• What is melanoma?

    Melanin is the pigment that gives skin, moles, eyes and hair their color. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes. When cancer originates in the melanocytes, it is called melanoma. Although melanomas most often develop as a form of skin cancer , they can develop elsewhere in the body. Melanoma isn’t as common as other types of skin cancer, but it can be more aggressive. If you have concerns about your risk of skin cancer or if you’ve spotted a suspicious lesion on your skin, you can find the answers you’re looking for at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

    Types of melanoma

    There are three primary types of melanoma.

    • Cutaneous melanoma: Skin cancer
    • Mucosal melanoma: Cancer of the mucous membranes
    • Ocular melanoma: Cancer of the eye

    Causes of melanoma

    According to the Melanoma Research Foundation, an estimated 90 percent of melanoma diagnoses are associated with unprotected UV exposure. Unprotected exposure to sunlight and indoor tanning beds inflicts damage to the DNA in the skin cells. This triggers other abnormal changes, which can sometimes lead to the development of cancer.

    Other risk factors of melanoma include the following:

    • Presence of multiple moles
    • Family history of melanoma
    • Fair skin that freckles and burns easily
    • Suppressed immune system
    • Certain inherited skin conditions

    Treatments for melanoma

    Treatment for melanoma is more likely to be successful when the cancer is detected early. Once melanoma begins to spread to other parts of the body, this disease becomes deadlier and treatments are less effective.

    Surgery is often used, especially when melanoma is detected early. Sometimes, surgery is the only cancer treatment that a patient will need. Other patients may have some combination of the following treatments:

    • Chemotherapy
    • Immunotherapy
    • Radiation therapy

    Cancer Care Services at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center maintains our enduring commitment to healthcare excellence within our dedicated oncology unit. We understand that cancer patients and their families have unique needs, which is why we’re pleased to offer educational resources and amenities you won’t find elsewhere. Call (702) 233-5300 to request a physician referral from a friendly member of our nursing staff.

  • Reducing the stigma of mental illness

    May is Mental Health Month, which makes it the perfect time to get involved with the StigmaFree campaign. It’s an initiative by the National Alliance on Mental Illness to end the negative perceptions of mental illness and give hope to the millions of people struggling with it. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, you’ll find compassionate, sensitive care for all your health concerns. If you’re struggling with a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, consider talking to your family physician about your treatment options.

    Understand the perceptions of mental illness

    Living with a mental illness is hard enough by itself, but coping with the stigma of mental illness makes it even more challenging. Prejudice and stereotypes—and the real consequences that result—are problems that often occur because of a lack of understanding.

    One of the most common false perceptions about people with mental illnesses is that they are violent. In fact, they are more likely to be the victims of violence or self-harm. Other false perceptions are that people with mental illnesses are:

    • Childlike and dependent
    • Irresponsible
    • Of poor character or willpower
    • Alcoholics or drug addicts

    These stigmatizing attitudes can lead to social isolation.

    Become aware of the problems that mental illness stigma causes

    People with mental illnesses face social rejection, isolation and poor self-esteem, and they may begin to believe these false perceptions about themselves. In addition, mental illness stigma is associated with the following problems:

    • Education, housing and employment discrimination
    • Poverty
    • Harassment or bullying
    • Physical violence
    • Reluctance to seek mental healthcare

    As alarming as these consequences are, there is hope for the future.

    Fight back against mental illness stigma

    During Mental Health Month, you can help eliminate stigmatizing attitudes about mental illness by becoming better informed of the types, effects and prevalence of mental health disorders. Spend a little time educating your family and friends about the truth behind the stigma.

    Learn to recognize the signs of common mental health problems. Give your wholehearted support to others who are struggling with these challenges. And if you experience mental health issues, know that your doctor is always available to help you overcome them.

    At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center , your health and quality of life are our highest priorities. Our caring team of physicians and nurses lives and works in the same Las Vegas communities as you, which means we are neighbors serving neighbors. Call our 24/7 nurse referral line at (702) 233-5300 and let us know how we can serve you better.

  • How do risk factors differ for hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke?

