Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Carrot juice again: Curing an older woman's pelvis fracture

Photo Credit:rosiegarner.com

'If you had serious doubts about an earlier Natural News story on how a woman cured her cancer with carrot juice, as recommended to her by another who had done the same, here's another carrot juice story that should blow your mind. 

It was revealed by Natural News journalist Jonathan Landsman when he interviewed 90-year-old Charlotte Gerson about her incredible recovery from her pelvis fracture.'


Ginger Benefits People with Asthma

Photo Credit:Health.com

'Ginger has been used medicinally for centuries and in the U.S. is perhaps most known for its ability to soothe nausea and stomach upset.

It is without a doubt the best remedy I know of for nausea. You don’t need much just a piece the size of your fingernail minced very finely and swallowed.  It is phenomenally effective.
But now new research suggests this natural root may provide help for much more, including for arthritis pain, heart health, and people with asthma, in whom ginger may enhance the effects of the bronchodilating medications conventionally used to treat their condition. It may even be useful for weight control!'


Benefits of Colon Cleansing With Aloe

'Aloe vera and its cleansing functions are much touted all over the world. People with digestive complications have experienced great benefits from this plant. Cleanses are used to break down and clean out waste from the colon and detoxify the blood stream.

Toxins in the colon, if reabsorbed into the blood stream, may cause fatigue, low energy and headaches. Cleansing the colon flushes the toxins from the colon and the blood stream, and rejuvenates the body. This can help with weight loss, boost the immune system and reduce the risk of colon cancer.' 


Fermenting Foods—One of the Easiest and Most Creative Aspects of Making Food from Scratch

By Dr. Mercola

'Ninety percent of the genetic material in your body is not yours but belongs to the bacteria that outnumber your cells 10 to 1.  These bacteria have enormous influence on your digestion, detoxification and immune system.

Sandor Katz is a self-described “fermentation revivalist,” and has published two books on this topic, along with a third on the underground food movement. He’s a native of New York and a graduate of Brown University. Sandor currently lives in Tennessee, where he pursues his interest by presenting workshops around the world on fermentation.' 


Monday, December 30, 2013

Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes


'The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.'


Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance


'The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.

Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.'


New Research Once Again Disproving Doctor's Advice - The Risks of Aspirin Outweigh The Benefits

Photo Credit:healthland.time.com

'Mainstream medicine has been claiming for decades that aspirin lowers our risk of heart attack, stroke and even reduces the risk of cancer. All of these assumptions, which were never conclusively proven in any study have been subjected to the scrutiny and criticism of hundreds of health experts. Now, the most comprehensive review ever undertaken by Warwick Medical School for the NHS National Institute for Health Research has concluded that people should avoid aspirin all together.'


Deadly Vaccine Kills 8 Infants; Drug Maker Says Deaths “Coincidental”


'Eight babies in China have died in the past two months shortly after being injected with the Hepatitis B vaccine, according to an article in the New York Times. The deaths are being investigated and linked to vaccine manufacturer Kangtai Biological Products (BioKangtai). 

The Hepatitis B vaccine is now suspended until further notice.
Some of the details have not been released, however from what we do know, the infants died two days or less after being vaccinated.
But, there’s more to the story.'


Why your grandparents didn’t have food allergies…but you do

Photo Credit:butternutrition.com

'Did your grandparents have food allergies? Mine sure didn’t. A stark comparison to the growing epidemic of food allergies, worsening with every generation.

So why did your grandparents not have food allergies? It’s really quite simple…'


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Essiac Tea is a Cancer Cure Big Pharma Does Not Want You to Know About


'A simple inexpensive four herb tea that cures cancer? Even AIDS maybe? This has been a critical concern since Essiac tea was introduced in Canada during the early 1920's. For over 50 years, a humble nurse, Rene Caisse (pronounced Reen Case), used the tea successfully with many terminal cancer patients from her clinic in the tiny Canadian village of Bracebridge, north of Toronto.'


Vaccination Voodoo, What You Don't Know About Vaccines


'I recently had the privilege of reviewing the newly released book, Vaccination Voodoo: What You Don't Know About Vaccines, authored by Catherine J Frompovich. She assembles a breadth of research and compiles the "must know" information regarding the false science about vaccination and the rise in correlated diseases. Regardless of your position on mass vaccination programs, this book will surely make you question their safety and effectiveness.' 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Got the Flu Vaccine. Now I Have the Flu.

Alicia Travis, CRNP, from the Penn Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine practice discusses some known – and not-so-known – drawbacks to flu season.

Alicia Travis, CRNP
Alicia Travis, CRNP
As is required for all health care workers, I got my flu vaccine in October and figured this would protect me throughout this flu season. As I am writing this, though, I am under my heated blanket with a cup of green tea in one hand and a box of tissues in the other. My throat is sore, my nose is dripping, my temperature is 100.8° F, I have a deep chest cough, and worst of all, my body aches all over.

I have the flu and I am miserable!

The reality is that influenza is an ever-changing virus with several common strains that can cause an array of troublesome symptoms. These symptoms include fever, cough, congestion, sore throat, body aches, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and generalized malaise. In immunocompromised patients, or people whose immune system is not capable of resisting the infection, influenza can be a much more severe, even fatal, illness. It is for this reason that every fall, your doctor and/or nurse recommends you get that pesky needle pinch (or inconvenient intranasal spray) to be protected.

Unfortunately, like most things in life, the flu vaccine is not 100% effective. When vaccine researchers formulate the components of the vaccine, they are speculating months in advance as to which strains will be dominant that year. Therefore, the effectiveness of the flu vaccine can vary year to year based on viral resistance patterns and the accuracy of vaccine researchers’ predictions.

According to an article published by the Center for Disease Control, researchers approximate the flu vaccine is around 60% effective most years. Meaning, this leaves me, and roughly 40% of the vaccinated population, at risk of contracting influenza despite getting the vaccine. That may seem like unfavorable odds, but 60% is better than nothing.

To put this in perspective, as a nurse practitioner in a busy adolescent and young adult practice, I have seen upwards of 100 patients in the past couple months with flu-like symptoms. Influenza is very contagious and, if I had not received the vaccine, I would have certainly been at a higher risk of contracting influenza.

The key to staying flu-free is to wash your hands frequently, stay away from anyone who has flu-like symptoms, stay well rested and get your flu vaccine.

Need to see a physician?
Schedule an appointment today.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Managing Holiday Stress

Elizabeth Y. Fung, DO, a primary care physician at Spruce Internal Medicine, located at the new Penn Medicine Washington Square building, discusses healthy tips for managing stress during the holiday season.

As the brilliant colors of the fall foliage fade and the crisp winter air settles in, a flurry of activities begin and it is now time to prepare for the holidays.

