Health Matters Blog

Breast Cancer Prevention Begins With You: The Self-Exam

Published October 30, 2014

by Sue Gautot Mammography is often called the first line of defense against breast cancer. That’s why every October, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, women over the age of 40 are urged to schedule their annual mammogram. But women of all ages have another set of tools that can help with detection and prevention in between screenings: your hands. [caption id="attachment_8338" align="alignright" width="198"] l. to r. - Ellen Wapner and Susan Gautot[/caption] A few years ago, the U.S. Preventive Task Force actually recommended against Breast Self-Exams. Research showed that women didn’t understand what they were suppos...

Read full post »

Ebola and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital

Published October 24, 2014

By: Dr. Kathleen McGraw, CMO With so many stories in the news about Ebola, you may be understandably concerned about the extremely unlikely possibility of a case of Ebola presenting in our community. Brattleboro Memorial Hospital is prepared for such an event and we’d like to share some important information about the disease and our planned response. [caption id="attachment_8101" align="alignright" width="226"] Kathleen McGraw, MD[/caption] What is Ebola?: Ebola, which has an extremely high fatality rate, is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, naus...

Read full post »

The Basics of Breast Disease

Published October 16, 2014

Joseph Rosen, MD by Joseph Rosen, MD In the United States, almost 200,000 women each year will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Approximately another 60,000 are diagnosed with non-invasive duct carcinoma in situ. For the 1 in 9 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, the single biggest risk factor is simply getting older. Five percent of breast cancers are diagnosed under the age of 40, 25 percent under the age of 50, and 75 percent will occur after age 50. Almost 70 percent of the women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors. For the 30 percent of women identified as being at increased risk of ...

Read full post »

Watching for the Sentinel Node

Published October 9, 2014

Hayley Crosby By Hayley Crosby The National Cancer Institute says 12.3 percent of all women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lives. In 2014 alone, there will be more than 230,000 new cases. Thanks in part to the efforts made during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, however, nearly nine out of every ten women are expected to survive a breast cancer diagnosis. [caption id="attachment_9012" align="alignright" width="300"] Hayley Crosby[/caption] While mammograms are widely accepted as the best test for the detection and prevention of breast cancer, other advances in medical technology have also played a key role i...

Read full post »

Body Weight and Breast Cancer: There is a Relationship

Published October 2, 2014

Kelly McCue, MSN, CNS-Oncology, RN, OCN, CHPN by Kelly McCue Much of the conversation about increased body weight, and in particular, obesity and health, focuses on how obesity increases a person’s risk for chronic illnesses, such as heart disease or diabetes. Several types of cancer are also associated with obesity, however, including breast cancer. [caption id="attachment_11330" align="alignright" width="199"] Kelly McCue, MSN, CNS-Oncology, RN, OCN, CHPN[/caption] According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), obese women have a higher risk for breast cancer following menopause. The research shows a link between some breast tumors and increased levels of estrogen. Once t...

Read full post »

Plantar Fasciitis…A Real Pain in the Heel

Published September 25, 2014

Maureen Mohaney, PA-C, ATC By Maureen Mahoney, PA-C, ATC Do you get stabbing pain in the heel or bottom of your foot with your first steps out of bed in the morning? Does it feel better once you start walking around? Does the pain return after standing for a long time or at the end of the day? Do you get heel or arch pain when you get up from sitting? These are some of the symptoms which could indicate you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. [caption id="attachment_10946" align="alignright" width="199"] Maureen Mohaney, PA-C, ATC[/caption] Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of pain affecting the heel and underside of the foot. It involves the...

Read full post »

Five things that I have learned as an orthopaedic surgeon

Published September 18, 2014

Dr. Elizabeth McLarney By Elizabeth McLarney, MD In my almost 20 years of being an orthopaedic surgeon, I have learned many things. There are a few things that I would like to share with you. Motion is life. Orthopaedic surgeons say this because we know if we don’t keep the soft tissues around a joint moving after surgery or an injury that the joint will become stiff and lose range of motion. This can be extrapolated to a larger meaning. We know that if people stay active, they stay healthier. Exercise should occur for at least 30 minutes to one hour per day. This should be every day. This exercise should include aerobic exercise (like walking, biking, swim...

Read full post »

Lateral Epicondylitis, Better Known as Tennis Elbow

Published September 11, 2014

William Vranos, MD By Dr. William Vranos Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is one of the most common adult ailments seen in the offices of orthopedic surgeons. Approximately 1-3% of adults will experience lateral elbow pain at one time or another in a given year. For the most part, the discomfort is mild and transient, and care is not sought. However, in some patients, the discomfort is enough that it will affect their daily activities and possibly their work. These patients require more aggressive care. Both nonsurgical and surgical treatments are available, depending on its duration and severity, as well as, the needs of the patient. [c...

Read full post »


Published September 4, 2014

Jon C. Thatcher, MD by Jon Thatcher, MD It is an unpopular reality that our bodies begin a slow decline after our mid 30s as we slide into those “golden years.” Differences in hair color, muscle mass, and eyesight are obvious changes, but what goes unnoticed is the gradual loss of bone mass. Often it is not until a fracture occurs due to a simple fall from a low height, such as standing, that fragile bones become apparent. These “fragility fractures” are most common about the shoulder, wrist, hip, and spine, often require surgery and can have life changing consequences. Osteoporosis has become a well-recognized bone condition. As life expectancy ha...

Read full post »

When Rapid Care Isn’t Rapid

Published August 22, 2014

Brian Richardson By: Brian Richardson Rapid Care in the BMH Emergency Department is a concept; a process rather than just a place. It is not just a couple of treatment rooms but rather it is a commitment to you and our community. It combines the correct patient with the correct provider in the correct room. It has allowed the Emergency Team to better utilize resources and deliver care in a safe and compassionate fashion. The process in our Emergency Department is also a work in progress, a different train of thought in an environment that demands flexibility. Much of the time this process works but on occasion the rapid care process is anything but rapid. ...

Read full post »