Regional Medical Center of San Jose
Regional Medical Center of San Jose offers world-class healthcare to residents throughout the greater San Jose community.

Supporting a loved one who's been diagnosed with lung cancer

Finding out that a loved one has lung cancer can be overwhelming. Knowing exactly how to provide support can be difficult, but there are steps you can take that will make a true impact on the person dealing with the disease. If your loved one has lung cancer, here are some things you can do to offer your support.

Help with Treatment
Cancer treatment can be difficult to manage for a long list of reasons. Sometimes, simply keeping track of appointments can be challenging. You can help your loved one get the best possible care by providing support, such as:

  • Keep a schedule of appointments
  • Provide transportation
  • Come to appointments and take notes
  • Help your loved one make a list of questions

After some forms of treatment, your loved one may feel unwell. Offer to help with things like cleaning, running errands, and preparing meals until he or she feels better.

Build a Support System
Even if you take on the role of primary caregiver for your loved one, it will take a network of support to ensure that he or she gets all of the necessary assistance. Know who you can call on when you need help with transportation, picking up medications, or otherwise providing basic care for your loved one’s needs.

This support system is essential for anyone providing care, since it allows you to care for yourself as well. Keep in mind that you can’t give your loved one the kind of support he or she needs if you don’t also care for your own needs.

Listen to Your Loved One
If you don’t know what kind of support your loved one wants, it is OK to ask. He or she will likely have some very specific things that you can do to offer your assistance.

Sometimes, your loved one may just need someone to listen. Try to resist the urge to attempt to fix things or make everything OK. Listening is often what your loved one really needs.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose’s Cancer Care program is dedicated to helping patients and their families get the support and hope they need as they battle this life-changing disease. We are a designated lung cancer screening center in San Jose and offer the very latest in cutting-edge care to our patients. Help is available. Please call our hospital for more information at (888) 762-8881.

A Look at the Progression of Type-2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong, chronic condition that typically develops slowly. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas, type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can no longer effectively use the insulin produced by the pancreas to control blood glucose. This often occurs due to excess weight, which interferes with the way the body uses insulin. If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or warned that you could develop it, understanding how the disease progresses can help you manage your care and minimize side effects.

Early symptoms
Frequently, people with type 2 diabetes do not have any symptoms at all in the earliest stages of the disease. It is possible to have type 2 diabetes but not experience any symptoms of the illness for years. When symptoms do appear, they include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Infections that are slow to heal
  • Increased hunger
  • Blurred vision

These symptoms indicate that blood glucose levels are high. It’s important to consult a physician as soon as possible if you have these symptoms, as high blood glucose levels can cause dangerous complications if left untreated.

Disease complications
The progression of type 2 diabetes depends largely on how well the condition is managed. If you work with your physician to keep your blood glucose levels in a healthy range, you can often avoid many of the potential consequences. If type 2 diabetes is left uncontrolled, some potential complications include:

  • Neuropathy
  • Kidney damage
  • Vision impairment
  • Infections that won’t heal that can lead to amputation
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, even when their conditions are controlled. But uncontrolled diabetes increases that risk even more.

Preventing complications
You can slow or prevent complications from type 2 diabetes with healthy habits, such as:

  • Seeing your doctor regularly
  • Checking your blood glucose as recommended
  • Taking your medications are prescribed
  • Losing weight
  • Being active

Take control of your health today with the help of a physician at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our hospital in San Jose offers comprehensive acute care and chronic disease management. Call us today at (888) 762-8881 to request a referral to one of our specialists.

How depression can increase your risk of stroke

Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. suffer a stroke each year. Even when a stroke isn’t deadly, it inflicts considerable lasting damage. In the U.S., it’s the most common cause of severe, long-term disability. Yet, most stroke cases are preventable with effective medical management and lifestyle changes. As a leader in innovative stroke care, Regional Medical Center of San Jose embraces ongoing clinical research that contributes to better health for our community.

The possible link between depression and stroke
Emerging research suggests that depression is associated with an increased incidence of stroke. It’s too early to determine whether depression might contribute to causing stroke, or whether people with depression are simply more likely to also suffer from stroke. More research is needed in this area, but what is definitively known is that mental health can affect physical health, and vice versa.

The American Heart Association has reported that researchers in Australia evaluated 10,547 women ages 47 through 52 over a 12-year period. Their research suggests that women who are depressed are at an increased risk of stroke by a factor of 2.4.

The researchers then accounted for other factors that can contribute to stroke, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and lifestyle factors. Even with the adjusted figures, the researchers found that depressed women are still at an increased risk by a factor of 1.9. In other words, the suggestion is that depression might double a woman’s risk of stroke.

The ways you can lower your risk of stroke
Your cardiovascular health is just one more compelling reason to prioritize mental health. If you think you might be experiencing persistent depressive symptoms, your doctor can help. You deserve good quality of life.