The holiday tradition started as a period of time set aside for religious or cultural celebrations. Today, many of us have an unrealistic or overly romantic notion of what the holidays should be, and often aren’t.

To help, here are a few tips to rekindle the holiday spirit:


  • Put together a list of what you expect from the holidays and be realistic with what can be accomplished.
  • If you’re looking to take it easy over the holidays, consider a vacation or simply a ‘stay-cation.’ Take it easy and relax, refresh and re-energize.
  • If family, friends and feasts are on your holiday horizon, prioritize commitments and schedule them on your calendar. Don’t forget to include time for rest and relaxation.
  • Plan your travels – purchase tickets in advance and arrive early for departure.

Holiday Gatherings

  • If you’re hosting a holiday party, divide up the menu and give guests an opportunity to prepare and “show off” one of their favorite dishes.
  • Prepare in advance – I have a patient who bakes 20 pies the week before her holiday parties in preparation to give to friends and relatives.
  • Those who break bread make bread together - Share in the peeling, dicing, chopping and cleanup in the kitchen. It is a great opportunity for everyone to catch up while preparing the meal.
  • Purchase prepared menu items to reduce the amount of cooking and increase the amount of family time.
  • Avoid overindulgence - have a healthy snack before your holiday parties, continue to exercise and get a good night’s sleep.

Gift Giving

  • Set a budget. You will be surprised how creative you can be with a budget in place.
  • Ask people what they want for the holidays. This eliminates the guesswork and holiday returns.
  • Online shopping – Shop at your leisure. Last year, I did most of my shopping online while on the train to/from work!
  • Get creative with gift-giving. During my medical training, I gave my brother and his wife a “gift certificate” redeemable for a weekend of babysitting my nieces and nephews.

Holiday Blues

  • Surround yourself with family and friends if you’re feeling lonely and sad. Reminiscing about the past, the loss of loved ones or being away from home during this time of the year can be difficult.
  • Volunteer – Helping others can help us better appreciate what we have.
  • Despite your best efforts, if you find yourself feeling severely anxious, persistently sad or hopeless and these feelings are affecting your daily activities, please talk to your doctor.
The holidays are an exciting time celebrating with family and friends. With some planning and a positive attitude, it is possible to be jolly during this season and to find peace and joy as we celebrate.

Happy Holidays!

Any tips you'd like to add?
Leave your thoughts below.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Healthy Eating Tips for the Holiday Season

Lori M. Noble, MD, a primary care physician at Spruce Internal Medicine, located at the new Penn Medicine Washington Square building, discusses some healthy eating tips for the holiday season.

As winter arrives, if you're anything like me, you just can't wait to put on that cozy, bulky sweater to keep warm. It also helps to camouflage those few extra holiday pounds the sweet potato casserole and stuffing are likely to leave behind.

But, have no fear; this season can still be enjoyed without needing to buy a new wardrobe when it's over. With a few simple tips and some pre-meal planning, you can still eat the foods you love without sacrificing taste or your waistline.

Keep Your Plate Green

This is actually a great tip for any meal, not just around the holidays! If you dedicate half of your plate to healthy veggies, you've already won half the battle. You can’t give in though. If you go back for seconds, remember the half-plate rule. Veggies are high in fiber, so they will keep you feeling fuller longer and help to prevent over-indulging on some of the less healthy options.

If you intend on bringing a dish to someone’s home, volunteer to bring roasted veggies or a big salad. This way, you know you will like the healthy option.

Don't Leave the House Hungry

One of the most common mistakes individuals make during the holidays is skipping breakfast in an attempt to "save up" calories for big meals. This tactic actually slows your metabolism to a halt. When you do eat, your body wants to hold onto every last calorie it can. Plus, when all that delicious food is put in front of an empty, growling stomach, it becomes an irresistible temptation to overeat. Be sure to eat a healthy, satisfying breakfast, such as oatmeal with a handful of dried fruits and nuts or egg whites with veggies and low-fat cheese.

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips
Pick your "Poison"

We all have our "Achilles heels" when it comes to holiday meals - mine happens to be...well, anything on the dessert table. If you know what you're likely to over-indulge in, you can make a plan to keep yourself on track. For instance, if you're a sweets or carbohydrate-lover like me, you might avoid the "pre-dinner" snack foods and limit the stuffing and sweet potatoes at dinner to one serving each (~1/2 cup). This allows you to have that nice piece of pie for dessert without any guilt!

Keep the Food off the Table

This is a sneaky trick that I have used for years. If the food isn't kept on the table, grazing isn't nearly as easy. In order to get seconds, you have to make the conscious effort to get up from the table, get more food and maybe even heat it up if it's gotten cold. You'll be forced to ask yourself, "do I really want to get up from the table?" rather than just picking at whatever tasty treat is casually left in front of you.

Don’t Forget about Liquid Calories 

Holiday cocktails and wine with friends add up to a lot of empty calories. For example:
  • One cup of eggnog – without added liquor – has about 350 calories and 19 grams of fat.
  • One cup of champagne has about 182 calories.
  • One, four-ounce serving of red wine has about 100 calories.
Try to stick to water or unsweetened tea. If you do choose to have “a drink”, stick to wine, low-carb beer or spirits.

So, enjoy your holidays. Just remember, a little preparation and a modest amount of self-control can go a long way. What better way to start the New Year than with a positive resolution.
Any questions? Any tips you'd like to add?
Leave your thoughts below.

Monday, October 28, 2013

On the Move: The Health Benefits of Running

Whether it's a 5K, 10K, Color Run, Tough Mudder or Marathon, it seems as though everyone is out for a run. Once reserved only for die-hards, more and more people are running for the experience and the fun than ever before. Many also see it as a way to relieve stress after a busy day, an opportunity to get a group of friends together or to simply help out a good cause.

Regardless of the reasons or motivations, there are many health benefits for those that pick up this sport.

Read the full article.

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents

Halloween is fast approaching. Soon, the streets will be filled with ghosts, goblins, princesses and cowboys. To help make this year's festivities a trick-free treat, follow these simple safety tips:

For the Young Ones

  • Going out at night? Find a costume that has bright colors or add reflective tape to the front and back of the costume and to the trick-or-treat bag.
  • If the costume has wigs or beards, make sure they don’t cover your child’s eyes, noses, or mouths.
  • If your child wants to wear a mask, make sure it allows them to easily see and breathe.
  • Consider using nontoxic face paint or makeup. It is good practice to test the face paint or makeup on your child's arm or hand before applying. This will allow you to make sure the paint doesn't irritate the skin.
  • Try to avoid oversized and high-heeled shoes and costumes that have long fabric that can cause children to trip.
  • When your kids get home, check all treats to make sure they are sealed. Throw out any candy with holes in the packages, spoiled items and any homemade foods from individuals you do not know.

