Local Interest

Flexible Fitness: Getting a jump on the dance season

This time of year, many dance students have returned to their studios after having the summer, or at least part of August, off. Some have moved up a level. Others are auditioning for dance pieces or a spot in a company. Everyone is looking forward to the new repertory they’ll …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Skin cancer during childhood

Question: Is there really a genetic condition that can make someone get skin cancer during childhood?Answer: I am not sure if you are referring to xeroderma pigmentosum — XP, although there are other possibilities — but since that condition fits your question it will be the topic of today’s column.Normally, …

Local Interest

The patient-doctor relationship needs repair

The patient-doctor relationship has evolved over centuries. In ancient times health was determined by mystical forces or the mythological gods. The Greeks had Zeus, Apollo and Asclepius. The Romans adopted Aesculapius and revered Mercury and his healing wand – The Caduceus.In modern times, the sick appeal to their healing divinities, …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Is it Dupuytren’s contracture or trigger finger?

Question: I have an issue with my middle finger which has gotten worse, and now I cannot bend it. I thought it was a trigger finger, but my doctor said it is Dupuytren’s. What’s the difference?Answer: The muscles that flex and extend the fingers are in the forearm, connected to …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Methemoglobinemia

Question: Is there really a disease that makes your blood look chocolate-colored?Answer: Oxygen binds to the iron in heme, a protein in red blood cells, RBCs; this iron is normally in the reduced ferrous form, Fe2+, and this oxygenated ferrous iron is what makes the blood look red. The oxygen …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Nodule compromises finger tendon

Question: I have an issue with my middle finger which has gotten worse, and now I cannot bend it. I thought it was a trigger finger, but my doctor said it is Dupuytren’s. What’s the difference?Answer: The muscles that flex and extend the fingers are in the forearm, connected to …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Staying healthy at 65

Question: I am a pretty healthy 65-year-old. How can I stay this way?Answer: There is a lot that you can do to stay healthy, and this is something you should discuss with your health care provider — DWYHCP.Let’s start with the basics:• Eat a good variety of healthy foods, for …

Local Interest

Festival spotlights food insecurity in Salem

The Salem Food for Thought Festival united regional non-profits for an afternoon of fun, consciousness-raising activities about good nutrition and the problem of food insecurity in Salem.

Local Interest

OVER THE COUNTER: Don’t shy away from talking about prostate problems

Admit it, guys. We have a hard time talking about stuff that goes on below the belt. That’s why we joked about anatomy when we were teens and shy away from talking about it when we’re at the doctor’s office.As we age, though, it’s more important than ever to speak …

Local Interest

Essex County man contracts EEE, threat level raised to high in Topsfield, Ipswich

The EEE risk level has been raised to high in Topsfield and Ipswich, and to moderate in Beverly, Danvers, Hamilton, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Middleton, Newbury, Newburyport, and Wenham, after an Essex County resident contracted the disease.

Local Interest

Flexible Fitness: Importance of improving oral health care

Did you know that simply improving your oral health can significantly increase your life span? Poor mouth care may result in the accumulation of plaque (a sticky layer of bacteria), xerostomia (dry mouth), halitosis (bad breath), tooth decay and loss, fungal infection, ulcers and many other undesired conditions. And if …

Local Interest

As death toll climbs, Massachusetts doctors look to link vaping to illnesses

While marketed as an alternative to cigarettes, vaping may not be as safe as originally thought.As of Friday, Sept. 6, at least five people have died, and many others have been sickened this summer from a “mysterious lung illness” linked to vaping, underscoring what many health officials have believed and …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Proton beam treatment helps certain cancers

Question: What is proton beam therapy?Answer: One possible therapy for certain conditions, including certain cancers, is to ablate/destroy abnormal/problematic cells/tissue with delivered energy.Many people are familiar with X-ray radiation treatment, XRT, which does this by delivering the energy with photons, massless particles. This energy is delivered along the entire pathway …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Probiotics help with gastrointestinal illnesses

Question: Are probiotics really good for you, or is that all hype?Answer: We are all colonized by bacteria (and other organisms such as yeast/fungi), called our “normal flora.” These normal flora live on or in us, for example in our gastrointestinal, GI, tract or on our skin, without causing disease …

Local Interest

Bristol County woman who contracted EEE has died

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 26, 2019…..A patient who contracted the eastern equine encephalitis virus died at Tufts Medical Center, the hospital confirmed Monday, in what state officials described as the fourth human case of the mosquito-borne illness identified in Massachusetts this summer.The Department of Public Health announced Sunday that a …

Local Interest

Massachusetts has ‘exact right’ habitat for EEE, veterinarian says

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 22, 2019…..On the heels of what the state’s public health veterinarian called the “most significant” year for West Nile virus ever in Massachusetts last year, officials this month have confirmed the first two human cases of eastern equine encephalitis in the state since 2013.Briefing the state’s …