Men’s Health Month

Father’s Day isn’t the only celebration for men in June. Men’s Health Month is also observed. Men’s Health Month is an observance to raise awareness of preventable health problems, encourage early detection and treatment of disease, and improve overall well-being among men.

As part of its celebration of Men’s Health Month, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is sharing a few men’s health statistics and facts to consider:

  • Men are more than likely to be uninsured and significantly less likely than women to see a doctor or report symptoms to a healthcare provider.
  • Men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women as the overall mortality rate is 41% higher for men than women as men lead the death rate for cancer, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • Only 60% of men go to the doctor for a yearly, routine check-up, and 40% won’t see a doctor until something is seriously wrong.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 13.2% of men aged 18 and over are in fair or poor health.
  • Men are more likely to put their health at risk by smoking, drinking alcohol, and making other unhealthy life choices.
  • One in two men are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
  • Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men in the United States. A man is 2 to 3 times more likely to get prostate cancer if his father, brother, or son had it. Talk to your doctor about having your PSA and DRE levels checked.
  • Erectile dysfunction affects nearly 30 million men of all ages across the United States. If you are having problems, see a urologist to ensure it’s not an early warning sign of something more serious, like heart disease, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar.

Men’s Health Month doesn’t just encourage men to take care of their physical health, but their mental and emotional health as well. Men also lead the death rate for suicide.

Here are a few men’s mental health statistics and facts:

  • 31% of men suffer from depression in their lifetime.
  • 9% of men have daily feelings of depression or anxiety.
  • Only 25% of men talk to a mental health professional.
  • Only 33% take medication for their mental health problems.

Here are some preventative measures that you can take:

  • Choose a primary care provider and go regularly.
  • Get screening tests based on your age and family history.
  • Eat healthy to prevent or manage chronic conditions.
  • Get and stay active.
  • Manage stress and seek a mental health professional if needed.

If you are experiencing any medical problems, you can schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling 718-206-7001. If you are experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 right away.

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.

Arthritis Awareness Month

An old woman holding her knee due to arthritis pain.Arthritis is a chronic disease that typically causes pain, inflammation, and stiffness in your joints. It affects one in every seven people and, which it most often affect older adults, it can occur at any age. Arthritis can develop gradually or quickly depending on a variety of factors, but once it starts, it usually lasts your entire life.

There are many different types of arthritis, but two of the most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually affects weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, and back, but it can affect almost any joint. It causes pain and stiffness due to degeneration of the bone and cartilage. Men and women are usually affected at the same rate. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body’s own immune system; it affects the lining of your joints first, then spreads to cartilage and bone. It affects women more often than men.

If arthritis symptoms last for 10 days or longer, you should discuss them with your doctor. These symptoms may be constant or intermittent; they may also occur during physical activity or at rest. When diagnosing arthritis, your doctor will perform a physical exam and take your complete medical history into account. Other diagnostic tests may include:

  • Blood testing
  • Urine analysis
  • Joint fluid specimen
  • X-ray testing

There are many ways that arthritis symptoms can be reduced so that people who have it can remain active. Several medications that reduce pain and swelling are available over-the-counter or may be prescribed by your doctor. Additionally, many people experience improvements in symptoms and increased joint mobility from exercise programs and physical therapy. Applying ice or heat to affected joints can also help.

If you are experience arthritis symptoms, you can schedule an appointment with a specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling (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.

Black Maternal Health Week

A pregnant Black mother looks down at her stomach.Black Maternal Health Week is observed from April 11th to 17th; it is focused on raising awareness about inequities in health outcomes among Black mothers throughout the United States. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among high-income nations. While this crisis affects all mothers, Black mothers are disproportionately likely to die due to pregnancy complications.

Several factors contribute to Black mothers’ increased mortality rate, including:

  • Limited access to high-quality medical care due to geographic factors and the potentially high cost of needed treatments
  • Organizational structures and policies that provide inadequate support for Black mothers
  • A lack of sufficient data and understanding on the part of organizations and providers regarding the health needs and circumstances of individual Black mothers and their children

At Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Black maternal health is important to us, and we have initiated and continually improved upon several programs designed to create a more equitable care environment for mothers at our hospital. For example, our CenteringPregnancy program offers pre-natal care in a group setting facilitated by doctors, nurses, and midwives, where expectant mothers with similar due dates can share experiences, receive support, and learn effective ways of staying healthy throughout pregnancy.