For Parents with Older Kids

  • If your child is trick-or-treating on their own, find out the route they'll be taking.
  • Make sure they go in a group and stress that they stay together.
  • Advise them to only go to houses with porch lights on and walk on sidewalks on lit streets. 
  • Steer clear from candles and other flames.
  • Equip your child with a flashlight with new batteries.
Finally, make sure trick-or-treaters will be safe when visiting your home as well. Remove anything that could cause kids to trip or fall on your walkway or lawn. Double check to see if the lights are on outside your house and light the walkway to your door, if possible.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Any other tips you’d like to share? Add them to the comments section.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Is it Fall Allergies or a Cold?

Fall Allergies or a Cold?
The cooler temperatures have arrived and you aren’t feeling too well. You can’t stop sneezing, sniffing and coughing?

So, what’s the deal? Is it allergies? Are you sick? Should you be scheduling an appointment with your doctor?

Before picking up the phone, it’s important to know the difference between the two. The common cold is typically the result of a viral respiratory tract infection, but an allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder when a person’s immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment.

“You should make an appointment to see your doctor for any cold symptoms that last more than 1-2 weeks, or for any persistent allergy symptoms that do not respond to over-the-counter antihistamines,” said Lauren Strohm, DO, of Penn Medicine Valley Forge.

Contrary to what many think, spring is not the only allergy-prone season. As the temperatures begin to dip, many experience the effects of allergies similar to how they would in the spring.

Ragweed is the biggest culprit as it can travel hundreds of miles in the wind. While the yellow-flowering weed usually starts releasing pollen in August, it can last well into September and October. Nearly three-quarters of people who are allergic to spring plants are also allergic to ragweed.

Another fall trigger is mold. Many think of mold growing in their basement or bathroom, but mold spores also love outdoor wet spots such as piles of damp leaves.

Dust mites tend to get overlooked this time of the year, but can be allergy trigger for many. Although they are more common during the humid summer months, they can get mixed into the air when the individuals begin to use their heat.

Tips to Tell the Difference 

  • Do you have a fever? If yes, you are dealing with something more than allergies. A fever is never a feature of an allergy.
  • Itchiness and watery eyes? Although not always the case, this usually points to an allergy rather than a cold.
  • A cold is usually self limiting (symptoms cease in a predictable manner), but an allergy needs interventions and treatment.
  • Are others around you sick? A cold is contagious, while an allergy is not.
  • How long have you not been feeling yourself? Colds can last a long time, usually between 1-3 weeks. Allergies, though, can stick around for a few days or months if an individual is continuously exposed to the allergen.
  • When did the symptoms start? Symptoms of a cold take a few days to develop after the viral infection, but allergic symptoms begin immediately after the exposure.
Need to see a physician?
Schedule an appointment today.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

2013 Radnor Run Lung Champion: Robert Stavenger

Diagnosed at the age of four with cystic fibrosis, Robert Stavenger knows the importance of clean air.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that causes thick mucus to form in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, this mucus blocks airways, causing lung damage and making it difficult to breathe. Air pollution is detrimental to all of us, but for patients with lung diseases, it is particularly harmful due to damaged airways being more susceptible to infection. Because of his story and his support of clean air, Stavenger has been named the Lung Champion of the 36th Annual Penn Medicine Radnor Run.

The Radnor Run is a five-mile race and one-mile walk/fun run that will be held on Sunday, October 27th. The money raised helps the American Lung Association provide important programs, including asthma camp, smoking prevention/cessation for teens and adults and clean air initiatives.

Being diagnosed at such a young age, Stavenger recalls how he didn’t know any other way of living and, because of that, never thought much of his "chores" that included getting aerosol treatments and chest physical therapy twice a day.

"I was relatively healthy as a child," Stavenger said. "The most challenging thing I remember as a child related to CF was in fourth grade. The class was discussing what we wanted to do when we were older and I said I wanted to go to college. One friend - a very supportive friend - wondered why I would 'waste my time', because I wouldn't live much past graduation."

Although Stavenger says "this was devastating to hear", he used it as a source of motivation and decided that he would never let CF make decisions for him. This mindset helped Stavenger not only complete his undergraduate studies, but pushed him to get his Ph.D. and to pursue a career in antibacterial drug discovery.

Unfortunately, during his second year of graduate school, Stavenger fell very ill and needed to be hospitalized.

"It was the night before Christmas break and I had just finished giving a seminar," Stavenger said. "I started coughing and the inside of my chest felt wet. I coughed again and a mouthful of blood appeared."

The next morning, Stavenger called his physician and was given oral antibiotics. With little change and more bleeding events, Stavenger was rushed to the emergency room the following day where he started a course of IV antibiotics and, luckily, recovered quickly.

Over the next 15 years, though, his health got progressively worse. Numerous hospital stays and an increase of IV antibiotics were only the start. In 2008, Stavenger became quite sick and was hospitalized for several days. During his stay, he was told that he would need supplemental oxygen 24-hours a day.

For two years, Stavenger continued to live his life as he always had, working full time and even traveling. His lung function continued to decline, though, and Stavenger was getting sick much more frequently.  He also struggled with day-to-day activities such as playing with his daughter and his need for oxygen had gone up dramatically. Finally, one Saturday morning, things got even worse for Stavenger.

"I simply couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t have enough energy to stand up," Stavenger recalls. "I was taken to a local hospital to be stabilized, and then transported to Penn Medicine's Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)."

While in the MICU, Stavenger's lungs were "washed" in an attempt to cleanse them. This helped only for a bit, but he quickly went downhill again. With few options remaining, doctors gave his wife the news: matching lungs had been identified and surgery would occur the following day.

"I remember waking up and asking my wife if I was too sick for a transplant. Basically, if I still had any hope," Stavenger recalls. "I had no idea the transplant had already taken place."

"It's been over two years post-transplant," Stavenger says. "It is an incredible feeling to take a deep breath and know that I am able to do so only because of the help of countless people, the support of family and friends and a difficult sacrifice from a stranger and their family. I am so thankful and still have so much to look forward to in my life."

 It took Stavenger quite a while to get back to where he was prior to the surgery. He exercised a great deal and adopted a healthy lifestyle. While exercise and a healthy lifestyle are important for Stavenger, clean air is at the core of good health.

"Air quality impacts every single person," said Stavenger, "But it has a much larger impact of individuals that suffer from diseases that affect the lungs."

Stavenger encourages people to participate in the Radnor Run in an effort to help spread the message about clean air and help the American Lung Association raise money for the prevention of, and research into new treatments for, lung disease.

