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28 Days of Cancer Prevention

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Day 1: Move more! Current research shows that being physically active can reduce your risk of certain types of cancer.

 

The Secrets About Eye Creams Revealed

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Not only is Dr. Marc Malek one of the best plastic surgeons in Scottsdale, he has a vast knowelege of skin care. Although I am young, It is never too early to start caring for your skin by using anti-aging products. But, do eye creams and serums really work? Let's see what Dr. Marc Malek has to say...

“Eye creams need to be soothing to the skin by applying the proper moisturization. They should create a smoothing effect on fine lines and wrinkles as they firm the skin by stimulating collagen production and promoting cellular regeneration,” says Dr. Marc Malek. “A proper eye cream should also decrease darkness and puffiness of the lower eyelids.”

I have always watched my mother and grandma use eyecreams but I really didn't know what separates eye creams from regular moistureizers. I never knew what the difference was until Dr. Marc Malek informed me:

“The skin composing the lower eyelid is significantly thinner than the rest of the face and is much more sensitive to topical products.  Moisturizers can be used around the eye area, but they may cause stinging or burning. The benefit of a cream specifically formulated for the eye area is that it will be less irritating than a typical moisturizer. A properly formulated eye cream will be milder and free of fragrances.” 

Now that I knew these key facts about eye cream I can feel more confident in using them. But the real questions is, how fast do they work? Everyone likes to see immediate results, however, Dr. Marc Malek says these creams can take up to 4-6 weeks before you notice any results. 

When you think about it, if doing something consistantly for 4-6 weeks will reduce under eye bags and get you on the path to looking younger {in my case holding on to my youth} heck, who wouldn't do it! 

For more information about Dr. Marc Malek visit http://marcmalekmd.com/

Also check out this post about Dr. Marc Malek http://arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/fitness/spa-wellness/q-a-one-of-the-best-plastic-surgeons-in-scottsdale/

 

The Straight Talk on Poor Posture: How to Improve Your Stance

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We grew up being told the importance to sit up straight, keep our shoulders back and avoid slouching. For some, this is where the association began that good posture is a chore. But where our elders may have been motivating us to look collected and poised, did you know posture is more than just looking confident? It has a significant impact on our overall health and wellbeing.

The basis of good posture is placing the spine in the correct alignment for optimal weight distribution to the joints. In the case that one side is favored over the other, the body overcompensates and bone spurs can form, increasing pain and limiting mobility while decreasing surrounding muscles that offer strength and support. Uneven weight distribution on the spine can also lead to loss in disc height, cartilage, neck and core muscles, which can further degeneration.

Although, bad posture can be a real pain in the neck, it can affect more than just mobility. Digestion and breathing can also be impaired as rounded shoulders push weight down on the organs that control those functions. It can also impact our happiness because studies have shown bad posture is linked to depression and increased stressed.

Unfortunately, our day-to-day lives can get in the way of healthy posture. Between work, the daily commute and household chores, our spines try to keep balance in our chaotic lives. What may seem harmless in a single moment over time, these habits over time can cause significant wear and tear on us.

The following daily activities are the biggest offenders when it comes to bad posture:

Sitting at your desk: Sitting is one of the leading causes of poor posture because the human body is not designed to attend meetings and stare at computer screens all day. The spine feels the strain of this unnatural practice as we cross our legs, hunch over desks, shift to one side and slouch in chairs. What may be comfortable for a short period of time can have a lasting impact on the spine.

Driving: The daily commute can be a pain for your posture . It is an inevitable part of the day, but the hours spent driving can also lead to uneven weight distribution. Since everyone has a preferred position while driving, whether it is leaning to one side, steering with one hand or slouching, the hours sitting in traffic can contribute to habits that are difficult to shake outside of the car.

Texting: Many cannot make it through the day without checking a cell phone multiple times. Over time, this repetitive habit can take a big toll on spine alignment, causing neck and shoulder pain.

Carrying your purse: For women who carry more than just a few odds and ends, a purse’s weight can be a big strain on posture, especially for women who prefer to carry their bag on the same side every time.

Housework: Chores may not be a fun way to spend the day, but neither is constant pain that can come from leaning over to do the dishes, sweep and mop the floors and any heavy lifting.

Although many of these activities are unavoidable, there are ways to correct a misaligned spine. A strong core is the key to good posture, and workouts that target this area can help reverse the effect. Sitting properly can also help maintain good posture. While sitting, be sure to keep feet on the ground with a small gap between the edge of the chair and knees, which should be hip-width apart. Keep the shoulders relaxed and arms parallel to the ground. Also try to get up frequently for short intervals to avoid remaining seated for long periods of time.

But perhaps one of the biggest ways to correct poor posture is self-awareness. Create checkpoints in your day and remind yourself to practice straight posture whenever possible.

The idea of correcting poor posture can seem daunting, as it is typically many years in the making of a bad habit, but these little practices can make a big difference to keeping a happy spine, happy muscles, happy body and a happy you.

Penny Bowen, M.D. is a musculoskeletal radiologist at EVDI Medical Imaging, the leading diagnostic imaging services across greater East Valley region.

