• Knowing the causes of vascular disease

    Vascular disease affects the vessels that make up the circulatory system. When vascular disease occurs, blood does not flow correctly through the body, which can lead to everything from amputation to heart attack and stroke. If you have vascular disease, it is important to see a specialist for treatment to prevent the risk of serious health complications. You can reduce the chances that you will get vascular disease and control the progression of vascular problems if you already have it by understanding the common causes and taking steps to avoid them.

    High cholesterol

    As the video explains, high cholesterol is a common cause of vascular disease. When you have high levels of cholesterol in your blood, plaque can build up in your arteries, which causes blockages to form that impede blood flow.

    These blockages can stop blood from getting to various organs in your body, including your heart and brain. If the blood flow to the heart stops, you will have a heart attack. Lack of blood flow to the brain causes a stroke.

    High blood pressure

    High blood pressure can also cause vascular disease. The increased pressure of the blood moving through the vessels can damage the vessel walls and cause the blood vessels to become stiff.

    Stiff blood vessels are not effective at pumping blood through the body, and they also increase the risk of blood clots. Vascular disease caused by high blood pressure can cause kidney damage, vision problems, heart disease, stroke, and more.

    Diabetes

    Diabetes increases the chance of risk of developing risk factors for vascular disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. People with diabetes have an elevated risk of vascular disease, even if they have not been diagnosed with another risk factor.

    Controlling blood glucose levels reduces this risk, but even people whose blood glucose levels are under control have a higher risk of getting vascular disease than a person without diabetes.

    Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers comprehensive cardiovascular care in Las Vegas, including a Chest Pain Center for emergency care and Cath lab services. Contact us at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to a cardiovascular specialist.

  • Which treatments are recommended for metastatic breast cancer?

    Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of the disease. Also called stage IV breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer has spread beyond the breast into other parts of the body. The lungs, liver, bones, and brain are the most likely to be impacted by metastatic breast cancer, but other parts of the body can be involved as well. Here is what you need to know about treating this form of breast cancer.

Treatment considerations
Metastatic breast cancer is still treated as breast cancer, no matter what part of the body it spreads to. This is because the tumors in other organs are still made up of breast tissue, so they respond to breast cancer treatment.

The kind of treatment your cancer care team recommends for your metastatic breast cancer depends on a wide range of factors, including:

  • The parts of the body that are affected
  • The characteristics of the tumor
  • The symptoms you are experiencing
  • The treatments you have used in the past

Treatment options
Surgery is not usually used for metastatic breast cancer, except in rare cases. The most frequently used treatments are:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • PARP inhibitors

Often, patients undergo a combination of treatments for the best results. In addition to standard treatments, many patients with metastatic breast cancer take part in clinical trials, which allows them to get access to a medication that are not yet on the market but that may be helpful to them.

Resistance to Medications
Medication resistance is a common concern in treating metastatic breast cancer. Frequently, a treatment will work for a period of time, and then the body will become resistant to it. When this occurs, it is necessary to start a new treatment.

To identify resistance when it is occurring, patients undergo regular blood tests and cancer scans.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers 3D mammography for the earliest possible breast cancer diagnoses. The earlier cancer is detected, the more effective treatment can be. You can request a referral for a mammogram in Las Vegas or learn more about cancer care by calling (702) 916-5023.

  • Reducing the stigma of mental illness

    Millions of people live with mental illness, but unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to it. The stigma of mental illness prevents people from getting the help that they need when they have the symptoms of a problem, and it makes it more difficult for people with mental illness to live their lives. Mental Illness Awareness Week, which takes place during the first week in October, is an opportunity for the public to learn more about mental illness in order to fight the stigma for sufferers. It is the perfect opportunity for mental illness sufferers and their supporters to take steps to reduce stigma with steps like these.

  • Be open and honest
    Much of the stigma of mental illness comes with the fact that it is widely misunderstood. It’s important for people living with mental illness and their advocates to speak up openly and honestly about mental health.

    Don’t shy away from sharing diagnoses with people. Talk openly about treatment and the effects of mental illness on your life. These actions will help to educate people, which is a powerful tool in fighting stigma.

    Talk about physical and mental illnesses in the same way
    People are almost always compassionate to people who are suffering from a physical illness, such as cancer or heart disease, but they treat mental illness differently. Fight back against this by ensuring that you discuss physical and mental illness in the same way.

    Setting a standard of equality between these two types of illness will help to show people that they should be treated the same. Mental illness is a health problem, not a character flaw, so set an example by treating it as such.

    Don’t stigmatize yourself
    If you have mental illness, break the stigma with yourself first. Don’t feel embarrassed about mental illness or withdraw from activities because you’re concerned people will know you have a mental illness.

    Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers geriatric behavioral health services in Las Vegas and is constructing an 80-bed facility for treating mental illness in patients 13 and older in our continued commitment to be a resource for the community. Please call (702) 916-5023 for more information about our behavioral health services.

  • What patients gain in physical therapy

    Whether you are recovering from orthopedic surgery, suffering from joint pain, or recovering from a car accident, physical therapy could make a dramatic difference in your health. There are a number of benefits to going to physical therapy, which is why patients with so many different needs attend. If your physician refers you for physical therapy, and you are not sure you should invest the time, here is a look at some of the things you can expect to gain.

    Pain-free movement
    Is joint or muscle pain holding you back from doing the things you love? If so, physical therapy can help. During therapy, you will strengthen the muscles in the areas in which you are feeling discomfort, so that they offer better support to you as you move.

    For people dealing with chronic pain, physical therapy can reduce or even eliminate the need for pain medication, which helps patients avoid side effects and the danger of becoming addicted.

    Role in your recovery
    Being a patient can be a frustratingly passive experience, except in physical therapy. When you are in physical therapy, you get to take an active role in your recovery as you work collaboratively with your therapist.

    Your physical therapist will work with you to set goals and objectives for your treatment and to design a plan that works for you. When you are dealing with medical issues that feel out of your hands, physical therapy can help you to take some of that control back.

    Recovery without surgery
    In some cases, physical therapy can help patients avoid surgery. If you enter therapy early enough in the progression of your condition, physical therapy can prevent it from getting worse, so you can get better without surgery.

    Physical therapy has been demonstrated to be as effective as surgery for some conditions, including osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and rotator cuff tears.

    Talk to your orthopedic surgeon or other healthcare provider at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center to see if physical therapy could be right for you. For more information about the services at our hospital in Las Vegas, call (702) 916-5023.