When: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Where: Radnor Township building, 301 Iven Avenue, Wayne Pa.
Register for the Penn Medicine Radnor Run today.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Penn Orthopaedics and Coach Dick Vermeil: A Perfect Match

More than 30 years have passed since one of the most distinguished coaches in NFL history paced the sidelines of Veteran’s Stadium each game day. His legacy has only grown since his departure. An impeccable work ethic, a burning passion to succeed, a positive attitude and a drive for perfection has made Coach Dick Vermeil one of the most beloved sports figures in Philadelphia history.

Dick Vermeil
Dick Vermeil
Similarly, Penn Orthopaedics has used those same attributes that led Coach Vermeil to his on-field success to become one of the best in the nation for outstanding orthopaedic care. A team with years of experience, the highly skilled and highly specialized team at Penn Orthopaedics treats each patient with a personalized approach.

A few years ago, Coach Vermeil was one of those patients. He was experiencing severe pain in his right hip due to arthritis. Just as fans turn to the Coach for his football expertise, Coach Vermeil turned to the pros at Penn Orthopaedics for his hip replacement.

Now, in the weekly feature, Ask the Coach sponsored by Penn Orthopaedics, Coach Vermeil will give his thoughts on a variety of topics during the Eagles Countdown to Kickoff show on SportsRadio 94 WIP. Listen to the show to hear more about Coach Vermeil’s thoughts on the Eagles, coaching decisions, and the NFL standings.

And be sure to check out the new Coach Vermeil website for exclusive interview excerpts and the story of his successful hip operation.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cancer Awareness Month for October: Breast Cancer, Liver Cancer

October is breast cancer and liver cancer awareness month. Be sure to subscribe to the Focus On Cancer blog and like the Abramson Cancer Center Facebook page for more information on breast and liver cancer throughout the entire month.

Learn more about cancer treatments at the Abramson Cancer Center.

Schedule an appointment with a
Penn primary care physician today.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tips To Stay Active This Fall

It seems as though everything is just a bit easier during the summer. People tend to be a little more laid back at work, there are less people on the road because many are on vacation and, with the added sunlight and warm temperatures, being active seems to be much less of a hassle.

Penn Medicine Fall Tips to Stay Active
Autumn, though, is fast approaching. Say goodbye to the warm temperatures and hello to shorter days and cooler weather. Perhaps it’s the fewer hours of sunlight, but this time of the year seems to be when many go into hibernation and ease up on their active summer lifestyles.

This doesn’t have to be the case as there are many fun things to do to stay fit during the cooler months.

“The change of seasons is a good time to focus on health and wellness goals," said Ngozi Onuoha, MD, FACP, of Penn Internal Medicine Mayfair. "Autumn is a great season to walk. Walking is a great form of exercise that does not require much preparation."

Here are some other tips to keep you moving and feeling healthy this fall.
  • Make exercise fun: Autumn is synonymous with harvest season. What better way to stay active than to go pumpkin or apple picking with your family or friends? For the younger ones (or those simply young at heart, take part in physical activities such as corn mazes and haunted trails.
  • Sign up for a holiday run: Fall is the season in which many fun runs and events occur. Participate in Halloween runs, turkey trots, reindeer romps, etc. Setting a specific goal, such as a race to train for, increases adherence to an exercise program. Signing up with friends or family will motivate you even more.
  • Enjoy the colors: Grab a friend, and find a local park that has great trails to walk, run, or ride a bike on.
  • Go to a farmer’s market: Many of the root vegetables are in season and are inexpensive. Grab some apples while you’re at it as they’re rich in antioxidants and flavanoids, both of which can reduce cholesterol.
  • Take advantage of the cooler weather: Play catch, walk the dog, get a group of friends together to play ultimate Frisbee or touch football.
  •  Make Fall chores fun: Raking your lawn can be a real workout. Have fun with it (perhaps by jumping in the leaves??).

  • Tell us how you plan on staying active this Fall.
    Leave your thoughts below.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Screening for Testicular and Prostate Cancer

Testicular CancerDid you know that testicular cancer and prostate cancer are not only the most common types of cancer in men, but are highly curable when found and treated early? Luckily, both of these cancer types can often be detected early in their development through simple tests, allowing doctors to begin treatment quickly.

Screening for Testicular Cancer
Most women know how to perform a monthly breast self-exam to detect a cancerous lump. But did you know men can perform a testicular self-exam using a simple, three step exam performed at home?

Get more information and tips on how to perform a self-exam.
Should you be Screened for Prostate Cancer?
All men aged 50 or older are encouraged to get a screening for prostate cancer, but men at risk are especially encouraged. High risk includes:
  • Men aged 45 who are African American
  • Men with a father or brother who had prostate cancer before the age of 65
Screenings consist of a physical exam and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test - a simple blood test that your doctor can perform to determine your PSA levels. A high PSA level can indicate a problem with your prostate, which may or not be prostate cancer.

Diagnosed with Cancer?
If either of these tests lead to a cancer diagnosis, understanding your options is critical. The Abramson Cancer Center offers patients a wide array of the most advanced options available, including minimally invasive and robotic surgical options, and proton therapy, the most advanced form of radiation therapy available.

Learn more about the Penn Urology team
or schedule an appointment by calling 800-789-PENN.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to School Health Tips for Parents

It’s almost that time of the year again - leading to a collective sigh of relief from parents everywhere.

For children across the country, school will soon be back in session. This is a difficult time as schedules become filled and new pressures are put on children and parents. Making sure your child gets off to a good start is crucial and can influence your child’s confidence, attitude and performance in the classroom.

Here are a few suggestions to help get your child on the right track to having a successful school year:
  • Get your forms ready: There may be certain vaccinations your child needs prior to the start of the new school year. Most fall sports programs require completed medical forms prior to student participation.
  • Don't hit snooze: Help your child get used to the back-to-school routine by beginning the transition to earlier-wake up times and bedtimes during the end of summer. This will ensure your child is ready for when the school year starts. Proper rest is vital for a healthy and productive school year.
  • Feed their bodies and brains: Good nutrition influences your child’s school performance. Studies show that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches do better in school.
  • Pick the right size pack: Ensure your child is carrying a backpack which is the right weight and reduces stress on their back.
  • Wash hands: Before your child goes back to school, make sure he or she understands the health importance of proper hand washing, especially before eating and after using the restroom.
  • Exercise: Fitness will help your child sleep easier and allow them to better handle physical and emotional challenges - from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.
Has your child received a back-to-school physical
and all required vaccinations?
Schedule an appointment today.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Penn Medicine In the Community: Upcoming Events

This fall, Penn Medicine will host or take part in numerous events throughout the tri-state area. These events provide our physicians and staff an opportunity to be closer to the people we serve and allow us to be more than simply a health care provider; it allows us to be part of the community.

