Author Archive

Cancer or a Common Skin Problem? What Do I Do?

May 18th, 2015

It started out looking like a tiny wart. Then it grew, rapidly, swelling to monstrous size in just a few weeks beneath the surface of the skin. It looked to me like it could have been some sort of cancerous growth.

I made an appointment with a dermatologist and it turned out to be something benign but also obscure…at least to me. It was called a pyogenic granuloma, also known as a lobular capillary hemangioma.

A pyogenic granuloma is a benign vascular tumor, which occurs primarily in the skin or mucous membranes. Most frequently found on the hands or feet, these lesions also commonly occur on the face, head, neck, or inside the mouth.

A pyogenic granuloma will initially appear as a pinhead-sized bump or nodule. Most range from dark pink to red in color. Within weeks, the lesion may expand to several centimeters in size as it begins to protrude from the skin.

One of the most distressing aspects of a pyogenic granuloma is that it is subject to persistent bleeding: the slightest bump in the area of the tumor can cause it to bleed profusely. Because the lesion consists of new capillaries, sometimes the bleeding does not stop within the timeframe of a normal wound.

Even more disturbing is the uncertainty of the condition when it has not yet been diagnosed; it is, after all, a tumor, so it looks like a cancer to the layperson.

Surgery is the only way to remove a pyogenic granuloma. For mine, the procedure was a simple outpatient procedure under local anesthesia, and took less than fifteen minutes.

Pyogenic granulomas are mostly just an unsightly nuisance, but their resemblance to malignant tumors makes them a priority when they do appear. Anyone with a suspicious bump on the skin should visit a dermatologist promptly.

Here’s My Beard: Ain’t It Weird?

May 8th, 2015

Waiting Room Cover

Not since the days of George Carlin’s famous Hair Poem have beards been so popular. They’re back in fashion again; although, there might be an unfortunate aspect to facial hair that the medical community is acknowledging in a rather public manner.

According to recent news reports, beard swab tests in New Mexico revealed that the subjects’ facial hair held a host of bacteria more commonly associated with urinary tract infections or rest rooms.

“I’m usually not that surprised; I was surprised by this,” notes Quest Diagnostics microbiologist John Golobic. “These are enterics, the kinds of things that you’d find in feces. It certainly shows a degree of uncleanliness that is somewhat disturbing.”

Not surprisingly, a face full of hair is simply capable of holding onto all sorts of bacteria longer than a face that is clean-shaven on a daily basis. Studies by the International Foundation for Dermatology and the journal Anaesthesia have documented problems with the spread of staphylococcus. Folliculitis, or infection of hair follicles, is common among bearded men.

However, there’s no need for panic. In spite of numerous studies showing that facial hair traps dirt and germs more easily, men can still enjoy their furry faces as long as they maintain excellent hygiene. Keeping a beard neatly trimmed, washing it regularly, and applying conditioner can all keep cleanliness at a fairly healthy level.

Golobic recommends a thorough beard scrubbing, as well as frequent hand washing, and adds, “Try to keep your hands away from your face as much as possible.”

So before you kiss that bearded dude, you might want to run him through a hot shower.

Welcome to The Waiting Room!

May 4th, 2015

Welcome to “The Waiting Room,” a blog presented by Florida Health Care News to offer knowledge and insight into various medical subjects. In this room, you will meet people from all walks of life who will share their stories, struggles and insight with you.

This blog will share information on medical-related topics and will be written by various individuals, including Florida Health Care News staff and guest bloggers from our clientele of medical professionals.

Our goal is to provide inspiration, support and encouragement on the latest developments, research and technologies in the health care industry.

We will also, from time to time, share our personal medical stories in an effort to connect with you, our readers. Seeking commonalities with one another makes us feel comfortable with each other. We want to share our own experiences and ask you to also share yours by interacting with us in our comments section!

So, stop in, take a seat and happy reading!

A few of our bloggers:

Judy Wade Headshot

Judy Wade is the Editorial Manager for Florida Health Care News. A graduate of the University of South Florida, she has over 25 years of experience as a writer and editor for both print and digital news in the Tampa Bay area. She joined Florida Health Care News in 2012.

