• Testicular Cancer Awareness: How Is This Disease Diagnosed?

    If you experience the symptoms of testicular cancer , your doctor may refer you to a hospital for diagnostic testing. There are a number of strategies your doctor can use to determine if you have testicular cancer. Here is a look at what you can expect during the diagnostic process.

    Physical Exam

    A physical exam is the first step in getting a diagnosis. Your doctor will examine your testicles as well as your lymph nodes and abdomen to determine if there is any sign that cancer is present in these areas of your body. During the exam, your doctor will be looking for lumps, swelling, and changes in the sizes of your testicles. Typically, lumps and swelling associated with testicular cancer are not painful, but the testicles themselves may become sensitive, with or without lumps, when cancer is present. Your doctor will determine if further tests are necessary based on the results of your physical exam.

    Blood Tests

    Testicular cancer causes high levels of certain proteins to appear in your blood. Your doctor can use blood tests to determine if these proteins are present in your blood, which may suggest a testicular tumor. However, high levels of the proteins associated with testicular cancer can also be present for other reasons, and in early stages of cancer, the proteins may not be present at all. As such, blood test results are clues rather than being diagnostically definitive.

    Imaging Tests

    A number of imaging tests can be used to locate testicular cancers. Ultrasound is the most common test used for diagnosis, but CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans may all be ordered for diagnostics or to get more information about cancer and whether it has spread.

    Good Samaritan Hospital offers diagnostic imaging and cancer care to help you through every stage of your testicular cancer treatment plan. If you need a referral to an oncologist or information about cardiac care, maternity care, weight loss surgery, or other services at our San Jose hospital, please call (888) 724-2362.

  • Preventing Heart Disease Through Stress Management

    If you want to protect your heart health or if you already have a cardiac condition that you want to control, managing your stress is an important part of the equation. Stress can take a disastrous toll on your heart health, so it’s important to work with your cardiac care specialist to learn tips for managing it. Here is a closer look at the link between stress and heart disease and what you can do to prevent everyday stressors from putting your health on the line.

    Understanding How Stress Affects the Heart

    Although research into the exact way stress harms your heart is ongoing, doctors suspect there are two links between stress and heart disease . One is that stress increases the chances that you will engage in behaviors that are linked to heart disease, such as smoking, overeating, and not getting enough physical activity. The other link may be the changes that stress causes in your body. When you are stressed, your body goes into fight or flight mode, which triggers the release of hormones that increase your blood pressure and heart rate. With chronic stress, your body stays in that fight or flight mode longer than it is intended to, which may cause damage to your heart. If you eat to calm down, procrastinate, don’t get enough sleep, and feel like you’re always rushing but not accomplishing anything, then you could be experiencing stress that could harm your heart health .

    Overcoming Stress for Better Heart Health

    There is no one-size-fits-all solution to stress, so it may take some trial and error to discover what works for you. Getting exercise, eating a healthy diet, making sure you get enough sleep and building a support system you can talk to when things are overwhelming can all be helpful. Meditation, breathing exercises, and listening to music may also be useful. Your cardiac care specialist can offer other tips for controlling your stress for the benefit of your heart.

    Good Samaritan Hospital’s cardiology department has comprehensive cardiac care services, including surgery and rehabilitation. If you’re suffering from heart disease, request a referral to a cardiac care specialist at our San Jose hospital by calling (888) 724-2362.

  • Sustaining a Healthy Lifestyle After Bariatric Surgery

    Bariatric surgery can be life changing, but the road to weight loss success and a healthier way of life only starts at the hospital. The lifestyle changes you make after your surgery are critical to achieving the results you want. Here are some tips for getting the maximum benefits from your bariatric procedure.

    Focus on Protein

    Protein is the foundation of a healthy diet after weight loss surgery. Many patients are recommended to aim for 60 to 80 grams of protein during the day, though it is not advisable to eat more than 30 grams at each meal, as this can result in problems with absorption. This protein is necessary to help maintain your muscle strength during the rapid weight loss that occurs after surgery. It’s important to avoid sugar when you’re preparing meals, as excess sugar can cause distress in sensitive stomachs.

    Add Fitness to Your Day

    Fitness is an important part of achieving and sustaining weight loss and can help you avoid heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more. If you’re new to exercise, start slowly. Your doctor can help you decide what a safe amount of exercise is for you and when you can start after surgery. For the best results, combine both aerobic exercise and strength training. A good goal is to get 150 minutes of activity per week, but any amount of exercise can help you get healthier.

    Prepare for Emotional Changes

    Bariatric surgery and the subsequent weight loss can dramatically impact your confidence. As you are changing your lifestyle and adjusting to a new way of seeing yourself, it can impact your mental health and your relationships. Be prepared for these changes and other stressors, such as weight loss plateaus, and consider how you will cope with them. Your doctor can help if you are concerned about your mental health after surgery.

    At Good Samaritan Hospital , our bariatric surgery team provides comprehensive patient support after surgery to help patients achieve a healthier way of living. You can learn more about all of the services at our hospital in San Jose, from cardiac care to labor and delivery, by calling (888) 724-2362.

  • Easy Ways to Improve Public Health in Your Community

    Healthcare is not just a private affair between you and your doctor. Public health in the community impacts everyone, and you can have a dramatic impact on the health of those around you. Good Samaritan Hospital is committed to being a positive force for health in the San Jose community, and you too can get involved. During National Public Health Week, which runs from April 6-12, take some time to consider these easy ways you can get involved in building and sustaining a healthier community.

    Promote Health at Work

    Since most people spend a large amount of their time at work, it is important to encourage healthy habits there just as you would at home. Explore the possibility of starting an employee wellness program with the human resources department in your workplace or promote any programs that do exist. Lobby to have any vending machines filled with healthier options. Establishing a lunchtime walking group can also dramatically change the health of the entire workplace.

    Encourage Carpooling

    Excessive traffic increases air pollution and the associated risks of respiratory problems. You can help reduce traffic in your community by organizing carpools to work and for your usual activities. Talk about your carpooling habits and encourage other people to look for ways they can do the same. Public transportation is another valuable resource for public health. Consider taking public transportation to work and asking others to ride with you to get even more vehicles off the road.

    Consider Volunteering

    Most communities have non-profit organizations that benefit public health. Find out how you can get involved to support their activities. You may be able to donate your time onsite at the organization, participate in fundraising efforts, or lend a valuable skill you have to fill a need for the group.

    Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose has a volunteer program that invites community members to assist in providing comfort and good cheer to their neighbors who are patients at our hospital. Our services, including emergency care, cardiac care, and maternity services, are a crucial part of the community’s wellbeing. Find out how you can volunteer or get more information about our services by calling (888) 724-2362.