Health Issues

Heart Disease and Stroke

Heart Disease

Anatomy and Function of the Coronary Arteries
Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. There are two main coronary arteries: the right and the left.
Coronary Heart Disease
A person with coronary heart disease has an accumulation of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries. These deposits narrow the arteries and can decrease or block the flow of blood to the heart.
What You Can Do to Prevent Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis can be devastating, causing strokes, heart attacks and death. The good news is that you can take steps to protect yourself from this disease.
Angina Pectoris
Angina pectoris occurs when the heart muscle doesn't receive enough blood and oxygen for a given level of work.
Aspirin and Your Heart: Should You or Shouldn’t You?
Although aspirin is a common over-the-counter medication, it’s not appropriate for everyone.
Potbellies Warn of Later Problems
The fact is, you might not care as much about looks as your wife does, but that fat around your abdomen is no laughing matter. A man's potbelly often warns of later problems ranging from heart disease to cancer, diabetes, arthritis, back pain, and sleep apnea.
Learning to Live with Heart Disease
Millions of people diagnosed with heart disease enjoy active, satisfying lives. Instead of looking on their diagnoses as sentences to be invalids, they have used them as catalysts to make positive changes in their lives.
Heed the Warning of Prehypertension
In many cases, the progression to high blood pressure occurs within four years of being diagnosed with prehypertension.
High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk for coronary heart disease (heart attack) and stroke (brain attack).
About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a sneaky ailment. The condition has no symptoms that you can see or feel. Having your blood pressure checked is the only way to know if it is high.
Twelve Weeks to a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
Heart disease is a killer, but you can do plenty to reduce your risk and prolong your life. Research shows that making lifestyle changes can decrease your risk of cardiovascular heart disease and help you control it if you already have it.
Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply is cut off from the heart muscle, usually because of a blood clot. Without blood and oxygen, the muscle cells are damaged and die.
Medical Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Some symptoms may indicate the possibility of a serious condition and should be evaluated immediately by a health care provider.

Stroke

Overview of Stroke
Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. The disruption is caused when either a blood clot or piece of plaque blocks one of the vital blood vessels in the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.
Ministrokes Deserve Maximum Attention
A ministroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA), is a brief episode of stroke symptoms caused by temporary interruption of blood flow to the brain. Most people suffer TIAs without realizing it.
Evaluation Procedures for Stroke
Tests that may be used to help diagnose a stroke include a CT scan or MRI, and an electroencephalogram.
Stroke Recovery Begins with Rehabilitation
A stroke can cause problems with speech, vision, memory, balance or coordination. It can leave part of the body weakened or paralyzed, among other physical problems.
Treatment for Stroke
Although there is no cure for stroke, advanced medical and surgical treatments are now available, giving many stroke victims hope for optimal recovery.
Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
If you notice any of these symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency medical service immediately. Treatment for stroke is most effective when started as soon as possible.
Rehabilitation for Stroke
Stroke rehabilitation works best when the patient, family, and rehabilitation staff works together as a team. Family members must learn about impairments and disabilities caused by the stroke and how to help the patient achieve optimal function again.
Types of Stroke
Strokes are classified as either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by blockage of an artery. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding in the brain.
Risk Factors for Stroke
The most important controllable risk factor for stroke is controlling high blood pressure. Blood pressure of 140/90 or higher can damage the arteries that supply blood to the brain.
Effects of Stroke (Brain Attack)
When an area of the brain is damaged, which typically occurs with a stroke, an impairment may result. An impairment is the loss of normal function of part of the body. Sometimes, an impairment may result in a disability, or inability to perform an activity in a normal way.

Cardiovascular Tests & Procedures

Electrocardiogram
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a simple and fast procedure that is used to evaluate the electrical activity of the heart, which is measured in "waves." Variations in the waves may indicate problems with the heart.
Exercise Electrocardiogram
An exercise ECG is a simple and fast procedure that is used to evaluate the electrical activity of the heart's response to stress or exercise.
Echocardiogram
An echocardiogram is a procedure in which ultrasonic sound waves are used to assess the heart's function and structures.
Exercise Echocardiogram
An exercise echocardiogram is a procedure in which ultrasound, or sound wave technology, is used to asses the heart's response to stress or exercise.
Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram
A dobutamine stress echocardiogram is a diagnostic procedure in which an intravenous medication called dobutamine is used when an exercise stress test is not recommended. Dobutamine mimics the effects of exercise on the heart.
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure in which a catheter is moved through a blood vessel to the heart in order to better diagnose coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease, congestive heart failure and other heart conditions.
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), Coronary Angioplasty, and Stent Placement
During percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), a special catheter (long hollow tube) is inserted into coronary arteries that are blocked as a result of coronary artery disease (CAD), restoring arterial blood flow to the heart tissue without open-heart surgery.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)
Coronary artery bypass surgery is performed to treat a blockage or narrowing of one or more of the coronary arteries, thus restoring the blood supply to the heart muscle.
Carotid Artery Duplex Scan
A carotid artery duplex scan is used to assess blockage or narrowing of the carotid arteries of the neck and/or the branches of the carotid artery.
Carotid Endarterectomy/Carotid Artery Stenting
Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) may be performed to treat a blockage or narrowing of the carotid arteries, thus improving blood supply to the brain. Carotid artery angioplasty with stenting (CAS) is a procedure currently being used on selected patients who are at high risk for surgery.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
Magnetic resonance angiography – also called a magnetic resonance angiogram or MRA – is a type of MRI that looks specifically at the body’s blood vessels.
Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)
CT angiography is a type of medical exam that combines a CT scan with an injection of a special dye to produce pictures of blood vessels and tissues in a part of your body.

