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Last Updated: May 15, 2012 05:41PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

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It's Melanoma Monday: Go Get Checked Out!

May 07, 2012 ● By Anonymous

Doing a little detective work can go a long way in finding skin cancer, the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States, at its earliest, most treatable stage. However, a new survey found that many people do not know how to spot skin cancer and are unaware of their risk of developing the disease. In an effort to increase the public’s understanding of skin cancer and motivate people to change their behavior to prevent and detect skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) today launched the new SPOT Skin Cancer™ public awareness initiative. The campaign’s simple tagline – “Prevent. Detect. Live.” – focuses on the positive actions people can take to protect themselves from skin cancer, including seeing a dermatologist when appropriate. “Unlike other types of cancer that can’t be seen by the naked eye, skin cancer shows obvious signs on the surface of the skin that can be easily detected by properly examining it,” said board-certified dermatologist Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD, president, American Academy of Dermatology. “The goal of SPOT Skin Cancer™ is to help save lives by educating the public on how to protect themselves from the sun and how to examine their skin for suspicious spots.” In Easton, Shore Health System and the Talbot County Health Department is offering free screenings for adults 18 and older on May 16th. Appointments are available between 5pm and 8pm at the Talbot County Health Department, 100 S. Hanson Street in Easton. To schedule an appointment for the May 16 skin cancer screening, call Shore Regional Cancer Center, 410-820-6800. Almost three-quarters of respondents (74 percent) did not know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.Only half (53 percent) of respondents knew how to examine their skin for signs of skin cancer.Thirty percent of respondents were either unsure or did not know that skin cancer can be easily treated when caught early.“When it comes to skin cancer, our survey demonstrates that knowledge is power,” said Dr. Siegel. “For example, respondents who know how to examine their skin for signs of skin cancer were more than twice as likely to have shown suspicious moles or spots to a medical professional as those who did not know how to spot the warning signs of skin cancer on their skin. In some instances, this knowledge can mean the difference between life and death, which is why it is so important to see a dermatologist if you notice a spot on your skin that is changing, itching or bleeding.”SKIN CANCER FACTS: More than 3.5 million skin cancer cases affecting 2 million people are diagnosed annually.Current estimates are that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent.Monday, May 7, is Melanoma Monday® and the official launch of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month®. Also debuting on Melanoma Monday® is the SPOT Skin Cancer™ program’s new website www.spotskincancer.org where visitors can learn how to perform a skin self-exam, download a body mole map for tracking changes in your skin, and find free skin cancer screenings in their area. Those affected by skin cancer also will be able to share their story via the website and download free materials to educate others in their community.

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What's Up Magazine
Never Too Old to Play

May 02, 2012 ● By Anonymous

The May 2012 theme for Older Americans Month is, Never Too Old to Play. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging, the month-long event salutes the contributions of Americans in the 65+ age category. The theme also encourages older Americans to maintain a healthy lifestyle. “Americans are living longer,” said Vivienne Halpern, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “The average life expectancy is 83 years of age. More than 39.6 million Americans are over age 65. By comparison, there were just 17 million Americans over age 65 when President Kennedy created Older Americans Month in 1963. Back then, the average life expectancy was just 69.9 years.” Walk & Talk - The West Wing Reunion from Martin Sheen The ensuing 49 years has challenged Baby Boomers to remain active. “Thirty minutes of moderate physical activity each day is vital,” said Dr. Halpern. “Physical activity can help guard against the three leading causes of death today - heart disease, cancer, and stroke.” Physical activity can: Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseaseLower blood pressureImprove cholesterol levels Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes by helping to control glucose levelsReduce the risk of colon and breast cancerStrengthen bones and musclesKeep thinking, learning and judgment skills sharpMaintain a healthy weight“A 30 minute walk each day, a bike ride, swimming, a round of golf, or playing with grandkids are activities that can keep the heart pumping for years to come,” said Dr. Halpern. For information on physical activity and vascular health, log onto: www.VascularWeb.org.

