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Your Sunscreen May Keep You Cancer-Free and Wrinkle-Free

14. August 2013

As a kid, I did some pretty stupid things.

When I was six, I couldn’t resist the urge to sneak a taste of the dog’s kibble. (Not bad, actually!) In church one Sunday when I was eight, I stuck a rosary bead up my nose. It took a doctor to retrieve the foreign object that had travelled up my sinus cavity.

Fortunately, those acts of stupidity did no long-term damage. I wish I could say the same about the years I spent stupidly lying in the summer sun slathered in baby oil…working on the perfect tan.

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Gentlemen, Is It Time for Your Tune-Up?

10. July  2013

My husband, Tom is a good-looking guy … just a little short in the hair department. “It’s not that I’m bald,” explains my sweet husband. “I’m follicly-challenged.” But Tom’s shiny pate proved to be a blessing in disguise. Because of his receding hairline, it was easy to discover a little “boo-boo” developing atop his head.

Typical guy, Tom put off getting it checked. But the scaly patch continued to grow until I finally insisted he see a dermatologist. I even made the appointment. Long story short, the biopsy found the little lesion was a form of basal cell carcinoma.

Thank God, the skin cancer was found early. Removed by a plastic surgeon nearly two years ago, today the scar is barely visible and Tom is cancer-free. I shudder to think what may have happened had he put off seeing a doctor.

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Sunscreen Solutions

17. June 2013

Thanks to the Food and Drug Administration and San Diego Union-Tribune journalist R.J. Ignelzi, I finally have clarity on one of the mysteries of the Universe.


Armed with the FDA’s revised labeling and R.J.’s recent article which clearly explains the new rules, I can now boldly and confidently approach the sunscreen display at my neighborhood Rite Aid.

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Allergy Myths

04. April 2013

From the cheerful red geraniums adorning my neighbor’s patio to the symphony of color popping up along the freeway…spring has arrived in the southland in an explosion of buds and blooms. That’s the good news.

The bad news? For many of us, springtime means seasonal allergies. But is it really those poor little petunias, poppies and pansies causing my eyes to water and itch? Are daffodils, daisies and dandelions to blame for my incessant sneezing? I wanted to know so did a little research that helped separate fact from fiction when it comes to allergies.

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Listen to Your Heart

01. February 2013

Emily Taylor hasn’t missed the Susan G. Komen 3-Day™ walk for breast cancer in nine years. Along with tens of thousands of other enthusiastic pink-clad advocates, the 48-year-old Northrup-Grummon administrative assistant makes the annual 60-mile trek in passionate support of her sister and other breast cancer survivors.

But Emily, a wife and mother of three, came dangerously close to missing her 10th Komen 3-Day in October. While on a training run a couple months earlier, the avid softball player and triathlete came face to face with a disease even more deadly for women than breast cancer.

A mile into her routine run, the Ramona resident felt something “really different.” She described it as a “very centered, deep chest pain.” Emily admits, “I didn’t think it was a heart thing.” She figured she’d pulled a chest muscle moving boxes days earlier. No big deal.

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02. January 2013

If your New Year’s resolution is to finally and forever lose weight, I’ve got some encouraging news for you.  You can do it.  There are many effective diet plans from which to choose, but I’d like to highlight one through the eyes of my sister, Denise.

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How to Know if You're Too Sick to Exercise

02. December 2012

The moment I woke up, I knew something was wrong.  The left side of my throat was scratchy and sore.  Mildly dizzy and a touch achy, I felt like going back to sleep.  In retrospect, that may have been a good idea.

Looking forward to a good workout with my Saturday morning swim group at La Jolla Cove, I discounted my symptoms and told myself I wasn’t going to let a little head cold get in the way of my plans.  Why, a chilly dip in the ocean might just be what I needed to ward off my symptoms.

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Shingles Prevention

03. November 2012

Happy to report my annual physical went pretty well recently.  My blood pressure and heart rate are good, my cholesterol numbers are just fine and my blood work unremarkable. (The one time “unremarkable” is a good thing!)

But just when I thought it was safe to shed my paper gown, my doctor apparently, wasn’t quite finished with me.  First he reminded me it was time to schedule a colonoscopy.  (Oh joy!) Then, as I was about to head for the door, he handed me a sheet of paper from his prescription pad and informed me I needed to get a shingles vaccine.

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Breast Cancer: It Can Happen to Anyone

01. October 2012

Two years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend and former 10News colleague, Bill Griffith for an article in Palomar Health’s “The HealthSource” magazine.  A six-year male breast cancer survivor at the time, Bill spoke candidly about his rare experience with the devastating disease that kills 40,000 women a year in the United States.

