Health Matters Blog

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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Infertility Treatment Involves Evaluation of Both Partners

Published August 24, 2012

Judith H. McBean, MD Infertility Treatment Involves Evaluation of Both Partners By Dr. Judith McBean Infertility is a common condition affecting approximately one in 10 couples. It is estimated that millions of couples in the United States alone will face difficulty conceiving each year. While the incidence of infertility has not increased over the past few decades, a greater awareness of both infertility and the technological advances in treatment, as well as the increased baby boom population and the publicity and openness around fertility issues, have led to the impression that it has. Prior to attempting pregnancy it is important that couples optimize ...

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As Electronic Medical Records Advance, So Does Patient Care

Published August 17, 2012

As Electronic Medical Records Advance, So Does Patient Care By Heddy Pomazi Back in February, the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society published a research report on how health care facilities were using Electronic Medical Records (EMR). It was the first time anyone had looked at hospitals whose EMR systems were in the advanced stages of development, and the findings showed considerable benefits for both the practices and their patients. Quality of care, patient safety and efficiency of operation were all positively impacted by EMR, the report said. In fact, a statement released along with the report said that each and...

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New Standards for Women’s Health

Published August 10, 2012

Raine Kane, CNM, BA, MSN New Standards for Women’s Health By Raine Kane Back in 2010, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, together with the Centers for Disease Control, developed new guidelines for when a woman should be receiving her routine gynecologic care. Recently, there have been efforts made by both organizations to raise awareness about these recommendations. The guidelines previously stated once a woman becomes sexually active she should begin seeing an obstetrician/gynecologist or certified nurse midwife on a yearly basis. However, with advancing technologies and outcomes of recent research in women’s health, the old model of yearl...

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The Arthritic Knee

Published July 27, 2012

Jon C. Thatcher, MD The Arthritic Knee By Dr. Jon Thatcher Osteoarthritis, better known as degenerative arthritis, is the second leading cause of disability in the U.S. behind heart disease. The knee is the most common joint to be affected largely due to our recent surge in excess body weight, the high frequency of knee injuries and our extended longevity. These factors often lead to wear and deterioration of the articular cartilage, that smooth coconut-like, slippery surface that caps the end of bones at joints. An old or unbalanced tire that loses its tread is a useful analogy. [caption id="attachment_550" align="alignright" width="200"] Jon C. Thatche...

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