Smoking Cessation – Helping You Quit

Smoking cigarettes is one of the leading causes of multiple diseases and premature deaths in the United States today.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 million Americans are living with smoking-related diseases and an estimated 480,000 deaths will occur each year as a result of smoking.

Smoking cigarettes affects many aspects of health. Direct association has been established between smoking and cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, cervix, bladder, kidney and blood.

Many lung conditions are either caused or aggravated by cigarette smoke. It irritates bronchial airways and stimulates mucous production leading to decreased elasticity and functional failure. Patients suffering from COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema have a much higher risk of dying when repeatedly exposed to smoke.

Smokers are also at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Smoking damages blood vessels, making them stiff and narrow. This can obstruct blood flow which may result in elevated blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes.

Smoking tobacco is an addiction similar to heroin and cocaine. It can be successfully treated, however, majority of cases require three and more attempts.

Studies have shown that these five, common sense steps, provide the best chance for quitting smoking for good:

1. Get ready: set a quit date and throw out all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home.

2. Get support: tell your family, friends and doctor about quitting plans; search the internet for advice.

3.  Learn new behaviors: distract yourself from the urge to smoke; exercise or go for a walk.

4. Get medication: combining medication like nicotine patches with behavioral adaptation and family support quadruples your chances of success.

5. Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations- most people try to quit a few times before succeeding.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides extensive assistance for people willing to quit smoking.  We offer a free smoking cessation support group every Wednesday. The hospital also offers one-on-one sessions, both in person or by phone.  For more information please call, 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

Did you know that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally? Cataracts are very common in older adults- in fact; it is estimated that more than 75% of people over the age of 65 will develop cataracts.  Although less common, people can develop this medical condition in their forties and fifties as well.

As you age, proteins in the eye begin to break down, causing clouding in the lens and the formation of cataracts. Many who are affected are unaware that this process is occurring because cataracts grow very slowly and does not impede vision during its early stages.   There are symptoms that can indicate the development of cataracts. Here are some that you can look out for:

  • Colors appear faded
  • Clarity in vision decreases and cannot be corrected with eyeglasses
  • An increase in sensitivity to light and glare
  • Halos appearing around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Frequent changes in prescription eyewear
  • Double vision

Some people are more at risk of developing cataracts than others. These factors increase your risks:

  • Diabetes
  • Exposure to prolonged durations of sunlight
  • Heavy drinking
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Advanced age
  • High blood pressure
  • Previous eye injury or surgery

June is Cataract Awareness Month. During this time, Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants you to know, there are several things you can do to be proactive and slow the progression of cataracts.  Eating healthy is a good start. A balanced diet rich in vitamin C has shown to be effective.  Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the Sun’s UV rays.  If you are a smoker- stop smoking and drink in moderation.  Early detection can save your eyesight therefore, scheduling routine eye exams is very important.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.
The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS
Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.
Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.
During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Flushing Hospital is Honored for Services Offered to the Asian Community

The Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA) held their annual Asian Heritage Night awards ceremony this year at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The event was held to acknowledge and thank the efforts of health care organizations that are committed to improving health in the Asian American community, including Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

This year, Flushing Hospital was recognized for their dedication and commitment to creating a culturally sensitive environment where members of the Asian community can receive the highest quality care. During the ceremony, CAIPA officials presented Flushing Hospital Medical Center with a plaque that stated “In appreciation for your outstanding and culturally sensitive services to the Asian American community.”

Flushing Hospital Medical Center understands the importance of providing quality care for our Asian community, which comprises roughly 35 percent of our patient population.  As a result, the hospital has taken many steps to meet the population’s needs, including hiring an ethnically diverse staff to help understand and meet the specific needs of those we serve, (over 200 members of Flushing’s staff are bi-lingual in either Chinese or Korean).

While Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides many services, two specific programs were highlighted

  1. Flushing Hospital’s dedicated Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program for Asian patients allows an otherwise private and cautious portion of our population an opportunity to share their feelings and experiences with Asian mental health professionals who can better understand the issues facing those in the Asian communities. This service designed specifically for the Asian community provides a forum to break down cultural barriers and address subjects that might not be addressed.
  2. Flushing Hospital’s Asian Hospitalists Program provides our Chinese and Korean speaking patients the opportunity to have dedicated Asian hospital-based physicians to oversee their care and address all of their needs in the language they are most comfortable communicating. This program allows for better outcomes as our Asian patients can more effectively share their medical issues directly with a physician who speaks their language, allowing our staff to provide the most appropriate care.

