Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital September 2, 2014
Chrysalyne D. Schmults, MD, MSCE
When people think about skin cancer, they usually think about melanoma; however, basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are much more common, explains Chrysalyne D. Schmults, MD, MSCE, Director, Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. There are approximately 80,000 cases of melanoma in the U.S. each year, versus more than one million cases of basal and squamous cell cancer. Additionally, the incidence of basal and squamous cell cancers is increasing, particularly among younger adults in their twenties and thirties.
While melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell cancers are serious conditions that still need to be treated. Treatment options for cases where basal and squamous cell cancers are limited to the skin’s surface (the epidermis) include topical medications, light therapies, and freezing techniques. In cases where basal and squamous cell cancers have invaded the deeper layers of the skin (the dermis), the affected areas must be surgically removed.
Mohs surgery, a specialized form of skin cancer removal in which the borders are examined by the surgeon microscopically while the patient waits, is a very effective type of surgical treatment for skin cancers. Mohs surgery has a 99 percent cure rate for most basal and squamous cell skin cancers, as well as a high cure rate for other rare forms of skin cancer. Since very little normal tissue is removed during the treatment, specially trained dermatologists are able to reconstruct most wounds with excellent cosmetic results.
Watch this video with Dr. Schmults to learn more about the differences between skin cancer types, risk factors, and treatment options, including Mohs surgery.
- Jamie R.
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 28, 2014
Today’s blog post was written by Arthur Madore, MT, a licensed massage therapist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Osher Clinical Center .
I am often asked for advice on the best sitting posture. The problem is that there is no one position that will be comfortable for everyone over a prolonged period of sitting. But there are some steps you can take to avoid strain and pain.
Prolonged sitting at a computer can be particularly problematic. Despite our best efforts, most people begin to slouch and thrust their head forward within a short period of time in front of a computer. This creates a number of problems, such as:
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 26, 2014
Generic versions of the same prescription drug may look significantly different in both shape and size.
All generic drugs are approved by the FDA as being interchangeable with each other, and studies show that they have similar clinical effects. However, depending on the manufacturer, generic versions of the same prescription drug may look significantly different in both shape and size. Not surprisingly, these inconsistencies can cause problems for consumers.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) researchers recently studied the activity of a large group of patients who recently suffered heart attacks and found that variations in the appearance of generic drugs were associated with a greater risk of patients stopping their essential post-heart attack medications.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 21, 2014
There are a number of treatment options for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Today’s post is written by Dr. Rachel Ashby, Director of the Donor Egg and Gestational Carrier Program at the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. This article originally appeared in the Resolve New England newsletter.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects between five and ten percent of women. This common endocrine disorder can cause disruption in ovulatory and menstrual cycles, as well as an excess production of male type hormones, all of which can cause infertility. The cause of PCOS is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is a twenty to forty percent incidence of PCOS in women where either a mother or sister has also been diagnosed with the disorder.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 19, 2014
A variety of lifestyle changes can help improve your eye health.
Today’s blog post comes from Dr. Donald B. Levy, Medical Director of the Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual loss in older adults. Your risk of developing AMD is related to genetics, diet, blood pressure management, smoking, and other factors.
Diet and Exercise
A healthy diet, especially one rich in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens, along with whole grains, nuts, and some fish, is good for eye health. Regular physical activity and avoidance of tobacco products also is recommended to avoid or slow the progression of AMD.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 14, 2014
Should you avoid eating grains that contain gluten?
Today’s post is written by Caitlin Hosmer Kirby, RD, a nutritional health coach at the Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, led by Dr. Donald B. Levy, Medical Director.
You’ve probably noticed an increased number of food items marked as “gluten free.” Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, certain forms of oats, and in many processed foods. Many people are becoming increasingly concerned about eating foods containing gluten. Gluten is responsible for the reaction that damages the lining of the small intestine in celiac disease. It also has been linked to less serious gastrointestinal complaints, such as diarrhea and bloating. Today’s post looks at how gluten can affect your health and what the benefits are of avoiding it.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 12, 2014
Howard L. Weiner, MD
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which a patient’s immune system malfunctions and attacks the brain and spinal cord, causing neurologic injury. Dr. Howard Weiner, Director of the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), describes research focused on improving multiple sclerosis treatment and finding a cure for this debilitating autoimmune disease.
Areas of BWH research include an observational study of MS patients to understand the various forms of MS and its long term impact, development of therapies to stop MS attacks, the use of stem cells to regenerate the nervous system, and development of a vaccine based on the body’s immune system.
Watch a video of Dr. Weiner discussing multiple sclerosis research at BWH.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 6, 2014
Interactive training, including games, appeared to help children improve their confidence and ability to prevent Lyme disease.
It is often said that “knowledge is power.” Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) rheumatologist Dr. Nancy Shadick, however, has discovered that knowledge alone is not enough when it comes to effectively preventing Lyme disease,a tick-borne infection that can cause neurological and joint problems.
Through her research, Dr. Shadick has found that increasing knowledge about Lyme disease is a good start, but that we also need to proactively increase people’s motivations and readiness in order to change their behaviors. That’s why her team developed interactive programs to not only increase people’s knowledge about the disease, but also heighten the sense of their susceptibility and the potential consequences of the disease, promote the perception that taking preventive measures will provide worthwhile benefits, and, most importantly, increase people’s confidence that they can do something on their own to prevent it (self-efficacy).
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 5, 2014
Immunity against some diseases can gradually fade away over the years.
Adults who have never received childhood vaccinations can have serious complications from diseases such as the flu, pertussis, or pneumonia. And for adults who did receive all the recommended vaccines as children, immunity against some diseases can gradually fade away over the years, meaning that booster shots are needed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults (19 to 65+ years) receive the following vaccines:
Pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine
This vaccine protects against serious infections caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but certain people are at risk for complications. You should get the pneumonia vaccine if you are 65 or older. If you are younger than 65, you should get this shot if you have a chronic illness, such as diabetes, heart or lung diseases, sickle cell disease, alcoholism, or cirrhosis. Other people who should get this shot are people with a weakened immune system, such as those with kidney failure, a damaged spleen or no spleen, HIV/AIDS, certain types of cancer, or those who smoke.
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Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital July 31, 2014
BWH has been named to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals.
For the twenty-second year in a row, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has been named to the U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals, ranking ninth. The Honor Roll highlights just 17 hospitals, out of nearly 5,000 nationwide, for their breadth and depth of clinical excellence.
We’ve gathered a few recent blog posts in our top ranked clinical categories to recognize the dedication and accomplishments of our doctors, nurses, researchers, and other members of our clinical teams.
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