Help for Heartburn

Posted on : 03-27-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Cancer, Digestive Diseases, Events, News

145For women with sensitive digestive systems eating spicy tacos or greasy pepperoni pizza, can be a sure way to flare up a nasty case of heartburn. Millions of Americans experience heartburn symptoms at least once a week. There are many causes that can activate heartburn including medications, specific foods, obesity, and even stress. Being aware of what ignites your heartburn will help you to create a plan to avoid the uncomfortable condition. Silver Cross Hospital is offering a lecture on why it’s important to find relief from heartburn to prevent the acid reflux from escalating.

Dr. Kamran Ayub, Medical Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross Hospital, will present a free program on Burning Your Heartburn & Preventing Esophageal Cancer, on Tuesday, April 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. This program is for people who suffer from chronic or severe heartburn. Dr. Ayub will discuss the latest endoscopic treatments to eliminate chronic heartburn and prevent Barrett’s Esophagus, which can lead to cancer. Register to attend at or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).


Heartburn Can Lead to Esophageal Cancer

Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation in the chest after a heavy meal or while bending over, lying on your back or lifting. It occurs when the sphincter doesn’t close completely. Acid from the stomach comes back up into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation. Other symptoms may include chronic cough or sore throat, persistent hiccups, feeling of having a lump in the throat, and trouble swallowing. Pregnant women often experience heartburn as the growing fetus increases intra-abdominal pressure.

Heartburn that won’t go away needs medical attention because it may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pill or medication induced esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, cancer of the esophagus, ulcers, or other gastrointestinal problems. Chest pain, for instance, can be a symptom of GERD, esophageal spasm, angina and heart attack. Pain from any of these can happen following a large meal.

“So, if you suffer severe or chronic heartburn or chest pain, it’s vital you find out if your problem is digestive or cardiac,” says Dr. Ayub.

For a person with Barrett’s esophagus, which is a change in the lining of the tube (esophagus) that carries food and liquids in the mouth to the stomach, Dr. Ayub says the risk of developing esophageal cancer is similar to the risk of developing colon cancer for patients who have a colon polyp. “It usually starts with GERD, which can cause Barrett’ esophagus and lead to esophageal cancer,” says Dr. Ayub. “That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment for symptoms of GERD, the most common being heartburn.”

About 3.3 million Americans age 50 and older have Barrett’s. With advanced technology, Barrett’s can be successfully treated at Silver Cross Hospital.

Low Back Pain Slowing You Down?

Woman With Back PainAre you unable to enjoy life fully due ongoing back pain? If so, you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), millions of Americans suffer from chronic back pain that persists for more than a few months. Back pain symptoms can range from a muscle ache to a stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. If you are experiencing these symptoms of back pain, learn the causes and treatments at a free program hosted by Silver Cross Hospital.

Join Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, for a discussion on the causes of low back pain and discuss conservative treatment options to help you feel better Tuesday, March 31. The free Aches & Pains: Low Back Painprogram will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. This talk is part of an Aches & Pains Lecture Series and all participants will receive a gift bag that includes a complimentary carpal tunnel or low back screening performed by a physician with Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, and other items to help you stay active. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

“Most low back pain can be treated without surgery,” said Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, who is on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “The best way to develop a treatment plan is to diagnose the severity of the back pain. With so many innovative treatments available today, patients can learn the best options with a physician visit. So to avoid the pain from getting worse, patients need to seek medical attention.”

Dr. Tom Hurley, neurosurgeon

Dr. Tom Hurley, neurosurgeon

Treating Back Pain

Treatment of back pain can involve using over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce discomfort and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation.

“The goal of treating back pain is to return proper mobility and strength to the back, and prevent future injuries,” said Dr. Hurley.

Medications are often used to treat acute and chronic low back pain. Effective pain relief may involve a combination of prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Bed rest is only recommended for 1 to 2 days. Individuals should resume activities as soon as possible. Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain and help

New PET/CT Detects Cancer Early

Posted on : 03-12-2015 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Cancer, colon cancer, News, screening

PETCTfinalSilver Cross Hospital is enhancing its diagnostic imaging capabilities with the addition of a new, state-of the-art Positron Emission Tomography/Computerized Tomography system (PET/CT).  This advanced technology, which is now located inside the Hospital’s Imaging Department, offers early and highly accurate detection of cancer.  A physician’s order is required, and patients can call (815) 300-7058 to schedule an appointment.

“Now that PET/CT is in-house, this allows for greater scheduling flexibility and patient scanning comfort.  We are able to provide a better patient experience,” said Dr. Darius Keblinskas, Medical Director of Imaging Services at Silver Cross Hospital. Previously, patients needing a PET/CT would have their tests performed inside a mobile trailer on the hospital’s campus.

Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography  or PET/CT is a medical imaging technique using a device which combines in a single gantry, both a PET scanner and a CT scanner, so that images acquired from both devices can be taken sequentially, in the same session, and combined into a single superposed image. The imaging obtained provides physicians with information about the body’s metabolic activity and exact location of disease.

PET/CT has revolutionized medical diagnosis in many fields, by adding precision of anatomic localization to functional imaging.  Diagnostic imaging procedures in oncology, surgical planning, radiation therapy and cancer staging have been changing rapidly under the influence of PET-CT availability, and centers have been gradually abandoning conventional PET devices and substituting them by PET-CTs.

“For oncology patients, PET/CT is used to determine the exact location and stage of cancerous tissue and can prevent unnecessary surgery and biopsies and inappropriate treatments,” said Dr. Lawrence Schilder, Medical Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.  “The technology also helps us to monitor patients’ response to treatment to ensure it is working.”

For more information about PET/CT, talk with your physician.

Silver Cross Hospital, Walgreens & Joliet Noon Lions Club offer Free Diabetes Screenings

Posted on : 03-10-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Diabetes, Events, screening

DiabetesAlertDay2014 001croppedIn recognition of the American Diabetes Association’s American Diabetes Alert, the Silver Cross Diabetes Center, Joliet Noon Lions Club, and Walgreens, will offer free screenings to detect diabetes on Tuesday, March 24. Participants will be offered a Diabetes Risk Test and non-fasting Blood Glucose Test from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. outside Silver Cross Hospital’s Season’s Dining Room, 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.   For more information, call (815) 300-5990. Advanced registration is not required.

Alert Day is an annual nationwide campaign to raise awareness that diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States, and more than a quarter of them—eight million—do not even know they have it. An additional 86 million have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of these complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.

“Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Jose Penaherrera, medical director of the Silver Cross Diabetes Center.  “People who are overweight, live a sedentary lifestyle, and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200, by exercising 30 minutes a day, five days a week and eating healthy. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.”

“Many patients learn for the first time that they have diabetes while in the hospital,” says Patsy Harris, RN, Silver Cross Diabetes Center Program Manager.   “Last year,25 percent of our inpatients had a primary or secondary diagnosis of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.   By diagnosing diabetes early, we can help our patients manage the disease and keep them out of the hospital and have a fulfilling healthier and active lifestyle.”

The Silver Cross Diabetes Center is one of the area’s first American Diabetes Association’s recognized quality comprehensive diabetes management programs.  Since 1996, the Diabetes Center has helped more than 3,800 patients and frequently provides educational programs and screenings in the community.   For more information, call (815) 300-5990.

The Joliet Noon Lions Club is affiliated with Lions Club International, which is a network of 1.3 million men and women in 200 countries and geographic areas who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities around the world.  Known for working to end preventable blindness, Lions participate in a vast variety of projects that are important to their communities such as collecting used hearing aids and eyeglasses for underprivileged people around the world.  For more information about the Joliet Noon Lions Club, stop by Silver Cross Hospital during the free Diabetes Screening or visit

Menopause: Is the Change Near?

Posted on : 03-04-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, menopause

Pillai, AnandaSubmitted by Anadavally Pillai, MD
Family Practice Physician

Simply put, menopause is the transition to the time when women no longer experience menstrual flow and can no longer become pregnant. Symptoms usually begin about two years before menstruation ceases (called peri-menopause) and continue 1 to 3 years after. It can take up to 9 years to complete the menopause process. This is a period of profound hormonal transition. Stereotypically, women are said to experience loss of sex drive, depression, irritability and mood swings. My patients often comment that they have a difficult time sleeping and become irritable as a result of hot flashes at night. And if that isn’t enough, you can expect to gain 2 to 5 pounds during the transition usually ending up in the tummy area.

To ease the symptoms associated with menopause, I offer my patients the following advice:


  • Wear loose fitting, lightweight clothing made of natural fibers
  • Avoid eating rich or spicy foods
  • Drink lots of water
  • Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid hot beverages


  • Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and take vitamin supplements
  • Exercise regularly for energy and to relieve stress
  • Minimize your exposure to stressful situations
  • Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine – mediation, yoga, massages
  • Talk to other women who have gone or are going through menopause


  • Avoid using deodorant soaps or scented products in the vaginal area
  • Use water-soluble lubricants for increases comfort during intercourse
  • Avoid using oils and petroleum-based products which can lead to infection

If your symptoms become too bothersome, discuss possible medical treatments – such as hormone replacement therapy or alternative herbal treatments with a physician.

