Does the grumbling from your stomach mean skin cancer?

According to the Mayo clinic, 1 out every 5 Americans suffers from Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. Some of those with IBD may be at an increased risk for skin cancer, because of the immunosuppressant drugs used to treat the condition, according to studies.

In the November issue of Gastroenterology, two studies published stated that aren’t any specific recommendations for skin cancer screening in IBD patients. Also, immunosuppressants are commonly used to treat patients with inflamatory bowel disease.

In one study of the Univ. Hospital of Nancy, lead researcher Dr. Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, found that both past and present use of imunosupperssants, called thiopurines, among IBD patients greatly increased the risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer.  Non melanoma skin cancer includes basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are the most common forms in theUnited States.

All patients showed an increased risk of skin cancer, and as expected, this risk also increased with age.  All patients with irritable bowel disease currently receiving or having previously received thiopurines should protect their skin from UV radiation and receive regular dermatologic screenings, regardless of age.

In a second study, Canadian researchers found that certain patients with IBD, such as men with a disorder known as Crohn’s disease, are at an increased risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.  The use of thiopurines increases the risk.

However, Dr. Harminder Singh, lead author of the study states, “It is especially important that physicians stress the need to be extra vigilant about skin care with their irritable bowel disease patients, especially among those exposed to immunosuppressants such as thiopurines.”  He also adds that there was only a small absolute increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer seen in the study.  This may not warrant the ceasing of use of thiopurines among patients with IBD in order to control their disease.

Getting though the airport may have been riskier than we thought…

The European Union banned the use of “full body scanners” which use x-rays, because of a safety concern. All countries that are part of the European Union, 27 in total, will cease to use the backscatter scanners, “in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens’ health and safety”. This is according to a press release from the European Commission.

Although the consensus among radiation experts and medical physicists is that the scanners emit such a low level of radiation, that they don’t pose any real health risks. Apparently, a traveler would have to undergo more than 1,000 scans in one year’s time just to equal the effective dose of one standard chest x-ray. This is according to theAmericanCollegeof Radiology in a statement from last year.

A review published in the Archives of internal Medicine in March found that while backscatter scanners pose no significant radiation threat, deployment of whole-body scanners should not proceed in the absence of definitive studies to determine more precisely the risks and benefits.

While there will still be scanning done at the airports, but by the millimeter wave scanners. These use radio waves instead of x-rays, and give the reviewer a sharper image. Kelly Classic, a health physicist at the Mayo Clinic, explains that the millimeter wave scanner could show an image of a Tic-Tac in a pocket, while the backscatter would just show an image of a small object in the pocket that’s inconsistent with the lining of the pocket.

Fillers for lip augmentations are now approved!

The FDA has now approved Restylane, a filler for the face, to be used in lip augmentations, according to GlobeNewswire.

The report states the Restylane was originally produced to treat wrinkles back in 2003, but now has added use for submucosal implantation for lip augmentations in patients ages 21 or older These changes will also be seen on the labeling for the product as well as include results from clinical trials.

Testing was also evaluated through a randomized, multi-center study of over 175 patients, for Restylane’s effectiveness and safety for both the upper and lower lips. Treatments were randomized from some patients receiving treatment at the beginning of the study and again after six months and some patients not receiving treatments until six months after the trial.

According to the company, Restylane was well tolerated and deemed highly effective for lip augmentation for up to six months. there were no serious adverse effects, some patients experienced pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising, and erythema.

To learn more about fillers including Restylane, please click our link to a video that discusses fillers: FILLERS: Restylane, Radiesse, Juvederm, Cosmoderm, Perlane etc

A cup a day may keep the doctor away!



To all of us that start our day with a cup of “Joe”, may be in for another treat other than the pick-me-up it normally gives. Research was done by Fengju Song, lead researcher and postdoctoral fellow in the dermatology department at Bringham and Women’s Hosptial and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.

The study states the “coffee consumption may be an important option to help prevent basal cell carcinoma. The amount of caffeine consumption was inversley associated with risk” Song said. This means the the more coffee one consumes, the risk becomes lower.

We should also not that the study could not prove cause and effect. Also, decaffeinated coffee was not associated with decreased risk, and the researchers said any protective effect would likely be caused by caffeine, which is a stimulant. The study did not prove to reduce squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. There are nearly one million cases daignosed each year in the United States. It is rarely fatal, if treated promptly and properly.