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Student Body The Emory University Health Service Volume 3, Issue 2 Division of Campus LifeSpring 2001 Fry now, pay later Getting too much sun can cause cancer. Learn how to protect yourself.

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Student Body

The

Emory University Health Service

Volume 3, Issue 2 Division of Campus LifeSpring 2001

Fry now, pay later

Getting too much sun can cause cancer. Learn how to protect yourself.

Spring break is fast approaching, and many college students are planning to head to the beaches to relax and recuperate from busy schedules. While spring break can be a great opportunity to unwind and have a great time with friends, it can also wreak havoc on the skin, causing long-term damage such as wrinkles or melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.

Although tanned skin is often considered attractive and healthy, it can be dangerous. The only type of safe tan is the one that comes in a bottle. A tan is visual evidence that the skin has been damaged. Some people believe that skin can be protected by getting a “base tan” before prolonged sun exposure, but there is no evidence that this practice offers any protection. Tanning booths do not offer safer tans, since a tanning booth’s wavelengths of light burn skin just as readily as the sun’s rays.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. More than 800,000 people are diagnosed with it every year, and it can often be cured when found early. Although certain people are more susceptible to melanoma, such as those with fair skin, it can happen to anybody. While there are several causes of skin cancer, by far, the sun is the greatest culprit. Since sunlight is a natural form of radiation, sunburn is essentially radiation damage to the skin.

In addition to skin cancer, the sun also causes wrinkles. While everyone eventually gets them, repeated overexposure to the sun will substantially speed up the

wrinkling process (so will smoking). Tanned skin tends to develop the texture of crepe paper or leather, and tends to develop more wrinkles at any earlier age than skin with less sun damage.

Fortunately, there are steps that everyone can take to protect themselves from skin cancer. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to stay out of the sun, especially during mid-day or when around water or snow. Make sunscreen use a daily habit, even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going into the sun, use at least an SPF 15, and reapply at least every two hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating.

If you do get a sunburn, your skin will need some extra care for a few days. First of all, avoid getting any more sun. Soak in lukewarm water to ease some of the discomfort. Aspirin or its equivalent will ease some of the inflammation. Use aloe or a moisturizer without Vitamin E, which is a skin allergen.

IN

THIS ISSUE

  • Stress is a Fact of Life: Learn How to Manage It Better … page 2

  • Moles: Beauty Marks or Signs of Trouble? … page 3

  • March is Eating Disorders Awareness Month .. page 4


The Student Body

Page 2

Spring 2001

St

ss

Do's and Don'ts for Managing

Stress in College

re

Stress is the body’s physical, emotional, and mental response to change, good or bad. Everyone experiences stress in one way or another, and in fact, it can be beneficial. Positive stress causes an extra burst of adrenaline that can be helpful when meeting a challenge, such as finishing a term paper. This type of stress brings up a short-term physiological tensing and added mental alertness that subsides after the stressful event, allowing relaxation and the return to normal activities.

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to return to a relaxed state. When the physical responses to stress -- increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, and stomach and muscle tension -- do not subside, they can start to cause problems, such as mental and physical exhaustion and other illnesses.

Excessive, negative stress may be a key element in many illnesses, ranging from the common cold or upset stomach to heart disease. Research has shown that stress levels affect the immune and nervous system, heart function, metabolism, and hormone levels. Many researchers and doctors now believe that stress may affect recovery from – as well as susceptibility to – illness.

College is a time when many people experience a great deal of stress due to increased personal and financial freedom, academic pressure, career uncertainty, or being away from family and friends. College can also be a time to learn and practice valuable skills to recognize the signs of stress and reduce its negative effects.

Signs of stress include: problems eating or sleeping, muscle tension, and difficulty concentrating. Check out the box on the right for tips on managing stress. However, if stress is overwhelming, individual or group counseling may be helpful. Signs of serious stress overload include: a growing craving for food, alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs; frequent risky behavior; or friends repeatedly telling you that you seem stressed out.

Do choose a quiet place to study. Studying demands all of your attention, so choose a place that is free of noise and other distractions like friends, TV, telephone, and Learnlink.

Don’t skip classes. Although an extra hour of sleep seems desirable, think of the extra stress caused by having to get the notes and learn the material on your own.

Do take short breaks. After each hour of studying, get up and stretch for a minute to relax and loosen your muscles.

Don’t hesitate to seek help. If you are having trouble with a class, talk to the professor or get a tutor. Everyone has their strong and weak subjects.

www.emory.edu/UHS


The Student Body

Spring 2001

Page 3

MOLES:

Beauty Marks or Signs of Trouble?

