Good Samaritan Hospital
Through leadership in research and adopting the latest technological and clinical practices, Good Samaritan Hospital offers excellent medical care for the people of Silicon Valley.
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What You Should Know About Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is notorious for spreading quickly, so early diagnosis is crucial for good outcomes. Because lung cancer may not cause symptoms before it is in more advanced stages, screening can be an important part of preventative care for some people. Should you consider lung cancer screening at Good Samaritan Hospital, and what should you expect from the process? Here is what you need to know.

Screening Guidelines

Unlike some cancer screening tests, like mammograms and colonoscopies, lung cancer screening is not recommends for everyone. Lung cancer screening is limited for a number of reasons, including risks associated with screening. According to the U.S. Preventative Task Force, you should have yearly lung cancer screenings if you have history of heavy smoking, are between 55 and 80, and you currently smoke or quit within the last 15 years. Screening is usually reserved for people who meet all of those criteria, but your doctor can help you decide what the best approach is for you.

Test Process

Lung cancer screening is done via CT imaging. For the test, you will lie on a table that slides into a donut-shaped machine that takes images of your lungs. The person reading your images will look for signs of nodules or masses in your chest that could indicate lung cancer. The test is completely painless and takes a few minutes to complete.

Follow-Up Treatment

If your doctor identifies any signs of lung cancer, your doctor will discuss the next steps with you. You may need further testing, surgery, chemotherapy, or other cancer treatments. At Good Samaritan Hospital, a multidisciplinary team of experts consults on lung cancer cases.

Good Samaritan Hospital is committed to changing the future of lung cancer with regular screenings, early diagnosis, and effective treatments. In addition to our oncology program, our San Jose hospital offers comprehensive healthcare for your entire family, including private labor and delivery suites and emergency care. To learn more about lung cancer screening or to find a doctor, call (408) 819-0558.


Local California Resources to Help You Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health—and it is also one of the most challenging. The good news is that you don’t have to face the fight alone. There are resources available across the state to help you make your smoking habit a thing of the past. Whether you need to quit smoking as part of your cardiac care regime or you simply want to give up cigarettes before serious health problems strike, these programs can increase your chances of success.

California Smokers’ Helpline

You may feel alone when you try to quit smoking, but there are plenty of other people who understand the cravings you’re facing and know how to help you succeed. When you don’t know where to begin with quitting or your cravings feel overwhelming, call the California Smokers’ Helpline at (800) NO-BUTTS. The helpline offers telephone counseling to help you develop a plan to tackle your habit as well as referrals to local programs. Some callers are even eligible for free nicotine patches. The helpline also offers support online and via text and has special services for teenagers.

Medi-Cal Support

If you are a Medi-Cal member, you have access to a range of free services to help you quit smoking, including free nicotine patches through the Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking Project. Talk to your healthcare provider about which services are available to you.

Ash Kickers

The Ash Kickers program at Good Samaritan Hospital was created by Breathe California for hospital employees. The six-part program is led by a trained facilitator and gives smokers a chance to support each other while developing strategies for dealing with cravings and more.

If you need help giving up smoking, Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose is here to help. Don’t let your habit cause you to need emergency or cardiac care. Instead, get a referral to one of our physicians and get on the path to beating your addiction. Find a doctor today by calling (408) 819-0558.


Getting to Know the Benefits of CyberKnife Technology

CyberKnife technology plays a central role in radiation oncology treatments for many patients. The CyberKnife system allows for an unprecedented level of accuracy for radiation, making treatment possible for tumors that were previously considered inoperable. If you have been referred to Good Samaritan Hospital for CyberKnife treatment, here are some of the benefits you can expect.

Non-Invasive Treatment

Despite the name, the CyberKnife system does not involve a knife at all. Rather, it is a precision radiation system that delivers a precise dose to the treatment area with limited exposure to the surrounding tissue. Since there is no surgery or cutting of any kind involved, patients don’t have the risks associated with blood loss and anesthesia. Treatment is painless, and most patients can return to their normal activities immediately.

Less Damage to Healthy Tissue

One of the risks of radiation oncology is that targeting radiation specifically to the desired treatment area is difficult. Healthy tissue almost always receives the radiation dose as well, which can lead to a range of complications and side effects. Thanks to the pinpoint accuracy of the CyberKnife, healthy tissue stays that way and side effects are minimized, allowing patients receiving cancer care to live a more normal life.

