Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. During this time, Flushing Hospital Medical Center is raising awareness of pancreatic cancer by sharing important facts about the disease.

The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen. It plays an essential role in digestion by producing enzymes that break down food. The pancreas also produces hormones such as insulin that help the body regulate blood sugar.

Several types of cancerous growths can occur in the pancreas, this includes pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the most common type of pancreatic cancer, accounting for 95% of cases. Squamous cell carcinomas, adenosquamous carcinomas, and signet ring cell carcinomas are some of the less common types of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma develops when the exocrine cells in the pancreas begin to grow out of control and form a tumor. There is no clear answer as to what causes adenocarcinoma; however, some people have a greater risk than others of developing the disease.  This includes those who:

  • Smoke or use tobacco products
  • Are exposed to chemicals used in metal working or dry-cleaning industries
  • Are obese
  • Are born male
  • Are over the age of 60
  • Are of African American descent
  • Are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • Have inherited certain gene mutations
  • Have diabetes
  • Have chronic pancreatitis

According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is hard to find early. This is because symptoms typically do not present until after cancer has progressed (spreading outside the pancreas to other organs).  Symptoms can include:

  • Jaundice
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach bloating
  • Burning sensation in the stomach
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Floating stools
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Chills and sweats

A person with signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer should consult their physician.  A series of tests can be ordered to diagnose the disease.  If cancer is detected, a doctor will try to determine the stage based on the size of the tumor, the spread to nearby lymph nodes, or the spread to distant lymph nodes and organs.   Pancreatic cancer stages range from zero to four.

Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on various factors such as the location and stage of cancer as well as the status of your overall health. Your doctor may recommend radiation therapy or surgery, or a combination of both.

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 Developmental Disabilities

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. During this month-long observance, we look to raise awareness and educate the community on developmental disabilities.

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during a child’s developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.

Developmental disabilities occur among all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 17%, of children aged 3 through 17 years have one or more developmental disabilities, such as:

  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Hearing Loss
  • Vision impairment

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most developmental disabilities are believed to be caused by a complex mix of factors including genetics; parental health and behaviors (such as smoking and drinking) during pregnancy; complications during birth; infections the mother might have during pregnancy or the baby might have very early in life; and exposure of the mother or child to high levels of environmental toxins, such as lead. Some developmental disabilities, such as fetal alcohol syndrome is caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Diagnosing a developmental disability involves monitoring when children reach developmental milestones, such as when they first speak, crawl and walk and how they behave and learn. As a parent, you know your child best. If you feel your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, speak with your pediatrician and share your concerns because early intervention is vital in helping your child overcome barriers and lead a full life.

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 Condom Week

The United States currently has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among all countries in the developed world.

This is why it is important to recognize National Condom Week which is observed from  February 14th to the 21st.

The best way to prevent STIs is to not have sexual intercourse but that isn’t realistic for most. Therefore, knowledge of prevention is the second-best option. To prevent the transmission of STIs, people should know how to effectively use condoms.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outlines the steps on their website https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/male-condom-use.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.

GERD Awareness Week

Perhaps there is no other day of the year associated with eating more than Thanksgiving. With so much attention being paid to food consumption, it is fitting that this week we also raise awareness about a health condition that affects the digestive system.

November 21-27, 2021 has been designated Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (or GERD) Awareness Week. GERD is a very common disorder that occurs when stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining.

After it is swallowed, food travels down the esophagus where it stimulates cells in the stomach to produce acid and pepsin (an enzyme), which aid the digestion process. A band of muscle at the lower part of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), acts as a barrier to prevent the back-flow. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to flow up into the esophagus.

Chronic heartburn is the most frequently reported symptom of GERD. Acid regurgitation (refluxed acid into the mouth) is another common symptom. Other symptoms can include belching, difficulty or pain when swallowing, or waterbrash (sudden excess of saliva). GERD may also lead to chronic sore throat, laryngitis, throat clearing, chronic cough, and other oral complaints such as inflammation of the gums and erosion of the enamel of the teeth.

Dietary and lifestyle choices can contribute to GERD. Certain foods and beverages, including chocolate, peppermint, fried or fatty foods, coffee, or alcohol may trigger reflux. Studies show that smoking can relax the LES and contribute to this condition. People who are obese are more prone to developing GERD symptoms.

Doctors recommend lifestyle and dietary changes for most people needing treatment for GERD. Along with lifestyle and diet changes, your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter remedies, or, in serious cases, prescribe medications designed to reduce acid in the stomach.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical 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.

World Hepatitis Day

In 2010 the World Health Organization ( W.H.O.) designated July 28th as World Hepatitis Day. This serves to increase awareness about viral hepatitis and to influence change in disease prevention, testing, and treatment.

Hepatitis is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. The liver is an organ in the body that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infections.

The most common forms of hepatitis are A, B, and C. Hepatitis B and C kill close to 1.4 million people each year and cause almost 80 percent of all liver cancer cases. Many people have the hepatitis virus and are unaware of it.
Symptoms of acute hepatitis B include:
• Fever
• Nausea
• Loss of appetite
• Jaundice
• Abdominal pain
• Fatigue

Hepatitis is spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids. It is possible that people remain without symptoms for many years but during this time the disease is slowly destroying the liver. It can take many years for the symptoms to appear.

