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    Recognizing Depression as a Medical Concern

    Last updated 7 hours 51 minutes ago

    More than 19 million Americans are suffering from clinical depression, but despite the staggering number of patients, there is still a big misunderstanding about how serious this mental illness is. Depression is not just a personality flaw or the result of a few bad days at the office, it is a physical and mental illness that must be addressed through clinical and psychiatric care so that symptoms can be managed effectively. Many people with depression suffer in silence, but a greater recognition of this serious medical illness may inspire more patients to take action and overcome clinical depression. Here is a look at the often overlooked characteristics of depression that make it such a big problem for an individual’s health.

    Physical symptoms

    More than feelings of sadness or hopelessness, depression can cause physical pain in the body, chronic fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and unexpected weight loss or gain. These more tangible symptoms of depression allow physicians to make a more definitive diagnosis in patients, but they also make depression much more difficult to cope with. Depression may also aggravate existing physical conditions such as chronic pain or heart problems, so in some cases a dual-diagnosis may be the most effective measure for treatment.

    Changes in brain chemistry

    There are chemicals naturally released in the brain caused neurotransmitters, which are linked to clinical depression. When neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are thrown off balance by hormonal changes or other causes, symptoms of depression may appear and worsen over time without medical intervention. 

    Depression risks

    When an individual is affected by depression, he or she may be more likely to make suicide attempts or participate in other self-destructive habits such as drug use or alcohol abuse. Along with the temptation to harm oneself, someone suffering from depression may also lose enjoyment from once beloved activities.

    Depression may be a serious medical problem, but it is not one you have to live with. Regional Medical Center of San Jose can let you reach out for help through our 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 762-8881. 

    Know Which Habits May Affect Your Cancer Risk

    Last updated 2 days 6 hours ago

    When you combine the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the United States, they collectively account for the second-highest number of fatalities among adults, topped only by heart disease. While cancer treatment is improving all the time—especially for some of the more prevalent cancers in the nation—prevention remains the best way for patients to fight cancer. You cannot control all risk factors, but there are a handful of habits you can change to minimize your cancer risk as much as possible.

    Diet

    The obesity epidemic has had a big impact on cancer, because individuals who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk for many different types of cancer. One of the most significant challenges in fighting obesity is changing the eating habits of the average American. Americans are drawn to high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar foods that are seriously lacking in nutritional value. Changing your diet to include more fresh fruits and vegetables while cutting out fatty foods and excess sugar can minimize cell damage in the body that might lead to cancer.

    Physical activity

    Exercise is not only helpful for weight management, but it is also critical for your immune health. Physical activity regulates hormone levels and keeps your immune system strong, so you should avoid thinking about it as an optional part of your routine.

    Alcohol use

    Alcohol consumption promotes cell damage and mutation, so alcohol should be limited, if consumed at all. For women, the limit should be one drink per day. Men can get away with two drinks daily, as their bodies metabolize alcohol faster than women’s.

    You can start making the positive changes you need to establish a cancer-free future with the support of Regional Medical Center of San Jose. We strive to provide every patient with high-quality care by investing in the newest treatment and screening options as well as clinical trial access. To learn more about our expert cancer care and prevention services, visit our website or call (888) 762-8881 for our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line. 

    Exploring the Myths About Breast Cancer and Its Treatment

    Last updated 6 days ago

    Breast cancer is a disease that all women should be aware of, but the long list of myths surrounding breast cancer may keep you from making informed decisions about your breast care. Despite popular belief, antiperspirants don’t cause breast cancer, breast cancer isn’t contagious, and a family history of breast cancer does not necessarily mean that you will face a diagnosis. Below you can get a look at a few more popular breast cancer myths along with some important facts so that you are not likely to miss out on the care and screenings you need.

    Myth: Cell phones cause breast cancer

    Recent news of young women who kept cell phones in their bras and are now facing breast cancer diagnoses has created some confusion about the safety of cell phones. This is not the first time that cell phones have been blamed for cancerous growths, but the evidence is not strong enough to conclude that cell phones are the cause for these breast cancer cases. More well-known causes of breast cancer include excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and hormonal abnormalities.