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Banner MD Anderson Breast Center Fully Accredited for Providing High Quality Care

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The Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center Comprehensive Breast Program was recently granted a full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).This program is administered by the American College of Surgeons and the accreditation is for three years.

Accreditation was granted to Banner MD Anderson‘s Comprehensive Breast Program for its commitment to providing the highest level of quality for breast care. The program underwent a rigorous evaluation process and review of its performance, demonstrating compliance with all of the standards established by the NAPBC for treating women diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease. These standards included:

  • Center leadership
  • Clinical management
  • Research
  • Community outreach
  • Professional education
  • Quality improvement

“One of our major goals is to find new approaches and provide the best treatment options for our patients so they can win the fight against this disease,” said Dr. Mary Cianfrocca, director of breast medical oncology and the medical director of the clinical cancer genetics program at Banner MD Anderson. “This designation means that we’re committed to patient education, advocacy and awareness of advanced breast cancer treatments.”

The Banner MD Anderson Comprehensive Breast Program offers a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer treatment which means patients will find their breast health care needs in one location. Banner MD Anderson has highly skilled physicians, nurses and staff who are available to provide education and support to meet a woman’s needs when faced with a breast cancer diagnosis.

The NAPBC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with diseases of the breast. Receiving care at an NAPBC-accredited center like the Banner MD Anderson Comprehensive Breast Program ensures that a patient will have access to:

  • Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services
  • A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
  • Information about ongoing clinical trails and new treatment options
  • Quality breast care close to home

“Hundreds of thousands of women in the United States will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer this year,” Dr. Cianfrocca said. “Our mission is to make sure our patients are treated according to the highest standards and also given the educational tools they need to make informed decisions about their health.”  

Banner MD Anderson on the Banner Gateway Campus delivers cancer care to patients in Arizona through the collaboration of Banner Health and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner MD Anderson offers focused disease-specific expertise in the medical, radiation and surgical management of the cancer patient; an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to patient care; access to clinical trials and new investigative therapies; state-of-the-art technology for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of all types of cancer; oncology expertise in supportive care services.

 

Finding a Lump: What You Can Expect

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The last several years have done wonders for building awareness around the importance of early detection of breast cancer. The public has an understanding like never before of the life-saving measures that self-breast exams and regular mammograms can have on a woman’s health.

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While early detection and regular checks are incredibly important, many women are often baffled about what to do once they discover what they’ve been checking for – a lump in the breast. Many find themselves asking what happens next. Do I call my doctor immediately? What can I expect after that call? What are the chances this is cancer? 

As a radiologist specializing in breast imaging for EVDI Medical Imaging, I’m often one of the first doctors that women see, usually after being seen by their primary doctor. I hear first-hand the number of questions they have after finding a lump in their breast.

Below are five steps you can expect after you find a lump that will help give you an understanding of what lies ahead:

1. Call your primary physician. When doing your monthly self-breast exam, call your primary care physician if you feel any unusual changes in your breasts. It is important to start with your primary physician first, rather than calling a breast imaging center or a surgeon, because these specialists often require a referral. In addition, your primary physician will help you determine if this next step is even necessary. Once you have made this first call, your primary physician will guide you on what to do next.

2. Book an appointment with a referred specialist. As mentioned above, your primary physician will advise you on next steps. This will usually involve a mammogram, a breast ultrasound or both. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that can help determine if there is an abnormality associated with your lump. More importantly, the mammogram is used to screen the rest of the breast tissue for anything abnormal that cannot be felt. An ultrasound looks inside the breast by using soundwaves and can usually help breast imaging specialists determine if a lump is normal breast tissue, a liquid-filled cyst or a solid mass. Depending on an individual’s age and situation, one or both of these studies is usually needed to determine if the lump is concerning or not. Those results will determine if a future action, such as a biopsy, is needed.

3. Get a second opinion. Once the results of a mammogram, an ultrasound, or a biopsy are available, a doctor should be able to tell you if the lump is benign or cancerous. If it is normal or benign, a doctor will usually not recommend any further action; rather, he or she will likely encourage you to keep an eye on it and schedule a follow-up appointment. Sometimes an examination by a breast surgeon is recommended despite normal tests. For individuals who receive a breast cancer diagnosis, it is always wise to get a second opinion from other breast cancer specialists before scheduling surgery, beginning radiation or undergoing chemotherapy.

4. Become as knowledgeable as possible. Whether the lump is benign or cancerous, be sure to become knowledgeable about the next steps with your doctor and specialists. This means coming to doctor appointments with a written list of any questions, asking for informational pamphlets and chatting with other women who have been through a similar scenario. It is often helpful to bring a friend or family member with you as a second pair of “ears”. Be sure you are proactive in learning about your condition, which will help you make better decisions.

5. Check in regularly. Your doctor will have recommendations for the frequency of follow-up appointments or future procedures. It is important to follow through on scheduling these during the recommended time period for optimal health. Even if you have a cancer in remission, be sure to stay current on regular check-ups to make sure the cancer has not come back. Early detection of breast cancer is the key to a good outcome.

Dr. Thuy Vo is a radiologist specializing in breast imaging for EVDI Medical Imaging, the Valley’s leading imaging center. Visit http://www.evdi.com/.

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