Blood tests are available that can detect the virus at an early stage.
Ways to reduce infection:
• Use only sterile equipment for injections
• Test all donated blood for hepatitis
• Practice safe sex
• Encourage people to get the hepatitis B vaccine

Medication exists that can cure hepatitis C and can control hepatitis B infection. When given properly, people are less likely to die from liver cancer and cirrhosis and also are less likely to transmit the disease to others. The hepatitis B vaccine is given in three doses over a six-month period and it is recommended that it be initiated right after birth if possible.

To make an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to discuss the vaccine, 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.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month which gives us the chance to make the public aware of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease being very important health issues.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s have profound effects on many people. There are an estimated 5 million people with the disease and 15 million people who are caring for them. It is said to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

It has been said that Alzheimer’s is the only disease that can lead to death that cannot be slowed down, cured, or prevented. It acts by slowly killing brain cells which affect all of our ability to function normally.

Brain exercises may help mental functionality in areas of memory, focus, concentration, and understanding.

Some suggested ways to keep our brains healthy are:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating properly
  • Not smoking
  • Challenging your mind with social interaction
  • Taking classes
  • Being aware of challenges that could lead to depression

If you would like to schedule an appointment 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.

World Hand Hygiene Day

Since 2005, the World Health Organization has been  leading a global effort to improve hand hygiene in order to reduce infections among healthcare workers and the patients that they care for. This initiative is recognized on May 5th every year throughout the world.
Proper hand hygiene is very important in keeping germs from spreading from person to person. Hands should be washed:
• Before, during and after preparing food
• Before eating
• Before and after taking care of a person who is ill
• Before treating a wound
• After using the bathroom
• After sneezing, coughing or wiping a runny nose
• After taking out the garbage
• Before coming in to contact with a baby
• After touching pets
Usually warm water and soap are sufficient to clean your hands. If the cleanliness of the water is questionable, a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol can be used, keeping in mind that it may not remove all chemicals from the skin and doesn’t kill all types of germs.
There is no exact amount of time that hand washing should take but a good rule of thumb is about 20 seconds or about the same amount of time that it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song.

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 Expect After Your Celiac Disease Diagnosis

celiac disease -485705368If you have received a diagnosis from your doctor that confirms you have celiac disease; it is natural to wonder what comes next.  Many doctors will offer guidelines that may include tips to live gluten-free. While these guidelines are essential, it is also very important that you truly understand your medical condition.

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, celiac disease is defined as, “a genetic autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.” It is estimated that the disease affects one in every one hundred people worldwide.  If left untreated, celiac disease can cause long-term health conditions such as gall bladder malfunction, infertility or miscarriage, pancreatic insufficiency, early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

In addition to having a better understanding of celiac disease, educating yourself about the changes to expect in your lifestyle, will prove helpful. Some of the changes include:

  • Discarding any food that contains gluten. This means sticking to a strict diet that excludes wheat, barley, farina, oats, rye and other items that are known to have gluten.
  • Excluding certain items from your diet may deprive you of some nutrients; it is recommended that you speak to your doctor about which vitamins and dietary supplements you should take.
  • Evaluating the ingredients in medications; some may have small amounts of gluten.
  • Taking care of your body by exercising and implementing more fruits and fresh vegetables into your diet.
  • Following up with your physician or dietitian as recommended. This is important as it will help them to monitor your nutritional intake and check for deficiencies.

Finding resources that can help you transition or stick to new your lifestyle such as your doctor, support groups, organizations such as the Celiac Disease Foundation, or a local hospital can help make life after your celiac diagnosis a little easier.

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.

Parkinson’s Awareness Month

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about Parkinson’s disease and all of the available resources we have developed to make life better for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease as a progressive disease of the nervous system that causes a tremor, muscular rigidity combined with slow and imprecise movement of the body.  It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.  The disease mostly affects people who are middle-aged and elderly people.

Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:

  • Tremor – A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers.
  • Slowed movement –Over time, Parkinson’s disease may reduce your ability to move and slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming.
  • Rigid muscles – Muscle stiffness can occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can limit your range of motion and cause you pain.
  • Impaired posture and balance –Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems.
  • Loss of automatic movements – Decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
  • Speech changes – You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections.
  • Writing changes – It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.

Managing some of the symptoms, such as tremor can be helped with medications.  The medications prescribed can act as a substitute for dopamine and send a similar signal to the neurotransmitter in your brain.

Although these medications can become less effective over time, some patients realize significant improvement of their symptoms after starting treatment and continue to do.

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.

Stress Awareness Month

In 1992, the month of April was designated as Stress Awareness Month.  During this time, health professionals join together to increase the public’s awareness about what causes stress and what can help cure the growing stress epidemic.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center is participating by reaching out to our social media community and sharing some helpful techniques that can assist you in managing your daily stress, such as:

  • Meditation – is helpful to the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress
  • Breathing Deeply – triggers our parasympathetic nervous system, neutralizes stress and elicits a calming feeling
  • Exercise – all forms of exercise can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain releasing feel-good chemicals giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress
  • Eating Healthy – choosing a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and fiber may reduce the chance that stress can boost the body’s natural defense system

Prolonged, excessive periods of stress is unhealthy for any individual. A change of mindset can bring about a healthier lifestyle.  That positive change can help you manage stress and bring far-reaching improvement to your health and well being.

For more information and to find out ways you can make a difference visit – http://stressawarenessmonth.com/

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.