Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Play It Again, Momma: The Poor & The Sick


Is there such a thing as being sick on a budget? Our family seems to think so! We try to even address our budget when it comes to our illnesses in life. Here are some ways that you can save money when you are sick:

- Try home remedies before reaching for the cough syrup. There are tons of wonderful remedies that you can do that don't require a big expense. I am a big believer in chicken soup, a warm bath, hot tea, and lots of rest. The rest alone is sometimes enough for me to kick what is ailing me.

- If you need over-the-counter medications, try and stock up on these items when doing your drugstore rebates. Usually CVS & Walgreens both will run rebates on these medications and you can get them for free or really inexpensively. Other great resources are the Dollar General, the Dollar Tree, and the generic equivalents available at your large superstores. The best way to save a buck is to have your medicine cabinet stocked with these items before you are ill. A 24 hour drugstore with no sale will run you quite a bit more than what you would spend normally.

- Organize your medicine cabinet so you know exactly where your items are. We have a three drawer plastic container where we have our medications divided by ailment (cough/cold, pain relievers, stomach) and we put these in there. I get really mad at myself when I have run out to get a medication, only to find it days later in a hidden drawer. Keeping this and your First Aid kit organized are the best ways to know what you have on hand when sickness and emergency situations arise.

- When you go to the doctor, ask if they have any samples of the medications you might need. Sometimes, particularly with my children, I am able to get enough for a few days.

- If they don't have any samples, ask if there are any prescriptions that they could give you off of the $4 list or free antibiotics from your local retailers. Call around and price check before you fill your prescriptions and always ask if you can get the generic version of any medication.

- If you start to feel ill, try right away to get in the doctor for treatment. A visit during normal office hours will be a lot less expensive than an urgent care clinic.

- When choosing a doctor, ask about evening hours and Saturday appointments. Pick a doctor with extended hours and this alone can save you quite a bit. I love that our doctor's office is open until eight in the evening and that I have many more options for appointment times.

- If you do become ill, try after-hours clinics or places like MedPoint to get the care that you need (unless the illness is life-threatening). I have saved our family a lot of money by visiting these places instead of the emergency room. Just walking into the emergency room can put me in the negative, before I have even been checked, so these after-hour clinics can be a wonderful option for the frugal family.

- If your illness does require a hospital stay, make sure to check your bills. There are many expensive and unnecessary charges that can be added to your bill. This is one of those types where diligence will be your best defense in lowering your hospital bill. Don't be afraid to ask what the charges are and have them explain the vague & general charges. You don't have to be rude, but you can be very firm and polite when asking someone to explain what a "lab fee" is for. You are your own best advocate when you are educated about what you are paying for.

- Don't forget to set up your emergency account for these types of situations. Check into getting a flexible spending account for your medical expenses. Consumer Reports offers this advice..."If your company offers a flexible spending account for your out-of-pocket health-care costs, go for it--but don't go overboard." Flexible spending accounts are usually use-it-or-lose it accounts. Figure out a rough estimate and go a little under that. Don't know what to do with all that leftover money at the end of the year? Check out these 24 suggestions for spending your leftover flexible account money.

- The best way to stop yourself from getting sick is prevention. Exercise, take a daily multivitamin, and make healthy lifestyle choices. People who do these things save tons of money on doctor visits and medications. If that isn't a powerful motivator, I don't know what is!

(image credit: Bryan Warman)


Potential Monthly Savings: $20 or more

What are some ways you save money when your family is sick?

Labels: , ,

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Going Without Prescription Coverage

(originally aired: October 14, 2007)

I debated a long time about whether or not to post this, but I figured it might help someone else out there so I thought I would share my experience.

When my husband started his new job, we started a ninety day lapse in insurance coverage. We have purchased a temporary policy with a high deductible, but we are going without some of the perks that we had with our old policy. One of those perks was a reimbursement program on my prescription drugs.

