August 30, 2010
Prostate cancer is a common and life threatening problem for men. Approximately 16 percent of males in the United States (roughly 300,000 men) will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lives, and nearly 30,000 will die each year from this disease. Due to these high numbers, detection and appropriate treatment are incredibly important. Unfortunately, symptoms of prostate cancer rarely present themselves until the very late stages, when curing the disease is usually impossible. There are however, ways to detect the cancer early and thus minimize risk. A prostate cancer screening, including a rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, is the best way to take a pro-active approach at catching the disease — and ultimately staying healthy.Currently, the risks of developing prostate cancer include age, race and family history. The risk of prostate cancer diagnosis increases with age. Autopsy studies suggest upwards of 30 percent of men in their 60s and 45 percent of men in their 70s have prostate cancer. African-American men also have been shown to have higher rates of prostate cancer than other subgroups of the population. Lastly, family history of prostate cancer in a first-degree relative (father or brother) has been shown to double or triple the risk of prostate cancer. This information provides not only helpful information to men at risk, but is also used in making decisions about the appropriate age to start screening for prostate cancer.Prostate cancer screening guidelines from the American Urological Association suggest well-informed men should be offered a PSA blood test and rectal exam at age 40. The optimal frequency of the subsequent screening is left to the discretion of the physician.Presumably men with risk factors, such as a family history or African-American heritage, should be screened more frequently than those without risk factors. Thus, by age 50, most men should have had a baseline PSA and rectal exam, which should be repeated regularly until they reach 75. At age 75, men should stop having PSA tests and be followed only with annual rectal exams for prostate cancer detection.If you are to get screened for prostate cancer, it’s important to keep in mind that an individualized approach should be taken when looking at the results of your PSA test. The average PSA for a man slowly rises with age, and therefore an abnormal test for one person may not be abnormal for another.The following shows an average PSA for men at different stages in their lives:
- Ages 40 to 49: Average PSA 0.7.
- 50 to 59: 1.0.
- 60-69: 1.2.
- 70 to 79: 1.5.
In addition, some men (usually with larger prostates) tend to have higher PSA levels than others. Thus, a PSA of no concern for one individual could suggest cancer in another.The PSA trend over multiple measurements spaced months or years apart is typically the best indicator of prostate cancer risk, and you can rely on your physician to help look at your specific case and needs. If an abnormal PSA is found, the next step would be to undergo a biopsy to detect whether cancer is present.If you are interested in getting checked yourself, Martha Jefferson Hospital will be holding a free prostate cancer screening on Sept. 18. It is designed for men ages 50 and older, or age 45 if African-American. Men who have no health insurance of primary care physician are encouraged to attend. Screenings are available on a first-arrival basis from 7:45 to 10:45 a.m. at Martha Jefferson Hospital. - By Dr. Geoff Habermacher, Urological Associates Ltd. Vital Signs is a community health promotion column sponsored by Martha Jefferson Hospital, Region Ten, Thomas Jefferson Health District, and the University of Virginia Health System.
August 23, 2010
The data center in the new Martha Jefferson Hospital is one room that will never be seen by patients, and one that only a few employees will ever access. It's tucked away in the basement, but behind the closed doors many technologies are being put to the test to make sure you receive quality, efficient care.
August 16, 2010
When there is an emergency, evey second counts. Martha Jefferson Hospital has two emergency departments patients can visit. One is located at the main hospital campus on Locust Avenue, but there is also an additional free-standing Emergency Department located at 595 Peter Jefferson Parkway. Janet Silvester, Director of Pharmacy and Emergency Services at Martha Jefferson, and Mary Wolfe, a clinician at the free-standing Emergency Department, spoke with Rick and Jane as part of the "Live Well" series on the 1070 WINA morning show today. Take a listen to the podcast below and learn important information that will help you save time if you are ever in need of emergency services.1070 WINA - The Deal on Free Standing Emergency Departments
August 2, 2010
With the recently approved 2010-2011 flu vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, many people are curious about how helpful the vaccination will be, and what they may have to do different this year. Martha Jefferson Hospital explains the vaccine to CBS19's Stephanie Satchell.
