For many years, doctors have known that screening for certain cancers saves lives. Breast cancer and prostate cancer are two examples. Now you can add lung cancer to that list. The National Lung Screening Trial results show screening people at high risk of lung cancer with CT scans lives. To learn more, visit http://mayocl.in/2xJdaq0
Forty years ago Army Staff Sgt. Walt Myers was exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange in Vietnam. Now he suffers profound muscle weakness in his legs. He was facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair. But thanks to a special knee brace developed at Mayo Clinic, Myers is walking tall.
Learn more about the new Mayo Clinic W. Hall Wendel Jr. Musculoskeletal Center by clicking here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/musculoskeletal-center-rst/
A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can be devastating news. It is often very aggressive and tough to treat. But research offers great hope for patients in terms of early diagnosis and better treatments. Here’s the story of one woman, a patient at Mayo Clinic, who is winning her battle with pancreatic cancer.
Mayo Clinic cardiologist Fred Kusumoto, M.D., discusses cryoablation for treatment of atrial arrhythmia. To learn more or to request an appointment, please visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-fibrillation/home/ovc-20164923?mc_id=global&utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=sm&utm_content=dysrhythmiaheart&utm_campaign=mayoclinic&geo=global&placementsite=enterprise&cauid=103944. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rate that can increase the risk of other heart-related complications. Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include dizziness, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Atrial fibrillation also increased the risk of stroke. A new treatment used at Mayo Clinic called cryoablation can aid in the treatment of atrial fibrillation. During the procedure a catheter is inserted into the area of the heart with the arrhythmia and a balloon is deployed freezing the area causing the atrial fibrillation.
Don’t worry — you’re just tired and out of sorts after having your baby. But the chest pain experienced by the woman you’re about to meet was much more than a difficult recovery. She had a heart attack when a rare and deadly condition stopped blood flow to her heart. The same thing happened to another woman. After sharing their stories on social networking sites they found more women with the same problem. That’s when they contacted Mayo Clinic to convince cardiologists to use the information they gathered on the internet to research this condition.
A spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) (occasionally coronary artery dissection)
is a rare, sometimes fatal traumatic condition, with eighty percent of cases affecting women. One of the coronary arteries develops a tear, causing blood to flow between the layers which forces them apart. Studies of the disease place the mortality rate at around 70%.
SCAD is a primary cause of myocardial infarction (MI) in young, fit, healthy women (and some men) with no obvious risk factors. These can often occur during late pregnancy, postpartum and peri-menopausal periods.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms are often very similar to those of myocardial infarction (heart attack), with the most common being persistent chest pain.
There is evidence to suggest that a major cause of spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is related to female hormone levels, as most cases appear to arise in pre-menopausal women, although there is evidence that the condition can have various triggers. Other underlying conditions such as hypertension, recent delivery of a baby, fibromuscular dysplasia and connective-tissue disorders (e.g., Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) may occasionally result in SCAD. There is also a possibility that vigorous exercise can be a trigger. However, many cases have no obvious cause.
Coronary artery dissection results from a tear in the inner layer of the artery, the tunica intima. This allows blood to penetrate and cause an intramural hematoma in the central layer, the tunica media, and a restriction in the size of the lumen, resulting in reduced blood flow which in turn causes myocardial infarction and can later cause sudden cardiac death.
A selective coronary angiogram is the most common method to diagnose the condition, although it is sometimes not recognised until after death.Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is also used as it is able to more easily differentiate the condition from atherosclerotic disease.
Treatment is varied depending upon the nature of the case. In asymptomatic and hemodynamically stable patients it may be appropriate to maintain a conservative strategy, especially if coronarography demonstrates adequate coronary flow: in this situation spontaneous healing is usually the most probable evolution. In severe cases, coronary artery bypass surgery is performed to redirect blood flow around the affected area. Drug-eluting stents and thrombolytic drug therapy are less invasive options for less severe cases. However PCI for spontaneous coronary artery dissection is associated with high rates of technical failure, so in many case a strategy of conservative management may be preferable.
The condition is often fatal and is mostly recognized at postmortem examination in young victims of sudden death.
