Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
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Spotlight on Gynecological Cancers

Gynecological cancers can be particularly dangerous because they frequently don’t cause any symptoms until they are in advanced stages. By educating themselves about the risk factors and signs of these kinds of cancer, and understanding how treatment can affect fertility, as discussed in this video from Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center’s Cancer Center, women can take control of their health and take steps to protect themselves from these kinds of cancers.

What are gynecological cancers?

Gynecological cancers are cancers that affect the reproductive systems of women. There are five cancers that fall into this category: ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. Although some forms of gynecological cancers share symptoms, each also has its own set of unique signs, risk factors, and treatments. Your gynecologist will help you understand your personal risk of developing these kinds of cancers and how and when you should be screened.

What are the symptoms?

Some general symptoms of gynecological cancers include fatigue, bloating, changes in bathroom habits, and vaginal burning or itching. Because these symptoms are associated with so many other conditions, many women do not report them to their doctors. Other symptoms are specific to certain types of gynecological cancers. For instance, vulvar cancer may cause warts or rashes to appear on the vulva, while ovarian and uterine cancers may cause pelvic pain or pressure. Any time you have persistent symptoms that you can’t explain, consider seeing your doctor to find a cause. Early diagnosis can be life-saving.

What treatments are available?

Treatment depends on a number of different factors, including the type and stage of the cancer. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are all options that your doctor may consider. Be sure to discuss your concerns about family planning with your doctor, as some treatments could affect your fertility.

Compassionate, comprehensive cancer care starts at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center. Our full service cancer unit offers a range of treatment options and supportive services located conveniently in our hospital in Thousand Oaks for patients to receive the most appropriate care for their specific needs. Find out more about cancer care and our other services, including our emergency room and surgery center, by calling (877) 888-5746.


A Look at Habits That Can Raise Your Cancer Risk

Advances in cancer care mean that more people are surviving the disease than ever before. Alongside understanding better ways of treating cancer has come more knowledge about the habits that make developing cancer more likely. Although it is not possible to completely erase your chances of getting cancer, you can dramatically reduce your chances of facing the disease and the lengthy hospital treatments associated with it by giving up these habits.

Smoking

One of the worst things you can do for your overall health is smoke. In addition to causing heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, smoking is also a leading risk factor for cancer. It is not just lung cancer that is associated with smoking, as many people believe. Smoking can also increase your risk of oral, esophageal, cervix, stomach, and colorectal cancers, among others. According to the National Cancer Institute, smoking is the leading cause of cancer and of cancer deaths, so if you don’t smoke, don’t start, and if you do, talk to your doctor about ways you can quit.

Sun Exposure

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and the reason is sun exposure. The UV radiation from the sun and from tanning beds can cause cellular changes that lead to basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma. Avoid using tanning beds, and wear SPF 15 or greater sunscreen every day. When you’re outside, reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

Diet

Eating a diet that is rich in red and processed meats is associated with a higher risk of cancer. These foods may themselves increase the chances of developing cancer, and they also contribute to obesity, which itself boosts the risk of some forms of cancer. Eating more plant-based foods and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of cancer.

The Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center Cancer Center offers comprehensive treatment services, from diagnosis through recovery. Our hospital also provides the supportive services people undergoing cancer care need, including financial counseling and pain management specialists. If you or a loved one needs more information about cancer care at our hospital in Thousand Oaks, please call (877) 888-5746.


How to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

Playing sports can be enormously beneficial to your overall health, but like every physical activity, it also carries the risk of injury. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce your chances of experiencing a sports injury and dealing with the subsequent trips to the emergency room and potential for long-term complications. Protect your ability to stay in the game with this advice.

Make Rest Part of Your Game Plan

Being a good athlete means making rest a legitimate part of your training plan. Your body needs time to recover between grueling workouts and competitive matches, so recognize the wisdom of taking a day off. Ideally, you should rest for at least one day per week and consider taking one month off each year to let your body rest. Without proper rest, you make yourself more vulnerable to strains, sprains, and repetitive use injuries that could keep you on the sidelines for much longer than a single day.