Penn Medicine in the Community
Click here for a downloadable calendar

September 8-9: Kennett Square Mushroom Festival
September 19: Street Fare
September 21: Penn Medicine Valley Forge Fall Festival
September 21: Yardley Harvest Day
September 28-29: Woodbury Fall Arts Fest

Penn Primary Care Practices at Kennett Square Mushroom Festival: Sept. 7-8

Voted one of the top festivals in Pennsylvania, the Kennett Square Mushroom Festival returns for the 28th consecutive year. Mushroom lovers from across the country come to celebrate with a two-day festival of food and family fungi, which includes a parade, competitions, music and over 200 vendors.

Visitors will also be able to:
  • Taste soups and other mushroom dishes
  • Meet celebrity chefs
  • Tour local farms
While enjoying the festivities, be sure to visit one of the several participating Penn Medicine practices. Meet Penn physicians and staff and learn how each practice can help you and your family members stay healthy.

Practices in attendance:

Penn Family Medicine Kennett: With an emphasis on disease prevention and promoting healthy lifestyles, this practice provides care for the whole family, from childhood on.

Penn Internal Medicine East Marshall Street: Comprised of six board-certified internal medicine physicians and a physician’s assistant, this practice offers the personal attention patients deserve. Several physicians are bilingual and the practice offers same day appointments.

Penn Family Medicine West Chester: This team of board-certified physicians offers quality care and excellent service for men, women and children.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, September 7-8
Time: Saturday: 10:00 am-7 pm Sunday: 10:00 am-5 pm
Location: 114 W. State Street, Kennett Square, Pa. 19348

Penn Medicine Chestnut Hill at Mt. Airy Street Fare: Sept. 19

For the third year in a row, Mt. Airy will host a fantastic food-centric evening street festival. Come out to Street Fare and sample tasty food and beverages from gourmet food trucks and local restaurants along historic Germantown Avenue.

Visitors will also be able to:
  • Check out over 40 food trucks and restaurants
  • Sip on craft-brewed beer, wine and cocktails
  • Meet local crafters and enjoy live entertainment
While enjoying these great street eats, stop by our Penn Medicine Chestnut Hill table to chat with physicians and staff about all of the health care services Penn has to offer in Chestnut Hill.

Penn Medicine Chestnut Hill has been a part of the community for over 20 years and the physicians and staff pride themselves on developing long-term, meaningful relationships with their patients.

Date: Thursday, September 19
Time: 6:00-10:30 pm
Location: 7000-7200 Germantown Ave Mt. Airy, Pa. 19119

Penn Medicine Valley Forge Fall Festival on Sept. 21

Join physicians and staff of Penn Medicine Valley Forge for the 3rd annual Fall Festival. The day will be filled with fun for all ages as kids can enjoy a bounce house, games, music, face painting and more! Numerous local vendors, including the Tredyffrin Township Police Department, the Valley Forge Running Company and others, will also be there with giveaways and activities.

Visitors will also be able to:
  • Take a tour of the state-of-the art facility
  • Check their blood pressure
  • Enjoy tasty food and drinks
  • Talk with physicians from a number of departments
Are you a runner? An early riser?
Begin the day by joining Penn Medicine Valley Forge in support of the TE/Conestoga Football Scholarship 5K Run/2K Walk. The event starts at 9:00 am. Sign up at: www.runtheday.com search: Conestoga

Date: Saturday, September 21
Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Penn Medicine Valley Forge 1001 Chesterbrook Boulevard Berwyn, Pa. 19312

About Penn Medicine Valley Forge

Penn Medicine Valley Forge is a state-of-the art facility providing expert primary and specialty health care, plus a full range of services. Penn Medicine Valley Forge has primary care and specialty care physicians; as well as an on-site laboratory, radiology services and, now, the Abramson Cancer Center at Valley Forge.

Penn Medicine Bucks County at Yardley Harvest Day: Sept. 21

Check out one-of-a-kind craft artwork and handmade pieces offered by over 100 exhibitors, delicious food vendors, entertainment and community-sponsored booths at the 44th annual Yardley Harvest Day Festival.

While enjoying the festivities, visit the Penn Medicine Bucks County physicians and staff table to learn about the multiple health care services offered at one convenient site, located in Yardley, Pa. Patients and their families can see their primary care physician, consult with a specialist, get lab work and radiology services all in one place.

Date: Saturday, September 21
Time: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Location: Downtown Yardley Pa. 19067

Penn Medicine Woodbury Heights at Woodbury Fall Arts Fest: Sept. 28-29

Stop by and visit Penn Medicine Woodbury Heights physicians and staff at the 2nd annual Woodbury Fall Arts Fest! The FAF is a weekend-long, free celebration of the arts, consisting of over 300 artists, artisans & craftsmen. There will be a special Starlight Concert on Saturday evening, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Visitors will also be able to:
  • Check out five stages of music, including solo acoustic artist Meghan Knight and Philadelphia-based alternative folk band The Hundred Acre Woods
  • Enjoy gourmet foods, a wine and cheese experience and a chili cook-off
  • Participate in craft beer tasting
  • Enjoy interactive fun for kids and adults 
At the Penn Medicine tent, check your blood pressure and learn more about Penn Medicine Woodbury Heights. As a multi-specialty location, this site includes primary care and specialty care physicians, on-site laboratory services, and physical therapy.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29
Time: Saturday: 11:00 am-6:00 pm | Starlight Concert 7:00 pm-10:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm-4:00 pm
Location: Woodbury, NJ 08096

Monday, August 19, 2013

Penn Medicine Radnor Run: Join the Fight for Clean Air on Oct. 27

36th Annual Penn Medicine Radnor Run
Join Penn Medicine and the rest of the Philadelphia Main Line community in support of the 36th Annual Penn Medicine Radnor Run. This family fun event supports the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania and their effort to help improve the lives of the Pennsylvanians currently living with chronic lung diseases. Money raised will help to provide important programs, including asthma camp, clean air in schools and smoking prevention/cessation for teens and adults.

Runners, companies, schools, families, friends and community partners will take on this challenging five mile, USA Track and Field sanctioned and certified course. The top female runner will win Jody’s Cup, the award in memory of Radnor Township resident Jody Lynn Sack and the top male runner will receive The Penn Medicine Award.

Awards will also be given to the second- and third-place frontrunners of the five-mile run in each age group and the first 100 children.

