Cancer Prevention Foods for the Holidays

Load up your holiday meals with foods that may reduce the risk of cancer.

When you’re preparing menus for holiday meals, you might not be thinking that what you serve could help to lower the risk of developing cancer. But eating certain foods may play a part in reducing that risk, especially when combined with a physically active lifestyle and an overall diet that promotes a healthy weight. Here are some of those foods you might want to include in your upcoming festivities.

Healthy Fruits

Cranberry sauce is a staple on many Thanksgiving tables. The good news is, it’s also a fruit with flavonoids, chemical compounds that have health benefits. Studies have shown that foods high in flavonoids can reduce the risk of heart disease, and studies in animals have shown some cancer-reducing properties as well. Many of the foods containing flavonoids also have other helpful components, such as fiber and certain vitamins. Other fruits high in flavonoids include:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes

Nothing Nutty About It

Whether you put chestnuts in your stuffing or pecans in your pies, nuts are part of many holiday meals. They also play a role in an overall diet that can reduce cancer risk. Nuts to consider include:

  • Walnuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Pine nuts

A Vast Array of Vegetables

Vegetables are also part of a diet that promotes overall health and can reduce the risk of cancer. Some candidates for holiday dishes include:

  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as:
    • Broccoli
    • Cabbage
    • Cauliflower
    • Collard Greens
    • Turnips
  • Leafy greens, such as:
    • Kale
    • Spinach
    • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic

Good Grains and Beans

Whole-grain flours and the products made from them are high in fiber. So are legumes, which include

  • Lentils
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Peas

Both grains and beans also contain other compounds that may lower the chances of developing some cancers.

What Not to Serve

In general, these foods are thought to play a part in increasing the risk of developing some cancers:

  • Red meats
  • Processed meats
  • Charred meats
  • Items preserved in salt

At Tennova Healthcare, we hope everyone takes steps to reduce their chances of developing cancer. But when someone has symptoms that indicate cancer, our Cancer Centers and Men’s Health Center of Excellence are ready to provide diagnosis, treatment, and emotional support. Call 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682) for more information.

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PSA and Early Detection of Prostate Cancer

Doctors know the PSA test can save lives.

If you’re a man concerned about your prostate health, you might know that recommendations for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screenings have stirred some controversy. In 2012, a U.S. medical task force said men without symptoms of prostate cancer do not need routine screenings. But many specialists argue that the tests are useful. Here’s a look at what we know now.

Prostate Cancer and the PSA

Prostate cancer is the second-most diagnosed form of cancer in men. High levels of PSA in the blood can indicate the presence of the cancer even when a man doesn’t show symptoms. But non-cancerous conditions can also raise the PSA level, and many men have gone through unnecessary biopsies. In other cases, men did have cancer, but it would have grown so slowly that it would not have affected their health. Either a biopsy or surgery can cause such complications as:

  • Infection
  • Impotence
  • Incontinence


Some researchers say that every year, 17,000 American men won’t learn they have prostate cancer if routine PSA screenings stop.The recent recommendations from the American Cancer Society are:

  • Men who are 50, have an average risk of developing prostate cancer, and are likely to live at least ten more years should discuss a screening with their doctor.
  • Men who are at high risk of developing prostate cancer, such as African Americans, should discuss the screening at 45.
  • The discussion should take place at 40 for men who have one close relative, such as a father or brother, who developed prostate cancer at an early age.
  • Men who are screened and have a result of 2.5 nanograms per milliliter or higher should be retested every year.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

These risk factors could influence when and if to be screened:

  • Prostate cancer is more common as men age.
  • It occurs less often in Hispanic and Asian Americans.
  • Men who eat a lot of red meat may be at a higher risk.

For men who do develop prostate cancer, Tennova’s Men’s Health Center of Excellence is ready to help. The center’s Nurse Navigators guide the men and their families through the treatment process. You can reach one at (865) 441-5286.

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Breast Health Update

Know and act on these recommendations for screening for breast cancer.

It’s something every woman dreads: finding a lump in her breast. While most lumps are benign, some are the first signs of cancer. This year, more than 230,000 American women will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer. The good news is, death rates from breast cancer have fallen, thanks in part to early detection and better treatment methods. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we’re offering the latest guidelines on what women should do to screen for breast cancer.

Women Under 40

Women in their 20s and 30s should receive a clinical breast exam every three years. This is a physical exam done by a health professional. Women who are comfortable with it can also do regular self-breast exams. Instructions for these can be found here.

