• President’s Message
     In this issue of Healthy Living, we focus on the Neuroscience Center of Excellence, exploring conditions of the spine, neck and brain in depth. Aches and pains are nothing new to most adults,... click for more
  • Barbara Sinatra and Ma...
    In April, the Junior League Sustainers of the Coachella Valley and the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center at Eisenhower will partner to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month. On April 2,... click for more
  • Eisenhower Physician P...
    Over the past several years, Svetlana Rubakovic, MD, FACP has been invited to present new research data about melanoma genetics to the international melanoma community — namely, the 7th International... click for more
  • The Memory Assessment ...
    Since 2007, residents of the Coachella Valley who are struggling with memory changes — and the people who love them —have been offered close-to-home access to the Memory Assessment Center (MAC). The Center offers a newly revised, first-of-its-kind program for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or a related memory disorder, as well as a wealth of care and support resources tailored to their individual needs.

    The Memory Assessment Center, under the operation of Eisenhower Medical Center and located in the Uihlein Building on the Eisenhower campus, is a collaboration between Eisenhower, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and the Alzheimer’s Association®, California Southland Chapter, that provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to evaluation, care and support. click for more
  • Eisenhower Desert Orth...
    In keeping with its longstanding tradition of community service, Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center (EDOC) is involved in numerous activities and programs that “pay it forward” to local residents.... click for more
  • A Primer On Choosing A...
    The importance of having a primary care physician cannot be overstated. A primary care physician is a doctor who helps patients maintain their overall health and well-being, as well as coordinating a patient’s care when specialists or other medical professionals are needed. Seeing patients at regular intervals and not just during times of illness, a primary care physician can also help a patient to establish and maintain healthy lifestyle goals. Family physicians, geriatricians and internists are all primary care physicians.

    Getting to know a patient over time can have a profound effect on the health of that patient — understanding a person’s family history, workplace situations and stress, age-related concerns and more. Establishing a long-term care relationship with a patient can help a primary care physician treat an acute problem or focus on a larger issue. Regular visits to one’s primary care physician may also help expedite the diagnoses and treatment of high risk factors like high cholesterol or hypertension before a serious illness has had time to develop. In short, the primary care doctor is a patient’s first line of defense for getting well and staying well. click for more
  • Breast-Imaging — Seein...
    In the world of breast imaging, dense breasts present the most difficult problems in detecting cancer. Standard mammography equipment often cannot detect cancer lesions in women with dense breast tissue. According to Eisenhower Radiologist John Cutrone, MD, Board Certified in Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology, “It’s like looking for a small cloud behind a big cloud. Some small cancers, which are typically white on a mammogram, are easily obscured by breast tissue, which is also white.” 

    Thanks to a generous donation from BIGHORN Behind a Miracle (BAM), Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center was able to purchase the most advanced, state-of-the-art dense breast imaging diagnostic tool available, and is only the second facility in California to offer this exciting new technology. The SenoBright® Contrast-Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) from GE Healthcare is a powerful diagnostic modality — able to detect minute cancers, as well as reduce the waiting time between detection and diagnosis. click for more

  • Relief From A Lifetime...
    Engineer and private pilot Neil Whelchel was just nine years old when he first experienced the rapid palpitations. “I would change my position or hold my breath and it would happen. As I got older the episodes got longer.”

    Whelchel went to doctors who ran electrocardiograms (EKG) and ultrasounds but nothing ever turned up and he was often dismissed. Rapid heart rate — supraventricular tachycardia — was something the young man learned to adapt to. He even taught himself to “reset” his heart by doing vagal maneuvers (methods used to reset or slow the heart rate). “At the time, I didn’t know that I was doing vagal maneuvers. I just was curious and aware of my body and was able to figure it out.” Whelchel would hold his breath and bear down, or press on his carotid artery to reset himself. He would sometimes use ice on his face, chest or back to put his heart back into rhythm. click for more

The Blink Of An Eye

The Facts About Eyelid Cancer

Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are crucial elements in the fight against eyelid cancer.
Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are crucial elements in the fight against eyelid cancer.
Eyelids are vital structures many of us take for granted, yet we often forget about them when it comes to sun protection. Eyelid cancer accounts for up to 10 percent of all skin cancers. “The skin of the eyelid is very fragile and easily injured by the sun,” says Jennifer Hui, MD, FACS, Board Certified in Ophthalmology. “Most people forget about their eyelids when applying sunscreen and many go out without hats or sunglasses."

Symptoms and Types of Cancer
Sun exposure is cumulative — the older we get, the more likely we are to develop eyelid cancer. People with fair skin, and blonde or red hair and light eyes are particularly at risk.

The lower lid is affected most often by eyelid cancer. The corner of the eyelid closest to the nose is the second most common area, followed by the upper eyelid.

Like other skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer to affect the eyelid. “You may see a little nodule or lesion that gets larger. It will usually be pearly with visible blood vessels in the center,” says Dr. Hui. “It may have crusting or bleeding at the site. You may also notice a loss of eyelashes in that area.”

A squamous cell carcinoma will progress more rapidly with a non-healing area in the center. More rarely, a melanoma will occur which most often appears as a dark spot. “Ideally, people should be aware of any lump or bump anywhere on their eyelid, especially on the margin in between the lashes,” notes Dr. Hui.

The standard of care for eyelid cancer is Mohs microscopic surgery by a dermatologist to remove the lesion, followed by repair of the area by an ocuplastic surgeon.

“During the Mohs procedure, a Mohs-trained dermatologist takes the cancer off and immediately looks at the lesion under a microscope to make sure they removed all of the cancer, checking to see if they need to go back and remove more,” explains Dr. Hui. “This tissue-sparing approach is preferable because there is so little redundant tissue in the eyelids. Once the lesion is removed, the area can be repaired within hours or on the following day.”

Radiation and topical treatments are available but not optimal. “Topical treatments can be very irritating and I don’t feel there is a role for radiation because of the damage it can cause to surrounding tissue,” says Hui. “Excision is by far the treatment of choice.”

Preventing eyelid cancer is relatively easy but does require self-discipline. Sunscreen is a must. An SPF of 30 is recommended in desert areas like the Coachella Valley. “Find a sunscreen you will wear and reapply it regularly,” says Dr. Hui. “You always want the sunscreen to be directly in contact with your skin for best protection. When you apply sunscreen, you should see it coating your skin as you massage it in. Also, don’t forget to reapply.”

Sunglasses are also helpful in preventing eyelid cancer. Dr. Hui recommends sunglasses that wrap around the eye and block the sun completely.