West Hills Hospital & Medical Center
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The Diagnosis and Management of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women living in the United States. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable and curable types of cancer, as it can be easily detected through screening processes such as a colonoscopy. March is National Colorectal Cancer Month; increase your awareness and read on to learn more about the importance of an early diagnosis in the treatment of this deadly disease.

A colonoscopy is the best-known screening method for detecting and diagnosing colorectal cancer, as it has the ability to image the entire colon. During this exam, the physician looks for the presence of structures called polyps lining the inside of the colon and rectum. These polyps can be large or small, raised or flat, and while they are typically benign, they can also be a site of cancerous growth. If a polyp is found, the tissue will often be biopsied for the presence of cancer cells.

Once the condition has been diagnosed, the treatment process will often depend on the stage, or severity, of the disease. For cancers found at their earliest stage (stage 0), treatment usually involves the removal of the affected cells during the colonoscopy. If the cancer is found at stages I, II, or III, more aggressive treatments may be recommended. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery to remove the cancer cells are among the most common treatments for colorectal cancer.

If you are over the age of 50 or have an increased risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your physician about undergoing a colonoscopy. Like most other cancers, early detection will significantly increase the likelihood of a full cure. You can contact West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000 if you have any questions regarding your potential risk factors.


Nutrition and Healthy Eating

Are you getting the nutrition you need to maintain excellent health? In this video, the American Diabetes Association presents helpful information about what it means to eat a healthy diet. The host also discusses how the body breaks down and absorbs nutrients, and how this process is interrupted in patients with diabetes. For those suffering from diabetes, nutrition is especially important for maintaining stable blood sugar levels and preventing any complications from arising. 

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers the patients in our community comprehensive health and wellness services, from advanced diagnostics to expert rehabilitation and support programs. Contact West Hills Hospital at (818) 676-4000 to learn more about how our healthcare team can help you improve your health.


Diabetes During Pregnancy: What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a temporary type of diabetes mellitus that occurs in about 18% of pregnant women.  Although the cause of this disease is not known for sure, scientist believe gestational diabetes could be the result of pregnancy hormones blocking the action of insulin in a mother’s body, causing insulin resistance.  In this video, you can learn more about how high blood sugar levels can occur in women with gestational diabetes and what a mother can do to keep her baby healthy during pregnancy. 

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers the families in our community specialized Maternal and Child Health services. You can learn more about how we work to provide mothers a safe, joyful birthing experience by visiting out website, contacting us online, or by calling (818) 676-4000.


Learn More About Your Health And Wellness With These Resources

ECG

Are you looking for more information about postpartum depression or the other topics discussed in our recent posts? Check out the following links or contact West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000.

  • In this article, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists answers many frequently asked questions about postpartum depression and postpartum blues.
  • You can also learn more about postpartum depression from this fact sheet found on WomensHealth.gov.
  • Find out more about burn injury prevention from the American Burn Association website.
  • This article from the PubMed Health medical library provides an overview of the causes, symptoms, and first-aid procedures associated with burn injuries.
  • Read some of the statistics that are related to lung cancer and the other types of cancer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Visit the National Stroke Association website for more information on the basics of a stroke and its causes.
  • A stroke is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate treatment—read more about recognizing the symptoms on the American Stroke Association website.
  • This overview from MedlinePlus describes a few of the problems that can arise when a woman becomes pregnant.
  • KidsHealth.org provides more information about what designates a high-risk pregnancy.
  • Become more aware of the symptoms of transient ischemic attack by reading this guide from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

A Look at High-Risk Pregnancies

High Risk Pregnancy

When a woman is considering having a child, it is important for her to take good care of herself and make healthy lifestyle choices, including practicing proper nutrition and staying physically active. Taking these precautions can help to prevent complications associated with high-risk pregnancies. A high-risk pregnancy occurs when a woman has one or more illnesses or factors (such as advanced maternal age) that could put her or her developing child at risk for experiencing health-related complications. Certain conditions can also develop during a pregnancy to make it high-risk. A few of these health problems include:

  • Gestational diabetes
    Like other forms of diabetes, this condition results in high blood sugar levels due to the body’s inability to produce or utilize insulin, the hormone that facilitates glucose uptake into the cells of the body. When this condition is properly managed with the help of a knowledgeable specialist, mothers are usually able to deliver healthy babies. When blood sugar levels are not managed, however, this condition can pose serious health risks to both mother and child.
     
  • Preeclampsia
    This syndrome leads to high levels of protein in the urine and abnormal changes in liver enzymes during a woman’s pregnancy. Preeclampsia also causes high blood pressure in expectant mothers. Without proper management, this condition can lead to serious long-term health problems and can even be fatal for the mother and child.   
     
  • Preterm labor
    Labor that begins before the 37th week of gestation is considered preterm. The baby is not fully developed before this time and may not be able to survive outside his or her mother. While physicians cannot predict which women are at a higher risk for experiencing preterm labor, there are defined factors, such as a shortened cervix, that may increase a woman’s risk.

The staff of West Hills Hospital & Medical Center’s Maternal and Child Health Center is dedicated to providing the highest quality of medical care for expecting mothers and their families. We also offer Childbirth and Baby Care Classes to help you approach the birthing process and new motherhood with confidence. Contact our friendly staff at (818) 676-4000 to find out more about how we can help you to have a peaceful and enjoyable birthing experience.


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