Colonoscopy is the most accurate exam used to detect and prevent cancer of the colon and rectum.  It can find cancer early and save lives. But even a very good exam can be done too often. Here’s when you need it and when you don’t. What is a colonoscopy? A colonoscopy uses a flexible, lighted… Read more »

Preventing Seizures After an Ischemic Stroke

An ischemic (iss-keem-ik) stroke is the most common type of stroke. A blood vessel gets blocked so that it can’t send blood to a part of the brain. This injures the brain and can cause a seizure. A seizure causes: Involuntary body movements. Strange sensations. Blackouts. Some doctors routinely prescribe anti-seizure medicine after an ischemic… Read more »

Treatments to Relieve Chronic Pain

Pain that won’t go away is more than frustrating. It can be harmful to your health and well-being. It can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep, eating right and exercising. It can affect your mood and work and can keep you from spending time with your friends and family. If you’re one of… Read more »

Treating Lower-Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit the doctor. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the… Read more »

Tests & Treatments for Urinary Tract Infections in Older People

UTIs are infections of the urinary tract. The main symptoms of UTIs are: A burning feeling when you urinate A strong urge to urinate often Bacteria cause most UTIs. Doctors usually treat UTIs with antibiotics, which are strong medicines that kill bacteria. Older adults are often tested for UTIs, especially in nursing homes. But if… Read more »

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists can help people who are having trouble moving after an injury or surgery. They also help people with conditions such as: Arthritis Back or shoulder pain Cerebral palsy Osteoporosis (weak bones) Spinal cord injury Stroke Physical therapists can help people gain strength and get moving again. They can help reduce or prevent pain… Read more »

Screening Tests for Ovarian Cancer

Compared to other cancers, ovarian cancer is one of the more deadly. If a woman has symptoms that might be ovarian cancer, doctors often order a blood test (“CA-125”) and an ultrasound. But these tests aren’t good for screening of low-risk women. Here’s why: The test results are not always effective. Women with a high… Read more »

Acute Blood Clots

A deep blood clot in your leg or pelvis may be dangerous. It can travel to your lungs and block the flow of blood. This can be deadly. A deep blood clot is called a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. When it travels to the lungs, it can cause a blockage called a pulmonary embolism,… Read more »

Palliative Care

Palliative care is a new idea in health care. When you get palliative care, a trained team helps you and your loved ones live with a serious illness. With palliative care, you can get physical, emotional, and spiritual support. You can get help to relieve pain and symptoms—such as fatigue, anxiety, shortness of breath, nausea,… Read more »

Care at the End of Life for Advanced Cancer Patients

When you have cancer and you have tried many treatments without success, it’s hard to know when to stop treatment. Sometimes, even with the best care, cancer continues to spread. It is hard to accept, but the best thing for you at that point may be to stop the cancer treatment. Instead, you could focus… Read more »

PET Scans After Cancer Treatment

If you’ve been treated for cancer, it’s normal to want to do everything you can to be sure that it doesn’t come back. Your doctor will watch you closely for many years to check for a possible return of the cancer. To be extra sure, some doctors will order imaging tests, known as PET scans…. Read more »

CT Scans to Find Lung Cancer in Smokers

A low-dose spiral CT scan is a type of medical test. It is used to look for early signs of lung cancer. If the test finds cancer, treatment can start early. But the test is not helpful for light smokers or people who quit smoking more than 15 years ago. And it’s not usually recommended… Read more »

Home Oxygen After a Hospital Stay

It can be hard to breathe after some serious illnesses, such as pneumonia or heart failure, or an attack of COPD or another lung disease. You may still need extra oxygen after you leave the hospital. And you may go home with a prescription for supplemental (extra) oxygen therapy. Supplemental oxygen therapy uses a tank… Read more »

Treating Sleep Problems

If you often have trouble falling or staying asleep, you have insomnia.  It can get in the way of working, driving, and even thinking. And it can cause health problems. To treat insomnia, doctors sometimes prescribe drugs called antipsychotics. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  has approved these drugs to treat mental illness, but… Read more »

Cholesterol Drugs for People 75 and Older

Your body makes a waxy substance called cholesterol. You also get it from food. Your body needs it, but too much cholesterol in your blood can clog your arteries. This increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and death. Statins are drugs that lower your cholesterol. But if you are age 75 or older… Read more »