Medical Insider Blog

Playing It Safe in the Summer Sun

  • Posted Jul 18, 2017
  • hchadmin

Summertime is all about fun in the sun and promoting spiritual health by getting outside to commune with nature.

But, did you know that according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States, and one dies of skin cancer every hour?

With the beautiful weather and days spent outdoors at the park, the beach and the golf course, your skin may be getting more sun exposure now than at other times of the year.

It's a great time to safely take part in outdoor spiritual practices like gardening and spending time in nature. 

While you're enjoying the great outdoors, it’s important to be aware of how much sunlight you get. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main cause of skin cancer and can also cause damage to your eyes. For these reasons, avoiding overexposure to UV light is the simplest form of prevention.

July is UV Safety Month. Here are some simple steps from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent overexposure to UV rays:

  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours
  • Cover up with clothing to protect exposed skin
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears and neck
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays as possible
  • Put on sunscreen with broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps – the UV rays from them are as dangerous as the UV rays from the sun

You can also schedule a skin examination with your health care professional, including your Primary Care Physician (PCP), to catch early signs of cancer before they become a serious threat.

Getting annual physicals and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and preventing disease. Having a PCP who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice.

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions. Or, let Holy Cross Physician Partners help you.

Photo: courtesy of Sharecare.com

Maintaining Good Prenatal Care Key to Healthy Pregnancy

  • Posted Jul 11, 2017
  • hchadmin

Are you or is someone you know expecting or planning to get pregnant? If so, it's important to remember that having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to have a healthy baby. Getting early and regular prenatal care improves the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

It is essential to maintain regular medical care during pregnancy (including regular check-ups and prenatal testing).

Most women visit their health care providers once a month for the first 28 weeks and then every two to three weeks until week 37. After that, you will most likely have weekly appointments until the baby is born. However, the schedule may vary depending on the preferences of your individual health care provider and medical needs. 

Prenatal visits may include:

•Reviewing medical history

•Completing various blood tests, urine analysis and lab work

•Taking your blood pressure and listening to the baby's heartbeat

•Providing a nutritional plan, including a prescription for prenatal vitamins

•Developing an exercise strategy

Good prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy and alert your health care provider of any potential health concerns. Early detection and treatment can remedy many problems and prevent others.

Learn more about the Holy Cross Parenting Center educational offerings here. 


Lowering Your Risk for Disease

  • Posted Jun 06, 2017
  • hchadmin

Did you know that according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics eating a healthier diet is one of the first lines of defense in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease?

Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you of the importance of healthier eating, spiritual well-being and preventive care.  

The American Diabetes Association says that eating healthy is one of the most important things we can do to lower the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that following a healthier diet can help prevent high blood pressure and may lower blood pressure that is already over the normal range.    

Below are some tips from the NIH to help you make healthier food choices every day:

•Keep healthier snacks, such as fruit and vegetables, at home and at work

•Pack healthier lunches for you and your family

•Choose low-fat diary products

•Eat whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, brown rice, pasta or oatmeal

•Select lean meats and poultry

•Choose more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds as protein sources

Another great way to reduce your risk of developing disease is by maintaining spiritual wellness. According to Mental Health America, there is a connection between spirituality and health. Spirituality can reduce the stress that often drives disease. Holy Cross Hospital offers the following suggestions to keep your good health:

•Discover and rediscover what makes your life meaningful. Find what brings your life purpose and align your choices with it. Wherever your passion is, there you’ll find your purpose.

•Nurture your connection with God/your Higher Power through regular spiritual practices.  Some people choose prayer, others meditate, some read Scripture, others walk through nature. Whatever helps you in your relationship with the Divine, make time to foster your awareness of the Sacred.  

•Connect with others who share your values. Having meaningful relationships with others, which focus on what is important to us, reminds us that we are not alone and can often bring joy to our lives.

•Find opportunities to serve. Helping others in need, either through volunteer work or some other means, nurtures our spirit when we feel our actions make a positive difference for other people.  

Last, but not least, getting annual physicals and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and preventing diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Having a Primary Care Physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. 

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions. Or click here. Stay on top of your health education by subscribing to our e-newsletter.

Low Dose Genius™ 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ Exams Available at Holy Cross Hospital

  • Posted May 09, 2017
  • hchadmin

Holy Cross is the only East Broward Hospital with Low Dose Genius™ 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ 

New low dose 3D™ exams are a more accurate breast cancer exam and are superior to conventional digital mammograms

Holy Cross Mother's Day Mammogram Special Now through June 30 : Screnning Mammogram for $100

Holy Cross Hospital is the only eastern Broward County hospital offering Low Dose Genius™ 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exams from Hologic, a global leader in breast cancer detection. In a conventional mammogram, overlapping tissue can hide breast cancers and normal breast tissue may appear abnormal, leading to unnecessary callbacks. Low Dose Genius 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exams are an advanced type of digital mammogram that offer better cancer detection, fewer call backs, minimal compression time and greater peace of mind at a dose comparable to a conventional digital mammogram.* 

Large clinical studies in the U.S. and Europe* have demonstrated the positive benefits of Low Dose 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exams including: 

•Earlier detection of small breast cancers that may be hidden in a conventional mammogram

•Greater accuracy in pinpointing size, shape and location of abnormalities

•Fewer unnecessary biopsies or additional tests

•Greater likelihood of detecting multiple breast tumors

•Clearer images of dense breast tissue

•Maintained 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exam performance, at a 2D-like dose

Low Dose Genius 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exams are recommended for women of all ages and breast densities. 

