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July 9th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Oboe Becomes a Surgical Instrument

By Dennis Douda

For all of the high-tech and futuristic technology finding its way into health care, Mayo Clinic surgeon Shelagh Cofer, M.D., proves that old-fashioned common sense has its place too. How do you make sure a procedure to restore a musician’s wind power has worked before you leave the operating room? You just bring a little something extra. [TRT 2:24]

Journalists: The video package and extra b-roll of the patient/musician performing are available in the downloads. To read the full script click here.

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July 8th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Expert Alert: Sundeep Khosla, M.D. to Testify – Modernizing Clinical Trials

By Colette Gallagher

Dr. Khosla testifying on modernizing clinical trials - Capitol Hill hearingWatch now LIVE 10 am ET Energy & Commerce Committee Hearing.  

Principal Investigator and Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS)Sundeep Khosla, M.D.,is testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health as part of the Committee’s 21st Century Cures Initiative Wed., July 9, 2014. Dr. Khosla will focus his testimony on the need and opportunity to modernize clinical trials. “I applaud the Committee’s 21st Century Cures Initiative and, in particular, the Health Subcommittee’s focus on the clinical trial process,” says Dr. Khosla. “It is imperative that we streamline and modernize clinical trials’ processes to accelerate the speed of discovery to delivery of more effective, innovative and personalized treatments for patients.” In addition, Dr. Khosla commends the Committee’s attention to the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program. He continues, “The work of the CTSA program and its 62 sites is very important and offers great opportunity to speed translation and implementation of high priority clinical trials.”

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

MEDIA CONTACT: To interview Dr. Khosla about modernizing the clinical trial system, please contact Colette Gallagher, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

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July 8th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tuesday Q & A: Child’s chronic cough may be symptom of asthma

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My son, 8, has been coughing off-and-on at night for a few weeks and says his chest hurts, but he never complains about it during the day. Could he have asthma? How is it diagnosed? If it’s very mild, would he still need treatment?

ANSWER: Based on the symptoms you describe, it is possible that your son has asthma. His doctor can confirm the diagnosis using a test that measures lung function called spirometry. Even in mild cases of asthma, treatment usually is recommended to help relieve symptoms.little boy using an asthma inhaler

When someone has asthma, the small airways in the lungs narrow, swell, and produce extra mucus. This can lead to a variety of signs and symptoms. In children older than 3, wheezing is typically the most specific asthma symptom. But in some kids, a chronic cough may be the only asthma symptom that they have. A persistent cough at night, an illness that includes a cough that lasts more than three weeks, or coughing in response to cold air, exercise, or laughing may all be the result of asthma.

When asthma is suspected in a child who is 5 years or older, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program expert panel recommends lung function testing using spirometry. For this test, your son will take a deep breath and breathe out as hard as he can for several seconds into a tube that is attached to a machine called a spirometer.
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July 7th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

MONDAY’S HOUSECALL

By Dana Sparks

Housecall Banner blue and white

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIESwoman holding two bottles of sun screen or tanning lotion
Sunless tanning: What you need to know
Sunless tanning products can provide a safe, natural-looking tan — if they're applied carefully and correctly.

Memory loss: When to seek help
Memory loss may indicate normal aging, a treatable condition or the onset of dementia. Find out how to help yourself or a loved one.

Urinary incontinence surgery in women: The next step
If symptoms of stress incontinence or an overactive bladder are disrupting your life, surgery may be an option.

Silver saltshaker with spilled saltEXPERT ANSWERS
Sea salt vs. table salt: What's the difference?
The most notable differences between sea salt and table salt are in their taste, texture and processing.

Coping with anxiety: Can diet make a difference?
Dealing with anxiety is a challenge. Eating habits may play a role.

Click here to get a free e-subscription to the Housecall newsletter.

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July 5th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Weekend Wellness: Spells of dizziness a common problem with many possible causes

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 68 and have periodic spells of dizziness. They don’t last long and I don’t seem to have any other symptoms. Should I see a doctor? What might they indicate?elderly man touching forehead and appears to be dizzy or has a headache

ANSWER: Dizziness is a common problem with many possible causes. They can range from relatively minor issues, such as certain medications triggering dizziness, to more serious underlying medical problems. When dizziness persists, as in your case, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see your doctor and have the condition evaluated.