Not a runner? There will still be plenty to participate in. Some of the festivities include face painting, balloon sculptures, music, harvest-themed fun and many goodies. Penn Medicine Radnor will also be on hand at the start/finish area to provide educational information and giveaways to keep you healthy.

When: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Where: Radnor Township building, 301 Iven Avenue, Wayne Pa.
Register for the Penn Medicine Radnor Run today.

Why the Fight for Clean Air is so important:

It is estimated that close to 342,000 Americans die of lung disease each year, responsible for one in seven deaths. The American Lung Association and partner organizations are fighting to protect the Clean Air Act, a law that protects public health by reducing harmful pollution and gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the ability to clean up the air.

Air pollution has very serious health effects including shortness of breath, asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, lung disease and even premature death. The Clean Air Act helps to reduce the pollutants that lead to these types of health issues.

Learn more about the Fight for Clean Air.

Learn more about this event or register online.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Penn Cardiology Chestnut Hill is Now Open

Penn Medicine has opened a new cardiology practice in Chestnut Hill. The new practice offers access to advanced care for heart failure, heart rhythm disorders and cardiac surgical services at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn cardiovascular specialists offer the Chestnut Hill community the highest level of heart and vascular care with access to the expertise, research and resources available only from Penn. The full range of cardiovascular services available at the practice include:
  • Echocardiography (ECHO)
  • Electrocardiograms (ECG/EKG)
  • Exercise stress testing
  • Exercise stress echocardiography
  • Holter and cardiac event monitoring
  • Pacemaker and implantable defibrillator services
  • Preventive cardiology and lipid disorders diagnosis and treatment (irregular cholesterol levels)
  • Treatment of heart rhythm disorders
  • Women's heart health programs
  • Office consultations
Cardiologists seeing patients at Penn Cardiology Chestnut Hill:
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 800-789-PENN.

First Bilateral Hand Transplant in Region Performed at Penn Medicine

The first bilateral hand transplant in the Greater Philadelphia region was recently performed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Under the leadership of the Penn Transplant Institute, the extensive 11 1/2-hour procedure was performed by Penn’s Hand Transplant Program in close partnership with the Gift of Life Donor Program.

Penn’s Hand Transplant Program is a joint venture of the Penn Transplant Institute, Penn Orthopaedics and Penn Plastic Surgery. The multidisciplinary team is dedicated to working together to restore independence to amputees who have lost their arms and legs

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summertime Injuries – Penn is Here to Help

Summer is finally here and with it comes trips to the pool, going to the beach, outdoor runs, tending to our gardens, and firing up the grill. Kids are out of school and begging you to play basketball, soccer or other outdoor activities.

For some, these extra activities are a kind of seasonal re-commitment to fitness, weight loss and relaxation. But for a few, some of these activities can lead to unexpected injuries and accidents, some even needing serious medical attention. And, as the motto goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Which means, knowing where to go if anything does happen is a good idea to have in mind.

In case of injury, whether a sprained ankle, broken foot or any other musculoskeletal injury, the orthopaedic team at Penn Medicine is ready to help. In most cases, you can even see a physician on the same day.
Highly skilled and highly specialized, Penn Orthopaedic physicians treat each joint condition, spinal disorder or sports injury with a personalized approach. With ten orthopaedic subspecialties, physicians at Penn Orthopaedics not only treat more complex conditions — they are uniquely qualified to treat each condition individually.

Penn Orthopaedics offer same-day appointments for:
  • Foot and ankle
  • General orthopaedics
  • Hand and wrist
  • Joint replacement
  • Neuro orthopaedics
  • Orthopaedic oncology
  • Shoulder and elbow
  • Spine
  • Sports medicine
  • Trauma and fracture care
“You call with any musculoskeletal need and we’ll see you that day,” says L. Scott Levin, MD, chair of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Please be safe and enjoy this summer. If you need us, we’re a call or a click away.

Atrial Fibrillation: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention Methods

Does your heart ever feel like it’s racing or doing somersaults in your chest?

Approximately 2.5 million Americans experience atrial fibrillation (AFib) each year. This common heart disorder occurs when electrical signals in the heart become irregular, causing the heart to beat out of rhythm. The normal range for a heart rate is 60 to 100 beats a minute while the heart rate in atrial fibrillation may range from 100 to 175 beats a minute.

Causes and Symptoms
Causes of atrial fibrillation vary and range from existing heart problems to infections to chronic conditions like obesity and sleep apnea.  Common risk factors and conditions that may cause AFib are:
  • Congenital heart defects (defects you are born with)
  • Heart attack, or a damaged heart muscle from a past heart attack
  • Heart valve diseases
  • Heart failure or coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Substances or drugs, including alcohol, caffeine, or stimulants 
Symptoms of atrial fibrillation vary and many people are unaware they have AFib until it’s diagnosed during a regular physical exam. While the most common symptom is a fast or irregular heartbeat, others who have AFib may also experience lightheadedness, shortness of breath, lack of energy and chest pain. The biggest danger of atrial fibrillation is to leave it untreated.  If you experience symptoms, call your physician immediately.

How You Can Defend Against AFib
Since atrial fibrillation is often caused by conditions that cause damage or place extra strain on the heart, making simple lifestyle changes to improve your heart health may help protect against AFib.
  • Don't smoke. Avoid alcohol and stimulants.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and olive oil. 
  • Stay active. Get regular exercise on most days of the week. Your physician can suggest a safe level of exercise for you. 
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure. 
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar in your target range.
  • Find ways to cope with stress.
For additional information on atrial fibrillation and treatment options, download Penn’s Guide to AFib.

Why Choose Penn Medicine for AFib Care
Penn Medicine’s Cardiac Arrhythmia Program is one of the largest in the country and performs more than six times the national standard of AFib ablations procedures. So patients like Dominic, a retired Philadelphia police officer, receive the most advanced care from an experienced team of physicians, nurses and support staff.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Free Skin Cancer Prevention and Melanoma Conferences

CANPrevent Skin Cancer

Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center invites you and your loved ones to attend CANPrevent Skin Cancer, a free educational conference for anyone interested in learning about preventing skin cancer.
CANPrevent Skin Cancer is designed to address the personal and medical issues facing those at risk for skin cancer. The conference provides patient-focused information about the latest advances in skin cancer risk, screening and prevention.

Who Should Attend
Anyone interested in learning about skin cancer and its prevention - especially those with:
  • Natural blond or red hair color
  • Presence of atypical or numerous moles
  • Sun sensitivity (easily burns, difficulty tanning)
  • History of excessive sun exposure, including sunburns
  • History of using tanning booths
  • History of diseases that suppress the immune system
  • Personal or family history of melanoma, basal cell or squamous cell skin cancers
Join Us
Time: 8 to 11:30 am
Date: Friday, May 17, 2013
Location: Hilton Hotel located at 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Registration: Register here call 800-789-PENN (7366)
Cost: FREE

Get the facts on skin cancer and melanoma risk, prevention and screening – they could save your life or the life of someone you know.