Patti DiPanfilo Headshot

Patti DiPanfilo has been a health care writer and editor for close to 25 years. She is a graduate of Gannon University In Erie, Pa, and is experienced in both marketing and educational writing. She joined Florida Health Care News in 2013.

 

Help Prevent a Measles Outbreak

February 6th, 2015
Child with Measles, Help Prevent this eradicate this disease

Measles is a serious illness. It’s a respiratory virus that can cause blindness, deafness, and even death.

Florida Health Care News and the Centers for Disease Control agree that physicians who do not take a stand in support of childhood vaccines enable parents to leave their children unvaccinated, thereby putting others’ health at risk. The recent Disneyland outbreak of measles points to the troubling consequence that “opting out” of childhood vaccinations can pose.

Read More about Preventing a Measles Outbreak.

Gail Goldy in the “News”

March 31st, 2014

Felicia Rodriguez and Paul Lagrone, anchors with ABC WPBF 25 News, pictured with our Senior Sales Associate Gail Goldy, “Like” Florida Health Care News!

 

photo

29th Annual Best of Tampa Bay

March 20th, 2014

The staff of Florida Health Care News will be enjoying a night of wonderful cuisine and music at the 29th Annual Best of Tampa Bay on Saturday April 5th at 7 p.m.  We hope to see you there!

Click below for more information:

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 2.24.28 PM

http://www.strazcenter.org/bestoftampabay

Stop Hemorrhoids Now

FDA-approved treatment is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.

“I’ve been dealing with hemorrhoids most of my adult life,” recalls Larry.* “They seem to run in the family: my father and my siblings have all had problems with them, too.”
A variety of factors can affect hemorrhoid sufferers, including heredity, pregnancy, a sedentary lifestyle, and constipation. In Larry’s case, the problem became severe.
“Within the last ten years, the hemorrhoids seemed to become more of a problem in that there was occasional bleeding associated with them,” he explains. “I could never tell when that was going to happen.”
Then Larry’s wife read about a nonsurgical treatment called Ultroid offered by Linh B. Nguyen, MD, of Advanced Hemorrhoid Solutions.
“Rather than go through the painful hemorrhoid surgery that my sister and brother went through, I figured I’d give this a shot,” he says.

The Ultroid treatment

“Hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the rectum or anal canal, are extremely common,” explains Dr. Nguyen. “In fact, more than fifty percent of people age fifty or older have them to some degree.”
Most sufferers are understandably reluctant to try the available treatment options, some of which have traditionally been both painful and inconvenient. Studies estimate that hemorrhoid sufferers spend over $1 billion a year on medications and treatments for symptomatic hemorrhoids.
“For prevention, it’s good to have a high-fiber diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables,” acknowledges Dr. Nguyen. “Other helpful measures include drinking adequate fluid daily and avoiding heavy lifting. However, change in habits alone may not effectively treat existing hemorrhoids.”
Fortunately, Dr. Nguyen offers a revolutionary, nonsurgical method for treatment of hemorrhoids that can be performed on an outpatient basis.
“Ultroid is an FDA-approved technique to treat hemorrhoids,” says Dr. Nguyen. “A low current is applied to the base of the hemorrhoid, causing a chemical reaction that induces the hemorrhoid to shrink. The procedure is well-tolerated by patients and does not require anesthesia.
“The Ultroid system is considered revolutionary because it is highly effective, safe, and convenient. Up to ninety percent of people who have it done get relief from their hemorrhoids. It doesn’t cause the agonizing pain often associated with traditional hemorrhoid surgery and it is covered by most insurances and Medicare.”
The treatment can be safely repeated as needed.
“There’s no need to take any special preparation to clear the bowels,” adds Dr. Nguyen. “Patients can have the procedure done and go back to work immediately, so there is no downtime. The entire procedure takes approximately twenty minutes.
“Some of my patients suffered miserably with hemorrhoids for twenty or thirty years, and the Ultroid treatment changed their lives.”