Starting at Age 40

Women 40 and over should:

  • Have an annual clinical breast exam
  • Have an annual mammogram as long as they are in good health and don’t have serious, chronic conditions. If you have serious chronic conditions you should talk to your doctor to determine what is best for you.
  • Continue with self-exams if they did them before

Special Considerations

Women who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer should have an MRI along with their mammograms. Doctors use several different assessment tools to determine a woman’s lifetime risk level. Risk factors include:

  • A family history of breast cancer
  • Previous radiation treatments to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30
  • The presence of gene mutations BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • The presence of either of those mutations in close family members (parents, siblings, children)

Women at a high risk should follow these recommendations for having an MRI:

  • In most cases, begin screenings at age 30 along with annual mammograms.
  • Have the MRI at an facility that can perform MRI-guided breast biopsies.
  • Consult with their doctor about their specific circumstances to determine when to begin MRI screenings.

At Tennova Healthcare, our Breast Centers offer the latest technology for breast cancer screenings and special Mammography Screening events in October.  To schedule a mammography, call us at (865) 545-7771.  Also, make plans now to attend our Beating Breast Cancer: It Takes A Village special event on October 23 at The Foundry in Knoxville.

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5 Great Weight Loss Tips

Here are some ways to lose those extra pounds and keep them off.

The news is filled with stories about our country’s obesity epidemic. Just over one-third of all Americans are obese, and about the same number are overweight. Carrying extra pounds puts people at risk for a host of diseases, from heart disease to type 2 diabetes.

if you’re overweight, consider following these suggestions to begin losing weight.

Make a Weight Reduction Plan

Before you start trying to lose weight, consider such things as:

  • Situations that make you want to eat and how to avoid them
  • Setting a realistic goal for how much you want to lose
  • Preparing for the possibility that you might have setbacks


One key to weight loss is burning more calories through physical activity than you consume. Exercise is one part of that. You should do:

  • Muscle-building exercises, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands
  • Aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming
  • At least one hour of physical activity every day

Reduce Calories

One way to cut calories and still feel full is to eat more foods that are high in fiber and water. Some recommendations include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Lean meat, fish, and poultry

The flip side is eating less of foods that are high in calories, such as

  • Sugary processed foods
  • Fatty meats
  • Whole-fat dairy products

Make Food Substitutions

Replace high-calorie ingredients in your favorite recipes with low-calorie substitutes. Some examples include:

  • Using low- or non-fat dairy products
  • Replacing cream in soups with broth
  • Substituting fresh veggies for chips or other snack foods

Control Portions

At home, use smaller plates. When eating out, where portions can be extremely large, try splitting an entrée with someone else. Or you can ask for a doggie bag when you order. Then you can put half of the meal aside before you start to eat.

For some obese people, even with dieting and exercise, they can’t lose the weight they need to be healthy. For them, one option might be bariatric (weight-loss) surgery at Tennova’s Center for Surgical Weight Loss. Call (865) 694-9676 for more information or to see if you’re a candidate for one of the various methods of weight-loss surgery.

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Planning Your Birth Experience

Planning ahead can reduce stress during the delivery process.

A mom-to-be is flooded with thoughts and feelings as her due date nears.  But one step she might have overlooked is envisioning what she wants to happen on delivery day.

A Birth Plan

Some doctors and midwives encourage expectant mothers to write a birth plan. It can be just a one-page statement of what the mother would like during delivery and right after birth. The plan should take into account the situation particular to each woman, such as:

  • Where the delivery will take place
  • Any set rules or procedures a medical institution might have
  • Any special health considerations for the mother or baby

What to Consider

When writing out a plan, pregnant mothers should consider such questions as:

  • Who, if anyone, will accompany the mother during the delivery?
  • What kinds of pain relief will be used? Some options include:
    • Hot and cold packs
    • Massage
    • Relaxation techniques
  • Will pain relief include medication, and if so, what kind?
  • Does the mother want to use special facilities, if they are available? These could be:
    • A Labor, Delivery, Recovey, Postpartum (LDRP) room
    • A birthing pool
    • Equipment designed to make her more comfortable
  • Is there a preferred position for delivering the baby?
  • If a cesarean section is needed, does the mother have any special instructions?
  • Should the baby be cleaned before it’s given to the mother?

Other Considerations

  • It’s a good idea to review a birth plan with the medical personnel who will be handling the delivery. They’ll know if something isn’t practical or make suggestions for other items to include.
  • Some mothers write up a plan based on a normal delivery and postnatal situation, then add a second page for their wishes if complications develop.
  • The plan can include whether or not the mother will breastfeed from birth.

At Tennova Healthcare, we’re proud of the care we offer pregnant mothers during the birth process. The Labor and Delivery Center at Physicians Regional Medical Center has the region’s only certified nurse midwives. Two other hospitals in our system also offer comprehensive maternity care: Newport Medical Center and Turkey Creek Medical Center. Pregnant women looking for an obstetrician referral can call us at (855) 836-6682.

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Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

Knowing the signs and calling 911 can save a life.

A leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, and a common sign of it is a heart attack. More than 700,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year–that's one about every 34 seconds. By knowing the symptoms of a heart attack and taking fast action, a person can survive and thrive after one occurs.

Major Signs of a Heart Attack

While the symptoms are not the same for everyone, the most common signs of a heart attack are:

  • Pain or discomfort anywhere across the chest; the pain can last for a few minutes or come and go
  • Pain or discomfort in any of these areas of the upper body, with or without chest discomfort:

    • Neck
    • Jaw
    • One or both arms
    • Back
    • Shoulders
    • Upper part of the stomach
  • Shortness of breath; characteristics of this symptom include:

    • It may be the only symptom.
    • It may arise before or along with chest pain or discomfort.
    • It can happen when a person is at rest or doing only light physical activity.

Other Signs

These include:

  • Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Feeling unusually tired for no reason
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in existing symptoms, such as symptoms becoming stronger or lasting longer than usual

Heart Attack Symptoms and Women

While many women experience chest pain and discomfort during a heart attack, some do not. They’re more apt to feel the other symptoms, particularly:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Back or jaw pain
  • Unusual tiredness that lasts for days

Other Considerations

  • The symptoms of a heart attack can be mild and may come and go over several hours.
  • The symptoms can develop over a period of days or even weeks.
  • People with diabetes who experience a heart attack may have no or only mild symptoms.
  • A person undergoing a second heart attack may not have the same symptoms as with the first one.
  • Call 911 if someone is experiencing chest pain or other heart attack symptoms.

At Tennova Healthcare, Tennova Cardiology team offers the latest treatment for all kinds of heart disease and helps with rehabilitation after a heart attack. If you need help scheduling an appointment with any of Tennova’s doctors, call 1-855-836-6682.

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Tips on Preventing Falls

Protect yourself and loved ones against the danger of falls.

Whether it starts with a slip, a trip, or a stumble, a fall can lead to serious injuries, especially among the elderly. Each year, one in three U.S. adults over 65 experiences a fall, and falls are the leading cause of injury, both fatal and nonfatal, for that age group. Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of falls.

Fall-proof Your Home

Some things you can do around the house to reduce the chance of falls include:

  • Keeping floors clear of clutter
  • Installing nightlights in the paths from bedrooms to bathrooms
  • Moving furniture that blocks pathways
  • Storing boxes away from doorways and halls
  • Immediately replacing loose floorboards or damaged tiles
  • Running electrical cords away from pathways
  • Installing motion-detection light switches
  • Installing grab rails near toilets and in bathtubs
  • Removing area rugs or using non-skid rugs
  • Installing hand rails on either side of stairways
  • Immediately wiping up spills on floors
  • Putting non-slip mats inside showers and tubs
  • Storing foods and other daily items where they are easily accessible and don’t require using a step stool to reach
  • Never standing on a chair or other piece of furniture to reach something

Fall-proof Outside Your Home

Some of the safety prevention measures you can take outdoors include:

Make Lifestyle Changes

Staying in overall good health and making certain lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of falls. Some of these steps include:

  • Getting regular eye exams
  • Doing exercises that increase bone strength, such as:

    • Walking
    • Jogging
    • Dancing
    • Lifting weights
  • Doing exercises that improve balance, such as tai chi
  • Always wearing shoes or slippers
  • Wearing sunglasses when walking outdoors
  • Learning about possible side effects from medication that might cause fatigue or dizziness
  • Not drinking alcohol in excess

Even by taking all these steps, someone can fall in or around your home. If an accidental fall occurs, the staff at Tennova Healthcare’s six Knoxville-area Emergency Departments are ready to help. For non-emergency medical needs, call 1-855-836-6682 for help scheduling an appointment.

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What You Should Know About Heat Stroke

With the summer comes an increased risk of this potentially deadly condition.

While most people enjoy the warm summer months, you can get too much of a good thing. During extreme heat and humidity, the risk of a heat stroke rises.

What Is Heat Stroke?

Of all the physical problems associated with excessive heat, heat stroke is the worst. With a heat stroke, the body loses the ability to regulate its own temperature. As body temperature soars, so does the risk of permanent injury to organs or even death.

While commonly associated with climatic conditions and not drinking enough fluids, these actions and conditions can also play a role:

  • Exercising or working extremely hard
  • Wearing heavy clothing
  • Having certain health problems, such heart disease, obesity, and alcoholism
  • Taking certain medications, such as diuretics

Some basic steps for preventing heat stroke include:

  • Avoiding physical activity outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wearing light, loose-fitting clothes
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Avoiding caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages


Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Hot, dry, red skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Fever of more than 104° F
  • Unconsciousness

First Aid

If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 911, then take these steps for immediate treatment:

  • Put the person in a cool, shady spot.
  • Soak his/her clothes in water or spray cold water over the body.
  • If possible, place the entire body in cool water.
  • Fan the body.
  • If they’re available, place ice packs on the person's neck, head, armpits, and groin.
  • If the person begins to shiver, slow the treatment, as shivering raises the body’s temperature.

