Viral Gastroenteritis

Matt Bogard thumbnailNearly all of us have fallen victim to the “stomach flu;” it starts out innocently enough when you realize you feel a little run-down, but soon it rears its ugly head as you scramble (repeatedly) to the bathroom hoping to make it before your insides explode.  Unfortunately, for many patients, the Lucas County Health Center & Medical Clinics have seen an upswing in cases of this malady recently.

The medical term for the stomach flu is “gastroenteritis” and is often caused by a viral infection of the stomach and intestines.  Norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, and sapovirus are common offenders.  People get infected by touching an infected person or a surface with the virus on it and then either touch their own mouth or their food before washing their hands.  Common symptoms of viral gastroenteritis include the expected nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Victims may also report fevers, stomach cramping, decreased appetite, and headaches and muscle aches from dehydration.  In fact, the dehydration can become severe and life-threatening in young children and elderly people.

Fortunately, most people with viral gastroenteritis do not need specific treatment as the virus will run its course and you will recover.  The most important thing to do is maintain hydration.  Water and sports drinks, particularly those lower in sugar, are a great way to replenish both your fluids and electrolytes.  Oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte or Ceralyte contain additional electrolytes for young children but are less palatable.  I always tell my pregnant patients your urine should be “lighter in color than lemonade” and, if not, you need more water.

It’s also best to alter your diet a little, if you can keep foods down.  Cereals and lean meats, bland foods, and whole grains are good choices.  Avoid juices and colas -they can make the diarrhea worse.  Protein is also important to healing your gut – peanut butter and lean meats are a good source.  Once you are up to it, yogurts containing lactobacillus may help restore the normal bacteria to your bowels.  You should also avoid taking any anti-diarrhea medications – it oftentimes just prolongs the illness.  Your body is working to expel the virus by any means it can, and slowing your bowels with anti-diarrhea medication prevents your body from doing so.

 

Dr. Matt Bogard, M.D. is a medical doctor at Lucas County Health Center & Medical Clinics. He

specializes in Family Medicine and advanced Obstetrics. Dr. Bogard sees patients of all ages with all

complaints.

Cholecystitis – What You May Not Know

Krutsinger thumbnailCholecystitis, or inflammation of the gall bladder, is a common illness that occurs most often from obstruction of the cystic duct with gallstones.  The obstruction causes a backup of bile into the gall bladder.   Cholecystitis can cause severe abdominal pain in the right upper quadrant of the stomach that sometimes radiates to the shoulder, nausea and vomiting.  The symptoms are often made worse by eating spicy, greasy, fatty and fried foods.  Sometimes these episodes occur only once, but more often can occur on several different occasions.  It is twice as likely to occur in women as men.  Other risk factors include being of Native American or Mexican American decent, pregnancy, some medications, rapid weight loss and obesity.

Diagnosis of cholecystitis is made by performing bloodwork and an ultrasound of the gall bladder.  A CT-scan is also a method that can be used especially when you are concerned of an abscess formation.  A HIDA scan is a nuclear medicine test that evaluates the function of the gall bladder.  The only definitive treatment is to have it surgically removed, although symptoms can sometimes be kept to a minimum with diet control.  A cholecystectomy (removal of the gall bladder) is an outpatient procedure that can be done laparoscopically.  Most patients do quite well and are back to normal activities in a day or two.

 

Allison Krutsinger, PA-C  sees patients at Lucas County Health Center & Medical Clinics.  He specializes in Family Medicine and sees patients of all ages with all complaints.

Cholesterol : The sludge in your arteries

Amanda Bogard thumbnailCholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance that is in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is not an entirely bad thing – it is used by the body to make hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help digest fat. The body actually makes all of the cholesterol you need to support these functions. Where cholesterol becomes problematic is when you take in too much in the foods you eat. Cholesterol is found in foods from animal sources such as meat, eggs, and full-fat milk.

