Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care while serving the communities of southwest Las Vegas.

Will you have cervical cancer if your mother had it?

There are several risk factors for cervical cancer. By understanding your own risks, you can work more effectively with your women’s health provider to make decisions about screening tests. Family history is one risk factor to consider when it comes to your chances of developing cervical cancer. Here are the answers to some questions you may have about the link between your family medical history and cervical cancer.

If my mother had cervical cancer, will I get it, too?
If your mother had cervical cancer, you have a higher chance of getting the disease as well. The same is true if you have a sister who has fought cervical cancer. This does not mean that you will get cervical cancer, but it does mean that you have a higher risk than women who do not have a close relative who has had the disease.

The reason for this increased risk that runs in families is not clear. Doctors suspect that women in some families may carry a gene that makes them less able to fight off the HPV virus, which is a recognized risk factor for cervical cancer. Women in the same family may also share some other traits that are not genetic that increase the risk of cervical cancer. Some of these other risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Long-term birth control use
  • IUD use
  • 3 or more full-term pregnancies

What should I do if I have an increased risk of cervical cancer?
There are several things you can do to mitigate an increased risk of cervical cancer. Work closely with your women’s health specialist to determine how often you should have screening exams. Cervical cancer responds well to early treatment, so finding out you have the disease in its beginning stages can help.

You can also work with your doctor to manage the risk factors you can control. For example, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and talking to your specialist about the safest birth control for you can help to reduce your chances of getting the disease.

Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center offers comprehensive women’s health services at our hospital in Las Vegas . Please phone us today at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to one of our specialists or to get more information about our services.

Putting an end to myths about stroke

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the US. Emergency care can be lifesaving, but often myths about strokes cause people to delay getting the treatment they need. Don’t let misconceptions about strokes put your health or the health of the people you love at risk. Here are the facts behind some common stroke myths.

Myth: It’s obvious when someone is having a stroke.
The classic stroke symptoms of facial drooping, paralysis on one side of the body, and slurred speech are clear indicators that a stroke may be occurring, but other symptoms may be present as well. As mentioned in the video, people often come up with secondary reasons to explain away symptoms that could actually indicate that they are having a stroke.

Sudden dizziness, tingling, and stiffness in the neck can all be symptoms of a stroke. It is always best to seek stroke care if there is a possibility you need it, since the cost of delaying treatment can be so high.

Myth: Strokes only happen to older people.
Strokes are more common in seniors, but about a quarter of all strokes happen to people under the age of 65. A stroke can happen at any age, so it’s always important to react to the symptoms when they occur.

Strokes in younger people can be even more dangerous than those that happen in older people, because young people tend to ignore the symptoms and wait longer to seek emergency care.

Myth: Strokes are a man’s problem.
In reality, women suffer strokes more often than men. However, both men and women should be aware of their stroke risk and understand the symptoms, so they know when to get care.

Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center is a Certified Primary Stroke Center and home to Nevada Neurosciences Institute, providing lifesaving stroke care in Las Vegas. To get more information about stroke and neurology services, please call (702) 916-5023.

Why your age plays into your orthopedic care

Your healthcare needs continually evolve throughout your life, and many of these changes are the direct result of your age. Children, young adults, middle-aged adults and seniors all have unique healthcare concerns, including orthopedic issues. At Southern Hills Hospital, we provide high-quality care for patients in every stage of life. Our orthopedic surgeons welcome the active involvement of our patients in their own medical treatment.

Changes of an aging body
Many orthopedic problems can affect a person of any age, such as broken bones. However, the musculoskeletal systems of older adults do go through certain changes that can predispose them to injuries. For instance, the cartilage can deteriorate, bones can lose density, intervertebral discs can become less flexible and joint range of motion can be restricted.

Considerations of functional age
Age isn’t solely a byproduct of the calendar. Orthopedic surgeons may consider a patient’s functional age when putting together a treatment and rehab plan. Functional age may influence the likely health outcome.

Functional age is an assessment of the patient’s physical capacities. For instance, a 70-year-old man who is physically active, eats well and doesn’t smoke could have a functional age that is comparable to someone much younger. Similarly, a 40-year-old man with diabetes, who leads a sedentary lifestyle and uses tobacco could have a much older functional age.