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Good Reasons to Walk

01. September 2012

I’d like to invite you to go for a walk with me.

And I should probably tell you about the more than a thousand other San Diegans who’ll be walking as well as we support the great work and mission of Girl Scouts.

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Fight Pain With Food

10. August 2012

Did you know more than a third of the U.S. population –116 million American adults suffer from some form of chronic pain?  And while pain pills – over-the-counter or prescription reduce suffering, they can be addictive and produce side affects.

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Ocean Swimming - "The Water is Open"

03. July 2012

You’ll have to forgive me.  I’ve got a bit of a “buzz” on today.

I’m still “high” from the invigorating swim I enjoyed this morning in the breathtakingly beautiful waters off La Jolla Cove. What a blessing to live near one of the best locations for open water swimming in the world!

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Vacations are What Summers are Meant For!

01. June 2012

Have you been to Coronado lately?  The summer vacation season is in full swing and the beautiful beach community is teeming with tourists. Driving along Orange Avenue - the island’s main drag, in six short blocks, I counted seven out-of-state license plates (including one from my home state, Iowa! Go Hawkeyes!)

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YWCA - Helping Women Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence

10. May 2012

Michelle’s cheerful email lit up my Monday morning inbox.  On behalf of the San Diego County YWCA, she was inviting me to be part of their upcoming fundraising and awards luncheon.  A check with my calendar revealed Monday, April 16 was wide open.  But what really sealed the deal?  Michelle was hoping I’d agree to co-emcee the event with my longtime friend and former colleague, Channel 10 news anchor, Kimberly Hunt.  What fun!

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Understanding the Seriousness of Teen Depression and Mental Illness

02. May 2012

When I need a little emotional pick-me-up, a visit with my dear friend, Connie Kennemer always gets me back on track.  Connie’ sunny disposition, encouraging spirit and dry sense of humor can lift my spirits like no one else.

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Improve your Health with Omega-3 Fatty Acids!

01. April 2012

For years, I embraced every new food fad… until it fizzled!  Remember the 90’s? And the joy of soy?  It seemed as though everything was fortified with the power-packed protein.  From the buzz over bran to the hype over goji berries…we love nutrition news.  It’s just too bad we don’t take it all with a grain of salt!

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Cold or Flu?

02. March 2012

When my friend, Susan, called to cancel our lunch date, I could tell something was wrong.  Her voice sounded raspy and her energy was clearly low.  “I feel awful, “ she complained. “I don’t know whether I’ve got a cold or the flu.”

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Chronic Pain...

15. February 2012

Bill Walton is a pretty tough guy. His numerous NBA records rank him among the best in the history of professional basketball. But even a world-class athlete has his limits. 

Lying face down on his kitchen floor…the only position in which the basketball great could find relief from his excruciating pain…the affable Bill Walton admitted to an newspaper reporter his searing back pain was so severe, he’d thought about ending his life.

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A Slimmer You in 2012

01. January 2012

There’s still no magic bullet for losing weight! 

If you’re among the millions of Americans starting the New Year in your “fat” jeans, don’t despair.  It may not be as bad as you think. 

Despite reports to the contrary, most of us did not gain10 pounds over the holidays.  In fact, according to the American Medical Association, the average American gained just a tad over one pound between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  That’s the good news. 

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Don't Let the Holidays Get You Down

01. December 2011

A newspaper advertisement recently caught my eye….an ad for a local shopping mall.  According to the tag line, that mall was a place “where all your holiday dreams come true.”   

Really?! Will the mall heal my sister’s chronic pain? Repair my friend’s broken marriage? Pay off the mortgage? Give me a trip to the Great Barrier Reef? (Never hurts to dream BIG!) Of course not! And that holiday ad is just one of countless examples of the unrealistic media messages and promises that can set us up for disappointment and pain during the holidays.

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Is Sitting the New Smoking? It's Time to Take a Stand! 

01. November 2011

Have you heard? When it comes to your health, sitting may be the new smoking! While the analogy may seem far-fetched, many scientists and medical experts are convinced prolonged sitting is bad for your health.

Perhaps we should know this intuitively. After a long road trip or plane flight, doesn’t it feel good to get up and stretch? Now there’s solid science that proves it’s more than a feeling. A leading science and sports association recently released the results of a study that found time spent on our backsides is linked to higher rates of death and disease.

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The Health Benefits of Walking 

01. October 2011

There’s an easy way to get and stay healthy. Almost anyone can do it. It fits into just about any schedule. And, best of all, it can be done alone or with a friend. It’s inexpensive, versatile and the health benefits are almost too numerous to count.

