• Why Healthy Skin Matters in Every Season

    The most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the U.S. is skin cancer. When it is detected and treated early, certain types of skin cancer are readily treatable. Of course, prevention is the best medicine. Many people are diligent about applying sunscreen during the spring and summer months, yet may not necessarily be quite so diligent in other seasons. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, our cancer care specialists work with oncology patients every day to improve their chances of survival. Our team strongly encourages our neighbors throughout Riverside to take care of their skin in every season.

    The Risk of Unprotected Sunlight Exposure
    The sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays inflict damage on the skin cells and may eventually lead to cancerous abnormalities. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy, hot or chilly, and summer or winter, UV rays readily reach Earth’s surface and penetrate the skin. Unprotected sun exposure and intentional tanning activities during any time of the year significantly increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Even when skin cancer is detected early and is successfully treated, patients may be left with disfiguration and the aftermath of emotional trauma.

    The Ways You Can Protect Yourself
    There are many simple ways you can reduce your risk of skin cancer. Once you get into the habit of guarding against UV rays, it will seem like second nature to you. First, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to all areas of exposed skin about 30 minutes before leaving your home. It’s recommended that you choose a product with an SPF of at least 30. Remember to apply sunscreen to areas like the ears, neck, and hands. Follow the instructions on the product label regarding how often you should reapply sunscreen. Choose lip balm that has built-in sunscreen. Whenever possible, choose clothing that protects you from the sun, such as wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeve shirts. If you plan on hitting the slopes this winter season, you should know that the heavy winds and snow can quickly degrade the effectiveness of sunscreen. It’s a good idea to touch up your protection while you’re riding on the chairlift.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, you’ll find comprehensive cancer care services. We offer extensive patient support, screening exams, diagnostics, and sophisticated medical interventions. If you live near Riverside and you’d like to request a referral to a cancer care specialist, give us a call today at (951) 788-3463.

  • How Is Lung Cancer Treated?

    Lung cancer is particularly difficult to treat successfully because it is often not detected until the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. This is known as metastasis. The types of treatment a lung cancer patient may receive depend on the stage of the cancer, the general health of the patient, and other factors. At The Cancer Center at Riverside Community Hospital, our multidisciplinary team works closely with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan.

    Patients with stage zero and stage one non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) might undergo surgery as their sole treatment. The section of the lung that contains the tumor can be removed. When lung cancer has already metastasized, surgery might be considered in combination with other treatments.

    Chemotherapy involves the administration of one or more drugs that are intended to destroy cancer cells. Unlike surgery and radiation therapy, chemotherapy cannot target just one specific area of the body. This means that side effects can occur when the healthy tissues are also damaged. Chemotherapy is given in cycles. Some lung cancer patients may go through more than one cycle of chemotherapy.

    Radiation Therapy
    Radiation therapy may be used prior to surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery. It may also be used as a form of palliative care, which means that it is not intended to treat the disease, but rather to alleviate the patient’s symptoms. There are different technologies that may be used to deliver radiation therapy. Among the most precise is the CyberKnife Robotic Stereotactic Radiosurgery System. When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a radiation oncologist explain how CyberKnife can deliver higher doses of radiation that are precisely targeted to the tumor, regardless of whether the tumor moves during the treatment.

    Since 2003, residents throughout the Riverside area have turned to The Cancer Center at Riverside Community Hospital for compassionate care and state-of-the-art oncology treatments. We are committed to investing in the latest medical technologies, including CyberKnife radiosurgery, to let our patients receive the treatment they need closer to home. If you would like to request a referral to a specialist at our community hospital, you can contact a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.

  • Having a Heart Healthy Holiday Season

    The holidays are a time to enjoy the company of loved ones and reflect on the past year. Large holiday feasts and sweet treats often have a prominent role in the traditional celebrations of many families. If you have a heart condition or you’re working to reduce your risk of heart problems, you can still enjoy the holiday celebrations simply by taking a few precautions. From our family to yours, the heart care team at Riverside Community Hospital wishes you a joyous and healthy holiday season.

    Indulge in Festive Dishes
    If you’re already receiving care at a heart hospital, consider asking for a referral to a registered dietitian. A dietitian can help you design a heart-healthy holiday menu that includes seasonal items like sweet potatoes, baked winter squash, and roasted carrots or Brussels sprouts. When you fill your plate, roughly half of your meal should consist of vegetables and fruit. Another quarter should be whole grains and the last quarter should be lean proteins.

    Lighten Up Baked Goods
    Baking holiday cookies is a holiday must for many families. You can lighten up your favorite recipes by substituting a blend of oat flour and whole wheat flour in place of white flour. Consider using zero-calorie Stevia instead of sugar and canola oil or applesauce instead of butter. Include more options than just cookies, such as baked apples and stewed plums.

    Drink in Moderation
    Your cardiologist may have already provided recommendations regarding your alcohol consumption. If you aren’t already receiving care at a heart hospital, consider sticking with the general guidelines for alcohol use. Men are advised to consume no more than two alcoholic beverages daily. The daily limit for women is one drink. Instead, try a glass of sparkling juice or seltzer. If your holiday traditions include a glass or two of eggnog, consider purchasing non-dairy eggnog products like soy eggnog.

    Riverside Community Hospital is a renowned heart hospital with full accreditation from the Society for Chest Pain Centers. At The Heart Care Institute, patients from the Riverside area can access technologically advanced medical innovations, including diagnostic procedures, emergency heart care, and comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation. If you’re experiencing a possible cardiac event such as a heart attack, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, call our heart hospital at (951) 788-3463.

  • Essential Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease

    Many experts agree that Alzheimer’s disease has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. You might already know that Alzheimer’s causes memory loss, but there is much more involved with this disease than just problems with one’s memory. Alzheimer’s disease develops and progresses gradually, causes damage to the brain, and results in death. It is currently incurable, although intensive research initiatives are ongoing. If you or a loved one is thought to have Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll find the answers you’re looking for at Riverside Community Hospital.

    Changes in the Brain
    Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease, which means that it triggers complex changes that destroy brain cells and impair function. In the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s, known as the preclinical stage, patients are asymptomatic; however, their brains are already undergoing the changes that are characteristic of the disease. Amyloid plaques and tau tangles develop. The neurons, which are necessary for communication in the brain, cease to function properly and begin to die off. Eventually, the brain begins to shrink.

    Onset of Symptoms
    There are many possible indicators of Alzheimer’s disease and in the early stage of the disease it can be difficult to tell if the symptoms are “normal” or indicative of a medical problem. Generally, if a person experiences memory loss, cognition impairment, or other problems that interfere with daily life, it’s a good idea to consider getting an evaluation for Alzheimer’s.

    Stages of the Disease
    There are different ways to categorize the stages of Alzheimer’s, but perhaps the simplest is to refer to them as the mild, moderate, and severe stages. In the mild stage, Alzheimer’s patients have trouble with thinking clearly, remembering information, and executing simple tasks. In the moderate stage, damage in other areas of the brain cause impairments with language, sensory processing, and reasoning. Confusion tends to worsen and delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations may develop. Severe Alzheimer’s is characterized by total dependence on others for care. Eventually, essential functions of the body shut down.

    Riverside Community Hospital is your partner in wellness. Our state-of-the-art medical facility in Riverside connects patients to neurology and neurosurgery care, along with heart health services, organ transplant procedures, and robotic surgery. For general information about our hospital services, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (951) 788-3463.