Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair: Rox Center

One risk of undergoing abdominal surgery is the development of a ventral hernia. An incision in your abdominal wall will always be an area of potential weakness. Hernias can develop at these sites due to heavy straining, aging, injury or following an infection at that site following surgery. They can occur immediately following surgery or may not become apparent for years later following the procedure.  While anyone can get a hernia at any age, they are more common as we get older. Certain activities may increase the likelihood of a hernia including persistent coughing, difficulty with bowel movements or urination, or frequent need for straining.

A hernia is usually recognized as a bulge under your skin...

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Childhood melanoma is on the rise.

Childhood melanoma

Melanoma occurring during childhood and adolescence is rare; however recent reports indicate that it is on the rise. While risk factors for melanoma occurring in adults are agreed upon, research is needed to determine the risk factors for melanoma occurring in children.

Risk factors for adult melanoma include:

Fair skin, White race, Light colored-hair/eyes, Increased number of bening/dysplastic nevi, Family history of melanoma, Childhood sunburns, Indoor tanning

The risk factors for childhood melanoma are less understood. Melanoma that occurs in children older than 10 years old appears to act in the same manner as adult melanoma. A recent study published in the scientific journal Pediatrics examined the change in the number of childhood melanoma over time...

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My nodes are negative! Now what?

The results of your recent melanoma operation are available. The margins are all clear and the lymph nodes are negative! The stress of the last few days of waiting is lifted. This melanoma is a thing of your past, or is it?

One of the most significant prognostic indicators in melanoma is the status of the lymph nodes. Melanoma that has traveled from the skin to a lymph node carries with it a worse outcome. The surgical procedure to remove and examine the first lymph node to which a melanoma drains is referred to as a sentinel lymph node biopsy. The sentinel lymph node biopsy is the standard of care for most melanoma lesions thicker than 1mm and for thin melanomas with high risk-features...

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Sentinel Lymph Nodes for Thin Melanomas?

Sentinel Lymph Node

While melanoma accounts for less than 5% of skin cancers, it causes 75% of skin cancer deaths. It is the ability of melanoma to travel to distant organs and create metastatic tumors that makes it so deadly. Malignant melanoma cells travel away from their primary tumor through lymphatic ducts. The first location that these metastatic melanoma cells will arrive at is a lymph node. These dime sized collections of lymphatic tissue trap the melanoma before they are able to continue on to distant locations. The very first lymph node that these melanoma cells arrive at is referred to as the sentinel lymph node. A sentinel lymph biopsy is a surgical procedure that removes this lymph node in order for a trained pathologist to exam it for metastatic disease...

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My melanoma, my message.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Aug. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Dr. Travis Kidner, a surgical oncologist at the Rox Cancer Center who recently survived a Stage I melanoma, has two words of advice: if you started tanning at a young age, “get checked!”In an first-person Op-Ed published by the Los Angeles Times today, Dr. Travis Kidner, who specializes in Breast and Melanoma surgery, tells the story of finding himself at the same operating table where he has removed so many cancers from others. In an emotional and science-based plea, he also urges the FDA to tighten the regulations on tanning beds, adding warning labels to prevent young people from using them.”As a surgical oncologist, I’m usually the one delivering the bad news. But this time I was the recipient,” wrote Dr. Kidner...

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When is a melanoma patient considered cured?

Follow up care and continued surveillance are key elements in the care of melanoma patients. Some of my patients are surprised to learn that I will be following them long term even after their incisions have healed. While the first few years after a melanoma diagnosis seem to be considered the most likely time to experience a recurrence of disease, recurrences may happen even after 10 years after the initial melanoma diagnosis.  This phenomenon is described as tumor dormancy. Additional research is needed to study what enables a tumor to lay dormant for over a decade without any clinical symptoms. And probably more importantly, what causes this dormant tumor to start to grow again...

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The Hair Stylist’s role in the fight against Melanoma.


Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanoma that arises on the head and neck often goes undetected leading to a delay in diagnosis. This delay in detection of head and neck melanoma has led to a poorer prognosis when compared to melanoma arising on other parts of the body.  Based on previous research 1 in 2 melanomas go undetected by self-examination, and those that are undetected occur frequently on the head and neck. One group of professionals in the community who can aid in early detection of head and neck melanomas are hair stylists. Essentially everyone in the community will visit a hair stylist in the next month. This represents a remarkable access for early detection of head and neck lesions...

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Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

DNA Strands

Should you undergo genetic testing for breast cancer? While the majority of breast cancers in the United States occur in women with no family history, approximately 7% of breast cancers are caused by a mutation in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Having a mutation in these genes greatly increases your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Patients who are found to have a mutation in have risks up to 87% for breast cancer and 44% for ovarian cancer by the age of 70. We have developed a hereditary cancer quiz that you make take to determine if you are at risk for being a mutation carrier in these genes. Our hereditary cancer quiz is located at www.hereditarycancerquiz/drkidner

Genetic Testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations is easy...

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Dr. Travis Kidner and ROX Cancer Center Help Raise Melanoma Awareness On A Sunny California Day

Rox Cancer Center Team

Dr. Travis Kidner and the Rox Cancer Center were proud to sponsor the second annual Melanoma 5K Run/Walk at the Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA.  The event is co-organized by the Melanoma Research Foundation and Pale Girl SPEAKS, a social networking movement dedicated to raising awareness and preventing melanoma. The 5K course took participants through several of the iconic motion picture scenes at the Universal Studios back lot, including Amityville Island from Jaws, Spartacus Square, the War of the Worlds plane crash and the village of Whoville...

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Obesity linked to Increased Melanoma Risk in Men


Obesity in the United States is an epidemic and is the second cause of preventable death. Currently the CDC estimates that one in three Americans over the age of 20 are overweight. Despite increased health and economic costs the problem is becoming worse. Studies have shown that being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and diseases including: breast cancer, endometrial cancer, thyroid cancer, coronary artery disease, type II diabetes, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, hypertension, and stroke. In addition diabetes, hypertension and other obesity-related chronic diseases that are prevalent among adults are now more common in America’s youth...

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