During the event, Flushing Hospital’s efforts were highlighted as part of a ten minute video that featured members of the hospital team including Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO, Dr. Daniel Chen, Assistant Chairman of Mental Health and Dr. Yueting Shang, Coordinator of the Hospitalist Program, who all shared the hospital’s commitment to patient care.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center is proud of their relationship with the Asian American community and will continue to work to meet their healthcare needs and improve the overall wellness of those who depend on us.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dr. Tips from Yan-Qun Sun, MD

Yan-Qun Sun, MD is an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Sun specializes in the diagnosis a surgical treatment of injuries and disorders involving the musculoskeletal system, such as hip replacements, arthroscopic surgery, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, ankle and knee and congenital disorders.

With the summer at hand and a milder climate that may make you take in the activities enjoyed in the great outdoors such as, running, powerwalking and hiking; Dr. Sun would like to give you a few tips on how to identify and treat a mildly sprained ankle.

As Dr. Sun described, “An ankle sprain occurs when you have stretched or torn the ligaments in your ankle. This is often caused by making too quick of a movement, which forces the joint out of its normal position.”

Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on how much damage has been done to the ligaments.  Typically symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Stiffness or restricted range of motion
  • Redness or warmth in the area

If your symptoms are mild you can treat your injury by:

  • Applying ice- This will help in reducing swelling and pain.
  • Resting the ankle- This can be done by using crutches and keeping the affected leg elevated.
  • Taking over the counter (OTC) painkillers- OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen are effective in managing pain and swelling.
  • Applying compressions- Wrapping your ankle with adhesive bandages or wearing a brace will help reduce swelling and provide protection.

Typically mild sprains tend to last seven to ten days; however, if you are experiencing intense pain, abnormal swelling and are unable to place weight on your ankle, it is likely that your case is severe and needs immediate medical attention.

If  left untreated severe ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle instability, chronic pain and early onset arthritis.  To reduce the risk of furthering your injury, schedule an appointment with your doctor if symptoms continue past 10 days.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sun at Flushing Hospital Medical Center call 718-521-4206.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Breast Cancer Surgery

Surgery is a common and effective treatment used to fight breast cancer. Depending on the stage of the disease as well as other factors such as the location or size of the tumor, a doctor may recommend undergoing breast- conserving surgery or a mastectomy.

Breast-conserving surgery (also known as a lumpectomy) is the least invasive and is performed only when the cancer and a portion or margin of surrounding tissue need to be removed.

Mastectomies, which are more invasive, often require the removal of the entire breast. There are several types of mastectomies, however, the most commonly used procedures include:

  • Total or simple mastectomy- This procedure requires the removal of the entire breast with the exception of muscle tissue and underarm lymph nodes beneath the breast.
  • Skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomy- Removes all of the breast tissue but saves as much of the skin of the breast, nipple or areola as possible.
  • Modified radical mastectomy- The removal of the entire breast, overlying skin and underarm lymph nodes is required. This procedure is a modification of the more extensive radical mastectomy of which the entire breast, lymph nodes, nipples and chest wall muscle is removed. According to the American Cancer Society, this surgery is rarely done now because the modified technique has proven to be just as effective with fewer side effects.  Radical mastectomies may still be performed to remove large tumors that grow into the pectoral muscles.

If the option is available after breast cancer removal surgery, a woman can choose to undergo breast reconstruction surgery.  This operation is performed to rebuild the shape and appearance of the breast.

Some women may need to receive additional treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy or targeted therapy after surgery.   The course of treatment required varies from person to person.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Stiff Neck

Whether it has occurred when first waking in the morning or developed after performing strenuous activities; most people have experienced a stiff neck at some point in their lives.

A stiff neck, typically characterized by limited mobility (commonly from side to side) and pain is often caused by muscle strain, inflammation of the joints or soft tissue sprain.