I do want to begin by saying that the medication I was on was not working for me. I have IBS and I have depression and the drugs that my family physician had me on were not helping me at all. If there was a side effect listed with the medication, I had it. I am one of those people who experiences terrible side effects, which makes me hesitant to ever fool around with a good thing when it comes to my medicine. Unfortunately, since I have had Emily, I have not found that magical sweet spot where I have felt good and we have been bouncing me around on all sorts of medicines and no relief from either ailment. When my stomach medication was pulled by the FDA due to people dying from complications, I threw my hands up in the air and knew that I needed to make a change.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I talked with a girlfriend who is a firm believer in homeopathic remedies. My feelings towards these types of treatments have always been disbelief. I will admit it, I have always considered many of these remedies a waste of money. Her sister-in-law has three homeopathic practices and a long line of happy clients, so she said she could ask her some of the things that I could take after I explained everything that I was looking for, what wasn't working, and so on. I remember thinking that if it sounded too "weird" or "out there" that I would not take them.

Another important element to me was that I was not paying more for my treatment than I was for the prescription drugs. Always the frugal girl, I wanted my treatment to be affordable, but also to feel better.

My friend gave me a list of what she had suggested and none of it was strange or unheard of. For my stomach, one of her recommendations was a cup of hot water with lemon before bed (how frugal is that?) She also had a substitute for my anti-depressant and a few items that would boost my immune system.

I have been doing this for about a month now and I have never felt better in my life. My constant tiredness and that cloudiness that I felt is gone and I am feeling more like myself than I have ever felt before. I am amazed at the difference that I feel and how I react towards my family. I am experiencing no side effects and I see a noticeable difference in myself. I feel like me again and it has been a long time since I have felt that way.

The icing on the cake is the extra $200 that will be sitting in my account each month. My new medicines only cost me $50 each month! What a savings!

If medications aren't working for you, homeopathic remedies might be worth looking into. My depression and stomach problems were mild, but were having a negative effect on my life. With care from an expert in the homeopathic field, you might be able to relieve yourself of your symptoms and keep a little extra money in your pocket at the same time.

If you do have to take medications though, my articles on going without health insurance and my article on going without prescription coverage might provide some help! I also blogged on treating ailments when you are without coverage or are looking for the cheapest way to treat sickness.

Have you ever substituted homeopathic remedies for prescription drugs? What are your feelings towards these types of remedies?

Labels: , , ,

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Clay Cookery: A Frugal Chef's Dream Come True


A long time ago, I read a post from Meredith, at Like Merchant Ships, about her clay cooker. Since her post, I have been on the lookout for a clay baker of my own, but have not seen one on any trip to the thrift shops. I am sure that I probably passed a million, not knowing what the heck they were, but when I finally figured it out...there were none to be found.

Until last week, that is! I actually spotted two of them sitting together on a shelf. I lunged to grab one and took home the one that was in the best condition. It was marked for six dollars, a bit more than I usually spend on a single item in housewares. After months and months of waiting though, I was willing to fork over the six dollars.

The lid was tightly taped shut and, I prayed that there was nothing wrong inside of it. What I discovered was that the clay cooker had never been used and all of the information packets were neatly tucked inside waiting for the next owner.

Today we roasted a chicken for our family in it. A good old Aldi chicken was stuffed with rosemary from my garden and seasoned with a little salt and pepper. I slid the chicken into the cold oven, after soaking my baker in water, and baked it at 450 degrees for 85 minutes.

I had read the packets cover to cover, praying that I wouldn't screw it up. Would the chicken really be moist and flavorful? Would it be brown or would it be light in color like my slow cooker chickens? Was it really true that it didn't require liquids?

We held our breaths as I lifted the lid...

What was unveiled was better than I had imagined. A juicy and flavorful chicken- full of color and just as good as any chicken I have bought in a store.

After we were all done applauding... well, maybe that didn't really happen, but I will say that we were all really impressed with just how good that chicken tasted.

I can't wait to try other things in the clay cooker and, just in case your thrift store find does not come with a booklet, here are a few of the tips that were provided for using your clay baker:

