Health Matters Blog

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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Pros and Cons of Genetic Screening During Pregnancy

Published September 14, 2012

Ellen Garvey, MD Pros and Cons of Genetic Screening During Pregnancy By Ellen Garvey, MD Genetic screening is gaining an increasingly large presence in the world of medical care. The technology is advancing rapidly, providing more and more sophisticated information about an individual’s risk for disorders or disease to the point where a patient might feel overwhelmed. That’s why providers who offer genetic testing also make sure to have staff that is trained to provide counseling to patients about what the results may mean to the health of themselves and their family. [caption id="attachment_5555" align="alignright" width="199"] Ellen Garvey, MD[/c...

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Fibroids: A Common Problem with Multiple Treatment Options

Published September 7, 2012

Ellen Garvey, MD FIBROIDS: A COMMON PROBLEM WITH MULTIPLE TREATMENT OPTIONS By Ellen Garvey, MD Uterine fibroids are a very common occurrence in women. As many as 80 percent of all women in the United States have them, according to the National Uterine Fibroid Foundation. As such, OB/GYN physicians undergo extensive training on how to diagnose them and how to subsequently manage them, both medically and surgically. [caption id="attachment_5555" align="alignright" width="199"] Ellen Garvey, MD[/caption] It is important to know that uterine fibroids are benign tumors. This means that they are not cancer, nor will they become cancer if left untreated. They ar...

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Urinary Incontinence – A Common Problem

Published August 30, 2012

James E. Bunker, MD URINARY INCONTINENCE--A COMMON PROBLEM By James Bunker, MD Urinary incontinence is strictly defined as an involuntary loss of urine which negatively impacts one’s quality of life. It is a very common condition affecting over 20 million people in the United States. The true number is likely higher since many are too embarrassed to report their symptoms. The amount of health care dollars spent on urinary incontinence in the US is significant, estimated at 15-20 billion dollars per year. Over her lifetime, a woman has a 25% chance of being effected by urinary incontinence. [caption id="attachment_482" align="alignright" width="200"] Jam...

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