In addition to CenteringPregnancy, our hospital also offers access to midwife care and support from doulas, who help to ensure that mothers receive the guidance and support they need throughout their care. We also adhere to the Respectful Care at Birth initiative, a New York City Department of Health program focused on:

  • Providing easy-to-understand information about pregnancy, childbirth, and the care you will receive
  • Providing a sanitary, supportive environment in which to receive the care you need and give birth to your child
  • Supporting the ability and authority of mothers to make informed decisions about their care
  • Reinforcing the expectation that patients of all races and backgrounds will be treated with dignity and respect throughout their care
  • Ensuring that mothers have the support they need in terms of information, care, and having family members (or other people of their choosing) present during their care

No matter your race or background, you can always expect to receive comprehensive, high-quality maternal care at Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 291-3276.

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 Cancer Control Month

National Cancer Control Month, which is recognized during the month of April.April is National Cancer Control Month. During this time each year, organizations throughout the United States recognize the burden experienced by people with cancer. Each year, cancer directly impacts millions of individuals, families, and communities, and even the country as a whole. The overall goal of Cancer Control Month is to reduce this impact by:

Preventing as many cancer deaths as possible: Up to 50% of all cancer deaths are preventable through early diagnosis and treatment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Prevention is one of the most effective methods possible of controlling rates of cancer and cancer deaths. Standard cancer prevention strategies involve:

  • Raising awareness of signs, symptoms, and diagnostic testing procedures
  • Reducing exposure to known cancer risk factors
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle habits that reduce cancer risk

Detecting cancer as early as possible: Early detection of cancer is one of the most important factors for successful treatment, making this an important goal of Cancer Control Month. Cancer prevention strategies, such as patient education regarding risk factors and warning signs, are crucial for encouraging people to visit their healthcare provider for diagnostic testing as soon as possible.

Improving cancer treatments: Many modern cancer treatments are effective when it comes to improving survival rates and quality of life among patients, but further improvements, as well as more research into treatment-resistant forms of cancer, can help prevent an even greater number of cancer deaths.

You can reduce your risk of developing cancer by avoiding certain factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common risk factors for preventable forms of cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as from the sun or a tanning bed
  • Obesity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

If you have noticed potential signs of cancer and require a diagnostic screening or treatment, you can schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Oncology Department. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6742.

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 Endometriosis Awareness Month

A woman holding her stomach due to pain from endometriosis.March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is a condition that affects the lining of the uterus (also known as the endometrium); it currently affects an estimated 176 million women around the globe. Some of the symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Pain during pelvic examinations
  • Severe pain during menstruation
  • Pain during urination or a bowel movement
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility

Symptoms of endometriosis tend to appear during reproductive years, between the ages of 12 and 60. The highest number of cases are diagnosed between the ages of 25 to 35; however, some women with endometriosis remain undiagnosed because they do not have symptoms. Additionally, this disorder can sometimes be mistaken for other conditions.

Endometriosis causes the inner lining of the uterus to grow outside of the uterus. This most commonly affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments that support the uterus, and the areas between the rectum and the vagina. Rarely, endometriosis can also occur in the lungs, thighs, arms, and other parts of the body that are more distant from reproductive organs.

When endometrial tissue spreads, it develops into growths called implants. These clumps of tissue are affected by the menstrual cycle as though they were inside of the uterus, regardless of their actual location. Each month, they build up, break down, and shed. However, endometrial tissue cannot be discharged from the body if it is not inside the uterus; as a result, these implants cause inflammation, swelling, internal bleeding, and the formation of scar tissue.

Doctors do not yet know what causes endometriosis, but certain risk factors have been identified that may make you more likely to develop it. These include:

  • An immediate family member with endometriosis
  • An abnormal uterus
  • Menstruation that begins before the age of 11
  • Shorter menstrual periods, lasting less than 27 days on average
  • Heavy menstruation that lasts for more than one week

If you experience symptoms of endometriosis, your doctor can perform a variety of tests, such as pelvic examinations, laparoscopy, and imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to accurately diagnose it. While there is no cure for endometriosis, your doctor can work with you to develop an effective treatment that may incorporate options such as medication, surgery, or alternative therapies.

