Archive for the ‘Newsletters’ Category

THOSE PERKY SALLY FIELD’S ADDS TELLING US “SOMETHING WE MAY NOT KNOW”

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

With a new year upon us, I am hoping we get a rest from Sally Field’s perky voice on television. You know, the voice that reminds us there is “something about osteoporosis that you might not know” while selling us on her favorite osteoporosis treatment. You know those ads; they appear almost nightly on our TV screens and in magazines. As a postmenopausal woman at risk for osteoporosis and a practitioner who has cared for elderly women for almost thirty years, I DO care a lot about this disease. But I don’t care for the commercials. 

So why am I so annoyed?

WOMEN KNOW BEST WHEN THEY REJECT MEDICATION TO PREVENT BREAST CANCER

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

A recent article by one of my favorite health writers for the New York Times, Tara Parker-Pope, questioned the decision of millions of women not to take the drug tamoxifen to lower their odds of developing breast cancer. I was stunned by her conclusions. I always thought these women were making a wise and reasonable choice based on the evidence and I strongly disagreed with her conclusions.

LESS FREQUENT PAP TESTS MAY BE GOOD NEWS FOR MOST WOMEN

Friday, November 20th, 2009

After the recent controversy over new breast cancer screening guidelines, the recommendations issued today by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to do fewer Pap tests may seem like another blow to women’s health. But the truth is, it isn’t.


The leading experts and gynecologists who care for women recommend the following:

1)      All women should begin receiving a Pap test at age 21.

2)      Women ages 21 to 30 should have a Pap test every other year.

3)      Women ages 30 and over should have a Pap test (with the addition of an HPV test done at the same time as an option) every three years.

YEARLY MAMMOGRAMS UNDERGO SCRUTINY

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Screening tests for early detection of cancer have undergone a lot of scrutiny lately. Just a few weeks ago the American Cancer Society (ACS) issued a press release reminding us that the Cancer Society may have overstated the benefits of screening and underemphasized the potential harm when it came to testing for early breast and prostate cancer. They went on to discuss the limitations of screening women for early breast cancer with mammograms and screening men for prostate cancer with the simple PSA blood test. This week, the United States Preventive Task Force (USPTF) has issued new guidelines for breast cancer screening. I suspect that explains why the ACS issued their recent comments, knowing these guidelines were about to be released.  

THE CONFUSING TRUTH BEHIND THE PAP TEST

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Ever since the American Cancer Society’s announcement last week that breast and prostate screening tests may not be all that they are cracked up to be, women have been more confused than ever about the benefits of common tests for early cancer detection. Many experts spoke out emphasizing the importance of early detection of cancer through screening tests and the Pap test to detect cervical cancer early was once again described as the gold standard.  

NEWS FLASH FOR WOMEN!

Monday, September 14th, 2009

What do hot flashes, painful sex and thinning bones have in common?  You guessed it, menopause. As I am at that time of life, I found interesting and helpful the following three studies on just these three complaints at menopause. And, as always, I offer some personal advice.

GRAPEFRUIT & POMEGRANATE JUICE NOT A GOOD MIX WITH STATINS

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Recently I talked about a study on Good Morning America showing that although statins effectively reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, they also appear to reduce patients’ levels of energy and activity. I discussed 5 ways to deal with the problem of low energy or fatigue while on statins. The response was tremendous and I have learned what my own patients have been telling me for some time – not all people tolerate statins without side effects. Complaints of memory problems, fatigue, low energy, muscle weakness were fairly common although with over 13 million users it is hard to know how many people overall suffer.

Cutting Calories for Memory? Elderly, Beware

Friday, January 30th, 2009

A small study that made national headlines this week suggests that cutting calories may help improve memory for the elderly. The title of the article, “Caloric Restriction Improves Memory in Elderly Humans” in this week’s online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences caught my attention because it seemed so simple and yet likely too good to be true.

But yikes — when I read the article, I found the headline not only deceptive but potentially providing risky advice for thousands of elderly seniors who can ill afford to cut calories any more than they do already.

THOUGHTS ON OPRAH’S THYROID DISEASE

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Friends and patients have asked me many questions during the last few weeks about Oprah Winfrey’s recent revelation that she had thyroid disease.

How could she successfully stop all of her thyroid medications? Does she really have thyroid disease? Does her medical history as she reports it make sense? Why can’t I stop my thyroid medication too?

So I thought I would respond to these questions in my “first of the new year” newsletter.

TOO FEW OF OUR ELDERLY GET THE BEST CARE AFTER A HIP OR OTHER FRACTURE

Monday, June 9th, 2008

I don’t think there is anything more feared among seniors than being totally dependent on others for help or for some the thought of being sent to a nursing home because they aren’t able to care for themselves. I know fear of being dependent is the biggest concern for the elderly Cabrini religious sisters I have cared for over the past 26 years. It turns out that suffering a debilitating hip fracture is one of most common reasons a person is sent to a nursing home and when that happens, they all too often don’t get the treatment they need to prevent future fractures and more pain and disability. And what is perhaps worse, despite safe and effective remedies to diagnose and treat osteoporosis, too few people are getting the treatment they need to prevent a disabling hip fracture in the first place.