April 8th, 2013
01:10 PM ET
Some melanoma patients may not be as cautious as they should be, according to a new study. Doctors have found that more than a quarter of those with melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – do not use sunscreen when outside for more than an hour, and many are still use tanning beds.
“We were shocked," says Dr. Anees Chagpar, associate professor in the Department of Surgery at Yale School of Medicine and lead author of the study, “although we found that melanoma survivors did better than the general public at protecting their skin from the sun, we also found that more than a quarter of melanoma survivors never wear sunscreen. That blew my mind."
The research was presented the annual meeting of the American Academy of Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
July 2nd, 2012
07:52 AM ET
Good news, java junkies: Researchers have found the more coffee you drink, the more you may be protecting yourself against skin cancer.
According to a new report published in the journal Cancer Research, drinking more caffeinated coffee could lower your chances of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.
Researchers analyzed data from the famous Nurses' Health Study on more than 112,000 people. One fourth of those studied had developed basal cell carcinoma over a 20 year period. Investigators found the more someone drank caffeinated coffee, (more than two cups a day) the lower their risk of developing this form of cancer.
Scientists noted caffeine seemed to be key factor, because tea, cola and chocolate, all of which contain caffeine also seemed to cut a person's risk.
May 29th, 2012
01:17 PM ET
Regular aspirin use, which doctors have long recommended for heart attack and stroke prevention,also may help reduce the risk of some forms of skin cancer, a new study suggests.
An analysis of the medical records of nearly 200,000 Danish adults found that people who filled more than two prescriptions for aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - such as ibuprofen or naproxen - over a 10-year period had a 15% lower risk of squamous cell carcinoma and a 13% lower risk of melanoma when compared with people who had filled one prescription or less.
People who were prescribed high doses of NSAIDs for seven or more years had the lowest skin cancer risk, according to the study, which was published in the journal Cancer. FULL POST
January 30th, 2012
04:29 PM ET
If you wanted to know the air quality Monday morning in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (good), Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (moderate), or Modesto, California. (unhealthy for sensitive groups), a new smart phone app from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could have helped.
The EPA’s free AIRNow app for Apple or Android phones allows users to enter a Zip Code and receive the pollutant and ozone levels for more than 400 cities across the country. You can also choose to check your current location.
The app gives levels for ozone and particle pollution such as automotive exhaust and an overall assessment of “good,” “moderate,” “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “unhealthy,” “very unhealthy” and “hazardous.”
January 4th, 2012
02:55 PM ET
A new report from the American Cancer Society shows that death rates from cancer have been going down since 1999, with the risk of death from cancer declining by more than 1% in both men and women. About 1 million deaths from cancer have been avoided since around 1991.
That sounds promising, but it's not as good as it could be, says Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society and CNNHealth.com conditions expert.
November 9th, 2011
05:57 PM ET
The way to convince teens and young adults to wear sunscreen, use sun protection and avoid tanning beds is by appealing to their vanity.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a draft this week, recommending counseling for people between the ages 10 and 24 years who have fair skin about minimizing their ultraviolet radiation exposure. The group routinely makes recommendations about what sort of preventive services should be used in medical care. FULL POST
August 17th, 2011
02:34 PM ET
Many patients with the deadliest form of skin cancer got a new treatment option Wednesday, as the Food and Drug Administration gave its blessing to vemurafenib, sold by Genentech under the brand name Zelboraf. It was approved to treat patients whose tumors have a specific gene mutation known as BRAF (pronounced “bee-RAF), and with advanced disease or whose tumors cannot be removed through surgery.
“It’s good day for melanoma,” says Tim Turnham, president of the Melanoma Research Foundation. “We’ve gotten two new drugs this year, after 13 years of nothing.” The other drug, Yervoy, was approved in March.
About 70,000 patients a year are diagnosed with melanoma, Most cases are caught early, but if disease spreads beyond the original tumor site, the average lifespan is measured in months without treatment.
June 14th, 2011
09:59 AM ET
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it will implement new rules for sunscreen products, in order to help Americans reduce their risk of skin cancer and early aging.
The agency's new testing regulations will let consumers know whether a sunning product is "broad spectrum," which means it protects against both ultraviolet rays A and B. U-V-A rays are the main cause of skin cancer and premature aging. Too many U-V-B rays can cause serious sunburn.
May 23rd, 2011
06:21 PM ET
With Memorial Day just around the corner, expect more of those “how to protect yourself from sun” messages to pop up. And the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated this Friday – May 27 – as “Don’t Fry Day,” encouraging people to protect their skin while spending time outdoors.
The Environmental Protection Agency, a member of the council, has developed a program called SunWise, which aims to teach children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure, SunWise suggests four simple steps:
· Slip on a shirt
· Slop on SPF 15+ sunscreen generously
· Slap on a hat
· Wrap on sunglasses
April 15th, 2011
12:15 PM ET
I've always had a love hate relationship with the sun. Since I was a kid, growing up in Georgia, I've loved the outdoors. The pool during the summer. Playing sports outside. and of course getting a tan at the beach. Only, I wasn't like my other girlfriends who would sit by the water and turn a nice shade of bronze. Oh no. I, being the blue-eyed, brunette fair-skinned girl that I am, would burn. And I mean burn.
I can remember going to Hawaii as a kid with my family. Spring break. We'd head to the beach and then there was my mom (whom I love dearly, mind you, but after so many times of hearing this, I started to tune her out), "Brooke, put on your sunscreen!" Ugh. "What do mothers know?" I thought. (Ha! A lot, apparently. More on that later.)
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.