High cholesterol occurs when you have too much cholesterol in your bloodstream.  Excess cholesterol causes plaques on the walls of arteries that can make it harder for blood to circulate. Think of an artery like a water pipe – buildup on the inside of the pipe (such as hard water and iron deposits) would cause a decrease in the amount of water flowing out of the end.  Similarly, plaques in arteries decrease the amount of blood flow to tissues in the body.  If the heart does not get enough blood flow, it can cause chest pain, known as angina, or even a heart attack. The plaques can also break off in the artery and lodge in the smaller arteries of the brain and cause a stroke. Plaques can cause kidney disease, poor blood flow to the bowels, and poor circulation in the legs.

Most people who have high cholesterol do not have symptoms. Therefore, it is recommended to check cholesterol at least every five years in women over the age of 45 and men over the age of 35. People with other risk factors for heart disease, including those who smoke, have diabetes or a family a history of heart disease, should start screening at age 20.

Regardless of whether you have or have not been screened, or whether you do or do not have high cholesterol, there are things you can be doing right now to prevent high cholesterol and heart disease.  Avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are food in meat, full-fat dairy products and some oils. Trans fats are found in margarine and store-bought cookies and cakes. Eat more oatmeal, fish, nuts, high-fiber foods, and olive oil. These foods help decrease cholesterol levels by blocking its absorption in the bloodstream. Remember that nuts and olive oil are high in calories and should be used in moderation. Maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily are all also ways to prevent high cholesterol and heart disease.

If you have questions about cholesterol, think you need to be screened, or if you have symptoms of heart disease such as chest pain or shortness of breath, please see your healthcare provider for more information.

Childhood Obesity Prevention – How You Can Help Your Child

Anderson thumbnail copySeptember is National Childhood Obesity Awareness month. One in every 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. This is tripe the rate from just one generation ago. Childhood obesity puts children at risk for health problems that were once only seen in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented. By following a few simple suggestions on exercise and diet, we can help our young people avoid obesity-related illnesses.

 

Make sure your child or adolescent is doing 3 types of physical activity including aerobic activity, muscle strengthening activity, and bone strengthening activity. Aerobic activity should make up most of your child’s y0 or more minutes of physical activity each day. This can include either a moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or vigorous-intensity activity, such as running. Be sure to include vigorous activity aerobic activity on at least 3 days per week. Muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or pushups, should be done at least 3 days a week. There are a couple of rules of thumb I would suggest to decide whether your child’s aerobic activity is moderate or vigorous in intensity. When your child does moderate intensity activity their heart will be somewhat faster than normal and they will breathe a bit harder than normal. Or if their activity is routine physical activity, such as walking to school with friends, that is probably moderate intensity aerobic activity. The vigorous-intensity activity would be when your child’s heart beat is much faster than normal and they are breathing much harder than normal or when their activities are more than routine, such as running or chasing others while playing tag during recess.

 

Some physical activity is better-suited for children than adolescents. For example, children do not usually need formal muscle-strengthening programs, such as lifting weights. Younger children usually strength their muscles when they do gymnastics, play on a jungle gym or climb trees. As children grow older and become adolescents, they may start structured weight programs. For example, they may do these types of programs along with their football or basketball team practice.

 

Diet, of course, is the cornerstone to any health plan. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition offer 8 healthy eating goals.

  1. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Choose red, orange, and dark green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are getting the vitamins, minerals and fiber your body needs.
  2. Make half the grains you eat whole grains.
  3. Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk. Both have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients, but less calories than whole milk.
  4. Eat foods that are lower in sodium.
  5. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Soda pop, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar and calories in American diets. Unless your child is a high performance athlete, they never need to drink sports drinks.
  6. Try to eat more seafood which will have protein, minerals and Omega-3 fatty acids.
  7. Cut back on foods that have solid fats. For most of us, that would include desserts, ice cream, and processed meats, such as sausage, bacon and hot dogs.
  8. Eat a variety of lean protein foods, such as poultry, seafood, dried beans or peas, nuts, and seeds.

 

Help your children start now to take control of their health by learning to eat right and exercise regularly.

 

Dr. Ken Anderson, D.O.  sees patients at Lucas County Health Center & Medical Clinics.  He specializes in Family Medicine and sees patients of all ages with all complaints.

