May Harvard Health Letter features Q&As from Harvard doctors

Published: May, 2008

Every month, members of Harvard Health Letter's editorial board — and occasionally other Harvard-affiliated doctors — answer questions from readers in its back-page "By the Way, Doctor..." feature. These Q&As sometimes zoom in on the devils-in the-details (particular drug interactions, subtypes of vitamins). Other times, the Harvard doctors impart big-picture wisdom (the real meaning of a recent study, the true benefits of a new medication).

Either way, the Q&As are among the best-read articles in the newsletter. So the editors of the Health Letter have devoted the entire May issue to the "By the way, doctor..." Q&As. Dr. Anthony Komaroff, editor in chief, describes the issue as an experiment in giving readers "more of a good thing."

The doctors address these questions:

  • What is burning mouth syndrome?
  • Should I choose a minimally invasive knee replacement or a traditional one?
  • Are aromatase inhibitors better than tamoxifen for breast cancer treatment?
  • Does cooking with a microwave take nutrients out of food?
  • Do birth control pills disguise menopause?
  • Should I get the cervical cancer vaccine?
  • How much migraine medicine is too much?
  • Does Celebrex raise my risk for stroke?
  • Do calcium supplements raise heart attack risk?
  • Why don't we ever hear about cancer of the small intestine?
  • Can human growth hormone help after surgery?
  • Do I need to go to the hospital after fainting?
  • Is it okay to take a stool softener long-term?
  • Why does skin wrinkle after being underwater?
  • Are the guidelines for taking statins different for women?
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