What are the Symptoms and Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect men living in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 alone there will be about 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer and 26,730 deaths caused by the disease.

It is important for men to know if they are risk for developing prostate cancer. Risk factors for the disease include:

Age – The chance of developing prostate cancer increases after the age of 50
Race/ethnicity- Prostate cancer occurs more in men of African American and African Caribbean ancestry
Family History- Men with a family history of the disease are more likely to develop prostate cancer
While prostate cancer usually does not present symptoms until its later stages, it is also important for men to know the symptoms. Symptoms include:

Difficulty urinating
Frequent urination
Pain or burning during urination
Painful ejaculation
Blood in urine or semen
Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
Pain in the hip, pelvis or back that does not go away
If you are at risk of developing prostate cancer or are experiencing symptoms, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor as soon as possible. He or she may suggest that you receive testing to find out if you have the disease or to assess the severity of your condition. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, there are several treatment options available. Your doctor will discuss which treatment is best based on the advancement of the disease.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor a Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.

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.

Treating Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common diseases that affect men’s health.  It is estimated that one in every seven men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during his lifetime.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you most likely have questions about available treatment options.

Before recommending a course of treatment, your doctor will need to determine the stage or severity of the disease.  This can be concluded by using imaging technology to assess how aggressive the cancer might be.  Some of the testing methods utilized by physicians include:

  • multiparametric MRI
  • enhanced MRI
  • positron-emission tomography (PET)

Once the stage of the prostate cancer has been determined, your doctor will recommend the best treatment option. Treatment is unique to each individual and may include a combination of therapies and medication management.

Depending on the severity of your case, treatment may include:

  • Active Surveillance- This is where your doctor will monitor your cancer closely. Surveillance typically includes conducting blood tests and digital rectal exams every six months, observing changes in symptoms and possibly administering prostate biopsies each year.
  • Surgery- One of the most common options used to treat prostate cancer is surgery. Surgery is usually considered when cancer has not spread outside the prostate gland. A radical prostatectomy is the operation that your doctor may perform. It involves removing the entire prostate gland as well as surrounding tissue.
  • Radiation Therapy- Is often used to treat cancers that have grown outside the prostate gland and have spread to nearby tissues. High levels of radiation are used to kill cancer cells or to keep them from growing.
  • Hormone Therapy- Also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or androgen suppression therapy,  is an option a physician may explore when cancer has spread too far to be treated with surgery or radiation therapy.  The goal of hormone therapy is to reduce the amount of male hormones (androgens) that are produced.   This helps delay the progression of prostate cancer.
  • Chemotherapy- If hormone therapy is not working; your doctor may consider chemotherapy as a form of treatment. During chemotherapy, a combination of cancer–fighting drugs is administered by mouth or intravenously.  This form of treatment is best used to shrink or eliminate cancer cells that have spread outside the prostate gland into other parts of the body.

Making treatment decisions can be challenging.  Your first step in making a decision is to learn about your options. As an informed patient, you will be able to help your doctor to make a care plan that is best for you.

To schedule an appointment with a urologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7110.

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.

Colorectal Cancer Risk factors and Prevention

colonoscopyColorectal 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.

Who Should Get Tested for Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C written on a page.Hepatitis C (HCV) is a disease that infects and causes damage to the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis C virus and is spread from person to person through contact with blood. Over time, this disease can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and ultimately, liver failure.

Although hepatitis C is the most common reason for liver transplants in the United States, many people do not know they have the disease until they are donating blood or are diagnosed with liver damage.  The symptoms of HCV can take years to present and may include:

  • Joint pain
  • Sore muscles
  • Dark urine
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellowing of the eyes (jaundice) and skin
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Clay-colored bowel movements

Learning the risk factors of hepatitis C and receiving treatment promptly can reduce the severity of symptoms. Talk to your doctor about getting tested if the following pertains to you:

  • You were born between 1945 and 1965
  • You are infected with HIV
  • You received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July, 1992
  • You are having or have had unprotected sex with multiple partners
  • You are a current or former drug injection user and have shared needles
  • You work in an environment where you are exposed to blood through a needle stick
  • You have liver disease or have received abnormal liver test results
  • You were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987
  • Your mother had hepatitis C when she gave birth to you

If diagnosed with hepatitis C, consider seeing a specialist who is trained and experienced in treating patients with your condition. There are several therapies and medications that your doctor may recommend.  A complete list of approved medications and treatments for HCV can be found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.

