World Stroke Day Reminds You to Act F.A.S.T. at Signs of Stroke

When stroke strikes, don’t waste any time getting help. That’s the key message the American Heart Association wants you to learn on World Stroke Day.

Use the acronym F.A.S.T. to remember the signs and what to do when someone’s having a stroke:

Face drooping
Arm weakness
Speech difficulty
Time call 911

The reason to call 911 is so assessment and treatment can begin as soon as the ambulance crew arrives. Don’t drive yourself or your loved one to the hospital, because it can delay the start of medical attention. Read More »

‘Normalizing’ Life for a Child With Cancer: Our Expert Discusses Ways to Help

Philip Monteleone, MD

Philip Monteleone, MD
Pediatric hematology oncology
Watch a video to learn more about him.

Our expert: Pediatric hematologist oncologist Philip Monteleone, MD, with Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital 

Q: How can I best help my child if I learn he or she has cancer?
A: Learning your child has cancer will make you feel like your world has turned upside-down. Once you process those natural feelings, it’s important to get your family on the same page. It will be helpful as you learn about your child’s medication needs, nutritional requirements and overall treatment plan to ask questions to make sure you understand. In our practice, we have a team of doctors, nurses and social workers who will work with the family before the child goes home. Be sure to use these people as resources.

Q: After a diagnosis, how do I make my child’s life as “normal” as possible?
A: Dealing with cancer is stressful. Yet keeping life as normal as possible for your child – and the entire family – is vital. Studies show that if parents treat the child with cancer the same way they’ve  always treated all their children, the child will be emotionally stronger approaching the disease, and it will create a better recovery. Your child will pick up on the concern if you as parents act differently. Acting normally reassures your child he or she is still a regular kid. Read More »

Take Steps to End GYN Cancers; LVHN Expert Discusses 5 Common Risk Factors and Warnings

Richard Boulay, MD

Richard Boulay, MD
Gynecologic oncology
Watch a video to learn more about him.

How many steps do you think 50 Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) cancer program colleagues members can take in one week?

A. 800 thousand
B. 1.2 million
C. 3.1 million
D. 5.4 million

If you picked “C,” you’re right! Over the course of one week (Sept. 7-13,) our cancer colleagues logged more than 3.1 million steps as participants in the STEPtember Challenge promoted by Globe-athon, an organization dedicated to increase general awareness of gynecologic cancers and the steps women can take to prevent them.

The STEPtember Challenge focused on having people take 10,000 steps a day, equivalent to approximately 5 miles, in an effort to help manage weight. It’s a proactive focus that rings true with LVHN gynecologic surgeon Richard Boulay, MD with Gynecologic Oncology Specialists of Allentown.

“Obesity is a risk factor for many types of cancer, including gynecologic cancers,” Boulay says. “And for uterine (endometrial) cancer – the most common type of gynecologic cancer – obesity is a recognized risk factor.”

Read More »

This Year’s Flu Shot Offers Extra Protection

flu shots at drive-through clinicUPDATE Oct. 15, 2014: The trivalent influenza vaccine will be offered at the drive-through clinics. The quadrivalent vaccine will be available at physician practices. Learn more.

For years, the trivalent influenza (flu) vaccine protected you against three different flu strains – two type-A viruses and one type-B virus. “During the 2013-14 season, several individuals were infected with another type-B strain that was not included in the trivalent vaccine,” says Terry Burger, RN, Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) director of infection control. “This year, the new quadrivalent flu vaccine will include two type-A and two type-B virus strains, thus offering you better protection.” The quadrivalent vaccine will be administered throughout LVHN, including at all Lehigh Valley Physician Group practices. You also can get vaccinated for free at our drive-through flu shot clinics at Dorney Park and Coca-Cola Park Nov. 8-9. Call 610-402-CARE to register. A high-dose vaccine – which evidence shows provides better protection for seniors – will be available for people age 65 and older.