Although the term “dizziness” sounds quite specific, there are actually several kinds of dizziness. One involves feeling a loss of balance, as if you are unsteady on your feet or feel like you may fall. Another includes a sensation of being lightheaded or feeling faint, as if you might pass out. A third is feeling as if you are spinning or that the world is spinning around you. This type of dizziness is called vertigo.

It is helpful for you to be able to describe to your doctor exactly what you are experiencing during your episodes of dizziness. Your description can offer clues to the potential source of the problem. For example, conditions that affect the balance mechanism in your inner ear frequently lead to dizziness, with a feeling of vertigo that happens when you move your head.
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July 4th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

MAYO CLINIC RADIO

By Dana Sparks

Montage of Mayo Clinic Radio pictures

This week's program is a rebroadcast from Donate Life Month, focusing on the importance of registering as organ, eye and tissue donors. Tune in this Saturday, July 5, at 9 a.m. CT, as we discuss organ donation with good samaritan kidney donor Philip Fischer, M.D., and director of the Mayo Clinic kidney transplant program Mikel Prieto, M.D. There is so much to learn about donating the gift of life! Join us!

Myth or Matter of Fact:  I'm not in the best of health, so I probably can't be a donor.

To listen to the program on Saturday, click here

More information about Living Organ Donation can be found here.  
The Living Donor Evaluation Form can be found here
The Mayo Transplant Center can be reached at 866-227-1569

Mayo Clinic Radio is available on iHeart Radio.

Listen to this week’s Medical News Headlines: News Segment July 6, 2014 (right click MP3) 

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July 4th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tips for Cancer Survivors to Keep Cool in the Summer Heat

By Dana Sparks

Blue and white banner logo for 'Living with Cancer' blog

Tips for cancer survivors to keep cool in the summer heatWoman resting in a tree hammock in the shade on a hot summer day
Cancer survivors should be careful this season — there's potential for dehydration and sunburn. Try these tips to stay safe.

Functional foods give a boost to your wellness
Researchers are studying how certain foods — called functional foods — can help enhance health and prevent illness.

Cancer survivorship programs
Cancer survivorship programs are services that help cancer survivors live well after treatment. Find out more.

Managing chemotherapy side effects
Chemotherapy treatment carries with it a host of potential side effects — fatigue, hair loss and more. Learn about managing chemotherapy side effects.

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July 3rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

THURSDAY CONSUMER HEALTH TIPS

By Dana Sparks

July 4th celebration picnic table with watermelon, berries and sparkler

Summer food safety tips

What is wheatgrass? Why is it in my drink?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Don't prejudge Alzheimer's wanderers who may really have a goal

Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)

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July 3rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Watch the Sodium When Preparing for Holiday Picnics

By Dana Sparks

 

Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and potato salad. Those are the fixings for a fantastic Fourth of July picnic. The problem is this menu can be loaded with sodium, which is bad for your health, especially if you have heart disease.  Vivien Williams and photographer Andy Shilts talk with Mayo Clinic cardiologist Stephen Kopecky, M.D., about enjoying holiday food without consuming too much sodium. [TRT 1:52]

Journalists: The video report and additional b-roll are available in the downloads. News Network pkgs. can be edited into vo/sots and incorporated in your reporting.

Read script: Picnic Problems High Sodium

(This report originally aired July 3, 2013)

 

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July 1st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

July 4th Marks 75th Anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Speech

By Duska Anastasijevic

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Seventy-five years ago, on July 4th 1939, baseball legend Lou Gehrig delivered the famous speech bidding farewell to the ballpark and his fans. Two weeks before Gehrig had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Accompanied by his wife, Eleanor, Lou left Mayo Clinic with the devastating diagnosis on June 20th 1939, a day after his 36th birthday. He died in June two years later, not quite 38 years old, of the rare neurological disease that would come to bear his name.

MULTIMEDIA ALERT: Journalists, the video package and addition b-roll are available in the downloads. To read the video script click here.

