Countdown to the New Year – Top Ten Posts for 2014

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 31, 2014

The blog team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is counting down to the New Year by revisiting our top 10 blog posts published in 2014, beginning with number ten. We’d also love to hear from you – what were your favorites? Thank you for your comments, questions, and continued interest in HealthHub. We wish you a healthy and happy New Year.

#10 – Video – Comprehensive Spine Care

Certain spinal conditions, such as back pain, are very common. However, treating these conditions can require the expertise and coordination of more than one medical specialty. Often, the first step is conservative, non-operative treatment by physiatrists, pain management physicians, and other specialists. Learn how our surgical and non-surgical spine specialists collaborate on care for patients with spinal disorders.

#9 – Improving Joint Replacement:  Consultation through Recovery

Based on the work of the Care Improvement Team, led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Wright, Brigham and Women’s Hospital uses a standardized approach to total knee replacement that guides how patients should be treated, from the time they arrive at the hospital for a consultation to the care they receive after discharge. This process has improved patient outcomes.

#8 – Colorectal Cancer: Do Men and Women Have Different Symptoms

Risk factors for colorectal cancer — which include age, family history of the disease, or having Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis — are similar for men and women. However, lifestyle choices that may impact the risk can differ between men and women. These include obesity, lack of physical activity, low vitamin D, and consuming a high amount of red meat.


#7 – Should You Go without Gluten?

Many people are becoming increasingly concerned about eating foods containing gluten. Gluten is responsible for the reaction that damages the lining of the small intestine in celiac disease. It also has been linked to less serious gastrointestinal complaints, such as diarrhea and bloating. Read more about how gluten can affect your health and the benefits of avoiding it.


#6 – Keys to Preventing Lyme Disease

Dr. Nancy Shadick, a rheumatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and her team have developed entertaining, interactive programs to increase people’s knowledge about Lyme disease, the consequences of the disease, and prevention techniques. Play the game to learn how you can prevent Lyme disease, a tick-borne infection that can cause neurological and joint problems.

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What’s the Difference Between Melanoma and Skin Cancer?

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 29, 2014

It is important to visit your dermatologist with any questions or concerns about moles or unusual areas of the skin.

Many people consider skin cancer to be synonymous with melanoma. As May marks Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, it is important to understand that melanoma is only one type of skin cancer. Other forms of the disease are less aggressive and more common.

Melanoma is the rarest form of skin cancer, with approximately 76,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. It is also the most aggressive and the most likely to spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma begins in the melanocytes, which are the cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis. Possible signs of melanoma include a change in the appearance of a mole or pigmented area of the skin.

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Sun Safety – Reducing Your Melanoma Risk

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 5, 2014

Seek shade when the sun's rays are strongest – between 10am and 2pm, or when your shadow is shorter than you.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and the most common of all cancers among 25- to 29-year-olds in the U.S. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday®, a day to focus on raising awareness about this dangerous disease and other types of skin cancer.
Reducing your exposure to ultraviolet rays, from sunlight and artificial light, is one of the most significant ways to reduce your risk of developing melanoma. Although it isn’t summer yet, the effects of the sun now are similar to that of an early August day. To help you stay safe in the sun, here are some tips from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) dermatologist Dr. Deborah Scott, Director of the Laser and Skin Health Center, Co-Director of the Multicultural Dermatology Program, and Co-Director of the Hair Loss Clinic.

As you prepare to head outdoors, I would like to remind you that excessive sun exposure is one of the primary causes of skin cancer of all types, including melanoma. More than two million people are diagnosed with more than 3.5 million skin cancers annually, and this includes people of all skin colors. Many of these skin cancers could have been prevented with protection from the sun’s rays.

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A Healthy Summer Outdoors

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 7, 2013

Applying sunscreen is a key part of having a safe and happy summer.

Today’s blog post is written by Dr. Donald B. Levy, Medical Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Most of us will endure many bug bites and stings, and an occasional overdose of the sun, during the summer and fall. Here are a few hints from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other sources to stay healthy.

Use Sunscreens Effectively and Intelligently:
  • Throw away sunscreens older than 1–2 years since they lose their potency over time.
  • Learn about SPF (Sun Protection Factor), ultraviolet A (UVA), and ultraviolet B (UVB) protection. SPF refers to how long a person will be protected from a burn from UVB. SPF 15 means a person can stay in the sun 15 times longer before burning. SPF 30 sunscreens are not twice as protective as SPF 15. When applied properly, the amount of UVB radiation absorbed by sunscreens with SPF 15 is 93 percent; sunscreens with SPF 30 absorb 97 percent UVB rays, and sunscreens with SPF 50 absorb 98 percent of UVB rays. Products with SPF >50 provide almost no additional increase in the protection from UVB.

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Learn the ABCDEs of Skin Cancer

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 6, 2013

In addition to annual exams by a medical professional, you also should examine your own skin regularly.

The following post is based on a recent presentation at the BWH Kessler Health Education Library, given by Dr. Vinod Nambudiri, a resident in the BWH Department of Dermatology and BWH Department of Medicine. 

Did you know that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States each year, surpassing breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancers combined? In fact, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in his or her lifetime.

The most common skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, followed by melanoma and other skin cancers. When identified early, almost all skin cancers can be cured with treatment.

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Melanoma Myths and Facts

Posted by Blog Administrator April 27, 2012

woman in sun concerned about melanoma

Melanoma accounts for only 4 to 5 percent of skin cancer cases, but is responsible for most skin cancer-related deaths.

May has been designated Melanoma Awareness Month, bringing attention to the causes, risks, and treatments for this type of skin cancer. Often caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight, melanoma accounts for only 4 to 5 percent of skin cancer cases, but is responsible for most skin cancer-related deaths. When detected and treated in its earliest stages, however, melanoma is often curable. The key is to avoid overexposure to UV rays – by limiting time outdoors during the peak hours of sunlight and wearing sun-protective clothing and sunscreen – and to be on the lookout for changes in moles and other blemishes that can be an early sign of the disease.

As with many forms of cancer, melanoma is surrounded by a variety of myths and misperceptions regarding treatment and prevention. Here, Dr. Jennifer Lin of the Center for Melanoma Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center sets the record straight on five of the most common myths about melanoma.

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