It’s walking.

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Living with Prostate Cancer

14. August 2011

Living with Prostate Cancer

When my brother, sister and I decided to get together this summer, it wasn’t for an exotic vacation in Europe or Hawaii. Instead, we took our spouses and children to a monumental celebration in, of all places, Davenport, Iowa! The family reunion, of sorts, was for the purpose of honoring and celebrating our dad’s 85th birthday.

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Swing "Fore" Fitness

22. June 2011

Are you looking for a way to lose weight that won’t keep you stuck in a sweaty gym or taking the same walk around your neighborhood? Would you like to add a little weight training to your cardio workout? Does adding natural vitamin D to your diet, better sleep to your nighttime and making new friends interest you?

>> Read the rest of this entry.

HRT: First safe, then risky...now safe?

05. May 2011

What’s a woman to do? Honestly, when it comes to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you need a scorecard to keep up! The latest? You may want to start popping that Premarin again because new research finds HRT may be a good thing for women entering menopause.

So, what’s changed? >> Read the rest of this entry

HCG Diet

02. April 2011

As a broadcast journalist for nearly 35 years, I got to cover a broad range of stories. But nothing was as fascinating as reporting news about health, fitness and well-being. It was my regular “beat” for nearly three decades in San Diego.

It was great! Everyday was an opportunity to learn something amazing… from medical breakthroughs and new technologies… to nutrition tips and exercise techniques… from mental health to dental health.

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Surviving Seasonal Allergies

03. March 2011

“Spring has sprung. The grass is ris. I wonder where the flowers is?”

I recited the little verse for my husband the other night and he looked at me like I’d lost my mind! Come on! It’s the first little poem I learned growing up in the Midwest. Surely some of you have heard of it!

Truth is, the days are getting longer… the temperature is warming up and the flowers really are beginning to bloom, along with the mustard weed and other powerful allergens in our region.

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Winter Skin Care

21. January 2011

Winter came with a vengeance to much of the country this season. Bone-chilling cold and snow falling as far south as Florida. For the folks digging out of their driveways and spinning out on the roadways, it is no fun. Been there. Done that.

In fact, growing up in the Midwest, I remember walking to school dressed like the Michelin man to protect against bitter, gale-force winds that literally blew the snow sideways! To get warm, I’d stand right next to the hot, bone-dry air coming from the classroom radiator. I could barely swallow it was so dry. How dry? With my shoes and a piece of carpet, I could literally generate electricity!

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Foot Health

02. December 2010

I remember it like it was yesterday. Saturday, July 27, 2007. Davenport, IA. I had just completed the popular “Bix” 7-mile run… one of many weekend activities surrounding the annual Bix Beiderbeck Jazz festival. Thousands of us had just made the hot, hilly trek through my hometown… a scenic city along the Mississippi River in the southeastern corner of the Hawkeye state. Exhilarated, but sweaty and exhausted, I made my way to the water station to re-hydrate. Just as the first sip of water began to cool my core, a searing, hot, knife-like pain shot through the instep of my right foot.

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Home Health Care
"A Servant's Heart"

01. November 2010

There’s nothing better than an early morning ocean swim! But when it comes to rough water, it’s not good to go it alone. Fortunately, my swim pals are there for me.

We meet most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Sandra, Janis, Dudley and I trudge through the deep sand to the water’s edge off Coronado. After assessing the conditions, we head out, ducking under the rolling waves… breaking free into the open ocean!

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What's Best for Your Breasts

04. October 2010

What’s Best for Your Breasts? Try Eating Less and Moving More.

Last year, 40 thousand women lost their lives to breast cancer. Two hundred thousand more were diagnosed with the dreaded disease. Despite all the best efforts of medical scientists and researchers – those numbers continue to climb.

That’s the bad news. Now this. Up to a third of breast cancer cases in the U.S. could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more. I know. You’ve heard it all before. Those holistic, new-age, wacko health nuts have been prattling on about diet and exercise for decades. Well, guess what gals? The medical community now agrees. The “health nuts” are right!

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Breast Cancer: It Happens to Men Too

04. October 2010

Bill Griffith knows about breast cancer firsthand. The popular Channel 10 news anchor is a 6-year survivor. I sat down recently with my friend and former colleague to talk about his very public battle with cancer.

CAROL: How did you learn you had breast cancer?

BILL: I felt a lump and had it checked out. My doctor wasn’t concerned, but a year later, the lump became inflamed. A biopsy confirmed it was cancer.

CAROL: Did you know men could develop breast cancer?

