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Dr. Johnson - Red Deer Advocate

Integrative medicine: when two medical worlds collide

It is a normal Monday morning as I walk into my office and prepare for my day of patients, with the exception that I have a resident spending the week with me.

It is not uncommon to have a resident or student preceptor through my clinic, as this is a regular requirement of medical programs. I always look forward to the experience because student and resident shadowing always leads to great discussions and learning experiences for both the doctor and student.

With a keen resident by my side, we start our Monday off taking clinical histories of patients, performing physical exams and talking about the possible diagnoses that the patient may have, as well as the proper labs required to get the answers we need.

The only thing different about today is that the naturopathic medical treatments I am offering to the patients are very atypical for this resident; as most of them she has never even heard of prior to today.

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Shedding light on sun, skin safety

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that in 2014, 6,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with melanoma and 1,050 of them will die from it.

With the rates of melanoma rising, millions of people rely on sunscreens this time of year, but is that enough? Are they really our best form of protection from skin cancer? Some evidence may suggest otherwise.

Keep in mind that the best way to decrease your skin cancer risk is to: wear protective clothing; Not get burned; find shade and go in the sun when UV rays are lower such as early morning or later afternoon.

Even though sunscreen can help prevent sunburns, which is a major risk factor for melanoma, sunscreens alone cannot act as stand-alone protection. Furthermore, there are also some major misconceptions about sunscreen that need to be considered as well as potentially harmful ingredients that may be doing your body more damage than good.

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