The Scan by 2 Minute Medicine® is a new pop-culture medical newsletter designed to bring a physician perspective to trending topics. The Scan by 2 Minute Medicine® is an exclusive benefit for 2 Minute Medicine Plus subscribers, but enjoy the first few on us as we roll out! Issues are published twice per month.
World Mental Health Day
The Story: World Mental Health Day is observed every year on October 10th. It is an initiative that began in 1992 and was established by the World Federation for Mental Health, an organization with more than 150 participating nations and a goal of raising awareness about mental health and supporting efforts to help those in need. This year’s theme is “Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority”.
Let’s talk numbers…
According to recent data from the United Nations (UN), nearly one billion people around the world have a mental disorder. Further, we have seen a 25% rise in mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety in the first year of the COVID pandemic alone. The World Health Organization has highlighted the importance of improving the mental health of both individuals and societies at large. Their data shows that 20% of children and adolescents worldwide have a mental health condition, and that among 15-29 year olds, the second leading cause of death is due to suicide.
Tell me more…
We have seen several instances where celebrities, public figures and experts have endorsed mental health efforts. In the 90’s, by speaking about her experience with bulimia, Princess Diana created what was called ‘the Diana effect’ which led to several individuals beginning to seek help for their eating disorders. More recently, celebrities such as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have become powerful ambassadors for mental health and have helped increase awareness by sharing their journey with the world. Others, such as Selena Gomes, Harry Styles, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande and Michael Phelps have partnered with mental health apps and platforms like BetterHelp, Wondermind and Calm to help end the stigma around mental health, and provide educational materials and resources for those in need. Click here to learn more about how your diet, physical activity and substance use history affects your mental health, and here to understand how social media, virtual yoga and gratitude focused writing affects us on a deeper level.
Beneath the Band-aid
Khloe Kardashian has been in the spotlight since she recently welcomed a child via surrogacy with her ex, Tristan Thompson who had been unfaithful to her. Just as a side note, if you’ve ever wondered about the biology behind infidelity, we actually wrote about it in the previous issue of The Scan. Back to the story, not long ago, Khloe was spotted with a bandaid on her face and since then, fans have been speculating about her health. On October 11th, Khloe revealed on Instagram that after having a biopsy of what appeared to be a pimple that lasted for several months on her face, she learned that it was in fact a rare tumor that required immediate surgery to remove. Khloe, who has always worn sunscreen, has had a history of skin cancer and had a melanoma resected from her back at age 19. Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that has the potential to metastasize to other organs of the body and researchers are still investigating the best way to treat this aggressive condition. Most recently, a study in the Lancet examined patients with previously resected stage IV melanoma and no recurrent disease found that patients’ 4-year recurrence-free survival was significantly higher with nivolumab plus ipilimumab compared to placebo. We can’t stress enough the importance of regular self exams, routine physicals and having any unusual skin condition evaluated by a dermatologist. The American Academy of Dermatology Association is a great resource if you are looking to learn more about sun protection, skin conditions and more.
Trouble in Uganda
It’s not just you, all us have pandemic fatigue; but this is important. Uganda is dealing with one of the largest Ebola outbreaks, caused by the Sudan virus for which there are no approved vaccines or treatments. You might remember that in 2014, Ebola, which has a mortality rate near 50% and spreads through bodily fluids, made headlines and became the third most searched term on Google in America. Two days ago, the first death due to this outbreak of Ebola was reported in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Amidst the outbreak of this deadly virus, researchers are launching clinical trials to find an effective vaccine. So far, there are two potential candidates that come from GSK and Oxford.
Carbon Monoxide Leak Sickens Dozens
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, a potentially fatal illness. Last week, a daycare center in Pennsylvania had a carbon monoxide leak that led to at least 32 children- some of whom were unconscious- and staff members being rushed to the hospital. The building did not have carbon monoxide detectors. Some, such as those with carbon monoxide levels up to 10 times what is deemed normal, required more aggressive treatment. As a result of this leak, the building has been shut down and the daycare’s license has since been suspended. Each year CO poisoning is responsible for approximately 50,000 emergency visits and more than 400 deaths in the United States. Learn more about preventing carbon monoxide exposures here.
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