In addition to treatment, your doctor will also advise that you live a healthy life by maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, quitting recreational drug use, practicing safe sex and getting regular checkups.

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.

Electronic Cigarettes – Are They Safe ?

girn in cafe with E-Cigarette

girn in cafe with E-Cigarette

Electronic cigarettes, or as they are more popularly called, e-cigarettes, are designed to look like traditional tobacco cigarettes. Though the e-cigarettes contain no tobacco, they can be harmful because they contain nicotine which is a cancer causing chemical.
Their manufacturers would like the public to believe that they are a safer alternative to cigarettes, but this may not be the case.

How they work – The user inhales through a mouthpiece similar to traditional cigarettes. This flow of air triggers a sensor that turns on a small battery operated heater. The heater warms up a capsule that contains nicotine and propylene glycol. The vapor that is created gives the user the sensation of smoking a traditional cigarette. The vapor from these e-cigarettes also contains formaldehyde and acetaldehyde which can also cause cancer.

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has done a preliminary analysis of these devices and concluded that the vapors that they emit contain other carcinogens, such as  nitrosamines and diethylene glycol. It is presumed that the effects of smoking these e-cigarettes would have similar second hand effects as regular tobacco products and their use should be regulated in a similar manner.

Though they have been marketed as an aid to stop smoking for those trying to quit, there is no evidence that proves that these e-cigarettes accomplish that goal.. If you smoke, or know someone who does, and are interested in quitting we recommend speaking with your physician. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our pulmonary specialists at 718-206-6742 who can assist you.

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.

JHMC & Assemblyman David Weprin Work Together To Educate Communities About Breast Cancer

 

 Assemblymember Alice Cancel, Assemblymember David Weprin, Assemblymember Francisco Moya, Assemblymember Michael Benedetto, Sandra Lee, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Billy Joel, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Assembly member Didi Barett, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Assemblymember Alice Cancel, Assemblymember David Weprin, Assemblymember Francisco Moya, Assemblymember Michael Benedetto, Sandra Lee, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Billy Joel, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Assembly member Didi Barett, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Each year breast cancer kills as many as 40,000 women in the United States. These numbers are of great concern to community leaders such as Assemblyman David Weprin as the number of breast cancer cases continue to grow in parts of Queens.

Over the years the Assemblyman has worked with several community and health organizations to raise awareness.  As part of his continued efforts to educate residents about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, Weprin has collaborated with Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Chairwoman of Radiology Dr. Sabiha Raoof to provide the following five vital facts about the disease:

Fact 1.Breast cancer occurs in one in every eight women living in the United States. It is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer and second leading cause of death.

Fact 2. Some of the factors that put you at a higher risk of developing breast cancer include:

  1. Smoking
  2. A family history of breast cancer -having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer
  3. You are over the age of 55 (Most invasive breast cancers are found in women 55 and older)
  4. You have dense breast tissue
  5. Excessive consumption of alcohol
  6. Radiation to chest or face before age 30
  7. Being overweight or obese
  8. You have used hormone replacement therapy to ease menopausal symptoms

Fact 3. Symptoms of breast cancer include nipple retraction, skin irritation, dimpling, swelling of the breast or armpits, unusual discharge from the nipple and lumps in the breast.

