Skin Cancer Screening at Cooper Clinic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that one in five adults will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. That should be powerful enough to have an annual screening and that’s why it’s is a vital component to the Cooper Clinic Comprehensive Exam. Read about the first four (of six) components to get caught up!

  1. Medical Exam & Counseling
  2. Laboratory Analysis
  3. Cardiovascular Screening
  4. Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) Scan
  5. Skin Cancer Screening
  6. Nutrition Consultation

While beauty is more than skin deep, we must not neglect our skin—the body’s largest organ. Our skin provides an important barrier and immune protection plus hydration and vitamin-producing functions. A skin cancer screening identifies potential problems before they affect your health. Our board-certified dermatologists perform a meticulous screening for cancers, pre-cancers and atypical moles. With the physician you will also discuss information regarding your past sun exposure, sun protection measures and family history of skin cancer.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are many different types of skin cancer: actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell are the most common forms of skin cancer and if caught early and treated successfully, the cure rate is about 95 percent.

Melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer. According to the CDC, in 2010, 61,061 people were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin and 9,154 people died from it.

You are at higher risk for developing melanoma if you have been a frequent user of tanning beds, have a family history of melanoma, have atypical moles or lots of typical moles.

When melanoma is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. As is the case with most cancers, patients who have melanoma detected at an earlier stage have improved survival.

Melanomas can occur anywhere on the skin surface but are frequently located on the back and other areas that may be easy to miss with self-inspection. Screening examination of the total skin surface can increase the likelihood of detecting melanoma six-fold compared with partial examination. That is why a head to toe (and between the toes!) examination is very important. Did you know that melanoma can develop in the eye? When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Symptoms of Melanoma
The most important warning sign for melanoma is a new spot on the skin or a spot that is changing in size, shape or color. The ABCDE rule is a guide for self-examination. Between your annual exams, be aware of the symptoms and contact your physician if you find a spot with any of the following features:

A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.

B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.

C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.

D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.

E is for Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.

The AAD recommends that persons at highest risk perform frequent self-examination and seek professional evaluation of the skin at least once per year. Cooper Clinic board-certified dermatologists Dr. Rick Wilson, Dr. Flora Kim and Dr. Helen Kaporis can help you protect the health of your skin with preventive dermatology services.

To learn more about a preventive exam at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 866.906.2667 (COOP). Stay tuned for the last component of the exam, nutrition consultation.

Sunscreen Guide 2014

April 18, 2014 1 comment

Skin cancer is caused primarily by unprotected exposure to the sun, meaning it’s often preventable with sunscreen and clothing which protect the skin from too much exposure to the sun. Although sunscreen is readily available, skin cancer rates continue to climb. Why?

Until recently, there were no real standards for how sunscreen manufacturers labeled their products. Experts are hopeful that new labeling guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will help reduce the incidents of skin cancer in the U.S.

Cooper Clinic Preventive and Cosmetic Dermatologist Flora Kim, MD, FAAD, explains the new FDA guidelines and how to properly use sunscreen to reduce risk of skin cancer.

New FDA Guidelines

New FDA guidelines are intended to make it easier for consumers to know how much protection a particular sunscreen does or does not provide. The use of the label “broad spectrum protection” means the sunscreen has been proven to protect against both UVA and UVB rays (although UVA protection might me weaker than UVB protection). In the past, a sunscreen could be labeled as “broad spectrum” even if it only protected against UVB rays.

When it comes to SPF, any sunscreen lower than SPF 15 must be clearly labeled that it will not protect against skin cancer, but will only prevent sunburn. Sunscreen with an SPF over 15 that is labeled as “broad spectrum” can be labeled as preventing sunburn, skin cancer and aging due to the sun.

Any sunscreen over SPF 50 will now be labeled as SPF 50+, as there is speculation that an SPF higher than 50 is not actually more effective. Additionally, people may be more likely to apply sunscreen with an SPF over 50 less frequently because they think it provides more protection, when in fact, it does not.

Manufacturers are no longer allowed to use words like “waterproof,” “sweatproof” or “sunblock” as these terms are misleading. What you might on sunscreen labels instead is “water-resistant” with a time limit of 40 or 80 minutes before the sunscreen becomes ineffective.