You can schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center to receive high-quality treatment for endometriosis. To learn more, please call (718) 291-3276.

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 Epilepsy Awareness Month

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that causes abnormal brain activity, resulting in symptoms such as seizures, loss of awareness, and unusual behaviors. Generally, a diagnosis of epilepsy is given to people who have experienced two unprovoked seizures (meaning that they have no clear identifiable cause) within a 24-hour period.

There are several different types of seizures, each of which can cause different symptoms to occur. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be similar from episode to episode. Some of these types (and the symptoms associated with them) include:

  • Absence seizures (staring into space with potential loss of awareness)
  • Tonic seizures (muscle stiffening in the back, arms, and legs with potential loss of consciousness)
  • Atonic seizures (loss of muscle control, typically results in falls)
  • Clonic seizures (repeated jerking muscle movements in the face, neck, and arms)
  • Myoclonic seizures (sudden jerking or twitching in the upper body, arms, and legs)
  • Tonic-clonic seizures (sudden loss of consciousness with body stiffening, twitching, and shaking)
  • Focal seizures (affects a specific part of the brain, causing altered or impaired awareness and perception of your environment and senses)

While epilepsy often has no identifiable cause, approximately half of all cases can be traced to a variety of different factors, including:

  • Family history
  • Head trauma
  • Stroke
  • Infectious diseases such as meningitis, encephalitis, or AIDS
  • Developmental disorders such as autism

Medications or surgery can control seizures for the majority of people with epilepsy. Some people require lifelong treatment to control seizures, but for others, the seizures may eventually go away. Some children with epilepsy may outgrow the condition with age.

You can receive specialized neurological treatment for epilepsy at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Neurosurgery. To get more information about our services or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6713.

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 ADHD Awareness Month

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in the United States among children, affecting nearly 10% of all children between the ages of 3 and 17. It can also occur in adults, affecting up to about 5% of all adults in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), doctors must determine if a patient’s symptoms demonstrate a clear pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity to diagnose ADHD. For children, six or more of these symptoms must remain consistent for at least six months; for adults, only five symptoms need to present in this manner to provide a diagnosis.

Some common symptoms of inattention that doctors may take into consideration when diagnosing ADHD include:

  • Failure to pay close attention to tasks during school, work, or other activities
  • Difficulty holding attention on tasks or play activities
  • Failure to listen when spoken to directly
  • Failure to follow through on instructions for schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
  • Frequent trouble organizing tasks and activities
  • Avoidance, dislike, or reluctance to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework)
  • Frequently losing things necessary for tasks and activities
  • Often easily distracted
  • Often forgetful in daily activities

Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity, on the other hand, often display persistent, excessively high energy levels in a variety of settings and activities. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Frequent fidgeting with or tapping hands or feet, or squirming in seat
  • Frequently leaving seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
  • Often running about or climbing in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may just feel restless)
  • Inability to play or take part in leisure activities quietly
  • Excessive talking
  • Blurting out an answer before a question has been completed
  • Impatience
  • Often interrupting or intruding on others

Several symptoms from either of these categories need to have been present before the age of 12 and in two or more settings (such as at work, school, or home). There also needs to be clear evidence that these symptoms are disrupting the individual’s normal functions in school, work, or social settings, and that the symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder.

Whether you’re an adult with symptoms of ADHD or the parent of a child presenting these symptoms, it’s essential to begin working with a doctor to get the medical care needed to manage these symptoms and reduce their disruptions to daily life as much as possible. You can schedule an appointment for diagnosis and treatment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling (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.

Yoga Awareness Month

Yoga can be beneficial for many people in terms of improving physical capabilities and mental well-being. It is accessible to a wider range of people than many other types of exercise because yoga movements are often not strenuous on the body or can be easy to perform for people from a variety of age groups and health circumstances.

