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February 26th, 2015 · Leave a Comment


By Dana Sparks

young girl is sick and having her temperature taken

Fever treatment: Quick guide to treating a fever

Dense breast tissue: What it means to have dense breasts

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Blood pressure chart: What your reading means

Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan

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Tags: Blood Pressure Chart, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Dense Breast Tissue, Diabetes, fever, Thursday Consumer Health Tips

February 26th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

What Do You Know About Superbugs?

By balzerdeb

illustrations of superbugs microbiome animationYou may have heard the term superbug in the news lately. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (En-tero-bacteria-ce·ae) (CRE) has been linked to several deaths around the United States after those patients had endoscopic procedures using a duodenoscope. CRE is often referred to as a superbug because it's resistant to the carbapenem antibiotic and other commonly used antibiotics.

The duodenoscope is a complex instrument used in an endoscopic procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Bret Petersen, M.D., calls the ERCP a very important procedure that potentially saves many lives and says more than 100,000 ERCP procedures are done annually in the U.S.

Instruments used in common procedures such as colonoscopy and upper endoscopy have not been related to these cases of CRE. Dr. Petersen says patients should not be fearful of having these important procedures.

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

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Tags: Colonoscopy, CRE, Dr Bret Petersen, duodenoscope, superbug, upper endoscopy

February 25th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

What to Do About Dry Skin

By Micah Dorfner

Dry skin is can be temporary — for example you might only suffer from it during the winter months — but for some it can be a lifelong condition. Although skin is often driest on your hands, arms and lower legs, this varies from person to person. What's more, signs and symptoms of dry skin depend on your age, your health, where you live, time spent outdoors and the cause of the problem.

Megan Johnston Flanders, M.D., family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, says dry skin is likely to cause one or more of the following:

  • A feeling of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing or swimmingwoman scratching her arm, dry skin itch
  • Skin that feels and looks rough
  • Itching (pruritus)
  • Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling
  • Fine lines or cracks
  • Gray, ashy skin in people with dark skin
  • Redness
  • Deep cracks that may bleed

Dr. Johnston Flanders says the following measures can help keep your skin moist and healthy: Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dermatology, Dr Megan Johnston Flanders, Dry Skin, Mayo Clinic Health System

February 25th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

A. Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., Named Director of Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine

By Sam Smith

~Stewart, Keith.photoROCHESTER, Minn. — A. Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., has been appointed medical director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. Dr. Stewart is a consultant in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine.

“I am honored to have this opportunity,” says Dr. Stewart. “We will build on the excellent work of the center to date, with a renewed focus on helping our clinicians access genomics based diagnostics and therapeutics on a routine basis to improve patient care. The integrated complex care delivered at Mayo Clinic provides a unique ability to lead in the development of precision medicine advances with global impact.”

Dr. Stewart’s own research and clinical interest is in translational genomics in multiple myeloma, including both basic and clinical research to identify novel targets for therapy in multiple myeloma. A diversity of public and private institutions currently support this work: the National Cancer Institute, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as well as numerous partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry for clinical trials. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona News Release, Center for Individualized Medicine, Dr A Keith Stewart, Dr Keith Stewart, Minnesota news release

February 25th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic’s Measles Virus Therapy for Cancer Profiled in VICE Documentary on HBO

By Joe Dangor

measles virus to fight cancer researches in lab

On Friday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT, HBO will broadcast a documentary entitled Killing Cancer.

Shane Smith from HBO VICE on measles virus and cancer vaccineVICE founder and host Shane Smith follows pioneering researchers across the U.S. — including specialists from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center — who are changing the face of modern-day medicine through their work with oncolytic virus therapy.

This revolutionary treatment uses HIV, measles and other viruses that have killed millions to combat cancer. You can view the trailer:



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Tags: HBO, Killing Cancer, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, measles virus therapy, Multiple Myeloma, oncolytic virus therapy, Shane Smith, VICE

February 25th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Quicker Recoveries Possible with Robotic Heart Valve Surgery

By Dennis Douda

Millions of Americans are living with a heart murmur, a telltale sound caused by blood rushing through the heart. Some are harmless, but sometimes they’re a clue to serious problems with the heart’s valves. When surgery is called for, robotic technology is allowing repairs to be made safer than ever before.

After more than 500 robot-assisted mitral valve repair procedures, cardiac surgeon Rakesh Suri, M.D., says Mayo Clinic has proven that - not only does this minimally invasive heart surgery get patients back on their feet faster, it does so at no added cost. Watch the video to see how it works.

