Category: Disease Prevention
May is National Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness Month!
The American Academy of Dermatology designated May as National Melanoma Skin Cancer Prevention month and the main purpose is to raise awareness about skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and is the result of accumulated sun damage to the skin over long periods of time.
Early detection is crucial in the fight against melanoma, because it does not respond well to chemotherapy and the best course of action if to remove the affected area. If not caught early, it can spread internally to other parts of the body.
There are 3 types of skin cancer:
- Melanoma or mole cancer – appears as a dark brown spot that will slowly increase in size. Usually different shades of brown, blue or black can occur within the spot. While they can appear anywhere, the most common areas are the back, arms, and legs. This type of cancer is very serious and can spread internally. Remember early detection is the key.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma – this is the most common type of skin cancer and usually occurs on the head, neck, back or chest. It can appear in different forms, but the majority of the time it looks like a small pink or pearly raised bump that later develops as a non-healing sore within its center. It will slowly enlarge and gradually grow deeper and deeper into the skin. This type of cancer usually does not spread internally and can be treated quickly and easily if caught early.
- Squamous cell carcinoma – occurs most likely on the head, neck, hands and arms. Its appearance is rough, warty-like yellowish and hard with a pink edge. The center can erode causing a sore that will bleed easily. This type of cancer will spread and is usually confined to the lymph node glands beneath the skin. Again, easily treated if caught in time!
How can you prevent skin cancer?
2 words—-APPLY SUNSCREEN! Sunscreens are most effective when applied 20-30 minutes before sun exposures. Also, keep in mind approximately one ounce is needed for an adult body. It’s that easy, using a sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher and regularly applying to the constantly sun exposed areas is all you have to do! You should also avoid intentionally tanning your skin either with natural light or a tanning bed.
Take the time this month to make a skin cancer checkup appointment with a dermatologist. And start paying attention to your body- so you can be aware of any changes. CPR Choice wants you to be around a long time! Do it now, do it for you, do it for your family!
Energy Drinks! What’s all the Hype?
Have you ever tried an energy drink? If you did, did you experience an immediate energy boost? Energy drinks continue to increase in popularity and marketing has been expanded to all age groups – young and old. I’m sure with the pressures of our fast paced environment, people feel the need to have that extra spark.
According to Transparency Market Research, they estimate that the energy drink market will grow over 10% in 2016 and currently it’s a 10 billion dollar industry. The manufactures of these products feel that health conscious folks will continue to be attracted to their product to help them remain active and alert.
What’s in an Energy Drink?
Red Bull and Gatorade hold the market share today on energy drinks. And I’m sure you all have seen the appealing marketing associated with these drinks. I mean really who wouldn’t want the additional support Red Bull claims to provide so you can be fully focused on your job or at your peak performance if you’re an athlete? It’s been said that Red Bull gives you wings. The ingredients in a Red Bull Energy drink seem harmless:
- Caffeine- one 8.4 oz. can contains 80mg of caffeine
- B Vitamins
- Sucrose & Glucose- one 8.4 oz. can contains 27g of sucrose/glucose, comparable to orange or apple juice (sugar free options are available too)
- Alpine Spring Water
In comparison, a short (8oz) cup of Starbucks coffee has 180 mg of caffeine.
Why the worry?
Some energy drinks also contain additional ingredients or stimulants such as ginseng, guarana and taurine, which is also in Red Bull. These ingredients have caffeine concentrations that are equal to or higher than the caffeine actually found in coffee and consuming high doses of any of these can be dangerous. So to sum it up, some energy drinks will mask the amount of caffeine actually found in their products.
As a result of the higher amounts of caffeine and sugar, arrhythmias can develop in young and old. It’s scary to think that about 31% of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 19 regularly consume energy drinks. Some studies have shown that consumption of energy drinks have led to sudden cardiac deaths in young, healthy individuals. Energy drinks can also increase blood pressure, increased heart rate, restlessness and insomnia.
