Colorectal Cancer Risk factors and Prevention

colonoscopy-524701836Colorectal cancer is a disease that causes abnormal cells or tumors to develop in the colon or rectum.  It is the third most commonly diagnosed type of cancer found in men and women in the United States.

Although colorectal cancer causes the deaths of approximately 50,000 people each year; the rate of survival is improving due to education, early detection and treatment.

Learning the risk factors of colorectal cancer is essential as there are risk factors you can control and some you cannot. The risk factors you can control include:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet – a diet rich in red meats and processed meats can increase your risk
  • Heavy alcohol consumption

These factors can be addressed by quitting smoking, exercising, eating a healthy and balanced diet and moderating your consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The factors that you cannot control that may contribute to colorectal cancer are:

  • Age- people over the  age of 50  have a higher risk in developing the disease
  • A family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • A personal history of colorectal polyps, colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Having an inherited gene defect  that can cause family cancer syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Gardner syndrome, Turcot syndrome or Lynch syndrome
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Having type 2 diabetes

Knowing your risk factors and taking appropriate actions can help you to reduce the probability of developing the disease.

Although it is not completely clear what causes colorectal cancer; it can be prevented by receiving regular screenings. With regular screenings, polyps or colon cancer can be found and treated early before advancing.

There are several testing methods your doctor may use to screen for colorectal cancer. Screening tests may include a colonoscopy or other testing methods such as fecal occult blood test,   flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography or double-contrast barium enema. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women should receive screenings beginning at the age of 50.

For a complete guide to the American Cancer Society’s recommendations for colorectal cancer early detection, please visit https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/early-detection/acs-recommendations.html

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.

National Save Your Vision Month

Ophthalmologist examining a woman's eyes with a slit lamp

The month of March has been designated as “National Save Your Vision Month” by the American Optometric Association as a way to promote good eye health. This year, the campaign wants to bring attention to eye problems that can occur at work. More people are using electronic devices for both work and for pleasure than ever before and this can lead to eye problems for some people. This year the campaign wants to bring attention to eye problems that can occur at work.
People who use computers all the time, especially at work, should be aware of developing dry eyes, blurred vision and eye strain. This is because the eyes are focused for long periods of time on an object that is at a fixed distance rather than seeing objects that are moving or at varying distances which allow the muscles of the eyes to constantly move. Also, people who use computer screens for long periods of time don’t blink as frequently and this can lead to dry eyes. To alleviate some of these problems it is important to take a break from time to time and look out a window or at least look around the room.
Some tips for good eye health include keeping the computer monitor about twenty inches from your eyes, keeping the top of the screen tilted a little below eye level, the screen should be kept clean to avoid anything that can blur the images. It is also important to eat a healthy diet which will keep the eyes well nourished.
Regular eye exams can detect problems before they become serious. Correcting faulty vision early this can prevent the problem from becoming serious later on. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye 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.

American Heart Month

Heart Disease

This month, many candy hearts will be exchanged in honor of Valentine’s Day, but Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants the community to give some thoughts to hearts that are not made of chocolate. That’s because February is also American Heart Month, a special designation intended to remind everyone the importance of heart health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States and the numbers are increasing. The good news is, by working with your doctor to monitor your condition and by making changes to your lifestyle, heart disease is preventable for most.

Here are some tips to improve your heart health

  • Schedule an appointment with your doctor, who can conduct a physical evaluation and test your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe certain medications to control both.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and control your weight. Obesity is one of the leading contributors to heart disease.
  • Increase your physical activity. By joining a gym or taking up walking, make exercise part of your daily routine
  • Monitor your alcohol intake and if you smoke, quit immediately. Cigarette smoke and alcohol are two factors that put individuals at an increased risk of heart disease.

Please make an appointment to see your doctor to have your heart checked immediately. If you do not have a doctor, you can make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486. If a heart condition is suspected, a referral can be to our Cardiology Department, where we can perform a variety of tests to determine the best treatment plan for you.

Join Flushing Hospital as we recognize American Heart Month. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and your regularly scheduled appointments, you can enjoy this Valentine’s Day with a clean bill of heart health.

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 Supports “Go Red For Women”

fhmc go red 2017National Go Red Day was created in 2003 to raise awareness about the devastating affects cardiovascular disease has on women in the United States.

Before the “Go Red” initiative was founded, many Americans believed the myth that heart disease affects men more than women. The truth is that cardiovascular disease claims the lives of 500,000 women in the U.S. every year – that’s one woman every 80 seconds.

Through this national initiative, the Go Red For Women movement has generated a great deal of awareness as many more women are aware of the importance of heart health. Some of the many strides made since 2003 include:

  • More than one-third of women have lost weight.
  • More than 50% of women have increased their exercise.
  • 6 out of 10 women have changed their diets.
  • More than 40% of women have checked their cholesterol levels.

