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October 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic News Network — Headlines 10/29/14

By Dana Sparks

Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines include:

  • When to take children to the Emergency Department
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  • Medication List

Journalists: Video is available in the downloads. Click here for script.


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Tags: Weekly Headlines

October 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Remember the Vital Vaccinations

By Dana Sparks

Vaccines have all but wiped out some terrible diseases like polio and measles in the United States, but that success doesn't mean we shouldn't vaccinate against them anymore. Dennis Douda has this report.[TRT 1:55]

Click here for script.

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.  *Note: This report is standard definition video and originally aired November 2012 but has been updated. 

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Tags: HL, Pkg, Vaccinations

October 28th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Baby Boomers and Scoliosis: Osteoporosis Is Risk Factor

By Sharon Theimer

ex-ray scan showing scoliosis ROCHESTER, Minn. — For many adults, the word scoliosis conjures up childhood memories of lining up in gym class for an examination by the school nurse. But scoliosis isn't just a pediatric condition. Curvature of the spine can develop in adults too, and the osteoporosis that can accompany menopause is a risk factor. Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon Paul Huddleston, M.D., explains how scoliosis develops, prevention and treatment options and a trend he is seeing in Baby Boomer women.

What is scoliosis? Scoliosis is a misshaping of the spine as seen from the front — where the spine seems shifted  right or left — or from a side view, where the spine is bent too far forward or backward, or a combination of the two. It doesn’t always cause pain: Schools started screening in elementary school or junior high in part because many children and their parents didn’t know the children had it, Dr. Huddleston says.

To arrange an interview with Dr. Huddleston, please contact Sharon Theimer in Mayo Clinic Public Affairs at 507-284-5005 or  

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Huddleston are available in the downloads.    

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Tags: baby boomers, curvature of the spine, Mayo Clinic, menopause, osteoporosis, Paul Huddleston, scoliosis, scoliosis surgery, spine surgery, Women's Health

October 28th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tuesday Q and A: Lifestyle changes, medication may help manage menopausal symptoms without hormones

By lizatorborg

woman sweating and hot trying to cool down with fanDEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is there anything that can be done for menopausal symptoms that doesn’t include taking hormones? I’ve had breast cancer in the past so am unable to take hormones, but I wake up nearly every night because of night sweats and have occasional hot flashes during the day.

ANSWER: There are options for managing night sweats and hot flashes that do not involve taking hormones. Many women find that making some lifestyle changes can make a big difference. In addition, several prescription medications that do not contain hormones are available to treat hot flashes.

As you mention, doctors often advise women who have had breast cancer not to take hormone therapy for menopause symptoms. But that does not mean you have to simply suffer through those symptoms. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Faubion, Dr. Stephanie Faubion, hormone therapy, hot flashes, menopausal symptoms, menopause, Night Sweats, Tuesday Q and A

October 27th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Halloween Safety: Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

By Dana Sparks

Trick or treaters on the porch

It's the time of year for costumes, sweets, and tricks and treats.
Put Halloween safety first with these common-sense tips.

Carve Safely: Before you start carving pumpkins, consider these Halloween safety rules:

  • Decorate with markers, glitter glue or paint. Let young children draw faces on pumpkins with art supplies. Leave any carving to an adult.
  • Use candles with care. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended. Better yet, light pumpkins with flashlights, battery-operated flameless candles or glow sticks instead.

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Tags: Halloween Safety, Trick or Treaters

October 27th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Multi-Million-Dollar Grants for Research in Dementia Striking Younger People

By Duska Anastasijevic

Projects will help advance research through collaborations and development of novel strategies for frontotemporal dementia

Rochester, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has been awarded two grants for large, five-year projects on frontotemporal dementia (FTD), characterized by degeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. While rare, it may strike people in their twenties, even in their teens.

Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

Journalists: Sound bites are available in the downloads. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Bradley Bove, Dr Dennis Dickson, Dr Kevin Boylan, Dr Leonard Petrucelli, Dr Rosa Rademakers, Frontotemporal Dementia, Medical Research, Minnesota news release, News Release, NIH

October 27th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Stress relievers: Tips to tame stress
Stress relievers can help restore calm to your chaotic life. When the pressure gets to be too much, try these tips for quick relief.