Stop the bleeding

The treatment definitely changed Larry’s life, he says.
“After the very first treatment, I experienced almost immediate relief,” he marvels. “I haven’t had any bleeding since the treatment started. I had several very large hemorrhoids, and they took two to three treatments each.”
He notes that he was able to return to activities immediately following each treatment.
“In one case, I flew to Las Vegas the next day and was playing golf with no problem,” he reports.
Larry adds that the positive aspects of the care at Advanced Hemorrhoid Solutions extend beyond the treatment room.
“I think the whole experience is very respectful, both of the patient and of their time,” he assures. “I never felt rushed, and the doctor is very calming and pleasant to deal with.
“Considering the area being treated, it was as good an experience as I could possibly have.”

*The patient’s name has been withheld at his request.

Make sure to visit us on Facebook!

February 5th, 2013

Keep up to date on all your favorite articles at Florida Health Care News by following us on Facebook!


 

 

 

 

We are on Twitter too!

 

Time for Some Real Changes

August 24th, 2012

There’s not a day that goes by that there’s not some news story about Obamacare or Medicare or the costly health care system. I’ve decided to throw my two cents in and talk only about Medicare and how to help save the very beneficial program for seniors.

Most people don’t pay a Part A premium because they paid a rather small Medicare tax (1.45%) while working, and this same amount is paid by the employer. The first part of my proposal is to increase the Medicare tax to 1.60% for all individuals earning over $75,000 per year. For an individual that earns $100,000 per year, the current Medicare
tax would be $1,450 per year. My proposal would increase that by $150 per year, or less than $3.00 per week. The employer would also be responsible for a similar amount.

With this slight increase that would affect approximately 37% of the working population, it would increase the Medicare coffers by approximately $890 million per year.

The second part of my proposal has to do with Medicare deductibles. According to CBS Money Watch, Medicare Part B premiums went up $3.50, to $99.90 per month in 2012. The Medicare Trustees report had previously projected an increase of $10.20, to $106.60 for 2012.

CBS Money Watch reported that “Premiums have not increased for retirees since 2009, thanks to a ‘hold-harmless’ provision – since there were no cost of living increases in the Social Security income benefit for 2010 and 2011, Medicare premiums could not rise without effectively reducing seniors’ Social Security income. Typically, Medicare Part B premiums are deducted from Social Security income checks.

“The premium for new retirees in 2011 was $115.40; this group of retirees now pays the standard premium of $99.90 per month, for a reduction of $15.50 in their monthly premium. New and prior retirees will receive a net increase in their Social Security check, given the recently announced cost-of-living increase (COLA) for 2012 of 3.6%. The 2012 COLA will increase Social Security monthly checks by an average of $43 per month, more than offsetting the modest Part B premium increase for prior retirees.

“The good news didn’t stop there – the Medicare Part B deductible actually decreased by $22, from $162 last year to $140 for 2012. The deductible for Part A hospital coverage increased from $1,132 in 2011 to $1,156 in 2012, a lower-than-expected increase, below increases in prior years, and below the rate of inflation. This comes on top of news that premiums for Medicare’s Part D, the prescription drug program, would decline ever so slightly, too.”

My proposal for Medicare Parts A, B and D deductibles is a little more complicated than the increase in Medicare Part A payroll taxes. For seniors with incomes of $25,000 or less, I propose reducing the deductible by 40% to 50%. For seniors with incomes of $25,000 to $50,000, the deductible would remain the same. For seniors with incomes of $50,000 to $100,000, the deductible would increase by the cost of living, even if there’s not a COLA for Social Security. For seniors with incomes greater than $100,000, the deductible would increase by 10%.

With these adjustments, the lower income seniors would probably no longer have to debate about seeing the doctor or having food on the table. For the higher income seniors, the modest increases in deductible would only mean a shorter cruise on their next vacation. For the Medicare trust fund, it would only mean an extra $100 million per year.

My final recommendation is for the primary care physicians to receive a greater fee from Medicare, and the specialists receive a greater fee directly from the seniors with incomes greater than $100,000.

Congratulations to Florida Health Care News!

July 23rd, 2012

Each year, the National Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) recognizes 10 companies in the United States for their exceptional commitment to the arts. Florida Health Care News, Inc. was a finalist in the 2011 BCA TEN. Nominated by The David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Florida Health Care News was proud to be one of two companies in Florida included as finalists.

Page 10 of 11