Some of the benefits of yoga are especially helpful for improving the health of certain groups of people. A few of these benefits include:

Back pain relief: According to the American College of Physicians, yoga is recommended as a first-line treatment for people who experience chronic low back pain. Specifically, it can help with improving mobility and reducing the pain itself. Examples of simple movements that can help with this include:

  • Cat-cow pose
  • Locust pose
  • Cobra pose

Stress reduction: Yoga is also known for its benefits in terms of stress relief and relaxation. It incorporates meditation and breathing exercises that calm down the body and mind, making it easier to let go of stress, anxiety, and tension, as well as improving overall mental clarity, awareness, and concentration.  Some exercises that can help in this way include:

  • Child’s pose
  • Legs-up-the-wall pose
  • Corpse pose

Chronic condition management: The combined physical and mental benefits of yoga can make it easier to manage symptoms of chronic conditions, such as arthritis, as well as improve the underlying health of different parts of your body, such as your heart and circulatory system, to prevent future disease.

At Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, treatments offered by our integrative health specialists can incorporate elements of yoga and other techniques that benefit the physical, mental, and emotional needs of our patients. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6914.

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.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer and the second leading cancer-related cause of death among people assigned male at birth. The specific causes of prostate cancer are unknown, but certain factors can increase your risk of developing it, such as:

  • Age (prostate cancer is most common over the age of 50)
  • Race (prostate cancer is more common and more likely to be aggressive among Black men)
  • Family history (having a father, brother, or child with prostate cancer may increase your risk)
  • Obesity (prostate cancer is more likely to be aggressive and to return after treatment among people who are obese)

Prostate cancer may not present any symptoms, particularly in its early stages. When symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Difficult, painful, and/or more frequent urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, and upper thighs
  • Unintended weight loss

There are two screening tests available for prostate cancer: a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.  To perform a digital rectal exam, your doctor inserts a gloved finger a few inches into your rectum to check your prostate gland.  A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that checks for elevated levels of PSA in your blood; aside from prostate cancer, this test can also indicate less serious issues such as prostate enlargement or infection.

Your doctor may recommend additional tests to diagnose cancer, such as an ultrasound and/or biopsy of the prostate.  A prostate ultrasound involves a small probing device, approximately the size of a finger, being placed into your rectum; this device creates sound waves that bounce off of your organs and create an image that allows your doctor to view the size, shape, and location of your prostate gland. A prostate biopsy involves removing a small piece of the prostate to look for abnormal cells.

Treatment of prostate cancer depends factors such as your age, your overall health, and the growth and spread of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. Common treatment options include watchful waiting or expectant management (regularly checking 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.

You can schedule an appointment with a urologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for a prostate cancer screening or to discuss treatment options. To schedule an appointment, 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.

Psoriasis Awareness Month

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes the formation of thick, scaly patches of discolored skin, also known as plaques. These rashes occur due to inflammation and can appear anywhere on the body, but typically develop on the elbows, knees, scalp, fingernails, toenails, palms, feet, lower back, genitals, face, and mouth. Over 3% of Americans have been diagnosed with psoriasis.

There are many types of psoriasis, including:

  • Plaque psoriasis (the most common form of psoriasis)
  • Inverse psoriasis (which causes plaques to form without a scaly texture)
  • Guttate psoriasis (which can appear after a case of strep throat)
  • Pustular psoriasis (characterized by pus-filled bumps that appear on plaques)
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis (covering over 90% of your skin)
  • Sebopsoriasis (appearing on your face and scalp with a yellow coloration and scaly texture)
  • Nail psoriasis (which causes discoloration and pitting in your fingernails and toenails)

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, meaning that it is caused by your immune system functioning abnormally and attacking healthy cells; this results in inflammation that causes plaques on the skin. Psoriasis also significantly speeds up the production of new skin cells, causing scales and frequent shedding. Approximately one in three people diagnosed with this disorder may also be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, another autoimmune condition that causes swelling and pain in your joints.

Symptoms of psoriasis are not necessarily constant. They typically occur during periodic flare-ups, which may develop in response to certain factors or elements of the environment. Some common triggers for psoriasis include stress, infections such as strep throat, skin injuries, medications such as lithium and beta-blockers, and body temperature shifts in response to weather conditions.

Many cases of psoriasis may respond well to treatment options such as steroid creams, moisturizers, medical lotions or shampoos, vitamin D3 ointment, vitamin A or retinoid creams, and medications such as anthralin which slow down the production of new skin cells. If these options do not treat your symptoms effectively, your doctor may recommend light therapy, immunosuppressant drugs, and other, stronger medications.

If you are experiencing symptoms of psoriasis, you can receive specialized treatment from a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.  To schedule an appointment, 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.