Archive for April, 2011

FDA approves abiraterone for advanced prostate cancer

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

The drug, approved at the end of April 2011, may be helpful for men with metastatic disease that no longer responds to hormone therapy.

Get rid of your old drugs this Saturday


Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Is your medicine cabinet, refrigerator, or pill drawer overflowing with unused or expired medications? Don’t know how to get rid of them? Hand them over tomorrow (Saturday, April 30) as part of the second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, you can bring your old prescription and over-the-counter drugs to one of 5,300 sites across the country. Last year’s program collected more than 242,000 pounds of drugs. If you miss the program, this article offers tips from the FDA on the safest ways to get rid of old and unused medications.

How to survive a tornado

Peter Wehrwein

Contributor, Harvard Health

The storms that have recently ripped through the South included dozens of tornadoes. And as the bad weather barreled north today, the National Weather Service declared a tornado watch for eastern parts South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, and warned of severe weather as far north as Boston. Strong wind from any sort of severe weather can wreak havoc, but the speed and spinning winds of a tornado are especially destructive. In most years, tornadoes kill about 60 Americans, about the same number killed by lightning strikes. But this is not going to be an average year. The death toll from the terrible storms in the South is approaching 300 and the number is climbing. Advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center can help you survive a tornado if one is headed your way.

Why pathologists may disagree

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Some disagreements involve objective factors, such as how biopsies are done. But usually, when pathologists disagree, to comes down to interpretation and judgment, both subjective qualities.

Questions to ask about your pathology report

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

It should be clear by now that pathology reports vary in large part because the clinical features they analyze often require some subjective interpretation. This means it’s important to question the findings and make sure you understand them before you make any decisions about treatment. Start by studying your pathology report closely. Circle anything that […]

Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating goes live! You can participate, too

Two volunteers are testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating.” This plan offers week-by-week steps to help you analyze your diet, establish goals for healthy meals and snacks, and incorporate practical changes to make your healthy diet a reality. Each week builds on what you accomplished in the previous weeks. At the end, you’ll have made important changes that can last a lifetime. Tonya Phillips and Helen Hoart share their experience from Week 1 of the 6-week plan.

Kate Middleton’s pre-royal weight loss: stress, “brideorexia,” or the Dukan Diet?

Peter Wehrwein

Contributor, Harvard Health

One of many hot topics about the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton is whether Middleton has lost too much weight in preparing for the ceremony. Prevailing theories about Middleton’s presumptive weight loss include stress, “brideorexia,” and a popular French diet. Harvard Health Letter editor Peter Wehrwein discusses all three possibilities.

Stretching exercises

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Because stretching cold muscles can lead to injury, it’s best to stretch after your muscles have been adequately warmed up — either at the end of your workout or after you’ve completed your warm-up. Stretching at the end of your workout can be a good way to cool down. Stretch several times a week for […]

Balance exercises

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Balance plays no role in preventing prostate problems or major diseases. Still, balance is important for health. A good sense of balance can keep you steady on your feet and reduce your risk of falling. This special set of exercises can be done at any time, every day of the week or just a few […]

Exercise and prostate cancer

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Some studies have suggested that more physically active men many have a lower risk of prostate cancer — or prostate cancer progression — than sedentary men. And somewhat paradoxically, exercise can combat the fatigue that strikes some prostate cancer patients during treatment.