MountainView Hospital
MountainView Hospital is a state-of-the-art, full-service medical facility located in the heart of northwest Las Vegas.

Understanding different types of UV rays and their effects on your skin

The damage caused by unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is a major risk factor of skin cancer. The sun emits three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB and UVC. You can learn about the differences of these rays when you watch this featured interview with a dermatologist who practices at MountainView Hospital. If you notice any skin abnormalities, you can count on our hospital in Las Vegas to get you an appointment right away.

UVC rays
UVC rays aren’t much of a concern for people, as they are absorbed by the atmosphere. Since the UVC rays emitted by the sun can’t reach people, they are an uncommon cause of skin cancer.

It’s still possible to be exposed to UVC rays emitted from certain manmade objects, such as welding torches. UVC rays are also used in hospitals to sterilize medical equipment, as these rays are effective for inactivating viruses and bacteria.

In past years, tanning beds emitted UVC rays. Although this is no longer the case, tanning beds aren’t any safer.

UVA rays
Ultraviolet A radiation is the primary type that reaches Earth’s surface. UVA rays have the longest wavelength, and they penetrate the skin effectively. They also penetrate through clouds and window glass, which is why it’s important to wear sunscreen even if it’s cloudy outdoors.

UVA rays are capable of damaging keratinocytes, which are cells located in the epidermis. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin, where most skin cancers are found. In other words, UVA rays can cause life-threatening skin cancers.

Since UVA rays are most responsible for tanning, they are the primary rays emitted by tanning beds and sunlamps. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, people who use tanning beds are 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, and 2.5 times more likely to be affected by squamous cell carcinoma. Furthermore, exposure to tanning beds in adolescence can raise the risk of deadly melanoma by up to 75 percent.

UVB rays
UVB rays have a shorter wavelength than UVA rays, which means they don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA. Most of the damage inflicted by UVB rays is on the epidermis, which is why it’s the type primarily responsible for sunburn and skin reddening. Exposure to UVB rays is associated with a higher risk of skin cancer.

The compassionate physicians and nurses at MountainView Hospital are your partners in health. We’re committed to building healthier families and communities in Las Vegas because our patients are also our neighbors. Call our nurse referral line at (702) 962-5021.

How does your diet affect your cancer care?

Cancer affects virtually every aspect of a person’s life, including his or her diet. Cancer and cancer treatment can make it more difficult for you to eat the nutritious foods your body needs. It can also interfere with your body’s ability to use ingested nutrients. At MountainView Hospital, our oncology specialists are experts at finding creative solutions for each cancer patient’s unique challenges. We invite cancer patients, families and caregivers to attend our ongoing cancer education classes, and become empowered to live life well despite the diagnosis.

Benefits of good nutrition during cancer care
The side effects of cancer treatment can be difficult to cope with. Good nutrition might not banish side effects entirely, but it can help your body tolerate them more easily. Good nutrition during cancer care can also help you:

  • Maintain energy and fight fatigue
  • Feel better and stronger
  • Reduce your risk of infections
  • Support your body’s ability to heal

Ways cancer can affect nutrition
It’s possible for certain tumors to interfere with the way the body normally uses nutrients. Patients with tumors of the intestines or stomach are especially at risk of problems using proteins, carbohydrates and fats. When this happens, the patient can become malnourished, even if he or she thinks the food consumption is adequate.

Other patients may find it difficult to maintain good nutrition because of the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mouth sores
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Changes in taste or smell

Tips for improving nutrition during cancer care
You have a unique experience with cancer and its side effects. The most effective way to find solutions that work for you is to talk with your cancer care team. Treatments are available for many of the common symptoms of cancer and side effects of cancer treatments.

Your doctor can also refer you to a nutritionist and give you some tips for maintaining good nutrition. These may include the following:

  • Choose high-calorie beverages
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently
  • Have nutritious, protein-packed snack foods readily available
  • Make meals with appealing smells and textures

Remember that it’s possible for multivitamins and herbal supplements to interfere with your cancer treatment. Talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplements during cancer treatment.

MountainView Hospital is pleased to offer the superior cancer care and support services our patients deserve for the best possible outcome. Our hospital in Las Vegas maintains a serene, peaceful Oncology Unit, staffed by compassionate and highly trained specialists. Call (702) 962-5021 to request a referral.

How is the heat hard on your heart?

The sunny Las Vegas summers can be particularly challenging for patients who have heart conditions, such as heart failure. Consider talking to a heart care specialist about your unique risk factors of heat-related complications, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. You’ll find exceptionally compassionate and skillful heart care specialists at MountainView Hospital because we are firmly committed to putting our patients first.

How heat affects the body
Your body maintains a safe internal temperature through sweating and blood circulation. Heat always flows toward cooler areas, which means your body radiates its own heat out into the air when the air is cooler. When the temperature outdoors is comparable to your body temperature, the heart has to work harder to increase blood circulation near the skin to cool the body.

