Being active outdoors can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle … and with the wonderful climate in southern Nevada, getting regular exercise and fresh air year round is easy. While sun protection is always important, now that we are approaching the warmest time of the year, we all need to be even more aware of the sun’s intensity so we can protect ourselves from UV rays and the damage they cause.
For many southern Nevadans, summer means dashing from air conditioned homes to air-conditioned cars to air-conditioned workplaces, but we are still getting some exposure to the sun and its harmful rays even when we are only in the sun for a few minutes at a time. Those who work outside or participate in outdoor activities such as swimming, golfing, tennis, hiking, etc., often get more sun exposure for extended periods of time. In either case, sun protection is essential to preventing skin cancer — the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells.
The warmth and light of the sun are relaxing and can boost our spirits, but the benefits come with a dangerous trade off. More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and 90 percent of them are caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. In fact, the American Cancer Society says Nevada has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the country. And it’s not just about cancer. Most of the skin damage we associate with aging – wrinkles, discoloration, sagging, and leathering – is UV related, and it is cumulative.
According to Dr. Brandon Reynolds, plastic surgeon and third generation Las Vegan, there is still a great deal of confusion about the sun’s risks and cancer. “Many of my patients who grew up in the ‘slather yourself with baby oil and bake’ generation come to get treated for skin cancer and say ‘this is the last skin cancer I’ll ever get because from now on, I’m staying out of sun.’ Unfortunately, the cancers these patients are experiencing have resulted from damage that has already been done. Stopping sun exposure now will help prevent additional damage, but it won’t prevent cancer that was caused by previous exposure.”
When you’re in the sun, be smart and enjoy it without risking your health. Follow these simple rules:
Seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest. If you’re outside, try to find shade or carry a sun umbrella. If your favorite activities take place outdoors, enjoy them during early mornings and late afternoons.
Do not burn. Just one sunburn increases your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. If you have five or more sunburns during your lifetime (not during one summer or one year), your risk doubles.
Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds. Tans are never safe … it doesn’t matter if you get tanned on a beach, by a pool or in a tanning bed. The Skin Cancer Foundation indicates that those who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and 74 percent more likely to get melanoma. Even occasional tanning booth use triples your chance of developing melanoma.
Many tanning salon operators insist their bulbs are safe and that some exposure to UV rays is necessary for vitamin D, but neither statement is true. It’s much safer to get vitamin D through foods such as salmon, fortified milk, orange juice or dietary supplements. And the new sunlamps used in tanning salons actually emit UV doses as much as 12 times that of the sun.
Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Clothes, especially densely woven bright- or dark-colored fabrics, can be your most effective form of sun protection, and the more skin you cover, the better, so when possible, wear long sleeves and long pants in the sun.
Don’t forget your eyes! Serious conditions from cataracts to melanomas of the eye and eyelid can be prevented by wearing wraparound sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of the sun’s UV rays and shield the eyes and surrounding skin. Hats are a great, fashionable way to help protect the face and back of neck. Find one with a brim that is 3” or larger.
Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. A sunscreen’s SPF, or sun protection factor, measures how long skin can be exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays before burning compared to how long it would take to burn without protection.
“SPF 15 is technically a full block of the sun,” says Dr. Reynolds, “but it has to be put on so thick it would be visible to others. An SPF of 30 doubles the protection, providing substantial protection if it is put on and reapplied as directed. How often you need to reapply depends on the product’s ingredients, how often you get wet or if you’re sweating heavily.”
Look for products that offer “broad spectrum” or UVA/UVB protection, and make sure your sunscreen has one or more of these ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, stabilized avobenzone or ecamsule.
Use sunscreen every day and in every kind of weather because:
- sunlight reflects off snow, ice, sand, and water, all of which intensify UV effects by as much as 80 percent.
- even on overcast days, 70-80 percent of UV rays travel through clouds
- at high altitudes, the thinner atmosphere filters out less UV rays.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside, then reapplying every two hours or immediately after swimming or heavy sweating.
Keep infants out of the sun! “Babies are especially susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun because their skin has very little melanin, the pigment that gives color to skin, hair, and eyes and provides some sun protection,” says Dr. Reynolds. “I ask my patients to be aggressive about keeping their kids out of the sun or covered in sunblock.”
If you take your baby out in his or her first six months, make sure he or she is covered with clothes, wears a hat or sunbonnet, and is shielded by a stroller hood or umbrella. One severe burn in childhood will actually double your child’s chance of developing melanoma later in life.
Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. Inspect your skin in a full-length mirror.
- Start with your head and face – use a blow dryer to check your scalp
- Check your hands, including nails. Look at your elbows, arms, underarms, torso, and trunk
- With your back to the mirror, use a hand mirror to check your back, the back of your neck, and other hard-to-see places
- Sitting down, check your legs and feet including soles, heels, toes, and nails
See your physician every year for a professional skin exam. Regular total-body checkups are the best way to make sure your skin is healthy. Ask your child’s pediatrician to examine skin as part of a yearly checkup.