  • Soak it in water- Completely immerse the top and bottom in water for ten to fifteen minutes before each use.
  • Place in a cold oven- After adding the ingredients, place your clay baker in the center of the cold oven.
  • Time cooking according to your own preferences and oven- tastes and ovens vary. Time your dishes according to the way you want them and don't hesitate to vary the recipe slightly. Recipes usually can be converted for clay pots by increasing the cooking temperature by 100 degrees and deducting a 1/2 hour of cooking time.
  • Put the clay cooker on a cloth when you remove it from the oven- Sudden changes in temperature should be avoided. When the clay baker is removed from a hot oven, place it on a towel, hot pad, or wooden board rather than a cold surface.
  • Clay bakers are ideal for the microwave- Because microwaves vary to such a great degree, it is impossible to state any rules for converting recipes for the microwave. Use the oven manufacturer's guidelines for cooking times.
  • Clean with a hot water and a brush- Use hot water and a stiff brush to clean your clay baker. A little baking soda will cut any grease. Translation: NO SOAP! Never scour with a scouring powder or metal scouring pad. It can block some of the pores of the clay, reducing the water absorption.
  • Don't use it on an open flame- It is designed only for the oven.
  • Place the lid upside down on top of base when storing- When the clay baker is not in use, keep it in a place where the air circulates. Place the lid upside down on top of the base, so the air can reach inside the bottom.
But, why is a clay baker helpful for a frugal cook? Here are a few reasons I think this can be a good addition to the kitchen:

  • Cooking food in a cooker requires no additional liquids. It pulls all the natural juices out of your dishes so no need to add cans of chicken stock or extra ingredients to make your food flavorful.
  • Clay bakers allow you to prepare quick, healthy, high quality meals that cost less and taste better. My Aldi chicken looked and tasted better than any other preparation I have tried before and it browned the chicken beautifully without any extra steps at all!
  • You can cook very nutritiously. You can cook all kinds of foods without adding any fat. Due to the low cooking temperature the aroma, vitamins and minerals are preserved within your food. As someone who is trying to eat well, this is an important feature for me!
I can't wait to try other things in this clay baker and I hope you can score one of your own for your kitchen!

Have you ever tried cooking in a clay baker before? If not, what are some items you use in your kitchen that may seem unconventional to others, but have saved you time or money?

Labels: , , , ,

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finding Deals on Eye & Vision Care

Piggybacking on our discussion on going without vision and dental coverage, I got the opportunity to share with WSBT some ways that families can save on their eye coverage. I researched contact lense prices, discount programs that you can take advantage of, and where you can score an inexpensive eye exam.

Our family is currently going without optical and dental insurance and my daughter managed to break my only pair of glasses. I was overdue for an eye exam and was on my last pair of contact lenses. I drove around from place to place in town and decided that Sam's Club would be the best place for me. The selection fit my needs, the eye exam was inexpensive ($35 for my son, $55 for myself for contact & glasses fittings) and they had designer frames for between $65-90.

Although there are cheaper places on the internet to buy glasses, I really wanted to be able to try my glasses on and get them properly fitted to my face. There is something to be said for feeling confident in what you are wearing and if I would have bought them online, they would have not fit me as well.

I am planning to put this information into an article for reference on our site. Thank you all for your feedback please feel free to discuss where you have found the best deals on optical care!

Labels: ,

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

WSBT-TV: Getting Fit on a Budget

Today on WSBT, I discuss some ways to get fit without losing your gym shorts... so to speak! I am trying to get myself back in shape and here are a few links to help with motivation and savings:

Exercise & You

Working Out on a Budget

Creative Gym Membership Alternatives

Kathy Kaehler Interview

Frugal Exercise Solutions

Going Without Prescription Coverage: A Self Discovery

XFLOWSION Workout DVD

I hit the gym this morning and the owner stopped me to tell me he had seen me on the news. He suggested I do a segment on exercising and I told him that I had just taped one. "Did you mention our gym?" I smiled and said, "No, but I did tell them to call around to gyms and see if you can get a free membership for babysitting."

I am thinking that wasn't the answer he was looking for, but I made a beeline to the gym equipment and had to smile a little bit! Just trying to do my part for the moms of the world who can't afford those expensive gym memberships!

Do you have a new workout DVD recommendation or a new workout that you are really loving? Please leave a comment here and let me know!!

Labels: , ,

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Thursday, May 29, 2008

No Dental or Vision Coverage- Now What?

My husband's health insurance with his new job is so much better, but now we no longer have dental or vision coverage. Ethan & I went to get our teeth cleaned last week and the bill came to $350. We do have an FSA, but it still hurts to fork over that much.

Does anyone have any companies that they have worked with that they could recommend? I am curious what others are doing that are missing their dental and vision coverage? Do you just suck it up or is it worth it to get an individual policy?

Thanks so much for your help!

