Breast reconstruction after mastectomies is often a missed opportunity, surgeon says

Breast reconstruction is a missed opportunity for many women who undergo mastectomies, said Dr. Richard Cashio, a plastic surgeon at Florida Hospital Flagler in Palm Coast. Cashio supports a new education program by the federal government to let women know their options. He spoke to The News-Journal about the program…

“In 1998, a federal law was passed requiring insurance companies that covered mastectomies to also pay for reconstruction for the breast and the non-affected breast as well, especially if we needed to do something for symmetry of the breasts,” Dr. Cashio said. “Unfortunately less than 1 in 5 women actually choose to undergo reconstruction after a mastectomy.”

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Surgeon removes skin cancer and a tattoo, too

Dr. Richard Cashio, a plastic surgeon at Florida Hospital Flagler, found something unusual recently when he a treated a patient for skin cancer. The lesions were confined to a tattooed part of her leg and appeared to follow the outline of the flower-image tattoo. Cashio spoke to The News-Journal about the case…

“Although skin cancer is very common, I’ve never seen skin cancer outlining a tattoo in this way,” Dr. Cashio said. “It is unknown exactly what caused this patient’s skin cancer to present in this unusual fashion. My theory is that she may have had a small, undiagnosed skin cancer that was unknowingly seeded throughout the entire tattoo when she had her artwork done. We already know that unclean needles can spread disease from person to person. Using this logic, we can see that it is possible for a properly cleaned tattoo needle to spread a disease – like skin cancer – to another area within the same person because the needle is not cleaned or exchanged after every individual needle stick.”

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Unhealthy exposure: Risks of skin cancer risk adds up over time

Lisha Davis of DeLand smothers her 7-year and 4-year-old boys with sunscreen whenever they are at the pool or the beach… Davis’ concern is born of family experience. Her father “never put on sunscreen” whenever he took his boat out on the river. He needed to remove several abnormal skin lesions. But Davis’ diligence also reflects a societal push to protect the young from skin cancer.

There’s growing concern that the effects of radiation add up over time, increasing the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, which is expected to kill about 10,000 people in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer Society. About 80,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma every year…

Dr. Cashio remembers when “there used to be a thought process that tanning beds were not as bad as being out in the sun. We know now that’s not the case. Tanning beds are even worse than going out in the sun.“ The rays of a tanning bed are “much more concentrated. They typically use an (ultraviolet A) lamp. We didn’t think (ultraviolet A) caused as much damage, but with all the research, we found out that it does,” Cashio said.

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Botox in your stocking? Christmas delivers boost to plastic surgeons

All they want for Christmas is a new nose, fewer wrinkles and a flatter tummy. Retailers aren’t the only places seeing a boost in business during the holidays. Plastic surgeons say the Christmas season delivers a surge in patients, and many providers are offering holiday specials on Botox, breast augmentation and other cosmetic procedures…

Doctors report the strongest rise in business during the holidays comes from people seeking nonsurgical procedures, such as Botox and Juvederm, a gel filler that smooths out wrinkles around the nose and mouth.

“Everybody is looking to get a little bit of a refresher during the holidays,” said Dr. Richard Cashio, a plastic surgeon at Florida Hospital Flagler. “Who doesn’t want to hear, ‘You look great this year?’”

These types of treatments — costing about $500 — can produce quick results with no down time, Cashio said…

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Know the myths surrounding melanoma

Gone are the days when sun worshipers coated themselves in baby oil to bake under the sun’s UV rays like Thanksgiving turkeys. The dangers of too much exposure to the sun are well known to most people, especially in the Sunshine State. Still, myths and misinformation get spread from person to person…

“Anybody can be diagnosed with melanoma,” said Dr. Richard Cashio, a plastic surgeon at Florida Hospital Flagler, about the popular perception that only older people get melanoma. “About 1 in 55 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in their lifetime. Our risk does increase with age, but it can also be diagnosed at an early age. It can occur in really anybody.”

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State of Flagler Physicians

Flagler County has about one-third of the state average of physicians per 100,000 residents. In a 2011 Community Health Assessment conducted with the Flagler County Health Department, Florida tallied 300.6 doctors per 100,000 residents. Flagler County, however, recorded less than one-third that number, coming in at 93.5 doctors per 100,000 residents…

The low number of overall local physicians comes as a surprise to Dr. Richard Cashio, who is a Palm Coast resident and has an office at Florida Hospital Flagler…

“I don’t think (the low number) has had a negative impact on patient care at all. … With that stat, you’d anticipate difficulty to see a patient. That’s not the case with me or my colleagues,” Dr. Cashio said.

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