Prostate Cancer

The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system that produces a fluid that mixes with sperm and other fluids during ejaculation.  It sits just below the bladder and is normally about the size of a walnut.

Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of cells within the prostate gland.  Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American men.  The majority of men who reach the age of 80 are found to have prostate cancer, however, most of the types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may not contribute to any serious harm.  Some types of prostate cancers are more aggressive and can spread to other parts of the body.

Prostate cancer, especially in its early stages, may not have any symptoms.  When symptoms are present they may include difficulty starting urination, less force to the stream of urine, dribbling at the end of urination, needing to urinate frequently, urinating frequently at night, pain while urinating, blood in the urine or semen, difficulty starting or maintaining an erection, pain with ejaculation, pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis and upper thighs, or unintended weight loss.

Although it is not known exactly what causes prostate cancer some risk factors for developing prostate cancer are older age (more than 65% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men older than 65), race (African-American men are 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men), family history (having a father or brother with prostate cancer) and obesity.

There is an ongoing debate among physicians and medical groups about screening for prostate cancer.  Currently, many organizations including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommend against routine screening for prostate cancer.  Having a discussion with your doctor about prostate cancer screening can help you decide if you should consider undergoing prostate cancer screening based on your unique health history and preferences.

When screening is done there are two tests that are available.  The available tests are a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.  To perform a digital rectal exam your doctor uses a gloved finger, inserted a few inches into your rectum, to check your prostate gland.  A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in your blood.  Many men who have prostate cancer have elevated levels of PSA, however, PSA can also be elevated for less serious causes such as prostate enlargement or infection.  Further testing is needed to diagnose cancer.  Additional tests that your doctor may recommend to diagnose cancer include an ultrasound of the prostate and a biopsy of the prostate.  A biopsy is when a small piece of the prostate is removed to look for abnormal cells.

Treatment of prostate cancer depends on many factors including your age, your overall health and the growth and spread of cancer when it is diagnosed.  Some men who have slow-growing tumors may not need treatment right away and some may never need treatment.  Other types of prostate cancer are aggressive and can quickly spread to other parts of the body making treatment difficult.  Common treatment options include watchful waiting or expectant management (regular testing and checkups to assess for new signs or symptoms), radiation therapy (high-energy x-rays used to kill cancer cells), chemotherapy, surgery (having the prostate gland removed) and hormone therapy.

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.

New Colon and Rectal Cancer Screening Guidelines

Earlier this week, the American Cancer Society updated its guidelines for colon and rectal cancer screenings and is now calling for all adults to be screened by age 45 and no longer wait until 50 years of age, which was the previous recommendation.

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 over 136,000 people diagnosed with the disease and approximately 50,000 of those cases are fatal.

The change in guidelines is in large part due to recent data that notes an increase in the number of colon and rectal cancer diagnoses in younger adults in recent years. According to reports there has been a 51% increase of these types of cases in the U.S. in people under the age of 50 since 1994. Possible reasons for the rise are poor diet or obesity.

Conversely, the number of both the number of cases and the number of deaths linked to colon and rectal cancer has declined in older adults. Many attribute the decline to increased efforts to screen this population.

Regular screening is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colon cancer. Screening can also result in finding cancer early, when it is easier to treat and more likely to be curable. If polyps are found during colon screening, they can usually be removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer.
Common symptoms of colon cancer include:

Changes in bowel habits or a change in stool consistency that lasts more than four weeks
Rectal bleeding
Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
Feeling that bowels do not empty completely
Weakness or fatigue
Unexplained weight loss

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are over the age of 45, Jamaica Hospital urges you to get screened. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center and schedule your screening, 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.