Prostate Health

Understanding Prostate Health

Anatomy of the Prostate Gland
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the neck of a man’s bladder and urethra—the tube that carries urine from the bladder.
What Do You Know About Prostate Health?
Prostate cancer and other diseases of the prostate are common.
Ask the Doctor About Prostate Checks
After age 50, men need their prostate gland checked at least once a year.
Screening for Prostate Cancer
If you are a man, you are at risk for prostate cancer. The risk for prostate cancer increases with age. Your risk is also higher if you are African-American or have a family history of prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that men over age 50 get tested for prostate cancer once a year.

Prostate Tests & Procedures

Prostate Biopsy
A prostate biopsy is a procedure in which tissue samples are removed with a special needle to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.
Prostate/Rectal Sonogram
A sonogram uses ultrasound technology to allow quick visualization of the prostate and related structures from outside the body. It may be used to examine the prostate gland for evidence of cancer.
Radical Prostatectomy
A prostatectomy is a surgical procedure for the partial or complete removal of the prostate. It may be performed to treat prostatic cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)
A transurethral resection of the prostate is a surgical procedure that uses a tiny instrument to remove portions of the prostate gland through the penis, requiring no external incision.
Robotic Prostatectomy
Your prostate can be removed several ways. One way is for the surgeon to make several smaller cuts and removing the prostate using a tiny camera and surgical tools. This is called a laparoscopic prostatectomy. When a surgeon uses a robot during the procedure, it's known as a robotic prostatectomy.

Benign Prostate Problems

Benign Prostate Problems
The prostate gland can develop several conditions that are not cancerous. Pain, inflammation, and impotency are common problems.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
BPH is a condition in which the prostate gland becomes very enlarged and may cause problems associated with urination.
Prostatitis
Prostatitis is the most common prostate problem in men younger than 50. Some estimates state that at least half of all men, at some point in their lives, will develop symptoms of prostatitis.
Impotence/Erectile Dysfunction
For most men, erectile dysfunction is caused by physical problems, usually related to the blood supply of the penis. Many advances have occurred in both diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the loss of urine control, or the inability to hold your urine until you can reach a bathroom.

About Prostate Cancer

Anatomy of the Prostate Gland
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the neck of a man’s bladder and urethra—the tube that carries urine from the bladder.
Prostate Cancer
In the past 30 years, the five-year survival rate for all stages of prostate cancer combined has increased from 73 percent to nearly 100 percent.
Prostate Cancer in African-American Men
African-American men may have the highest rate of prostate cancer incidence in the world, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Early prostate cancer usually has no specific signs or symptoms—that's why prostate cancer screening is so important.
Staging of Prostate Cancer
When prostate cancer is diagnosed, tests are performed to determine how much cancer is present, and if the cancer has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body.
Grading of Prostate Cancer
The cancer grading system is based on a number range. The lower the number, the lower the grade, and the slower the cancer is growing.
Diagnostic and Evaluation Procedures for Prostate Cancer
Your doctor may evaluate possible prostate problems with an annual physical and a digital rectal exam or a test for prostate-specific antigen.
Psychosocial Factors
When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, it's normal for him to feel scared, angry, or depressed.
For Family Members Coping with Prostate Cancer
What can you do to help the man in your life with prostate cancer? Keep the lines of communication open.

Prostate Cancer Treatment

Expectant Therapy
Expectant therapy is to "watch and wait" while carefully observing and monitoring the prostate cancer.
Surgery for Prostate Cancer
Long-term, serious side effects of prostate surgery are somewhat less common now than in the past, as new surgical methods continue to be introduced.
Radiation Therapy
Radiation is often used to treat prostate cancer that is still confined to the prostate gland, or has spread only to nearby tissue.
Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer
The goal of hormone therapy is to lower the level of male hormones in the body, particularly testosterone.
Chemotherapy for Prostate Cancer
Chemotherapy may be used when the cancer has spread outside of the prostate gland, or it may be used in combination with other therapies.
Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Sometimes called antiangiogenic therapy, this treatment may prevent the growth of cancer by blocking the formation of new blood vessels.
Herbal Remedies For Prostate Cancer
Talk with your health care provider before using any type of dietary or herbal supplements in the treatment or prevention of prostate cancer.
Anxiety: Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Guided Imagery
These skills take practice, and the more you practice them, the more helpful they are. Some people find it useful to make a tape to listen to as they practice. A soothing tape of music may help.
Clinical Trials for Prostate Cancer
Several clinical trials to evaluate prostate cancer have been completed or are currently underway.
Robotic Prostatectomy
Your prostate can be removed several ways. One way is for the surgeon to make several smaller cuts and removing the prostate using a tiny camera and surgical tools. This is called a laparoscopic prostatectomy. When a surgeon uses a robot during the procedure, it's known as a robotic prostatectomy.