Some established guidelines should be followed when making the choice to consume an energy drink:
- Limit the quantity of drinks you consume- the recommendation for a healthy adolescent is one can.
- Avoid any energy drink before or during sports.
- Avoid mixing with alcohol.
- Never consume an energy drink if you have an underlying medical condition and discuss any concerns you have with your family doctor.
How can you manage without an energy drink?
Just like with any drink or food or process – education is the key! Do your homework, investigate what you are putting in to your body and learn to fuel your body the right way. Try these tips to maintain your energy throughout the day:
- Eat lean proteins and smart carbohydrates such as almonds, cheese and greek yogurt.
- Try to take a 20 minute nap during the day, if possible
- Get up and move around- avoid sitting for long periods of time
Another way to educate yourself in case you are in an emergency situation, such as a sudden cardiac arrest, is to learn the life-saving skills of CPR! CPR Choice has convenient classes located in multiple areas, including Knoxville, Maryville and Tricities. To schedule a class today, visit www.knoxvillecpr.com or www.tricitiescpr.com. We’d love to see you in a class!
I love you with all my Kidney!
I Love You With All My Kidney!
Celebrating National Kidney month, this past Saturday I participated in the 4th annual East Tennessee Kidney Foundation Lucky Kidney Run. The Lucky Kidney Run, benefitting the East Tennessee Kidney Foundation (ETKF), was a fun and family-oriented fundraiser that focused on prevention, detection, and education of kidney disease, dialysis and the need for organ donation. In the 4th year, this run/walk proceeds will be used to help support low-income households who cannot afford to reach their life-dependent dialysis treatments. This is a local effort, as there are over 1500 dialysis patients in East Tennessee.
Kidneys- What are they & what do they do?
Kidneys are vital organs, just like your heart and lungs. The two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist are located just below the rib cage with one on each side. They keep the composition of your blood stable and without it your body will not function. Their primary role is to filter waste and extra water out of your blood. The waste and extra fluid exits your body thru your urine, engaging the bladder to use as a holding place and the urethra, which is the tube where the urine flows thru when leaving your body.
On a daily basis, the kidneys filter 120-150 quarts of blood (almost 30 gallons!) and sift out 1-2 quarts of extra water and waste products. The filtering of waste happens in tiny units inside the kidneys called nephrons. Each kidney has about a million nephrons. The nephron includes a filter, called glomerulus, and a tubule. Nephrons work in 2 steps- the first is the glomerulus lets fluid and waste produces pass through it; however it prevents blood cells and large molecules, most proteins from passing. Secondly the filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes waste.
Besides preventing the back up of wastes and fluids in our body, they also:
- Helps control your blood pressure
- Makes hormones that help keep your bones strong
- Makes red blood cells
- Regulates the level of your electrolytes, including sodium, potassium and phosphates
Obviously, when the kidneys are not functioning properly, removing waste or regulating blood pressure your health will decline. If your kidneys have been permanently damaged, it’s called chronic kidney disease (CKD) or kidney disease. If the damage is severe enough and your kidneys stop working, this is called kidney failure. Kidney failure results in dialysis and/or a kidney transplant.
How do you keep your kidneys healthy?
- Manage your diabetes – high blood sugar slowly damages your kidney
- Eat a heart healthy diet
- Keep a healthy blood pressure
We care about your overall well-being and we encourage you to incorporate these kidney healthy tips into your daily routine. CPR Choice is also committed to offering you life-saving skills such as First Aid, CPR and AED training. Having confidence in your ability to perform CPR and to use an AED is the best way to prevent unnecessary deaths. CPR Choice is your source to learn the skills needed to save a life! Sign your family up today and be equipped with the skills to help save a life, possibly a loved one.
Give Life-Be an Organ Donor
As I celebrate a 10 year cancerversary, I can’t help but think about others who have just been diagnosed, those still fighting every minute of every day, and those who have lost the fight. I was lucky and I try to give back every day in my love for others and interactions. And I’m an organ donor.
Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Stage II Renal Cell Carcinoma. I can still remember the day I was diagnosed. I remember the pain I was in although time has dulled the feelings, the immediate anxiety about the unknown and the future, and I remember thinking am I going to survive this? I immediately started thinking of my next steps- power of attorney, living will, will and all the other financial implications one deals with when faced with a major illness. Things moved quickly for me and diagnosis and surgery was less than a week apart. As a result, I never complain about doctor appointments or testing running late because that week I’m sure I bumped everyone. This was one of many shifts in my thinking. I was blessed to be cared for so quickly and with such compassion. My cancer was all contained and my right kidney was removed. After the surgery and recovery, I was blessed to resume my life, my normal life. Not everyone gets that chance.
March is National Kidney Month! There will be 5ks, 10ks, fundraisers and other activities to bring awareness of kidney disease, tips on kidney health and how to manage kidney disease. It’s also a great time to think about organ donation. Organ donation shares life with others. Donations are not limited to just organs, tissues are valuable too. Lifesaving transplants include heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, lungs and small bowel. Tissues that could save or enhance someone’s life include eyes/corneas, heart valves, bones and skin grafts.
Donate Life Tennessee is the state’s official, nonprofit (501c3) Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. Dedicated to saving the lives of thousands of Tennesseans who are waiting for life-saving transplants. Donate Life Tennessee provides you a place to document your decision of organ and tissue donation. Once you register, you are immediately available to authorized donation professionals, which means your decision will be honored in the event of your death. You may also register when you renew or apply for a drivers license or ID with the Tennessee Department of Safety. Just remember to say “YES” every year to organ donation to remain on the registry.
Currently over 1900 Tennesseans are waiting for transplants and hoping for another chance at life! The power is in your hands. Register today!
March is Colorectal Awareness Month
Did you know that Colon Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women? Colon cancer or colorectal cancer, which includes colon cancers as well as cancers that form in the rectum, affects everyone- all races and ethnic backgrounds. March is devoted to helping communities, families and medical professionals work together to help spread the word, provide treatment options and information, and providing tips for prevention.
Colon cancer is a malignancy that starts in the large intestine and/or colon and begins as benign polyps. The polyps are growths attached to the lining of the large intestine and occasionally produce symptoms such as bleeding and/or constipation. However, sometimes you will not receive a warning sign! Prevention is the always the key and March provides a platform to remind everyone how important it is to get checked and pay attention to the warning signs. As a result of the increased attention – prevention, early detection and treatment have resulted in death rates decreasing and we can still do more! Here’s some tips to follow for better health:
- Get Screened! 50 is the magic number, unless you have a family history or other risk factors.
- Limit the amount of red meat; eating processed meat and/or red meat, such as hamburger or steak, increases your risk of colon cancer.
- Take a multi vitamin; This is an easy way to help protect against colon cancer and as an added bonus calcium and vitamin d have also been show to also reduce the risks! One a day is plenty!
- Don’t smoke!
- Maintain a healthy weight-obesity and additional weight gain is linked to at least 10+ different kinds of cancers! Do yourself a favor and lose the weight, lose the risk!
Know the risks, talk with your doctor and practice prevention!
CPR Choice cares about you & your health!
Go Red for Women
Did you know – 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke every year and approximately 80% is preventable!
Go Red for Women on National Wear Red Day, This Friday, Feb. 6!
CPR Choice Offers Free Family & Friends CPR Class! Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of American women and men. Women are more likely than men to have heart disease or a stroke, and 1 in 3 will die. At CPR Choice, our mission is to save lives. February is American Heart Month. The goal is to raise awareness for heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as recognize warning signs and learn life-saving skills in the event of an emergency.
In support of these national awareness campaigns, CPR Choice will be offering a Family & Friends CPR class to the public at their Knoxville location, this Friday, February 6th at 5:30 pm in conjunction with American Heart Association’s (AHA) National Wear Red Day and in support of the Go Red for Women campaign. Don’t forget to wear RED. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.