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San Francisco Tragedy Leaves Sailing Community Reeling

Apr 19, 2012 ● By Anonymous

The flags outside San Francisco Yacht Club were flying at half mast yesterday, when the U.S. Coast Guard officially announced their suspension of the rescue mission for the remaining members of Low Speed Chase, a Sydney 38, was competing in the 105th annual Full Crew Farallones Race. The events of the tragedy are clear cut. At roughly 3 p.m., Low Speed Chase was rounding Southeast Farallon Island, characterized by steep rock faces that make rounding too close a very treacherous endeavor. But it was a race, and in sailboat racing as in everything, risks often prove rewarding. The boat was initially hit by a powerful wave that reportedly caused the boat to pitch pole and sent five experienced crewmembers overboard. Three crew who were able to stay on the boat, including skipper and owner James Bradford, managed to turn it around and head back for a rescue, but they were hit by another wave that pushed the boat into the rocks. Two more crew were sent overboard, where they clung to rocks in 50-degree water while Low Speed Chase rolled multiple times before it was slammed into the island. An EPRB onboard Low Speed Chase was activated immediately, which greatly assisted in the Coast Guard’s ability to affectively recover crew. After 30 hours, only four male crewmembers were recovered by MH-65 helicopter dispatched from San Francisco, one deceased. The remaining four are still missing. The San Francisco Giants held a moment of silence on the field for Alexis Busch, the 28-year old sailor who was the daughter of former Giants executive Corey Busch. Earlier in her life she was a batgirl for the team, and made an impression on fans when she was the only member of the team to greet Barry Bonds at the plate when he hit his 500th home run. After such a tragedy, it’s easy to begin the second guessing. Questions were immediately raised as to why the crew weren't wearing tethers, and why they were so close to the rocks in an area that is known to be dangerous. The 1982 Double-Handed Farallones Race, which had the same course, saw seven boats abandoned along with the deaths of four race participants. “They were inside—too close to the rocks,” commented Steve Hocking, an experienced single handed Bay racer who finished the race on his Beneteau 45f5, said of Low Speed Chase's position. “Once you get in that close and a wave hits you like that, it rolls you over. There’s not much you can do.” Every sailor has that one memory of throwing caution to the wind for the sake of rounding a little sooner. It happens on Wednesday nights, and it happens in offshore racing. And while the Chesapeake Bay is an entirely different environment than the San Francisco Bay, we’re still met with challenges that take some sailors out of their comfort zones. We asked Chip Thayer, Race Chairman for Annapolis Yacht Club whether or not tragedies like the ones in the Farallones Race make race committees reconsider their safety guidelines for races like the Annapolis to Newport Race to Bay standbys like the Oxford Race. In racing, “the difference between a day ending safely and a tragedy is a thin line,” Thayer said. “I am a strong believer in the use of harnesses. We have learned a lot over the years about the design of harnesses location of jacklines. Nonetheless, in the study of both the Rambler 100 capsize in last year’s Fastnet Race and the Wingnuts tragedy at the Chicago-Mac, issues about releasing the harnesses nearly contributed to tragedy. While we require harnesses for our overnight race and for the Annapolis to Newport Race, I don’t think it’s reasonable to try to legislate when they must be used. The time to use them is whenever they’re needed, and that is dictated by all sorts of things—the weather, the size of the boat, the water temperature, daylight/nighttime and the size of the waves. But it is the inescapable truth that the responsibility for the safety of every boat and crew lies with each skipper and crew.” Sailing season in Annapolis has already begun, and while it’s time to celebrate getting back out on the water, events like the Farallones Race remind us that it’s also a time to go over our safety procedures and reassess our boat’s resources. And it’s time to assess our own risk management policies for the upcoming season. The best sailors are those who have the ability to anticipate the risk, the reward, and the potential calamity. But that doesn’t necessarily happen in the heat of racing. It happens long beforehand, when you’re still on land, looking at the water and envisioning getting out for a beautiful day of racing. Photos courtesy Brant Ward, SF Chronicle; Kat Wood, SF Chronicle. Video courtesy US Coast Guard

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