Focus On Melanoma

Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center invites patients, family members and anyone interested in learning about melanoma risk, prevention, diagnosis and treatment to attend Focus On Melanoma.

Focus On Melanoma is a free educational conference featuring a keynote address by Paul B. Chapman, MD, and Marisa Weiss, MD.

Penn’s Focus On Melanoma Conference addresses the personal and medical issues facing people with melanoma including those in treatment, survivors, their loved ones, relatives and caregivers.

The conference provides patient-focused information on the latest advances in melanoma risk, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, symptom management and psychosocial issues. It is also an opportunity to network and gain support from other melanoma patients and survivors.

Who Should Attend
  • People newly diagnosed with melanoma
  • Those at risk for melanoma
  • Melanoma survivors
  • Family members, caregivers or healthcare providers of melanoma patients/survivors
  • Those diagnosed with a pigmented lesion and their family members/caregivers
Join Us
Time: 7:30 am to 3 pm
Date: Friday May 18, 2012
Location: Hilton Hotel located at 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Registration: Register here or call 800-789-PENN (7366)
Cost: FREE

Unable to Attend These Events?

Follow Penn Medicine on Twitter for event information before the conference date, and live tweeting throughout the conference with the hashtag #SkinCancerACC and #MelanomaACC.
Please “re-tweet” and share Penn Medicine's messages about skin cancer prevention and awareness with your followers.

Women & Heart Disease: Know Your Risk, Protect Your Heart

Heart disease is often thought of as a health problem for men, but more women die of heart disease each year, killing approximately one woman every three minutes. An estimated 42 million American women live with heart disease, but many are unaware of the danger they face.

Heart or cardiovascular disease is any disorder that affects the heart's ability to function normally. Types of heart disease are coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and valvular disease.

It is important for women to know the warning signs of heart disease because these symptoms are likely to be different from those experienced by men. Women may experience common symptoms of chest pain and shortness of breath, but also have less obvious symptoms including:
  • Discomfort in the back, shoulders, arms, stomach, jaw, neck or throat 
  • Generalized pressure in the chest 
  • Indigestion 
  • Lightheaded
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Palpitations 
  • Unexplained fatigue 
Once heart disease develops, it’s a lifelong condition that will gradually worsen unless lifestyle changes are made. Fortunately, women may be able to lower heart disease risk by more than 80 percent by making healthy lifestyle choices. These include:
  • Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Following a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 
  • Finding ways to cope with stress.
  • Managing high blood pressure.
  • Knowing your family history and getting tested for diabetes.
  • Lowering total cholesterol to less than 200 mg/dL.
  • Not smoking and limiting alcohol.
Penn's Preventive Cardiovascular Program was designed specifically prevent the onset, recurrence and progression of heart and vascular disease. To learn more or schedule an appointment, please call 800.789.PENN (7366).

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

According to the American Stroke Association, about 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. If you can spot the signs, you'll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away.

F: Face Drooping - Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
A: Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S: Speech Difficulty - Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T: Time to call 9-1-1 - If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

You can do plenty to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, even if you've had a stroke. A healthy lifestyle plays a big part in decreasing your risk for disability and death from stroke and heart attack.  Here are some common steps from the American Stroke Association to take to be healthier and reduce your risk of stroke:
  • Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Improve your eating habits. Eat foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.
  • Be physically active.
  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Get your blood pressure checked regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage it if it’s high.
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Decrease your stress level.
  • Seek emotional support when it’s needed.
  • Have regular medical checkups.
The Penn Stroke Center is Philadelphia’s only “Comprehensive Stroke Center” as certified by the Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.  This relatively new level of certification recognizes the significant resources in staff and training that comprehensive stroke centers must have to treat complex stroke.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Penn Fertility Care

The First Step in Getting Pregnant May Be Finding Out Why You Can't

When should you see a fertility specialist? If you've experienced the following events, it may be time for you to schedule an appointment with an infertility specialist:
  • If you are under 35 and have been unable to conceive after a year of trying to get pregnant. 
  • If you are over 35 and have been unable to conceive after 6 months of trying to get pregnant.
  • When you've miscarried two or more times. 
  • When other infertility treatments have not been successful. 
If you do not have regular menstrual cycles, or if you have had prior gynecological problems including endometriosis, pelvic surgery, tubal pregnancy or infections, you should seek assistance sooner.

Fertility evaluation diagnostic procedures at Penn Medicine can identify the causes of infertility. Sometimes, a diagnosis can be easy — just a matter of conducting a few simple tests. Other times, pinpointing the cause requires time and patience. In some cases, no cause of infertility can be found.

What to Expect at a Diagnostic Evaluation

A diagnostic evaluation often begins with a physical exam and a thorough health history. Afterward, your physician may further conduct additional testing using one or more of the following methods:
  • Blood Test: A blood test will determine if there is normal ovulation physiology. Ovulation dysfunction can result from hormonal deficiencies, congenital defects, and age. 
  • Assessing Ovarian Reserve: A physician evaluates the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level and antimullerian hormone (AMH). A blood test is performed that can determine the number/quality of eggs remaining in a woman's ovary. 
  • Measuring Hormone Levels: A common cause of infertility is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This syndrome is genetically linked to hormonal imbalances thereby causing a condition that prevents ovulation.
  • A hysterosalpingogram or sonohysterogram may be performed to evaluate the uterus and to determine if the fallopian tubes are open. 
  • An ultrasound may be performed to evaluate the uterus and ovaries. 
  • semen analysis may be performed to evaluate the amount and quality of a man's semen and sperm. 
Penn Fertility Care works in conjunction with the Male Fertility Program and Microsurgery Section in the Division of Urology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Penn's experts have extensive clinical experience in male infertility and have particular expertise in microsurgical reconstruction of the male reproductive tract.

Depending on the patient's condition, additional detailed tests may be performed to determine the cause of the infertility.

Learn more about infertility diagnosis and evaluation at Penn Medicine.

The 2 Cancer Screenings You Should Never Skip

The Mammogram
The mammogram remains the most important screening test in the detection of breast cancer and it likely saves thousands of lives every year.

Beginning at the age of 40, all women should have an annual mammogram to check for breast cancer. Depending on a woman’s personal risk, her physician may recommend she begin annual mammograms before the age of 40.

Schedule a Mammogram at Penn Medicine
Penn offers dedicated breast imagers with access to digital mammography, breast ultrasound and MRI. All mammograms performed at Penn are connected to a comprehensive breast cancer program at the Abramson Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.

