• Testicular cancer: Screenings and symptoms

    When testicular cancer is diagnosed before it has spread to other areas of the body, the prognosis is usually quite favorable. Unfortunately, many men don’t know how to recognize the potential signs of testicular cancer and they may delay seeking medical care. Here at Good Samaritan Hospital, our cancer care team is dedicated to giving our patients the best possible outcome. During Testicular Cancer Awareness Month this April, we encourage men throughout San Jose to become better informed about their risk factors, and the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer.

    Screening for testicular cancer

    Health screenings are intended to find medical problems as early as possible. These exams and tests are performed when patients do not have symptoms. Health screening recommendations differ from one organization to the next, and they are subject to revision. For instance, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend routine screenings for testicular cancer, but the American Cancer Society does. Consider asking your doctor if you should be screened regularly based on your risk factors. Men may also choose to do regular self-exams. Your doctor can explain how to perform a self-exam.

    Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer

    If you notice any abnormalities of the testes, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. Most often, testicular cancer produces a painless lump on a testicle . Other signs and symptoms include the following:

    • Enlargement of one testicle
    • Aching pain in the scrotum or lower belly
    • Early puberty in boys
    • Breast enlargement
    • Breast soreness

    Signs of metastasized cancer

    When cancer has spread beyond its point of origin, it is said to have metastasized. The symptoms of advanced cancer will vary, depending on the specific areas the cancer affects. Here’s a look at some of the possible areas and their associated symptoms:

    • Lungs: Shortness of breath, chest pain
    • Brain: Headaches, confusion
    • Liver: Abdominal pain
    • Abdominal lymph nodes: Low back pain

    Your doctor should know about all of your symptoms, even if they don’t seem to be related to each other.

    For cutting-edge cancer treatment technology, caring specialists and private cancer treatment areas, look no further than the Comprehensive Cancer Care program at Good Samaritan Hospital . Our dedicated Oncology Unit goes above and beyond to give you the care you deserve. Call a nurse in San Jose at (888) 724-2362 or visit us online to read about our exclusive patient amenities, including our health library, massage services, music and guided imagery.

  • What does stress do to your health?

    Juggling work responsibilities, family obligations, financial matters and social commitments can become overwhelming. Chronic stress can negatively affect your mental and physical health, including your cardiac health. For many people, stress seems to be an inevitable part of life—but it doesn’t have to be this way. You can regain control with the resources available at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. The specialists at our hospital offer superior care for those in need of behavioral health services and cardiac care.

    Behavioral health

    Chronic stress is closely linked to some mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety disorders. Although stress is separate from these disorders, experiencing chronic stress may increase your risk of developing them. Stress can affect your behavioral health in other ways, such as by increasing the risk of substance abuse. Some people self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, but this only worsens the problem and may even lead to an emergency visit to the hospital.

    Heart health

    The cardiovascular system is comprised of the heart and blood vessels. It is highly susceptible to the effects of stress. Short-term stress causes the heart rate and blood pressure levels to rise. When the stressful situation is over, the cardiovascular system returns to normal. Unfortunately, chronic stress can take a heavy toll on the heart and blood vessels. Long-term stress can contribute to the following problems:

    • High blood pressure
    • Heart attack
    • Stroke
    • Artery wall damage

    A person’s heart health can suffer even more when stress causes the following behaviors:

    • Smoking cigarettes
    • Consuming alcohol to excess
    • Neglecting to exercise
    • Neglecting to eat well

    Gastrointestinal system

    You may have noticed that when you’re especially stressed out, your stomach responds in an unpleasant way. Stress can contribute to the following gastrointestinal problems:

    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Stomach pain

    If you respond to stress by overeating or by consuming alcohol, you may be more susceptible to severe heartburn pain.

    At Good Samaritan Hospital, it’s our mission to help our neighbors in San Jose live life well. We’re proud to offer community resources to support your health, including our mindfulness-based stress reduction program, which has helped hundreds of people in our community. Call a registered nurse at our hospital at (888) 724-2362 to request general information about our medical specialties.

  • How many lives could you save as an organ donor?