Cataracts: What You Should Know

Chris thumbnailAre you having trouble seeing as you age? More trouble with glaring of lights at night? Possibly you are developing cataracts. Cataracts are a clouding of the lenses inside the ye which leads to a decrease in vision. It is the most common cause of blindness and is conventionally treated with surgery. Visual loss occurs because clouding of the lenses obstructs light from passing through and being focused on the retina at the back of the eye.

 

Cataracts are most commonly due to aging, but there are many other possible causes. Over time, yellow brown pigment is deposited in the lens and this, with the disruption of the lens fibers, reduces the transmission of light and leads to visual problems.

 

People with cataracts often experience difficulty in appreciating colors and changes in contrast along with issues when they are driving, reading, recognizing faces, and coping with the glare from bright lights.

 

There are many causes of cataracts. Again, age is the most common, but trauma, ultraviolet radiation, genetics, association with skin diseases, drug usage, and numerous medications can cause cataracts as well.

 

There has been no scientifically proven measure to prevent cataracts, although wearing ultraviolet protecting sunglasses may slow the development.

 

Cataract removal surgery can be performed at any stage of cataract growth. Surgery is an outpatient procedure and is performed using local anesthesia. After surgery, 90% of patients can achieve a corrected vision of 20/40 or better. After the cataract is removed, it is replaced with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens, which stays in the eye permanently. Although cataract removal is a safe procedure, some complications can occur. For more information about cataracts and cataract treatment, contact your provider.

 

Chris Osier, PA-C  sees patients at Lucas County Health Center & Medical Clinics.  He specializes in Family Medicine and sees patients of all ages with all complaints.

Be on the Lookout for Poison Ivy

Amanda Bogard thumbnailHave you ever been working in the yard, walking through a field, or fishing and noticed a rash develop over the next day or two? You were probably exposed to a plant containing an oil called urushiol (you-ROO-shee-all). Urushiol is present most notoriously on poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac plants. Exposure to the oily resin can occur in several ways – by touching the sap directly or rubbing against the leaves of the plant, by touching something that has urushiol on it, such as animal fur or garden tools, or by breathing in smoke when these plants are burned.

When urushiol contacts the skin, an allergic contact dermatitis occurs. This most commonly manifests as an intensely itchy, red, blistery rash. The rash is often in a straight line because of how the plant brushes against the skin, although it may be more spread out if the contact was from a dog or a pair of gloves. The symptoms usually develop 4 hours to 4 days after exposure, but can occur up to 21 days later. The blistery rash may seem to spread with new areas developing over a period of days, but this is a normal part of the allergic response. The rash occurs only with direct contact with urushiol, it is not spread by touching the rash itself or the fluid from the blisters.

Poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac rashes usually resolve within one to three weeks without treatment. There are things you can do at home to ease the itching and discomfort. Try adding oatmeal to a bath, apply cool wet compresses or use calamine lotion to east the itching. You should not use antihistamine creams, creams containing benzocaine, or antibiotic creams that contain neomycin or bacitracin as these can make the rash worse. Over the counter oral antihistamines do not help with the itch associated with poison ivy dermatitis. However, the ones that make you sleepy, such as Benadryl, may help you ignore the itch while sleeping.

Some cases of poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac rash should be seen by a healthcare provider. This includes reactions that are severe or widespread, rashes that involve the face or genitals, blisters that are oozing pus, a fever greater than 100 degrees F, or rash that is not resolving within a few weeks.

There are several things you can do to avoid exposure to urushiol. Learn how to identify poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac and avoid them. If you think your pet has become contaminated, put on long rubber clothes and give your pet a bath. Do not burn poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac – use long gloves to remove (and then wash the gloves) or use an herbicide. If you do become exposed, washing the resin from your skin with soap within 5 or 10 minutes may help avert a reaction. Be sure to wash under fingernails too. Urushiol can remain potent for years – so make sure to wash any potentially contaminated clothing, gloves, tools, shoes etc. 

