Healthy & Happy
October, 2017 - Issue #157
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

CUSTOM CARE: Personalized Treatment for Breast Cancer
If you've received a breast cancer diagnosis, you're probably wondering what "personalized breast cancer care" really means. At City of Hope Santa Clarita and Mission Hills, your treatment team will use state-of-the-art breast imaging technologies and laboratory techniques to design a treatment that's tailored just for you. Here's what you can expect.

Genetic testing is one of the major advances made in breast cancer treatment in the last few years, said Dortha Chu, MD, PhD, an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery at City of Hope. Different breast tumors have their own unique genetic signatures. By testing for genetic markers in those cancers, doctors can determine what type of breast cancer is present and how a tumor might behave, Chu said. In some cases, doctors can even predict which chemotherapy medications will be effective for treating a tumor = and which won't work as well. "We can offer you therapy that would give you the maximum benefit and hopefully with the fewest side effects," Chu said.

For most patients with breast cancer, surgery is the first step - and many factors go into choosing the right surgical procedure. Surgical options include lumpectomies, in which a portion of the breast is removed, and mastectomies, in which the entire breast is removed. There are sometimes nipple-sparing or skin-sparing options to consider. Doctors will consider factors, such as the size of the breast, the size of the tumor, the cosmetic impact of different treatments and each patient's personal concerns and goals. "The patient should have full partnership in determining the best treatment," Chu said.

"The advances are wonderful for treatment, but they can become very confusing," Chu continued. To Chu, personalized medicine starts with helping the patient fully understand the disease and their own unique test results. The next step is to discuss treatment options. That means talking about the science, but also personal factors such as how a patient feels about different therapies and how well she can tolerate potential side effects. That conversation is well worth the effort. Genetic advances have been a major step forward in providing customized treatment, Chu said. "And City of Hope has been on the forefront of helping to develop those kinds of treatments and establish their safety and efficacy."
City of Hope Santa Clarita 799-1999

Clean your Contacts Correctly
Contacts are a comfortable alternative to glasses for vision correction. However, if they are not properly cared for, they can damage your eyes and threaten your sight! Contact lenses are medical devices regulated by the FDA; it is extremely important that visiting your eye doctor on a regular basis is part of your contact-lens maintenance. Disinfecting solutions also play a big role in lens comfort. Generally, generic solutions are not as effective in maintaining comfort as brand-name solutions. Another tip for effective disinfection of your lenses is to never use old solution. You should always fill you case with new solution and, when you're not using your case, rinse it and let it air dry. Don't forget: Change your contact lens case every three months, too.
Helm Vision Group 259-3937

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Named "Most Wired"
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital has been named a Most Wired Hospital for the fifth consecutive year. According to Health Care's Most Wired annual survey, released recently by the American Hospital Association's Health Forum and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, Henry Mayo is one of 21 hospitals in the state to receive this prestigious award. The Most Wired survey is designed to provide a barometer measuring information technology use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The survey of 698 participants, representing an estimated 2,158 hospitals - more than 39 percent of all hospitals in the US - examines how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration.
Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital 253-8000

courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Female Caregivers Now have Extra Support
Two thirds of all caregivers are female and many feel that they often have to choose between being a good employee and being a good daughter. Home Instead Senior Care has developed the Daughters in the Workplace public education program offering free resources and tips to help working family caregivers identify and get the caregiving support they need, including:
Recognize the signs of stress: Identify the issues you have control over and what is best to let go.

Guard yourself from depression: If you're feeling overwhelmed and depressed, talk about it with friends, family and definitely your employer.

Take a vacation or at least a break: Stop at your favorite coffee shop on the way to work, rent a movie classic or take a walk around a nearby park.

Sleep, diet and exercise: Eat healthy, walk as much as you can - at least 30 minutes daily - and try to get a good six hours sleep.
For more information, log on to and look for Daughters in the Workplace. Home Instead Senior Care 254-8701

Seniors: Reduce the Risks of Falls
Reducing the risks of a fall begins at home. Through education and self examination, you can eliminate the likelihood of falls. Your local Visiting Angels agency can address the issues that are important to you and your family by providing a free in-home safety assessment at your convenience. This assessment will cover medications, hearing changes, vision issues, fall history, clothing choices, home layout and design, bathing patterns, and more, helping you and yours make safer, more informed choices.
Visiting Angels 263-CARE

Have You Heard? There is more than One Type of Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is just one of several types of hearing loss - and it's mechanical in nature. That means a disease or other physical condition has prevented sound from being transmitted from the outer or middle ear to the inner where nerves move sound to the brain. The good news is that the cause of conductive hearing loss can often be identified and treated, allowing for a partial or complete improvement in a patient's hearing. If there is still a hearing deficit, state-of-the-art hearing aids can be used to discreetly and effectively close the hearing gap for maximum quality of life. Causes of conductive hearing loss can include wax build up, fluid in the middle ear, an ear infection, ruptured ear drum, trauma to the ear(s) or, in rare situations, even tumors. Think you or a loved one may have conductive hearing loss? Reach out to a caring community professional with decades of experience for a complimentary hearing screening.
Nola Aronson's Advanced Audiology 425-9330

The Solution to Migraine Pain
may be in your Mouth

Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is treated in the emergency room for migraine or headache. "Migraines, chronic headaches, tension headaches, headaches caused by medicine-overuse, jaw and facial pain are serious, incredibly debilitating conditions that cost our nation over 113 million lost work days each year," says Dr. Dean Schweitzer, DDS, clinical director of Valencia Headache Care. "But more crushing than the financial cost is the emotional and physical drain on patients," explains the specialist.

"At first it seems unusual to seek treatment for headaches from a dentist," reflects Dr. Schweitzer. "That is, until you realize that a remarkable proportion of those who suffer from this kind of pain have an imbalance in their bite, even though they cannot feel the imbalance themselves. This imbalance forces the facial, jaw and neck muscles out of balance, which then causes headache pain. When your bite is balanced and your muscles are back in alignment, your pain dissipates. Our patients cite noticeable improvement beginning at about the fourth week of their 12- week program.

These folks have tried everything - chiropractic, medication, diet changes, neurology - but they haven't gotten to the root of the problem. Other treatments were bandaids and once patients experience a cure that can last a lifetime, they're over the moon." Valencia Headache Care offers free 15-minute consultations and Care Credit payment options.
Valencia Headache Care 287-9667
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