Journalists: Broadcast quality video is available in the downloads. Click here to read the script. 

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Tags: Dr. Rakesh Suri, HL, mitral valve, mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve regurgitation, Pkg, Robotic Surgery

February 24th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Decline in Smoking Rates May Increase Lung Cancer Mortality Due to Inadequate Screening Guidelines

By Joe Dangor

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A decline in smoking rates may mean that many people who could have benefited from early detection of lung cancer are dying because they don’t qualify for low-dose CT scans, according to a group of Mayo Clinic researchers. Their research appears in the Feb. 24 issue of JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

“As smokers quit earlier and stay off cigarettes longer, fewer are eligible for CT screening, which has been proven effective in saving lives,” says Ping Yang, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. “Patients who do eventually develop lung cancer are diagnosed at a later stage when treatment can no longer result in a cure.”

Dr. Yang says researchers and policymakers need to re-examine screening criteria to identify a greater proportion of patients who develop lung cancer.

Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: CT Scan, Dr Yang, JAMA, Lung Cancer, M.D., Minnesota news release, News Release, PhD, Ping Yang, Screening Guidelines, smoking rates, US Preventive Services Task Force

February 24th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Ongoing insomnia? Variety of factors could be at play

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My mother-in-law has had insomnia ever since her husband died (just over one year ago). She regularly takes over-the-counter sleep aids, but I am concerned she is also depressed. Is it true that the two conditions are related? Should I encourage her to see a therapist?

mature woman wide awake in the middle of the nightANSWER: Insomnia can be a reflection of ongoing distress, and it is often associated with episodes of clinical depression following a period of grieving. But it is possible that your mother-in-law’s insomnia and the loss of her husband are not connected. It would be a good idea for her to make an appointment to see her primary care physician. That physician can assess your mother-in-law’s medical condition and, if needed, provide a referral to a mental health professional.

Insomnia is generally defined as the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or both, despite the opportunity for adequate sleep. Occasional insomnia is a nuisance, but it usually does not present significant health concerns. When insomnia persists, however, it can become a clinical problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: chronic insomnia, depression, Dr Jarrett Richardson, Dr Richardson, insomnia, Mayo Clinic Q A

February 23rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

“Bionic” Eye Implant Offers Hope of Restoring Vision

By Dennis Douda

It’s a medical story, a science and technology advancement and a romance wrapped into one moment: when a man who is blind sees his wife again for the first time in a decade.

Allen Zderad began to have serious vision problems about 20 years ago due to retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease affecting the retina. There is no effective treatment or cure. It ended his professional career and after a decade he was effectively blind, unable to see anything other than very bright light. He adjusted, even continuing woodworking by developing his sense of touch and spatial relationships. But he was unable to see his family, including ten grandchildren or his wife, Carmen.

Enter Raymond Iezzi Jr., M.D., Mayo Clinic researcher and ophthalmologist, who had been seeing Zderad’s grandson, who has early stages of the same condition.

Journalists: B-roll of patient Allen Zderad's first experiences with the Second Sight system and of his surgery to implant the device is available in the downloads. Dr. Iezzi's sound bites on the technology, retinitis pigmentosa and the patient experience are also available. Click here for transcript.

Watch KARE 11 medical news report: Man gets bionic eye, sees wife for first time in decade.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Iezzi, contact Bob Nellis at Mayo Clinic Public Affairs: 507-284-5005 or Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Argus II, Dr Raymond Iezzi, ophthalmology, retinal prosthesis, retinitis pigmentosa, second sight

February 23rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

CREEPY, DREADFUL, WONDERFUL PARASITES: A Parasitologist’s View of the World – Week of Feb. 23, 2014

By Dana Sparks

macroscopic image of a louseEvery week Bobbi Pritt, M.D., posts a new case, along with the answer to the previous case. Read Dr. Pritt's blog: Parasite Wonders and submit your answers, comments and questions. Enjoy science!

Note from Dr. Pritt: All opinions expressed here are mine and not my employer's. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. I do not accept medical consults from patients. 

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Tags: Dr Bobbi Pritt, Mayo Medical Labs, Parasite Wonders

February 23rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIESpills and pill bottles
Antibiotics: Misuse puts you and others at risk
Did you know that antibiotics can't treat colds or the flu? Find out why these drugs don't help certain infections.