    Giving the gift of life is a priceless way to serve others. When an organ donor dies, his or her organs could be used to save the lives of eight other people and enhance the lives of over 100 people. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough organ donors on the donor registry, and most organ donors do not die in a manner that allows for organ donation. The need is critical and ongoing. This April is National Donate Life Month. The emergency care team at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose encourages our neighbors to consider joining the organ donor registry.

    Facts about organ donation

    Since 1988, surgeons have performed more than 650,000 organ transplants in the U.S. alone. This highly specialized type of surgery does more than save lives. It gives hope to the families of patients who face deadly diseases. There is a critical need for more people to sign up as organ donors. Here are the basic statistics, according to the American Transplant Foundation :

    • About 120,000 people are waiting for organs.
    • Another person joins the waiting list every 10 minutes.
    • Every day, 22 people die while waiting for organs.

    Reasons to become an organ donor

    Registered organ donors usually sign up because they feel it’s important to serve others. Some people join after a loved one is diagnosed with an organ disease. If you’re not quite sure if you should become an organ donor, consider talking to your doctor about this issue. You’ll learn that organ donors receive the same medical attention as non-donors in emergency situations. There are only a few medical conditions that can disqualify you from donating. In many cases, even if one or two organs are unsuitable for transplant, other organs could still save lives.

    Organs that can be transplanted

    Many organs and tissues can be successfully transplanted into an at-need patient. After death, you may be able to save others with the following organs:

    • Heart
    • Lungs
    • Liver
    • Pancreas
    • Kidneys
    • Intestines

    Tissues that can be transplanted

    Hundreds of thousands of lives are improved every year thanks to tissue donors. Burn victims can receive skin grafts, cancer patients can receive bone material and heart disease patients can receive donated heart valves. Corneas, connective tissue and veins can also be donated.

    For superior, patient-centered care in all of life’s stages, your family can turn to the trusted providers at Good Samaritan Hospital . We are privileged to serve the San Jose community with specialized medical services, including cardiac care, maternity healthcare and emergency care. Call a nurse at our hospital at (888) 724-2362.

  • Managing ongoing chest pain symptoms

    Chest pain is a well-known sign of a heart attack, but there are dozens of other problems that could be causing it. These range from panic attacks and heartburn to ulcers and infections. Your family physician or cardiac care specialist can recommend treatment options for managing ongoing or chronic chest pain. Of course, patients should always seek emergency care if they suddenly develop chest pain, just in case it really is a heart attack. At Good Samaritan Hospital , a modern cardiac care hospital, our emergency care physicians are available 24/7 to help you.

    Managing angina

    Angina is the symptom of pain or pressure in the chest . Most often, it’s the result of coronary artery disease. The chest pain occurs when the blood flow to the heart decreases. A cardiac care specialist can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for angina, which usually includes medications. Lifestyle changes to prevent coronary artery disease can also help you prevent angina. When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear an emergency care physician explain some of the most effective habits to prevent chest pain. They include:

    • Quit smoking
    • Exercise safely
    • Eat a nutritious, balanced diet
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Manage underlying conditions like high blood pressure

    Controlling heartburn

    The pain of heartburn can be intense. It’s often mistaken for a heart attack. If you experience frequent heartburn, consider talking to your doctor. If left untreated, more serious medical problems can develop. To prevent episodes of heartburn, try the following:

    • Eat smaller meals
    • Avoid lying down after eating
    • Avoid spicy and fatty foods
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Sleep on an incline
    • Avoid alcohol
    • Reduce or avoid caffeine

    Coping with panic attacks

    Panic disorder is a mental health issue that can cause episodes of severe physical symptoms. These can mimic a heart attack. You may experience:

    • Chest pain
    • Dizziness
    • Sweating
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Nausea
    • Rapid heart rate

    These symptoms can be frightening. It’s a good idea to seek emergency care to rule out a potential heart attack. If you are diagnosed with panic disorder, there are effective treatments available, including medications and psychotherapy. You might also try the following:

    • Reduce caffeine
    • Get enough sleep
    • Exercise regularly
    • Practice stress management
    • Join a support group

    The health and quality of life of our patients are our highest priorities here at Good Samaritan Hospital. As an accredited Chest Pain Center, our state-of-the-art hospital in San Jose provides specialized cardiac care for patients of all ages. Call 911 for emergency care or call (888) 724-2362 to speak with a registered nurse at our hospital.