The effort has proven to be effective. Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day and deaths in women have decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.

One of the keys to maintaining this success is through continued education. All women are encouraged to “Know Your Numbers” because it is knowledge that can save their life.  The five numbers all women should know are their: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI). Knowing these numbers can help women and their healthcare provider determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.

Flushing Hospital supports Go Red For Women Day by hosting an information event in the hospital’s lobby.  Flushing Hospital urges all women to visit your doctor to learn your numbers. If you do not have a doctor and would like to make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center, 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.

 National Drug and Alcohol Facts Awareness Week – Prescription Opioid Facts

taking pills -464517261Prescription opioid abuse among teens living in the United States has become a major public health concern. In fact, many national health organizations have declared that the U.S. is in the midst of an opioid epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the use of these drugs among young adults has more than doubled and the number of opioid- related deaths has quadrupled in recent years. The CDC, along with other health organizations such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), hope to reduce these statistics by increasing education among teens and their families.

It is crucial for parents and young adults to know the facts about opioids so that they can understand how these drugs can negatively affect a person’s health and quality of life.  Here are six important facts families should know:

  1. Opioids are narcotic medications that are prescribed to treat mild to severe pain.
  2. Some of the most common types of opioids are fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine tramadol and codeine.
  3. Opioids work by reducing the intensity of pain signals being transmitted to the brain. They interact with opioid receptors in the brain to produce pain relief and feelings of euphoria.
  4. Misusing opioids can result in the development of a chemical dependency to these drugs. Misuse may occur when a person is taking opioids long term, is taking more than what was prescribed or is taking them for non-medical reasons.
  5. It is common for teens to mix prescription opioids with other substances such as alcohol. A recent study revealed that seven out of ten teens combined opioids with additional substances and 52% within this group co-ingested prescription pills with alcohol. This behavior puts teens at a higher risk for overdose.
  6. Some of the warning signs of opioid abuse include; anxiety attacks, a sudden improvement in self-esteem, depression, improved alertness, increased energy, a decrease in appetite, fatigue, nausea, constipation and breathlessness.

There are several steps one can take to prevent or reduce the chances of prescription opioids misuse, they include; keeping medication locked up or keeping track of medication to ensure pills are not missing, correctly disposing unused medication, monitoring your loved one’s behavior while they are taking medication and communicating with your doctor about not exceeding the recommended time period for pain treatment.

If your loved one is addicted to prescription opioids it is highly recommended that you have an honest conversation with them about harmful effects that could potentially lead to death.  Reassure them that you are here to help and not to judge them. Seek help from a trained medical professional immediately.  There are several treatment options available which include medication and counseling. Your physician or mental health counselor will determine which treatments are best for a healthy recovery.

The National Institute for Drug Abuse has designated the week of Monday, January 23rd, 2017 as National Drug and Alcohol Facts Awareness Week in an effort to provide teens with the facts about drugs and alcohol.

For further information and resources about opioid addiction and treatment, please visit the NIDA’s website www.drugabuse.gov.

 

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.

Thyroid Awareness Month – Flushing Hospital Raising Awareness

The thyroid gland serves many functions. It regulates our rate of metabolism, growth and development, and our body temperature. So when it isn’t working properly it can have a major impact on our health.

Human Thyroid Gland

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), thyroid disease is a more common disorder than diabetes or heart disease. It affects as many as 30 million Americans, more than half of whom remain undiagnosed. To raise awareness about the thyroid gland and symptoms of thyroid disease, January has been designated Thyroid Awareness Month.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck.. Although small in size, the gland plays a large role by producing thyroid hormone which influences the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. When the thyroid gland is not producing the right amount of hormone (either too much or too little), problems can start to arise.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones. This can result in a range of symptoms that include unexplained fatigue, weight gain, depression, forgetfulness, feeling cold, hair loss, or low sex drive. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is a condition when the body produces an abundance of thyroid hormones. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include rapid heart rate, heat intolerance and unexplained weight loss and anxiety. For both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, medication can be prescribed to regulate hormone levels.

A more serious concern involving the thyroid gland is thyroid cancer, which can develop independent of the above thyroid disease. According to the AACE, about 60,000 cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S. In most cases, thyroid cancer has a good prognosis and high survival rates—especially when diagnosed in its early stages.

Through attention raised by Thyroid Awareness Month, more and more primary care physicians are screening for thyroid disease, which has greatly helped those who would have otherwise had their condition go undiagnosed.

Flushing Hospital is proud to help raise awareness for thyroid disease and encourages everyone experiencing symptoms to ask their doctor to do an evaluation. If you do not have a doctor, call Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center to make an appointment at 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.