ALS is a type of progressive motor neuron disease that typically strikes at middle to later life and causes nerve cells in spinal cord, brain stem and brain to gradually break down and die. These nerve cells are responsible for muscle function so eventually, ALS can affect Read the rest of this entry »

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July 1st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Proton therapy has advantages over IMRT for advanced head and neck cancers, Mayo study finds

By Joe Dangor

Rochester, Minn. -- A new study by radiation oncologists at Mayo Clinic comparing the world’s literature on outcomes of proton beam therapy in the treatment of a variety of advanced head and neck cancers of the skull base compared to intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has found that proton beam therapy significantly improved disease free survival and tumor control when compared to IMRT. The results appear in the journal Lancet Oncology.

“We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the clinical outcomes of patients treated with proton therapy with patients receiving photon IMRT,” says senior author Robert Foote, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Mayo Clinic. “Our findings suggest that the theoretical advantages of proton beam therapy may in fact be real.”

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July 1st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Researchers Reveal Treasure Trove of Genes Key to Kidney Cancer

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A genomic analysis of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common form of kidney cancer, from 72 patients has uncovered 31 genes that are key to development, growth and spread of the cancer, say researchers from Mayo Clinic in Florida. Eight of these genes had not been previously linked to kidney cancer, and six other genes were never known to be involved in any form of cancer.

 

Their study, in the journal Oncotarget, is the most extensive analysis to date of gene expression’s role in ccRCC tumor growth and metastasis. The ccRCC subtype accounts for 80 percent of all kidney cancer cases. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 1st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tuesday Q & A: Child with glasses should have regular eye exams to keep prescription up to date

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My 11-year-old began wearing glasses for nearsightedness when he was 7. Since then his prescription has gotten steadily worse. He has needed new glasses about every eight to ten months. His optometrist says this is not uncommon. But I’m worried. Is there an age a child’s eyesight typically stops changing? Should we take our son to see an ophthalmologist for a more thorough assessment?little Asian boy wearing glasses

ANSWER: From your description, your son’s changing eyesight sounds like it is within the normal range for a child his age. Unless he has other symptoms or other health problems that could be affecting his eyesight, it is unlikely that he needs a consultation with an ophthalmologist at this time.

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a vision condition in which you can see objects that are near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry. Nearsightedness happens either when the cornea — the clear front surface of your eye — is curved too much or when your eye is longer than normal. That causes light coming into your eye to be focused in front of the retina at the back of your eye, instead of directly on the retina. The result is blurry vision.

Many children develop nearsightedness during the early elementary school years, often around age 6 or 7. The condition usually continues to get worse throughout the teen years as a child grows. An increase in nearsightedness often is most rapid during early adolescence, around ages 11 to 13 years. It tends to slow and then stabilize by the late teens or early 20s. Read the rest of this entry »

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June 30th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Health Letter: Highlights from the June 2014 Issue

By Brian Kilen

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Here are highlights from the June issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit http://www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter June 2014 (for journalists only).


Pros and cons of warfarin and newer anti-clotting medicationsIlustración del corazón y medicamentos

For people with atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm problem that increases the risk of stroke, there are more medication treatment choices than ever before, according to the June issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Doctors often recommend an anti-clotting medication for patients with atrial fibrillation, which can lead to the development of blood clots in the heart. These clots can break off and travel to ― and potentially block ― an artery that supplies blood to the brain. The result is a stroke. More than 15 percent of strokes are attributed to atrial fibrillation.

For decades, the only anti-clotting medication was warfarin (Coumadin). In the last few years, three more options have become available.
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June 30th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Poison Ivy and Other Summer Skin Irritants

By Dana Sparks

close up of three leaf poison ivy

Poison ivy grows as vines or low shrubs in most climates. Each leaf on a poison ivy plant has three smaller leaflets. Contact with any part of the poison ivy plant can cause red, swollen skin; blisters; and severe itching, sometimes within hours after exposure.

A poison ivy rash usually resolves on its own within a few weeks. In the meantime, control itching with an over-the-counter anti-itch cream, such as calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. An oatmeal bath and cool compress also might be helpful. Consult your doctor if you have a severe poison ivy rash or if the rash involves your eyes, face or genital area. Poison oak and poison sumac cause a similar rash.

Read More: Poison Ivy and Other Summer Skin Irritants

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