Monthly Archives: May 2013

On “Don’t Fry Day” Remember To Be Safe In The Sun: You Can Fry Your Chicken But Don’t Fry Yourself

Today is the beginning of Memorial Day weekend and the summer holiday season. It’s a day to remember to enjoy your fried chicken, while not frying your skin. (OK, fried chicken isn’t exactly healthy for you, but it is fun once in a while. Frying your skin is never healthy nor fun).

It is also Don’t Fry Day, an annual reminder of the need to be sun safe while we enjoy the outdoors during the summer months. [more]

Don’t Fry Day is a concept led by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and its many collaborating organizations including the American Cancer Society. The messages from the Council are simple and straightforward, and we would all do well to heed the warnings:

  • Do Not Burn or Tan
  • Seek Shade
  • Wear Sun-Protective Clothing
  • Generously Apply Sunscreen
  • Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow, and Sand
  • Get Vitamin D Safely

 

Simple messages that will help protect you from the ravages of the sun. And it’s not all about just skin cancer. It is also about the cumulative damage that is done to the skin over time from chronic sun exposure. Aging ain’t pretty, as some people find out when … Continue reading →

American Cancer Society Celebrates Its 100 Year Anniversary Today With A Vision Of Making This Century Cancer’s Last

One hundred years.

That is a long time. And although thriving, remaining relevant and engaged for 100 years is a remarkable accomplishment for any organization, the American Cancer Society today takes pride not only in reflecting on the accomplishments of the last 100 years but also in our commitment to continue the fight, and make this century cancer’s last.

A lot will be written about the remarkable accomplishments of the Society over the past century. The American Cancer Society takes pride in the fact that it has been able to serve millions of people during that time. It has put its mark on numerous improvements in the science and treatment of cancer. We have made incredible strides in understanding cancer, what causes it and what influences it, including the role of tobacco and overweight/obesity. We have funded 46 Nobel Prize winners at some time during their careers, frequently when they needed a start to develop their theory which led to great discoveries. And we have funded numerous investigators who have made other important and lifesaving contributions to understanding cancer and reducing its burden.

But the list is not complete. There is still too much we don’t understand about cancer, its … Continue reading →

Dr. Len Says: When It Comes To Skin Cancer, Do As I Say, Not As I Do

So May is skin cancer awareness month. No time like the present to come out with the news: I have been diagnosed with skin cancer.

There really isn’t much special about that, since it is a distinction I share with over 2 million Americans who have a skin cancer removed every year. Fortunately, for most, it is a cancer that is not of particular concern since most can be removed. But even those “simple” surgeries–as I have learned from my own experience–can be a bit problematic.

Occasionally it helps to find some humor in difficult situations, and this is one of those times. And since I am generally pretty open about what goes on in my aging body–in an effort to help others understand that they are not alone on some of these issues–I have to hold myself out as an example of what NOT to do when it comes to taking care of yourself.

You see, I am supposed to know this stuff about skin cancer. I know the risks, I know how to prevent it, I know what it looks like, and I know what we are supposed to do when we see a suspicious lesion. … Continue reading →

A New Genomic Test To Guide Prostate Cancer Treatment: What We Know And What We Don’t

Coming to an office near you: a new test that can “confidently” predict whether or not you need to have aggressive therapy for your newly diagnosed prostate cancer.

Really?

That’s what the press reports would lead you to believe. And it’s really going to catch your attention if you’re one of the tens of thousands of men who will have to decide what to do if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer that has what we call “favorable characteristics.” And with the test coming to market, you would assume that your doctor would have a good understanding of whether or not it works based on the available studies and information. But guess what? The likelihood of that is pretty low, because your doctor has probably been reading the same press reports as the rest of us, since the scientific studies that doctors should rely on to make decisions about this test are simply not available. But the website promoting the test is there for all to see.

Do I sound a bit skeptical? Well, maybe I am. Because if the PSA experience has taught us anything about testing for prostate cancer, it is that we should learn the evidence before … Continue reading →