Saturday, August 27, 2005

Another reason not to wait

If you've been putting off getting a suspicious mole checked-out by a dermatologist, there may be yet another reason not to wait any longer. When you finally decide to make the appointment, you may find that wait times could be as long as 24 days according to this In Business Las Vegas article.

Need a heart, skin or knee checkup -- take a number.

Specialist shortages are a big problem in the Las Vegas Valley and nationally, which can lead to long waits for doctors' appointments.

Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, a Texas-based company that consults and recruits physicians nationally, studied wait times for new patients in 15 metropolitan areas and found that the number of days it took for a new patient seeking a nonemergency appointment with a cardiologist, dermatologist, OB/GYN or orthopedic surgeon varied from one day to 153 days with an overall average of 18.8 days.

The study focused on Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., San Diego, Seattle and Washington.

Dermatology appointments for a skin exam to detect potential cancer or melanoma averaged between nine days in New York and 50 days in Boston with an overall average of 24.3 days.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"It looked like a pimple."

There is an interesting interview in the Montana Standard with melanoma survivor, Janice Copeland.


"It looked like a pimple," said Copeland, who became concerned when it didn't go away. "It kept getting bigger. It itched and it would bleed," she recalled.

That was a little over two years ago and Copeland, 60, said that her experience with cancer has changed her life.

"You look at each day differently. You re-evaluate your priorities about your family and work and you try not to take some things so seriously or get upset. You just try to have a good attitude and be thankful for every day," she said.

Copeland said that she also has been inspired to help get the word out to others about the dangers of sun exposure and the risks of skin cancer.

"I think there needs to be more awareness. I think in general, people don't realize how dangerous melanoma is and that it can spread to other organs. I certainly didn't," said Copeland. "I'm more aware of it now," she added.

Copeland said that after her own frightening experience, she wants people to know the dangers of sun exposure. She also wants parents to know that they need to protect their children.

"Parents need to keep them out of the sun and minimize their exposure and avoid sunburns," she said. "I spent a lot of time in the sun, there's not doubt about that, she said.

Copeland said her experience with cancer prompted her to become involved in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Butte.

"I've found it inspirational to be around other cancer survivors," said Copeland, who talked about the benefits of being in a mutually supportive atmosphere. "You know you're not alone in the fight against cancer and that other people are having to deal with some of the same issues that you're having to deal with," she said.

Little Susan is doing well

Here's the latest news on Little Susan.

From the Susan Torres Fund:

Little Susan and doing very well in the Neonatal ICU. She has broken the
2 lbs. mark and is continuing to grow like a weed. She has been removed
from the ventilators and is receiving small amount of formula every day.

Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and support. We truly
appreciate all your kind thoughts and gifts. We are hoping to have new
pictures of Little Susan for the website within the next few days.
Click here if you want to know more about this story.

Monday, August 08, 2005

It's a girl!!

I read about the exciting birth last week but wasn't able to get to a computer until now. Congratulations to the Torres Family.