Pathways for post-discharge care
Many orthopedic injuries and diseases require a long-term plan for physical rehabilitation. A patient’s post-discharge support needs can be influenced by age.

For an active teenager with a broken bone, a significant challenge might be to convince the teen to follow activity restrictions. On the other hand, when a senior breaks a bone, he or she may need some convincing to go to physical therapy sessions.

Orthopedic surgeons will consider physical and logistical challenges in addition to emotional and behavioral ones. For instance, older adults recovering from a broken hip need extensive support at home, especially during the initial recovery. If this is lacking, then a referral to a long-term care facility may be necessary.

The highly trained orthopedic surgeons at Southern Hills Hospital continually strive for healthcare excellence to give patients of every age the best possible outcome. At our hospital in Las Vegas, you’ll receive attentive care that is designed around your needs. Call (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.

How holiday drinking can affect your health

Some people drink during the holidays to celebrate with friends and family. Others drink in an ill-advised attempt to cope with holiday stress. If you fall into the latter category, consider talking to your doctor about your alcohol use. Self-medication with alcohol can be associated with alcohol use disorder, which consequently can harm your health in multiple ways. If you’re concerned about your alcohol consumption, a psychiatrist at Southern Hills Hospital is here to help you.

Your liver
When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear a doctor at Southern Hills Hospital explain how excessive alcohol use can harm the liver. Your liver is responsible for processing the alcohol you consume, and if you drink too much, it will become overwhelmed.

Alcohol can damage the liver cells, causing permanent scarring known as cirrhosis. The scar tissue inhibits the ability of the liver to do its job properly. Eventually, liver failure or liver cancer may develop.

Your immune system
One often-overlooked consequence of alcohol abuse is its effect on the immune system. People who drink heavily are more likely to suffer from immune deficiency. This leaves them more susceptible to serious or potentially life-threatening illnesses.

Alcoholism is closely associated with increased rates of:

  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Septicemia

Southern Hills Hospital is a leading provider of specialized medical care in Las Vegas, including emergency care, psychiatric intervention and gastroenterology care. If you suspect you may have a substance abuse problem, you can find the help you need at our Behavioral Health Unit. Call our nurse referral line at (702) 916-5023.

Why even healthy people need flu shots

The flu vaccine is safe and recommended for use in nearly everyone, with the exception of babies under six months and people with certain medical conditions. Unfortunately, many people neglect to get their annual flu shot, because they assume the illness won’t severely affect them. The emergency care doctors and nurses at Southern Hills Hospital have seen firsthand how unpleasant influenza can be, and since it can be fatal for some patients, we encourage our Las Vegas neighbors to get vaccinated.

The flu isn’t like having a cold
Unlike a cold, the symptoms of the flu usually develop rapidly. A cold might only slow you down a little, but the flu can send you to bed for a few days. Flu viruses can result in these symptoms:

  • High fever with chills
  • Severe fatigue
  • Headache
  • Severe muscle aches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Decreased appetite

Of course, some people may only experience mild flu symptoms. However, since the flu is highly contagious, affected individuals should stay home from work and school to avoid infecting others.

The flu can cause complications that require hospitalization
In some people, the flu can cause life-threatening complications. Even if you’re generally healthy and have a robust immune system, an illness places you at a higher risk of dehydration. If you develop severe dehydration or you can’t keep fluids down, you’ll need emergency care.

Flu vaccines protect the entire community
As safe as the flu vaccine is, not everyone can get it. Infants under six months of age and people with certain life-threatening allergies are unable to get this vaccine. This means they are vulnerable to flu viruses circulating during any given year.

If you do contract the flu, you can easily spread the germs to others. Even if you only experience mild symptoms, the germs you transfer to your family, friends and neighbors might make them gravely ill. Getting vaccinated is an easy way to do your part for your community.

Preventive healthcare is a priority here at Southern Hills Hospital, but our emergency care providers are always here to help, just in case. If you have any concerns about the safety or effectiveness of vaccines, one of our providers will be happy to discuss them with you. To speak with a friendly member of our nursing staff in Las Vegas, call (702) 916-5023.

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