  • Moles are growths on the skin that occur when cells called melanocytes grow in a cluster with tissue surrounding them. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles on their body, and may develop new moles from time to time, usually until about age 40. Moles are usually pink, tan, brown, or flesh-colored and round or oval in shape. They may begin as small, flat spots and slowly become larger in diameter and raised. Over the years, moles may flatten, become flesh-colored, or even disappear.

How to Do a Skin Self-Examination

1) Look at the front and back of your body in the mirror, then raise your arms and look at the left and right sides.

2) Bend your elbows and look carefully at your fingernails, palms, forearms (including the undersides), and upper arms.

3) Examine the back, front, and sides of your legs. Also look between your buttocks and around the genital area.

4) Sit and closely examine your feet, including the toenails, the soles, and the spaces between the toes.

5) Look at your face, neck, ears, and scalp. You may want to have someone else check through your hair because it is difficult to do yourself.

  • About ten percent of people have at least one unusual mole that looks different from an ordinary mole. The medical term for these types of moles is dysplastic nevi. Doctors report that dysplastic nevi are more likely than ordinary moles to develop into skin cancer. These moles should be checked regularly by a health care provider, especially if they look unusual, grow larger, change in color, or change in sensation.

  • Doing skin self-exams every six to eight weeks is important in the early detection of skin cancer no matter what your skin color. Familiarize yourself with the natural landscape of your skin to know what is normal for you so that you can recognize changes in skin growths and appearance of new growths. When doing a skin exam, use both a full-length and a hand-held mirror in a well-lit room. You may want someone to help you with your exam for hard-to-see areas.

See your health care provider

if you see any of these qualities in your moles:

Asymmetry -- The shape of one half looks different than the other half.

Border irregularity -- The outer edge is scalloped or not a consistent shape.

Color variation -- There are different shades within the mole (tan, brown, black; sometimes red, blue or white.

Diameter greater than 1/4 inch (5mm) -- The mole is larger than the end of a pencil eraser.

  • OR

  • A new mole appears or an existing one changes appearance rapidly;

  • A mole itches, bleeds, or grows larger.

For more information on skin cancer, visit the American Cancer Society’s website at www. cancer.org

Planning a Program for Your Organization?

Emory University Health Service provides speakers on topics such as nutrition and eating disorders, sexual health, stress reduction and mental health, and substance abuse. We can also supply brochures and condoms to distribute at your event.

Contact Tara Schuster for information via LearnLink, or call 404-727-0395.

www.emory.edu/UHS


The Student Body

Page 4

Spring 2001

March is National Eating Disorders Awareness Month

Many Americans believe that thinner is better, and it is no wonder, considering the images portrayed in the media. Often, people with eating disorders believe their body size is the cause or result of many of their problems. A person suffering from an eating disorder may become trapped in a cycle of rigid and ritualistic behavior focused on his or her diet.

While there is no single identifiable cause to eating disorders, a variety of emotional, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors come into play. Eating disorders are often about much more than food.

People with eating disorders generally spend a lot of time thinking about eating, food, weight, and body image. They may obsessively count calories, weigh themselves several times a day, and place themselves on extremely rigid diets, regardless of their weight. Often, they categorize food as good or bad and make judgments about themselves based on how well they control what they eat.

If you suspect a friend has an eating disorder, you can help.

  • Learn about eating disorders and available resources. Visit the website of Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention at www.edap.org.

  • Talk to your friend. Keep the conversation informal and confidential, and focus on concerns about your friend’s health, rather than weight or appearance. Explain how the problem is affecting your relationship and mention that eating disorders can be successfully treated.

  • Realize that you may be rejected. People with eating disorders may deny their problem because they do not want to admit they are out of control. Do not take the rejection personally. Try to end the conversation in a way that will allow you to come back to the subject later.

  • Know your limits. Being angry or impatient will not help. You are there to give support, not to be a counselor or food monitor.

  • Refer your friend to Carol Kelly, RD LD, Nutrition Counselor at Emory University Health Service. Students can make an appointment by calling 404-727-7551, option 1.

A small percentage of people are able to stop their eating disorder on their own. However, because many factors contribute to these disorders, most people need help. Treatments may include several forms of therapy, such as:

behavior modification; self-help groups; and psychotherapy. In some cases, hospitalization is necessary. Although repeated or long-term treatments might be needed, eating disorders can be controlled.

COLD CARE

What you can do to feel better:

Seek medical attention if you have:

  • Get enough rest.

