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Mayo Clinic Q&A

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Mayo Clinic Q&A

Mayo Clinic Q&A


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Mayo Clinic Q&A






What happens after colorectal cancer treatment?

While colorectal cancer is still the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., continuing improvements in screening and treatment mean many people diagnosed with colorectal cancer now can expect to survive long after diagnosis. The American Cancer Society estimates there are more than 1.5 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the U.S. But what happens after treatment for colorectal cancer is complete? Do survivors of colorectal cancer return to life as they knew it before their...


Fueling the young athlete

When it comes to sports and activities, what a child eats can affect performance. Sports nutrition focuses on not only on good eating habits, but also on what an athlete might need before exercising and after as a part of recovery. Of course, sports nutrition goes beyond simply what you eat. When you eat is important, too. Understanding the right balance and timing of taking in carbohydrates, proteins and hydration can help athletes play their best. Eating a healthy diet ensures that...


Managing childhood asthma

Asthma is a lung condition that causes swelling of the airways. It can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. It's the most common chronic disease among children, although it affects adults, as well. More than 262 million people globally are affected by asthma, and more than 461,000 have died due to the disease, according to the World Health Organization. In childhood asthma, the lungs and airways become easily inflamed when exposed to certain...


Practical approaches to breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be challenging, but help is available for new mothers. Lactation consultants, either at the hospital or through organizations like La Leche League, can help with learning the positions that work best mom and baby, and offer tips that can help with learning this new skill of breastfeeding. While breastfeeding benefits for the baby are well-known, the mother also benefits. "It's definitely a great healthy choice for moms to breastfeed," explains Rebekah Huppert, a lactation...


Cancer rehabilitation

Cancer rehabilitation is available before, during and after cancer treatment. It helps people with cancer maintain and restore physical and emotional well-being, cope with the side effects of cancer, and recover more quickly and more fully from cancer treatment. Cancer rehabilitation involves many types of specialists working together to develop a personal rehabilitation plan that considers a person's preferences, strengths and goals. "Cancer rehabilitation aims to help patients maintain...


Father-daughter duo taking part in Transplant Games of America

Carly Kelly was born with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, a disease that not only affects the kidneys, but also can lead to liver problems. She spent the first month of her life in the Neonatal ICU at Mayo Clinic, where physicians told Carly's family she would eventually need a kidney transplant. "I was the first one to register as a donor," says Tim Kelly, Carly's father. "And I was so blessed to be a match. Carly and I have the exact same blood type: AB negative. There are...


Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Combatting drug shortages

Drug shortages continue to be a major health care issue in the U.S., with more than 200 ongoing and active shortages per year since 2018. "Drug shortages are not new to health care," explains Dr. Mary Gilmer, director of pharmaceutical supply and procurement for Mayo locations across the Midwest. "But, really, over the last two years with the COVID-19 pandemic, the shortages have really exposed the vulnerability of our global drug supply chain. And these drug shortages remain high, despite...


Ask the Mayo Mom: Managing heavy menstrual cycles and demystifying treatment options

The menstrual cycles for adolescents vary significantly, including the age at which the first period begins. Frequency, length of period, and amount of bleeding also vary widely. "The factors that define when you're going to get your first period really is when did mom get her first period, so genetic factors, but there are a lot of lifestyle factors, too" says Dr. Asma Chattha, chair of Pediatric Gynecology at Mayo Clinic. "Definitely weight gain and rate of weight gain plays into it as...


Liquid biopsy can help guide cancer treatment

When cancer spreads from its original location to other parts of the body, it has metastasized. Central nervous system metastases occur when cancer cells spread from their original site to the brain and spinal cord. Any cancer can spread to the central nervous system, but the types most likely to cause such metastases are lung, breast, colon and kidney cancers, and melanoma. Treatment for brain and spinal cord metastases can help ease symptoms, slow tumor growth and extend life. To...