In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) created Go Red for Women® campaign to provide education, support and increase funding for heart disease and treatment. One of the major events from the Go Red for Women® campaign includes the National Wear Red Day®! Every year since the National Wear Red Day® was introduced Americans are challenged to wear red, paint your community red, and create activities to focus on helping save women’s lives through support, research and funding.
The AHA can boast about some major shifts in the lives of women since their program was developed.
Here are a few accomplishments:
- Almost 90% of women have made at least one healthy modification
- Exercise has increased and weight has been lost
- Fewer women are dying from heart disease and stroke
- Death rates have decreased by more than 30%
Continue this tradition by helping us raise awareness to end this killer of women. Celebrate National Wear Red Day® with Go Red for Women® on Friday, Feb 6, 2015. It’s easy and fun to participate and the best part is help give back to your family and community.
Here’s some ways you can help:
- Wear RED to show your support!
- Share your RED! Use the hashtag #GoRed on all social media
- Donate to help raise money for awareness and research.
- Learn CPR and AED Functionality -CPR Choice is your source to learn the skills needed to save a life! It is a very small price to pay versus watching the ones you love pass in front of you. Sign up for a CPR course in Knoxville or the Tri-Cities today! Teaching CPR is more than our job; it is saving lives.
Visit GoRedforWomen.org for more information including fundraising, how to donate and utilize free tools and resources to make this National Wear Red Day® the best one yet!
American Heart Month
The color RED, LOVE and HEARTS fill the month of February! February is American Heart Month and the entire month is devoted to helping people learn how to be heart healthy and reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. Cardiovascular disease or CVD, which includes heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. CVD Is also the leading cause of disability, which prevent people from enjoying family activities and working.
In 2003 the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood institute took action against heart disease, where the perception was it affected more men than women. Heart disease is now the #1 killer of women and both organizations are working hard to continue to increase awareness for both men and women.
What are the risks for Heart Disease?
- High blood cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Being inactive
- Diabetes and pre-diabetes
- Being overweight
- Family history of early heart disease
- Poor eating habits
- Age – men and women over the age of 55!
How do you lower your risk?
- Eat for your HEALTH! Eat a heart healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and avoid added sugars.
- Move! Physical activity is a key to lowering your risk and helping you maintain or lose extra weight.
- Partner with your doctor! Make sure they know your family history, your lifestyle and openly communicate about your health, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.
Getting Heart Healthy requires small changes in your daily habits that will make a huge impact on you, your family and your healthy. Take control of your destiny and remember CPR Choice when it comes to learning some life-saving skills. CPR Choice offers classes in First Aid, CPR and AED Training. We have a passion for training people in the event of a medical situation.
Check out our CPR training calendar and sign up for a class today in Knoxville, Maryville, or Tri-Cities! CPR Choice also offers CPR training on-site at your location. Learn CPR in the comfort of your office or home!
Boost Your Immune System Naturally
Seems like everyone around you is SICK! How can you strengthen your immune system’s defense again viruses and bacterial infections that cause conditions like the common cold or flu. We know everyone will and can get sick, even the healthiest people. We wanted to share a few ways to support your immune system the natural way.
- 8 hours of sleep is a requirement! Sleep helps the body regulate the immune system. It’s critical you get enough rest before you get sick.
- Focus on hygiene. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands is the best way to steer clear of an illness. Washing your hands should take you at least 15-20 seconds, using warm water and soap. Seems silly to remind you, but you should always wash your hands prior to preparing food or eating and after you cough, sneeze or use the restroom.
- Relieve your stress. Studies have shown that prolonged stress has a negative impact on a person’s immune system. Incorporate stress relieving techniques in your daily routine – those can include yoga, meditation or cuddling with a loved one.
