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Rare Cancer Linked to Breast Implants

rare cancer linked to breast implants

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported nine deaths stemming from a rare cancer associated with breast implants.

359 cases of cancer from breast implants reported.

The rare cancer, called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), can be found around the breast implant and affects cells in the immune system. Not a type of breast cancer, it can be found in the skin or lymph nodes.

Breast implants are the most popular cosmetic procedure, with over 300,000 women undergoing the treatment in 2016.

“Women with breast implants have a very low but increased risk of developing ALCL compared to women who do not have breast implants” warns the FDA.  The textured surfaced implants seem to be the culprits, with 203 of the 231 cases found.

To date most cases of ALCL have been described as a slow-growing cancer that is treatable when detected early.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgeon Foundation, about 10 to 11 million women in the world have breast implants. One study estimates the incidence of ALCL from breast-implants at 1 in 300,000.

How To Monitor Breast Implants

This cancer can take 10 years to develop.  Women with implants should have routine screenings such as regular mammograms or MRIs as recommended by their doctors. Women should also watch out for breast swelling.

Source: CNN.com “9 deaths and rare cancer linked to breast cancer implants, says FDA.”

E. coli Outbreak

E. coli Outbreak Reported

157 Cases Reported so far

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections.
To date, 157 cases have been reported, with six people requiring hospitalization. Four of these people developed HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome), a type of kidney failure.

Outbreak Suspected Cause

e coli outbreak reported
The outbreak is linked to the I. M. Healthy Brand SoyNut Better, different varieties and sizes. If you have any in your household, put in a sealed bag in the trash immediately. It is harmful to children, adults, pets or other animals.
Symptoms include:
  • Diarrhea (often bloody)
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Usually ill from 2 – 8 days (average is 3-4 days after swallowing the germ)
  • Recovery within one week
This infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.

Severe Cases Require Hospitalization

More severe cases can result in HUS – a type of kidney failure.
If you or someone you know experience the symptoms of HUS, seek immediate medical care!
  • Fever, abdominal pain
  • Pale skin tone
  • Fatigue and irratability
  • Small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth
  • Decreased urination.
Seek immediate medical attention. We can check your symptoms. Get checked at of our Walk-in Clinics:
Glendale/Peoria – 17218 N. 72nd Dr., Glendale AZ  85308
Phoenix/Avondale – 4110 N. 108th Ave., # 101, Phoenix, AZ 85037
Surprise/Sun City – 14811 W. Bell Rd., # 100, Surprise, AZ 85254
Source:  Infection Prevention & Control Department 3/13/17

Why You Should Keep Your Doctor’s Appointment

why you should keep your doctors appointment

One of the most important relationships you will have to maintain your health is your relationship with your doctor. A good doctor-patient relationship can be very much like a partnership. It’s your opportunity to work closely with your doctor to stay healthy and address any medical concerns. You should always keep your scheduled doctor’s appointment unless a real emergency comes up.

Why You Should Keep Your Doctor’s Appointment

Your doctor can watch out for your health.  Many people think they are healthy, and are surprised when they go in for a physical and their doctor discovers a health concern that needs to be addressed.

See the same doctor regularly to establish a comfortable relationship. Good communication with your doctor can help the partnership.  Ask questions if you don’t understand and talk about problems you are experiencing even if your doctor does not ask. Good communication between you and your doctor can lead to the best possible health outcome.

Prevention is another good reason to keep your appointment. Your doctor can identify things to do and/or provide helpful suggestions that can lead to better health and prevent illnesses. We believe prevention and leading a healthy lifestyle are very important to our patient’s overall health.

Financial consequences – Avoid cancellation fees by keeping your appointment. Most doctor’s offices and clinics charge a fee for missing your appointment.

Getting Ready for Your Doctor’s Appointment

If you have a number of health concerns to discuss with your doctor, let the staff know when you schedule your visit so they can allocate enough time.  Here’s some things to consider:

Prescription Refills. Do you need to refill any prescriptions? For some medications, the doctor may be willing to provide a small prescription to carry your over.  Prescriptions for controlled medications will be considered a special case and will likely require a visit (or even multiple visits) and some background information. Sometimes lab tests are needed.

