Archive for June, 2019

Colorectal cancer screening before age 50?

While the incidence of colorectal cancer has declined among older adults, it has increased in people younger than 50. The American Cancer Society now recommends that adults be screened for this condition starting at age 45.

Trouble reading? Try these workarounds

Trouble reading may stem from physical challenges, difficulty concentrating, traumatic brain injury, or mild cognitive impairment. After an evaluation, try these workaround strategies.

Showering daily — is it necessary?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While many people shower or bathe daily, it’s not necessary and may not be wise for your skin. Concerns about water use –– and what’s in our water –– also are worth considering.

Thunderclap headache: The “worst headache of my life”

A thunderclap headache is a sudden, extremely severe headache associated with several possible causes. It’s considered a medical emergency and should be treated as soon as possible.

Fiber-full eating for better health and lower cholesterol

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Most Americans don’t eat enough fiber, and many people say it’s because they are worried about eating too many carbs, but eating the right kind of carbs is what makes the difference, and it’s not that difficult to meet the recommended daily amount.

Trouble keeping information in mind? Could be sleep, mood — or age

Most people experience some degree of decreased memory as they get older, but memory performance is also affected by mood and sleep quality, and these are factors that can be controlled and improved.

Can a man with abnormal PSA and a negative diagnostic MRI avoid a prostate biopsy? It’s debatable

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Not long ago, an abnormal PSA reading would be followed right away by a standard biopsy to search for potential cancer in the prostate. During such a procedure, doctors take 10 to 12 samples of the prostate from various locations while looking at the gland with an ultrasound machine. These days, however, men with high […]

Healthy eating for older adults

As people get older, changes in metabolism and appetite can make it more difficult to get the right amount and kind of nutrition. But it’s still possible to eat healthily regardless of your age.

Is an opioid really the best medication for my pain?

David Boyce, MD

Contributor

With all the concern around opioid medications and the risk of addiction, it’s understandable that a person might be hesitant if prescribed an opioid. Many factors need to be weighed in making this decision, including the type of pain, the cause, and how long it has persisted.

A poor sense of smell might matter more than you thought

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Loss of the sense of smell affects quality of life and possibly safety, but it can also be a sign of a more serious illness. Researchers found that elderly people with a poor sense of smell were more likely to have certain illnesses, and more likely to die of them.