  • Drink plenty of clear fluids. Avoid caffeine and alcohol: they can cause dehydration.

  • Gargle with warm salt water to soothe a sore throat. Use 1/4 tsp. salt with 8 oz. warm water.

  • Breathe the steam from hot beverages and soups, or take a hot shower to ease nasal congestion.

  • Avoid smoke and other irritants.

  • A temperature over 101 degrees for more than 48 hours

  • Worsening pain in one or both ears

  • Severe headache with fever

  • A red, inflamed, painful throat

  • A chronic condition, such as asthma or diabetes, which may complicate a cold

www.emory.edu/UHS


The Student Body

Spring 2001

Page 5

The of Health Insurance

ABCs

HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Members of HMOs receive a range of health benefits for a set fee. Usually there is no deductible, but most plans require a small co-payment for each office visit (around $10-25). Members must choose a primary care physician from the plan’s list. This doctor is the member’s “gatekeeper” for all medical needs, the person the member sees when sick or in need of a referral to a specialist. Generally, members receive no benefits for health care received outside of the HMO network, except for emergency care.

PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)

Members of PPOs may seek treatment from any doctor within the plan’s network of doctors, or may see a doctor outside of the network at a higher cost. Usually, members pay a small co-payment and satisfy a deductible before the plan pays any benefits. After the deductible is met, the member only pays a set coinsurance amount (often 10-30% of the cost of treatment).

Health Insurance Terms

Co-payment - A fixed dollar amount paid at the time of service, such as office visits, prescriptions, and hospitalization.

Co-insurance - A specified percentage of the cost of treatment the insured is required to pay for all medical expenses after the policy’s deductible has been met.

Deductible - The portion of health care paid by the member before their health plan will cover any service. An average annual deductible is $250-500. Typically, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

Premium - The price that the member pays, usually per month, for membership in an insurance plan. The premium for a student insurance plan is typically paid each school year.

POS (Point of Service)

POS plans are a hybrid of HMO and PPO plans. Members still have a primary care physician within the plan that makes referrals to other in-network physicians, but they may see a physician outside the network and still receive some benefits. When paying claims for out-of-network treatment, plans only pay a set amount and the difference is the responsibility of the member.

For more information about the Emory-approved College Health Concepts Student Insurance Plan, see www.emory.edu/UHS/finance.html, and click on the brochure link.

Smart Snacking

For a healthy milkshake, blend 1 cup skim milk, 1 cup ripe fruit, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 or 3 ice cubes in a blender.

Light microwave popcorn sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese

Pretzels contain significantly less fat than most kinds of chips.

Try vegetable juice for extra vitamins

A cup of yogurt mixed with fruit or granola

www.emory.edu/UHS


April

Campus Life

Health & Wellness Fair

April 4th -- 10am-2pm

DUC Coke Commons

Dozens of health & wellness organizations will be on hand with information and freebies!

The Student Body

Page 6

Spring 2001

MARK THIS DATE

March

GHB Presentation

(The Date Rape/Party Drug)

March 5th -- 6:30-7:30 PM

Alperin Auditorium

1525 Clifton Road, 1st floor

Get the facts about GHB in with this multimedia presentation created by Emory students!

Spring Break!

March 12-16

Have fun and be safe!

The Student Body is a publication of the Office of Health Education at Emory University Health Service, in the division of Campus Life. The newsletter is published once in the fall semester and twice in spring.

Editor:

Katherine Bryant, BS

Health Education Staff:

Colleen Carter, PhD, Coordinator

Shirley Banks, Health Educator

Tara Schuster, Health Educator

Carol Kelly, RD, LD, Nutritionist

Virginia Plummer, LMSW, Counselor

Editorial Board:

Janice Latoza, MBA, CHE

Administrative Director

Mary T. Bond, MD

Ray Jarvis, PA-C

Gertrude Thompson, BSN, RN

Emory University Health Service

1525 Clifton Road

Atlanta, GA 30322

(404) 727-7551

www.emory.edu/UHS

EUHS is staffed by dedicated health care professionals who are here to meet your primary health care needs. EUHS offers these services:

Outpatient primary care

Physical examinations

Anonymous HIV and STD testing

Gynecology, family planning, and colposcopy

Mental health services

Preventive services

Laboratory testing

Allergy injections

Immunizations

Referrals to specialists

Health education

International travel information and immunizations

Nutrition counseling

Substance abuse counseling and referral

We are located at 1525 Clifton Road (next to Clifton Towers).

Please call 727-7551 and press 1 to make an appointment.

Emory University Health Service

www.emory.edu/UHS


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