Be sure to bring any current prescriptions and supplements you are taking with you to the appointment. If you don’t want to bring the bottles, bring a list of the items you take and include name, brand and dosage.  Your doctor will check to make sure they are medicines that can be taken together.

Number of Concerns.  If you have a number of health concerns to discuss with your doctor, let the staff know when you schedule your appointment.  The office staff needs to know so they can schedule enough time for the doctor.  If you don’t want to list the concerns, at least let the staff know how many concerns you would like to discuss at the appointment.

Write down your concerns prior to the doctor’s appointment.

Special Needs. If you have special needs such as wheelchair access or interpretive needs, let them know. If you need an interpreter, that is also good for the clinic to know in advance.

Excuses.  When you make the appointment, let the staff know if you need any excuses for missing work or school.

Office Policies.  Find out what policies are in place for missed or rescheduled appointments.  We charge $50 for missed appointments that are not cancelled within the 24 hours period before your appointment.

Advance Appointments. It’s always best if you can schedule an appointment in advance.  We offer priority appointments so you can schedule a good time on the day you need to see a doctor.

New Patient. If you are a new patient, there will be a number of forms that require filling out. Allow time to fill out these forms prior to your appointment.  At West Valley, we have the forms online so you can download and complete prior to your office visit.

At West Valley Urgent Care, you will be seen by our primary care doctors who also serve in our internal medicine and family practice.  If you need a primary care provider, you can join our Internal Medicine practice – West Valley Internal Medicine. Check to see if we take your insurance, as we accept most insurance carriers.

In summary, it is important to keep your doctor’s appointment.  Your health may depend upon it.

You’re Invited – Total Body Event – March 10, 2017

Total Body Event

You’re Invited

RSVP Now to (623) 691-8319

When: Friday, March 10, 2017
12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Where: Abloom Med Spa
17218 N. 72nd Dr., Ste. 101, Glendale AZ  85308
Cost: Free!

Find out about the latest body contouring & facial rejuvenation treatments

  • Meet with Dr. Punia, who performs all our Smartlipo treatments
  • Get a Free Consultation
  • Learn about Kybella, a Non-invasive Way to Get Rid of Double Chins
  • See how Smartlipo Triplex can melt away stubborn fat in one treatment with minimal downtime
  • Discover New Facial Rejuvenation techniques
  • Learn about hormone therapy pellets
  • Get Exclusive Event Pricing!
  • Win great raffle prizes


KYBELLA is the first FDA-approved injectable to treat double chins.

kybella before and after

Smartlipo Triplex

Smartlipo is laser-assisted lipolysis that can melt away fat and tighten the skin.

  • 1 Session in-office procedure
  • Less than 2 hour treatment time
  • Low discomfort
  • Minimal downtime

At West Valley Care, we want people to look and feel their very best!

Call (623) 691-8319 to reserve your spot.  Attendance is limited.

Spring Allergy Season & $15 Allergy Shot Special


Spring is almost here. And with that comes our spring allergy season. Millions of Americans suffer from allergies each year.  However, you do not have to be one of them.


The first step is to know what you’re allergic to. Next, it helps to minimize your exposure to those allergens—whether that means cleaning your home in a certain way to reduce indoor allergens or keeping an eye on your local allergy forecast.

Once you start suffering from seasonal allergy symptoms, figure out which allergy medicine is right for you and start treating as soon as your allergy symptoms start. Taking your medicine before peak allergy season can help alleviate symptoms like nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes.

According to the National Weather Channel, in partnership with Flonase, this is our allergy chart for March 1, 2017.  Pollen is high.

spring allergy season

Allergy Shot Special Offer

West Valley Urgent Care is offering $15.00 allergy shots with your paid office visit!

Get relief for this spring’s allergy season. This offer is good through March 31, 2017.  Mention this offer during your appointment.

You can walk-in or call ahead to schedule a priority appointment. You can also request it your priority appointment online.

