Melanoma vs. Normal Moles
You know you’re supposed to limit exposure to the sun to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Do you know how to tell the difference between melanoma, the more serious form, and moles that are usually harmless?
A normal mole is usually evenly colored—brown, tan or black. It can be raised or flat, and round or oval. Normal moles usually don’t change, although sometimes they fade away.
Melanoma moles, on the other hand, generally have the following characteristics:
- They’re uneven in shape. One side doesn’t match the other.
- The edges are ragged or notched.
- The color is not the same all over.
- The mole is often wider than 1/4 inch, although melanoma moles can be small also.
Check your moles frequently. If you notice changes, see your doctor.
And wear sunscreen to avoid burning and increasing your risk of skin cancer.
Visit the National Cancer Institute
for photos of normal moles, moles that have greater likelihood of becoming melanoma and melanoma moles
Source: National Cancer Institute
Kids Abusing Ritalin
Ritalin is a drug that doctors prescribe for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. But Ritalin is a stimulant, and some middle school, high school and college-age kids, and even some adults, have been using it to “get high.” The “rush” people get from Ritalin can be similar to that of cocaine.
Ritalin abuse can increase blood pressure and heart rate, cause psychosis and in some instances, damage the liver. Many parents have no idea that their children may be involved in Ritalin abuse.
Source: Drug Abuse Warning Network; National Institute on Drug Abuse
If you notice you’re not hearing as well as you used to, it’s probably time to talk to your doctor about whether a hearing aid would be helpful. Your doctor may refer you to an audiologist, who specializes in hearing.
There have been tremendous advances in hearing aids in recent years. The digital ones can filter out a lot of background noise and help you focus in on what you need to hear. They often can be fitted to you with greater accuracy than the older analog types.
Sometimes people feel a little embarrassed about getting a hearing aid. But having trouble hearing can cut off your connection to people. Investigate the latest hearing aids. See how they work for you, and how they feel. One thing you’ll probably notice is that nobody else cares much whether you wear a hearing aid or not.
Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Blood Pressure Med Questions?
If you’ve recently started taking blood pressure medication, there are important things you should talk with your doctor about. Sometimes, when you first learn you have a condition and you have to take medication, it’s easy to forget all the things you heard during your doctor’s appointment. So make sure you’re clear about:
- What time of day you should take your medication
- What the side effects are
- Whether it’s safe to take other medications, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements, with your blood pressure medication
- What you should do if you forget to take a pill
- Whether there are any foods or supplements you should avoid
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Asthma Prevention Meds
Asthma medications are often both drugs that control the condition in the long term and drugs that provide short-term, quick relief. Sometimes you need to use the long-term medications every day, even if you feel fine. The long-term medications can help prevent flare-ups and they can help keep your airways open.
If your doctor has prescribed asthma medication for you, make sure you know exactly how to take it. It’s also important to avoid the things that can trigger asthma attacks, even if you’re on medication.