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Kevin Punsky (@kevinpunsky) posted · Mon, Apr 13 10:12am · View  

Creating Profile to Identify Patients Most at Risk of Developing Pancreatic Cancer

Endoscopic ultrasound.

The endoscope (not seen) is placed in the stomach, via the mouth. The ultrasound device, located on the tip of the scope, provides a black and white image. In this image, the normal pancreas (“panc”) is located on the right, and a large black circular cyst is seen in the center. Doppler ultrasound is used to check the nearby blood vessels such as the superior mesenteric vein (SMV) which show red blood flow.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — When people find out — usually from a diagnostic scan looking at something else — that they have a lesion in their pancreas that could morph into pancreatic cancer, they can panic. They insist on having frequent CT scans and biopsies to monitor the lesion, or they ask for surgery. Physicians also don’t know if these abnormalities are dangerous, so the patients end up in surgery having part of their pancreas removed. Often the lesion is nothing to worry about.

But a team of international physicians, led by researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, has developed a profile of the patient who would be most at risk of developing lesions that are most likely to develop into cancer. Their analysis is published online today in the journal Digestive and Liver Diseases.

“The factors we found that increase risk of pancreatic cancer now allow us to separate patients as either low or high risk,” says the study’s senior author, Michael B. Wallace, M.D., MPH, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic. “High-risk patients can then be scanned and biopsied more frequently or can opt for surgery, but low-risk patients don’t need such surveillance. They can be watched much less intensively.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, punsky.kevin@mayo.edu

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lizatorborg (@lizatorborg) posted · Tue, Apr 7 6:00am · View  

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Thorough evaluation before LASIK surgery can help avoid problems

illustration of LASIK surgery for eye sightDEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am considering having LASIK surgery, but have a friend who had the procedure done many years ago and is now experiencing regression in her vision and has to wear glasses again. Is this typical? What are the risks of LASIK surgery?

ANSWER: It is not typical for a person’s vision to regress after LASIK. Although the procedure may lead to some side effects and complications, they are uncommon. A thorough evaluation before surgery often can help avoid many of the potential problems that can happen after LASIK.

LASIK stands for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis. It is a type of refractive surgery — surgery that changes the shape of the transparent tissue, called the cornea, at the front of your eye. The surgery corrects vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, reducing or eliminating the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. [...]

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lizatorborg (@lizatorborg) posted · Sat, Mar 28 10:00am · View  

Mayo Clinic Q & A: Presbyopia normal in aging, but regular eye exams are recommended

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 43 and have started having trouble with my vision while reading. I know this is common for someone my age, and I do have “readers” that I sometimes use, but am hoping to put off regular glasses as long as possible. Am I doing harm by waiting? How often should I have my eyes checked?woman with glasses reading a book, vision

ANSWER: It is true that the vision changes you are noticing are very common in people in their 40s. But you are not harming your eyes by waiting to get reading glasses. You may find it useful to get an eye exam now, though, to see if glasses could be helpful and to check for other eye problems. Regular eye exams are recommended for adults beginning at age 40.

As we age, our eyes gradually lose their ability to focus on objects nearby. The medical term for this process is presbyopia. It typically becomes noticeable in the early to mid-40s and continues to get worse through the mid-60s. Many people become aware of presbyopia when vision seems blurry at a normal reading distance, and they have to hold reading material farther away to see it clearly. [...]

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Soledad Andrade (@soledadandrade) posted · Thu, Mar 19 1:00pm · View  

Oncólogos revelan razones para el alto costo de los fármacos contra el cáncer en Estados Unidos y recomiendan soluciones

ROCHESTER, Minnesota: La creciente carestía de los fármacos contra el cáncer repercute sobre la atención médica en Estados Unidos y el sistema de salud estadounidense en general, dicen los autores de un artículo especial publicado en internet en la revista Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Ilustración de unas pastillas con la palabra cáncer“Los estadounidenses con cáncer pagan entre 50 y 100 por ciento más que los pacientes de otros países por el mismo fármaco patentado”, observa el Dr. S. Vincent Rajkumar, del Centro Oncológico de Mayo Clinic y uno de los autores del trabajo. “En nuestra calidad de oncólogos, tenemos la obligación moral de defender que los pacientes puedan pagar el costo de los fármacos contra el cáncer”.

El Dr. Rajkumar y su colega, el Dr. Hagop Kantarjian del Centro Oncológico MD Anderson, comentan que el precio promedio de los fármacos contra el cáncer para una terapia de aproximadamente un año aumentó de entre 5000 y 10 000 dólares que costaba antes del año 2000 a más de 100 000 para el año 2012. Durante prácticamente el mismo período, el ingreso promedio de los hogares estadounidenses disminuyó en alrededor de 8 por ciento.

