The Post-Graduate Detox

Amber Coleman-MortleyIt’s graduation season and recent grads are finding themselves at the epicenter of the perfect storm of anxiety, nostalgia, debt, hopefulness and new beginnings. Graduation is a time of great joy but it can become a time filled with many unknowns. Handling these new feelings and situations takes a bit of practice and patience.

Twenty months ago, I found myself entering into a graduate program without any expectation other than receiving a Master of Communications while bolstering my knowledge and earning potential.  But the friendships I left with and the transformations I experienced created a safety net of sorts for me that I’d grown accustom to.  The effects of that final surreal week were not felt until the Monday after graduation was over.  Had I known that my body would need to readjust, I would have taken a week off of work.

I found myself sleeping excessively, emotionally confused and in a mental haze of sorts.  At one point I was lost on my smartphone, wondering which app would help me find my way down the street… Yes, it was that bad. What was happening to me?  (more…)

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Missed our Indoor Tanning Event, Don’t Fret…We’ve got a Recap

Tim_HeadshotOur Skin Cancer Awareness Month series comes to a close today. Below is a recap of Wednesday’s event co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses.

It was a late night call to Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi that made dealing with melanoma a personal experience. Tanzi, a dermatologist who previously had many difficult face-to-face conversations with patients to discuss a skin cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment options, had decided to test a sample of her own skin after discovering noticeable symptoms. She had no risk factors, limited sun exposure, and at 37 years of age, she hadn’t been in a tanning bed since she was college-aged.

But when she listened to her voicemail, she knew that her colleague’s urgency signaled that the news was bad; she just needed to know how badly her skin cancer had progressed.

Tanzi, who has now survived multiple bouts of melanoma, shared this courageous story and joined other fierce cancer prevention advocates to talk about the reality of skin cancer and the dangers of tanning. The Capitol Hill event, “The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College,” was co-hosted by Disruptive Women in Health Care and Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, a program of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. (more…)

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Birth of Pull the Plug on Tanning Beds

unpluggedWith May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with yesterday’s event co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are running a series on skin cancer. Be sure to check back daily for posts on skin cancer including how you prevent and detect it. Enjoy!

Eight years ago, my daughter Jaime died from melanoma, which the doctors believed was from her use of tanning beds in high school and college. She was diagnosed when she was 20 and fought the evil beast of a disease until her death at 29.

My Jaime’s story gave me the passion and conviction to become “the indoor tanning industry’s worst nightmare.” The day after Jaime’s funeral I began going after the indoor tanning industry and their lies and deception. I drew their wrath by commenting on magazine and newspaper articles on the internet about the dangers of tanning beds (see http://www.vice.com/read/i-was-paid-to-go-undercover-for-the-tanning-industry-122). Social media was in its infancy; Facebook and Twitter had not yet been born. (more…)

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Making an informed choice about indoor tanning

Tanzi-3701o rWith May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with our event today co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are running a series on skin cancer. Be sure to check back daily for posts on skin cancer including how you prevent and detect it. Enjoy!

I am so pleased to have the opportunity present on behalf of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) during  “The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses” event co-hosted by Disruptive Women in Health Care and Congressional Families for Cancer Prevention of the Prevent Cancer Foundation that takes place today.  The timing of this event is particularly appropriate for us because May is designated as Skin Cancer Awareness Month by the AAD which represents over 13,500 dermatologists in the United States.

Indoor tanning and skin cancer prevention are extremely important issues that we need to continue to address as one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.  (more…)

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Say no to Indoor Tanning Beds. Know More. Do Better.

Lisa McGovern headshot

With May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with our event today co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are running a series on skin cancer. Be sure to check back daily for posts on skin cancer including how you prevent and detect it. Enjoy!

I CONFESS

I went to a tanning bed before attending a destination wedding, thinking I was getting a “base coat” that would prevent me from getting a sunburn.

I used a sun lamp in high school, thinking it would clear my blemished skin.

I used to wrap a vinyl record album cover with aluminum foil to create a sun reflecting visor in an effort to focus and magnify the sun’s rays.

I used baby oil or sun tan lotion with an SPF of 2 or 4 when tanning.

But, in the words of Maya Angelou, “Now that I know better, I do better.” (more…)

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Addressing the risks of indoor tanning

RLD officialWith May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with our event Wednesday co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are running a series on skin cancer. Be sure to check back daily for posts on skin cancer including how you prevent and detect it. Enjoy!

It is not the kind of selfie we usually expect to see on Facebook. A young woman looks forlornly away from the camera, her face covered from top to bottom with bloody scabs—the result of treatment for skin cancer. The therapy is aggressive; but it is necessary, because at the age of just 27, Tawny Willoughby has had carcinoma six times. Almost every time she sees the dermatologist, she has to have more cancerous tissue removed. By posting her painful photo on Facebook, Tawny hopes to save others from a similar fate. At the time of writing, the image has already been shared almost 70,000 times.

Tawny’s risk of developing skin cancer was greatly increased by her frequent use of a tanning bed. Research published in the British Medical Journal links indoor tanning to more than 170,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. every year. People who start using tanning devices when they are young are in still greater danger. (more…)

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Why Don’t We Take Tanning As Seriously As Tobacco?

sherry pagoto at work2

With May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with our event Wednesday co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are running a series on skin cancer. Be sure to check back daily for posts on skin cancer including how you prevent and detect it. Enjoy!

