinking when they designated May to be Skin Cancer Awareness month. To help “celebrate” and do our part in raising awareness about the most common kind of cancer that affects humans, we’ll be featuring information about skin cancer in our blog entries, tweets and Facebook posts this month.
To start we thought we’d let you know about the new sunscreen recommendation labels that the Skin Cancer Foundation released this year. They’ve made 2 important changes. First they now require that sunscreens provide scientific proof of both UVA and UVB protection. Second there are now 2 different Seals: “Daily Use” for everyday incidental exposure, such as walking from your car to work, and “Active” for more extended outdoor exposure such as during sports, at picnics, etc. This image shows the new labels, and you can find more information about products that have already been approved and received one of the Seals here.