En el trabajo, los autores refutan los principales argumentos que la industria farmacéutica utiliza para justificar la carestía de los fármacos contra el cáncer, que son los siguientes: el gasto de realizar las investigaciones para el desarrollo de los fármacos, los beneficios comparables de los pacientes, que las fuerzas del mercado fijarán los precios en niveles razonables, y que el control de precios de los fármacos contra el cáncer reprimirá la innovación.

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Micah Dorfner (@micahd7) posted · Thu, Mar 12 1:02pm · View  

Spring Break Can Be Fun, But Take Precautions and Be Safe

shutterstock_53590102LA CROSSE, WI. – For many college students, spring break is a time of festivity in warm vacation destinations. It’s a way to relieve the academic stress of the semester. However, this season of revelry also poses some major health and safety risks.

Mayo Clinic Health System would like to remind vacationing students of ways to protect themselves from sexual assault by monitoring their alcohol consumption and looking out for GHB and Rohypnol — more commonly known as the “date rape drugs.” Each year, there is an average of 293,000 male and female sexual assault victims in the United States, according to Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

The side effects of alcohol and date rape drugs may be severe. GHB and Rohypnol can cause sedation, confusion and memory loss. The drugs are also known to impair the consumer’s ability to resist unwanted contact and recollection of the event. At high doses, GHB and Rohypnol may cause seizures, coma and even death. [...]

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Soledad Andrade (@soledadandrade) posted · Thu, Mar 5 10:24am · View  

El conocimiento de las mujeres estadounidenses respecto a la densidad mamaria varía según raza, origen étnico, educación e ingreso económico, descubre estudio de Mayo Clinic

ROCHESTER, Minnesota: Entre las mujeres estadounidenses existe disparidad en cuanto al nivel de concienciación y conocimiento respecto a la densidad mamaria, muestran los resultados de un estudio de Mayo Clinic publicado en la Revista de Oncología Clínica.

Imagen de tejido mamario no denso con cáncer

Tejido mamario no denso que revela un pequeño cáncer (izquierda, hacia arriba)

Densidad mamaria es el término que se utiliza para describir la variación que muestra el tejido mamario en las imágenes mamográficas. El tejido graso de las mamas tiene mayor translucencia radiológica que el tejido mamario denso (fibroglandular). Las zonas mamarias compuestas por tejido graso aparecen más oscuras en la mamografía, mientras que las regiones de tejido denso se ven más blancas.

Se ha comprobado que una mayor densidad mamaria no solamente enmascara el cáncer en la mamografía, sino que también se vincula con un futuro riesgo para cáncer de mama. Por ello, las últimas leyes emitidas en varios estados exigen informar a las mujeres sobre la densidad mamaria a fin de guiar sus decisiones respecto a los exámenes para detección del cáncer de mama.

En esta investigación se llevó a cabo en todo el país una encuesta transversal, en inglés y español, con 2311 mujeres de 40 a 74 años de edad. La tasa de respuesta de la encuesta fue de 65 por ciento. En general, más de la mitad de las mujeres que respondieron la encuesta (58 por ciento) había escuchado sobre la densidad mamaria, 49 por ciento conocía acerca de la repercusión de la densidad mamaria sobre la detección del cáncer de mama, y 53 por ciento sabía respecto a la vinculación entre densidad mamaria y riesgo de cáncer. [...]

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lizatorborg (@lizatorborg) posted · Tue, Mar 3 6:00am · View  

Mayo Clinic Q & A: Chronic sinusitis symptoms resemble a cold, but last months

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I’ve had an awful cold for months. My doctor recommends that I be tested for chronic sinusitis. What would that involve? How is chronic sinusitis treated?illustration of person's face with sinus infection and inflammation

ANSWER: Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, which are the air-containing pockets in the skull and facial bones around your nose. Chronic sinusitis develops when inflammation lasts for more than 12 weeks. Testing involves a visit to an ear, nose and throat, or ENT, doctor who will examine your sinuses. Most chronic sinusitis can be managed with medical therapy. However, if your symptoms or the inflammation do not respond to medical therapy, surgery may be necessary. The goal of treatment is to restore sinus health and function.

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis often resemble a cold. A cold is usually caused by a viral infection and is often accompanied by a runny or stuffed-up nose, sneezing, sore throat, watery eyes and a fever. This kind of acute viral sinusitis usually lasts seven to 10 days.

In rare instances, you may get a bacterial infection as a result of a cold, resulting in acute bacterial sinusitis. If that happens, cold symptoms get worse after seven to 10 days. You also may have yellow or green nasal drainage, pain in your face or teeth, and a fever. Acute sinusitis lasts up to four weeks. When symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks, you may have chronic sinusitis. But some cases of chronic sinusitis can develop subtly, without a preceding viral infection. [...]

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