    It’s frightening to experience the sudden weakness, confusion and slurred speech that can occur with stroke. When every second counts, Las Vegas residents can count on the specialized, life-saving stroke care at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Our stroke care specialists provide a continuum of superior care, including patient-focused medical guidance on risk management to prevent recurrent stroke.

    Understanding hemorrhagic stroke

    Hemorrhagic stroke is less common than ischemic stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and causes bleeding on the brain, resulting in the death of affected brain cells. There are two types of hemorrhagic stroke: Intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhages.

    Identifying risk factors of hemorrhagic stroke

    High blood pressure is a major risk factor of hemorrhagic strokes that are caused by ruptured aneurysms. Other risk factors include:

    • Smoking
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Substance abuse
    • Hormonal birth control pills

    Intracerebral hemorrhagic strokes that are caused by abnormally formed blood vessels in the brain tend to be more common in men. It’s possible, though not conclusively proven, that these abnormal blood vessels may run in families.

    Understanding ischemic stroke

    Ischemic stroke, which is the most common type, occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Ischemic stroke can occur when plaque accumulates within the arteries and blood clots develop.

    Embolic stroke, a subtype of ischemic stroke, occurs when a blood clot forms somewhere else in the body and travels to the brain. Thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot develops in an artery that leads to the brain.

    Identifying risk factors of ischemic stroke

    Like hemorrhagic stroke, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for ischemic stroke.

    Atrial fibrillation is a common risk factor among patients who suffer embolic stroke. Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm problem that increases the risk of blood clots. These blood clots can form from the pooled blood in the heart, enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain.

    Patients who suffer thrombotic stroke often have abnormal cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis, which is damage to the arteries.

    Other risk factors of ischemic stroke include:

    • Diabetes
    • Circulation disorders
    • Carotid artery disease
    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol abuse
    • Physical inactivity

    Many risk factors of stroke are modifiable by making smart lifestyle decisions and working with your doctor to manage health conditions.

    The stroke care specialists at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are committed to giving our patients the best possible care to save lives and improve long-term outcomes. If you require emergency care in the Las Vegas area, please call 911 without delay. Otherwise, contact a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300 for a physician referral.

  • Recovering from carpal tunnel surgery

    The wrist pain, numbness and weakness that is characteristic of carpal tunnel syndrome can keep you from doing the things you love. If you’ve tried nonsurgical treatments, but haven’t found relief from your symptoms, you’re invited to come and talk to the experts at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas. Watch this featured video to hear one of our skilled orthopedic surgeons explain the dramatic relief of symptoms that patients can generally expect following carpal tunnel surgery.

    Returning home after surgery

    After the surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery area and monitored until you’re ready to return home. A responsible adult should be available to take you home and stay with you for a while. He or she can also review your discharge instructions with the nurse.

    Managing medications after surgery

    It’s normal to experience some pain as the anesthesia begins to wear off. Take prescribed pain medications as directed by your doctor. If these aren’t enough to control your discomfort, you or your caregiver can call the hospital to ask for further guidance.

    You may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent an infection. It’s important to finish the full course of antibiotics, even if you aren’t showing signs of an infection.

    Restricting activity after surgery

    Your healthcare provider will let you know how long you must rest after carpal tunnel surgery . The length of your recovery depends on individual factors, including whether you had open or minimally invasive surgery and whether the surgery affects your dominant hand. During your recovery, it’s important not to lift heavy things or otherwise strain the affected hand.

    While you rest, your doctor may ask that you do the following:

    • Use ice packs to reduce the swelling.
    • Keep the affected hand elevated.
    • Wear a brace or splint for a few weeks.
    • Keep the surgical site clean and dry.

    Doing physical therapy after surgery

    Your doctor will let you know when you can start doing physical therapy. Your physical therapist will walk you through some gentle stretches and exercises. These are designed to restore strength and flexibility.

    When you have your carpal tunnel surgery at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center , you’ll benefit from sophisticated medical technology and highly trained healthcare providers who genuinely care about your quality of life. Our surgical services department attracts the top surgeons in their field, thanks to our hospital’s reputation for healthcare excellence and superior patient safety. You can request a physician referral by calling