BILL: I knew it was possible. I just never thought it would happen to me.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Summer Skin

19. September  2010

While folks across much of the country are putting away their white accessories and preparing for the first frost of the season… we’re just getting started! San Diego’s “endless” summer means warm days and balmy nights, often well into October!

But there can be a downside to those bonus hours of sun. The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 11 thousand people will die from skin cancer this year. Not surprisingly, the risk is greatest for those of us living in “sun-belt” areas such as Southern California.

I think most of us are aware of the risks. Wearing hats and applying sunscreen are part of our daily routines. But if you’re like me, it’s easy to let down your guard as the sun continues to shine past Labor Day.

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The Heartbreak of Alzheimer’s

06. August 2010

Maddie’s recent high school graduation party was a festive event. Her Mom… my dear friend, Rene’ put on a lasagna feast fit for a king! There was cake, ice cream, flowers and gifts. Everyone who loves and cares about Maddie was there… friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, her proud grandma and, of course, big brother, Patrick.

Sadly, Maddie’s step-grandfather, “Rocky,” wasn’t there… not really. Oh, we all talked with him, laughed with him and shared a meal with him. But sadly, he hasn’t really been with us for some time. We’ve all watched helplessly the last few years as our dear friend, “Rocky,” sinks deeper into the private world that is Alzheimer’s disease.

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Bone Health

09. July 2010

Have you thought about your bones lately? They can be easy to forget. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But “them bones” are pretty important if you want to remain upright into your golden years.

Did you know by the time you turn 30 your body starts losing more bone mass than it can create? The news gets even worse for women over 50. Menopause can trigger the first step in bone loss called osteopenia, followed by osteoporosis, the more serious form of bone loss known to cause fractures and debilitation.

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Men's Health

02. June 2010

I have a terrific husband. He works full-time, volunteers and is a huge help at home. Tom takes care of cars that need service, commodes that need plunging and cat-boxes that need cleaning. He’s neat, thoughtful and washes the dishes. I’m a lucky woman.

But guess who keeps food in the fridge… replenishes the health-care products and makes all the doctor appointments? Without ever really discussing it, Tom has abdicated anything to do with our family’s health to me! Left to his own devices, Tom would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, go without aspirin and floss and wait years to schedule his annual physical. Tom may be a take-charge guy, but when it comes to our health, he’d rather I’m in charge.

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Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness

02. May 2010

My mother committed suicide. She died 30 years ago next month at the age of 53 from untreated, end-stage depression. I was 26 and had reaped the benefits of a loving, devoted mother. All I could do was watch helplessly as she fought the overwhelming symptoms of anxiety and despair.

Mom’s death was a tragic loss, but I found comfort knowing she was finally at peace, free from the bondage of a devastating illness over which she had no control. What made it unbearable was the reaction to her death.

It was never discussed. My dad didn’t talk about it. My brother, sister and I went through the motions of her funeral and burial, but never spoke of it. Friends and neighbors avoided it. Our pastor couldn’t even look us in the eye because of it.

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Get Back in the Game with P.T.

04. April 2010

They say foot surgery is the worst. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I can tell you it’s no picnic. After two years of treating a persistent, painful running injury with every non-invasive procedure known to man, I finally had to accept the fact that surgery was the next step.

I found a wonderful foot surgeon… underwent a successful procedure last summer and began the months-long recovery process. I won’t sugar-coat it. It’s been tough. And I’ve had several major setbacks along the way. (The problem with feet is you eventually have to put weight on them!)

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My Playlist...

08. March 2010

There’s nothing better than a good workout… the endorphin rush, that healthy glow. Just not yesterday.

Yesterday, I literally dragged myself through my stretching routine, upper body weight workout and a 45-minute recumbent bike ride. I thought it would never end. You see, I forgot my iPod. It’s a crutch, I know, but without my favorite workout tunes, I can barely break a sweat.

Turns out, I’m not alone. There’s actually scientific proof that music enhances workout performance!

>> Read the rest of this entry

Kids and Heart Health

02. February 2010

Heart disease isn’t just for adults anymore. Childhood obesity is an increasing threat to the health of our young people. An American Heart Association study concludes overweight kids are “coronary time bombs!” In fact, health experts predict overweight children and teens are on track to develop heart disease between the ages of 35 and 50!

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Carol’s Tips for a healthy, HAPPY New Year!

01. January 2010

You’ve recycled your Christmas tree. The Menorah’s packed away. And your extended family is back where they came from. Congratulations. You’ve survived another holiday season!

But for many of us, the pressure of the holidays continues right into the New Year with a list of resolutions as long as your holiday shopping list. Well, this year, let’s keep it simple, with a few lifestyle changes guaranteed to set you up for success.

>> Read the rest of this entry


Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.