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October 3rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Breast reconstruction may still be an option years after mastectomy

By lizatorborg lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Six years ago, at age 37, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy. I remained cancer-free until nine months ago, when the cancer returned. This time I opted for a double mastectomy without reconstruction.
If I decide to have breast reconstruction down the back of woman with bra strap missing representing breast cancer surgeryroad, are my options limited since I didn’t have it done right away? What type of reconstruction would you recommend for someone like me?

ANSWER: In general, breast reconstruction surgery falls into two categories. The first involves using a woman’s own tissue taken from another area of the body to form new breast mounds. This is called autologous breast reconstruction. The second uses breast implants to reshape the breasts.

If you decide to have breast reconstruction at some point, the standard treatment option based on your history would be autologous reconstruction. It would offer you the best chance for a successful outcome with the lowest risk of complications. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: autologous breast reconstruction, Breast Implants, breast reconstruction, Dr. Jacobson, Dr Steven Jacobson, Mayo Clinic Q A

October 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic to Celebrate Heritage Days Oct. 5–9

By Kelley Luckstein Kelley Luckstein

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic’s annual Heritage Days celebration takes place next week, Oct. 5–9. An array of celebratory events and activities will be held across the institution to thank all of the dedicated employees and volunteers who provide service to patients. All events and activities are free and open to the public.

The theme of this year’s Heritage Days is "Salute to Service,” which honors the involvement of various generations of Mayo Clinic employees and supporters of the armed forces who served on the battlefield and homefront.

The year 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, during which William Worrall Mayo, M.D., moved to Rochester upon his appointment as an enrolling surgeon for the Union Army, as well as the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, during which Mayo Clinic provided innovative medical science.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kelley Luckstein, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs,

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Tags: employees, Heritage Days, history, military, Minnesota news release, News Release, research information center, Volunteers

October 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Calcium Intake for Adults over Age 55

By Deborah Balzer Deborah Balzer

milk being poured into a glassQuestions about calcium supplements for older adults are in the news. Recent studies published in the British Medical Journal found that extra dietary calcium intake was not associated with fracture reduction and increasing dietary calcium intake does not prevents fractures.

However, says Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Dr. Robert Wermers, Americans aren't getting enough calcium in their diet. The median dietary intake in the U.S. for women age 50 or older is 589-649 mg per day and 728-777 per day for men. He says despite the new findings, he recommends patients follow the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines of 1200 mg of calcium in women 51 years of age and older, 1000 mg daily for men 51-70 years old and 1200 mg for those above 70 years of age.

Dr. Wermers says, "The ability to maintain calcium balance worsens and bone loss accelerates after 50 years of age. Your risk of fracture also increases with older age. In fact, several studies have shown that calcium combined with low daily doses of  vitamin D  reduces fracture risk and increases bone density." Calcium supplements, he says, should be considered only if you do not get the recommended daily amount of calcium through diet. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: aging, Calcium Supplements, cardiovascular disease, Dr Robert Wermers, endocrinologist, kidney disease, kidney stones, vitmain D

October 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic and AVIA announce Care at Hand and Wellpepper as winners of the Mayo Clinic Think Big Challenge

By Brian Kilen Brian Kilen

Each company receives a $50,000 award and one year of consultation

ROCHESTER, Minn. – On Oct. 1, Care at Hand and Wellpepper were selected as winners of the first-ever Mayo Clinic Think Big Challenge, which was sponsored by Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI), Mayo Clinic Ventures and AVIA Health Innovation. Winners will receive a $50,000 award and one year of consultation to help develop their innovative concepts for market.

The winners were chosen by attendees at Transform 2015, an annual gathering of industry leaders exploring the future of health and health care, which is hosted by the CFI. More than 130 applicants across the nation submitted ideas for the inaugural competition, and six finalist companies were selected for the final round of judging.

Winners: Andrey Ostrovsky, M.D. – Care at Hand, and Anne Weiler – Wellpepper

Winners: Andrey Ostrovsky, M.D. – Care at Hand, and Anne Weiler – Wellpepper

Care at Hand of San Francisco and Rockville, Maryland, won the Got Health Award, which focuses on ideas to enable healthy people to stay healthy.

Led by a team spanning medicine to engineering, Care at Hand is recognized for its work on an evidence-based smart survey and analytics platform that predicts and prevents hospitalizations using nonmedical workers. Forbes underscored Care at Hand’s leadership and investment in digital health technologies, saying Care at Hand is “blazing trails in telehealth and poised to become [a] household name.”

