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sunburning questions

A woman sunbathes in a beach in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, May 15, 2015. The Iberian Peninsula has experienced record high temperatures for May as thermometers shot up to levels normally only seen in midsummer. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) ORG XMIT: EM101

As the days get longer, the outdoors beckon. But longer days also mean stronger rays. Today marks the unofficial start of summer, and getting outside doesn’t mean you have to get a sunburn. Avoiding the sun’s damage can prevent skin cancer — the nation’s most common type of cancer, affecting one in five Americans, according… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, May 25, 2015

Why does my husband, who has had Alzheimer’s for over three years, constantly accuse me of infidelity? One of the most common types of delusions, false accusations of infidelity, are oftentimes seen in later stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The affected person is feeling insecure and experiences great anxiety over things happening in his/her life that cannot… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, May 25, 2015

Are there different types of brain tumors? Brain tumors occur when cells grow abnormally in the tissues of the brain. These growths can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors usually have clear borders, grow slowly and do not spread to other tissue. Malignant tumors are cancerous growths that can grow rapidly… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, May 11, 2015

It is totally uncharacteristic for my mom who has dementia to be cursing. How do I cope with this new personality trait? The dementia is robbing your mother’s ability to “filter” her words and inhibit her behavior. The inappropriate language erupts, oftentimes spontaneously, to the surprise of family and friends. Swearing can cause great… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, May 11, 2015

What type of sunscreen should I be using? The most important thing to look for when buying sunscreen is the term broad-spectrum. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Anyone over the age of 6 months should use sunscreen daily to help lower their risk of skin cancer and to protect their skin.… Continue reading →

Fit to the Core: Health guru advocates strong midsection for long-lasting function, avoiding injuries, back pain and keeping mobile

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Beginner Alternate Arm and Leg: 1. Start on your hands and knees.

A strong midsection doesn’t always look like washboard abs. Working on core muscles can guard against injuries and back pain and help you stay mobile as you get older, preaches Bill Gvoich, an exercise specialist who focuses on improving quality of life. “The body works as a unit, but the core is the strongest part,”… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, May 4, 2015

Do children get skin cancer? While pediatric skin cancer is rare, it is not unheard of. In addition, it is important to protect your children’s skin from the sun, as one blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles the chance of developing melanoma later in life. Non-blistering sunburns also increase the risk for melanoma and… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, May 4, 2015

Is excessive crying normal in Alzheimer’s disease? As the disease progresses and cognitive functions decline, some affected individuals may cry excessively, oblivious as to whether it is an inappropriate expression of emotion or not. He/she cannot control the display of emotions and sometimes finds it difficult to regain normal composure. The crying may or… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 27, 2015

What can you tell me about multiple myeloma? Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood that specifically affects plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight off disease. If a plasma cell becomes abnormal and begins to replicate, it becomes a myeloma cell. When these myeloma… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 27, 2015

My sister’s friends seemed to have stopped visiting as often as they were before she developed Alzheimer’s. Should I take the initiative and take my sister to visit them? It is not uncommon for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia to experience social isolation because of withdrawal from friends and other important people in their lives. Well-meaning… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 20, 2015

What can you tell me about kidney cancer? Kidney cancer forms in the tiny tubes inside of the kidneys. These tubes, when functioning properly, filter and clean your blood, taking out waste products and making urine. While there are different types of kidney cancer, around 85 percent of cases are renal cell carcinomas. Symptoms… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 20, 2015

My father is in end-stage Alzheimer’s and we would like to start the process to donate his brain for pathology studies. How do we get started in Louisiana? According to some Gallup studies, as much as 96 percent of Americans support organ and tissue donation, but do not understand the process. There is no brain… Continue reading →

Asthma kills 9 in U.S. every day: Louisiana teen’s death drives mother to organize walk for awareness

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Dianne Stallings holds a photograph of her late son, Marvin Stallings Jr., who died from an asthma attack in 2013. Since his death, Dianne Stallings has started TUFF, Turn Up For Fat, Marvin Jr.'s nickname, to raise awareness about the condition.

