Health Matters Blog

Don’t Let a Hernia Put a Strain on Your Life

Published November 23, 2012

Thomas-H.-Lewis By Dr. Thomas H. Lewis Hernias happen. They happen to overweight, out-of-shape smokers, and they happen to highly trained athletes. They happen to persons who strain too much while lifting, and they happen to those who merely sit in a chair. While they are more common in men, they also occur frequently in pregnant women. [caption id="attachment_4098" align="alignright" width="180"] Dr. Thomas H. Lewis[/caption] A hernia happens when a small portion of tissue from inside pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. In about 75 percent of cases, this occurs in the inguinal canal, the area where the abdomen meets the thigh. Men are...

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Clearing Up Confusion About Erectile Dysfunction

Published November 16, 2012

Craig Rinder, MD By Craig Rinder It was not too long ago that almost all cases of erectile dysfunction were attributed to anxiety, stress or other psychosocial factors. But now we understand that with almost every male who experiences erectile dysfunction, it is caused by a physical or biological problem, and sometimes can be a symptom of a serious medical condition. [caption id="attachment_542" align="alignright" width="200"] Craig Rinder, MD[/caption] Erectile dysfunction is most often a sign of a circulatory problem. You’ve got to have good blood flow in order to get an erection. Poor blood flow is most commonly brought on by cigarette smoking. ...

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Prostate Cancer Screening Still a Life-Saver

Published November 8, 2012

Craig Rinder, MD By Dr. Craig Rinder At the end of October, I conducted the 10th free prostate screening clinic since I began practicing medicine in Brattleboro. Over the years we have had a growing number of men in the community take advantage of this service and we hope to accommodate more. But one thing we don’t get to do, because of the patient load that comes into the day-long clinic, is answer any questions individuals may have about prostate health and why it’s important to get screened regularly. [caption id="attachment_542" align="alignright" width="200"] Craig Rinder, MD[/caption] A common misconception that is shared by people based on...

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Who Wants to Talk About Men’s Health

Published November 2, 2012

Richard A. Fletcher, RN, MSN, FNP By Richard Fletcher When I was asked to write a column about men’s health to help launch Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s “Beards for BMH” campaign, the first thing that came to mind was how difficult it can be for some men to even talk about their health. It’s not always easy for women either, but it seems like men tend to keep these things inside more often. It doesn’t matter if they’re talking to another man or to a woman. Some men just don’t want to talk about it. Period. So the most important men’s health issue is making them aware of how important it is to see a primary care provider for regular check-ups. [captio...

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A Pathologist’s Perspective on Healthcare Screening

Published October 26, 2012

Christopher D. Appleton, DO By Chris Appleton Most pathologists who work in laboratories at community hospitals like BMH don’t have direct contact with the public. Yet when you think about it, our duties actually bring us in contact with nearly all patients and every type of medical condition. Pathologists are frequently referred to as “the doctor’s doctor” because we are the physicians who conduct the laboratory tests ordered by family practitioners, surgeons and specialists who “see patients.” [caption id="attachment_472" align="alignright" width="200"] Christopher D. Appleton, DO[/caption] This is in part why The College of American Pathologists ...

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Breast Cancer Survival—How Far We Have Come

Published October 19, 2012

Joseph Rosen, MD Breast Cancer Survival—How Far We Have Come By Joseph Rosen, MD The National Football League teams are wearing pink shoes and gloves, PGA golfers are swinging pink golf clubs and everyone is wearing pink ribbons. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. How far we have come! Breast cancer used to be a taboo subject with women often presenting late with incurable disease. Today, there are close to 4 million women living as breast cancer survivors. This represents an amazing success in our fight with breast cancer. The explosion of breast cancer survivorship programs is a testament to how successful our war on cancer has been. ...

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Every Gesture Counts When Helping Breast Cancer Patients

Published October 10, 2012

Every Gesture Counts When Helping Breast Cancer Patients By Kimberly Hadfield I had a lot of helping hands to get me through my battle with breast cancer. Some were old friends, some were new friends, and some were people I barely knew. But they all made a difference in my treatment and have become a community as important to me as my family and my church. My story begins 10 years ago when I was 32 and felt a lump during a self-breast exam. It turned out not to be cancer. But between that scare and having a grandmother who survived breast cancer, I decided to start getting annual mammograms. One year later, my younger sister, Hope, was...

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Passing Blessings Forward During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Published October 5, 2012

Pat Kushaney Passing Blessings Forward During Breast Cancer Awareness Month By Pat Kushaney Back in July, I wrote an article about surviving breast cancer for the Bennington Banner. I called it “The Year I Was Blessed With Cancer,” admitting it was an odd choice for a title. But the whole experience has had such a profound effect on me I can think of no word more appropriate. People hear the word cancer and immediately conjure this nightmare vision of their future. But breast cancer is curable. You have to follow your medical treatment, and you may have to change your lifestyle. But it can be done, and there is personal, professional and financial su...

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Is your headache sinus or migraine? Answer 3 questions…

Published September 28, 2012

Is your headache sinus or migraine? Answer 3 questions… By William Wood, MD What are sinus headaches? They are almost always migraine headaches. The United States is the only country in the world where patients get “sinus headaches.” That’s because such headaches are almost always not actually related to the sinuses. These headaches are usually migraine headaches, which often respond well to migraine prescription and over-the-counter medications. [caption id="attachment_5560" align="alignright" width="226"] Dr. Bill Wood[/caption] During my residency training in otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat surgery, or ENT), Dr. Ro...

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Don’t Ignore Swallowing Difficulties

Published September 21, 2012

Jeffry Potash, MD Don’t Ignore Swallowing Difficulties by Jeffry Potash, MD with special thanks to Ambulatory Care Unit staff Difficulty swallowing solid foods is a symptom which should never be ignored. This complaint is most often caused by scar tissue forming in the esophagus from chronic acid reflux. Since the esophagus is not constructed to withstand repeated acid exposure, the cycle of inflammation and healing can result in scar tissue formation. This scarring results in a narrowed esophagus and difficulty swallowing foods such as chicken, bread, meat and rice. [caption id="attachment_538" align="alignright" width="200"] Jeffry Potash, MD[/capti...

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