Also, most locations offer same-day, walk-in appointments.

Mammograms at Penn Medicine are offered at the following locations: 
  • Penn Medicine Valley Forge
  • Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine*
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Pennsylvania Hospital
  • Penn Medicine Radnor
Schedule a mammogram at Penn Medicine
Call 1-800-789-PENN (7366) to schedule a mammogram at Penn.

The Colonoscopy
Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented with screening. More than 90 percent of people diagnosed with colon cancer are age 50 or older.

Current screening recommendations in the United States include:

  • Men and women over the age of 50 be screened for colorectal cancer
  • Those with a personal or family history of colon polyps, cancer at an early age or certain chronic medical conditions be encouraged to be screened starting at an earlier age.

Although the incidence of colorectal cancer and cancer-related deaths is decreasing, colon cancer screening remains underutilized. Consequently, colorectal remains the third most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer deaths.

One of the main barriers to colorectal screening is the lack of awareness of the disease. Colorectal cancer tends to not be discussed as openly as other conditions such as breast or lung cancer. Furthermore, the thought of undergoing a colonoscopy is not appealing.. This is compounded by the fact that there is a general misperception about the study.

Colonoscopy can detect early tumors, and more importantly pre-cancerous growths of tissue called polyps. Polyps can be removed at the time of the procedure, thereby preventing cancer from developing.

Colonoscopies at Penn Medicine are offered at the following locations: 

  • Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Pennsylvania Hospital
  • Penn Medicine Radnor

Schedule a colonoscopy at Penn Medicine

Are you 50 years old or older? Make an appointment at Penn Medicine for your routine colonoscopy by calling 1-800-789-PENN (7366).

 *Digital breast tomosynthesis, a revolutionary way to perform mammograms combining traditional mammography with 3D technology, is offered at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicien. DBT allows for more accurate pictures of breast health. Women who get their mammograms using the new DBT technology at Penn may find they are called less often for follow-up visits and more tests.Learn more about DBT at Penn, and how you can schedule your DBT mammogram at Penn.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Workouts: staying warm and safe

Select the Right Clothes

Staying dry is essential.  Clothes specifically designed for cold weather wick away moisture from the body to keep you dry and warmer. For the layer that goes against
your skin look for “moisture wicking” on the label, as well as machine washable materials.  Avoid 100% cotton, it holds sweat and can lead to chills, muscle tightness and discomfort.

Wear Light Layers

Layers are important because if you get too hot, you can take some things off to cool down. Over your long sleeve moisture-wicking shirt, wear a fleece or wool pullover for insulation.  Add an outer layer that will repel water and block wind.

Use Reflective Gear

Since days are shorter, and it might be dark when you work out, make sure to wear easy- to- see colors and other reflective gear that can help drivers see you in the dark. There are reflective vests that are mesh, so as not to add weight and bulk that can be seen hundreds of feet away and offer 360-degree visibility. Flashing lights on bikes are another way to gain more visibility and ensure you can be seen even when you are working out in the dark.

Cover Your Head and Ears

Most heat escapes the body from the head. Hats can keep in heat, but look for hats made with moisture-wicking materials so as not to keep your head too sweaty. Headbands that cover the ears are also a great way to keep your head warm, without getting too sweaty.

Keep Hands and Feet Warm 

Protect your fingers and toes from frost bite.  Wear thin glove that can be layer inside heavier lined gloves or mittens.  Thermal socks are another essential winter workout item.

Indoor Alternatives 

 Be sensible in really nasty weather, do your workout indoors.  This is a great time to cross train and try a new activity.  Many gyms offer memberships on a month-to-month basis, which is a good opportunity to try a new class, start a weight training routine or try a new activity.

Patient Story: Proton Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Proton Therapy Helped Me Share Moments with My Grandchildren
Kathy Brandt was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in 2011 at her local hospital. After much research, and a recommendation from her brother-in-law, who is a physician, Kathy chose Penn Medicine for her lung cancer treatment, which included proton therapy. Today, Kathy is cancer free. 

You hear the word “cancer” and it's truly terrifying.

It was basically just a checkup with my pulmonologist because I have emphysema. He sent me for a chest X-ray and that is when they found the tumor in my lung. It was a terrifying time and thankfully I had strong family surrounding me - strong family helping me make decisions about what kind of treatment I should have. After that initial diagnosis, when you feel like you have been hit with a ton of bricks, then the decision needs to be made where you are going to seek treatment. My brother-in-law, who is a physician, along with my pulmonologist suggested I go to Penn Medicine for treatment.

Penn Medicine was a wonderful choice for us. They used a team approach.  I saw an oncologist, I saw a surgeon, and the radiologist is all located at Penn Medicine.  It was very comforting to know that all these people are just working to take care of you and to make you better.

I was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer at the end of June.  My surgery was the beginning of August and chemo started in September. It was finished in November.  I started proton therapy in December, which lasted for 4 weeks.

Deciding to Have Proton Therapy at Penn
I decided to go with the proton radiation because of the cancer’s proximity to my heart and spine. I chose proton therapy because I knew it would be more precise and would have less side effects and that was very important to me.

The Proton Therapy Experience
Every day for 5 weeks, I would leave work, come home, and my husband would take me to Penn for proton therapy. After the treatment, we’d go home and I’d spend time with my grandchildren and their parents, who were living with us at the time. My granddaughter was about 3 months old at the time. And I would take her, feed her, and just spend time with the people that meant the most to me.

I really felt wonderful. I continued to work the whole time I had proton therapy – I never missed a day of work, actually. I was a bit more tired than usual, but that was really the only side effect I felt.

When I completed proton therapy, I rang the bell.  Everybody in the waiting room clapped, and we went home and I think I had a very big glass of wine after treatment was finished.

After Proton Therapy
Today, I don’t sweat the small stuff.

I would tell anyone to feel very comfortable going to Penn Medicine, and I would tell anyone to also feel very comfortable in choosing proton therapy simply because of the fewer side effects and its extreme precision.  I would recommend Penn Medicine wholeheartedly.  I cannot say enough good things about my experience.

Learn More About Proton Therapy at Penn Medicine
Proton therapy is a non-invasive, incredibly precise cancer treatment that uses a beam of protons moving at very high speeds to destroy the DNA of cancer cells killing them and preventing them from multiplying.

Unlike conventional radiation that can affect surrounding healthy tissue as it enters the body and targets the tumor, proton therapy’s precise, high dose of radiation is extremely targeted. This targeted precision causes less damage to healthy, surrounding tissue.

Watch the full video of Kathy's experience.

Learn more about proton therapy, or schedule a consultation with a radiation oncologist at Penn Medicine.