• Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

    Skin Cancer

    Skin cancer is the number one cause of cancer in the United States and accounts for more than half of all diagnosed cancers in the country. According to the American Cancer Society , more than 2 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year.  Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk of developing this potentially deadly condition. 

    • Avoid the sun at its peak hours
      The sun emits the most ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you can, avoid being exposed to the sun’s rays at this time. If your plans require that you be outside, seek shade as much as you can throughout the day.
    • Do not tan deliberately
      Even if you appreciate the look of a new tan, avoid exposing your unprotected skin to the sun’s harmful rays (or tanning beds) deliberately. Doing so will not only prematurely age your skin, but will also increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
    • Get the right gear
      Choosing the right clothing, hat, and sunglasses can be very helpful in keeping harmful UV from reaching your skin. When out in the sun, wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and 100% UV protective sunglasses.
    • Apply your sunscreen liberally
      Whenever you are anticipating sun exposure, be sure to apply sunscreen to any areas of skin that are not covered by protective clothing. Choose a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or greater that provides protection against both UV-A and UV-B rays. After your initial application, reapply after two hours have passed or if you have been sweating or exposed to water.
    • Use extra caution in some environments
      Snow, sand, and bodies of water can reflect the sun’s rays, increasing your risk for developing a sunburn. Take the necessary precautions when in these environments during the sunny parts of the day.

    The Cancer Care department at West Hills Hospital  is dedicated to providing a comfortable, patient-centered experience from the initial evaluation through the treatment process. To learn more about cancer prevention and treatment, call West Hills today at (818) 676-4000.

  • Cancer Survivors: Nutrition and Physical Activity

    New medical technology and advanced knowledge have been helping more and more cancer patients to triumph over the disease and become cancer survivors. Recently, the American Cancer Society has released nutrition and physical activity recommendations for those men, women, and children who have been cured of this deadly disease. This video offers a brief summary of helpful recommendations. Watch the entire clip to learn more about leading a healthier life and preventing cancer.

    Making healthy choices matters in cancer prevention and cancer survivorship. To learn more about making healthy choices in your everyday life, contact West Hills Hospital at (818) 676-4000. Our nurses can help you to find an experienced and compassionate physician in your area.

  • How to Protect Your Skin from UV Rays

    Skin Protection

    Summer is just around the corner—and with it comes long hours enjoying the warmth of the sun’s rays. Unfortunately, excessive exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun can be harmful to your skin. Without adequate sun protection, these UV rays can lead to sunburn, premature aging of the skin, and even skin cancer. This spring, learn how to better protect your skin during the upcoming months by reading through the tips below. 

    • Buy protective gear
      Sun protective gear, such as a wide-brimmed hat or long-sleeved shirt, can be the most effective way to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. When shopping for a shirt or pants, be sure that the fabrics are tightly woven and cannot be seen through when held up to a light source. Choose a wide-brimmed hat that has at least a three-inch brim to protect your nose, cheeks, ears, and neck.
    • Always use sunscreen
      If you ever have plans that involve being out in the sun for any length of time, always remember to apply sunscreen to any skin that may be exposed during the activity. When choosing a sunscreen, buy a lotion with at least 30 SPF that blocks both UV-A and UV-B light. Reapply every two hours to ensure that your skin remains protected.
    • Wear sunglasses
      Whenever you are out in the sun, wear protective eyewear that blocks out 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays. Excessive exposure to sunlight without wearing protective eyewear increased risk for developing skin cancer in the skin around the eyes.

    Taking steps to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays can help you to avoid the complications associated with skin cancer and sunburn. If you are interested in learning more ways to stay healthy and prevent disease, consult with the healthcare experts at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center . Our hospital offers a full range of comprehensive medical services and is dedicated to the continued health of the West Hills community. Call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line today at (818) 676-4000 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialty physicians.

  • What Is Lupus?

    CAT Scan

    Lupus, also called systemic lupus erythematosus, is an autoimmune disease affecting the connective tissues and organs of the body. Like other autoimmune diseases, lupus occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly recognizes the body’s own healthy tissue as a dangerous foreign substance and tries to eliminate it. There are four main types of lupus: systemic, discoid, drug-induced, and neonatal. 

    • Systemic lupus erythematosus:
      Often called SLE, this form of lupus has the ability to adversely affect any organ in the human body, from the joints to the nervous tissue. This form of lupus often leads to symptoms that affect the whole body, such as fatigue.
    • Discoid lupus erythematosus:
      This form of lupus is confined to the skin and only produces symptoms there.
    • Drug-induced lupus:
      This disease can occur due to a side effect of certain prescription medications.Although it presents just like SLE, it is different in that it is caused by a drug and can usually be cured by discontinuing the drug in question.
    • Neonatal lupus:
      Neonatal lupus is seen in developing infants of mothers who suffer from SLE or Sjogren’s disease.

