Melanoma Rate Doubles; The Skinny on Healthy Weight and NBA Concussion Policy Under Review

The rate of diagnoses for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has doubled between 1982 and 2011, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says in a new report.

However, skin cancer prevention programs could prevent 20 percent of new cases between 2020 and 2030, the CDC says in this month’s Vital Signs report.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. More than 90 percent of melanoma skin cancers are due to skin cell damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure, most often from unprotected or prolonged exposure to sunlight or in tanning beds. Melanoma rates increased from 11.2 per 100,000 in 1982 to 22.7 per 100,000 in 2011.

By 2030, according to the CDC report, effective community skin cancer programs could prevent an estimated 230,000 melanoma skin cancers and save $2.7 billion dollars in treatment costs. “Successful programs feature community efforts that combine education, mass media campaigns and policy changes to increase skin protection for children and adults,” the CDC reports.

The report emphasizes that without additional community prevention efforts, melanoma will continue to increase over the next 15 years, with 112,000 new cases projected in 2030. The annual cost of treating new melanoma cases is projected to nearly triple from $457 million in 2011 to $1.6 billion in 2030.

Read more about skin cancer:

  • 5 Melanoma Myths
  • Tanning Salons Sued for Alleged False Safety Claims
  • Exposed! Sun Safety for Sporting Events
  • The Risks of Tanning
  • Decoding Sunscreen Labels
  • — John Fernandez

    The Skinny on Healthy Weight

    Debate about women’s healthy weight and what’s too thin resurfaced this week when the United Kingdom’s advertising watchdog banned a fashion magazine ad featuring a model they deemed “unhealthily underweight.”  The ban and the Advertising Standards Authority’s continued pressure on the U.K.’s fashion industry to promote healthy-looking models follows a two-fold increase in the number of British teenagers hospitalized for eating disorders in the last three years.

    Other recent crackdowns against media images glamorizing extremely thin models include backlashes in Israel and France. In April, France passed a law that would prosecute modeling agencies with fines and jail time for employing and promoting “undernourished” looking models.

    In the U.S., more people die from anorexia and bulimia, two of the most common eating disorders, than from any other mental health disorder, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Research published in Pediatrics found that two-thirds of girls in grades five through 12 in the U.S. say magazine pictures influence their body image ideals.

    Physician and nutritional experts at Baptist Health continue to promote healthy weight by encouraging patients to eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise and monitor body mass index (BMI). The doctors’ advice and BMI guidelines are included in several articles in this blog:

  • What is Your Healthy Weight?
  • Too Thin to Be Healthy?
  • Gallup: U.S. Obesity Rate Surges to 28%
  • Watch Now: The Dangers of Obesity & 5 Ways to Lose Belly Fat
  • Excess Weight, Shorter Life?
  • — Tanya Racoobian Walton

    Free Body Fat Composition Analysis
    In an effort to promote wellness and prevention, free body fat composition analysis  – a quick and painless scan that measures lean and fat tissue as well as bone density – is being offered at Baptist Medical Plazas in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties through June 30.  For more information and to schedule an appointment for the 20-minute, noninvasive scan, click here. Same-day appointments are available. A doctor’s prescription is required and you must be over the age of 21.

    NBA Players Union Takes a Hard Look at Concussions

    Game 1 of the 2015 National Basketball Association Finals concluded last night with an overtime win by the Golden State Warriors over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but one issue is far from over: concern about concussions.

    Michele Roberts — the NBA chief for the players union — wants to review the league’s policy and protocols about concussions. She has hired a neurologists to review the league’s policies and to make a recommendation about possible changes. The goal: to avoid having basketball players on the court with undiagnosed concussions, according to ESPN.

    Her concerns was generated by last week’s Western Conference finals when two Golden State Warriors — Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson — were injured in consecutive games, the network reports. In a news interview, Ms. Roberts said she was “mortified” after discovering that Mr. Thompson was cleared to play immediately during the game, but later received a diagnosis of a concussion.

    “Roberts is not convinced that players shouldn’t be held out longer out of caution after being hit in the head. While stressing she is a lawyer, not a doctor, and that she will wait to hear what the medical experts tell her, she also said one player being allowed back in a game with a concussion is too many,” ESPN reports.

    A concussion is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. The injury usually alters how the brain functions — for a relatively short period of time in most cases. Except for possible cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury. The brain can be jarred inside the skull, damaging brain cells. Because of even a small chance of permanent brain problems, it is important to contact a doctor or head for the emergency room for proper diagnostics and treatment if you or someone you know has symptoms of a concussion.

    Here are more articles about concussions:

  • Watch Now: Heads Up – Brain Injury Awareness In Teen Athletes
  • Concussions Hit Younger Athletes Harder
  • Student Athletes Learn About Concussion Prevention and Proper Nutrition
  • –Sharon Harvey Rosenberg

    Healthcare that Cares

    With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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