At-Risk Skin Types
Certain types of skin are at greater risk for developing sun damage and skin cancer. Light-skinned people who always burn and never tan are at highest risk for skin damage and skin cancers. Those with more pigmentation in their skin (darker skin) have more natural protection from sunlight, but they can still get skin cancer. Bottom line is, everyone is at risk and should follow the prevention tips outlined above.
The most common forms of skin cancer linked to UV exposure are
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – The most frequently occurring form of skin cancer often looks like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps or scars.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) – The second most frequent form of skin cancer often looks like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression or warts that may crust or bleed.
- Melanoma – The most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanomas often resemble moles and some develop from moles. Most are black or brown, but they can be skin colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. Melanoma can show up at any age and can spread to other parts of the body.
According to Dr. Reynolds, the method of treatment depends on how invasive the cancer is. “There are treatments as simple as freezing the cancer off with liquid nitrogen, burning it off or using topical drugs such as Aldera® or Effudex®, or cutting out the growth, along with a surrounding border of skin using a scalpel or curette, an instrument with a sharp, ring-shaped tip.” In most cases, these procedures can be done in the doctor’s office or as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Dr. Reynolds stresses that the method of treatment should be a joint decision between the doctor and patient.
If you have any warning signs, visit your primary care physician. He or she may then refer you to a dermatologist for further examination. For more information or to find a physician, please call 702.616.4900.
The Southern Nevada Health District, with the support of community partners including St. Rose Dominican, the UNLV School of Nursing, UNLV School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada School of Medicine, and United Way of Southern Nevada, have just launched the Healthy Southern Nevada website.
This first-of-its-kind website is a source of community health information and population data available to planners, policy makers, and members of the community to use when conducting community assessments, strategic planning, and community health improvement and advocacy activities. The website can be accessed at http://www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.
The Healthy Southern Nevada website features a number of tools for users:
- The Find Health Data section allows the user to view more than 100 economic, social, and health indicators for Clark County.
- The Promising Practices section is a collection of documented approaches to improving community health and quality of life from around the country.
- Additional tools assist in generating reports, indexing socioeconomic needs, comparing health indicators, and finding health disparities.
“St. Rose Dominican is excited to be a part of this innovative, collaborative approach to public health,” said Holly Lyman, Director of WomensCare and Community Outreach for St. Rose. “This new tool will be very beneficial for those who want to better the health of all Nevadans, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this project.”
This website is also integral to the health district’s current efforts to complete a Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan as part of the Public Health Accreditation process. The information is intended to be a resource for all interested audiences, including hospitals and health care providers, other public health agencies, health coalitions, non-profits, city planners, policy makers, educators, local service providers, and students.
Additional HealthySouthernNevada.org partners include the American Heart Association, Center for Progressive Policy and Practice, LLC, Clark County Social Services, Clark County School District, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, March of Dimes, and Nevada HAND.
The Southern Nevada Health District, with the support of community partners including Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican, the UNLV School of Nursing, UNLV School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada School of Medicine, and United Way of Southern Nevada, have launched the Healthy Southern Nevada website. This first-of-its-kind website is a source of community health information and population data available to planners, policy makers, and community members to use as a tool for conducting community assessments, strategic planning and community health improvement and advocacy activities. The website can be found at: http://www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.
The Healthy Southern Nevada website features a number of tools for users. The Find Health Data section allows the user to view more than 100 economic, social and health indicators for Clark County. The Promising Practices section is a collection of documented approaches to improving community health and quality of life from around the country. Additional tools can assist in generating reports, indexing socioeconomic needs, comparing health indicators, and finding health disparities.
“Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican is excited to be a part of this innovative, collaborative approach to public health,” said Holly Lyman, Director of WomensCare and Community Outreach for St. Rose. “This new tool will be very beneficial for those that want to better the health of all Nevadans, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this project.
This website is also integral to the health district’s current efforts to complete a Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan as part of the Public Health Accreditation process. In addition, this information is intended to be a resource for all interested audiences, including but not limited to hospitals and health care providers, other public health agencies, health coalitions, non-profits, city planners, policy makers, educators, local service providers and students.
Additional HealthySouthernNevada.org partners include the American Heart Association, Center for Progressive Policy and Practice, LLC, Clark County Social Service, Clark County School District, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, March of Dimes and Nevada HAND.
The Siena Campus’ $160 million expansion is moving right along, and when complete later this year, it will add nearly 100 more private patient rooms, six new operating suites, expanded patient services, and a much larger emergency room. The additional beds and services mean St. Rose Dominican can provide improved care for our community. It also means we need to fill several hundred health-care related jobs, so if you are interested in joining the St. Rose Dominican team, read on.