- Moderate exercise is the key! Working out on a regular basis can help mobilize your T cells, which are a type of white blood cells known to guard the body against infections. Moderate exercise includes a brisk walk for an average of about 30 minutes a day. Easy enough and not only fights against illness, but also helps you stay fit and mentally in balance.
- Diet- seems like it all comes down to what we eat! Antioxidants are essential to supporting our immune systems. Antioxidants fight the free radicals, which are chemical by products know to damage DNA and suppress the immune system. To continue to fight the free radicals- make sure your diet is rich in fruits and vegetables. Also for another immune boost, add garlic and ginger to your diet. Garlic has virus-fighting and bacteria-killing properties, while ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory. And don’t forget the importance of water! It helps keep infections at bay by flushing out your system.
CPR Choice cares about your well-being. Incorporate these tips into your every day to help you stay healthy!
5 Ways to Lower Your Risk of a Heart Attack
Heart disease is the number one killer in American. Let me say it again—the NUMBER ONE killer and in most cases we can avoid or decrease our chances of developing this disease. Heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply the heart with blood, oxygen and any nutrients start to narrow. The narrowing is a result of a buildup of cholesterol fatty deposits inside the arterial walls. The buildup, also known as plaque, clogs up the arteries creating blockages therefore restricting oxygenated blood to get to the heart.
Lower your risk today by adopting the following habits:
- Stop smoking and don’t start! Smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease in women. Chemicals in the tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis, which is narrowing of the arteries. This leads to a heart attack. Also, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood. This leads to higher blood pressures and forces your heart to work harder. Bottom line- stop smoking! The good news is once you stop your risk of heart disease drops significantly over the years. By the 5th year of non-smoking you are almost back to a non-smoker status!
- Eat a heart healthy diet. Plan ahead, do some research and find a heart healthy diet for you and your family to follow. It’s not really about cutting back but making better choices- for you and your loved ones. By eating the right foods YOU can manage so many things, for example control your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. To get you started here’s some additional tips:
- Add plenty of fruits and vegetables to your daily food routine, especially those green leafy vegetables and vitamin C rich items. Your goal should be at least 10 servings a day. And fruits and vegetables have an added bonus- not only do they help prevent heart disease, they may also help prevent cancer and improve diabetes.
- Don’t forget whole grains and fiber.
- Watch your sodium intake– eating at home is the best way to manage the amount of sodium you eat!
- MOVE! Regular exercise can help prevent your risk of fatal heart disease. When you combine exercise with the other tips we have provided you will reap so many benefits, such as helping your body reduce insulin resistance and providing you with endorphins that lift your mood! A brisk 30 minute will do wonders for your body and mind!
- Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight, especially around your mid-section increases your risk of heart disease. It can also open the door to additional health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Avoid the word “diet” – look for ways to make lifestyle changes. Make good food choices and learn to fuel your body the right way!
- Sleep! Did you know that sleep deprivation increases your stress hormones, raises your blood pressure and can affect your blood sugar levels? Adequate sleep is crucial to our proper brain function, basically we need time to decompress and prepare mentally and physically for the next day. We need at least 8 hours of restful sleep a night. We have adopted the following strategies to help us get a good night’s sleep:
- Get on a schedule to help you keep regular sleep hours.
- Meditate before going to bed, focus on lowering your heart rate and relaxing.
- Exercise daily but limit exercise to at least 4 hours prior to bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol or any other stimulant 4 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid watching TV before bedtime.
The risk is real! Heart disease will affect a member of your family, a co-worker, an associate- the question is are you prepared to help in the event of a medical emergency. CPR Choice offers classes in First Aid, CPR and AED Training. We have a passion for training people in the event of a medical situation. Check out our CPR training calendar and sign up for a class today in Knoxville, Maryville, or Tri-Cities! CPR Choice also offers training on-site at your location. Learn CPR in the comfort of your office or home!