World No Tobacco Day

Since 1987 the World Health Organization has recognized May 31st as a day to bring awareness around the world of the harmful effects of tobacco. This year the focus is on tobacco and cardiovascular diseases.
The risks of using tobacco are well documented, however many people around the world are not fully aware of the dangers.  There is a very strong link between tobacco use and heart disease, circulatory problems and stroke.
Coronary vascular diseases are one of the world’s leading causes of death.  Tobacco use is the second leading cause of these types of diseases, hypertension being the leading cause. With all of the knowledge we have about the harmful effects of tobacco use, there are still some who have not received the message and as a result, more than 7 million people die each year from the effects of tobacco.
A few of the initiatives that the World Health Organization is trying to implement to inform people about tobacco’s harmful effects are:
• Increase public knowledge of the risks of smoking and second hand smoke
• Encourage healthcare providers to speak to their patients about the hazards of tobacco
• Encourage governmental  support for educational programs
• Seek ways to promote smoke free zones in buildings and public spaces
• Increase taxes on tobacco products
• Make it more difficult to purchase tobacco products
• Ban tobacco advertising
If you use tobacco products and would like to quit, speak to your provider. Jamaica Hospital offers a tobacco cessation program  to help you. Please call 718-206-8494 to learn more.

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.

HPV Vaccination Q&A

Q: What is HPV?

A: HPV stands for human papillomavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. The virus can cause warts to develop and can lead to cancers that both men and women are susceptible to–such as cancer of the mouth, throat, anus, cervix, vulva, vagina and penis.

Q: How do people get HPV?

A: HPV is transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact, including various types of sexual activities.

Q: How common do we see HPV?

A: About one out of four people in the United States is currently infected. Three out of four people will get an HPV infection in their lifetime.

Q: What symptoms do people have?

A: Most people with HPV infection have no signs or symptoms.  In most cases, HPV goes away on its own. However, in other instances, symptoms can develop and can take years to present. Symptoms may include warts (small bumps or groups of bumps) or cancer in the back of the throat, tongue, cervix, vulva, vagina, penis or anus.

Q: How can I protect myself or my children from getting HPV?

A: There are vaccines available to prevent HPV infection. Depending on the age group, there are a series of two to three vaccinations that are administered over a period of time.   If doses are administered before the age of 15, there will be a total of 2 vaccines given 6 months apart.  For those ages 15 to 26, there are a  total of 3 vaccines given at 0, 1 and 6 months. All boys and girls are recommended to obtain a full series of the HPV vaccination. It is recommended to start at ages 11-12, but can be given as young as 9 years old.

Q: How effective is HPV vaccine?

A: HPV vaccine can prevent over 90% of cancers caused by HPV which is 30,000 cases of cancer each year.

Q: What is the most common side effect of the HPV vaccine?

A: It is a very safe vaccine. Like any other vaccines, most of the side effects are mild. The most common side effects are redness or swelling at the site it was given.  Additional side effects may include dizziness or fainting, which can be prevented by sitting or lying down when the vaccine is being given and remaining in that position for 15 minutes after administration.

Dr.  Pan San Chan, Family Medicine Physician

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.

Employee Spotlight – Yolanda Torres Jacobs

This month we shine our employee spotlight on Security Officer Yolanda Torres Jacobs.
Yolanda is a true New Yorker who finds the city a great place to live. She grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn and attended Grover Cleveland High School. Her home now is in Queens Village which is both convenient to travel to work and also close enough to many of her family members. She grew up in a very loving family, with two brothers , a sister and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Yolanda has been working in the security field for 25 years. She has been at Jamaica Hospital since 2014 and prior to that she worked in security at JFK and LaGuardia Airports. She also has several years of experience working in customer relations positions which taught her many lessons that she uses when dealing with the public. Yolanda enjoys her job and finds it rewarding being able to interact with our patients, visitors and staff. She brings a positive approach to her job and does her best to make sure that everyone she encounters has a pleasant experience.
Yolanda grew up with many kinds of pets. She has had dogs, birds and even snakes. She and her husband  have a beautiful aquarium in their home and she finds it very relaxing to watch the fish.
In her free time, Yolanda enjoys spending time with her family. Whenever she gets a chance she enjoys traveling with her husband to places near and far. She also enjoys cooking, eating in all kinds of restaurants, bike riding, going to the movies, dancing, and spending time with her family who she adores.
Yolanda credits her family with giving her an outgoing personality and the enjoyment she gets from interacting with people in a positive way each and every day.

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.

Managing Your Time

American Filmmaker, Stephen Spielberg was once quoted as saying, “Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.”

We all know that time is precious, especially in the business world. As soon as the red light on our electronic device shows that we have an email, we are grabbing for our electronics to read and respond to it. Text messages have taken the place of conversations and video calls have become a substitution for a visit or in person meeting.

