When can women with early-stage breast cancer skip radiation after lumpectomy?

Emerging research may allow more women with early-stage breast cancer to safely skip radiation therapy. Women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer often can choose to have a lumpectomy, which removes only cancerous tissue and a thin margin of surrounding healthy cells instead of the entire breast. Current cancer guidelines for most women under 65 recommend […]

Palliative care frightens some people: Here’s how it helps

During many stages of illness, palliative care can ease strains and provide additional support. Many people and their families associate the term palliative care with the end of life. Some may think that palliative care and hospice care are one and the same. So it’s worth explaining that palliative care is a medical specialty able […]

The case of the bad placebo

While studies sometimes reach faulty conclusions, researchers can help correct the record. When it comes to clinical research, the most powerful type of study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. But even a well-designed trial can arrive at questionable conclusions. Recent follow-up on a 2019 cardiovascular study dubbed REDUCE-IT is one example that offers a […]

Taking up adaptive sports

A physical disability or other limitations needn’t keep you away from health-boosting activities. Health guidelines recommend adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. Which activities you choose don’t matter as long as they get you moving. But what if an injury, illness, […]

Prostate cancer: Radiation therapy elevates risk for future cancers

The risk is low, but one you should discuss with your doctor. A standard treatment for localized prostate cancer — meaning cancer that is confined to the prostate gland — is to kill or shrink tumors with radiation. The long-term outcomes for most men treated this way are excellent. But as with other cancer treatments, […]

Monkeypox: What parents need to know

While few cases of monkeypox have occurred in children, recognizing warning signs and understanding how this virus spreads is helpful. As if COVID wasn’t enough to worry about, now parents are hearing about monkeypox — and wondering if they need to worry about that, too. While the cases of monkeypox have been almost entirely in […]

Have a gas stove? How to reduce pollution that may harm health

Gas stoves affect air quality inside and outside your home, circulating pollutants that raise risk for asthma and other illnesses. In previous blog posts, I’ve discussed health harms of outdoor air pollution and how to lower health risks by reducing your exposure. Increasing evidence suggests that we should also think about our indoor air quality, […]

Proton-pump inhibitors: Should I still be taking this medication?

The decision to step down or stop taking a proton pump inhibitor is a complex decision you should discuss with your doctor. Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a common type of anti-acid medication, and are available both by prescription and over the counter. Omeprazole and pantoprazole are examples of PPIs. They are the treatment of choice […]

French fries versus almonds: Calorie for calorie, which comes out on top?

In a perfect world, indulging in a daily portion of French fries instead of almonds would be a simple choice, and no negative consequences would stem from selecting the salty, deep-fried option. But a Harvard expert says we should take the findings of a new study supporting this scenario with, er, a grain of salt. […]

An action plan to fight unhealthy inflammation

Although inflammation serves a vital role in the body’s defense and repair systems, chronic inflammation can cause more harm than good. And that may make you wonder: what can I do about it? In fact, there’s a lot you can do. And you may already be doing it. That’s because some of the most important […]