Tuesday, 16.01.2018
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   Beauty and fashion, health updates, pets, gadgets

by Dr De La Flor
Your questions answered
Dear Dr. De La Flor,
My husband and I are both fair skinned and use sunscreen diligently. How do we know which ones really work? Are the ones with the highest SPF number the best option?
Adrianna


Your questions answered

line
Tenerife - 04.07.2011 -

Dear Adrianna,

If youve shopped for sunscreen lately, you have probably noticed the proliferation of products with ever-higher sun protection factor (SPF) ratings.

SPF refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause sunburns, but not UVA rays, which are more closely linked to deeper skin damage. Both UVA and UVB contribute to the risk of skin cancer. The SPF rating is a measure of the time it would take an individual to develop a burn in the sun if they were not wearing sunscreen vs. the time it would take with sunscreen on.

According to research, an SPF 15 product blocks about 94 per cent of UVB rays, an SPF 30 product blocks 96 per cent of UVB rays, and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98 per cent of rays. Therefore, sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays, but none offers 100 per cent protection. Only common sense can provide complete protection. The most important step you can take is being careful about how much sun exposure you get.

What about UVA Rays? UVA radiation reaches deeper into the skin and contributes to wrinkles and skin cancer risk. Nearly all of the UV radiation that we are exposed to is UVA radiation. Many of the high SPF sunscreens use chemical filters to block UVA rays, which may offer only marginal protection. Thats because UVA filters, break down quickly and lose effectiveness in the sun unless stabilised. All experts agree that even the best sunscreens need to be used properly to work.  Whatever product you choose, experts recommend using liberally a water-resistant sunscreen, a half hour before going outdoors. It should be reapplied at least every two to three hours or after swimming, drying off, or sweating.

As we now enjoying summer, it is the ideal time to schedule a visit with your GP to perform a skin check and examine any moles or freckles that you already have.  Your family doctor can detect any possible problems that need to be addressed. Enjoy the summer!

 

 

Dear Doctor,

 

My GP told me that I need to see the consultant since my PSA is very high. Will I need a prostatectomy if they confirm it is cancer? How important is the PSA reading?

 

Jim

 

 

Dear Jim,

 

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a substance produced by your prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels may indicate prostate cancer or a noncancerous condition such as prostatitis or an enlarged prostate. Most men have PSA levels under 4 (ng/mL). Men with prostate cancer often have PSA levels higher than four, although cancer is a possibility at any PSA level. Just as important as the PSA number is the trend of that number (whether it is going up, how quickly, and over what period of time).

Most men with elevated PSA levels have noncancerous prostate enlargement, which is a normal part of aging. Conversely, low levels of PSA in the bloodstream do not rule out the possibility of cancer. However, most cases of early prostate cancer are found by a PSA blood test.

Although the PSA test is used mainly to screen for prostate cancer, it is valuable in other situations: to help determine how advanced cancer is and to determine treatment success.

Surgery is one of two main treatments for early-stage prostate cancer. Radiation is the other. Surgery may be done to remove the prostate and remove and test lymph nodes in the area to see whether the cancer has spread. The stage of your prostate cancer along with your age and general health will affect the type of procedure your surgeon will choose.

Radical prostatectomy is an operation to remove the entire prostate and any nearby tissue that may contain cancer. It can be done as open surgery through an incision (cut) in the belly, or as laparoscopic surgery through several very small incisions in the belly. Surgery may completely remove prostate cancer. But it is not possible to know for sure before surgery whether the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. When cancer has spread, it cannot always be cured with surgery alone. Best wishes for you and your prostate!

 

Dr. De La Flor, licensed G.P./Family Doctor, holds certificates in coaching, nutrition and medical exercise from Berkeley University and the American Council on Exercise. His medical approach is highly influenced by Positive Psychology; an empowering, encompassing way of approaching patients through the study of their strengths and virtues to enable them to thrive and lead fulfilling lives, accept the past, find happiness in the present, and hope for the future. You can reach the doctor at 00-34-697.888.666 to schedule a consultation in his surgery or in your home/business.


This article appears in the print edition 646 of Island Connections



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