Join the St. Rose Dominican Team
At St. Rose Dominican, our employees perform extraordinary acts of kindness every day. It is their commitment to healing through human connection that is the cornerstone of our hospital’s success, so we believe in sharing and celebrating achievements by offering competitive compensation packages.
- Pay & Recognition – Competitive compensation packages are offered along with employee recognition programs and
- Balanced Life – Employees receive generous paid time off to rejuvenate spirits, including paid time off, family related, and military leaves.
- Professional Growth – Employees are given the opportunity to learn and grow with Dignity Health Learning Institute, tuition reimbursement, seminars, and professional associations.
- Well-Being – Employees deliver humankindness to our patients, and St. Rose returns the favor with medical, dental, and vision plans fully paid for by Dignity Health (buy-up options are also available), healthy lifestyle programs, employee assistance programs (EAP), life insurance, and short- and long-term illness/disability protection.
- Financial Future – A fully funded pension plan and retirement programs that support the financial goals of our employees include a tax-deferred savings opportunity and company match.
For information on joining the Dignity Health team and on positions that are available, visit http://www.StRoseHospitals.org/careers.
Our employees say it best
“I’ve been part of the St. Rose family since 2007 and love it because the history and mission positively impact our days. It’s a joy to be surrounded by warm, inspiring, top-notch people.” – Julie S.,
“I love what we do for our community; we are known for our caring and compassion. I was born at Rose de Lima, so I have always felt a strong attachment to St Rose. We do believe in humankindness!” – Kim R.,
“I love to work at St. Rose because I believe in the mission, and the values of Dignity, Excellence, Stewardship, Collaboration and Justice align with my personal values.” – Tammy K.,
“Don’t make me laugh!” “I’m afraid to sneeze or cough.” “I can’t lift anything heavy.”
If you have urinary stress incontinence (loss of bladder control), you’ve either made
these statements or thought them, and you are NOT alone! Urinary incontinence is very
common – it actually affects 1 in 2 women – and it is a sensitive subject we’re not
prone to talk about because it can be embarrassing. But it shouldn’t be.
Urinary incontinence isn’t a disease, it’s a symptom that actually affects more women than high blood pressure (1 in 3), diabetes (1 in 10), or depression (1 in 20). And urinary incontinence affects women of all ages (even women in their 30s and 40s) because it is caused by a variety of conditions that stretch or weaken the pelvic floor muscles: pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hysterectomies, lifting heavy objects, even having a job that requires standing for long periods of time.
Urinary stress incontinence occurs when the pelvic floor muscles weaken so they cannot support your bladder or control the release of urine, especially when certain types of physical activity (sneezing, coughing, bending, etc.) put extra pressure on your bladder.
Problems with loss of bladder control can often be relieved simply by making a few behavioral and physical changes. It does not mean that surgery is going to be required. According to Victor Grigoriev, M.D., board-certified urogynecologist (certified in both urology and in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery), many noninvasive treatment options are available.
Urogynecologists diagnose and treat pelvic floor disorders (a wide range of problems, including urinary incontinence, that occur when the pelvic floor muscles are weak), and pelvic organ prolapse, when organs such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum drop from their normal locations.
Dr. Grigoriev says those with overactive bladders can often find relief just by changing their diets. “Dietary changes can make a tremendous difference,” he says. “Avoiding things that irritate the bladder, regulating your amount of fluid intake, and increasing your dietary fiber are just a few ways you can help your overactive bladder.”
Strengthening the pelvic muscles can also help those who leak just a few drops of urine while sneezing, laughing, or coughing, or who have a strong, sudden urge to urinate or leak stool. Kegel exercises are the most commonly used. Learn more about Kegel exercises at lasvegasurogynecology.com.
Depending on what is causing the urinary incontinence, conservative measures such as behavioral or physical therapy may not work, so surgery can also be an option. While every woman’s problems differ and require individualized treatment approaches, many minimally invasive techniques are available today.
At St. Rose Dominican, Dr. Grigoriev, who began using the daVinci® Surgical System for other procedures approximately five years ago, is now using the system to correct pelvic floor disorders. The minimally invasive procedure is done using small incisions in the abdomen. “This robotically controlled procedure decreases the risk of infection and allows me to put the pelvic organs back into a more correct anatomical position while avoiding the use of vaginal mesh,” says Dr. Grigoriev. “Repositioning the organs takes the pressure off of the muscles, which relieves symptoms, and women typically recover within 1-2 weeks depending on the degree of their prolapse.”
