[ HEALTH NOTES ]
The Cancer Research Center of Hawaii will hold a reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. tonight at the center to celebrate a 2000 Award for Excellence in Education for its Cool Pool program.
Cool Pool program
The American Academy of Dermatology chose the Hawaii program for the award in the category of an innovative, coordinated program directed toward public education.
The federally funded Cool Pool project was developed by a team led by Karen Glanz at the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and Alan Geller of Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.
It is an informative, fun and practical program to teach 5- to 10-year-old children about sun safety and skin cancer prevention and to encourage swimming pools to become more sun-safe.
The project started with 15 pools in Hawaii and Massachusetts in 1999 and spread last year to 186 pools on the mainland and in Canada.
Dr. Norman Goldstein, dermatologist and consultant for Cool Pool, nominated the program for the award and recently accepted it in Washington on behalf of Glanz, Geller and their staffs.
Locally, Glanz's staff worked with members of the Community Advisory Board, the Hawaii Dermatological Society, City and County of Honolulu lifeguards, pool managers, children and parents.
Free skin cancer screenings are being conducted by the Hawaii Skin Cancer Coalition this month and next to try to prevent skin cancer and warn islanders of the dangers of overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation.
offers public free skin
Skin cancer screenings will be from 10 a.m. to noon today by appointment at St. Francis Medical Center, Mama Lau Cancer Care Center, Liliha Campus.
The Hawaii Skin Cancer Coalition program aims to prevent skin cancer by making wearing hats and sunscreen outdoors "as commonplace as brushing your teeth."
Environmental pollutants have steadily depleted the ozone layer of the earth's atmosphere, which normally blocks dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
"We expect the earth's ozone levels to continue to decrease for another 15 to 20 years before ozone levels begin to normalize," said John Barnes, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researcher at the Mauna Kea Observatory.
This poses much higher risks for skin cancer, including melanoma, a life-threatening form of cancer. People especially are at risk who live in areas such as Hawaii, close to the equator.
An estimated 100 Hawaii residents annually are diagnosed with malignant melanoma, one of the fastest-growing forms of cancer in the United States. More than 100 cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are diagnosed.
Although most Hawaii cases of skin cancer involve Caucasians, no race is immune, says the Hawaii Skin Cancer Coalition.
A Cancer Research Center of Hawaii study of melanoma patients shows Hawaii and part Hawaiians are the second-largest group diagnosed.
The coalition is comprised of representatives of the University of Hawaii Cancer Research Center, Cancer Information Service, American Cancer Society, state Health Department, local health service organizations and concerned businesses.
St. Francis Medical Center, in collaboration with the coalition, is offering free skin cancer screenings:
Appointments are available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 16; 10 a.m. to noon, May 22; and 1 to 3 p.m., May 25.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 547-6889.
On June 23 the Skin Cancer Coalition will sponsor a Sun Protection Exposition from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pearlridge Mall Uptown.
The family event will feature local celebrities, music, games and prizes, as well as free skin cancer screening.
For more information or free publications on the signs and symptoms of skin cancer, call the Cancer Information Service of Hawaii toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER or the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.
Two mainland specialists will present the latest information on risk factors and strategies to prevent older adults from falling.
Speakers at Hilo
seminar focus on
The presentation will happen at a conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. May 18 at the University of Hawaii-Hilo Campus Center Dining Room.
The keynote speakers will be Sarah Olson of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and Dr. E. Percil Stanford of San Diego State University, director of the Center on Aging and the National Resource Center on Aging and Injury.
The Department of Health's Injury Prevention and Control Program is co-sponsoring "Don't Fall for Anything" with other agencies and UHH programs.
Olson points out that falls are the No. 1 cause of death by injury for people 65 or older.
One in every three people in that age category falls each year.
Hip fracture is the most severe injury, and half of all older adults hospitalized for hip fractures cannot return home or live independently, she says.
"The material and human costs for falls are incalculable."
The conference is targeted for seniors, paraprofessionals and care providers, with speakers presenting the most recent research and methods of preventing falls.
For registration information, call the UHH Conference Center, 974-7555; contact May Ann Tsuchiyama by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or fax the UHH Conference Center, 974-7684.
Registration is $55 for seniors and students, $75 for the general public and professionals. Lunch is included.