Wellpepper of Seattle won the I Am Not My Disease Award, which focuses on helping people with chronic illnesses live better lives. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, Mayo Clinic Ventures, Minnesota news release, News Release

October 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Minute 10/2/2015

By Deborah Balzer Deborah Balzer


In today's Mayo Clinic Minute with Vivien Williams:

  • We look at new guidelines for taking aspirin, a connection to long naps and diabetes, and a study that says we should focus on sitting less.

Click here for more on the new aspirin guidelines, here for the napping study and here for research on sitting.

Journalists: Video is available in the downloads. [TRT :57] Click here for the script.


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Tags: aspirin, diabetes, Heart Disease, Mayo Clinic Minute, naps, Sitting, Vivien Williams

October 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Living With Cancer

By Jen O'Hara Jen O

female cancer survivor reclining against pillows in bedCancer fatigue: Why it occurs and how to cope
Treatment side effects, pain, cancer itself. These are just a few of the reasons you may be feeling tired. Find out how to fight fatigue on your own and when to tell your doctor.

Newest screening focused on detecting lung cancer early
Current or former smokers can now be screened for lung cancer with a low-dose CT scan. The sooner the disease is found, the easier the treatment.

Cancer survivors: Late effects of cancer treatment
Learn about late and long-term effects of cancer treatment so that you can take more control of your health as a cancer survivor.

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Tags: cancer fatigue, Cancer Survivors, effects of cancer treatment, Living With Cancer Blog, Lung Cancer Screening

October 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Radio

By Jen O'Hara Jen O

medical illustration of varicose veinsVaricose veins and peripheral artery disease (PAD) are common blood vessel disorders. On the next Mayo Clinic Radio, cardiovascular disease specialist Dr. Thom Rooke explains the differences between the two - and why PAD is a sign of a serious condition. Also on the program, the Patient Revolution Project is helping patients and caregivers get more out of their time together. Project creative director Maggie Breslin and Dr. Victor Montori, project medical director, offer advice on becoming a proactive patient. And pediatrician and sleep disorders specialist Dr. Suresh Kotagal discusses restless legs syndrome.

Myth or Matter-of-Fact: Wearing compression stockings is often the first approach to try before moving to other treatments for varicose veins.

Click here to listen to the program at 9:05 a.m. CT Saturday, October 3, and follow #MayoClinicRadio.

Mayo Clinic Radio is available on iHeartRadio.

To find and listen to archived shows, click here.

Mayo Clinic Radio is a weekly one-hour radio program highlighting health and medical information from Mayo Clinic.

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Tags: Dr. Suresh Kotagal, Dr Victor Montori, dysfunctional sleep, insomnia, Maggie Breslin, Mayo Clinic Radio, Patient Revolution Project, Peripheral Arterial Disease, peripheral artery disease, restless legs, restless legs syndrome, varicose veins

October 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

#ThrowbackThursday: Mayo One Takes Flight 1984

By Dana Sparks Dana Sparks

This 1984 article first appeared in the publication Mayovox.

1984 helicopter, newspaper pictureHelicopter transport program approved; to be based at Saint Marys
Faster emergency care would be provided to critically injured or ill patients under a plan by Mayo Medical Center to implement a helicopter transport program. The plan for such a program has received initial Medical Center approval. It could be operational in the fall of 1984 if approved by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Rochester Zoning Commission.

Based on a helipad that would be built on the roof of the Mary Brigh Building at Saint Marys, the helicopter would be used to transport patients with life threatening injuries or illnesses in the 70-county region served by Saint Marys Emergency Room, encompassing southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

The program will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the helicopter will be available to respond on five minutes' notice to calls from physicians, hospitals and other emergency services providers.

Victims of motor vehicle accidents, cardiac emergencies, ill neonates and high risk pregnancies are examples of patients who will be transported. The s1984 Mayo One helicopter in newspaper pictureervice will be limited to critically ill patients requiring rapid transport for sophisticated tertiary care. Officials project that about 500–800 patients annually would be candidates for helicopter transport, an average of 1–2 per day.

The most important element in consideration of this program, according to a report by Mayo's Emergency Care Committee, is the reduced mortality rate resulting from faster access to care. Time is of the essence, the report said, especially in the first 60 minutes following an accident — the so-called "golden hour" — when nearly 80 percent of the victims die who could have survived with faster emergency care.

