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Posted on: 5/8/2014

What Are the Different Types of Gynecological Cancers?

At the doctors office

In a typical year in the U.S., over 80,000 women are diagnosed with a gynecological cancer, and nearly 30,000 women die from one of these diseases, as reported by the CDC. Gynecological cancers refer to a group of cancers that strike parts of the female reproductive system. At Tulane Medical Center, our Center for Women’s Health and our Cancer Center work together to diagnose and treat these cancers. It’s important to be vigilant to the symptoms of these cancers, as early diagnosis is associated with better patient outcomes. Here is what you need to know.

Cervical Cancer

Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge is the only symptom that occurs with cervical cancer, and some patients may not experience any symptom at all. The good news about cervical cancer is that it can easily be screened for during a pelvic exam using a Pap smear.

Ovarian Cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include vaginal bleeding and discharge, pelvic pain, abdominal and back pain, and changes in bathroom habits. These non-specific symptoms can be associated with other conditions, but if you experience them, be sure to consult your gynecologist.

Uterine Cancer

Although some women with uterine cancer don’t have any symptoms, others may have vaginal bleeding or discharge and pelvic pain. The risk of uterine cancer increases with age and is highest after menopause. If your gynecologist suspects uterine cancer, he or she will recommend a biopsy.

Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer

With vaginal cancer, patients may have bleeding, discharge, and changes in bathroom habits. When cancer starts in the vulva, itching, burning, and changes in vulvar skin are common. Your gynecologist will look for symptoms of these cancers during a pelvic exam.

If you’re having troubling symptoms that could indicate a gynecological cancer, make an appointment with a doctor at Tulane’s Center for Women’s Health for screening and diagnosis. If cancer is present, our Cancer Care Center and robotic surgery team can deliver the treatment you need. Learn more about all of our services, from back surgery to cardiology, by calling (504) 988-5263.

 

Posted on: 5/1/2014

Get The Facts About Lung Cancer Screening

Chest X-ray Image

Did you know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States? Early diagnosis is critical for treatment to be successful. In fact, with early diagnosis, five-year survival rates for lung cancer patients increase significantly. Lung cancer screening can catch cancer early in high-risk patients to improve their treatment results.

You are considered to have a high risk of developing lung cancer if you are between the ages of 55 and 74, currently smoke or quit smoking within the last 15 years, and have a 30-year history of smoking. You may also be considered to have a high risk for lung cancer if you are over age 50, have smoked for 20 years, and have an additional risk factor, such as radon or asbestos exposure, COPD, or a family history of lung cancer.

If you’re interested in lung cancer screening, come to Tulane Lakeside Hospital. We can perform a low-dose CT screening to determine if your lungs are healthy. Our full-service medical center is also home to robotic surgery, orthopedic surgery, and much more. Make an appointment by calling (504) 988-5263. 

Posted on: 4/24/2014

Tips for Planning a Successful Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery

Doctor Examining Male Patient With Hip Pain

Recovering from any kind of orthopedic surgery takes time, and a hip replacement is no exception. Part of having a smooth and successful recovery is taking the time to prepare in advance for the things you’ll need as your hip heals. Before you go in for hip replacement surgery, here are some things you can do to get ready for a fast and easy convalescence.

Plan for Help

Although you will be encouraged to get up and start walking almost immediately after your surgery, your mobility will be limited. After your discharge from the hospital, you will need help on hand at home for assistance with cooking, errands, and other household chores. Don’t wait until after surgery to decide who is going to give you the help you need. Arrange for someone to stay with you, or work out a care schedule with family and friends.

Set Up a Recovery Area

Right after surgery, it’s a good idea to avoid going up and down steps frequently. If your bedroom is upstairs, consider setting up a comfortable recovery area downstairs in your home. Ideally, this space should have a chair and a bed, as well as things you’ll need to entertain yourself, like books, TV, and your laptop. If it’s not possible to get a bed into the space, set up the area so you can spend most of your day there, and only go up and down your stairs once a day to get to and from your bedroom.

Stock Up on Supplies

Your orthopedic surgeon will prescribe medications to help your recovery, including pain medications. Although you may receive new prescriptions after surgery, you should fill as many as you can before your operation. Also stock up on other things you may need, like heat and ice packs, a toilet chair, and a grabber. It’s also a good idea to grocery shop before your procedure so you have food on hand.

The orthopedic surgery team at Tulane Medical Center is available to answer your questions about your hip replacement procedure. Learn more about our orthopedic surgery department and the rest of our surgical services by calling (504) 988-5263.  

Posted on: 4/17/2014

What Is Acute Pancreatitis?

With acute pancreatitis, the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing pain, nausea, and, in some cases, fever. The symptoms usually come on quickly and can be intense. This video explains what happens to the pancreas during a bout of pancreatitis and how the condition is treated.

Acute pancreatitis is usually caused by excessive alcohol consumption or gallstones, but high triglycerides, tumors, and infections can also be to blame. Most patients recover after a few days of treatment in the hospital, though some patients require surgery to remove inflamed portions of the pancreas or the gallbladder.

If you experience symptoms of acute pancreatitis, go to the ER at Tulane Medical Center right away. In addition to our state-of-the-art ER, we also provide heart surgery, orthopedic surgery, robotic surgery, and much more. Find out about our hospital services by calling (504) 988-5263. 

Posted on: 4/13/2014

Understanding High-Risk Pregnancies

Pregnant woman with a laptop

When your doctor tells you that you have a high-risk pregnancy, you’ll likely feel scared and concerned. However, the “high-risk” classification doesn’t exist to scare you—it’s only to ensure that you and your unborn child get the care you need. The women’s health department at Tulane Medical Center is equipped to provide excellent care during high-risk pregnancies.  

Types of Risk

Pregnant women who suffer from certain conditions while pregnant are said to have a high-risk pregnancy. For example, if you have diabetes, high-blood pressure, cancer, or another serious condition, your doctor will likely classify your pregnancy as high-risk. Pregnant women who are younger than 17 or older than 35 may be more at risk than women who get pregnant between those ages. Women who smoke, drink, or have a history of pregnancy issues may also be considered high-risk.   

Care Considerations

If your doctor classifies your pregnancy as high-risk, you will undergo more tests than women with normal-risk pregnancies. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure more closely, administer ultrasound tests more frequently, and evaluate you for signs of preeclampsia. To reduce your risk, you must quit drinking and smoking, take your doctor-recommended vitamins, and stay away from people with colds. Throughout your pregnancy, closely follow your doctor’s directions regarding activity and diet.

Causes for Concern

If anything seems out of the ordinary during your pregnancy, call your doctor or call 911 right away. You should call your doctor if you have a fever, lower back pain that doesn’t go away, or if you experience cramping. Call 911 if you lose consciousness, if you have severe vaginal bleeding, or are in serious pain. If you take care of yourself and seek prompt care whenever a problem arises, you can carry a healthy child to term despite the risk.

Tulane Medical Center of New Orleans has some of the most sophisticated medical equipment and a team of highly skilled medical professionals. We’ll help you and your unborn child get through your high-risk pregnancy. Call (504) 988-5263 to schedule an appointment.

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