BA.5 omicron variant fueling latest COVID-19 surge

The BA.5 omicron variant is now the dominant strain in the U.S., and it is leading to a new wave of COVID-19 infections. BA.5 was responsible for nearly 54% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and BA.4, a similar variant, accounted for another 17%, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts are concerned because this particular variant appears to be good at evading the immune system. "This BA.5 variant is hypercontagious, and right behind it, new...


Advances in managing MS

An estimated 2.8 million people worldwide are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. In this disease, the immune system attacks the protective covering around the nerve fibers. "Multiple sclerosis — the term means multiple scars — is a disease that leads to damage of the central nervous system, which is the brain, the spinal cord and the optic nerve," explains Dr. Eoin Flanagan, a Mayo Clinic neurologist. Signs and symptoms of MS...


Ask the Mayo Mom: How exercise benefits the body and mind

The amount of physical activity children need depends on their age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages 3 through 5 years need to be active throughout the day while children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 need to be active for 60 minutes every day. Many common school-age activities — such as playing on playground equipment and jumping rope — help kids get the recommended amout of exercise. Organized sports are a great way to stay fit, too, but team...


The importance of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5

COVID-19 vaccine recommendations in the U.S. have been expanded to include children ages 6 months to 5 years. The new vaccine recommendations mean children in the under-5 age group can receive a three-dose primary series of the Pfizer vaccine or a two-dose primary series of the Moderna vaccine. "This age group is one that can't wear a mask or anything else reliably," explains Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases specialist. "And so this is one of the really...


Proton beam therapy spares surrounding tissue when treating bone cancer

Sarcoma is the general term for a broad group of cancers that begin in the bones and soft tissues of the body, including muscle, fat, blood vessels, nerves, tendons and the lining of your joints. There are more than 70 types of sarcoma. Bone cancer is a rare disease, accounting for just 0.2% of all cancers. An estimated 3,910 new cases of sarcoma of the bones and joints will be diagnosed in 2022, according to the National Cancer Institute. Some types of bone cancer occur primarily in...


How a pancreas transplant can cure diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition that impairs the body's ability to regulate blood sugar due to inadequate insulin production. Producing insulin is a function of the pancreas — a long, flat gland that sits behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. People with diabetes can experience significant complications from the disease, including heart disease, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage and vision loss. While advances have been made in diabetes treatments, many people with diabetes struggle...


Regenerating damaged skin

Regenerative medicine is an emerging field that looks to repair, replace or restore diseased cells, tissues or organs. One specialty that's a natural fit for regenerative medicine is dermatology. That's because the skin is the largest organ that regenerates in the body. "Regenerative medicine is the idea that we can reestablish form and function," says Dr. Saranya Wyles, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist. "So when we are born, we have that baby skin. And as we age, that sort of shifts and changes...


The importance of HIV testing

The COVID-19 pandemic has led people to delay testing and treatments for a variety of diseases and conditions. This includes HIV testing. During the pandemic, the number HIV diagnosis decline, but that decline is most attributed to declines in testing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts attribute this decline to less frequent visits to health centers, reduced outreach services, and shifting of public health staff to COVID-19 response activities. June 27 is...


What to expect after breast cancer

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the U.S. But it can occur in people of all gender identities. Nearly 13% of women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point, according to the National Cancer Institute. Fortunately, thanks to earlier detection and advances in diagnosis and treatment, most people diagnosed with breast cancer will survive. Understanding what to expect can make the cancer journey smoother. "It's important for...


COVID-19 update

As immunity wanes for many vaccinated adults and omicron and its subvariants continue to circulate, it seems that just about everyone knows someone with a case of COVID-19. The steady increase in COVID-19 infections is due to changing, highly contagious variants, explains Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. Dr. Poland says it’s still important to take the precaution of mask-wearing in public areas, even if you have been...


LGBTQ community face barriers to care

LGBTQ people can face specific health concerns related to their gender incongruence, sexual orientation, practices and social stigma. People in the LGBTQ community often experience barriers to accessing health care and preventive services, which can result in disparities in both cancer risk and treatment. "Many of those disparities are rooted in stigma and discrimination that have really historically been an issue for this population," says Dr. Jewel Kling, chair of the Women's Health...