Stop When It Hurts

Pain is your body’s way of alerting you to a problem, so pay attention to the messages you’re receiving. Although you may want to push through your pain and keep playing, doing so can cause a relatively minor injury to become a season-ending one. Listen to your body’s cues to avoid contributing to an injury that could require a lengthy recovery time.

Pay Attention to Technique

When you don’t use proper technique to perform the actions required in your sport, you put yourself at risk of an injury. Be sure to learn the right way to play, whether it is figuring out how to release a jump shot or how to swing a racket. If you have trouble maintaining the proper technique, consider if your conditioning could be to blame. Sometimes, strengthening and flexibility exercises can help build muscles that make maintaining the right form easier.

Even with the best efforts, sometimes injuries are inevitable for athletes. Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center offers emergency care, orthopedics, and rehab to help athletes get back in the game. Find out more about our hospital in Thousand Oaks or ask for a referral to a specialist by calling (877) 888-5746.


Tips for a Safe and Healthy Sunday Football Cookout

Nothing says football season like a cookout to mark the end of summer, but if you don’t make food safety part of the party, your season’s grand finale could be a trip to the emergency room. Proper food preparation is always the key to avoiding illness, but it becomes even more important when you’re cooking outdoors. Keep the emergency room off your agenda with this advice for safe food prep.

Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to protect yourself and your guests from food poisoning. Always wash your hands before preparing food, after handling raw meats, and before you eat. Aim for scrubbing your hands for about 20 seconds. If you’re outdoors and away from the bathroom, using a jug of water and some hand soap is a good alternative. You can also consider packing wet wipes for your picnic to keep your hands clean.

Maintain the Right Temperatures

A basic rule of food safety is that you must keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. This guideline becomes even more critical when you’re cooking outdoors, without the same access to food storage you would have in your kitchen. Keep hot foods in insulated containers until you are ready to serve them, and keep cold foods on ice. Never eat food that has been outside for more than 2 hours, or if temperatures are over 90 degrees F, more than one hour.

Separate Raw and Cooked Food

Raw foods are prone to carrying bacteria that cause food poisoning, so keep them separated from cooked foods so that they can’t contaminate them. You should also be careful to avoid using the same cutting boards and utensils on cooked foods that you do on raw items.

It’s not always possible to avoid a medical emergency, so Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center’s emergency room in Thousand Oaks is available 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. You can find out more about our emergency care and other services by calling (877) 888-5746.


What to Do When You or Your Child Sustains a Concussion

A concussion is a type of brain injury most often sustained following a blow to the head. Concussions can range from mild to severe, but always warrant a visit to the emergency room for a professional medical assessment. Knowing the many signs of a concussion and what to do if you or your child sustains this type of injury will help you take quick action for better long-term health and wellness.

Signs of a Concussion

Any time you or your child experiences a blow to the head, whether through a fall, while playing sports, or during any other activity, it’s important to look for signs of a concussion. While loss of consciousness may occur, not all concussions cause this symptom. Other common signs of a concussion include temporary or ongoing confusion, disorientation, memory loss, and changes in sight, hearing, taste, or smell. Individuals may also experience dizziness, loss of balance, mood swings, and trouble concentrating on tasks or solving problems after a concussion.

Steps to Take Following a Concussion

If you suspect that you or someone you know has sustained a concussion, it’s best to seek professional medical care promptly. This is because it is impossible to determine the severity of a concussion without a proper medical evaluation. Visiting your emergency room is the fastest way to receive the diagnostic imaging and experienced assessment needed to determine if rest or treatment is needed for concussion recovery.

If you or any member of your family may have a concussion or any other serious injury to the head or body, consider visiting an emergency room in Thousand Oaks for help. Your emergency care provider has the experience and technology necessary to quickly and accurately diagnose head injuries, bone fractures, and other issues for the most effective care. If you have more questions about concussions or other common injuries, you can reach a registered nurse at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center by calling (877) 888-5746, or scroll through our health resources and Well Magazine publication online.


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