10 Colonoscopy Myths Busted

Posted on : 03-04-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Cancer, colon cancer, Health Tips, screening

target-your-business-strategy-to-capture-sales-from-women-on-pinterest-this-winter-holiday-2012There is nothing glamorous about having a colonoscopy. But the fact is it could save your life! A screening colonoscopy is the preferred way to detect colorectal cancer early and treat it effectively, but misconceptions continually prevent people from scheduling this painless procedure. So, Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox would like to set the record straight and dispel those myths once and for all.

Myth #1: “I’m not at risk for colon cancer.”

Fact: While certain genetic traits and ethnic backgrounds increase risk factors for colorectal as well as other types of cancers, but the truth is everyone has some risk of developing the disease. Dr. Reza Gamagami, colorectal cancer specialist at Silver Cross Hospital, recommends a colonoscopy beginning at age 50, or earlier if you have a personal or family history of the disease. Other risk factors include inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Myth # 2: “Colon cancer only affects men.”

Fact: Colon cancer affects both men and women. Each year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 die from it—over half are women! Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

Myth #3: “I don’t have any symptoms, so I don’t need a colonoscopy.”

Colorectal cancer is often dubbed “the silent killer” because it usually presents no symptoms. Colonoscopies are effective because they can detect cancer in polyps long before they become an issue. Symptoms like blood in the stool, anemia and stomach pain are typically only present when the cancer has taken hold. Some individuals with certain gastrointestinal diseases, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease (inflammatory bowel disease), may have a risk of developing colon cancer earlier than age 50 and should talk to their physician about regular colonoscopy screening starting at an age earlier than 50 years.

“Please don’t wait to schedule your colonoscopy,” said Dr. Gamagami. “The vast majority of colon cancers are found in patients who did not have any pain or other symptoms.”

Myth #4: “A colonoscopy isn’t accurate.”

Fact: Advances in technology have greatly improved the diagnostic capabilities of colonoscopies as well as the overall patient experience, according to Dr. Gamagami. They are among the best, safest ways to detect the presence of pre-cancerous growths.

Myth #5: “I won’t be able to handle the prep.”

Fact: It’s no secret that preparing for a colonoscopy is often the worst part of it. You will be on laxatives for at least a day prior to the procedure and you’ll need to stay close to a bathroom. Remember, the cleaner your colon, the better the physician can detect polyps, which is, after all, why you’re there.

Myth #6: “Colonoscopies are painful.”

Fact: Prior to the procedure, patients are given a combination of a narcotic and sedative called “conscious sedation.” Patients actually sleep through the procedure so they don’t feel any discomfort. If a doctor does find a polyp, they can usually remove it during the procedure.

Myth #7: “Colorectal cancer can’t be prevented, so the test is not necessary.”

Fact: Colorectal cancer is among the most preventable forms of  cancer. Through colonoscopy, polyps and other pre-cancerous conditions of the colon are easily detected and can be treated, resulting in significantly better outcomes for patients. Furthermore. it is easy to detect in its pre-cancerous stages through screening methods like colonoscopies. Because it is such a slow growing cancer, if a patient’s initial colonoscopy is negative, they typically usually won’t need one for another decade, although those with genetic or other risk factors may require one more frequently.

Myth #8: “If cancer is detected, it may not be curable.”

Fact: Colon cancer is preventable and highly treatable when caught at an early stage. People who are diagnosed early have over a 90 percent chance of surviving. There are highly effective surgical options for colon cancer patients, and Silver Cross Hospital is a leader is the area making these options available to patients.

Silver Cross has been designated as part of an elite group of nationally recognized General Surgery Epicenters due to the demonstrated excellence of Dr. Gamagami as an educator for general colorectal robotic surgery. Dr. Gamagami performs complicated abdominal procedures laparoscopically through just a few small incisions using the da Vinci robot. At Silver Cross Hospital, we have performed twice as minimally invasive colon resections to cure colon cancer than any other local community hospital. According to Dr. Gamagami, 85% of his patients benefit from this new technology as compared to less than 10% in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Myth #9: “When you have a colonoscopy, you will have to be out of work for several days.”

Fact: The actual procedure only takes about 30 to 60 minutes. So, relatively short, but you must take into account arrival time, prep time and post-procedure time. Most patients miss only one full day of work.

Myth #10: “I can’t afford to have a colonoscopy.”

Fact: You can’t afford not to have one. It could save your life. Many insurance plans have a screening colonoscopy benefit for members age 50 or over. Medicare and Medicaid cover a screening colonoscopy at 100 percent if you are age 50 or over and haven’t had the test in the last 10 years.

Gattos_logoAnd if de-bunking all these myths wasn’t enough, Gatto’s Restaurant is giving a $20 gift certificate to everyone who has a screening colonoscopy at Silver Cross Hospital before Sept. 30, 2015. Don’t wait any longer.  Click here or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) for a free referral to a physician who performs colonoscopies and tell them Gatto’s sent you.