The prevalence of spontaneous coronary dissection varies from about 1% to 4% of all coronarography. About eighty percent of cases are in women, with an average age of around 40.
Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) was first described in the year 1931, at postmortem examination, in a 42 year old woman.
Wheat is the grain on which Western civilization was built. It’s been used for thousands of years as the foundation of our diet. But 1 out of 100 Americans has a condition called celiac disease, which is an intolerance to wheat, barley and rye. Its symptoms can be subtle, but if you don’t stick to a gluten-free diet you could be damaging your body and not even know it. More from Mayo Clinic.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
The hormone has many important functions, including:
- the development of the bones and muscles
- the deepening of the voice, hair growth, and other factors related to appearance
- the production of sperm
Testosterone production can slow as a person ages, and many older men have symptoms of low testosterone.
The American Urology Association define low testosterone as less than 300 nanograms (ng) of the hormone per deciliter (dl) of blood. They also reported that about 2 in every 100 men have low testosterone.
Twelve signs and symptoms
Below are common signs and symptoms of low testosterone in males. Females may also experience some of the following.
1. Problems with erections
Low testosterone may cause fatigue and mood changes.
Low testosterone can make it difficult to get or maintain erections.
Testosterone stimulates the penile tissues to produce nitric oxide, which starts several reactions that result in an erection.
If levels of the hormone are too low, a man may not be able to get an erection.
The following are other factors that can cause erectile dysfunction:
- thyroid-related issues
- high cholesterol
- stress or anxiety
- alcohol consumption
- high blood pressure
2. Hair loss
Many men experience hair loss as a natural part of aging, and age-related hair loss can also affect women.
Authors of a study from 2012 found that testosterone implants supported the regrowth of hair in some women who were receiving treatment for symptoms of sex hormone deficiency.
3. Reduced bone mass
Testosterone helps to produce bone tissue and maintain bone volume.
Low testosterone can lead to a reduction in this volume, which can make the bones more susceptible to fractures.
4. Reduction in testicle size
A male with low testosterone may notice a reduction in the size of their testicles that is not related to cold temperatures.
The scrotum may also feel softer than usual.
5. Reduction in the amount of semen
Semen is the fluid that makes up the majority of male ejaculate. This type of fluid helps the sperm move toward the egg.
Testosterone helps stimulate the production of semen, and reduced levels of semen can indicate a reduction in testosterone. It can also lead to trouble with fertility.
6. Difficulty sleeping
Men with low testosterone may find it difficult to fall or stay asleep.
Many males with low testosterone also have sleep apnea. This potentially severe disorder causes a person to temporarily stop breathing, which can disrupt sleep.
7. Lowered sex drive
Men with low testosterone often experience a reduction in sex drive.
A diminishing sex drive occurs naturally with age, but when the cause is low testosterone, a man will notice a significant decrease in the desire for sex.
8. Reduced muscle mass
Testosterone plays a role in the development of muscle mass, and reduced levels of the hormone can result in a significant loss of muscle mass.
However, as low testosterone causes a decrease in mass, the function and strength of the muscles do not diminish, according to the findings of a 2016 review.
9. Hot flashes
While many people associate hot flashes with estrogen levels that fluctuate during menopause, low levels of testosterone may also cause this symptom.
10. A decrease in energy levels
Low testosterone can lead to reduced levels of energy and fatigue.
A person may feel tired, even after adequate rest, or they may develop a diminished interest in exercise or movement.
11. An increase in body fat
A reduction in testosterone can lead to an increase in body fat.
In some cases, men with a deficiency of the hormone develop gynecomastia, which causes an enlargement of the breasts.
12. Changes in mood or mood swings
Some evidence suggests that men with low levels of testosterone are likely to experience a lack of focus, irritability, and depression.
When to see a doctor
A doctor may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy if a person displays a number of symptoms.
Low testosterone does not always present symptoms, and some people only learn about it after a routine physical examination with bloodwork.
However, anyone who experiences one or more of the symptoms listed above should seek medical attention.
To diagnose low testosterone, a doctor will often perform a physical evaluation and review the person’s symptoms. The doctor may also request testing to look for additional signs.
For example, a bone density test can show diminished bone mass, one result of low testosterone.
