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Mammography is an important tool in the fight against breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American women, except for skin cancer. Approximately one in eight women may develop invasive breast cancer at some time during her life.

An annual screening mammogram doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake is the only Certified Softer Mammogram Provider in East Dallas that uses the MammoPad®, a soft foam cushion that decreases overall discomfort. The radiolucent breast cushion’s grip-like surface helps hold breast tissue in place to ensure optimal breast positioning, resulting in a better image. Clinical studies have shown that the MammoPad reduced breast pain by nearly 50 percent compared to what it would have been without a pad or pain medication.

We also use computer-aided detection (CAD) with mammograms. This system takes the digitized image of the breast and uses special software to look for problem areas such as calcification, masses or areas that are denser than surrounding tissue. When a problem area is detected, the computer highlights that area so the radiologist can take a closer look.

As an added bonus, patients who have a screening mammogram at the Women’s Imaging Center of Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake before December 31, 2013 will receive a free tote bag*. Women over age 40 can schedule their mammogram without a doctor’s referral. This type of mammogram does not take much time and only needs to be done once a year for women over 40, as recommended by the ACS, and every two years for women aged 50 to 74, as suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Call 214-324-6220 to schedule your mammogram today.

*$6.00 retail value. No cash value. Offer good while supplies last. 

MammoPad is a registered trademark of Hologic, Inc.

 

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, people who use tanning beds and lamps have a considerably higher risk of developing basal and squamous cell carcinoma, the two most common kinds of skin cancer.

A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, concluded that there is an association between tanning devices that emit ultraviolet (UV) rays and cancer of the eye, and that the risk for melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, increases by 75 percent when the use of tanning beds starts before the age of 35.

Both UVA and UVB rays can cause potentially cancerous changes in the DNA of skin cells. In addition to increasing the risk of skin cancer, tanning also can cause:

  • Premature aging that occurs when skin loses its elasticity and wrinkles prematurely.
  • Immune suppression that can leave the body more susceptible to diseases.
  • Irreversible eye damage due to exposure to UV radiation.
  • An allergic reaction for some people resulting in an itchy rash or other problems. 

The risk of cancer increases anytime a tanning bed is used. But certain practices can lead to additional health problems. Not wearing the goggles provided can cause both short- and long-term eye injury. Use of a tanning bed while taking certain medications or cosmetics also could increase the body’s sensitivity to UV rays.

If you have used tanning beds in the past, the damage to your skin is already done even if you can’t see it yet. But you don’t have to go without that sun-bronzed look. New self-tanners and spray-on tans provide a quick, safe alternative that is better for your skin. To learn more about tanning safety, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/SunSafety.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock


Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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How much sleep is enough? Infants typically need about 16 hours a day and teenagers require about nine. Adults should average seven or eight hours, although some may need only five but others have to have as many as 10 hours each day. Not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on your health — and so can hitting the snooze button to try to catch some extra ZZZZZs.

According to recent studies by AsapSCIENCE, waking up after an alarm and then trying to get a few more minutes of shuteye can throw off your sleep cycle and leave you even more tired. This happens because about an hour before waking up the body starts preparing for the day by raising its internal temperature and releasing dopamine and cortisol. 

If you wake up — and then go back to sleep — your confused body returns to its sleep cycle and enters into an even deeper sleep stage than before. This fragmented sleep that occurs in the first 10 to 30 minutes after hitting the snooze button can actually undo the benefits of restorative sleep and even impair daytime activities.

So how can you wake up feeling rested, relaxed and ready to start the day? Try setting your original alarm a little bit later and getting up when it goes off the first time. Other steps you can take to get a better night’s rest and improve your sleep include going to bed only if you are sleepy, getting out of bed if you cannot fall asleep in about 20 minutes, and going to bed and getting up at approximately the same time every day.

To learn about the paybacks of lost sleep, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/LostSleepPaybacks.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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Do you know someone who has heart disease? Chances are you do. Approximately 26.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with the condition. Kidd Kraddick, a local and nationally well-known DJ who to many was not just a guy on the radio but a friend, recently died of a heart attack in late July. His passing at the age of just 53 made headlines and brought attention to the importance of reducing the risk of heart disease and diagnosing heart problems before they become deadly.

While heart disease is a gradual, lifelong process that you cannot see or feel, you can make lifestyle changes to help prevent heart problems so you can enjoy a healthier life in the years to come.