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma Month Heading C

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that mainly affects people who are middle aged or older, but it can affect anyone at any age. There are more than three million people in the United States and 60 million people worldwide who suffer from glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Typically the disease starts to develop suddenly, often without symptoms,  and once vision is lost, it is permanent. As much as 40 percent of vision can be lost before some people even notice a problem. It usually starts with loss of peripheral vision. Glaucoma  is caused by damage to the optic nerve so that the  brain isn’t able to receive images from the eyes. There are two types of Glaucoma, Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma where pressure inside the eye increases on its own and damages the optic nerve and Secondary Glaucoma where another disease causes the pressure in the eye to increase and that results in optic nerve damage. Both types will eventually lead to blindness.
Early detection of Glaucoma can help to slow down the progression of the disease. Regular eye exams are very important. To schedule an appointment with an eye 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.

Baby with cleft before and after surgery

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Among the most common birth defects is cleft lip. Cleft lip is a birth defect that occurs when a baby’s lip or mouth does not form properly in the womb. Collectively, these birth defects commonly are called “orofacial clefts”.

The lip forms between the fourth and seventh weeks of pregnancy. A cleft lip develops if the lip tissue does not join completely before birth, resulting in an opening of the upper lip. The opening in the lip varies in size from a small slit or a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose.

The causes of orofacial clefts among most infants are unknown. However, they are thought to be caused by a combination of genetics or other factors, such as things the mother comes in contact with in her environment, or what the mother eats or drinks, or certain medications she uses during pregnancy. Recently the Center for Disease Control reported findings from research studies about risk factors that increase the chance of infant orofacial cleft:

  • Smoking―Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with an orofacial cleft than women who do not smoke
  • Diabetes―Women with diabetes diagnosed before pregnancy have an increased risk of having a child with a cleft lip with or without cleft palate, compared to women who did not have diabetes
  • Use of certain medicines―Women who used certain medicines to treat epilepsy during the first trimester (the first 3 months) of pregnancy are at greater risk

Orofacial clefts, especially cleft lip with or without cleft palate, can be diagnosed during pregnancy during a routine ultrasound. Services and treatment for children with orofacial clefts can vary depending on:

  • The severity of the cleft
  • The child’s age and needs
  • The presence of associated syndromes
  • Other birth defects

Surgery to repair a cleft lip usually occurs in the first few months of life and is recommended within the first 12 months of life. Children born with orofacial clefts might need other types of treatments and services, such as special dental or orthodontic care or speech therapy.

If you are an expecting mother in need of a doctor, Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics offers a wide variety of services to expectant mothers. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-670-8994.

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.

World AIDS Day

1 december AIDS

World AIDS Day has been recognized on December 1st every year since 1998. The World health Organization (WHO) has designated it as one of the eight official global public health campaigns.

The focus of World AIDS Day is to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the HIV infection.

Although the campaign extends throughout the year, World AIDS Day is the day when many events take place throughout the world to bring attention to this serious disease. The observance is recognized with educational programs on AIDS prevention and control.

In recognition of World AIDS Day Flushing Hospital Medical Center is sharing the following facts:

  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) affects the body’s immune system. If not treated properly, HIV can develop into Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
  • It has been estimated that 1.2 million people in the United States and 36.7 million people worldwide are presently living with HIV. In the United States, one out of eight does not know that they are infected.
  • The virus is either transmitted when certain bodily fluids come in contact with a mucous membrane within the body or a cut in the skin or through the sharing of needles and syringes of people who are infected.
  • HIV can only be transmitted by way of blood, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids or breast milk.
  • HIV virus is not spread by water or air, mosquitoes, ticks or other insects, saliva, tears, sweat, sharing a toilet seat or by simple person -to- person touching.
  • There is no cure for HIV but there are ways to slow down its progression.

If you would like to speak to a physician about HIV and AIDS, or if you would like to be tested, you may schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital at 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.

November is COPD Awareness Month

Senior woman with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with supplemental oxygen

Senior woman with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with supplemental oxygen

The month of November is recognized as COPD Awareness Month. The purpose of this designation is to bring awareness to the severity of this disease and show how many people are affected by it.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used to describe different diseases that are related and that affect a person’s ability to breath. There are an estimated 15 million adults that have been diagnosed with the disease and approximately the same number who have the disease but who haven’t been formally diagnosed. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Some factors that contribute to developing COPD are smoking, inhaling second hand smoke, genetic factors, breathing in occupational dust and chemicals and spending long periods of time in areas with high amounts of air pollution.
Symptoms of COPD include:
Breathlessness
Chronic coughing
Wheezing
There is no cure for the disease. Presently treatment consists of alleviating some of the symptoms. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist 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.