The most common treatment is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
A doctor will typically only prescribe TRT if the person has several symptoms of low testosterone as well as blood test results that indicate a deficiency.
There are several delivery methods of TRT, including:
- skin patches
- tablets that dissolve in the mouth
- surgically implanted pellets that release the hormone
Most people will notice relief from symptoms within 4–6 weeks of starting TRT.
Natural ways to boost testosterone levels
Having a nutrient-rich diet can help improve testosterone levels.
Weight loss and exercise can often increase testosterone levels.
While changes to the lifestyle and diet alone may not raise levels sufficiently, they can often help.
It is important to keep in mind that men typically lose testosterone as they age, and the potential benefits of lifestyle changes also decrease over time. Exercise, for example, often shows more significant results in younger people.
To support a boost in testosterone levels, the diet should be rich in nutrients. It may help to incorporate some of the following foods into the diet:
- fortified cereals
- milk enriched with vitamin D
Avoid natural supplements that promise to increase levels of testosterone. While they may not harm the body, they are unlikely to produce the desired results.
A doctor can often suggest other safe ways to boost testosterone levels.
The American Urology Association report that low testosterone affects around 2 out of every 100 men. The risk increases with age, though most men naturally lose testosterone as they grow older.
Most cases of low testosterone are treatable, and being aware of the symptoms can help a person to receive an early diagnosis and treatment
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer for which there is no cure. But treatment for this disease has improved greatly in recent years. Patients can live in remission for a long time. The man you’re about to meet was diagnosed with multiple myeloma last year, and after an intense battle, he is winning.
There is a disease that strikes just 300 Americans each year. Yet, it is a nightmare that some have described as a lightening quick version of Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s diseases combined. For families losing loved ones, research holds the only hope.
Here’s Dennis Douda for Medical Edge.
Every year up to two thousand people in the United States and Canada die from anaphylaxis — a serious allergic reaction. The most common causes are allergies to peanuts, insect bites and seafood. But not all anaphylactic reactions are severe. They can be mild with subtler symptoms. And most people don’t know that if you’ve had a mild reaction in the past, you’re at risk of having a life threatening one in the future. More from Mayo Clinic on a new anaphylaxis awareness campaign.
Published Thursday 17 July 2014
By Honor Whiteman
The sun is shining, so what are your plans? For many of us, the answer will be to hit the beach and soak up the rays. But while you are busy packing beachwear and towels, are you considering the dangers of sun exposure?
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation – from the sun, tanning beds, lamps or booths – is the main cause of skin cancer, accounting for around 86% of non-melanoma and 90% of melanoma skin cancers. In addition, excessive UV exposure can increase the risk of eye diseases, such as cataract and eye cancers.
The health risks associated with exposure to UV radiation have certainly been well documented, so much so that the World Health Organization (WHO) have now officially classed UV radiation as a human carcinogen.
This year alone, Medical News Today reported on an array of studies warning of UV exposure risks. One study, published in the journal Pediatrics, revealed that tanning bed use among youths can increase the risk of early skin cancer, while other research found that multiple sunburns as an adolescent can increase melanoma risk by 80%.
Furthermore, in response to reported health risks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently changed their regulation of tanning beds, lamps and booths. Such products must now carry a visible, black-box warning stating that they should not be used by anyone under the age of 18.
How does UV radiation cause damage?
UV radiation consists of three different wavebands: UVA, UVB and UVC. The UVC waveband is the highest-energy UV but has the shortest wavelength, meaning it does not reach the earth’s surface and does not cause skin damage to humans.
However, UVA has a long wavelength and accounts for 95% of solar UV radiation that reaches the earth’s surface, while UVB – with a middle-range wavelength – accounts for the remainder. Tanning beds and tanning lamps primarily emit UVA radiation, sometimes at doses up to 12 times higher than that of the sun.
Both UVA and UVB radiation can damage the skin by penetrating its layers and destroying cellular DNA. UVA radiation tends to penetrate deeper layers of skin, known as the dermis, aging the skin cells and causing wrinkles. UVB radiation is the main cause of skin reddening or sunburn, as it damages the outer layers of the skin, known as the epidermis.
