Mills-Peninsula Health Blog

Be Well, Be Well Informed

Sun Protection Tips

Woman applying sunscreen.

It’s summer. The days are longer, the warm light of the sun beckons outside. But that mood-boosting brightness has a dark side. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, every year more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States. The vast majority – 90 percent – are caused by the sun. The sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) A and B rays are also the main culprit when it comes to visible skin damage such as wrinkles, discoloration and sagging that can make you look older.

“Nearly all skin cancers are preventable if you take the right precautions,” says Lisa Hladik, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula internal medicine physician. “With our sunny climate in California, good daily sun protection is a must. It’s your best defense against skin cancer and is more effective than any anti-aging product you could buy at keeping your skin looking youthful.” Read More

Can Activity Trackers Improve Health?


Most of us are always seeking ways to exercise more, lose weight, stress less and improve our health. The latest digital health apps and activity trackers promise an innovative solution. But do they really work, or are they just the latest health fad soon to be abandoned like the exercise equipment gathering dust in the garage?

“The first step in making any change to improve your health is gaining awareness,” Tarini Anand, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula internal medicine physician, says. “A proven strategy is to keep a daily log of the exercise you are doing, or each meal or snack you have eaten. Apps and activity devices are excellent trackers. They can help make you more mindful of what you are doing daily and help you jump-start healthy changes.” Read More

Genetic Screening for Inherited Cancer


What if you knew you would get cancer and the exact type of cancer you would get? For some people, that knowledge can be gained through genetic testing for cancer, allowing them to take steps to prevent the cancer, or at least catch it early.

This type of testing looks for mutations in the genes a person was born with – mutations that researchers now know put a person at high risk of developing certain types of cancer. Often people with these mutated genes have relatives who have developed cancer younger than expected. Read More

Which Diets Really Work?


About 45 million Americans go on a diet each year and spend an estimated $33 billion on weight-loss products. There’s the vegan diet for people who avoid meat and cheese. There’s Paleo for people who only eat meat, fresh fruits and vegetables. There’s the gluten-free diet for people shunning breads and pasta.

Which diets really work? None of them – and all of them.

“Any diet works as long as you’re on it,” says Natalya Denissov, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula family medicine doctor. “When you go off the diet you regain the weight. Sometimes you regain even more than you lost. So you really need to find an approach to eating that you enjoy.” Read More

8 Top Tips for Wellness


Many causes of health problems and major illnesses can be prevented by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Help keep your body and mind healthy with these top wellness tips from Mills-Peninsula doctors.

Top Wellness Tips: Read More

Caring for a Newborn


The first year of life is an amazing time for a baby and for his parents. In 12 short months, a baby develops from a helpless newborn to an inquisitive toddler. Yet many new parents feel overwhelmed during this time, unsure of everything from how much sleep a baby needs to how often he should be fed. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.

Karin Wertz, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula pediatrician based in San Mateo, fields dozens of questions from parents regularly. Here are her tips on how to raise a healthy, happy baby. Read More

Best & Worst Foods to Lower Cholesterol


High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors leading to heart disease, heart attack and stroke. The good news? You can lower your bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke with healthy lifestyle eating choices and exercise – and following a medical plan, if prescribed by your doctor.

As you may have seen in the news recently, cholesterol itself isn’t bad. We all have cholesterol in our bodies. But it’s important to learn about the difference between good (HDL cholesterol and bad (LDL) cholesterol and how it affects your health.  Take this short American Heart Association Heart Health Quiz to test your cholesterol knowledge.

In this blog post, Deborah Kurzrock, a Mills-Peninsula registered dietitian, weighs in on the best and worst foods for lowering cholesterol levels – and on the benefits of exercise to prevent or help manage bad cholesterol. Read More