Labels:

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Reader Question: Workout DVD Recommendations?

This question comes from one of our fabulous readers! Can you please help her with some recommendations?

Does anyone have a workout DVD they really like? I have come to the realization that if I want to work out more than 1-2 times a week I'm going to have to do it at home after my daughter goes to bed.

I had 5 pounds still left to lose when I cut back to nursing only 2X a day-now I have 8lbs to lose, I need to get moving!

Thanks!
Steph

Labels:

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

InfantSEE- Free Vision Care for Your Infant

At J&J's Camp Baby, my favorite speaker of the day was from a program called InfantSEE. Dr. Scott Jenns, a successful leading optometrist, discussed children/infant eye care and shared warning signs that could alert parents to potential vision problems. He was a very moving speaker who shared heartbreaking stories of parents who were introduced to the program and were able to alter the course of their child's life with this amazing and free program.

The American Optometric Association encourages parents to include a trip to the optometrist in the list of well-baby check-ups. Assessments at six to twelve months of age can determine healthy development of vision. Early detection of eye conditions is the best way to ensure your child has healthy vision for successful development—now and in the future.

InfantSEE is a public health program designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child's quality of life. This program is FREE to parents and all it takes is a quick moment to look up your zip code to locate a doctor. Just head over to the homepage and click the button at the top to explore doctors in your area. Explore the parenting section as well with tips for vision care for your baby.

I hope this will benefit someone out there. I know that vision care is often not covered by most insurance companies, and this is a way for you to get the care you need for your baby at a very critical time in their lives.

Before this presentation, I would have never thought to schedule this for my infant, and now I will hope to pass on and promote the message that Dr. Jenns was able to share with us! I was disappointed to see that there are no optometrists in my area, but hopefully the word will spread about this excellent program and more optometrists will want to participate.

Sound Off: Do you take your children to the optometrist? How do you save money on your eye care needs? Does you/your husband's company offer any insurance, flexible spending account, or a way for you to get this expense covered? Please share!

Labels: ,

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Going Without Prescription Coverage: A Self-Discovery


I debated a long time about whether or not to post this, but I figured it might help someone else out there so I thought I would share my experience.

When my husband started his new job, we started a ninety day lapse in insurance coverage. We have purchased a temporary policy with a high deductible, but we are going without some of the perks that we had with our old policy. One of those perks was a reimbursement program on my prescription drugs.

I do want to begin by saying that the medication I was on was not working for me. I have IBS and I have depression and the drugs that my family physician had me on were not helping me at all. If there was a side effect listed with the medication, I had it. I am one of those people who experiences terrible side effects, which makes me hesitant to ever fool around with a good thing when it comes to my medicine. Unfortunately, since I have had Emily, I have not found that magical sweet spot where I have felt good and we have been bouncing me around on all sorts of medicines and no relief from either ailment. When my stomach medication was pulled by the FDA due to people dying from complications, I threw my hands up in the air and knew that I needed to make a change.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I talked with a girlfriend who is a firm believer in homeopathic remedies. My feelings towards these types of treatments have always been disbelief. I will admit it, I have always considered many of these remedies a waste of money. Her sister-in-law has three homeopathic practices and a long line of happy clients, so she said she could ask her some of the things that I could take after I explained everything that I was looking for, what wasn't working, and so on. I remember thinking that if it sounded too "weird" or "out there" that I would not take them.

Another important element to me was that I was not paying more for my treatment than I was for the prescription drugs. Always the frugal girl, I wanted my treatment to be affordable, but also to feel better.

My friend gave me a list of what she had suggested and none of it was strange or unheard of. For my stomach, one of her recommendations was a cup of hot water with lemon before bed (how frugal is that?) She also had a substitute for my anti-depressant and a few items that would boost my immune system.

I have been doing this for about a month now and I have never felt better in my life. My constant tiredness and that cloudiness that I felt is gone and I am feeling more like myself than I have ever felt before. I am amazed at the difference that I feel and how I react towards my family. I am experiencing no side effects and I see a noticeable difference in myself. I feel like me again and it has been a long time since I have felt that way.

The icing on the cake is the extra $200 that will be sitting in my account each month. My new medicines only cost me $50 each month! What a savings!

