• Taking Steps to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

    Although it is not possible to completely prevent cancer , there are many things you can do to drastically reduce your risk of developing the disease. By understanding your risk factors and making smart lifestyle choices, you can lower your chances of getting many different types of cancer.

    Know Your Risk

    Individualized cancer risk factors vary greatly, so discuss your status with your doctor. Some kinds of cancer have a genetic component, so having a relative who has had the disease means you are also at a higher risk. Sometimes, health conditions and medications can also influence your cancer risk. By identifying your risk factors with your doctor, you can work together to make decisions about cancer screening tests you may need and steps you can take to reduce your vulnerability, such as losing weight.

    Stop Smoking

    Smoking is one of the biggest causes of preventable cancers. It dramatically increases your risk of lung, oral, stomach, pancreatic, kidney, and bladder cancers, among others, and in fact, smoking almost exclusively causes some forms of oral and lung cancer. Quitting is difficult, but it could save your life. If you want to quit but aren’t sure where to start, talk to your doctor. There are medications and support groups that make the process easier.

    Protect Against Sun Exposure

    UV radiation from the sun and from tanning beds change the DNA makeup of cells and causes abnormalities that lead to cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, and melanoma, the most serious kind of skin cancer, is one of the most deadly. By wearing sunscreen at all times, avoiding the sunlight during peak hours, and avoiding tanning beds, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing cancer.

    The oncology team at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive care to patients when cancer does strike. Contact us today to learn more about our cancer care program or to find out more about our other hospital services, including emergency care, robotic surgery, and stroke care. Dial (702) 233-5300 for more information.

  • Exploring the Complex Causes of Obesity

    At one time, doctors believed that obesity was a simple matter of people eating more calories than they burned. Now, the medical community is recognizing the complexity of obesity and how many more factors could be at play than overconsumption of calories. In this video, a surgeon from the bariatric weight loss surgery team at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas discusses some of the factors that contribute to obesity. Here is a closer look at a few of the obesity contributors he discusses.

    Family History

    Researchers have discovered that there is a gene that is related to obesity. That means if obesity runs in your family and you have the gene, you are more likely to become obese as well. Although having the gene does not mean that you will definitely become obese and require bariatric weight loss surgery, it does mean that you may need to pay closer attention to your diet to maintain a healthy weight than someone who does not have this genetic predisposition. September’s National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is a good time to discuss healthy eating habits with your kids, especially if obesity is part of your family medical history.

    Thyroid Disease

    Your thyroid gland releases hormones that are responsible for your metabolic function. When your thyroid gland is underactive – meaning that it does not produce enough hormones – then your metabolism slows down and weight gain is likely. By taking medications, people who gained weight because of thyroid disease can often begin to lose weight successfully.

    Type of Job

    People who work in sedentary jobs are more likely to gain weight than those whose jobs require a lot of moving around. Stressful work days and long hours can also lead to overeating and eating convenience food, which is often higher in calories. To be successful with weight loss surgery, people with sedentary jobs must be willing and able to commit to adding more activity into their days.

    The bariatric weight loss surgery program in Las Vegas at MountainView Hospital helps morbidly obese patients achieve the weight loss they haven’t been able to attain through diet and exercise alone. Identifying and addressing problems that are contributing to weight gain is part of each patient’s treatment plan. To learn more about bariatrics at MountainView Hospital, please call (702) 233-5300.

  • Fitness and Nutrition Basics for Women

    Choosing the right foods and staying active are essential parts of maintaining a healthy weight and keeping obesity-related conditions at bay. Although bariatric surgery can help women who are unable to lose weight through diet and exercise, focusing on fitness and nutrition can help them avoid the weight gain that leads to the need for an invasive procedure. Women can discuss their fitness and nutritional goals with their doctors. This information will also help.

    Be Active Daily

    Getting physical activity each day reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain kinds of cancer. You don’t have to run marathons to get fit. Simply going out for a walk every day is enough to improve your fitness and enjoy the benefits of exercise. Aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise most days, or about 150 minutes per week to get the maximum benefits. If you’re new to exercising, start slow and build up your tolerance. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise plan to make sure it’s safe for you.

    Eat Balanced Meals

    Cutting out any one food group leads to deprivation and makes it difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan. Instead, focus on building balanced meals with healthy choices from all of the food groups. Fill a quarter of your plate with lean protein, another quarter with whole grain carbs, and the remaining half with fruits and vegetables. Eating this type of balanced diet provides you with all of the nutrients you need to maintain good health and keep your weight under control.

    Manage Your Alcohol Intake

    Alcohol can be a part of a healthy lifestyle if it is consumed in moderate amounts. Women cannot safely drink the same amount of alcohol as men because their bodies process it differently. Stick to one drink per day, which is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of an 80-proof spirit.

    Good health for women starts at the Women’s Center at MountainView Hospital. In addition to our emergency care, stroke care, and bariatric weight loss surgery in Las Vegas, we provide comprehensive women’s health services. For a referral to a women’s health provider, please call (702) 233-5300.

  • Playing It Safe with Food Preparation and Storage

    One guest that is always unwelcome at a party is food poisoning, but too often, it makes an appearance anyway, thanks to lax food preparation and storage strategies. Don’t let your Sunday football BBQ end up in a trip to the hospital for emergency care . Protect yourself and your guests by keeping these food safety tips in mind.

    Separate Your Foods

    Failing to keep foods separate makes cross-contamination easy. Keep cooked foods and raw foods far away from each other, and don’t reuse utensils, cutting boards, or other tools on cooked foods after you have already used them on raw items. If you’re keeping items on separate shelves in the refrigerator, make sure raw meats are on the bottom, so they can’t drip their juices onto cooked foods or fruits and veggies below.

    Marinate Wisely

    When you marinate foods, don’t leave them out on the counter, but rather put them in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to cook, discard the marinade instead of using it to baste the food, as it contains bacteria and it may not heat to a safe temperature before serving. If you want to use the marinade for basting or as a sauce, boil it first to kill the bacteria.

    Choose a Safe Temperature

    Cook all meats thoroughly before serving. Undercooked meats could still contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. Once the foods are prepared, serve them immediately or store them in an insulated container. Hot foods and cold foods should always be stored separately, and no perishable items should be eaten if they are outside for more than two hours. If the temperature is above 90 degrees F, perishable foods should be discarded after one hour.

    At MountainView Hospital, our ER is open around-the-clock to provide emergency care in Las Vegas for food poisoning and all of your other urgent medical needs. You can get more information about all of our hospital services , including stroke care and robotic surgery, by calling (702) 233-5300.