Hand-washing: Do's and don'tsshutterstock_196373114
Done properly, hand-washing is a simple way to avoid getting sick. Find out when to wash your hands and whether hand sanitizers can work in a pinch.

My 10-year-old has high cholesterol. How can we manage it?
Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet may help children lower their cholesterol.

Can prebiotics help control Crohn's disease?
It's not known whether prebiotics — food for a type of "good" bacteria — can help ease Crohn's disease.

Click here to get a free e-subscription to the Housecall newsletter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: breast self-exam, Cholesterol, Crohn's disease, Hand-washing, Monday's Housecall, Prebiotics, stress

October 26th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

International Group Publishes Updated Criteria for Diagnosing Multiple Myeloma

By Joe Dangor

ROCHESTER, Minn. ― The International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) today announced that it has updated the criteria for diagnosing multiple myeloma. A paper outlining the new criteria was published in the journal Lancet Oncology. Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell.

"Our group, which includes more than 180 myeloma researchers worldwide, has updated the definition of multiple myeloma for diagnostic purposes to include validated biomarkers in addition to the current clinical symptoms used for diagnosis which include, elevated blood calcium levels, kidney failure, anemia and bone lesions," said lead author S. Vincent Rajkumar, M.D. a hematologist at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Rajkumar said multiple myeloma is always preceded sequentially by two asymptomatic conditions, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM).

However, since MGUS and SMM are both asymptomatic conditions, most myeloma patients are not diagnosed until organ damage occurs. "The new IMWG criteria allow for the diagnosis of myeloma to be made in patients without symptoms and before organ damage occurs, using validated biomarkers that identify patients with SMM who have an “ultra-high” risk of progression to multiple myeloma," Dr. Rajkumar said. "These biomarkers are associated with the near inevitable development of clinical symptoms and are important for early diagnosis and treatment which is very important for patients." Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Lancet Oncology, MGUS, Minnesota news release, multiple myeloma, News Release, S Vincent Rajkumar, Smoldering Multiple Myeloma

October 25th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Weekend Wellness: Minimalist shoes not right for everyone

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Are minimalist shoes safe for running? I can’t seem to find other shoes that work well for me, but I’m worried that I’m going to do long-term damage to my feet if I wear minimalist shoes.person walking barefoot on the beach

ANSWER: Minimalist shoes, also known as barefoot shoes, can be a good choice for some runners. But they are not right for everyone. You need to be particularly careful with them if you have had foot problems or injuries in the past. It is a good idea to talk to your primary care provider or to a sports medicine specialist before you start using minimalist shoes to help decide if they are right for you.

Minimalist shoes have become more popular recently as a result of growing enthusiasm for barefoot running. These shoes are lower to the ground, lighter and less cushioned than traditional running shoes. They are designed to provide some protection for your feet while offering some of the desirable aspects of barefoot running. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: barefoot running, barefoot shoes, Dr Edward Laskowski, Dr. Laskowski, minimalist shoes, Weekend Wellness

October 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Randy Talks With His Wife Crystal About His Near Death Experience

By Dana Sparks

Randy and Chrystal

Listening to patients is what medical teams at Mayo Clinic do each day. To honor Mayo's 150th Anniversary, StoryCorps was asked to listen to and record several patient stories. Each Friday for the next ten weeks, a new story will be posted on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Randy Setzer experienced multiple blood clots stemming from a genetic blood disease he didn’t know he had. Consequently, doctors and the emergency team at Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire, Wisc., had to bring him back to life numerous times. He and his wife Crystal talk about the life-and-death experience.  Click the link to listen to Randy and Crystal's story.

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Tags: Blood Disease, Mayo Clinic Health System, MCHS, StoryCorps

October 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment


By Dana Sparks

women dressed in pink shirts for breast cancer awareness - diversityOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and on the next Mayo Clinic Radio, Saturday, October 25 at 9 a.m. CT, two Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic physicians will be with us to discuss the latest in research and the ongoing efforts to diagnose, treat and prevent breast cancer. Director of the Breast Clinic Karthik Ghosh, M.D., and practice chair of the Medical Oncology Breast Group Tufia Haddad, M.D., will be ready  to answer your questions. Please join us.

