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Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation

Submitted by Kimberly Parker

June is national Men’s Health month. It is designed to raise awareness and encourage men to practice healthy living. It offers a chance to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection of disease among men and boys.

Men’s Health month is a great time to schedule annual screenings such as a prostate exam. Prostate screenings are generally handled through your physician’s office. The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find cancers that may be at high risk for spreading if not treated, and manage them early before they spread.

Once a year in September, Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) hosts a free prostrate screening day. This is especially beneficial for those without a physician or access to a prostate screening. COVID-19 restrictions will determine if the event will occur in 2020.

Colonoscopy is another important test for investigating intestinal signs and symptoms of colon cancer. It also helps explore the causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation or diarrhea and other intestinal concerns.

For those with no history of colorectal polyps or cancer, age 50 is the recommended time frame to get your first colonoscopy. Your results will determine how often you should be tested. Regular colonoscopies are the best way to prevent colon cancer. For any of these symptoms or to get your colonoscopy you should see a gastroenterologist.

Another option to stay ahead of the curve for heart health is SNMH’s Heart Wellness study. A simple and non-evasive procedure, the study involves low dose CT (computed tomography) to measure the coronary calcium.

CT is a medical imaging procedure that uses computer-processed combinations of many X-ray measurements taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images (virtual “slices”) of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside the object without cutting.

The Heart Wellness study determines your cardiac arterial age so you can modify your life choices. It must be ordered by your physician and results go to your physician for review and discussion with you.

If you’re stressing about intestinal pain, incessant coughing, a headache or even an aching knee or hip that has been nagging at you, this is the time to take care of it. Early detection and preventative measures are the best medicine for catching what ails you.

It’s not unusual to have symptoms that don’t seem serious enough to worry about or seem minor at the time, so we ignore them. Men’s Health month is a great reminder to keep on top of those things in case it is an early signal or warning sign of something more serious.

Additionally, health care experts stress that lots of things that are good for your body are “also good for your soul.” Play golf, get a massage, treat yourself to an extra-long nap, or grab your dancing partner for a twirl around the room.


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