Vasectomy: An Excellent Choice for the Couple Finished Conceiving

Matt Bogard thumbnailDuring the obstetrical and gynecologic portions of my training I observed the OB/GYN physicians counsel their female patients extensively on all of the various birth control options: pills, patches, barrier devices, vaginal ring, intrauterine devices, implantable hormones, and permanent surgical procedures.  All are great options for certain couples depending on how long-lasting they desire the effects to be.

Unfortunately, vasectomy was rarely brought up as an option.  It’s a procedure Obstetrician/Gynecologist physicians don’t perform, and since it is performed on the male partner rather than the female, I think the gynecologists often forgot about it.  This is unfortunate because it’s a great option for many couples.

Vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure performed on a male so that he can no longer get a woman pregnant.  It is meant as a permanent procedure that prevents the release of sperm when a man ejaculates.  Sperm typically travel from the testicles to the outside world through a tube called the vas deferens, which is permanently blocked during the procedure.  Sperm can no longer reach the outside world to get a woman pregnant, but the other fluid the male ejaculates still flows normally.

The procedure is performed in the doctor’s office rather than the operating room where we perform tubal ligations on women.  This reduces the costs considerably.  It is performed with local anesthetic to numb the area rather than the need to put a patient completely to sleep as with tubal ligations, further reducing costs as well as being safer.  The doctor finds the vas deferens within the scrotum by feel and then makes a small puncture wound in the skin of the scrotum, ties off the vas deferens with suture, and repeats the process on the other side.  It typically takes about a half hour to perform.

I tell my patients to take it easy for several days after vasectomy.  Pain and discomfort are typically minimal, and most patients report back the recovery was much less than they expected.  The puncture sites heal within a few days.

It is important to understand that a man is still able to impregnate a woman for up to three months after a vasectomy is performed, and because of this we have you return with a semen sample to be analyzed in the lab before declaring the vasectomy a success.  After receiving a vasectomy, a couple should still use another form of birth control until we confirm the success with this semen sample.

If you and your partner are finished having children and are interested in a cost-effective, safe, and permanent method of birth control, a vasectomy may be the perfect option.

Dr. Matt Bogard, M.D. is a medical doctor at Lucas County Health Center & Medical Clinics.  He specializes in Family Medicine and advanced Obstetrics.  Dr. Bogard sees patients of all ages with all complaints.

Go Get Your Colonoscopy

Anderson thumbnail copyOne of the most difficult tasks I have is getting patients to get their screening colonoscopies. Colorectal cancer is a term used to refer to cancer that develops in the colon or rectum. Most colorectal cancers developed slowly over several years, beginning as a growth of tissue or noncancerous polyp in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Adenomatous polyps are polyps that have the potential to change into cancer. Hyperplastic polyps and inflammatory polyps, in general, are not precancerous. Another kind of precancerous condition is dysplasia, which are abnormal cells lining the inside wall of the bowel. They can change into cancer over time. If cancer forms in a polyp it can eventually grow into the wall of the colon or rectum. From there it can spread to the blood and lymph vessels and may spread to distant parts of the body, such as the liver. When cancer spreads it is called metastasis and is then much more difficult to treat and cure. Screening colonoscopies can detect all of these conditions.

 

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in adults in the United States. The death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping over the past 20 years and, more likely than not, this is because precancerous polyps are being found on screening colonoscopies and are being removed before they can develop into cancers. Screening colonoscopies allow more colorectal cancers to be found earlier in the disease when it is easier to cure. As a result, there are now more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.

 

Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing rectal and colon cancer. Screening is the process of looking for cancer in people who have no symptoms of disease. The American Cancer Society recommends that people over the age of 50 years have a screening colonoscopy every 10 years. If abnormalities are found you may need to have a colonoscopy more frequently. Some people are at an increased risk for colon cancer and should not wait until they’re 50 years old to have a screening colonoscopy. This would include people who have inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease or people who have a first-degree relative with colon cancer.