Posted on : 03-03-2015 | By : tsimons | In : colon cancer, screening


Sinus Problem Solutions

Posted on : 02-25-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Aches & Pains, Events, Health Tips, News, Rehabilitation

sinusEach year, millions of Americans suffer from severe sinus infections with painful symptoms of nasal congestion, facial pressure, and headaches. Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox is offering a free program that will inform area residents about the causes and treatments for sinus pressure.

Sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones between your eyes, behind your cheekbone, and in the forehead. Sinuses generate mucus, which helps keep the inside of your nose moist. “If the tissue in your nose is swollen from a cold, allergies, or environmental causes, it can block the sinus passages,” said Ankit Patel, M.D. “Then your sinuses can’t drain, and you may feel discomfort.”

Common Sinus Problems

Sinus Blockages: Each sinus has a narrow opening, called the transition space, which drains any fluid. If a blockage occurs, mucus backs up.

Deviated Nasal Septum: Another common issue is a deviated nasal septum, which is the thin wall of bone and cartilage inside your nasal cavity that separates your two nasal passages. Ideally, your septum is in the center of your nose, equally separating the two sides. But in many people, the septum is positioned to one side, making one nasal passage smaller than the other. A deviated septum is one reason some people have sinus issues, which can also lead to obstructed breathing and snoring.

Narrow Sinuses: More often, people just have variations in their anatomy that creates a longer, narrower path for the transition spaces to drain. This may lead to recurrent infections.

Sinus Sensitivity and Allergies: Finally, some people are sensitive to tobacco smoke, dust particles and foods. This sensitivity triggers a dilation of blood vessels in the nose, which may releases chemicals from cells in the nose that cause swelling.

If you suffer from sinus problems, try these tips to prevent future occurrences:

  • Apply a warm, cloth to your face several times a day to help open the transition spaces.
  • Consume a lot of fluids to thin the mucus.
  • Inhale steam two to three times per day.
  • Use a nasal saline spray several times a day.
  • Clean the nose with a salt water solution from a neti pot using distilled water.
  • Try a humidifier to moisten the air you breathe to help open sinuses.
  • Try antihistamines and decongestants. Oral decongestants should be avoided by cardiac patients.

Finally, if you have recurrent sinus problems, you might talk to a physician about surgery to clean and drain the sinuses or outpatient balloon sinuplasty.

Learn More

Patel,Ankit396606The inflammation of the sinuses is one of the most common problems doctors treat. Join Dr. Ankit Patel, ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgeon, Tuesday, March 10 to learn more about the latest medications and outpatient surgical treatments to alleviate sinus symptoms and pain. The free Aches & Pains: Sinus Pressure program will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. This talk is part of an Aches & Pains Lecture Series which also includes an upcoming seminar on low back pain March 31. All participants will receive a gift bag that includes a complimentary low back screening performed by a physician with Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, and other items to help you stay active. Register to attend at online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

I Matter: Dairy Queen Blizzards

Posted on : 02-25-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Business Sponsors, I Matter Benefits

We’ve had our fair share of blizzards this winter but nothing beats the one that can be found at the Joliet Dairy Queens!  So pull out your I Matter card and head on over for this special BOGO deal!

blizzardBuy One Blizzard & Get Second for Free
(same or smaller size)

2310 Essington Rd.

1410 E Washington St

Please present this offer for discount at time of purchase.  Offer expires April 15, 2015

i matter logo 2Not only does ice cream give you that reassurance that spring is just around the corner, but if you have been feeling under the weather, it has been known to smooth a sore throat and satisfy a sweet craving all at once. Take this opportunity to reward yourself for getting your annual health screening – mammogram, heart test, etc. You deserve to treat yourself and your favorite gal pal for taking care of her health too!

Could it be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Posted on : 02-25-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Aches & Pains, Events, Health Tips, Rehabilitation, screening, Video

Do you experience pain, numbness or tingling in your wrist or fingers? You may have carpal tunnel syndrome – a painful condition of the hand and fingers caused by compression of a major nerve where it passes over the carpal bones through a passage at the front of the wrist, alongside the flexor tendons of the hand. It may be caused by repetitive movements over a long period, or by fluid retention, and is characterized by sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning.

Occupational therapists with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital are offering free carpal tunnel screenings to evaluate and discuss therapy options:

Thursday, March 5

Silver Cross Hospital’s Pavilion A – New Lenox

(815) 300-7110


Wednesday, March 11

Silver Cross Professional Building – West Joliet

(815) 300-6580

Call today to schedule an appointment at either location.