It is important to know that these new FDA guidelines are still in the process of becoming completely enforced, as it takes time for manufacturers to submit required documentation to change labeling. It is always important to read the label of any sunscreen product you are considering.

Recommendations for Sunscreen Use

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends wearing an SPF of 30 or higher every day, not only when you are lying out by the pool or on the beach. The sun’s rays can still be damaging, even on a cloudy day.

Most people do not put on enough sunscreen. In fact, according to the AAD, most people only apply about 25 to 50 percent of what they should put on to be fully protected. As a general guideline, you should generously apply one ounce to all areas of the skin that will be exposed to the sun.

Sunscreen should be applied to dry skin 15 minutes before you go outside and reapplied every two hours, or after swimming or heavy sweating.

For more guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology, click here.

What About Makeup and Moisturizers?

Some cosmetic products and moisturizers do contain a small amount of SPF, but if you are trying to protect yourself from sun damage or skin cancer that will not be sufficient protection. Dr. Kim recommends an application of dedicated sunscreen underneath your moisturizer and makeup rather than relying on the SPF of your cosmetic products.

Ultimately, you must remember that no sunscreen is perfect. Wearing long sleeves and a hat and staying in the shade as much as possible are also important precautions to take to prevent sun damage or potentially deadly skin cancer.

For more information about cosmetic and preventive dermatology at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 972.367.6000.

Tips for Your Trip to the Farmer’s Market

The next time you plan your visit to the grocery store, consider your local farmer’s market instead. There’s a wealth of fresh produce to fill up your reusable tote bags. What’s in season? What’s not? To get the most from your experience, consider a few things.

Reasons to Shop at the Farmer’s Market

  • You are making a difference by supporting your local farmers and their success will grow.
  • The produce is picked at the peak of the season, so it’s naturally more flavorful compared to your grocery store items that may not be as fresh from transit to store. In many cases, the market offers lower prices.
  • Follow the simple rule of thumb to eat a rainbow of colors to get a variety of cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals that different colors offer.

What’s in season right now?

  • Fruits: apples, avocados, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, Texas grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, oranges, papayas, pears, pineapple, raspberries, tangelos and tangerines
  • Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, radicchio, Belgian endive, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuces, mushrooms, parsnips, peppers, russet potatoes and new potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, shallots, spinach, sugar snaps, snow peas, squash and sweet potatoes

Strategies for Shopping at the Farmer’s Market

  • Do some research and plan ahead. Seek out what’s in season and know before you go. Think about what meals and snacks you’re planning for the week and guide your purchases around that.
  • Take a stroll around and scan what’s there to decide what and where to buy, instead of settling on the first vendor you walk up to. There are so many choices and the same foods reappear. You might get a sweeter tasting watermelon at one vendor versus another.
  • Try before you buy. Take advantage of taste testing. The vendors offer a plethora of samples so you can taste all the lovely fresh food before you buy it.
  • Get creative and adventurous. Here’s a great opportunity to experiment with foods. You may discover that you like fresh figs, which by the way, are loaded in fiber. Find out how to use certain foods and get new and fresh ideas. Ask your vendor their favorite way to prepare a particular food. You might leave with some new recipes. You may not realize all the uses for a single food. Make it a learning experience for the whole family!
  • Stock up. Buy your favorite foods in season and then freeze them for later when that food is off season. A good example of this would be berries that freeze well.
  • Make requests. Don’t be shy to ask questions. If you are buying for one or two people you may ask for half a basket of an item to get the amount you really “need.” It’s better to buy two tomatoes and actually use them, than a large basket of six tomatoes and realize the other four have spoiled by the end of the week.
  • Have fun! Make your visit to the farmer’s market a field trip for you and your family. You’ll leave with some super nutritious fresh food, some extra knowledge, and maybe even a bit more passion about filling your plate with a rainbow of colors.

To receive more health tips from Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, click here.

Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) Scan at Cooper Clinic

April 4, 2014 1 comment

Did you know Cooper Clinic patients who regularly get an annual exam live 13 years longer than the average male and seven years longer than the average female? Read about each of the six components of the comprehensive exam to learn why. If you haven’t seen the first three posts, get caught up!

