The medical community has long recognized the differences in treating male and female patients, and has even identified certain diseases more commonly fatal for each gender. 

The Top 5 Killers of Men - Special Advertising SectionMany medical professionals agree that the top five greatest threats to men are: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Fortunately, because of the respectable collection of hospitals and clinics in the New Orleans metro area, advances in diagnostics and treatment of all of these conditions are saving more men’s lives than ever.

Heart Disease and Stroke
    The American Heart Association (AHA) consistently counsels Americans to be aware of the warning signs for heart attack and stroke. Coronary heart disease is America’s number one killer, while stroke is number three – and a leading cause of disability. Reducing risk factors, knowing the warning signs and knowing how to respond quickly and properly can mean the difference between life and death.

The Top 5 Killers of Men - Special Advertising SectionFor heart attack, AHA lists the following as warning signs:

Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. 

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.   

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.  

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.   
AHA advises individuals that time is of the essence. Even if you are not sure you are having a heart attack, do not wait more than five minutes to call 911.
    For stroke, AHA lists the following as warning signs:
• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body   
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding   
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes   
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination   
• Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Again, timing is critical. Individuals are advised to call 911, and also to check the time so they will know when the first symptoms appeared. If administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.

    For comprehensive information about heart disease and stroke, visit American Heart Association’s Web site, www.AHA.org.

Hospice Care
In Louisiana, there is high rate of cancer and heart disease, and in some cases the illnesses are terminal.  When a patient is faced with a terminal diagnosis, Canon Hospice is there for the patient and their family. A patient is referred to hospice care when they reach a point in their illness where no further curative measures are being offered or they no longer wish to seek aggressive medical care.

    Canon Hospice has been serving the Greater New Orleans area since 1999.
Canon Hospice provides hospice services in the home, in nursing homes and also through its Inpatient Units. 

    “We never just admit a patient; we admit the family,” says Sue May of Canon Hospice. Hospice care focuses on the patient, medically, but also on the patient and family, supportively. An interdisciplinary group of professionals – the doctor, nurse, social worker, nursing assistant, chaplain, and volunteers – work together with the patient and family to provide care. Each patient and family is assessed individually to see what their needs may be. Canon Hospice provides equipment and medications, and nurses are available 24-hours-a-day for questions and problems. Canon now serves a 150-mile radius from Baton Rouge to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. For more information call (504) 818-2723 or visit www.canonhospice.com.

Cancer
    Nearly 250,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and almost 30,000 of these cases are fatal.  With proper diagnosis and early detection, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent. 

    The Top 5 Killers of Men - Special Advertising SectionAt East Jefferson General Hospital, a new weapon is available for men suffering from prostate cancer. The S-Generation daVinci Surgical System is a technological breakthrough allowing surgeons treating prostate cancer to have greater control over procedures and the outcome of the surgery.

     The daVinci Surgical System is a robotic surgical system physicians use to treat only the affected area of the prostate using robotic “arms” operated from the robot’s control center. While traditional full and partial prostatectomy – the procedures to remove part or all of the prostate gland – require incisions that measure several inches in length, the robotic arms allow the physician make a much smaller incision – usually about one-half inch long. Although the prostatectomy is not the first option in treatment, it is a highly effective line of defense and a common procedure. Similar advances using the robotic system have also shown beneficial in gynecological procedures such as hysterectomies.

     “The robotic prostatectomy is a procedure that is extremely patient friendly,” says Dr. Sean Collins, East Jefferson General Hospital Urologist. “After a very small incision, the actual procedure is done using robotics.  These patients are then able to go home the very next day.”

     Results include a more precise procedure, shorter recovery times, less bleeding during the surgery – and, because of less human contact, less of a chance of post-operative complications. All this leads to a return to family, work and normal daily life faster and without much of the traditional post-surgical pain.

     Those suffering from the following warning signs should consult a physician:
    • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
    • Difficulty urinating
    • Frequent urination, especially at night
    • Blood in the urine
    • Pain or burning sensation while urinating
    • Continual lower back, pelvic or upper thigh pain.

    “We have made great strides in the fight against this cancer,” says Collins. “With technology such as daVinci and other minimally invasive techniques at our disposal, men stand a greater chance of survival. They should not hesitate at all to seek treatment.”

Advances in Imaging

    Treatment of critical illness often depends on clear diagnostics and early detection. With that in mind, Fairway Medical Center has acquired a new Toshiba Aquilon. This piece of equipment is a 64-slice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner that enables medical personnel to see clearer images than the traditional 16-slice scanner.

    “It will give the interpreting physician – the radiologist – volumes of information, and will allow them to slice the information in many different ways,” says Tim Haley, radiologic technician and Director of Imaging. “This way they can see things they might have missed in the past, and more easily detect the spreading of a disease.”

    The other advantage of using the Aquilon is that it requires less time than earlier machines. “In the past, a patient sometimes had to be on the table for up to 30 or 40 minutes,” Haley says. “But we now have the Ferrari of scanners, and now I can be done in less than three minutes.”

    The machine also allows medical personnel to scan a fast moving body part, such as the heart, and minimize the motion that is caused by the moving part, Haley says. For more information and/or appointments call (985) 809-9888 or visit www.fairwaymedical.com.

Diabetes

    The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports there are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7 percent of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately 6.2 million people – nearly one-third – are unaware that they have the disease.

    Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

    The ADA reports that two out of three people with diabetes ultimately die of heart disease or stroke.

    For more information about diabetes, prevention and treatment visit www.diabetes.org.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    COPD is characterized by air flow obstruction, which is generally not reversible. This is distinguished from asthma, an air flow obstructive disease that is typically reversible. Currently, COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.

   The Top 5 Killers of Men - Special Advertising Section “COPD is typically progressive over time,” says Dr. William Borron, a pulmonologist who works in Internal Medicine and pulmonary and critical care at West Jefferson Medical Center. “Classically, COPD is viewed as being composed of emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but we are trying to get away from that vision.”

    The biggest way to prevent COPD, according to Borron, is to not smoke or to stop smoking.   “Eighty to 90 percent of all COPD deaths are caused by tobacco,” Borron says. “There are a small number of cases caused by exposure to smoke or from a very rare hereditary form of emphysema, but by far the biggest factor is smoking.”

    To treat COPD, doctors use long term broncho dilators (inhalers), augmented by the use of short term broncho dilators, used as needed. It is also critically important for those suffering with COPD to be vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia.

    “It is recommended that any one over the age of 40, with chronic cough, shortness of breath or the risk factors associated with smoking, to have pulmonary function studies to determine whether they have air flow obstruction,” Borron says.

    West Jefferson Medical Center conducts a smoking cessation program conducted by the respiratory department. For more information visit www.wjmc.org.