Your Health

Friday, Feb 08 2013 02:28 PM

Health Watch: Q&A with local experts in their medical field

Dr. Vinod Kumar, MD, FACC
The Heart Center

Q: Cardiac arrest is becoming more common among young people. At what age should people get tested for heart disease?

A: We are now seeing cardiac disease more often in the younger population. In addition to an increasing incidence of diabetes, the lifestyle of average Americans has gone from active to sedentary in the last 25 years. I recommend that we test people who are at high-risk for heart disease starting at age 35. Risk factors that affect the high-risk population include: hypertension, smokers, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and a family history of heart disease. Fortunately, good news is that cardiac disease can be prevented as well as easily diagnosed and treated.

Dr. Oscar E. Streeter, Jr., MD, FACRO
Oncologist/Medical Director
AIS Cancer Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital

Q: What are the symptoms and treatment of colon cancer? At what age should people get checked and how often?

A: Colorectal cancer symptoms include blood in the stool, chronic constipation, unrelenting abdominal pain or unintentional weight loss. Colorectal screenings should start at the age of 50. One screening method is a colonoscopy that uses a flexible scope inserted in the anus and advanced to look at the entire large bowel for polyps, small growths in the bowel wall that can be removed with the scope so they cannot grow into a cancer. Colonoscopies are repeated every 10 years. Another screening method is a yearly stool collection looking for blood in the stool that cannot be seen with the eye alone. Cancers of the large colon are treated by surgery, with more advanced disease requiring chemotherapy afterwards. Early cancers of the lower bowel (rectum) require surgery, with advanced lesions treated with chemotherapy and radiation prior to surgery.

Gina Rolow, B.S., NSCA-CSCS
Body by Gina, Anytime Fitness

Q: I just started working out, how do I stay motivated to reach my ideal weight?

A: To help you reach your personal fitness goal in 2013, here are five tips to keep in mind:

  • Allow yourself to be a beginner — no one starts on top.
  • Take a photo of your current figure and find what you’d like to look like when you reach your goal, and put them up where you’ll look at it every day.
  • Life gets busy when you take time for work, your kids and spouse. Set aside time for exercise, and remember that someone busier than you is working out right now.
  • Read motivational quotes and others’ success stories — they can be incredibly inspirational.
  • Hire a personal trainer; they are worth the money. He or she will hold you accountable, motivate you and instruct you on proper techniques that will last you a lifetime.


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