  1. Medical Exam & Counseling
  2. Laboratory Analysis
  3. Cardiovascular Screening
  4. Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) Scan
  5. Skin Cancer Screening
  6. Nutrition Consultation

Taking the cardio screening a step further, look inside at the health of your heart’s arteries with an MDCT scan. Calcification of the coronary arteries is a risk factor for developing heart disease and having a stroke.

Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) Scan

An MDCT scan is an upper torso scan (between the shoulders and hip bones) that detects buildup in the heart’s arteries. The scan also evaluates the lungs and abdominal organs. Depending on the clinical history, this scan is commonly performed in men after age 40 and in women after age 50 and is repeated if clinically indicated thereafter.

Why do you need an MDCT scan? For your heart.

Among other things, the MDCT scanner can detect the presence of calcification in the coronary arteries or “CAC”. The amount of CAC is measured and converted to a score called a CAC score, also known as the Agatston score. Many studies have demonstrated that the more calcification detected, the risk of atherosclerosis in the heart arteries and the higher the risk of having future cardiovascular disease events. Learn more about CAC scores here.

Clinically significant amounts of atherosclerosis, frequently an indication for more aggressive risk factor management, is often defined by a CAC score ≥100 or a high score for someone your age and gender. A CAC score ≥400 may suggest the need for further diagnostic evaluation depending on the presence of other clinical symptoms or factors.

CAC is not uncommon in adults. A study from the National Institutes of Health evaluating CAC measured in 3,238 white adults in age groups ranging from 45 to 75 years of age found that 32 percent of women and 52.9 percent of men had some evidence of calcified plaque. CAC can even be detected in patients who are otherwise low risk when using traditional risk factors. For example, they have normal and/or cholesterol and don’t smoke.

Atherosclerosis that is not yet calcified (called “soft” plaque) is not detected by the MDCT scan. Thus, the absence of coronary calcification does not mean that the arteries are totally normal; however, the absence of CAC confers a very low risk for future cardiovascular events.

Why do you need an MDCT scan? For your lungs.

The MDCT scan is also a good tool for evaluating the presence of lung disease, specifically at early detection of lung cancers.

It is now recommended that even in the absence of worrisome symptoms (such as chronic cough), current or former smokers with significant smoking history receive low-dose CT scans to screen for lung cancer. These recommendations follow the publication of results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) in 2011, which found reduced deaths from lung cancer among patients who received a low-dose CT screening compared with those given chest X-rays.

Chest X-rays are not recommended for lung cancer screening because they often do not demonstrate a lung cancer until it is far advanced. If you have been a longtime smoker and you have a normal chest X-ray, you should not assume that you are lung cancer free.

Combining the latest scientific technology with an unparalleled level of personal care and attention, Cooper Clinic delivers a truly unique patient experience. The MDCT scan is performed in a matter of minutes and is noninvasive. Unlike some clinics that make patients wait days or even weeks for results—results to celebrate or results that could change everything—Cooper Clinic provides all results the same day, many times within hours. That gives you time to review the information and discuss next steps with your Cooper Clinic physician.

To request an appointment or to receive more information from Cooper Clinic, click here.

Start a New Walking Program

To show your support of American Heart Association, take a walk and share your photos on social media with #AHALaceUp.

To show your support of American Heart Association, take a walk and share your photos on social media with #AHALaceUp.

Recent studies have shown an increase of inactive adults in the United States. This is a problem when you consider that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease. But, it’s a problem that can be fixed.

Walking for as few as 30 minutes a day, five days a week not only provides heart health benefits, but it reduces the risk of all death by all causes by 58 percent.

To conquer inactivity and celebrate National Walking Day, Cooper Fitness Center Dallas Professional Fitness Trainer April Swales offers advice on how you can start a walking program. Follow these tips to a fit, healthy self.

Getting Started
If you are going from a sedentary lifestyle to a regular walking routine, begin with short walks for a limited amount of time. For instance, start by walking for ten minutes at a time and work your way up from that time period.

Stepping It Up
One shoe does not fit all. Before beginning a new walking program, it is valuable to invest in a good pair of walking or running shoes.