Glendale Peoria Office (623) 334-8671
17218 N 72nd Dr., Suite 100, Glendale, AZ 85308

Phoenix Avondale Office (623) 218-0782
4110 N. 108th Ave., Suite 101, Phoenix, AZ 85037

Surprise Sun City Office  (623) 691-7748
14811 W. Bell Road, Suite 100, Surprise, AZ 85374

About Pollen Levels

Pollen levels indicate the amount of pollen in the air. The season and geographic area are the two primary factors that contribute to higher pollen levels. A common misconception is that pollen levels will be almost zero during colder months. Trees actually start producing pollen as early as January in southern states. They also produce such a large volume of pollen that it can increase pollen levels miles away.

Also, be aware that regardless of your outdoor pollen level and allergy report, pollen can still be transported indoors by animals and clothing.

If you are suffering from allergies, come in for an appointment! You don’t have to suffer.

10 Heart Failure Facts to Know

10 heart failure facts

When the heart isn’t able to pump enough blood throughout the body, heart failure occurs, leading to symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath.

One of our employees relatives was brought to the hospital by ambulance. We were told his heart had stopped a couple times and CRP was done by the first responder.  We were frightened and started researching cardiac arrest, learning it is fatal in 9 out of 10 instances.  Luckily, the reason he was actually brought to the hospital was because he had stopped breathing twice.  Big difference, still scary.

Approximately 5.7 million Americans are affected by heart failure.

“Heart failure occurs when the muscles of the heart essentially die, or weaken,” says Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, the director of women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and a national spokeswomen for the Go Red for Women campaign. “As heart function weakens, the blood doesn’t push forward through the body as easily.”

Many symptoms can occur, from shortness of breath, fatigue, to swollen ankles.

1. There are different types of heart failure.

The heart’s left ventricle, right ventricle or both can be affected by heart failure. Systolic heart failure is the most common failure, when the heart muscle’s function is diminished and blood doesn’t flow as readily through the body.

Diastolic heart failure occurs when the heart experiences relaxation impairment and is unable to fill with blood properly due to stiffening of the muscle.

Heart failure is often referred to as “congestive heart failure,” which means that fluid has accumulated in other parts of the body (such as in the lungs and liver) as a result of blood circulating improperly. But not all cases of heart failure are congestive.

2. Certain conditions may signal heart problems

Heart failure tends to follow other conditions. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks or coronary artery disease are more likely to experience heart failure. Many of these diseases do weaken the heart.
The good news is many of these conditions are correctable, given good lifestyle choices and taking steps to reduce the risks.

3. Pinpointing symptoms isn’t always easy.

When it comes to your heart health, determining whether certain symptoms are linked to heart problems isn’t always easy. Still, when the heart is unable to meet the demands of the body, typical symptoms would include shortness of breath, swelling of the extremities (think: feet, ankles, and legs), chronic coughing,fatigue, a diminished appetite, or a quickened heart rate.

4. Diagnosis are largely symptom based.

“Heart failure is diagnosed by symptoms more than anything” explains Dr. Steinbaum. “If someone has worsening shortness of breath, inability to walk down the street, or they can’t lie flat in bed without difficulty breathing, their doctor may want to do an EKG to look for heart damage or an echocardiogram, which looks at the function of the heart muscle.” If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment and discuss it with your doctor.

5.  Exercise Helps

Regular exercise is an excellent way to lower the risk of heart disease. Aerobic exercise prevents weight gain (lowering the risk of diabetes and obesity) and also keeps your arteries healthy and controls blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The American Heart Association recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity every week.

6.  Avoid Salty Foods

Consuming too much sodium causes the body to retain water. Excess salt raises your risk of blood pressure, which in turn taxes the heart even more.

7.  Not Smoking Is Very Important

“Everytime someone inhales from a cigarette, they’re potentially tearing the lining of the arteries, called the endothelium,” says Dr. Steinbaum. As this lining gets worn down, she explains, a person’s risk of developing coronary artery disease—as well as heart attacks and subsequent heart failure—goes up. “Stopping smoking is the most preventable thing we can do,” she adds.

Lifestyle factors play a big role in lowering one’s risk of cardiovascular disorders.

8. Choose a Heart-Healthy Diet

For patients with heart failure, a balanced diet is important. Heart-healthy food include:

  • Salmon – packed with omega-3 fatty acides
  • Avocados – a healthy fat
  • Oatmeal – soluble fiber which can help lower cholesterol
  • Nuts – more fiber plus vitamin E
  • Fresh Produce – blueberries, citrus fruits and tomatoes

9. Customized Treatments are Available

The good news is there are multiple treatment options for people diagnosed with heart failure. The first step is treating the underlying causes of heart failure such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Doctors can conduct tests to see if there is blockage or placque buildup present.

10. Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

Lifestyle choices can make all the difference in preventing heart failure.

“Learning the best way to eat and making time to get up and move—even if it’s just walking 10,000 steps a day—is a huge part of staying healthy and preventing heart failure down the road,” Dr. Steinbaum says. “Plus, it’s a progressive disease. Let’s make healthy choices now so we never have to get there.”

heart health month

Tips for Better Sleep

Here’s eight helpful tips for better sleep:

  1. Make sleep a priority – keep a consistent sleep and wake schedule.
  2. Create a sleep sanctuary – your bedroom should be dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
  3. Maintain a relaxing sleep routine – create a bedtime routine and do things that relax you such as reading a book, taking a bath or listening to relaxing music.
  4. Keep work out – do not have your work materials in your room.
  5. Stop using technology – the lights emitted from these devices harms your ability to sleep.
  6. Exercise early – complete your workout a minimum of two hours before you go to bed
  7. Eat light in the evening – finish eating three to four hours before bedtime
  8. Keep a journal by your bed – write down things that might keep you awake so you can let go of those thoughts and sleep.

In an article on the Huffington Post, entitled “How to Recover From Sleepless Nights“, Sleep expert Dr. Carol Ash, Corporate Director at Meridian Health answered some commonly asked questions about sleep. We hope you find these answers helpful.

What’s the best way to recover from a night of no sleep?Tips for better sleep

Take a nap. “The number one thing to do when you didn’t get enough sleep is, well, sleep,” Ash says. If you’re not in a spot where you can nap, then go outside and get some sunlight. The natural rays will alert your body that it’s time to shine.

What the ideal length of a nap?

Twenty minutes is enough to make you feel refreshed, Ash says. You can extend your nap a bit longer, but make sure it doesn’t exceed 40 minutes. Doing so gets you into deeper REM sleep and could leave you with a groggy feeling when you wake up.

What’s the one thing you can do to improve your sleep tonight?

Get into a bedtime routine. Ash recommends winding down by putting devices outside the room, taking a shower or bath and reading a hardcover book (no screens!). You’ll be ready to snooze in no time.

What’s the deal with sleep apnea?

It’s a BIG deal, to begin with. “The first thing is to take sleep apnea seriously,” Ash says. You could have mild — or even severe — sleep apnea without realizing it, along with more than 10 million other Americans. Many people see snoring as a silly side effect of sleep, or they don’t realize that frequent middle-of-the-night bathroom trips are the result of waking up from struggling to breathe.

Ash recommends taking a simple at-home sleep test to get to the root of your sleep troubles and rule out sleep apnea as the cause. The fix could be something as simple as losing weight or finally addressing seasonal allergies.

I wake up often in the middle the night. How can I fall back asleep fast?

Just relax. Ash says that having tense muscles while asleep can put your brain in a hyper-aroused state, causing it to scan the environment for new information the instant you wake up.

So let your muscles calm down, one at a time. “Start with your toes, and focus on slowly relaxing body parts as you work your way up,” Ash recommends. “Most of the time, you’ll be asleep by the time you get to the neck.” Arianna Huffington also recommends a sleep-friendly meditation if you wake up, to get your mind back to the here and now.

Can weird sleep patterns really make me gain weight?

Yes. Worst of all, “a lack of sleep makes you gain weight around your waistline, which is a very important area,” Ash says. On a lack of sleep, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy while hunger-signaling hormones get a boost, as Reader’s Digest notes. The result is a perfect storm for gain in the waistline, an area where excess weight is known to put you at risk for heart disease.

Health Alert: Leptospirosis Outbreak

leptospirosis outbreak
An ongoing outbreak of leptospirosis has affected over 40 dogs in Maricopa County.  To date, no human cases have been confirmed, but multiple illnesses are being investigated.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.

Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.