    Myth: All breast lumps care cancerous

    Any women who has performed a self-breast exam knows that breast tissue is naturally lumpy, so the presence of a particularly hard or large lump might not be indicative of any type of cancer. Sometimes benign tumors or fatty deposits form and can be felt beneath the skin, but they might not be cancerous. Therefore, women should rely on more detailed imaging methods and biopsy procedures before panicking about the possibility of breast cancer.

    Myth: Breast cancer will require a full mastectomy to treat

    While it is true that mastectomy is a viable treatment option for many breast cancer cases, this surgical treatment may not be the only solution available to you. Treatment options will depend on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed. Early stage cancers may require no surgical treatment or allow for preservation of more of the breast tissue. This means that annual mammograms may prevent you from undergoing a mastectomy procedure, which might also require breast reconstruction surgery.

    To sort through more of the myths and misconceptions surrounding breast cancer, call Regional Medical Center of San Jose through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 762-8881. We have created a comfortable, state-of-the-art facility for breast care in San Jose where women can find the latest technologies for their screening and treatment. 

    What Is the Future for Breast Cancer Diagnosis?

    Last updated 8 days ago

    Mammograms are typically considered the gold standard for breast cancer screening and with today’s sophisticated digital technologies, mammography is more reliable than ever as a screening tool. However, it does have its setbacks. While the dose of radiation delivered through a mammogram has been significantly reduced through the years, radiation exposure is still a potential risk of the procedure. Additionally, women with dense breast tissue may not have accurate results from a mammogram because images are distorted by the density of the breasts. This issue leaves room for technology to continue improving and facilitate earlier diagnoses for higher survival rates. Here is a look at some of the potential diagnostic tools on the horizon for breast cancer care that you may see implemented over the next decade.

    Electronic skin

    A clinical breast examination in which a physician will feel the breast to look for any lumps or abnormalities is a commonly used screening for breast cancer, but there is a significant drawback even when the exam is performed by the most trained hands. Physicians can only detect lumps that are 21 mm in length or longer. This means that smaller, earlier stage cancers might not be discovered right away. Electronic skin is a possible solution made from nanoparticles and polymers that will take a detailed exam of the breast tissue without the discomfort of mammography.

    Improved mammograms

    Digital imaging and 3D imaging have both rendered more reliable results from mammograms, but the technology is not perfect. It is not likely that mammograms will go out of use any time soon, but they may see some changes to continue improving patient comfort and image clarity.

    Minimally invasive biopsy

    Because there is no way to tell for sure if a growth spotted through a mammogram is cancerous based on sight alone, biopsies are needed to test the abnormal tissue for cancerous cells. It is likely that these tests will continue to shift in the direction of needle aspirations and other minimally invasive techniques that do not cause patients undue surgical risks.

    At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, we remain on the cutting edge of cancer care to ensure the highest chances of survivorship among our patients. To schedule your annual mammogram screening with us or discover new additions to our Cancer Care Center, visit our website or call us at (888) 762-8881. 

    How to Get Your Cholesterol in Check

    Last updated 27 days ago

    If the doctor at your local heart hospital informs you that your cholesterol levels could be improved, he or she may recommend medications. However, lifestyle changes are also a crucial component of improving cholesterol levels. Although your body manufactures some cholesterol on its own, much of your cholesterol comes from your diet. It’s advisable to limit animal products, particularly red meats, and to choose only nonfat dairy products.

    You can learn more about the significance of good cholesterol levels by watching this video presented by the American Heart Association. The doctor in the clip explains which major cardiovascular problems you’re at risk for if you have bad cholesterol.

    The heart care team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose will work closely with you to help you lower your risk of cardiovascular problems. Call our community hospital in San Jose at (888) 762-8881 with any questions you may have.




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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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