Holy Cross Hospital is committed to the fight against breast cancer. In offering the Genius low dose 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exams, Holy Cross provides the latest and most effective imaging tool for breast cancer screening. 

To schedule an exam, please call 954-202-0277.

About Low Dose Genius™ 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ Exams

Breast tissue and structures in the breast can overlap and cause confusion when viewed with a conventional mammogram. Low Dose Genius™ 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exams enable doctors to more clearly see through overlapping tissue to detect cancers, often at an earlier stage.

While Low Dose Genius 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exams include a conventional digital mammogram for use during image review, they do not require an X-ray exposure to generate the conventional 2D image, as C-View™ software generates the 2D image from the 3D™ information. 

Low Dose Genius 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exams are only available on the Hologic Selenia® Dimensions® breast tomosynthesis system. 


*For example see the following studies on the benefits of low dose 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exams:

S. Zuckerman, E. Conant, et.al. “Implementation of synthesized two-dimensional mammography in a population-based digital breast tomosynthesis screening program,” Radiology. 2016 Jul 28. [Epub ahead of print] and D. Bernardi, P. Macaskill, et.al. “Breast cancer screening with tomosynthesis (3D mammography) with acquired or synthetic 2D mammography compared with 2D mammography alone (STORM-2): a population-based prospective study,” Lancet Oncology. 2016 Jun 23. [Epub ahead of print]



Regular Physical Activity, Health Screenings Can Improve Your Well-being

  • Posted Apr 24, 2017
  • hchadmin


According to the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, people of all ages can improve the quality of their lives and reduce the risks of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, some cancers and type 2 diabetes with regular physical activity.

That’s why, during Employee Health and Fitness Month, Holy Cross Hospital would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of maintaining a consistent fitness routine and getting regular health screenings.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published by the US Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that adults participate in two types of physical activity, aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activity each week to improve health. 

Specifically, the Guidelines suggest two hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week, focusing on working on all major muscle groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), muscle-strengthening activities can include:

•Lifting weights

•Working with resistance bands 

•Doing movement that uses your body weight for resistance, such as push ups and sit ups 

•Heavy gardening like digging and shoveling


The CDC recommends spreading your activity out during the week and even breaking it up into smaller periods of time each day – that way 150 minutes may not seem so overwhelming. It all counts as long as you're keeping a moderate or quick pace for at least a 10-minute session each time.

If you have any concerns about starting a fitness program, remember to check with your doctor.

Another way various disorders, such as diabetes, depression and hypertension, can be identified early is by knowing and properly managing your biometric numbers — such as your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.  

The best way to find out if your numbers are within a healthy range for your gender, height and age is to have annual health screenings. 

Having a Primary Care Physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions. Or visit https://physicianpartners.holy-cross.com/

Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life. 

To get started on your wellness journey, click here!  


Why Choose Minimally Invasive Surgery?

  • Posted Apr 04, 2017
  • hchadmin

As a General Surgeon, I have seen many changes in the field of medicine over the past two decades. Even with these advancements, I still ask the question: How can I help to further advance surgery to improve your experience as a patient? More specifically, how can your recovery be faster? Can there be less scarring and less pain after your operation? 

The answer comes with minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive procedures, which include laparoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted surgery, use advanced technology to reduce the damage to human tissue when performing surgery. Patients having minimally invasive procedures over conventional surgery usually have shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries  The procedures are also associated with less risk of infection and postoperative complications.

Minimally invasive surgery still continues to advance with even smaller incisions and newer technology. Almost any surgical procedure that is performed today can be done with less invasive techniques. Surgeons need to continue to advance their skills to provide the best outcomes for their patients. 

The field of General Surgery covers a wide array of disorders and diseases from cancer surgery to hernia surgery and even weight loss surgery. Almost all intraabdominal surgeries are included as well.  If you are referred to a general surgeon for treatment, it is appropriate to ask the question about minimally invasive surgery. If this is not offered as an option, then a second opinion is warranted.

                                                                                                                                                             - Michael Perez, MD


Where are you getting your rehab?

  • Posted Mar 01, 2017
  • hchadmin

The Holy Cross Rehabilitation Institute offers the highest level of care available for  individuals recovering from serious conditions that affect their daily functioning and independence, including: 

  • Specialists in Rehabilitative Medicine
  • Rehabilitation Nurses
  • Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech Pathologists

Our 48-bed unit is located on the sixth floor of Holy Cross Hospital.  Each patient receives intensive  therapy intervention delivered daily by a group of highly skilled therapists who value teamwork.  The professional team of therapists and nurses focuses treatment on each individual patient’s plan of care and rehabilitation goals.  All services are provided seven days a week and patients are seen by a board certified physiatrist every day. 