Myth or Fact: Breast feeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.

Follow #MayoClinicRadio and tweet your questions.

To listen to the program on Saturday, click here.

Mayo Clinic Radio is available on iHeart Radio.

Listen to this week’s Medical News Headlines: News Segment October 25, 2014 (right click MP3)

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Dr Karthik Ghosh, Dr Tufia Haddad, Mayo Clinic Radio

October 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Hospital – Rochester Receives 2014 Quality Leadership Award

By Rebecca Eisenman

Mayo Clinic is recognized among University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) Quality Leadership Award winners for 2014. Mayo Clinic Hospital – Rochester ranked second in the UHC Quality and Accountability Study — up from 2013’s fourth-place ranking. Quality leadership award logo-UHCThe award is given to the top performing academic medical centers that demonstrate excellence in delivering high-quality care, as measured by the UHC Quality and Accountability Study.

“Receiving a five-star rating and being named a UHC Quality Leadership Award winner is a testament to the extraordinary efforts of our hospital-based staff,” states Amy Williams, M.D., Nephrology, and medical director of Clinical Operations, Mayo Clinic Hospital - Rochester. “Their dedication, expertise, teamwork and continual efforts to ensure the safety and satisfaction of our patients are what set Mayo Clinic apart as a leader.”

UHC, an alliance of approximately 90 percent of the nation's nonprofit academic medical centers, conducts the Quality and Accountability Study. This comprehensive analysis and ranking assesses organizational performance of its members across high-priority dimensions of care, including mortality, safety, equity, patient-centeredness, effectiveness and efficiency.

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Tags: Mayo Clinic, Minnesota news release, quality, rankings

October 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Stem Cell Transplant for Cancer Patients

By Dana Sparks

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

Stem cell transplantillustration of stem cells
This procedure may help if your bone marrow stops working or if you've had high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy for certain blood disorders.

Personality affects how cancer survivors deal with care
Extroverts and introverts have different ways of interacting while managing cancer.

Breast Cancer risk factors
A breast cancer risk factor is anything that makes it more likely you'll get breast cancer. But having one or even several breast cancer risk factors doesn't necessarily mean you'll develop breast cancer.

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Living With Cancer Blog, Stem Cell Transplant

October 23rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Patient Stories Highlight Social Media Week at Mayo Clinic

By Dana Sparks

Social Media 5The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media (MCCSM) provides training and resources to help accelerate effective adoption of social media in health care. Through its Social Media Health Network, #MCCSM offers opportunity for health-rSocial Media 1elated organizations to learn together and share best practices.

During this year's Social Media Week winners of the Patient-Caregiver Scholarship Contest shared how social media has contributed to their health. Their message was simple:

Social media is about more than likes and shares and getting messages out. It's about connection, engagement and much more.

Social Media 2
Following are themes from the conversation.

Social media:

  • Helps patients connect
  • Helps patients heal emotionally
  • Lets you know you're not alone
  • Helps you get educated
  • Allows you to become an advocate
  • Save lives

The scholarship winners share a few thoughts in the videos below. View their bios and videos, and then keep reading for a special announcement from the summit — the introduction of the Mayo Clinic Champions program.

Danielle Ripley-Burgess (@DanielleisB)

Danielle Ripley-Burgess is a two-time colon cancer survivor who works as the director of communications for Fight Colorectal Cancer. She was diagnosed with colon cancer a few weeks after her 17th birthday in 2001 and again at age 25 in 2009. During more than a decade of survivorship she’s gotten involved in the colorectal cancer community to inspire others. Through her advocacy work, Danielle has traveled coast-to-coast to host events and share stories of those touched by colon cancer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, MCCSM, Patient Stories

October 23rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment


By Dana Sparks

photograph memories hanging on a clothesline
Alzheimer's and memory: Use mementos as cues

Self-esteem check: Too low or just right?

Menus for heart-healthy eating: Cut the fat and salt

Shift work: Improving daytime sleep

Colon cancer screening: Weighing the options

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Tags: Alzheimer's, Colon Cancer, Self-esteem, Sleep, Thursday Consumer Health Tips