Other ways you can reduce your risk of stroke include:

  • Quit smoking, if applicable
  • Avoid secondhand smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit or abstain from alcohol
  • Eat a nutritious diet with plenty of fiber
  • Exercise on most days of the week

In addition to enjoying a healthy lifestyle, you can work with your doctor to get any chronic medical conditions under control. The following conditions can increase the risk of stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea

If you or someone else requires stroke care in San Jose, please call 911 without delay. Every second counts, and Comprehensive Stroke Center at Regional Medical Center of San Jose works closely with emergency responders to provide immediate care to our patients. General healthcare questions may be directed to a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.

Should you have genetic testing for breast cancer?

During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the Cancer Care specialists at Regional Medical Center of San Jose encourage women to learn about health screenings. Beyond getting screening mammograms and performing breast self-exams, some women may want to consider genetic testing. Deciding whether to get tested is a personal decision you should make with guidance from your physician. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear one of our radiation oncologists explain that genetic testing is appropriate for women with a strong family history of breast cancer.

Determining whether genetic testing is right for you
Before you consult your doctor, you can do a little background research into your family medical history. This includes your maternal and paternal relatives. You may want to consider genetic testing if:

  • A close relative has had cancer in both breasts
  • Your family history reveals male breast cancer
  • Three or more female relatives have had breast cancer
  • Your family is of Ashkenazi descent

Additionally, consider getting a genetic test if your family history reveals a pattern of any of these cancers:

  • Ovarian
  • Uterine
  • Prostate
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic
  • Stomach
  • Thyroid
  • Colon
  • Sarcoma

Knowing what to do after a negative test result
If you do have a genetic test and the results are negative, you may feel relieved to know that your risk of breast cancer is the same as for women in the general population. As reassuring as this is, it unfortunately does not mean there is no chance of developing breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about:

  • When to start screening mammograms
  • How often to get screening mammograms
  • How to perform breast self-exams
  • Which signs and symptoms to watch out for

Additionally, you can manage other risk factors by:

  • Limiting or abstaining from alcohol
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Understanding the potential risks of hormone therapy

Exploring treatment options after a positive test result
Women who test positive for mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have an increased risk of breast cancer that is about three to seven times higher than the general population, according to These genetic abnormalities also increase the risk of ovarian cancer. A doctor may recommend that women who test positive consider having:

  • Aggressive schedule of screenings
  • Hormone therapy to reduce the risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer
  • Preventive double mastectomy
  • Preventive removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes

Cancer Care at Regional Medical Center of San Jose has earned a reputation for personalized, patient-centered care that embraces the latest innovations in medical technology and techniques. Our compassionate cancer specialists work one-on-one with patients and their families to ensure their every need is met. For a physician referral in San Jose, call a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.

Why carving pumpkins is dangerous work

Whether it’s a couple of holes for eyes and a toothy grin, or an intricately carved Van Gogh replica, the fine art of pumpkin carving is a fun tradition for adults and kids alike. It’s also the reason why hand surgeons are busier during October and early November. A better awareness of the health hazards of pumpkin carving can help keep your family out of the ER at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. If someone does need emergency care for a hand injury, we have specialists available 24/7.

Types of pumpkin carving injuries
Most wounds caused by pumpkin carving are shallow and aren’t serious, as long as precautions are taken to prevent infection. More serious injuries can lead to lasting impairment, especially if a tendon or nerve is severed.

Some patients may need to undergo delicate hand surgery to reattach a severed tendon. The site will then heal over the next few months, and patients can expect to require physical therapy.

Causes of pumpkin carving injuries
Using the wrong tools to carve a pumpkin is one of the most common mistakes that lands people in emergency care. Very sharp kitchen knives and power tools should be avoided.

When a knife is very sharp, it easily gets stuck in the pumpkin’s tough rind. This can lead to severe lacerations as the carver attempts to push or pull the knife to dislodge it.

Knives that are too long can also contribute to hand injuries. If the pumpkin is small enough and the carver holds the back of the pumpkin, the knife can penetrate through the other side of the rind and into the hand.

Tips for avoiding pumpkin carving injuries
The number one rule to remember is to never let kids handle sharp objects. Instead, young kids can have fun painting pumpkins, or drawing faces for adults to cut out.

Use the tiny, serrated saw that comes with pumpkin carving kits. It handles intricate details better than kitchen knives, and it’s less likely to get stuck in the rind. Even if this small blade does cause an injury, it’s usually not sharp enough to inflict severe damage.

Here at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, we put our patients first because the health of our neighbors is important to us. If you or a loved one needs emergency care in San Jose, a 911 dispatcher is always available to help. Non-emergent questions about our Wound Care Center and Trauma Center may be directed to (888) 762-8881.

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