September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and an important time to recognize that this disease is the 5th leading cause
of cancer deaths in American women. The cause of ovarian cancer is poorly understood, and in addition, ovarian cancer can be much more difficult to detect than other types of cancer.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer may be vague and may mimic other common women’s health conditions. Women and health professionals may attribute symptoms to menopause, aging, stress, changes in diet or depression. This may result in a delay in the diagnosis of
ovarian cancer. The most common symptoms include:
Carolyn Kirschner, MD, Gynecological Oncologist at NorthShore, identifies some strategies available for women:
Have you known someone with ovarian cancer? Do you know if it’s in your family history?
Concussive injuries in sports have been a hot topic for a number of years. As of July 2011, a new Illinois
State law requires that any athlete who exhibits the signs of a concussion must be removed from that practice or game, and cannot be returned to play until he or she has been cleared by an appropriately trained healthcare professional.
However, the law makes no mention of academics and most youth athletes will attend school before they are cleared to return to the field of play. Our attention should then turn to addressing the issues of injured students.
A concussion occurs when a person suffers a blow or force to the head that results in changes in his or her mental status; this includes confusion, disorientation, memory or mental cloudiness. The individual may complain of headache, dizziness, nausea, visual
changes or fatigue, and may experience problems with attention and memory.
It is often difficult for a newly concussed student to manage the demands of school and their grades may suffer if their injury is not appropriately addressed. If a student athlete suffers from a concussion the following steps for an optimal recovery are recommended:
Relief from migraine headaches can come in many different forms – from pain medication, preventative drugs, massage
and acupuncture to at-home remedies including relaxation techniques and proper sleep.
Approximately 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men in the United States suffer from migraine headaches. Those who are able to identify “trigger” sites on the head or face where the migraine pain starts or localizes may be able to consider a plastic surgery
treatment option. Botox, traditionally used to relax facial muscles to reduce wrinkles, can also be used to relax muscles around the nerves that may trigger migraines.
Michael Howard, MD, a plastic surgeon at NorthShore, works closely with our neurologists to evaluate candidates for migraine headache surgery. Dr. Howard identifies some
of the factors that may help determine if a patient is a good candidate for this surgery:
Do you suffer from migraine headaches? Do you know your trigger sites?
Urologists treat all conditions involving the urinary system in both men and women, including the kidneys and bladder.
They also treat all conditions involving the male genital system (prostate, penis and testicles).
While urinary incontinence and bladder infections are some of the first conditions that may come to mind, urologists treat other major diseases, including cancer, kidney stones, infertility and sexual health concerns.
Even though urological conditions differ in severity, they are relatively common. The American Cancer Society estimates that urological cancers –of the bladder, kidney, prostate and testicles—account for nearly one quarter of all cancers in the United States.
In infants and children, abnormalities of urological organs occur more commonly than in any other organ system.
Charles Brendler, MD, Co-Director of the John and Carol Walter Center for Urological Health, identifies some of the key preventative measures for maintaining urological
What are you doing to reduce your risk of urological conditions? What other questions do you have about urological health?
Breathing isn’t something that many of us ever have to actively think about or struggle with – unless maybe we’ve pushed
ourselves too hard in a workout. However, asthma—a common disorder affecting more than 34 million Americans—caused by an inflammation of one’s airways can significantly impact breathing.
There are many different treatment and coping mechanisms available for those who have asthma.
Rachel Story, MD, Allergist at NorthShore, provides some brief information about what can be done to help prevent and reduce asthma symptoms:
What do you do to manage your asthma conditions? Has your asthma improved as a result?
Our backs are responsible for helping with movement, posture and overall support. Without a healthy, strong backbone
we couldn’t do much. Some children develop an abnormal curve in the spine (otherwise known as scoliosis), that if not properly treated can lead to problems. While there isn’t a set determining factor—such as genetics—for developing scoliosis, it is more common
Our backs are responsible for helping with movement, posture and overall support. Without a healthy, strong backbone we couldn’t do much. For unknown reasons, some children develop an abnormal curve or curves in the spine (otherwise known as idiopatic scoliosis,
an example of the unknown reason), that if not properly treated can lead to problems. While there isn’t a set determining factor—such as genetics—for developing scoliosis, it is more common in females.
Some of the common signs to look for when identifying scoliosis include:
Eldin Karaikovic, MD, PhD, identifies some of the scoliosis treatment options:
Do you know anyone who has or had scoliosis?
Gearing up for school often involves more than just prepping for the classroom and after-school routine. While the roads may seem a little less trafficked in the summer months with no more school drop off and carpooling schedules, as the new year starts
it’s important to refresh our minds about street safety.
Jacque Quick, RN, gives some quick reminders for drivers for keeping you, your kids and others safe on the road:
She also reminds kids to be safe by making sure to:
What safety tips do you remind your kids of before returning to school?
Summer vacation is here! While it may seem early, it’s often best to get your child’s required physical and immunizations
scheduled and completed before it gets too close to class being back in session. This way your kids can have all appropriate screening and their vaccines updated so they are kept safe from illness and don’t infect others.
Kenneth Fox, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, gives parents some tips on preparing for back-to-school shots: (Please note this is just a sample list of vaccines needed. Please
refer to your office guidelines for shots).
Booster doses of several of these occur between 12 and 18 months and then again between ages 4 -6 years. Influenza vaccines are yearly beginning at 6 months of age.
Most kids don’t like being pricked by needles or look forward to getting shots. Dr. Fox gives some advice on how to ease the pain of getting shots:
When do you usually schedule your child’s back-to-school appointments? Do you have any tips to help with shots?
For more information, visit the
Illinois Department of Public Health, Immunization Program website.
As summer vacation winds down, you and your kids may be getting ready for the upcoming academic year and school sports season.
This preparation may include revisiting equipment needs, as well as scheduling an annual or sports physical.
Depending on the sport and school, many students who plan to play on their school’s sports team are required to get a sports physical before he or she is allowed to practice or play. Even if your child isn’t playing a sport, physicals are recommended for students
starting in kindergarten through high school.
Cherise Russo, DO with NorthShore, gives her recommendations for prepping for the school sports season:
How many sports are your kids involved with at school?
Just as athletes need to properly stretch and hydrate before and after a workout or event, they also need to be making smart
meal choices. What you eat—regardless if you are an athlete or not—will greatly impact your health.
It can often be hard to determine which foods are best, especially with the myriad of options available at most grocery stores. A good place to start is learning how to make smart nutritional choices when it comes to fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Michael Rakotz, MD, Family Medicine physician at Northshore, gives advice on the best meal choices for both athletes and non-athletes alike:
What smart meal choices do you make to maintain your health?