How to train your bladder
- Keep a diary of fluid intake and urination – just the simple act of keeping a diary has been shown to decrease urinary frequency and incontinence by 40 percent
- Timed voiding – Use the restroom on a schedule (e.g., every two hours) before the urge occurs; this trains the bladder and decreases episodes of leakage
- Drink fluids in moderate amounts and slowly over the course of the day. Your bladder can accommodate more volume if it is filled slowly
- Work on constipation and regular bowel movements
Incontinence: Foods to avoid
Doctors have identified a number of foods and drinks that can worsen overactive bladders as they contain irritants that, when collected in the bladder, can cause the bladder muscles to spasm. Those spasms can create the sudden urge to urinate and increase your frequency of urination.
- Tomato-based products
- Coffee and tea
- Citrus fruits
- Carbonated drinks
- Artificial sweeteners
- Spicy foods
- Raw onions
Incontinence: Foods to eat
Make your diet as simple as possible, says Dr. Grigoriev. “Very often, I have my patients start off with cream of wheat and baby food and then add foods back little by little to see what causes problems.” Constipation can cause or exacerbate an overactive bladder, so eat plenty of
Juices that won’t irritate your bladder include apple, grape, cherry, and cranberry juices. They also help by making urine more acidic, preventing the spread of bacteria and controlling urine odor. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body.
If you are having problems with urinary incontinence, know that you’re not alone and that there are things you can do to relieve your symptoms. Talk with your doctor to learn about your options or find a St. Rose physician who treats urinary incontinence by calling 702.616.4900.
The demand for women’s and children’s health care services in southern Nevada continues to grow. So much so that Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican has opened a third WomensCare Center of Excellence to meet that demand.
The WomensCare Centers of Excellence have embraced women, men, and children of all ages by providing no or low-cost health, support, and fitness services since 1998, when the first Center opened. The second WomensCare Center opened near the San Martín Campus in 2007 to expand services into the southwest part of Las Vegas, and a third WomensCare Center has now opened on the Rose de Lima Campus at 98 E. Lake Mead Pkwy., Suite 301, in Henderson.
“We’ve wanted to open a WomensCare Center near the Rose de Lima Campus for several years,” says Holly Lyman, Director of WomensCare and Community Outreach. “We’re thrilled that we will now be able to offer our services at a more convenient location for those who live in this part of Henderson.”
Helping Hands will have an office at the Rose de Lima location, and programs and services will be similar to those offered at the other two Centers:
- Breastfeeding support and pump rentals
- Chronic disease management
- Diabetes education and management
- Exercise and fitness programs
- Family to Family Connection services
- Health screenings
- Parenting classes
- Physician lectures
- Prenatal education
- Safety and injury prevention
- Support groups
- WIC (Women, Infants & Children) Programs
“The staff and volunteers at our WomensCare Centers – many of whom used our services before joining us – share in the commitment to delivering high quality, compassionate health services,” says Holly. “We truly bond with the women we assist and consider it a privilege to be of service.”
For information on our WomensCare Centers and the services they offer, please call 702.616.4901.
When you are recovering from an injury, surgery or illness and need continued care, there’s no place you’d rather receive that care than in the comfort of your own home. And your recovery can be much smoother when you’re supported by the exceptional health care team at St. Rose Home Health Services.
The three St. Rose Dominican hospitals in Henderson and Las Vegas are here to serve our community by providing a full spectrum of services that treat and help you recover from illnesses, injuries, surgeries, and more. In some cases, when patients are ready to be discharged from the hospital, they may still need continued care or treatment to complete their recovery. With St. Rose Home Health Services, that care can be provided at home.
If your doctor or a referring health care provider decides you or a loved one needs home health care, St. Rose Home Health Services is here to help. “Our experienced, highly skilled staff includes registered nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists, and social workers, who all thrive on providing exceptional care filled with compassion and kindness,” says Sharon Kelley, Sr. Director of Home Health Services. “In fact, two of our nurses were named nurses of the year in 2014: Bonnie Schmidt, RN, by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, and Terry Yates, RN, by March of Dimes Nevada. Our entire team of caregivers is exceptional.”
St. Rose Home Health Services is the only not-for-profit, faith-based, Joint Commission accredited, state licensed and Medicare certified home health agency in southern Nevada. “As part of the St. Rose Dominican system, we are passionate about providing caring service to those in our community,” says Sharon. “I’m proud to say that the care provided by our Home Health team exceeds the national average in all patient satisfaction surveys conducted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).”
St. Rose Dominican’s team was named a top home health agency in the U.S. numerous times by Homecare Elite and is a frequent recipient of HealthInsight’s Home Health Quality Award. The Home Health team keeps patients on the road to recovery by providing assistance with services such as IV management, skilled nursing care, physical, speech and occupational therapies, wound care, medication management, and family/caregiver education.
Ask your doctor if you would benefit from home health services. To learn more about St. Rose Home Health Services, please call 702.616.4476 or visit strosehospitals.org/homehealth.