If medications aren't working for you, homeopathic remedies might be worth looking into. My depression and stomach problems were mild, but were having a negative effect on my life. With care from an expert in the homeopathic field, you might be able to relieve yourself of your symptoms and keep a little extra money in your pocket at the same time.

If you do have to take medications though, my articles on going without health insurance and my article on going without prescription coverage might provide some help! I also blogged on treating ailments when you are without coverage or are looking for the cheapest way to treat your sickness.

Sound Off: Have you ever substituted homeopathic remedies for prescription drugs? What are your feelings towards these types of remedies?

Labels: , ,

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

WSBT-TV: Dealing With the High Price of Prescription Drugs

Today on my Moms First segment (with WSBT-TV), I discussed ways that you can save money on those high prescription drug prices. This segment goes along with my articles on The Prescription Lowdown and Going Without Health Insurance.

Catch me every Tuesday morning for a quick dose of motherly advice from our site!

Quick Note: We are experiencing some technical difficulties with our forum and the registration process. The letters for verification are not showing and people are unable to register. I apologize that we are having difficulties and will let everyone know when we have resolved this issue. Thanks a bunch!!

Sound Off:
What are some ways that you save on your prescription medications?

Labels: ,

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Melissa & Michael's Story: Children's Melanoma

We would like to thank Melissa & Michael for sharing their story with us and the Children's Hospital of Orange County for facilitating this discussion.

Michael is pictured in the picture to the left. Michael volunteers his time at the Children's Hospital of Orange County, a few hours each month.

We hope our readers find these pieces informative. If you would like to share your child's story with our readers, please email me at amy@momadvice.com. We would love to raise awareness about childhood health issues.


Melissa & Michael's Story: Children's Melanoma

While rare, melanoma is becoming increasingly more common in adolescents and young adults. But because this form of skin cancer is usually associated with older adults, it is often overlooked or misdiagnosed in younger individuals.

For years, CHOC (Children's Hospital of Orange County) has been educating healthcare professionals and the public about the rising incidence of melanoma in young people. Today, The CHOC Cancer Institute is the only program in the region offering expert, aggressive treatment for adolescents and young adults with this deadly disease.

It’s a good thing Michael Driscoll spoke up about the small lump he felt under his thick, dark hair. His mother, Melissa, would never have noticed it if he hadn’t pointed it out to her.
Melissa’s heart sank when she saw the small, black scab on her son’s scalp. She knew it didn’t look good. Fortunately, this happened while they were both sitting in their dermatologist’s office. The dermatologist took a biopsy and was reassuring, but Melissa could tell she was quite concerned, too.

A few days later, on the way home from basketball practice, Michael learned he had the deadliest form of skin cancer. He was only 15. His dermatologist immediately arranged a referral to Leonard Sender, M.D., medical director of The CHOC Cancer Institute. Michael’s parents still remember how Dr. Sender called them back that very same day.

“Dr. Sender told us it would be okay, and that he had worked with numerous young patients with melanoma,” Melissa recalls. “I got the feeling that everything would be okay. Dr. Sender would make sure of it.”

During the subsequent surgery to remove the melanoma, 39 nodes were removed from the right side of Michael’s neck. One was cancerous, and Michael’s cancer was classified as stage III melanoma.

AN AGGRESSIVE COURSE OF TREATMENT

The Driscolls carefully researched Michael’s treatment options and obtained second opinions from other special­ists. Surgery was a given, but not every specialist agreed with how far to continue treatment. Some recommended a “wait and see” approach.

Dr. Sender firmly disagreed. “He said, ‘No, this is melanoma. You need to treat it aggressively,’” Melissa Driscoll recalls. “We listened to everyone and prayed about it. We looked to guidance from God on which way to turn, and it all fell into place.”

Michael and his parents decided to take the aggressive approach, and he began receiving treatment at CHOC in July 2004.

After the first month, Michael continued receiving treat­ment at home. His father, Mike, gave him injections of interferon three times a week for the next 11 months. Michael remembers always feeling tired and a headache that lasted an entire year. He lost some weight and his hair thinned a little.

Showing maturity far beyond his years, Michael never complained. He just made the best of it and tried to rest as much as possible.

Although Michael missed several school days, he was able to keep up with his studies. That year, he even managed to play the small forward position on his school’s basketball team.