We are recognized for our outstanding ability to help stroke patients regain their independence by utilizing our technologies, skills, knowledge and multidisciplinary approach.  Our team-based approach reaps impressive results, as our patients tend to return home sooner than those treated at a Skilled Nursing facility. 

As an inpatient, you can feel comforted to know that you have onsite access to the hospital’s state-of-the-art technologies, exceptional care and our Joint Commission Certified Stroke Team.  All the services you need in the recovery process are available to you within our facility—no need to go anywhere else! We are staffed with a physician intensivist, 24 hours a day and multiple code teams that provide immediate care in emergency situations, including heart and vascular. It is reassuring to know that someone so qualified and dedicated is always on hand, providing close medical supervision.

To learn about our inpatient admission criteria, please call 954-351-5958. 

For Outpatient Services, please call 954-492-5738.


Lung Cancer Screenings $99

  • Posted Feb 22, 2017
  • hchadmin

The Michael and Dianne Bienes Comprehensive Cancer Center is offering a $99.00 Low Dose CT Lung Screening, which includes the radiologist's reading fee!

Where do we call to schedule?  954-202-0277

Who is eligible?  Self-pay patients 

Prescription required? Any M.D. can write a script for a Low Dose CT if the patient meets the criteria.

1.Why get screened?  Early Detection! Lung Cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer.  Of all causes of death, lung cancer ranks second behind heart disease.  The high number of deaths is due to in part to lung cancer being found after it has spread.  CANCER SCREENING can help find lung cancer at an early stage when it can be CURED.

2.Am I at risk for lung disease?  Risk factors include:

  • Tobacco Smoking          
  • Major contact with radon  
  • Contact with asbestos or other cancer-causing agents  
  • Having had certain other cancers
  • Parent, sibling or child with lung cancer•Having had other lung diseases
  • Contact with second-hand smoke

3.Should I start now? Start before cancer symptoms appear. The goal of lung cancer screening is to find lung cancer when treatments will work best.  Treatments usually work best before there are symptoms of cancer.  However, at this time, most lung cancer is found after symptoms appear.

4.Get the best screening test: Low-Dose Computed Tomography (Low-Dose CT).  It is the only screening test proven to reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer.  LDCT takes many pictures of the inside of your chest/lung from different angles using x-rays.  The amount of radiation used is much lower than standard doses of CT.


Advocating for Smoke-Free Movies

  • Posted Feb 07, 2017
  • hchadmin

For decades, the tobacco industry has used movies to push smoking at kids. Tobacco cross-promotion and product placement have been documented in hundreds of mainstream movies, but kept secret from audiences. Leading health authorities, including the US Surgeon General and the World Health Organization, warn that exposure to on-screen smoking puts young audiences at greater risk of tobacco addition, disability and early death.

Physical harm to millions of young moviegoers

Studies of 50,000 young people in fifteen countries consistently find that the more smoking teens see on screen, the more likely they are to smoke. All else being equal, kids who view the most smoking are twice as likely to become smokers as those who see the least.

In the US alone, 6.4 million of today’s children will be recruited to smoke by exposure to on-screen smoking. Two million of them will later die from tobacco-induced diseases, including 700,000 deaths from cancer, 750,000 from cardiovascular disease and 530,000 from respiratory diseases. Half the physical harm, at an eventual medical cost of more than $60 billion, comes from youth-rated films, primarily films rated PG-13.

R-rating future films with smoking will effectively eliminate smoking from the movies kids see most, reduce the teen smoking rate by 18 percent and avert one million US tobacco deaths.

Five widely-endorsed, evidence-based solutions

Leading health authorities have proposed a set of complementary policy solutions that will permanently reduce young people’s exposure to on-screen tobacco imagery: 

1)R-rate new smoking movies, with categorical exceptions for portrayals of smoking by actual people who smoked or realistic depictions of tobacco’s health consequences. 

2)Credited producers should be required to certify that anyone associated with a smoking film received a consideration or made an agreement related to the smoking depiction.

3)Studios and exhibitors in all media should be required to run a strong anti-tobacco spot immediately before any movie with smoking, regardless of the film’s rating.

4)Tobacco brand imagery should no longer appear in the foreground or background of any scene, regardless of the film’s rating.

5)Future productions with tobacco imagery should be made ineligible for public subsidies, such as state tax credits that have paid out $1.6 billion to smoking movies since 2010.  


About Holy Cross Hospital

Holy Cross Hospital is a nonprofit, Catholic hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, dedicated to innovative, high quality and compassionate care. For nearly six decades, Holy Cross has continuously expanded its services to provide leading-edge care for their patients in Florida and for those from elsewhere in the United States. Holy Cross also offers an International Services program to ensure that patients from outside the U.S. receive the care they need.

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