Marvin Stallings Jr. struggled with asthma all his life. It prevented “Fat” — his nickname after weighing 9 pounds at birth — from playing football, and he carried his inhaler everywhere. But his family never thought an asthma attack would be fatal. “This particular time he was fine,” said his mother, Dianne… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 13, 2015

What can you tell me about thyroid cancer? Thyroid cancer is a slow-growing cancer that is highly treatable and usually curable. Thyroid cancer occurs when a lump, or nodule, in the thyroid gland is cancerous. The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and located in the front of the neck, just above the top… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 13, 2015

How does hospitalization affect someone with Alzheimer’s disease? Any change from a familiar and/or structured environment can cause added stress in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Hospitalization can exacerbate the disease, in that it causes more anxiety, confusion and disorientation. A 2012 study in the online issue of Annals of Internal Medicine stated that hospitalization… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 6, 2015

What can you tell me about esophageal cancer? Esophageal cancer is malignant cancer of the esophagus, which is the long, hollow, muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. The primary function of the esophagus is to push food down into the stomach. Esophageal cancer is caused by an overgrowth of cells in the lining… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 6, 2015

What is causing my mom to rummage through everything in my house while she is staying with me? If she just started staying with you, then she might be looking for something familiar, something that will offer her some security and sense of comfort. Rummaging is very common in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. They… Continue reading →

Like magic, doctor puts patients at ease

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Dr. Neil Baum, a local urologist, is a registered clown with the Barnum and Bailey Circus.  He's also  a magician.

The urologist starts his exam with the line: “Pick a card! Any card!” Or maybe he’ll present you with a set of interlocking rings and a challenge: “Separate them … any way you can.” Dr. Neil Baum is a popular Uptown physician whose hocus pocus can’t be found in medical books. “Let’s face it,”… Continue reading →

Zero calories might not equal no fat: Diet soda linked to weight gain in older people

A customer selects a Diet Pepsi from a cooler at Handi Foods in Walesboro, Ind., Monday, Dec. 20, 2004.  These days the carbonated drink battleground is diet vs. regular, and it's looking increasingly as though the lightweight could flatten its full-calorie cousin.  (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)       Keyword Food Health

Some recent studies question whether diet sodas sweetened with artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet and Splenda actually help keep off the weight. This month’s Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published research from a long-term study of hundreds of people 65 years old and up in San Antonio, some who drank diet soft drinks regularly. The… Continue reading →

The Emperor of All Maladies: PBS, Ken Burns examine history of cancer research in new documentary

Rainbow/Science Faction/Corbis photo by DAN MCCOY -- In this scene from  A cancer researcher labels each protein in the radio nucleotide sequence of human genes to create a unique DNA profile.

For filmmaker Ken Burns, tackling the complete story of cancer was personal. “My mom died of cancer, breast cancer, when I was 11 years old, just a few months short of my 12th birthday,” Burns said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday. “There wasn’t a moment growing up that I wasn’t aware something was wrong with… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, March 30, 2015

Are certain foods related to cancer in a certain way? While there might be news stories on a regular basis claiming that individual food items can cause or prevent cancer, there is not significant research on the topic. One study took 50 common food items and looked at the results of cancer studies from the… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, March 30, 2015

What is meant by the term “mixed dementia?” Mixed dementia is a term used when someone has more than one type of dementia. Most commonly, mixed dementia is the terminology used when an someone has been diagnosed with both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. However, it can also refer to a combination of Alzheimer’s disease… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, March 23, 2015

Can drinking alcohol lead to cancer? According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol consumption increases the risk for many different types of cancer including cancer of the head and neck, esophagus, colon, liver and breast cancer in women. In general, these risks increase after about one daily drink for women and two daily… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, March 23, 2015

Why is integrating music important in the daily care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? Music has often been described as a universal language, and studies have shown that music can affect brain waves, brain circulation and stress hormones. Though there are no claims that music can cure a disease, research has shown music benefits… Continue reading →