Excessive UV exposure can cause genetic mutations that can lead to the development of skin cancer. The browning of the skin, or a tan, is the skin’s way of trying to stop further DNA damage from occurring.
Of course, it is not only the skin that can be subject to damage from UV radiation. Bright sunlight can penetrate the eye’s surfaces tissues, as well as the cornea and the lens.
Ignoring the risks of UV exposure
But regardless of the numerous studies and health warnings associated with UV exposure, it seems many of us refuse to take note.
A 2012 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 50.1% of all adults and 65.6% of white adults ages 18-29 reported suffering sunburn in the past 12 months, indicating that sun protection measures are not followed correctly, if at all.
A more recent study from the University of California-San Francisco stated that the popularity of indoor tanning is “alarming” – particularly among young people.
The study revealed that 35% of adults had been exposed to indoor tanning, with 14% reporting tanning bed use in the past year. Even more of a concern was that 43% of university students and 18% of adolescents reported using tanning beds in the past year.
Overall rates of tanning bed use, the researchers estimate, may lead to an additional 450,000 non-melanoma and 10,000 melanoma skin cancer cases every year.
It seems unbelievable that so many of us are willing to put our health at risk to soak up some sunshine. So why do we do it?
The desire for a ‘healthy tan’
A recent study published in the journal Cell suggested that UV radiation causes the body to release endorphins – “feel-good” hormones – which makes sun exposure addictive.
But Tim Turnham, executive director of the Melanoma Research Foundation, told Medical News Today that many people simply favor a tanned body over health:
“Despite elevated awareness of the dangers of UV radiation, people still choose to ignore the dangers in the pursuit of what they consider to be a ‘healthy tan.’ This is particularly an issue among young people who tend to ignore health risks in favor of enhancing their social status and popularity. We know that tanning appeals to people who are interested in being included, and this is a primary driver for teens – being part of the ‘in’ crowd.”
Anita Blankenship, health communication specialist at the CDC, told us that the desire for a tan is particularly common among young women.
“In the US, nearly 1 in 3 young white women ages 16-25 years engages in indoor tanning each year,” she said. “These young women may experience pressure to conform to beauty standards, and young people may not be as concerned about health risks.”
Turnham agreed, telling us that the indoor tanning industry specifically targets this population. “Aggressive marketing, deep discount and package deals are used routinely by tanning salons, who market their services preferentially to young women,” he said.
Blankenship added that the public are also presented with “conflicting messages” when it comes to the safety of excess UV exposure. She pointed out that a recent US report found that only 7% of tanning salons reported any harmful effects from tanning beds, booths or lamps, while 78% reported health benefits.
“It is important to monitor deceptive health and safety claims about UV exposure, as they may make it difficult for consumers to adequately assess risk,” she told us. “It is important for people to understand that tanned skin is damaged skin, and that damage can lead to wrinkles and early aging of the skin, as well as skin cancer including melanoma – the kind of skin cancer that leads to the most deaths.”
Progress has been made, but more needs to be done
This month is UV Safety Month – an annual campaign that aims to increase public awareness of the health implications caused by UV exposure.
With the help of such campaigns and an increase in studies detailing UV risks, many health care professionals believe there has been a change for the better in attitudes toward UV exposure.
Many health care professionals believe much progress has been made in increasing awareness of UV exposure risks in recent years, but more needs to be done.
“Certainly the scientific community, a number of federal agencies, and possibly the general public are more aware of the risk of UV exposure,” a spokesperson from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) told Medical News Today.
“Action and more coordinated efforts increased markedly about 4 years ago, when a number of epidemiological studies documented the harms of indoor tanning, the FDA held their scientific advisory committee meeting to discuss need for changing indoor tanning device regulations, and they also acted on their previous proposals to change sunscreen regulations.”
The spokesperson continued:
“We think these summaries acted as a catalyst for efforts to make the public and policy makers aware of the risks of indoor tanning, and also they gave a boost to efforts to increase awareness of outdoor sun exposure risks and encourage sun safe protective behaviors.”
In addition, some studies have indicated that many youngsters may even be moving away from the use of tanning beds. A recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students, indoor tanning activity decreased from 15.6% in 2009 to 12.8% in 2013.