In 2009, upon review of the science on tanning beds and cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer assigned tanning beds a class 1 carcinogen, joining tobacco and asbestos in the highest classification of harm. In spite of this development, skin cancer rates have steadily climbed over the last 3 decades. Rising prevalence is seen especially in young women, with an 8-fold increase since 1970. Melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer is now the most common cancer in young adults aged 25-29. Skin cancer is hitting young women especially hard because they are the heaviest users of tanning beds. Recent statistics reveal that 19% of teens and over half of university students have used tanning beds. The risk of indoor tanning to population health has even exceeded that of tobacco. One study reported that the number of cases of skin cancer attributable to indoor tanning (~450,000) now exceeds the number of cases of lung cancer attributable to smoking (~360,000). This epidemic comes with a price tag, with annual costs for skin cancer treatment in the US now exceeding $8 billion a year and increasing at a rate 5 times faster than other cancers. (more…)

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Scientific research: Association between indoor tanning bed use and skin cancers

Stapleton BBd 1 DVogel 0214With May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with our event Wednesday co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are running a series on skin cancer. Be sure to check back daily for posts on skin cancer including how you prevent and detect it. Enjoy!

There is mounting scientific research that shows an association between indoor tanning bed use and the risk of developing melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. I believe that significant public health efforts to reduce indoor tanning could greatly reduce the burden of skin cancer. I have spent the past several years developing a research program related to better understanding the decision to use indoor tanning beds among young women, particularly among those who are the most frequent tanners.  My current research has led me to greatly appreciate the powerful role that our culture and peers have on tanning as well as the nuanced understanding that tanners share about the various social benefits of being a tanner.  (more…)

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The Myths of Indoor Tanning

lebwohlWith May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with our event next week co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are running a series on skin cancer. Be sure to check back daily for posts on skin cancer including how you prevent and detect it. Enjoy!

A healthy glow. A base tan. Safer than the sun.

I’ve heard these myths from indoor tanning proponents for years. The reality is there is not a single ounce of scientific merit to validate these fallacies.

This Skin Cancer Awareness month, let’s put an end to the myths and get the facts straight.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization have declared ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds to be a known carcinogen. (more…)

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Nurse Executives & Nail Salons

aanderson_headshotI’ve been eyeing my colleagues’ manicures lately – a wardrobe staple, now that I work in nursing administration. The higher the title, the fancier the nails, it seems. Gone are the days where my closely trimmed, bare nails matched my simple scrubs. Dry cleaned suits and pumps are job requirements, and tasteful manicures seem highly recommended. Recently, I’ve considered picking up the practice, keeping my hands in my lap with rookie shame.

I learned early on in my nursing career that the intensive care unit was no place for manicured fingernails, but administration is a different story. The on-and-off of latex gloves, constant washing, and ever-present hand sanitizer that nixed my polish in a single shift aren’t as present as I walk the halls in my supervisory role. In a week, I might don a single pair of gloves, and although I can’t kick the compulsive habit of frequent hand washing, my work is heavy in polish-preserving tasks like e-mailing and making phone calls.

But after this weekend’s New York Times report on the dangers that NYC manicurists face, I wonder if nurses – bedside and executive alike – shouldn’t take a definitive stand against the practice altogether. (more…)


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Lyme Disease: The Great Imitator

Terri Prof Headshot 0412Spring is my favorite season. Warmer weather, budding flowers and lots of greenery in yards, gardens and parks encourages outside activities and fills me with energy. The spring season also brings out lots of crawling and flying critters like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, as well as some of the more unpleasant pests like ticks and mosquitos. If you enjoy spending time outside like I do, hiking, gardening or walking the dog, be aware that ticks and their bites can be not only annoying, but dangerous.

Jana’s Experience

Jana Braden found out how dangerous tick bites can be the hard way. She enjoyed the outdoors and never gave much thought to something as minor as ticks. Jana never even realized that she had been bitten by a tick, so when her eyes began to hurt, became red and extremely inflamed her doctor thought that it was conjunctivitis. (more…)

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A Look at the Impact of IT in Nursing

The infographic below was created by Adventist University of Health Sciences. It outlines how technology is being used to raise efficacy in nursing and health industries. As more hospitals implement IT nurses will be able to synchronize information between practices and pharmacies, transferring life-saving prescriptions and data in a matter of seconds. (more…)

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Predators and “Care”

stodder headshot DCWhile the media and many non-profits address the issue of  rape and sexual harassment in the military, few expand their discussion  to include  how the “VA Crisis” is perhaps part and parcel of the same profoundly unfriendly friendly fire. Just as there is an inherent conflict of interest in adjudicating rape through the Chain of Command, so too the expectation that the VA is going to fix itself is bogus. The delays in getting benefits, the difficulty veterans have in getting copies of their own charts, and the documented mismanagement and crime in the system all contribute to the secondary traumatization of all veterans, no matter what kind of injury they suffered. The magnitude of the fallout of all this, the  cascade of inflammation our veterans suffer should not be underestimated. Take a look at this discussion from the open Service page. It speaks volumes.

Mary Ellen Salzano: Medical records at the VA are incorrect. How to change them? and why can’t your doctors use Dragon technology so what is put in your file is recorded while you sit there? (more…)

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Feeling Grey About Fifty Shades

The following post originally ran on Huffington Post Women on April 16th and can be seen here. The author is Aimee Gallagher, MPH, MS the Scientific Program Manager at the Society for Women’s Health Research.

The much-anticipated release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its novel series precursor struck chords of concern among women’s health advocates. While the book sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been heralded as an erotic romance novel that is sexually liberating, the nature of the protagonists’ relationship is troubling because of its multiple aspects of domestic violence.

Domestic violence affects approximately one in three women [1]. Stalking, manipulation, intimidation, and rape all are forms of domestic violence and abuse. (more…)

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Service and heART

© darlene matthews

© darlene matthews

© Zyra Neal

© Zyra Neal

© BrriGette McCoy

© BrriGette McCoy

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