 

There are two physicians, Dr. Neil Sokol and Dr. Matt Bogard, at Lucas County Health Center who perform colonoscopies. Your family physician should make arrangements for a consultation with either of these doctors for your colonoscopy. Preparation is fairly simple with clear liquids for a couple days and then some cleansing laxatives to clear your bowel. The colonoscopy itself takes less than 30 minutes in most cases. Following the procedure you will need to have someone take you home as you will receive a light sedative and pain medication during the procedure. I’ve had both my screening colonoscopies at Lucas County health Center and both were very easy and safe. Please, go get your colonoscopy.

 

Dr. Ken Anderson, D.O. specializes in Family Medicine and advanced Obstetrics.  He sees patients of all ages with all complaints at LCHC Medical Clinic and Humeston Medical Clinic.

Skin Cancer, How It Affects You

Krutsinger thumbnailSkin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States accounting for more than a million cases diagnosed annually.  Although it is the most common, it is also the most preventable form of cancer.  Skin cancer is most commonly caused from direct exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or from artificial UV light from tanning beds.  The UV light causes a change in the normal development of a cell so that it doesn’t stop growing.  According to the CDC, there are a total of 419,000 skin cancers from tanning beds diagnosed each year.  This is double the number of lung cancers diagnosed due to smoking each year.  Some individuals are more prone to developing skin cancer than others.  You are at higher risk of developing skin cancer if you are fair skinned, have lighter colored eyes, if you are exposed to sun for prolonged periods of time, are from a Northern European ancestry, are an older age, had childhood freckles or have a personal history of previous skin cancer.  Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma are the three types of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinomas are the most common form of skin cancer and are typically found in sun-exposed areas including the face, ears, scalp, shoulders and arms.  They typically appear as a light pink or flesh colored lesion that might have telangectasias, or blood vessels, running through them.  The lesions often have a ‘pearly’ appearance and have an ulcerated center with a rolled border.

Squamous cell carcinomas are the second most common form of skin cancer and like BCCs are found in sun exposed areas like the face and scalp.  Initially a SCC starts out looking mildly red with slight scaling and is termed an Actinic Keratosis.  An actinic keratosis is a benign (non-cancerous) lesion, but can turn into SCC if not treated.  If the lesion goes unnoticed, the lesion will become more raised and will develop a firm red nodule with a crusted center.

Melanomas are the least common skin cancer, but account for the highest rate of metastatic disease and deaths for all skin cancers.  Melanoma is the most common malignancy in women aged 25-29 years old.  The risk factors for melanoma are the same as BCC and SCC, but also include family history as a risk factor for melanoma.  Melanomas typically appear as a darker colored lesion that may or may not be slightly raised with irregular borders.  These lesions typically grow quickly.   They may occur on any part of the body and occur equally in both men and women.

When looking at a skin lesion it is important to remember the ABCDs:  Asymmetry, Borders, Color and Diameter.

  • Asymmetry — Cancerous lesions are often times asymmetrical so one half of the lesion does not look like the remaining half.
  • Border irregularity — Cancerous lesions will have a scalloped, irregular edge and may have extensions into the surrounding skin.
  • Color variation — Cancerous lesions will have varying colors, they might be very dark or black. Diameter — Any skin lesion that is larger than 5 mm, or bigger than the end of a pencil eraser should be looked into.

Any of the above changes would raise concern that a lesion might be cancerous and should be looked at by a health care professional

Treating a skin cancer is relatively simple and can be taken care of in a short time frame.  A punch biopsy is a procedure that can be performed in the doctor’s office.  The specimen is sent to the lab and evaluated by a pathologist.  The results return quickly in just a few days.  If the lesion is cancerous, a larger excision may need to be performed by your primary care provider or dermatologist to ensure all the cancer is removed.  If the cancer is not entirely removed, it will continue to grow and could metastasize (spread to other parts of the body).  If the cancer is superficial and has not spread, completely excising the skin lesion is curative.  In cases where the cancer has spread, you will have to undergo further treatment.

