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Harvard Health Blog

Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.


Mental illness affects the wallet as well as the brain

Published August 11, 2010

We often report about the psychological toll of mental illness, but while researching a story today I came across a study that documents the economic toll of psychiatric disorders–especially when they are not adequately treated. Researchers at Harvard collaborated with colleagues at the World Health Organization to survey individuals in 19 countries. They found that […]

Atul Gawande’s latest gem: Hospice care and our end-of-life wishes

Published August 11, 2010

Atul Gawande’s piece about end-of-life care in the Aug. 2 issue of The New Yorker is another gem by the surgeon-writer-health policy wonk and staff member at Harvard-affialiated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. In an online chat after the article was published, Gawande said he had the usual preconceived notions about hospice before he started researching the article: Telling a patient […]

Are crabs and oysters good for your eyes?

Published August 8, 2010

Johns Hopkins researchers have a report in the the journal Opthalmology that sends a mixed  message about whether omega-3 fats protect the eyes. And if you like to eat crab and oysters, enjoy—and we’re with you. But don’t expect any special ophthmalic benefits. Fish and shellfish are natural sources of the omega-3 fats that are believed to pay all kinds […]

Prostate cancer diagnosis may up suicide risk

Published August 7, 2010

Being diagnosed with prostate cancer may increase a man’s risk of suicide, but more research is needed to fully evaluate the impact of such a diagnosis on mental health.

Infertility may raise risk of aggressive prostate cancer

Published August 6, 2010

A 2010 study of more than 22,500 California men found that being infertile significantly raised the risk of developing aggressive disease.

Afraid of the dentist? How do you deal with it?

Published August 2, 2010

In our October issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, we offer advice about how to manage dental phobia. I’d love to hear from readers of this blog about what techniques they use to cope with their own dental fear. I’ll compile representative replies in a later post. (This issue is one I grapple with […]

Unconscious or Subconscious?

Published August 2, 2010

ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.  […]

Radiation therapy in the spotlight (Part 1 of 2)

Published December 10, 2009

Three experts from Harvard Medical School discuss radiation therapy, its delivery methods, and treatment modalities. Recent advances in radiation therapy and possible side effects are also explored.

Radiation therapy in the spotlight (Part 2 of 2)

Published December 10, 2009

Three experts from Harvard Medical School continue their discussion about radiation therapy, touching on whether economics and potential profits drive treatment recommendations.

PSA screening for prostate cancer

Published November 29, 2009

Two studies come to different conclusions about the benefits, leaving patients and their doctors to decide what makes sense.

PSA — Old controversies, new results

Published November 22, 2009

Many experts believe prostate cancer is the exception to the rule when it comes to screening. In fact, PSA screening may actually do more harm than good. Two studies, one conducted in the U.S. and the other in Europe, were hopefully going to settle the debate over the value of the PSA. While they gave us some answers, we are still a long way from settling the debate.

Moving beyond PSA

Published November 19, 2009

Genetic biomarkers may help doctors decide whether to perform a biopsy, determine the best treatment, and develop new targeted therapies for prostate cancer.

Using PSA to determine prognosis

Published November 17, 2009

Renowned radiation oncologist and researcher Anthony D’Amico, M.D., Ph.D. discusses his PSA research and its implications for prostate cancer treatment.

One couple’s story: Handling prostate cancer in the face of differing biopsies

Published November 10, 2009

Elliot and Elizabeth Boyd share their experience with a prostate cancer diagnosis, explain their next steps in light of seemingly contradictory test results, and offer advice to those coping with their diagnosis and weighing treatment options.

Raising prostate cancer awareness among African Americans: Two patients’ stories

Published November 10, 2009

Two prostate cancer survivors talk about the importance of prostate cancer education among African Americans and other men at high risk.

Androgen-independent prostate cancer: A patient’s story

Published November 10, 2009

Ken Gannon talks about his 13 year battle with prostate cancer and his experiences with second-line hormone therapies, investigational drugs, and four clinical trials, one of which nearly killed him.

A patient’s story: Why one man opted for lifestyle changes instead of treatment

Published November 10, 2009

Patient Ben Hunter explains why he decided to postpone treatment for prostate cancer and the lifestyle changes he made immediately following his diagnosis.

Choosing — and sticking with — active surveillance: A patient’s story

Published November 9, 2009

Patient Jeffrey Caruso explains why he decided to pursue active surveillance and under what circumstances he would opt to treat his prostate cancer.

Technology and decision-making: A patient’s story

Published November 9, 2009

How endorectal MRI helped one couple choose the “best” treatment for prostate cancer.

A patient’s story: Why one man chose robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy

Published November 8, 2009

After talking with numerous medical professionals and asking friends about how they treated their prostate cancers, financial services executive Steve Henley opted to have a robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. In this interview, he explains what factors went into that decision.

Drug combo better at easing BPH than either drug alone

Published November 3, 2009

Study shows that taking both dutasteride (Avodart) and tamsulosin (Flomax) might be more effective at easing symptoms than taking just one.

Continuous vs. intermittent hormone therapy (IHT): No survival difference

Published November 3, 2009

Given the beneficial effects and the lack of a survival difference, intermittent hormone therapy may be a preferred regimen for men with advanced prostate cancer.

Use caution with selenium supplements

Published November 3, 2009

High levels of selenium in the blood are associated with a slightly higher-than-normal risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

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