Skin Cancer and Sun Protection for Women

Everyone is at risk for skin cancer. One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Many skin cancers are increasing in incidence for our population. In particular, the incidence of Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has doubled in women aged 15-39 from 1973 to 2004. 

Dr. Henry of Westshore Primary care shares skin cancer prevention tips. Learn more. Image of woman wearing a wide brimmed hat, licensed CC BY-ND 2.0

Indoor Tanning & Melanoma

Indoor ultraviolet tanners are 69 percent more likely to develop Melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. Exposure to ultraviolet light, from the sun and indoor tanning beds, is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Both UVA (Ultraviolet A) and UVB (Ultraviolet B) radiation from the sun contribute to increased risk of skin cancer. 

How do UVB & UVA radiation affect my skin? 

  • UVB is the primary cause of sunburn. 
  • UVA prematurely ages the skin, causes wrinkles and dark pigmentation or age spots.

Eat Healthy & Get Active: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Did you know that over the past three decades childhood obesity rates in America have tripled?

1 in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese.

The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented. So in honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we encourage you and your family to make healthy changes together. 

September is national childhood obesity awareness month. Westshore Primary Care encourages you to make healthy changes for you and your family. Learn more. Image of family shopping for fruit. Licensed CC BY 2.0

How is childhood obesity measured?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), body mass index (BMI) is a measure used to screen for childhood weight and obesity. 

A child’s weight status is determined using an age-and sex-specific percentile for BMI.


Sports Medicine Tools of the Trade

Can you imagine the physician for a professional sports team telling an injured athlete to walk down the street to the hospital for an xray?

Well, that’s exactly what happened to Gordie Howe.

I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon which featured one of the greatest hockey players of all time, “Mr. Hockey”, Gordie Howe. He was speaking to us (mostly a group of physicians) about his experiences and the various injuries he encountered during his career in professional hockey.

One story was about when he severely injured his wrist. While being examined in the locker room the physician said, “Gordie, it looks like you may have a fracture in your wrist. You’re going to need x-rays. You’ll have to take a walk to the hospital down the street.

I could hardly believe what I heard. One of the greatest professional athletes of all time had to walk on his own to a hospital in order to receive medical treatment.

x-ray of hand and wrist More...

The Buzz About Insect Stings

This time of year, many people are busy outside with gardening, picnics and just enjoying the beautiful weather.  It’s not uncommon to see bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets while we are out enjoying these activities.  We need to be aware of this, how to avoid them and what to do in case you or a loved one is stung.

August is immunization awareness month. Dr. Wasserbauer from Westshore Primary care shares tips about what to do when you get stung by an insect. Image of a honey bee on a flower “Honey Bee” by R.H. Sumon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Preventing Stings 

Stay away from stinging insects. These insects are most likely to sting if they are provoked or they feel that their home is threatened.  So be aware of your environment.  

  • Avoid brightly colored clothing or perfumes that may attract these insects. 
  • Keep food, drinks and garbage covered when eating outdoors. 
  • Beware that insects may enter a straw or a can of soda pop. 
  • Wear shoes because some insects will be in the grass and sting if they are stepped on.

If you have a close encounter with a stinging insect, remain calm and move away slowly. 

What Happens After a Sting?

When most people are stung by an insect, the site develops redness, swelling and itching. 

However, some people are actually allergic to insect stings. This means that their immune systems overreact to the venom.

If you are insect-allergic, after the first sting, your body produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). If stung again by the same kind of insect, the venom interacts with this specific IgE antibody, triggering the release of substances that cause an allergic reaction.


What Immunization Shots Should An Adult Get?

Many adults are unaware of what immunization shots, if any, are needed. This should be discussed with the person's physician during their annual physical. 

For purposes of today's blog post, we will assume the adult has had immunizations up to the age of 19.

 What immunization shots should an adult get? Dr. Lawrence Lief describes how many adults are unsure, and should discuss it at their annual physical. image of an adult getting an immunization shot

Tetanus Shots

A tetanus diphtheria booster 10 years after the last tetanus shot and a tetanus diphtheria shot every 10 years thereafter is recommended.

Adults under the age of 65 who have close contact with an infant younger than 12 months should get the whooping cough (pertussis) booster added to this booster once if it's been at least five years since their last tetanus/diphtheria shot.

Flu Shots

Most folks are aware of the annual flu shot. It is usually given in October and November but getting the vaccines even later will still be beneficial in most years for as long as the illness is occurring in your community. It can occur anytime from November through May but most often peaks in January and February.


Got a Food Allergy? You're Not Alone

Image of peanuts. Learn more about food allergies from Westshore Primary Care physician Dr. Nancy Wasserbauer, Allergist/Immunologist.

These days we can identify two forms of disease: 

  1. Communicable, i.e. infections
  2. Non-communicable, i.e. allergy, heart disease, obesity.  

Non-communicable diseases are on the rise. Today I would like to focus on food allergies.

Food Allergy

A food allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to a particular protein found in a food.  

Within minutes, the affected person may experience itching and swelling of the skin, breathing difficulty, light-headness and disorientation, vomiting and diarrhea.  

Food allergies, especially to peanuts and tree nuts, are the most common cause of the most serious allergic reaction described above, also known as anaphylaxis. (an-a-fi-LAK-sis).   

Emergency room visits for food-induced anaphylaxis occur about once every six minutes in the United States.  