One study of helicopter programs in the U.S. concluded that 20 percent of patients transported by helicopter would have died had they not had the service of the air ambulance. Another study by the University of California, San Diego, reported that the mortality rate for patients transported by helicopter was 52 percent less than for patients with similar injuries transported by the same institution by conventional land means. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: emergency care, helicopter transport, Mayo One, Throwback Thursday

October 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Study: Genes of Colon Cancer Recurrence Differs Among Blacks, Whites and Asians

By Joe Dangor Joe Dangor

CytogeneticsROCHESTER, Minn. — The genetic makeup of colon cancer tumors and survival rates for patients with the disease differ by race, according to a study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, published in the October 2015 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“These findings put the issue of race more prominently on the radar of investigators that cancer biology may contribute to race-based disparities,” says the study’s co-lead author, Harry Yoon, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic. “While it is too early to change the way we treat these patients, our results indicate that future studies are needed to examine potential biological drivers of these differences more closely.”

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women with more than 93,000 cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2015. Researchers have long known that blacks develop colon cancer at an earlier age and blacks with colon cancer are at higher risk of dying than whites. However, it has been difficult to identify why the differences in survival exist.

MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, 

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Tags: Cancer, clinical trials, Colon Cancer, Dr Harry Yoon, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Minnesota news release, News Release, North Central Cancer Treatment Group, race-based disparities

October 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Transforming Health Care Through Love and Story

By Dana Sparks Dana Sparks

Kevin Kling at Transform 2015

Author, playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling speaking at Transform 2015.

In a session called "People Power Health," one speaker at the Transform 2015 Symposium said "stories are medicine" and another said he "was loved back into existence"

“As a storyteller, my dream is to be as valuable as a plumber,” says author, playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling. Kling was one of the presenters in a session called “People Power Health,” the opening session of Transform 2015, which began on Wednesday at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. And he came armed with enough quips and tales to fill a hospital wing. All aimed at shining a light on the patient’s role in health care.

Along with laughs and memorable moments, Kling and other two other featured speakers in the opening session attempted to inspire different ways of approaching and thinking about people powering health care.

Kling shared stories and insights from his own experiences in health care. “In health care, we’re in a point of transition. We’re becoming more responsible about the outcome of our own story,” he said. “I think that’s a good thing.”

Setting the tone – “Health as a condition of citizenship”

Moderator John Hockenberry who has attended by his count 4 or 5 Transform events, set the tone early for the annual gathering of health care thought leaders from around the globe.

“I am so excited about the journey we’re going to take you on over the next couple of days,” said Hockenberry, as he encouraged those attending Transform to get engaged in their own health care. “If we thought of health as a condition of citizenship, would we begin to be able to think in a more improvisational and healthy way about problems in our health care system.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: John Hockenberry, Transform 2015, Kevin Kling, medicine, storytelling

October 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Middlesex Hospital in Connecticut joins Mayo Clinic Care Network

By Rhoda Madson Rhoda Madson

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Middlesex Hospital and Mayo Clinic announced today that Middlesex has joined Mayo Clinic Care Network, a growing network of organizations committed to better serving the best interests of patients and their families.

Middlesex is the first health care organization from Connecticut to join the network. The agreement gives Middlesex access to Mayo Clinic knowledge and clinical resources that complement its expertise and enhance locally provided care. Through the network, Mayo and Middlesex physicians will collaborate so more patients can get answers to complex medical questions and gain additional peace of mind, all while staying close to home.Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut

“We are thrilled about embarking on this clinical relationship with Mayo Clinic,” says Vincent Capece, Jr., president and CEO of Middlesex Hospital. “We see this as a long-term collaboration that will enable us to bring premier care to the patients we serve and jointly address the challenges we all face in health care. This collaboration will help us in our never-ending efforts to elevate the delivery of care to our communities.”

Peg Arico, Public Relations/Marketing, Middlesex Hospital, 860-358-6980,
Rhoda Madson, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

Journalists: Broll of both facilities as well as sound bites from Mr. Capece and Dr. Cannon are available in the downloads. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Keith Cannon, Mayo Clinic Care Network, MIddlesex Hospital, Minnesota news release, News Release

October 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Thursday Consumer Health Tips

By Jen O'Hara Jen O

newborn baby crying
Newborn care: 10 tips for stressed-out parents

Loss of taste and smell: Natural with aging?

Meningitis: Prevention

Bad breath: Could a tongue scraper help?

