Archive for January, 2019

Immunotherapy: What you need to know

Not all that long ago, chemotherapy was the only option to treat most advanced (metastatic) cancers. Because these drugs work by destroying rapidly dividing cells, they harm some healthy cells — such as hair follicles — as well as cancer cells. In the past two decades, cancer treatment has been transformed by targeted drugs and […]

Bad breath: What causes it and what to do about it

Occasional bad breath is common, but persistent and noticeable bad breath (which a person may not be aware of) is likely to be caused by a dental problem such as a gum disease.

Bleeding after menopause: Get it checked out

Bleeding after menopause is likely caused by a noncancerous condition, but it should always be checked to rule out endometrial cancer, the most common gynecological cancer. It’s very curable if found early, and testing (ultrasound or biopsy) can identify most cases.

Does weather affect arthritis pain?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The question of whether there is a link between weather and aches and pains has been studied extensively, and so far researchers have been unable to establish a connection. So why do plenty of people insist that they can “feel” the weather?

Going Mediterranean to prevent heart disease

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

A Mediterranean-style diet has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. In terms of healthy habits, it’s one of the best choices you can make, and adopting it into an everyday, real-life behavior is not as difficult as you might think.

Infertility and regret: If only…

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

When reflecting on choices made when dealing with infertility, it’s easy for people to find themselves in a cyclical pattern of regret. Finding the strength to let go of such feelings can help people feel less burdened and allow them to move on.

Is there a place for coconut oil in a healthy diet?

With contradictory information circulating about the alleged benefits or hazards of coconut oil, it’s helpful to know more about what it is, why its use has been encouraged, and the arguments against its use.

Younger kindergarteners more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A study found that kindergarteners born in August are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, and treated for it, than children born in September—but only if the school has a September 1 cutoff for enrollment. This raises the concern that teachers and doctors are misjudging normal behavior for a child’s age as ADHD.

Can watching sports be bad for your health?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It probably doesn’t seem like watching a sporting event would be a health hazard, and for most people that’s true. However, just watching a game at home on TV can cause a person’s heart rate and blood pressure to rise, which could be dangerous for someone with cardiovascular disease.

Fatty liver disease: What it is and what to do about it

Wynne Armand, MD

Contributing Editor

Fatty liver disease not due to alcohol use affects between 20% and 40% of the US population. While most of those have a simpler form that does not cause sickness, the disease is still a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and contributes to obesity and diabetes.