Sweating is another effective way to manage body temperature, but this process isn’t as effective on very humid days. Additionally, while sweat does remove body heat, it also removes essential minerals like potassium. People who have heart disease have a harder time coping with these changes.

Why heat is problematic for heart disease patients
There are several reasons why excessive heat and heart disease don’t mix well.

Firstly, some of the medications heart disease patients may take can interfere with the body’s ability to cool itself. Diuretics can raise the risk of dehydration, and beta blockers can inhibit blood circulation by slowing the heartbeat. Of course, it’s important to continue taking medications as prescribed unless otherwise directed by a doctor.

People who have suffered a heart attack have damaged heart muscle, which can prevent the heart from effectively pumping blood to get rid of heat. This process can be further compromised by arteries that are narrow and clogged with plaque.

Patients who have heart failure or are at risk of it are at a higher risk of dehydration in hot, humid weather. They can suffer sudden drops in blood pressure, which may lead to dizziness and falls.

MountainView Hospital is an accredited Chest Pain Center—a designation that reflects our enduring commitment to quality of care. Patients in Las Vegas who think they need emergency care are urged to call 911 without delay. Non-emergent questions about our heart care services can be directed to a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021.

Is breastfeeding right for you?

As an expecting mom, you’ll undoubtedly hear all sorts of well-intentioned advice from relatives and friends. But their experiences won’t be quite like yours, and only you can decide if breastfeeding is right for you and your baby. At MountainView Hospital, we offer the extensive support services that expecting and new mothers need, regardless of whether they choose breast or bottle feeding.

Identifying the benefits of breastfeeding
Consider the benefits of breastfeeding when deciding whether to give it a try. Breastfeeding may lower the risk of certain medical problems for both you and your baby, including your risk of breast cancer and your baby’s risk of asthma. In addition to these long-term health benefits, there are some short-term advantages to consider.

Breast milk is:

  • Inexpensive compared to formula
  • Always available when baby is hungry
  • Already at the right temperature
  • Environmentally friendly—no discarded formula packaging
  • Easier than sterilizing countless bottles

Your baby will grow up faster than you think. If you do choose to breastfeed, you’ll appreciate sharing this amazing bonding experience with him or her.

Addressing common breastfeeding concerns and obstacles
Some people are planners, and others prefer to figure things out as they go along. If you’re a planner, you may find it helpful to learn about common breastfeeding problems and solutions before you make your decision. Here’s a quick look at some of the issues breastfeeding moms encounter:

  • Clothes: Must be breastfeeding-friendly
  • Latching on: Must be done properly to prevent nipple pain
  • Milk composition: Changes throughout feeding. Offer both breasts each time. Alternate the breast the baby starts with.
  • Engorgement: Relieved with frequent feedings, sometimes manual expression as needed.
  • Medications: May pass into breast milk. Consult a doctor.
  • Illness: Can breastfeed while sick.
  • Leaky nipples: Use nursing pads.

Giving breastfeeding a try
It’s alright if you haven’t made your decision by the time your due date arrives. You can give breastfeeding a try, talk to the lactation consultant and then make your decision. It’s much easier to transition from breast to bottle than vice versa.

MountainView Hospital firmly believes in giving new moms and their families the best of care, along with the support services they need to confidently welcome their babies into the world. We invite expecting parents to join us for a free, comprehensive breastfeeding class, which is offered at regular intervals at our hospital. We’re here for you, and you can speak with a registered nurse at any time by calling (702) 962-5021.

How therapy dogs improve patient care and outcomes

Could a chance to pet a pup play a role in a patient’s recovery? People who work with therapy dogs believe so. Therapy dogs visit hospital settings with the goal of boosting patient morale and putting a smile on the faces of people going through challenging medical crises. Here is a look at the role therapy dogs are playing in health care.

What is a therapy dog?

Therapy dogs visit hospitals in an effort to cheer up patients and their families while they are receiving care. They also visit nursing homes, schools and other settings in which people may be lonely or under a significant amount of stress.

It is important to note that therapy dogs are not the same as service dogs, and they cannot perform assistive tasks, like guiding patients with vision difficulties. Likewise, therapy dogs don’t stay with one person as service dogs do.

Are therapy dogs trained?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers an official training program for therapy dogs. Dogs that receive this certification have completed a certain number of visits with a therapy dog organization recognized by the AKC. However, it is up to the organization that invites therapy dogs in to set their own standards and decide if they will require any kind of training before dogs can visit.

Training for therapy dogs isn’t just for patient safety. Handlers must also ensure that the dogs are not overstressed by patient visits and that they enjoy meeting so many new people.

Where can therapy dogs be used in the hospital?

There are multiple ways therapy dogs can make an impact in the hospital setting. They can:

  • Visit patients undergoing cancer care
  • Visit children receiving inpatient care
  • Visit family members in the waiting room
  • Visit patients recovering from orthopedic surgery

At MountainView Hospital, our compassionate team is committed to providing the best possible patient experience every day. Experience the difference of our quality care for yourself by calling (702) 962-5021 to get a referral to one of our physicians.

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