December 2014
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December 2014 posts

What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine is an approach to care that puts the patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a person's health. Employing a personalized strategy that considers the patient's unique conditions, needs and circumstances, integrative medicine uses the most appropriate interventions from an array of scientific disciplines to heal illness and disease and help people regain and maintain optimal health.
  ---Bravewell Collaborative

Integrative medicine is really all of the above and so much more. Integrative medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the whole person. It acknowledges that we all have individualized biochemical and genetic needs. It recognizes that we all can improve our health by looking at ALL the factors that impact us.

One of the fundamental differences between an integrative physician and a conventionally trained physician is that I first look at what barriers to health I might need to remove (inflammatory diet, poor stress management techniques, toxic pollutants, negative thoughts, supplements or pharmaceuticals that may be disrupting health, etc.) before I think of what to “put in".

Donation provides wigs for Swedish patients with cancer

Earlier this year,  Kerensa Corlett discovered a lump in her breast that turned out to be breast cancer.  She had no family history of breast cancer and was not due for her first mammogram until January 2015, when she turned 40.  Kerensa feels very lucky because she caught it early. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Swedish, but you would never know it because she is always positive and has a smile on her face. When asked, she tells her story in the hopes that she can help save a life, promoting early detection.

Gilenya fails in primary progressive multiple sclerosis trial

We recently found out that Gilenya (fingolimod), an oral treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), did not slow down disability progression in a phase III trial among primary progressive MS (PPMS) patients. The trial, called INFORMS, was the largest to date in PPMS, involving 970 patients in North America, Europe, and Australia. Patients were assigned to placebo or Gilenya for 3 years, and the primary outcome was a composite of walking, arm function and overall disability measures. Unfortunately, the progression rates in Gilenya and placebo groups were not statistically different. A full report of the trial will be presented at one of the upcoming neurology meetings, possibly in April 2015.

Using a Gene Test to Assess Recurrence Risk for Women with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

Participants at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference were recently updated on the status of OncotypeDx for DCIS. 

Providers at the Swedish Cancer Institute have been using  this technology since it became available about 4 years ago. The test is done on the tissue after surgery to see if it might be safe to not add radiation therapy to lumpectomy / partial mastectomy for carefully selected DCIS patients.

There is now data on ...

Do I need a pap smear?

When women come in for their yearly well-woman exam, many are surprised to find out that they may not need a pap smear. This is because the mechanisms through which women develop changes in their cervix that may lead to cervical cancer are now much better understood. This had led to a drastic change in pap smear screening recommendations with the most recent updates to recommendations in 2012. Although, we still recommend regular well-woman exams, it is likely that most women will only need a pap smear every ...

Is Your Shoulder Pain a Rotator Cuff Injury?

What exactly is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that envelope and attach to the “ball” of the shoulder (the humeral head). The cuff is responsible for keeping the ball squarely centered within the shallow socket of the shoulder. 
Reproduced from orthoinfo.aaos.org

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury and who is affected?

A rotator cuff injury can cause a ..

What type of MS do I have?

Traditionally, MS has been divided into four clinical courses: relapsing/remitting, primary progressive, secondary progressive and progressive relapsing. These four were intended as descriptions of the different courses that MS could take in patients, and were not based on any particular understanding of the biology of the disease, the cause of the disease, or even the prognosis of patients with the different types of MS. Over the years, our understanding of MS has improved, and these descriptions of the disease course no longer meet our needs to describe the disease.

Over the past couple of years, there has been a revision of our classification of MS, resulting in a publication in July 2014. The recommendations of this revision have been  ..

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