Here are a few tips on how to successfully manage your time:

  • Set goals – Be sure to participate in activities that support your long and short term goals
  • Prioritize – Set your “to-do” list in order of importance, such as important and pressing, important, but not pressing, not pressing and not important.  Try to complete each task and check it off your list in order of importance.
  • It’s okay to say no – If you have to decline an invitation because of a conflict, do so.  If your goal is to be everything to everyone, your goal is unrealistic.
  • Try to plan ahead – Take the time to plan your workday and social activities.  Take a few minutes at night or early in the morning to map out your personal course for the day.  When you have a clear vision for the day’s events, even if you are thrown a curveball, it will be easy to reroute your mind to include any additional responsibility.
  • Make time for  yourself – Start with just five minutes a day. Turn off the cell phone, notify your colleagues or family members that you will be inaccessible for the set time and do something for yourself.  Listen to your favorite song, take a short walk, step away from your desk, or relax with your eyes closed.
  • You don’t have to do it all – Do your best to ask others for help.  At work, there are competent employees that you can share your tasks with and at home, involve your family members in taking care of some of the responsibilities.
  • Track your time – Try to give each task or project the time it needs without giving it too much of your time.  Compartmentalize which tasks and/or responsibilities need the most attention.  By doing this, you will not be wasting time.

Our lives are going at a rapid pace and there is little or no down time for us to reboot our own physical computer, our brain.  So be sure to get the necessary amount of sleep, eat healthy and exercise regularly.

 

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.

What to do with BBQ Leftovers?

When you barbeque, you always seem to prepare more food than you need. Of course, this will leave you with leftovers more often than not. So what do you do with all that extra chicken?

If you are planning on finishing off your leftover chicken within a few days, wrap it tightly and keep it in the refrigerator. If you want to keep it for more than a few days, wrap the chicken in foil and seal it in a zip lock bag. Try to get as much air as possible out of the bag to preserve the leftovers for several months.

Take precaution when you are reheating your leftovers.  You do not have to reheat it on as low a temperature and slowly as you did the first time.  An oven temperature of around 325 degrees will work great. Do not overcook your chicken.  Overcooking can cause the chicken to become dry.

Properly reheated, your barbecued chicken should be just about as good as it was the day you first cooked it.

Now that we have discussed how to preserve your BBQ chicken, here’s a great way to reheat that chicken. Click the link below and follow the simple recipe that will take your leftover chicken and make it appear like an entirely different meal!

http://addapinch.com/cooking/bbq-chicken-bites-recipe/

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.

Understanding Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer

In order to better understand hormone therapy, it is important to differentiate it from hormone replacement therapy (HRT); as the two are sometimes confused.

HRT is a form of treatment used to alleviate symptoms that are associated with menopause; while hormone therapy is often recommended as a form of treatment for women with hormone receptor-positive (ER-positive and/or PR-positive) breast cancers.  HRT is used to increase estrogen levels, and hormone therapy is used for the opposite effect—to block or lower estrogen levels in the body.

In women diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive breast cancers or hormone-sensitive breast cancer, elevated levels of the hormone estrogen help cancer to grow. Hormone therapy can be administered by medication or by surgical interventions to either lower estrogen levels or to completely stop estrogen from stimulating and growing breast cancer cells.

Hormone therapy is mostly used after breast cancer surgery to help reduce the risk of cancer returning, decrease the risk of cancer developing in other breast tissue, stop or slow the growth of cancer that has spread.  There are some instances in which treatment may begin before surgery as neoadjuvant therapy.

As with all forms of medical treatments, there are side effects associated with hormone therapy.  Side effects depend on the course of treatment but are known to include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, mood swings, and depression and bone loss.

Treatments vary from person to person but there are guidelines set in place to ensure that all patients receive quality healthcare. Guidelines are based on research and agreement among experts. Updated guidelines and overviews can be found in resources provided by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

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.

Tips to Successfully Transition Your Child Into Daycare

Placing your child in a daycare center is a reality for more and more working parents today.

The idea of leaving your child in the care of others for an extended period of time can be a frightening one to both you and your child. Many parents feel apprehensive about exposing their babies to a new environment, and the situation is only intensified as some children can experience separation anxiety at the thought of being away from their parents for the first time.