Skin cancer is easy to prevent by covering sun exposed areas when outdoors for prolonged periods of time.  This is easily achieved by wearing clothing that covers the shoulders, arms and legs, wearing wide-brimmed hats, applying sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, wearing sun glasses and avoiding tanning beds.  When wearing sunscreen it is important to reapply often as it can easily be rubbed or washed off.  So, make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent prolonged sun exposure and if you find a suspicious lesion(s) make sure you follow up with your health care provider.

Men’s Health Month Encourages Testicular Screenings

Chris thumbnailIn honor of Men’s Health Month, I thought now would be a good time to address the sensitive subject of testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is a disease in which cells become malignant or cancerous in 1 or both testicles. The testicles are a pair of male sex glands that produce and storm sperm and are the main source of testosterone, the major male hormone, in men. These hormones control the development of reproductive organs and other male physical characteristics. Based on the characteristics of the cancerous cells, testicular cancers are classified as seminoma or non-seminomas.

Testicular cancer accounts for only 1% of all cancers in men in the United States. About 8,000 men are diagnosed and 390 men die of this disease each year. Testicular cancer occurs most often in men between the ages of 20 and 39 and is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 34. It is most common in Caucasian men, especially those of Scandinavian descent. The testicular cancer rate has more than doubled among Caucasian men in the past 40 years, but has only recently begun to increase among African-American men. The reason for this difference is unknown.

The risk factors for testicular cancer are undescended testicles. Sometimes the testicle which is formed inside the abdomen does not descend into the scrotum. The risk of testicular cancer is increased in males with this condition. The risk for cancer does not change even after surgery to move the testicle into the scrotum. The risk applies for both testicles. Another risk factor is congenital abnormalities of the testicles, kidneys, and those persons with hernias. Another risk factor is a history of testicular cancer. Men who have had testicular cancer are at an increased risk of developing cancer in the other testicle. Finally, family history plays a role and men whose brother or father have had the disease are at a higher risk.

How is testicular cancer detected? Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves and by doctors who generally examine the testicles during routine physical exams. Between regular checkups if a man notices anything unusual about his testicle he should talk with his doctor. Many signs and symptoms of testicular cancer are: a painless lump or swelling on the testicle, pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum, any enlargement of the testicle or change in the way it feels, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum or a sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum.

How is testicular cancer diagnosed? Numerous tests are performed to diagnose testicular cancer. Blood tests that measure levels of tumor markers are monitored and an ultrasound is used to show the presence and size of a mass in the testicle. Ultrasounds are also helpful in ruling out other conditions around the testicle. A biopsy, or looking at cells, from the testicle is also performed to diagnose the type of cancer.

How is testicular cancer treated? Although the incidence of this cancer has risen in the recent years, more than 95% of cases can be cured. Treatment is more likely to be successful when testicular cancer is found early. In addition, treatment can often be less aggressive and may cause fewer side effects. Most men with testicular cancer can be cured with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. The side effects of these treatments depend on the type of treatment used and may be different for each person. Surgery is often performed to remove the testicle that is involved with cancer. An incision is made in the groin and the testicle is removed. There may be concern that a man with only one testicle will be unable to produce children or have normal sexual relations, but only one testicle is needed for these. Radiation uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It is a local therapy, meaning that it only affects cancer cells in the treatment area. There are different side effects with this type of treatment. Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. When chemotherapy is given to this type of cancer patient, it is usually given as an adjunctive therapy (used after surgery) to destroy cancerous cells that may remain in the body. Chemotherapy may also be the initial treatment if the cancer is advanced, meaning it has spread outside the testicle at the time of diagnosis. Men with testicular cancer should discuss their concerns about sexual function and infertility with their physicians.

Regular follow-up examinations are extremely important for men who have had and have been treated for testicular cancer. Like all cancers, testicular cancer can reoccur.

The easiest way to be screened for testicular cancer is for the male patient to palpate his testicles every month. If any changes, discomfort or other abnormalities are noticed, contact your personal health care provider.

Chris Osier is a Physician Assistant at the LCHC Medical Clinic and Humeston Medical Clinic. He specializes in family medicine and sees patients of all ages.