Conditions of Concern to Men

Cancers in Men

About Breast Cancer in Men
Breast cancer in men is rare—less than 1 percent of all breast carcinomas occur in men.
Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer, but the symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems.
Treatment Options for Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that typically develops in men ages 20 to 35. It can be treated and is usually curable.
Sexual Relationships and Testicular Cancer
Whether the changes you experience are short-term or long lasting, you can find ways to feel good about yourself and to be intimate with your partner. Remember to be patient and give yourself time. Be creative.
Colorectal Cancer
Most people who have colorectal cancer are older than 50. This type of cancer is also associated with a diet high in fat and calories and low in fiber.
Breast Reduction in Men With Gynecomastia
Detailed information on gynecomastia, including causes, facts, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment
Oral Cancer and Tobacco
All tobacco products, from cigarettes to snuff, contain toxins, carcinogens, and nicotine, an addictive substance.
Top 10 Cancers Among Men
Cancer claims the lives of more than 300,000 men a year in the U.S. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the risk of death.
Cancer Facts for Gay and Bisexual Men
Gay and bisexual men are at higher risk of developing certain cancers, including lung, anal, skin, and prostate cancer.

Hair Loss

Hair Loss
Hair loss is believed to be primarily caused by a combination of factors, including aging, changing hormones, illness, and family history.
Help for Hair Loss
When hair loss becomes excessive, resulting in thinning hair or bald patches on the scalp, factors other than the natural cycle of hair growth and loss are responsible.
Baldness (Alopecia)
Baldness is usually most noticeable on the scalp, but can occur anywhere on the body where hair grows. The condition is more common in men than in women.

Obesity

Understanding Obesity

Overview of Obesity
Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that can inflict substantial harm to a person’s health. Learn about obesity causes and obesity health effects.
Determining Your Body Mass Index
Your BMI gives a fairly accurate assessment of how much of your body is composed of fat.
What's Your Healthy Weight?
In today's society, there's much confusion over what constitutes a healthy weight. Here are some ways to find out where you stand on the weight issue.

Obesity & Other Health Problems

Six Facts on Obesity
We've all heard warnings, yet many of us keep gaining weight. More than half of American adults are overweight or obese, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Metabolic Syndrome
Most people who have metabolic syndrome have insulin resistance. This may be a beginning of the development of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
A person with type 2 diabetes either can't make enough insulin or can't properly use it.
Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder in which a person experiences brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn
Gastroesophageal reflux is the return of acidic stomach juices, or food and fluids, back up into the esophagus.
Inguinal Hernia
An inguinal hernia is a bulge that occurs in your groin region, the area between the lower part of your abdomen and your thigh. Inguinal hernias occur because of a weakening of the muscles in the lower abdomen

Treating Obesity

Could Weight-Loss Surgery Save Your Life?
If you are obese, surgery to lose weight may be safer than carrying around those extra pounds. But is losing weight worth the risks associated with surgery? Take a look at the latest research.
Medical Treatment for Obesity
Medical treatment can help with weight loss if your own efforts are unsuccessful—or if you have a medical condition that makes it crucial to lose weight.
Even with Weight-Loss Drugs, Losing Pounds Isn't Easy
Out of the millions Americans who are overweight and go on a diet each year, many regain all or a part of the weight they lose within five years.
Obesity Treatment Overview
Whatever treatment plan a person follows, losing weight slowly will be more effective and healthy over the long term.
Tai Chi: Exercise for Mind and Body
Tai chi is called a mind-body type of exercise because it combines meditation, focused breathing, and physical movement. Because it’s also a low-impact exercise, it may be particularly well suited for older adults, but it’s a beneficial exercise for people of all ages.

Deciding On Surgery

Gastric Bypass (Malabsorptive) Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery involves bypassing a part of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients. For this reason, these surgeries are referred to as malabsorptive procedures.
Gastric Stapling (Restrictive) Surgery
Gastric stapling surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that limits the amount of food a person can eat.

Types Of Surgery

Gastric Bypass (Malabsorptive) Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery involves bypassing a part of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients. For this reason, these surgeries are referred to as malabsorptive procedures.
Gastric Stapling (Restrictive) Surgery
Gastric stapling surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that limits the amount of food a person can eat.