Fact 4. There are changes that you can make in your lifestyle that can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, some of which are:

  1. Maintaining a healthy weight
  2. Being physically active
  3. Eating a healthy diet
  4. Breastfeeding( It has been found that breastfeeding can lower cancer risk, especially if a woman breastfeeds for longer than one year)
  5. Quitting smoking
  6. Limiting alcohol consumption
  7. Limiting or avoiding hormone replacement therapy

Dr Raoof during MAD roundsFact 5. According to Dr. Raoof, “Early detection is the key to reducing the risk of developing breast cancer and the probability of premature death. Women who have regular mammograms are more likely to find breast cancer early and are less likely to require aggressive treatment to be cured. Studies show that the rate of survival is much higher when breast cancer is detected in its earlier stages. “

Earlier this year, as part of the “Get Screened, No excuses” campaign; Assemblyman Weprin joined Governor Andrew Cuomo at Citi Field as legislation was signed to increase patients’ access to breast screening services and facilities. As part of the legislative agreement, 210 hospitals and hospital extension clinics will offer extended hours of screening for at least four hours per week to help women who have difficulty scheduling mammograms during the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday. In addition, the legislation eliminates annual deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance payments for screening and diagnostic imaging for the detection of breast cancer; including diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds and MRIs.

In conjunction with this initiative Jamaica Hospital has extended hours of operation at all of its locations where mammograms are offered. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-291-3276.

For detailed information about breast cancer and screening guidelines please visit, www.cancer.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.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer (also known as colon cancer, rectal cancer, or bowel cancer) is the development of cancer from the colon or rectum (parts of the large intestine). It is due to the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates annually there are 136,830 people diagnosed and 50,310 will die from this disease.

Common symptoms include:
• A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of stool, that lasts longer than four weeks.
• Rectal bleeding
• Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
• A feeling that bowels do not empty completely
• Weakness or fatigue
• Unexplained weight loss

Factors that may increase risk of colon cancer include: Older age, African-American decent, a personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps, inflammatory intestinal conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, a family history of colon cancer, a low-fiber, a high-fat diet, a  sedentary lifestyle,  diabetes,  obesity,  smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Regular screening is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colon cancer. If polyps are found during colon screening, they can usually be removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer. Screening can also result in finding cancer early, when it is easier to treat and more likely to be curable.
One can help lower risk by eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and less red meat (beef, lamb, or pork) and less processed meat. Men should limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day, and women to no more than 1 drink a day. The American Cancer Society recommends regular colon cancer screening for most people starting at age 50. People with a family history of the disease or other risk factors should talk with their doctor about beginning screening younger age. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital that specializes in gastroenterology, please call 718-206-6742.

Colon cancer and colon polyps. Polyps?have the potential to turn into cancer if?they?remain in the colon.?

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.

Facts About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a form of cancer that starts in the lungs. It is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States in both men and women. More people die each year from lung cancer than from colon, prostate ovarian, and breast cancer combined.

Lung cancer

In the early stages there may not be any signs or symptoms. A history of smoking definitely contributes to a higher risk of being diagnosed with the disease, though non-smokers also can develop lung cancer. Smoking causes cancer by irritating the lining of the lungs. This causes changes in the lung tissue. It is believed that the effects of smoking may be reversible in the very early phases but repeated exposure to the chemicals found in smoke will eventually be irreversible.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer include:
• A cough that doesn’t get better
• Coughing up blood
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Wheezing
• Hoarseness
• Headache
• Weight loss that isn’t intentional

If lung cancer is suspected, a few tests to make the diagnosis definitive will be ordered. A chest x-ray will be performed and if there are any lesions found on the lung a CT scan will to get a better view of the lungs. An exam of the sputum can sometimes reveal lung cancer cells and to complete the diagnosis a lung biopsy will be done to examine the cells to see if they are cancerous.

Depending on the stage of the cancer, treatment options vary and can include chemotherapy, radiation and / or surgery. A common surgical option is called a lobectomy, removal one of the lobes of the lung.

There is no way to prevent lung cancer, but the best way to reduce your risk is to not smoke. If you do smoke, quit immediately. Also avoid second hand smoke, radon, and harmful carcinogens.

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.