Below are a few tips to help both parents and children as they transition to this new daily routine.

  • Do your research – Before choosing a daycare environment, it is important for parents to do some investigation. Ask plenty of questions from other parents as well as from the daycare staff. It is also appropriate to ask to “sit-in” to observe the staff in action. By doing some due diligence, parents will feel less anxiety and more confident with their choice in a daycare provider.
  • Explain the situation to your child in advance – Sometimes it’s the unexpected that is most frightening to children. You can help the situation by preparing your child for what they will encounter at daycare. Explain to them everything that they will do during their day and everyone that they will meet. Picture books designed to outline the daycare experience to your child can also be a helpful tool
  • Try a gradual start – If your schedule will allow it, try easing your child into a daycare setting by enrolling them on a part-time basis. This can either be shorter sessions or for only a couple of days per week. After they get comfortable with their new surroundings, you can incrementally extend the experience. This gradual transition can reduce stress and anxiety for both parent and child.
  • Be organized – The pressure of transitioning into daycare can only be intensified when parents are running around at the last second as they look to get out the door. A chaotic environment takes a parents attention away from their child, who might need it. Prepare everything the night before so your trip to daycare can be a calm and relaxed one. Creating a check-list is always a good idea.
  • Have your child bring something familiar – A reminder of home will make those first few trips to daycare a little easier and provide comfort on difficult days for an anxious child. Ask your child if they would like to bring their favorite stuffed animal or a cozy blanket with them. These comfort items can reduce the stress associated with going to daycare.
  • Invent a goodbye ritual – Families should create a consistent way of saying goodbye to each other to help establish a fuss-free drop off experience. This could be a loving phrase, a secret handshake or special kiss that is shared just between a parent and a child. This ritual will make your child feel special and it will limit prolonged goodbyes.
  • Expect some tears – It can take anywhere from one day to a month for a child to adjust to daycare. During this transition it is perfectly natural for your child to cry when you drop them off. While this can be heartbreaking to parents in the moment, understand that children are resilient and a daycare experience can actually help them develop social and adaptation skills.

Following these tips can take what can be a tension-filled time in both your life and the life of your child, and make it into a positive and stress-free experience.

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.

Hurricane Season is Just Around the Corner – Are You Prepared?

Warmer temperatures are coming and we are all looking forward to them. While we typically associate the summer weather as a wonderful time to spend some time at the beach or with the family at a cookout, the summer months can bring with them some very dangerous weather conditions, namely hurricanes.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic region officially begins on June 1.  Defined by their torrential rain and heavy winds, hurricanes have the ability to cause massive devastation.  On average, 12 hurricanes make landfall the United States each year, and with so many major storms hitting different parts of the country in recent years, including Super Storm Sandy, which ravaged the New York area in 2012,  it is very important to be prepared for the next potential storm.

With a long history of providing relief to those devastated by hurricanes, including sending personnel to assist the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Maria, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is experienced and knowledgeable about how to properly prepare for such an event and would like to share the following tips with our community:

  • Stay informed by making sure you receive emergency notifications. There are many downloadable apps that can provide you with important information.
  • Know your community’s evacuation plan in advance and identify the appropriate evacuation routes and potential safe shelters.
  • Create an emergency notification plan for your family. This will help you contact one another and get back together if you are apart when a storm arrives.
  • Prepare a “go bag” in the event you need to evacuate in a hurry. Contents of a go bag should include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies and medications as well as critical documents.
  • If you do not need to evacuate but there is a potential for prolonged power outages, make sure to have three to five days of water and non-perishable food items on hand for each member of your family.
  • Prepare your home by reinforcing all exterior doors and windows, securing or bringing in any loose objects outside your home, cutting down any damaged tree limbs, and repairing damaged gutters to prevent leaks.
  • While sometimes flooding is unavoidable, do your best to protect valuables by placing them in secure containers or relocating them to higher elevations.
  • If you have purchased a generator, be sure to use it correctly. Remember to keep them outdoors, keep them at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and try to protect them from moisture.

By being prepared and following these tips, you can help keep your home and your loved ones safe from disaster.

For more information, please visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

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.