Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sleep Apnea and Cancer

People who suffer from sleep apnea are at a greater risk of developing cancer, according to two new studies.

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that approximately 28 million Americans have in one form or another. It causes fatigue, snoring and dangerous pauses in breathing at night. 

This condition is considered a top concern to sleep doctors because it deprives the body of oxygen at night and can coincide with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.  

In one of the new studies, researchers in Spain followed thousands of patients who suffered from many forms of sleep apnea. It was found that those patients with the more severe type of sleep apnea were at a greater risk of developing cancer of any kind by 65 percent.   

Another study looked at patients who had difficulties breathing at night. It was discovered that those patients with this breathing abnormality had five times the rate of dying from cancer compared to people that did not have the sleep disorder.  

According to the article from The New York Times, Dr. Mitesh Borad, a cancer researcher and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic called the studies “provocative,” but suggested that more research be performed to confirm the findings. 

However, recent studies performed on mice do suggest that sleep apnea plays an important role in developing cancer. When mice with cancerous tumors were placed in low-oxygen environments (which simulate the effects of sleep apnea), their cancers progressed more rapidly.   

Snyder and Wenner, P.C.
2200 E. Camelback Road
Suite 213
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Skin Cancer Risks Among Young Adults

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, young adults are engaging in behaviors that can increase the risk of getting skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and treatments cost Americans as much as $1.7 billion each year.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer but both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers can cause scars and reduce a patients’ quality of life.

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), from 2010, asked adults in the U.S. about a number of things, such as indoor tanning habits, their sun protective behaviors and the number of sunburns they acquired in the past year.

There were two surveys; one looked at adults from ages 18-29 about sun protective behaviors and sunburns while the second one looked at adults aged 18 and older dealing with indoor tanning devices.

For those 18-29 surveyed, it was found that experiencing one or more sunburns in the past year was common with non-Hispanic whites with 66 percent and least common among non-Hispanic blacks by 11 percent.

It was also found that only 37 percent of women use sunscreen and 33 percent of men wear long clothing down to their ankles to protect them from the sun.

In the study that surveyed those aged 18 and older dealing with indoor tanning devices, 32 percent of non-Hispanic white women were more likely to use those devices. Those who reported using the indoor tanning device also reported an average of 28 tanning sessions in the past year.

Among the non-Hispanic white adults that were surveyed, 40 percent of men and 58 percent of women used one 10 times or more in the past year.

The results from the survey show high-risk behaviors for skin cancer among young adults in the United States.

Snyder and Wenner, P.C.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


According to an article from Market Watch, a new patient safety and medical education initiative has come to light that can reduce medical mistakes by as much as 40 percent.  

The initiative, called I-PASS, would improve how patient care is “handed off” during hospital shift changes.  

I-PASS was developed at Boston Children’s Hospital and is being tested in 10 pediatric training programs across the country. 

The curriculum looks to improve communication during residents’ shift changes. The goal is to have incoming doctors accurately briefed on each patient’s status, medical history and what treatment plan they are on.  

According to the article, 70 percent of sentinel events come from poor miscommunication, which can happen during handoffs.  

I-PASS stands for:

I: Illness severity;
P: Patient summary;
A: Action list for the next team;
S: Situation awareness and contingency plan;
S: Synthesis and “read-back” of the information  

The pilot study performed found that the introduction of the new safety initiative reduced medical errors by 40 percent .It was also discovered that doctors spent more time with their patients and less time on the computer.  

Residents are trained using I-PASS by taking a three hour workshop that includes role-plays and simulations where they give and receive handoffs during real-life scenarios. 

Snyder and Wenner, P.C.
2200 E. Camelback Road
Suite 213
Phoenix, AZ 85016