Dietary fats: Know which types to choose
Not all dietary fats are created equal. Discover which ones to avoid and which ones to add to your plate for good health.

Chronic stress: Can it cause depression?
Not coping well with chronic stress can wear you down and raise the risk of depression.

Vicks VapoRub: An effective nasal decongestant?
Find out if Vicks VapoRub can truly relieve a stuffy nose or if it tricks your brain instead.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: antibiotics, Chronic stress, Decongestant, Dietary Fats, fitness, headaches, Healthy Recipes, Monday's Housecall, multiple sclerosis

February 23rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Medical Laboratories and Seattle Children’s Hospital Partner in Effort to Lower Costs of Clinical Laboratory Tests

By Andy Tofilon

Mayo Clinic Children's Hospital

Mayo Medical Laboratories and Seattle Children's Hospital are collaborating to improve test utilization in children's hospitals around the country.

ROCHESTER, Minnesota – Mayo Medical Laboratories is partnering with Seattle Children’s Hospital to research and develop ways to help the children’s hospitals around the country decrease costs and potential errors associated with unnecessary laboratory testing.

“Mayo and Seattle Children’s have collaborated on this important issue for years,” says Don Flott, director of utilization management at Mayo Medical Laboratories. “Test utilization is one strategy both organizations use for performing appropriate laboratory and pathology testing with the goal of providing high-quality, cost-effective patient care.”

In 2014, Mayo became a Gold Sponsor of Seattle Children’s Pediatric Laboratory Utilization Guidance Services (PLUGS), which is a leading test-utilization program launched by the hospital in 2013.

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Tofilon, Mayo Clinic Marketing Administrator, 507-538-5245, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Don Flott, Dr Mike Astion, laboratory medicine, Mayo Medical Laboratories, Minnesota, Minnesota news release, News Release, seattle Children's hospital, Test Utilization

February 23rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

For Health’s Sake, Quit Smoking…Your Oils

By Micah Dorfner

LA CROSSE, WI. – Most of us know that cooking with oils is healthier than cooking with butter or margarine. However, it isn’t as commonly known that oils can actually lose their nutritional value at certain temperatures. Not only can oils lose some of their ability to lower your risk of heart disease, but Romi Londre, a Mayo Clinic Health System dietitian, says they can also have an unpleasant taste if they get too oil being poured from a glass bottle into a pan

"Every type of oil has a certain temperature at which it will start to break down and lose some of its healthy properties," says Londre. "That temperature is called the smoke point because it's the temperature at which the oil will smoke and start producing toxic fumes and harmful free radicals."

“It's important be aware of the smoke points of oils so you can choose the right oil for the job," Londre adds. “Some oils are better suited for higher temperatures. A good rule of thumb is that the more refined the oil, the higher the smoke point.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Cooking Oil, diet, Heart Health, Mayo Clinic Health System, Nutrition, Romi Londre

February 21st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Weekend Wellness: Cardiac rehab beneficial for variety of heart disorders

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What does cardiac rehab involve? Do you recommend it for everyone who’s had a heart attack, or only in certain cases?

ANSWER: Cardiac rehabilitation is extremely beneficial for people with a variety of heart disorders. It involves a combination of medically supervised exercise, education and risk factor drawing chart heartbeat

The goals of cardiac rehabilitation are to reduce symptoms, improve physical and mental function, and prevent further heart problems. People who participate in cardiac rehabilitation are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital, and they enjoy a 25 to 45 percent improvement in survival rates compared with people who do not engage in cardiac rehabilitation.

Cardiac rehabilitation is definitely recommended for individuals with the following diagnoses: heart attack; percutaneous coronary intervention, including coronary angioplasty and stents; chronic stable angina; coronary bypass surgery; heart valve repair or valve replacement surgery; heart transplant; and systolic heart failure (impaired heart contraction). Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Cardiac Rehab, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Dr Ray Squires, Dr Squires, Weekend Wellness

February 20th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Something to Think About ~ Meditation 2.0: A New Way to Meditate

By Dana Sparks

Amit Sood, M.D.
, is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic. In this animated video he encourages those who might be interested in meditation
 to try a new approach that might be easier and more aligned with our modern busy minds. Read Meditation 2.0

Click here to learn more. Follow Dr. Sood on Twitter @AmitSoodMD 

"Today is Friday, the day of forgiveness - When you forgive, you free love from its cage." – Dr. Amit Sood

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Tags: alternative medicine, Dr Amit Sood, Meditation, Something to Think About