The most common foods known to trigger allergic reactions are:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Tree nuts

The rise in the prevalence of food allergy is unprecedented.  The burdens personally, socially and economically are vast.  And while food allergy affects both children and adults, the greatest burden from the rise of food allergy falls to our very young children.

Food allergy research and education (FARE) walk to raise funds and awareness for food allergies in the United States.

Join Our Team and Help Us Say FAREwell to Food Allergies

If you are asking yourself why this is happening and what you can do to learn more and to help, here is your answer!  

Join the Westshore Primary Care Center for Allergy and Immunology on August 12th for the FOOD ALLERGY RESEARCH and EDUCATION (F.A.R.E.) walk to raise funds and awareness for this very important cause.  2017 FARE Walk for Food Allergy Event Info.

Join Our Team 

Photo Credit: "Peanuts" by Daniella Segura is licensed under CC BY 2.0

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

The flu. Measles. Tuberculosis. 

Immunizations help to prevent these serious illnesses and keep you protected. 

National Immunization Awareness month is the perfect time to learn about vaccines and to remind our family, friends, and coworkers to stay up-to-date on their shots. 

Vaccines Aren't Just for Kids

It’s not only babies and young children who need to stay on schedule, preteens, teens, and adults all have recommended immunizations. Be sure to check these schedules before sending your kids to school or to college. 

August is National Immunization Awareness month, protect yourself and your children at every age. To schedule your checkup, contact your primary care physician, or learn more at Westshore Primary Care.

Immunization Schedules

Infants & Children (Birth-6 years)

Get Your Ohio Sports Physicals Early

Get your sports physicals early. Westshore has multiple locations with family physicians able to complete high school sports physicals. Image of boys high school soccer player from Hudson Ohio licensed CC BY 2.0

The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) requires that all Ohio student-athletes are eligible, complete the pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE) form, and visit the doctor for a routine physical exam. 

So while you are relaxing this summer, make an appointment for your student to get this part of the process completed early. 

We list the four important steps in the process for your child to play sports in schools in Ohio.

How to Get Your Child’s Ohio School Sports Physical 

1. Make sure your student is eligible to play.

Go over the eligibility checklist for your student's school level: 

You’ll notice both checklists stress concussion education and awareness.  

Optional: Complete the Free Course on Concussions in Sports 

Required: Review and sign the Ohio Department of Health’s Concussion Information Sheet [PDF] 

For more information about eligibility, visit the OHSAA Student-Athlete Eligibility page 

2. Complete the pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE) with your student online or on paper. 

Schools need health information about your student to evaluate his/her ability to participate in organized sports or physical education classes. The information will not be used for any other purpose unless you sign another authorization form permitting such additional use. 

Do you have questions about the OHSAA consent form? 

Check out the OHSAA Frequently Asked Questions for parents.

When completing the PPE, have the following information ready: 

  • Family medical history
  • Personal medical history
  • Immunizations/ Allergies/ Medications
  • Primary Health Insurance Information

Complete the PPE Online 

Follow these steps to complete your PrivIT Electronic Pre-Participation Evaluation (e-PPE). Learn more about PrivIT e-PPE

  1. Search for your school
  2. Register for an account 
  3. Complete the questionnaire 
  4. Print your documentation
  5. Complete physical exam

Or Complete the PPE on Paper

Print the Pre-Participation Physical Examination Form 2017-2018 [PDF] and complete the six-page questionnaire with your student prior to visiting the doctor for the physical exam. 

3. Make an appointment with your doctor for a physical exam.

4. Bring the completed PPE form with you to your physical exam. 

We wish you and your student-athlete a healthy, successful sports season! 

Don’t have a primary care or family physician? 

Westshore Primary Care has multiple locations and weekend hours. Call us today to schedule your sports physical appointment 440-892-6424. 

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.

Photo Credit: "Hudson Soccer 2013” by K.M. Klemencic is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sunscreen: What to Buy & What to Avoid

Are your kids heading out to play with friends? Or are you going on a vacation to the beach? Both of these situations require proper sun protection.

Since July is UV Safety month, we wanted to share some advice about sunscreen, how it works, and what to look for when you’re buying the next bottle for your family. 

July is national UV safety month. Westshore provides sunscreen tips to help prevent skin cancer. Learn more. Image of bottles of sunscreen licensed under CC BY 2.0

Remember: Always take sunscreen with you to reapply during the day! 

Who Should Wear Sunscreen?

People of all skin colors can get skin cancer from the sun’s UV rays. But you are more likely to develop cancer from UV rays if you have

  • Lighter natural skin color
  • Skin that burns, freckles, gets red easily, or becomes painful from the sun
  • Blonde or red hair
  • Blue or green eyes
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • A job where you spend a lot of time outdoors

How Sunscreen Works

The FDA shared this video a few years ago, but the information is still relevant. Remember to follow the application instructions on the bottle, because sunscreen wears off.


Vitamin D Deficiency: The Hidden Epidemic

Image of the sun and a statue of the thinker at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. The sun is one of two sources of vitamin D. Learn the risks associated with vitamin D deficiency in this blog by Westshore Primary Care.

It is now known that we have a nationwide epidemic among all age groups: Vitamin D deficiency. 

Studies over the last 10 years have conclusively shown that large populations of individuals in the United States do not receive enough Vitamin D

The statistics are sobering: Vitamin D deficiency has associations with:

  • Juvenile Onset Diabetes
  • Immune dysfunction, such as your ability to fight the flu or your response to infections
  • Rickets, a bone softening disease in children
  • Stress fractures in adolescents
  • Heart attacks
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cancers in adults