Archive for May, 2011

Using food to fight prostate cancer

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Nutritionist Sheila Wolfson spoke about healthful eating for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at the Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition’s 14th annual symposium in May 2011. A good diet, she said, can boost energy and improve quality of life.

Gay men more vulnerable to drops in quality of life after prostate treatment

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

For the first time, a study measures the impact of prostate cancer treatment on the quality of life of gay men.

Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Making sense of snacks

Two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating” describe following Week 5 of the plan: Making sense of snacks. Both related the challenge of avoiding the bowl of M&Ms in the office. Tonya realized how many calories she got from snacking each day, while Helen made herself some simple rules, like planning her snacks and drinking water first if she thinks she’s hungry.

Robot-assisted surgery may be safe, but comparisons to other treatments and quality-of-life data lacking

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Study examines the post-surgical complications and safety of robotic prostatectomy among one group of surgeons.

How your friends make you fat—the social network of weight

Christine Junge

Former Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

One of the big health news stories of 2007 was a study showing that your friends influence your weight. A new study from Arizona State University suggests that this happens because people consciously and subconsciously change their habits to mirror those of their friends. Here’s an example: You’re at a restaurant with friends and the waiter brings over the dessert menu. Everyone else decides not to order anything, so you pass, too, even though you were dying for a piece of chocolate mousse cake. The study provides another motivation for making healthy diet choices—in addition to helping your weight, it could help your friends and family members weights, too.

In case of zombie apocalypse, check with the CDC

Christine Junge

Former Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Do you know how to protect yourself and your family during a zombie attack? If not, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can help. In addition to information on how to prepare for emergencies from anthrax to wildfires, the CDC Web site has added a page on dealing with a zombie apocalypse. […]

Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Making dinner a winner

Two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating” describe following Week 4 of the plan: Make dinner a winner. Week 4 came at a tough time for Helen, since she had several business dinners. She describes how she navigated restaurant menus and big portions in ways that fit the 6-Week Plan. Tonya, who often eats out, made a week’s worth of dinners and discovered that eating at the table, instead of in front of the television, has its rewards.

Heart drug may fight prostate cancer

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Digoxin (Lanoxin), a drug long used to treat heart failure and heart rhythm abnormalities, may control prostate cancer.

HarvardProstateKnowledge.org to report live from prostate cancer symposium through Twitter, blog, and Facebook

Marc B. Garnick, M.D.

Editor in Chief, HarvardProstateKnowledge.org

On Friday, May 20, 2011, the Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition hosts its 14th annual prostate cancer symposium. Speakers will discuss a variety of topics, and editor Suzanne Rose will report live from the event.

Study renews caution on painkiller use after heart attack


Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

A new study linking painkiller use by heart attack survivors to increased risk of heart attack or death generated some pretty scary headlines, like “NSAIDs following a heart attack greatly increase risk of a repeat heart attack” and “Painkillers risky for heart attack patients.” Although correct, they overstate the danger. Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen, diclofenac, or Celebrex increased the chances of having a heart attack or dying from 3 to 4 per 10,000 people per year to 5 to 6 per 10,000 people per year. The results are in line with an American Heart Association recommendation to limit the use of NSAIDs if possible.