Eat healthy. A healthy diet includes a variety of grains (especially whole grains), fruits and vegetables. Opt for foods low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugar and salt.

Exercise regularly. As little as 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week is all you need to protect heart health.

Don’t smoke. The risk of having a heart attack is six times higher for smokers compared to nonsmokers, with the chances increasing depending on the number of cigarettes smoked daily.

Maintain a healthy weight. A weight loss of just five to 10 percent of current weight can help lower the risk for heart disease. Gradual weight loss of one-half to two pounds per week is recommended to ensure long-term success. 

You also can take advantage of a free preventive cardiac screening at Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake. The baseline screening, which includes a blood cholesterol check, blood pressure monitoring, weight evaluation, glucose check and personal health assessment, will be held Saturday, September 28 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The screening is free, but space is limited and reservations are required. Call 866-764-3627 to reserve your appointment today.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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You may have to wait in line at the grocery store, bank, movie theater or airport security. But you don’t have to wait in the emergency room (ER) at Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake when you use InQuicker, an online service that lets you hold your place at the ER online while waiting in the comfort of home.

The service is designed to help patients save time, avoid hassle, and make it more convenient when they come to the ER. Users also enjoy the convenience of choosing where they wait and a projected time to see a health care professional in the ER. Patients can hold their place online by completing an online form and arriving at the hospital at the projected time.

InQuicker is intended only for individuals who have non-life threatening medical conditions. The service does not affect the wait times of other emergency room patients, nor does it allow certain people to “cut” in front of others. Additionally, if the projected treatment time changes due to an influx of patients requiring priority treatment, the user will be notified and given an alternate time.

InQuicker has designed safeguards in its system intended to prevent those who have potentially life-threatening medical conditions from using the service. Individuals requiring prompt medical treatment should go immediately to the nearest emergency department or call 9-1-1. If you do have to go the ER, be prepared. Bring a list of current medications, including how long the medicine has been taken and how often. Include a list of allergies as well as a medical history form if you have one. If possible, call your primary care physician ahead of time so they can order lab work if needed or alert ER staff about your condition. For more information or to access the service, visit DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/InQuicker.

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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One sheep, two sheep, three sheep...50 sheep. If you’re tired of being tired — and counting sheep to get to sleep — now may be the time to take a look at your sleep habits. Here are a few tips to help you catch those elusive ZZZZZs and have some sweet dreams.

Breaking bad habits isn’t easy. First you need to recognize your bad sleep habits. Here are a few bedtime no-nos:

  • Watching television in bed
  • Drinking alcohol or caffeine before going to bed
  • Eating a big meal late at night
  • Not exercising or exercising right before going to bed
  • Going to sleep or waking up at varying times
  • Napping late in the day
  • Not having a pre-sleep ritual

Not getting enough sleep can harm your health, contribute to poor school or work performance, and increase the risk of injury. So to avoid these negative outcomes, you will need to substitute better behaviors. You can start by changing one bad sleep habit at a time.

For example, if you like to eat a big meal late at night, instead allow at least three hours between eating dinner and going to bed or try a light snack before bed. Rather than watching TV in bed to relax, try reading a book as an alternative. And if you like to have a glass of wine in the evening, opt for a cup of tea instead. 

There will be times when you want to fall back into your old habits, but by giving yourself positive rewards and focusing on the long-term benefits of a good night’s rest, you’ll soon be sleeping like a baby. For more information about healthy sleep habits, take the free, online sleep quiz on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/SleepQuiz.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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Ever have a scratchy throat before getting the full-blown flu? What about an upset stomach before food poisoning? At least these are non-life-threatening conditions that can usually be easily treated, leading to a full recovery. The “beginnings” of a heart attack occur in more than half of patients. These early warning signs may be a little trickier to diagnose and could be chalked up to other conditions, but they should not be ignored because the symptoms can be treated before the heart is damaged.

A heart attack occurs when there is a blockage in the flow of blood in an artery that leads to the heart. Part of the heart muscle is then damaged or destroyed because it does not receive enough oxygen. The key to surviving a heart attack is knowing the warning signs so you can get emergency medical treatment.

Warning signs of a heart attack can appear at any time, at rest or in motion, and at work or play. A heart attack may strike suddenly, but most people have warning signs and symptoms hours, days or weeks beforehand. Early symptoms may include nausea, pain that travels down one or both arms, jaw or back pain, fatigue, anxiety, shortness of breath, feeling of fullness, and chest pressure, squeezing or discomfort.