If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you can visit stores like RunOn or Luke’s Locker to have a specialist analyze your foot and the way that you step. From that point, they can fit you with a shoe that complements your foot’s shape and pronation.

Going the Distance
Rather than focusing on the distance traveled, think about how long you have actually spent walking. You do not want to increase your distance too quickly because it could result in negative side effects. Instead, each day add on a few more minutes to your walking routine.

Fit in Hydration
It is important to stay hydrated during your workouts. Water is important for every single cell function in your body. Staying hydrated will keep your body functioning as it should, so you can make the most out of every workout.

Adding Intensity
Once you reach an intermediate level of fitness, you can begin to take your workouts up a notch. You can add intensity by warming up with dynamic stretches, keep a challenging pace or adding interval training to your walking workout.

Find a Walking Path
The American Heart Association has created a list of walking paths. From parks to shopping malls, check out this list of American Heart Association-designed walking paths across the country. And when you’re traveling, you can find a local path to take and keep on your route to healthy living.

Walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health, and it is the simplest way to start and continue a fitness journey. Look for ways to incorporate more walking into your day, whether it’s parking the car father away from your destination or going for a family walk after dinner.

For more information on Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas, click here or call 972.233.4832.

Leading Healthy Change by Example

What are ways you can set a healthy example at work?

Over the years, Cooper Consulting Partners has discovered that a healthy company is driven from the top down and leading by example yields results. Passionate and engaged leadership is the force behind most successful corporate wellness programs.

To help executives activate change within themselves and their organizations, Cooper Consulting Partners created Fit:Business. The healthy leadership workshop is based on research from The Cooper Institute that has revolutionized health and wellness, and inspired millions of people to live healthier lives.

Offered as a one-day interactive workshop, Fit:Business is our flagship training program that achieves the ultimate output by helping the participants connect their personal health to their productivity, while at the same time driving healthier behaviors of those around them.

The full-day Fit:Business workshop includes:

  • Sessions on leading healthy change, stress management, exercise, nutrition and more.
  • An interactive participant guide to use during the program and as a reference following the program.
  • Light activity breaks to keep participants engaged and to demonstrate the ease and efficiency of an active lifestyle.
  • A healthy breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack.
  • One-year license to Fit:Mobile – the workshop’s companion content app that drives ongoing engagement.

The next Fit:Business session will be held in Dallas on April 24, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Register today or click here to find out more about upcoming sessions in your area, contact Cooper Consulting Partners.

Cooper Hotel & Conference Center Begins Renovation

Drs. Kenneth and Tyler Cooper pull up old carpet in Cooper Hotel to bring in the new!

Drs. Kenneth and Tyler Cooper pull up old carpet in Cooper Hotel to bring in the new!

The construction hats have moved from Cooper Fitness Center to Cooper Hotel! A new look is now in progress at Cooper Hotel. As part of Cooper Aerobics Center’s multi-million dollar renovation, we’re refreshing our guest and meeting rooms and public spaces. Blending elegant sophistication with modern touches, guests will stay well at Cooper Hotel. The renovation will be completed this summer.

Nestled in the heart of Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, Cooper Hotel & Conference Center is the place to stay well. Cooper Hotel offers spacious rooms with resort amenities and beautiful outdoor grounds for a weekend getaway, wedding or social event. Cooper Hotel also provides a place for business leaders to connect well with nearly 8,000 square feet of gathering space for groups up to 250 and full-service catering with healthy options. We offer corporate travel rates, complete/day meeting packages and multi-day conferences, with wellness lectures, fitness breaks and teambuilding sessions available.

The renovation is refreshing all 61 guest rooms, two of the 900-plus square foot meeting rooms, the outdoor pool area and corridors. The new carpet, paint, lighting and custom furnishings will transform the interiors, blending elegant sophistication with modern touches. Read full media release.

With an expected completion date of summer 2014, guests may obtain the latest updates on the Cooper Hotel renovation on the Cooper Aerobics Facebook page. Providing easy access to all Cooper has to offer, some might say Cooper Hotel is where you come to recuperate. We like to say ReCooperize. Book a room or meeting today!

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