Examples of activities that may contribute to a stiff neck include:

  • Looking at smartphones or similar electronic devices for an extended period of time
  • Driving for a long period of time
  • Sleeping with the neck in an awkward position
  • Falling or sudden impact
  • Turning the head repeatedly from side to side during an activity
  • Experiencing prolonged periods of stress, which can lead to tension of neck muscles

The following self-care treatments can be applied for mild cases of a stiff neck:

  • Heat or cold therapy
  • Resting the neck by reducing activities that require frequent movement
  • Over-the-counter medications ( used as recommended or as advised by a physician)
  • Low impact exercises
  • Massages

On rare occasions, a stiff neck may be indicative of a more serious health condition. If a stiff neck is accompanied by the following symptoms, it is advised that medical attention is sought right away:

  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Coordination issues
  • Changes in mental state (confusion or mood swings)

It is also recommended that you see a doctor if milder symptoms of a stiff neck including pain and limited mobility do not improve after a week.

 

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

MediSys Launches A New Website

Recently the Medisys Health Network launched a website called “MedisysCares”.  This site highlights eight medical conditions that are commonly found in our community and include:
Breast Cancer
Cervical Cancer
Colon Cancer
Hepatitis B and C
Human Papilloma Virus
Lung Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Smoking Cessation

The objective of this website is to reduce the incidence of these diseases in our community by promoting healthy lifestyle choices and to encourage people with these health conditions to manage their healthcare through routine follow up and compliance.
The website can be found at http://www.medisyscares.org

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Practicing Yoga Help Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Practicing yoga can give your overall health an added boost.  Studies have found that it is also helpful in fighting hypertension when combined with other methods of management such as a healthy diet, medication and aerobic exercise.  Research indicates that on average patients who incorporated yoga into their care management routine saw a notable reduction in their systolic blood pressure (top number) and diastolic blood pressure (bottom number).

It is believed that yoga is an effective complementary treatment for hypertension because it increases and strengthens the body’s ability to take in oxygen.  Additionally it can help improve resiliency to stress; a trigger in elevating blood pressure levels.

If you decide to include yoga as a part of your care, it is important to know that not all yoga poses are created equal in high blood pressure management. There are some poses that are helpful and there are others that can be harmful.

Yoga poses that can be beneficial are:

  • Bridge pose
  • Posterior stretch pose
  • Savasana pose
  • Child pose

Yoga poses that should be avoided or modified include:

  • Bow pose
  • Camel pose
  • Feathered peacock pose
  • Balasana pose

It is important that you speak with your physician before trying yoga.  Your physician will assess your health and advise if you are physically capable.  If your doctor has given you the green light, inform your yoga instructor about your hypertension.  This information will help in the prevention of injuries or the exacerbation of your medical condition.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Can Your Pharmacist Help You Manage Your Care?

Managing your health requires a team approach. Many different healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and various specialized technicians all participate in your care, but one member of that team who plays a significant role in your treatment is often overlooked and underutilized; your pharmacist.

Many people view their local pharmacist as only a person who dispenses their medications, but your pharmacist is an active member of your healthcare team.  They are a valuable resource to answer questions about your medications and offer helpful tips. In addition, patients have many more interactions with their pharmacist than they do with their doctor each year, so why not take advantage of their expertise?

Here are a few ways your local pharmacist can help you:

  • Information on side effects – Information about potential side effects on medication labels can often be confusing and overwhelming. Your pharmacist can explain which side effects are most common and outline who is most at risk for developing them.
  • Scheduling your medications – Your pharmacist can help you map out a schedule for when to take your medications. This can be especially helpful if you are taking multiple prescriptions. The effectiveness of certain medications can be minimized when taken simultaneously with others. Some medications can also work better if taken at certain times of day or with or without food.
  • Consequences for missing a dose – While skipping your regular dose of medication is not recommended, it is not always a cause for concern.  How to deal with this type of situation depends on the medication and why it is being taken. Your pharmacist can explain how to handle this problem if and when it occurs.
  • Storage Instructions – Properly storing your medications will greatly impact their effectiveness. Be sure to ask your pharmacist how to store them. Most medications should be kept at room temperature with low humidity. Some however, need to be refrigerated.

When choosing a pharmacist, make sure he or she will take the time to answer all your questions. If you do not have a pharmacist, Flushing Hospital has a retail pharmacy located in the lobby of the Medical Science building. Our staff will take the time to ensure that you have a full understanding of how to take your medications to ensure you properly manage your health. For more information about our pharmacy service, please call 718-353-3160.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.