A YOUNG LIFE BACK ON TRACK

Michael’s treatment finally ended in August 2005, and he continues to receive follow-up care at The CHOC Cancer Institute. The latest tests have shown that Michael is in remission. Still, Michael has to be vigilant about wearing sunscreen and hats, and he must stay out of the sun as much as possible.

Academically, Michael is on track as a junior at Santa Margarita High School.

Earlier this year, Michael started volunteering at CHOC at Mission through his school. He spends eight hours a month working with the staff and patients on the pediatric floor. At such a young age, Michael knows better than most people, exactly what these patients are going through. But he also knows there are many reasons to be hopeful, especially when cancer is caught and treated early.

And for that, he can thank his mom. Realizing that every-one is at risk for skin cancer, Melissa Driscoll has been routinely taking her children to the dermatologist for years.

“People don’t always think about taking kids to a dermatologist, but melanoma does happen. I believe in being proactive and taking my children in for an annual check-up. They all have very fair skin and a lot of moles, which are key risk factors for melanoma,” she says.

Melissa is quick to give credit where credit is due for Michael’s good outcome. “Dr. Sender is our hero. He has the aggressive personality needed to beat this demon called cancer,” she says. “And I think while medicine is very vital to beating cancer, prayer is the force behind any medication and every believing doctor. God is the reason for Michael’s success.”

What Can YOU do?

Spot a Spot Information

Statistics:

* Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer; there are 1.3 million cases of skin cancer in the U.S. every year

* One third of people living in southern California will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime

* Melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, kills one person every hour in the U.S.

* Melanoma is the most common cancer in women ages 20 to 29, and the #1 cause of cancer deaths in women ages 25 to 30

* By 2010, about one in 50 people in the U.S. will get melanoma

* Melanoma is one of the top causes of life years lost to preventable cancer

* Melanoma is 95-100% curable if caught early and treated quickly

* 19/20 melanoma deaths might have been prevented by education alone

Prevention:

* People shouldn't be dying from a cancer that is visibly growing on their skin- education is imperative

* We get approximately 80% of our lifetime sun exposure before we are 18 years old

* Having one blistering sunburn under the age of 20 doubles your lifetime risk of melanoma

* Three or more blistering sunburns increase your risk of melanoma five times

* Your chances of developing a sunburn are greatest between 10am and 4pm, when the sun's rays are strongest

* The shadow rule: The sun's rays are less intense at times when your shadow is longer than you are

Skin Cancer Self-Examination:

Examine your body front and back in a full-length mirror. Raise your arms and check your right and left sides.

Bend elbows and look carefully at forearms, upper underarms, and palms.

Examine the back of your neck, scalp, and genital area with a hand-held mirror.

Next, check the backs of your legs and feet, including the spaces between toes and soles

Spotting Melanoma:

To spot melanoma, look for the ABCD's as sited by the American Academy of Dermatology.* If a mole has asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation or change, or a diameter change it could be a sign of melanoma.

Asymmetry -- If you were to fold it in half, the two sides wouldn't match up
Border irregularity -- Jagged or blurred edges rather than smooth continuous line
Color variation or change -- Two or more different colors are present or if the mole has been changing in any way
Diameter -- Any sudden or continuing growth and any mole larger than 6mm (the size of a pencil-top eraser)

About CHOC
Making a mark in pediatric healthcare for more than 40 years and named one of the top children's hospitals in the nation by CHILD magazine, Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) is exclusively committed to the health and well being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy and outreach. CHOC's growing healthcare network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, several community clinics, a residency program that trains tomorrow's pediatricians, four centers of excellence -the Heart, Cancer, Orthopaedic and Neuroscience Institutes, and a Research Institute that brings advanced treatment to our patients.

CHOC recently earned the "Excellence in Patient Safety & Health Care Quality Award" from the state's leading health plans, and was one of only nine children's hospitals in the nation to be named to the Leapfrog "Top Hospitals 2006" list, based on results from The Leapfrog Group's Hospital Quality and Safety Survey. For more information about CHOC, visit
www.choc.org.

Labels: ,

ENJOYED THIS POST? SHARE IT WITH OTHERS:

Click to share on StumbleUpon STUMBLE This Click to share on kirtsy Add to KiRTSY Click to share on Mixx Add to MIXX Click to share on DeliciousIt's DELICIOUS