Activity by lizatorborg
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My mother was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer a few weeks ago. She had surgery and is about to begin chemotherapy, and Iâ€™ve read that sometimes chemo is more effective if it is given directly in the abdomen.Â Is this commonly done, and should I ask her doctor about it? Also, why is radiation not part of her treatment plan?
ANSWER: Treatment for ovarian cancer at the stage of your motherâ€™s diagnosis typically includes a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy was used for ovarian cancer in the past, but today it is uncommon because the other two treatments have been shown to be more effective for this type of cancer.
Ovarian cancer is a rare cancer. About 22,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States, compared to several hundred thousand cases of breast cancer. It begins in the ovaries â€” the two small organs on either side of the uterus that create eggs, or ova, and make the hormones progesterone and estrogen. Cancer that looks and behaves like ovarian cancer can also start in the fallopian tubes or the lining of the pelvis or abdomen, called the peritoneum. All three of these cancers are treated the same way â€” with surgery and chemotherapy â€” and they are all often referred to as "ovarian cancer." [...]
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 road, are my options limited since I didnâ€™t have it done right away?Â 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 womanâ€™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. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My daughter is 19 and was recently diagnosed with Crohnâ€™s disease. What is considered a flare-up? Her symptoms seem to be quite mild so far. Is it possible that this will continue, or do they usually worsen with time?
ANSWER: Crohnâ€™s disease is a long-term condition that causes inflammation of the digestive tract lining. This inflammation can involve any part of the digestive tract, but itâ€™s most common in the lower portion of the small intestine and in the large intestine. Unlike ulcerative colitis (another inflammatory condition), Crohnâ€™s disease usually affects the entire thickness of the bowel wall.
People with Crohnâ€™s disease typically have intermittent symptoms due to active inflammation. These are called flares. The flares usually alternate with periods of remission when thereâ€™s no active inflammation or symptoms. A flare may happen if a person with Crohnâ€™s disease doesnâ€™t take medication as prescribed, develops certain infections, receives antibiotics, or takes pain medications, including aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Stress also may trigger a flare and result in symptoms of Crohnâ€™s disease becoming worse. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Why is it that so many kids these days have peanut allergies? I donâ€™t remember it being an issue even 20 years ago. Is it something most kids will grow out of? I have heard of children doing a peanut allergy study to â€ścureâ€ť them of their allergy. What does that involve?
ANSWER: Youâ€™re correct that the number of children with peanut allergies has increased significantly over the last several decades. Although researchers have several theories, at this time thereâ€™s no definitive explanation for the increase. A variety of studies are currently underway to better understand peanut allergies and to help find more effective ways of treating them.
Over the last several decades, the prevalence of peanut allergies in children in the United States has more than tripled. The reasons behind this dramatic increase are unclear. Lifestyle, diet choices and genetics all seem to play a role. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Every few weeks my toddler will develop a fever that lasts a couple of days but then goes away. Other than the fever, she doesnâ€™t have any other symptoms. Could it be periodic fever syndrome? How is that diagnosed, and is treatment for it different than treating a â€śnormalâ€ť fever in kids?
ANSWER: From your description, it sounds like your child could have periodic fever syndrome. Make an appointment with her doctor to have the condition evaluated. A diagnosis of periodic fever syndrome is based on symptoms. Effective treatment is available.
A fever is a rise in body temperature. Itâ€™s often a sign of infection, but not always. The fever itself generally doesnâ€™t cause any harm. In fact, it can act as a protective mechanism, helping to rid the body of bacteria, viruses and other causes of infection.
Average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37 degrees Celsius. But normal body temperature can range from 97 F (36.1 C) to 99 F (37.2 C) or higher. Body temperature may change depending on a personâ€™s level of activity and the time of day. In general, younger people have higher normal body temperatures than older people. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: For the past year or so, I feel like I am often either constipated or I have diarrhea, with only a few â€śnormalâ€ť days here and there. I have a friend who has IBS, and she suggested I be tested for it as well. But my symptoms are not as severe as hers. Would you suggest I see a doctor about my symptoms?
ANSWER: Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, can cause the symptoms you describe, but other medical conditions can trigger them, too. It would be a good idea to see your doctor and talk to him or her about your symptoms. Although no specific test to diagnose IBS exists at this time, your doctor can then decide whether additional tests are needed to rule out other disorders.
IBS is a disorder that affects the intestines. Itâ€™s not clear what causes IBS, but several factors seem to play a role in its development. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm as they move food â€” which later becomes waste â€” from your stomach through your intestinal tract to your rectum. If you have IBS, the contractions may be stronger and last longer than normal. That can lead to abdominal pain or discomfort as food, gas or stool passes through the GI tract. IBS is also associated with bowel irregularity â€” sometimes diarrhea, sometimes constipation, sometimes both. Common associated symptoms can include gas and bloating. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What are the best ways to prevent hair loss or to regrow hair? I want to try the hair-growth shampoos, but have heard that you have to continue to use them for life or the hair will fall out at an even faster rate. Is this true? Are there better ways to regrow hair?
ANSWER: Hair loss can happen for a number of reasons. Most often, itâ€™s caused by a combination of heredity and aging. Treatments are available that may slow that type of hair loss and help regrow hair, including over-the-counter therapies like shampoos.
Most people lose about 50 to 100 hairs every day. This hair loss usually doesnâ€™t cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair because new hair grows in at the same time. The cycle of hair growth, shedding and regrowth can be disrupted, however, due to several factors, such as family history, hormonal changes, medical conditions and medication. Physical and emotional stress may also lead to hair loss. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: When I was in my teens and 20s, I regularly used a tanning bed. I am now 43 and very worried about melanoma, so I go to a dermatologist every year for a skin check. I have numerous moles, but the skin check only takes about five minutes. Is this enough time for a thorough evaluation? What are they looking for? What should I be looking for on my own?
ANSWER: Youâ€™re wise to keep an eye on your skin. Being evaluated by a dermatologist once a year and checking your skin regularly are two excellent steps you can take to catch melanoma and other types of skin cancer early. The sooner skin cancer is found, the better the chances are of curing it.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. It develops in cells called melanocytes that produce melanin â€” the pigment that gives your skin its color. The exact cause of all melanomas isnâ€™t clear, but exposure to ultraviolet, or UV, radiation from sunlight or tanning lamps and beds increases your risk of developing the disease. [...]