July 28, 2010 Dr. Chris Winter, Medical Director of the Martha Jefferson Sleep Center, talked to Men's Health about the power of being able to control your dreams. The concept has recently been a hot topic, thanks to the box-office sucess of "Inception", in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays a character that can infiltrate the dreams of those around him.The following was taken from Men's Health Magazine:Take Control of Your Dream Life: 5 ways to steer yourself toward better health--while sleepingBy: Madeline HallerIn the summer blockbuster Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a character who can infiltrate and control people's dreams. Now imagine: What if you could do the same? Well, you can--at least with your own dreams. And turns out, it can actually be good for you.So how do you do it? The secret is to realize when you're actually dreaming--what scientists call having a "lucid dream." It's a bit like waking up during the middle of a dream, yet the dream continues, allowing you to assume command of your actions. This is referred to as 'dream control,' says W. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center, and learning to do it can have many psychological benefits.For example, practicing dream control can provide peace-of-mind to people who are bothered by life situations, Winter says. They can dream about loved ones, happy times, or even re-imagine an altercation that ended badly.One example: Your boss won't stop hounding you about a project. "You could leave your office, fly to a restaurant, and order a margarita," he says.The first step to controlling your dreams, says Winter, is to realize when you're asleep and dreaming. Once you can do this, you can decide which people to dream about, what to do, and where to go.Taking control of your dreams starts when you're awake, says Winter. The best way to do this is by practicing a series of reality checks throughout your waking day. Here are some common ones to practice:1. Look at yourself in the mirror. In dreams, your reflection appears distorted, because you don't see yourself enough in a mirror to create a spot-on image, says Winter. Make it a reality check: The next time you walk past a mirror, make a mental note that you look normal. Then say, "I'm awake, I am not dreaming."2. Look at your hands. In dreams, your hands tend to look different than they do when you're awake--similar to the image-in-the-mirror scenario. "Dream hands" tend to be a different color or have a missing or extra digit, says Winter. Make it a reality check: Look down at your hands a few times each day. Picture how they look and say, "I'm awake, I am not dreaming."3. Push on the middle of your palm with your finger. If you do this in a dream, you won't be able to feel the pressure, he says. Or, if you do, your finger will go right through the middle of your hand. That's because it's difficult for your brain to replicate a physical sensation during a dream. Make it a reality check: Throughout the day, press your index finger into the center of your palm. When you feel the pressure, repeat the mantra: "I'm awake, I am not dreaming."4. Flip on a light switch. It is very difficult for your brain to simulate real-life light changes in a dream, he says. Flipping a light switch in a dream will not affect the contrast in light all that much. Make it a reality check: Any time you flip a light switch, make a note of the contrast in available light. Focus on the amount of light you are seeing, then say to yourself, "I'm awake, I am not dreaming."5. Be aware of the time. Clocks in your dreams tend to be not only wrong, but nonsensical. There are usually characters on the screen that would never exist on a watch, such as A9:3X, display in unusual combinations, such as 100:99, or the time changes from one glance to the next. Make it a reality check: Make wearing a digital wris
From Our Health
MagazineApril - May 2010
Quite a broad field, radiology aids in the diagnosis of many illnesses and other medical issues. Simply put, radiologists take pictures of the inside of the human body, providing consultations for doctors on – among others – broken bones, blockages, cancer and abdominal pain. Read more.
June 28, 2010
The construction of the new Martha Jefferson Hospital is no small project. CBS19 talked to Jon Nehls of Mortenson Construction to find out what he does to successfully keep all teams on track, and the project on schedule.
June 21, 2010
Martha Jefferson Hospital is using special ledite blocks in the construction of the cancer center at the new hospital on Pantops Mountain. The blocks are created with a mix of concrete and heavy metal to keep radiation from getting where it shouldn’t be and also serves as a space saver.
May 23, 2010
May is Stroke Awareness Month. When it comes to identifying and treating a stroke, every second counts. Stroke, a type of cardiovascular disease, is the No. 3 cause of death in the United States and the No. 1 cause of adult disability. Its appearance can be sudden and its effects life threatening.But, by learning to recognize the signs of a stroke, you can help loved ones receive quicker attention and treatment and increase the chances for a healthy outcome.The 'Suddens'
Stroke presents itself in many ways, but the symptoms are always with a sudden onset:
- Sudden onset of weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg (especially if on one side of the body)
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you witness any of these symptoms in yourself or someone else, make note of the time and immediately call 911. Risk factors
The best treatment, of course, is prevention. There are a number of risk factors for stroke that we cannot change, such as family history of stroke, being older than 55, being male, being African American, having diabetes and having had a previous transient ischemic attack (TIA).However, there are a number of risk factors for stroke you can modify:
- Know your blood pressure and work with your healthcare providers to lower the values if they are high.
- If you have atrial fibrillation, which is irregular beating of your heart, work with your healthcare providers to have it managed.
Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to collect and clot in the main pumping chamber of your heart, and if these clots get loose, they can cause a stroke by blocking blood flow through vessels that supply blood to your brain.
- Know your cholesterol numbers.
High cholesterol numbers can increase your risk for stroke, as high cholesterol can cause plaque buildup and narrowing and eventually blockage of blood vessels that supply blood to your brain. (Goal numbers for total cholesterol less than 200 and an LDL less than 100).
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugars under control (Goal blood sugar value of less than 120, or a hemoglobin A1C less than 7.)
- Ask your healthcare providers if you have circulation problems.
Fatty deposits can block arteries. Sickle cell disease, severe anemia or other untreated blood disorders can cause a stroke.Make a Change
You also can make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk for stroke, including:
- Tobacco use. One word: Stop.
Seek the assistance of your healthcare providers for ways to help you quit, for good.
- Keep alcohol intake to a minimum (no more than one drink daily for women, and two drinks daily for men).
- Include exercise in your daily activities (recommended at 30 minutes daily).
- Avoid the salt shaker, or use a salt substitute. High-salt diets can elevate your blood pressure.
- Reduce your fat intake. High fat levels can lead to clogged arteries, increasing your risk for stroke.
Don’t underestimate your risk for stroke. Take control of your lifestyle, know your risk factors and know the signs of stroke. It can save your life.
From Our Health
MagaineFebruary - March 2010
Heart disease doesn't just affect men. Cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke, are deadly to women, too. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women, with nearly twice as many women in America dying of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases as from all forms of cancer combined, including breast cancer. But it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Read more.