Treatment works best when administered within an hour of the first symptoms of a heart attack. Clot-busting drugs can be administered and special procedures can be done to open up blood vessels. Survival will ultimately depend on how rapidly you receive treatment, how much damage there is to the heart, and the location of the damage.

To learn more about heart attack risk factors and warning signs, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/HeartAttack.

Photo credit: Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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Three little numbers can make a huge difference. 9-1-1. Calling for emergency medical assistance provides rapid transportation to the hospital where care can be provided upon arrival.

Why call 9-1-1? In a heart attack situation, for example, 85 percent of muscle damage occurs within the first hour. This is often referred to as the “golden hour.” It is during this timeframe that the heart vessel needs to be opened. The faster the vessel is opened, the greater the benefit to the heart muscle. Of the more than one million Americans who have a heart attack each year, only about half of them survive and many have permanent heart damage because they did not get help right away.

The best way to stop the heart attack process is to recognize symptoms early before damage occurs. To be on the safe side, those who experience any chest pain or discomfort should quickly go to the emergency department for evaluation. Ultimately, it’s not the heart attack itself that kills. It’s also the time wasted when trying to decide whether or not to go to the hospital.

Calling 9-1-1 puts you in contact with trained dispatchers who can locate you quickly and assist with early treatment options. In many areas, emergency medical services can diagnose a heart attack before arriving at the hospital and initiate early treatment. Arrival at the hospital via ambulance also ensures that you will not have to wait to see a physician. 

To learn more about when to call 9-1-1, your doctor or the hospital, visit the free online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/Call911

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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Some things just seem to go together, like peanut butter and jelly, pencil and paper, and night and day. Other things don’t go hand in hand nearly as well, like oil and vinegar, cats and water, and a square peg and a round hole. Another pair that doesn’t mix is medications and sun.

Some medications, from common antibiotics to heart medicines, can increase sensitivity to the sun that may cause the skin to burn in less time and at a reduced level of exposure to the sun than normal. This drug-induced sensitivity to the sun is called photosensitivity. There are two basic types of photosensitivity reactions, phototoxicity and photoallergy.

Phototoxic reactions usually appear within 24 hours of exposure and look like an exaggerated sunburn. Skin damage can range from mild redness to swelling and blisters. This type of reaction is limited to areas exposed to the sun and usually disappears after the drug is discontinued. In a photoallergic reaction, an eczema-type rash may develop a few days after exposure that could spread to parts of the body that were not in the sun.

Examples of phototoxic drugs include certain antibiotics, antihistamines, malaria medications, cancer chemotherapy and cardiac drugs, diuretics, diabetic medicines, painkillers, skin and acne medications, and psychiatric drugs. Common photoallergic drugs include some sunscreens, anti-microbials, painkillers, cancer chemotherapy drugs and fragrances.

The most important step in treatment is discontinuing the drug, if possible, that is causing the photosensitivity. Usual sunburn prevention measures also may help, such as avoiding prolonged exposure to sunlight, wearing protective clothing, and using sunscreen. Topical steroid creams could be used to help alleviate redness and antihistamines can minimize itching.

For more suggestions about managing medications, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/ManageMedications.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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I don’t have time. I’m tired. I don’t want to. No, these aren’t excuses children give when they don’t want to clean up their rooms. These are common reasons why grownups don’t want to exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most Texans do not meet the physical activity guidelines for aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activity. In fact, only about one in five residents of this great state of Texas recently met federal guidelines for both activities. 

So how much physical activity is enough? The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults should have at least two and a half hours each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as walking, or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, like jogging, or a combination of the two. Muscle-strengthening activities, such as push-ups or sit-ups, that involve all major muscle groups also should be done two or more days of the week.

Although Texans aren’t going to take home the blue ribbon for exercise participation, they aren’t too far behind other parts of the country in terms of adults who met the guidelines. The West had the highest number of grownups who exercise — 24 percent — followed by the Northeast at 21 percent. Overall, Hispanics and adults who are older have higher rates of non-participation. On a positive note, slightly more than half of American adults met the aerobic activity guideline and nearly 30 percent met the muscle-strengthening guideline on a national level. 

Making exercise part of your daily life isn’t hard if you make it a priority. To do that, you need to develop goals and an exercise plan that matches your needs and interests. For some steps to help you define your personal goals and put them into action, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/ExerciseGoals

Photo courtesy of iStockephoto/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com