Grief: Coping with reminders after a loss

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Tags: aging, bad breath, coping with grief, Grief, loss of smell, loss of taste, Meningitis, newborn care, stress for new parents, Thursday Consumer Health Tips

October 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Sugary Drinks: Find Alternatives for Better Health

By Deborah Balzer Deborah Balzer

open cans of soda drinks

Weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease. These are some of the risks associated with consuming sugary drinks, according to a new report from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Researchers found the health effects of drinking one or two servings a day of sugar-sweetened beverages include a 35 percent greater risk of heart attack or fatal heart disease.

Lisa Dierks,  Mayo Clinic registered dietitian and nutrition manager of the Healthy Living Program  says added sugars can be found in many food sources, not just sugar-sweetened beverages. So, how do we lessen the sugar load? Dierks says try "decreasing portion size or changing from a product with added sugars to one with sugar substitutes. Also, take time to look at labels of food products you purchase."headshot of Lisa Dierks

Alternatives to sweetened beverages and sodas include plain water, fruit or vegetable- infused waters for flavor without the calories and seltzer waters for the fizz. What about diet soda? She adds, "Diet soda may help decrease intake from added sugar-sweetened beverages. However, some research shows that use of diet products or products with sugar substitutes may not decrease overall caloric intake."

Foods and drinks with added sugar or "empty calories" can be hard to avoid and should be taken in moderation. She adds, "Restricting access to foods may not teach our children how to handle these foods, resulting in increased intake as they age. Parents should talk to their children about foods that should be consumed in moderation and how much is a treat."

And, since we all deserve a treat on occasion, Dierks says it's about quality over quantity, so consider a 1 ounce bar of high-quality dark chocolate.

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Tags: diabetes, diet soda, Healthy Living Program, heart attack, Heart Disease, Lisa Dierks, Portion Size, soda, sugar substitutes, sugary drinks

September 30th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Hosts FCC Broadband Health Summit

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss

Mayo Clinic
is partnering with the Federal Communications Commission to host its Connect2HealthFCC Broadband Summit on Thursday, Oct. 1, Mayo's campus in Jacksonville, Fla. The event highlights how broadband-enabled health technologies can transform health care for seniors and people with disabilities.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2060, 1 out of every 4 Americans will be 65 or older. As our population ages and more Americans assume caregiving tasks for family members, broadband-enabled health technologies hold great promise to help address access to care issues, facilitate the next generation of caregiving and provide new self-management tools.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Ommen, Dr. TerKonda, Commissioner Clyburn and Chairman Wheeler are available in the downloads. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Weiss, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-2299, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Connected Care, Dr. Sarvam TerKonda, Dr Steve Ommen, FCC, telemedicine, Florida release, Mayo Clinic in Florida

September 30th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Study finds connection between severe menopausal symptoms and history of recent abuse

By Ginger Plumbo Ginger Plumbo

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Menopause is associated with many bothersome symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, difficulty with mood, memory or concentration, and changes in sexual function. Mayo Clinic physicians recently released findings from research that demonstrated a connection between the severity of menopausal symptoms and a woman’s recent experience of abuse. The abuse could be verbal or emotional, physical or sexual.middle aged woman, sad, thinking, worried, depressed

Mayo Clinic experts presented findings from the study, “The Association Between Abuse and Menopausal Symptom Bother: Results From the Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause and Sexuality,” at the annual conference for the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Las Vegas.

“Approximately 25 percent of women say they have experienced abuse over the course of their lifetime, and we know that this can have long-lasting and far-reaching effects on physical and emotional health,” says Stephanie Faubion, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Office of Women’s Health and co-author of the study. “This study examines whether, and to what degree, self-reported abuse in the last year is associated with the severity of menopausal symptoms.”

Based on survey responses from more than 3,700 women, Mayo Clinic researchers found that:

• In the last year, 6.8 percent reported one or more forms of abuse. Of those, 96.8 percent reported experiencing verbal or emotional abuse; 13 percent, physical abuse; and 3.9 percent, sexual abuse.
• Women who reported recent abuse also reported having more bothersome menopausal symptoms, including difficulty with sleep, issues with mood, memory or concentration, bowel/bladder problems, and difficulty with sexual function.
• There was not a direct correlation between the severity of hot flashes or night sweats, and reports of abuse in the last year.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

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

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Tags: Abuse, Dr. Stephanie Faubion, Menopause, Minnesota news release, News Release