CPR Choice at The Healthy Living Expo, Knoxville
The Healthy Living Expo is coming up! Get ready for Knoxville’s largest Health & Fitness Expo. AND…Guess What?? CPR Choice will be participating this year! We will be doing live CPR demonstrations as well as teaching classes and handing out information at our booth. Come visit us and learn “hands-only” CPR and get some information and goodies! We will also be teaching a Friends & Family class each day of the expo. The class will be $10 and all proceeds will be donated to The American Heart Association.
Friday, Jan 23, 2015 9am-3pm (Family & Friends CPR @ 2PM, click to sign up)
Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 9am-4pm (Family & Friends CPR @ 2PM, click to sign up)
Knoxville Convention Center, Booth #121
Admission to the expo is $10 at the door or FREE if you get your tickets ahead of time.
Seniors FREE on Friday, Children 12 and under FREE
FUN! FIT! FABULOUS and FREE!
The area’s largest event focused on health, fitness, nutrition and living green returns for it’s eleventh year to the Knoxville Convention Center January 23-24, 2015. Over 130 individual companies fill more than 250 exhibits. The Expo continues to grow each year from its launch in 2005 and expects approximately 10,000 visitors! The Healthy Living Expo offers interactive, educational exhibits, demonstrations and presentations. Best of all, it is FREE when you get tickets before the doors open.
Some of the features for the 2014 Expo:
- Natural Awakenings Natural Health Pavilion
- Life Saving Skills taught by CPR Choice
- Chiropractic Care Pavilion
- Various Important Health Checks
- Healthy Food Sampling Booths
- Hundreds of prizes given away both days!
FREE WELLNESS PROGRAM FOR EMPLOYERS
Cigna Healthcare takes the lead promoting employee wellness by sponsoring tickets to the expo for any company that registers on The Healthy Living Expo website. Whether you have a handful of employees or one of the largest employers in our region, registration only takes a few minutes at the website, TheHealthyLivingExpo.com then you can offer:
MANY WAYS TO GET FIT and GET HEALTHY!
From natural health products to fitness companies, you will find a plethora of new ways to get fit and get healthy at The Healthy Living Expo, including life saving techniques from CPR Choice!
What could be more important than knowing how to save someone in a life threatening situation? The Expo is proud to have CPR Choice demonstrate on stage some of the techniques you can learn when you take a CPR class. You can even take a class while you are at the expo, so by the time you leave you can be prepared to properly assist someone with life saving skills!
Natural Health Pavilion
This section of The Healthy Living Expo has companies with products and services that have a natural health aspect. Natural Awakenings Magazine, the foremost leader in our community promoting natural health is the sponsor of this area. Everything from household products, nutritional supplements to local green suppliers are found in the pavilion promoting a healthy mind, body and planet.
Chiropractic Care Pavilion
In keeping with the natural health approach to wellness is the Chiropractic Care pavilion. Three top chiropractic health professionals host this section with information about whole body wellness using natural health solutions.
Getting outdoors, taking walks and hikes, visiting local parks are all part of living healthy so the City of Knoxville sponsors this area to inform our community of these available resources. Look for many associations and businesses offering information and products for outdoor fun for the entire family available right here in East Tennessee.
Get FIT with Health Checks
More than a dozen free health checks are available at the Expo. Screenings for allergies, blood pressure and a list of other simple tests will be listed at TheHealthyLivingExpo.com under the health check tab.
Local Chef Walter and other experts using healthy products create FABULOUS foods at the Eat Right stage then share samples with visitors. And after each segment, prizes are drawn for those attending. In addition to the stage presentations, numerous exhibitors offer samples of healthy products.
Get Active to stay FIT!
Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center takes the lead on this stage with plenty of ideas for getting active. Music fills the area for two days highlighting numerous ways to become more active. Demonstrations are exciting to watch, inviting to participate and created for visitors of all ages.
It is informative and fun! Come check it out! This is a prime opportunity to find ideas, products, and services from the many exhibitors! CPR Choice is offering these Family & Friends CPR classes as a public service. All proceeds from this class will be donated directly to the American Heart Association.