Treatment for Inoperative Tumors

The CyberKnife system can be used to treat both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body, but it is particularly useful in treating tumors that are impossible to access surgically, like those deep within the brain or spine. In the past, patients with these tumors may not have any treatment options available. The CyberKnife may also be an option for patients with operable tumors who prefer to avoid surgery or who have other health issues that make surgery dangerous.

Is the CyberKnife the right treatment for you? Schedule a consultation with an oncologist at Good Samaritan Hospital to learn more. Our San Jose hospital’s provides comprehensive care in our nationally recognized cancer center. For more information about cancer care or a referral to an oncologist at our hospital, call (408) 819-0558.


Food Safety Tips for Your Next Picnic

Picnics are a much-beloved summertime activity, so don’t let your next al fresco dining experience result in a trip to the hospital for emergency care. With a little planning, you can keep your picnic food as safe as it is tasty and avoid foodborne illnesses that could spoil the season. As you pack up for your next picnic, keep these activities in mind.

Practice Cooler Smarts

Your cooler is one of your first lines of defense against foodborne illnesses in the summer. Coolers that are packed tightly hold their temperatures better, so fill up any empty space with ice or frozen gel packs. If you’re bringing raw meat to cook outdoors for your picnic, consider putting it in your cooler while it is still frozen so it stays cool for as long as possible. It is also a good idea to pack beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another. Because beverage coolers are opened repeatedly as people grab drinks, the contents are exposed to hot air more often. Separating drinks and foods will keep your perishables colder longer.

Wash Fruits and Veggies

Summer is peak season for many fresh fruits and vegetables, which makes them popular picnic choices. Before enjoying them, run them under tap water and dry them off before packing them in your cooler. You can scrub fruits and veggies with firm skins with a vegetable brush for extra cleaning. When your fruits and veggies are in the cooler, make sure they aren’t exposed to contaminants, like juice from raw meats.

Keep an Eye on the Temperature

Safe food is served at safe temperatures. Always serve hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Cook all meat throughout before serving. When temperatures soar over 90 degrees, food should be discarded after sitting out for more than one hour. At lower temperatures, don’t allow food to sit out longer than two hours.

Should a foodborne illness strike your picnic, the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital is here to help. Our ER has comprehensive care for all of your urgent needs year-round, and our San Jose hospital provides a range of services, including cardiac care and labor and delivery. Learn more by calling (408) 819-0551.


What Is the Benefit of Clinical Trials in Cancer Care?

After a diagnosis of cancer, patients often find that they have an overwhelming amount of information to sort through. They may wish to learn more about their specific type of cancer, whether surgery is a good choice, and what they might expect from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The importance of clinical trials should not be overlooked, however. Clinical trials are research studies conducted at hospitals, including Good Samaritan Hospital.

Gaining Access to New Treatments

One common reason why some patients may hesitate to explore the clinical trials available at their local hospital is the perception that these studies are reserved for people with advanced cancer or cancer that does not respond to any other treatment. But in fact, participants with every stage of cancer are needed. Since clinical trials test new treatments that are not yet available, participating in these studies provides a way for patients to gain access to therapies that may help them.

Being Closely Monitored

Cancer patients visit their local hospitals frequently for tests and treatments, and they are all carefully monitored. However, participating in a clinical trial could mean that the patients are monitored even more closely because the researchers need to keep track of the effects of the treatment.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Treatments

Many cancer patients decide to participate in clinical trials at a community hospital because they wish to help others with cancer by furthering research initiatives. Clinical trials are the last stage in determining whether a new cancer treatment will be approved for use. Clinical trials not only evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications for cancer treatment; they also evaluate new ways of diagnosing cancer, preventing cancer, and managing the side effects of cancer treatment.

Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose is a leading test hospital, participating in many clinical trials that may not be available elsewhere in the Bay area. At our hospital, you’ll find compassionate cancer support services and sophisticated treatment options to help you fight back against cancer. For more information about these and other healthcare services, call (408) 819-0558 or visit our hospital on the Web.


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