Archive for March, 2018

New study once again casts doubt on PSA screening

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

To screen or not to screen for prostate cancer? This remains an important question. Screening relies on a highly imperfect measure, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, which is prone to false-positive results. And with mounting evidence that survival benefits from screening pale in comparison with the harms from overtreatment — particularly incontinence and impotence […]

A mix of treatments may extend life for men with aggressive prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

For men diagnosed with aggressive cancer that’s confined to the prostate and nearby tissues, the overarching goal of treatment is to keep the disease from spreading (or metastasizing) in the body. Doctors can treat these men with localized therapies, such as surgery and different types of radiation that target the prostate directly. And they can […]

5 myths about using Suboxone to treat opiate addiction

What is Suboxone and how does it work? Suboxone, a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, is one of the main medications used for medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for opiate addiction. Use of MATs has been shown to lower the risk of fatal overdoses by approximately 50%. Suboxone works by tightly binding to the same receptors […]

Does your child need a tonsillectomy?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While tonsillectomies are still common, the number performed has decreased significantly over the past half-century due to the likelihood of complications after surgery. But there are situations when a tonsillectomy is definitely necessary, so it’s important to consider the risks and benefits before making the decision.

When dying is a rebirth

Linnea Olson

Guest Contributor

Almost a decade ago, after exhausting treatment options for lung cancer, Linnea Olson was given only a few months to live. But her participation in an early clinical trial — targeting a then newly identified mutation associated with lung cancer — produced an amazing response. Living with what remains a terminal illness, Linnea is embracing new personal goals, experiencing a creative renewal, and appreciating every moment.

The story of your life and the power of memoir

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Growing older can bring feelings of a loss of self, but making the effort to create a record of your life can be a therapeutic pursuit, and can also be welcomed and appreciated by other family members.

What patients — and doctors — need to know about vitamins and supplements

While certain groups of people, and those who have certain conditions, can benefit from taking vitamins or supplements, most people will do better obtaining the nutrients they need from eating a health, balanced diet.

FDA approves new drug for men at high risk of prostate cancer spread

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Men whose PSA levels continue rising even after surgery or radiation therapy may have a new treatment option with the approval of the drug apalutamide.

Eating well to help manage anxiety: Your questions answered

Uma Naidoo, MD


Paying closer attention to diet is important for people with anxiety. Making dietary changes in favor of a balanced diet that emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods and minimizes added sugars helps smooth out the highs and lows that can contribute to anxiety.

In children and teens, depression doesn’t always look like sadness

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Aside from the more common behavioral indicators that a person may be depressed, there are several other changes in behavior that can be signs of depression in children and teens. If you notice any of these, consult a doctor or a mental health professional for advice.