Cars and Kids

Heatstroke can strike children who are left unattended in cars. In just the first half of 2014, more than a dozen U.S. kids left in cars died from heat stroke. The message is clear: Never leave children alone in a car. And if you see an unattended child in a car, call 911.

At Tennova Healthcare, we know how serious heat-related disorders can be. Our Emergency Departments are ready to help when the heat become too much. For other conditions that don’t need immediate care, call us at 1-855-836-6682 for help scheduling an appointment.

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Prostate Health: What Men (& Women) Need to Know

This small gland in men can pose serious health problems.

Men—and the women who love them—should learn about possible medical concerns associated with the prostate gland. Located near the bladder, the prostate is part of the male reproductive system. Depending on their age, millions of men face three major prostate health problems.


This inflammation or irritation of the prostate is most common in men under 50. Symptoms include:

  • A burning feeling during urination
  • Feeling the urge to urinate frequently
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Depending on the cause of the inflammation, a doctor might prescribe antibiotics, warm baths, or alpha blockers.

Enlarged Prostate

An enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is common among many men over 50. As they age, their prostate enlarges, and this puts pressure on the urethra. Symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Trouble starting the urine stream
  • Decreased pressure of the stream
  • Pushing or straining to urinate
  • Feeling that the bladder is not empty, even after done urinating
  • Dribbling after urination ends

Treatments for BPH include:

  • Taking alpha blockers or other prescription medications
  • Several forms of low-level radiation
  • Surgery

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is another concern for men over 50, especially given how common it is. Almost 15 percent of American men will develop the disease. But it is also treatable if caught early and often progresses very slowly, so many doctors recommend “watchful waiting” before trying treatments with possible extreme side effects.

Some of the risk factors for prostate cancer include:

  • Race – African Americans are more likely to develop it
  • Family history of the disease
  • A diet high in red meat and dairy products

Recommendations for screening for prostate cancer with either a digital exam or the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test recently changed. Between the ages of 40 and 54, men without high risk factors generally don't need to be screened so be sure to discuss your risk factor with your doctor. Men over 55 or who have special concerns should discuss the possible pluses and minues of screening with their doctors.

At Tennova Healthcare, we know the concerns many men have about prostate health–and often the women in their lives share it. That’s why our Women’s Health Extra program is offering a session on prostate health on June 26. Call 855-836-6682 for more information.

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Tips on Getting Fit and Avoiding Injuries (Be Careful, Weekend Warriors)

Take precautions so your exercise session doesn’t lead to any pain or strain.

Maybe you’ve been seriously pursuing physical fitness for years. Maybe you’re just starting a regular exercise regimen to help you get fit. Regardless of your experience level, you run the risk of injuring yourself—if you’re not careful about the exercises you do and how you do them. Here are some tips for avoiding injury when you exercise.

For Runners

Warming up not only helps prevent injury. It also keeps you from getting going too fast and burning out during your run.  Warm ups can include:

  • Walking gently for a few minutes
  • Jogging
  • Running in several short bursts of about 100 yards
  • Dynamic stretching, which can include:

    • Skipping
    • Side stepping
    • Imitating the leg lifts used to play hackey-sack

Other steps runners can take to reduce the risk of injury include:

  • Run on soft surfaces.
  • Rest one or two days between running sessions.
  • Strengthen leg muscles through exercise.

For Weightlifters

Weightlifters can get some serious injuries if they’re not careful. Some of them include:

  • Joint dislocations
  • Back strain
  • Muscle tears

Even less serious injuries are no fun, but they can be avoided by:

  • Stretching before working out
  • Doing exercises designed to improve core strength, such as planks or bridges, or exercises with a stability ball
  • Learning the correct form from a trainer
  • Paying attention to any strange clicking or popping noises in joints and getting them checked out

Some General Tips

No matter what kind of exercise you enjoy, doing these things can help you avoid injury:

  • Warm up before starting.
  • Cool down after.
  • Stretch slowly.
  • Wear the proper shoes and other clothing for your sport and make sure they fit correctly.
  • Eat properly and drink plenty of water.
  • Seek treatment for any exercise-related injury.

At Tennova Healthcare, we know the value of regular exercise for good health. Our Health and Fitness Center in Powell is a modern facility complete with a pool, gymnasium, indoor and outdoor tracks, and weights and exercise equipment of all kinds. We also have trainers who can help you exercise smartly and safely. To learn more about the center and membership options, call (865) 859-7900.

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