Turnham told us that since sunless tanning – such as the use of spray tans – is on the increase, it may be that youngsters are using this as an alternative to tanning salons. But the NCI spokesperson said such an association needs to be investigated before any conclusions can be reached:
“We do not know if changes in indoor tanning are related to increases in use of spray-on and sunless tanning products and services,” they told us. “Some studies indicate that sunless products and services are used by people who continue to engage in indoor tanning, but it is an area we continue to research. We are hopeful that we will be able to measure this in an upcoming national survey supplement that is being developed by NCI and CDC.”
But despite widespread efforts to increase UV safety awareness, Turnham believes there is still a lot more that can be done to protect public health:
“Regulators could and should do much more to fight the ravages of UV exposure. We need federal legislation banning the use of tanning beds by minors. We need more funding for awareness and prevention efforts.”
He added that doctors can also play a role in increasing UV exposure awareness by warning patients of associated risks – something the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommend. They state that health care providers should counsel fair-skinned youths between the ages of 10 and 24 about the risks of indoor tanning and how to protect themselves against UV radiation from the sun.
However, Turnham noted that doctors do not have much time with each patient and proposes that signage in waiting areas warning of the risks of UV exposure may also be effective.
Protecting against UV radiation
Whether there will be further regulation for indoor tanning or an increase in awareness efforts is unclear. But one thing is certain: we can help ourselves to avoid the negative health implications associated with UV exposure.
The American Cancer Society notes young children need extra protection from the sun, as they spend more time outside and can burn easily.
The CDC recommend the following for protecting against UV radiation:
- Stay in the shade if possible, particularly when the sun is at its strongest – usually around midday
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat that provides shade for your head, face, ears and neck
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation
- Use sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 that protects against UVA and UVB radiation, and reapply every 2 hours
- Avoid indoor tanning.
In addition, the American Cancer Society notes young children need extra protection from the sun as they spend more time outside and can burn easily. They add that babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight and be covered with protective clothing. Sunscreen should never be used on an infants skin.
As we embark on the glorious, sunny days of the summer season and enter into the Fourth of July Celebration, let’s do all we can to protect ourselves and our little ones from UV rays’ potential threats to our skin. Remember, UV rays are the major causes of several deadly skin cancers and sunscreen is one of the most easy and accessible ways to protect against them. So, get out those sunscreen tubes and cover your head with a hat and your eyes with some shades because sun protection is trending today and everyday!
And, if you do find an odd spot on your body’s biggest organ, you can use HealthLynked to find a great physician near you and get the help you need. Simply go to HealthLynked.com and sign up for free, then Connect and collaborate through HealthLynked to heal your skin!
May 8, 2018
Certain genes can determine which people are more at risk of getting sunburn and possibly develop skin cancer as a result..
In a trawl of the genetics of nearly 180,000 people of European ancestry in Britain, Australia, the Netherlands and United States, researchers found 20 sunburn genes.
Eight of the genes had been associated with skin cancer in previous research, according to findings published in the journal Nature Communications.
And in at least one region of the genome, “we have found evidence to suggest that the gene involved in melanoma risk… acts through increasing susceptibility to sunburns,” co-author Mario Falchi of King’s College London told AFP.
Sun exposure is critical for the body’s production of vitamin D, which keeps bones, teeth, and muscles healthy, and which scientists say may help stave off chronic diseases, even cancer.
But too much can be painful in the short-term, and dangerous for your health.
The new study, which claims to be the largest to date into the genetics of sunburn, helps explain why people with the same skin tone can have such different reactions to exposure to sunlight—some burn red while others tan brown.
It may also begin to explain factors in skin cancer risk.
“It is necessary to explore these genes in more detail, to understand the mechanism by which they contribute to propensity to burn,” said Falchi.
In future, the research may help identify people at risk, through genetic testing.
“People tend to ‘forget’ that sunburns are quite dangerous,” said Falchi.
“Given the rise in incidence in skin cancer, we hope that knowing there is a genetic link between sunburn and skin cancer may help in encouraging people to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
More information: Genome-wide association study in 176,678 Europeans reveals genetic loci for tanning response to sun exposure, Nature Communications (2018).
Journal reference: Nature Communications