    Although the cause of SLE is unknown, medical scientists have determined that black, Native American, Asian, or Hispanic women of childbearing age are at an increased risk of developing the condition. To treat lupus, physicians will often prescribe medications to control the symptoms and reduce any flare-ups of the disease. The symptoms of a lupus flare-up typically include:

    • Inflamed, swollen, and painful joints, usually affecting the hands and feet
    • Fever of one to two degrees above normal
    • Weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite
    • A characteristic skin rash on the nose and cheeks which resembles a butterfly

    Do you still have questions about lupus and its effects? You can learn more about this disease by visiting the Lupus Foundation website or contacting the healthcare experts at West Hills Hospital . Our staff is always available to provide helpful medical advice—call us today at (818) 676-4000.

  • Learn About Nutrition, Weight Loss, and More!

    Health Information

    If you enjoyed our recent blog posts, look through the following resources to find out more about living healthy and feeling well. If you have any remaining health-related questions, you can contact West Hills Hospital & Medical Center by calling (818) 676-4000 at any time.

    • Learn more about Autism by visiting the Autism Society website.
    • There are three degrees of burns. The American Academy of Family Physicians describes the types of burns and how they are treated on their website.
    • Learn how to prevent burns in your home by checking out this article found on the American College of Emergency Physicians website.
    • Lymphedema can occur as a result of certain cancer treatments. This article from the American Cancer Society provides more information about lymphedema and its management.
    • You can take steps to prevent cancer—read this guide from the National Cancer Institute to learn more.
    • What is distracted driving? Find out by visiting Distraction.gov .
    • You can make a difference by turning your phone off or putting it away when you are driving. Get the facts about the dangers of distracted driving on FocusDriven.org.
    • Returning to everyday life after cancer treatment can be challenging. Find help on the American Cancer Society website.
    • Bariatric surgery can have a variety of benefits—this article from the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery describes how surgical weight loss can improve your overall health.
    • Are you getting the nutrients you need to be healthy? Find out by visiting the American Heart Association website.

  • Happy Mother’s Day! from West Hills Hospital & Medical Center


    In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’ve put together a list of quotes honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society:

    • A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. –Washington Irving (1783-1859)
    • Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible. –Marion C. Garretty
    • Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother. –Lin Yutang, Chinese writer
    • There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. –Jill Churchill
    • To the world you might just be one person, but to your mother you are the world. –Author Unknown

  • Living Life After Cancer

    Cancer Survivor

    Cancer is a deadly disease that can take dozens of different forms. Fortunately, innovations in cancer diagnosis and treatment have allowed millions of cancer sufferers to defeat the disease and live long, active lives. If you have recently ended your cancer treatment and have also defeated your cancer diagnosis, you may be wondering what happens next. Below you can learn more about what you can expect from life after cancer. 

    Attend regular follow-up appointments with your doctor
    Even though your treatment has come to an end, it is still important to see your cancer specialist regularly. Depending on your situation, you may need to visit with your physician every few months or possibly only a couple times per year. During your visit, your doctor will perform a physical exam and possibly some x-rays or blood tests. These visits also provide you with an excellent opportunity to bring up any health problems that you may be having or ask any questions that may arise between appointments.

    Cope with any fear or anxiety that may be troubling you
    It is completely natural to feel certain amounts of anxiety before you attend your follow-up visits. You may be afraid that your physician will notify you that your cancer has returned and that you must restart your treatment. Arming yourself with detailed information about your cancer, expressing your feelings to those close to you, staying active, and maintaining a positive attitude can help you to overcome these negative feelings.

    Develop a wellness plan to improve your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health
    One of the most important things you can do to improve your life after defeating cancer is to commit to improving your overall health. Develop a wellness plan that is focused on eliminating any bad habits that you may have and replacing them with healthy, positive ones.

    At West Hills Hospital & Medical Center , we take a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer care. With the input from a variety of dedicated medical specialists, patients can benefit from a treatment plan that is customized for their needs and situation. If you would like to learn more about our comprehensive cancer care services, contact West Hills at (818) 676-4000.


  • Burn Survivor Puppies Go to Foster Homes

    Please join Dr. Richard in celebrating our two Burn Survivor Puppies, Phoenix and Natalia on May 19th in Thousand Oaks.  The adoptive families who will be overseeing their care, education and licensing to become therapy dogs for burn survivors will be announced at the party!

    Puppy Poster

  • Happy Nurses Week from HCA and West Hills Hospital & Medical Center

    We’re fortunate have some of the best nurses around. We thank you all and wish you a Happy Nurses Week!

  • Lowered Criteria for Weight Loss Procedures at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center now offers surgical weight loss procedures for patients who are at least 50 pounds overweight and have at least one high-risk condition associated with their weight.  For more information and to see if you meet these new, lowered criteria, please call 818/676-4141.