Leptospirosis Symptoms in Humans

Symptoms can be “flu-like” and include:
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Chils
  • Muscle Aches
  • Vomiting
  • Red eyes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)

How To Get Infected

The bacteria that causes leptospirosis is spread through the urine of an infected animal, which can get into the water and soil. The bacteria is resilient and can survive for weeks to months. Rodents can carry and spread the bacteria that causes this disease.

Symptoms in Animals

There are NO symptoms of the disease when animals are infected.  Infected animals may continue to excrete the bacteria into the environment continuously or sporadically for a few months and up to several years.

Humans can become infected through:

  • Contact with urine or other body fluids (except saliva) from infected animals
  • Contact with water, soil or food contaminated with the urine of the infected animals.

The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch.

Timeline for Illness

The time between a person’s exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks. Illness usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms. Leptospirosis may occur in two phases:
  • After the first phase (with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, or diarrhea) the patient may recover for a time but become ill again.
  • If a second phase occurs, it is more severe; the person may have kidney or liver failure or meningitis. This phase is also called Weil’s disease.
The illness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.


This disease is treated with antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin, which should be given early in the course of the disease. For more severe symptoms, intravenous antibiotics may be required.
If you or anyone you know may be suffering from leptospirosis, come into a health care provider right away.

Treatment in Pets and Animals

Luckily, leptospirosis is treatable with antibiotics. Please take your pet to see a veterinarian right away.

February is National Heart Month


February is National Heart month.

  Someone in the U.S. dies of heart disease every 85 seconds. Don’t wait to get heart-healthy.

Did you know, 80% of heart disease and stroke events are preventable?

In the United States…

  • Fewer Americans have been dying of heart disease and stroke since the 1980s thanks to progress in medical therapies for patients with a history of heart disease and stroke and from lifestyle changes that are curbing the risk.
  • In every year since 1900 except 1918, Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) accounted for more deaths than any other major cause of death in the United States. Stroke still ranks fifth.
  • An estimated 85.6 million people in the U.S. are living with cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and chest pain.
  • Among U.S. adults, 32.6 percent—about 80 million—have high blood pressure.
  • Despite an overall 28.8 percent drop in cardiovascular disease death rates from 2003 to 2013, the high blood pressure death rate increased 8.2 percent over that same time.

Seeing signs of heart disease? Know the symptoms.february is heart health month

Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices. Heart disease signs and symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back

What can you do to protect your heart?

  • Know your blood pressure and keep it under control.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get tested for diabetes and if you have it, keep it under control.
  • Know your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and keep them under control.
  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Learn about the age of your heart

Click here to learn about the age of your heart.

American Heart Month - Go red!

Feeling Dizzy

feeling dizzy

We are seeing a number of patients coming into our clinics complaining of dizziness. We are also seeing a large number of patients complaining of sinus infections, cough, and eye irritations.  We can help so schedule your appointment online or walk into one of our three urgent care locations.

Causes of Dizziness

We are checking our patients to see what is causing the dizziness.  Causes can include:

  • Sugar/Glucose levels
  • Blood Pressure
  • Stress/Anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Pregnancy
  • Sinus infections/Allergies
  • Medications (blood pressure, pain medications or antibiotics)
  • Brain diseases/conditions (stroke, dementia, and migraines)
  • Use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs
  • Bleeding

Symptoms of Dizziness

People may complain of lightheadedness, feeling faint or passing out, spinning, whirling, or motion, weakness, tiredness, confusion, feeling off balance, headache or head pressure, or nausea.

Dizziness Treatment

Your doctor needs to find the underlying cause of the dizziness in order to treat it.  The treatment depends on the cause.  Most causes are pretty harmless and will go away on their own.  However, sometimes dizziness is a sign of a more serious disease that could become life-threatening.


Vertigo is different from dizziness as it is caused by confliscts between the signals sent to the brain by various balance and position-sensing systems in our body, such as the inner ear. People will have a stronger spinning sensation with vertigo.

Common Causes of Vertigo include:

  • Inner ear disorders
  • Injury to the ear or head
  • Migraine headaches, which are painful and debilitating.
  • Decreased blood flow through the arteries that supply blood to the base of the brain
  • Noncancerous growth in the space behind the eardrum
  • Brain tumors and cancer

Immediate medical attention should be sought if vertigo occurs suddenly with a change in speech or vision or other loss of function.