Why Did the Screening Age for Colon Cancer Change?

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The American Cancer Society has recently lowered its guidelines regarding colon cancer screening. It is now recommended that people should start getting screened at age 45 instead of at 50. Research has showed that people are getting colon cancer at younger and younger ages within the U.S. While there is no direct cause associated with this increase, the trend is clear enough to warrant a shift in the age guidelines.

1 Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S. There are an estimated 97,220 new cases of colon cancer in 2018. Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is: about 1 in 22 (4.49%) for men and 1 in 24 (4.15%) for women.

Lower your risk of colon cancer

Unfortunately, you cannot prevent colon cancer. You can, however, take steps to lower your risk.

Here are a few tips to help lower your risk:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Have a diet high in vegetables, fruits and wholegrains
  • Avoid excess alcohol
  • Stop smoking
  • Most importantly, get tested if you’re age 45+

What are symptoms of colon cancer?

  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal cramping
  • A change in the shape of the stool, diarrhea, constipation
  • A change in bowel habits, or the feeling you need to make a bowl movement but there is none

If you notice any symptoms, go to your doctor for a checkup.

 

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,

reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Source: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

Can Your Medications Increase Your Sensitivity to The Sun?

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We’re all aware that most medications can have a variety of side effects, but did you know that one of them can be an increased sensitivity to the sun? There are a multitude of medications that can increase your risk of sunburn or even cause photosensitivity. Summer is almost here, so be sure you’re prepared to stay safe in the sun!

How Can a Medication Increase My Sun Sensitivity?1

Photosensitivity is a reaction set off by the sun’s ultraviolet rays and can result in two different reactions.

  1. Phototoxic Reaction: Occurs when UV radiation reacts with a drug to form compounds that damage the skin.
    • Results: Sunburn-like symptoms
  1. Photoallergic Reaction: This is less common, but usually happens when UV light changes a substance applied to the skin, causing an immune response.
    • Results: Bumps, hives, blisters, or red blotches

How to Prevent Sun Sensitivity2

  1. Check Your Meds: Check prescription medications to see if sun sensitivity is listed as a side effect.
  2. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water!
  3. Cover Up: Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing or try to stay in the shade as much as you can!

 

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/beware-of-sunburn-boosters#1
  2. https://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/can-your-meds-make-you-more-sensitive-to-sun-and-heat/

Protecting your Heart in the Summer Heat

Heart outline in the sand near the ocean
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It’s that time of year again! Time to pack away your winter sweaters and break out your summer shorts. While we’re all looking forward to a little warmer weather it’s important to be aware of how heat can impact your health, especially if you have a history of heart disease. Certain heart medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics (which deplete the body of sodium) can exaggerate the body’s response to heat.1

We’re here to help you with a few tips so you can stay safe and have fun this summer!

Everyday Tips (Three D’s)

  • Dress Right: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a synthetic fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat, sunglasses and well-ventilated shoes.
  • Drink: Stay hydrated! Drink water before, during and after you exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Do-Nothing: Every once and awhile, stop and find a cool place to relax and hydrate for a few minutes.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Headaches
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark urine

Symptoms of Heat Stroke:

  • Fever (temperature above 104 °F)
  • Irrational behavior
  • Extreme confusion
  • Dry, hot, and red skin
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

 

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,

reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Source: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Protect-Your-Heart-in-the-Heat_UCM_423817_Article.jsp#.WwRlt0gvyHu

Tips for Traveling with Medications

Airplane
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Memorial Day is approaching and many of you are most likely preparing for weekend travels to see family or friends. We all know the worst part about any vacation is packing. What makes packing even more complicated is packing for air travel. There are a multitude of regulations to keep track of and if you have a chronic condition, the idea of managing your medications can seem overwhelming.

To help you get ready for vacation season, here are a few tips and tricks to keeping your medications safe and organized!

The Medication Screening Process

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that medications in pill or other solid form must undergo security screening. You can also bring any medically necessary liquids or creams, but they must be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

To make things easy, the TSA recommends you:

  • Store medications in clearly labeled containers
    • Check with state laws regarding prescription medication labels
  • If you’ve already thrown away your prescription containers, get a letter from your doctor explaining what the medication is and why you need it.
  • Declare any accessories associated with your liquid medication

Dosage Schedule

If you happen to travel to somewhere in a different time zone, you may need to discuss the time you take your medications with your doctor. If you must take your prescriptions at a certain time, we recommend setting alarms on your phone or watch to help remind you when to take your medications.

 

Have Any Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk:

1.888.799.8742

Ask a Pharmacist – Allergy Edition

Pharmacist surrounded by pills with text that reads Ask a Pharmacist
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Allergy season is here! To help you out, we’d like to share with you some frequently asked questions and the pharmacists’ answers.

 

How can I tell if I have allergies or just a common cold?

Symptom Cold Allergy
Cough Usually Sometimes
General aches and pains Sometimes Never
Fatigue and weakness Sometimes Sometimes
Itchy eyes Rarely Usually
Sneezing Usually Usually
Sore Throat Usually Rarely
Runny Nose Usually Usually
Stuffy Nose Usually Usually
Fever Sometimes Never

How do steroid nasal sprays work?

Steroid nasal sprays are an effective treatment for most allergy symptoms.  Steroid nasal sprays reduce the allergic response of the cell types that induce allergies, mainly mast cells and eosinophils.   This results in a reduction of runny nose, postnasal drip, nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching.

Do allergy shots work?

Allergy shots are injections you receive at regular intervals over a period of 3-5 years to reduce allergy attacks.  Each allergy shot contains a tiny amount of the substance that trigger your allergic reactions, called allergens.  By adjusting the dose and your exposure to allergens, your immune system builds up tolerance to the allergen and your symptoms diminish over time.

 Can you take allergy pills and nasal spray together?

Yes.  For patients with severe allergy symptoms who cannot achieve symptom resolution with either one by itself, you can combine allergy pills and nasal sprays.  In general, steroid nasal sprays are the single most effective treatment for allergy symptoms, however, if you continue to experience troublesome symptoms with consistent use of a steroid spray you can add an over the counter antihistamine such as generic Claritin (loratadine), generic Zyrtec (cetirizine), or generic Allegra (fexofenadine).

 

Have any other questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk:

1.888.799.8742