As a Nurse Practitioner, mom, wife, friend, sister and neighbor, people are always asking me for health advice. I love translating complicated medical information to help people navigate their way toward better health and wellness. I’ll help you find the information you need to make the best decisions for your health and the health of your family.
Here’s to better health,
Nurse Barb Dehn RN MS NP
You may be surprised to learn that people who receive chemotherapy and radiation treatments from the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center are greeted with encouraging smiles, hugs and warm blankets when they step through the doors. Those little, yet important things are combined with healthy, energy-boosting complimentary snacks and encouragement delivered by cadre of volunteers, who are cancer survivors themselves. All of this, plus a track record of survival rates that rival and sometimes exceed those of other oncology and academic centers add up to create a nurturing, encouraging and most importantly, healing and curing environment.
Patient centered care isn’t just a phrase for the staff, at El Camino Hospital’s Cancer Center. In fact, their innovative programs and patient outcome data was evaluated by the National Cancer Data Base and resulted in a commendation and a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Cancer from the American College of Surgeons. I recently had the opportunity to interview some of the staff to find out more about what makes the Cancer Center so special.
If you were born in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan or other Asian countries you may be at increased risk for liver cancer. In fact, Santa Clara County has the third highest rate of liver cancer in the US, with San Francisco County having the highest. This is largely due to high numbers of people who contracted Hepatitis B at birth in their countries of origin.
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B, known as Hep B, is a viral disease that’s prevalent in many parts of the world, causing inflammation of the liver and a yellowing of the skin, known as jaundice. Many people with Hepatitis B here in Northern California have no symptoms and are unaware that they have the virus and can spread it to others.
The most common way Hepatitis B is transmitted is when a mom who is infected gives birth to a baby, who is then not vaccinated or immunized. This is the way many people from Asia become chronic carriers of Hepatitis B which can lead to other serious health concerns.