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Ask the Doctors

Promising study on rectal cancer has narrow scope

Dear Doctors: I saw on the evening news that some doctors in New York City actually cured rectal cancer with a new drug. My dad has rectal cancer, and when I asked his doctors about this drug, they hadn’t heard anything about it. Are the news stories wrong? Dear Reader: We believe you’re referring to…

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Sinusitis shares symptoms with many other conditions

Dear Doctors: Can you please talk about sinusitis? I’ve been having headaches and postnasal drip for a few months, and I thought it was because of my allergies. But my brother, who is a nurse, thinks it could be sinusitis. What are the symptoms, and how is it treated? Dear Reader: Sinusitis occurs when inflammation…

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Latest news on gut microbiome includes idea of stool banking

Dear Doctors: It seems like news about the gut microbiome keeps getting weirder. I just read about a doctor who said the new trend will be each of us storing our own poop for the future. What would be the advantage of doing that? And why is the gut microbiome in the news so often?…

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Skin gets thinner as people age

Dear Doctors: Why does our skin get thinner and more fragile as we age? My mom is 67, and it’s happening to her. She reached for something between the couch cushions, and the pressure tore her skin. She also bruises more easily than before. How can you protect aging skin? Dear Reader: Skin is the…

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Observational studies shed light on diet soda consumption

Dear Doctors: There is some folklore that diet pop is bad for you. I gave up sugar and most carbohydrates to help with weight and A1C control, but I continued to drink diet cola. What do the actual studies — ones that are not from biased sources and are peer-reviewed — say about diet cola?…

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The day before a checkup, his heart stopped

Diane Daniel American Heart Association News Scott Kern didn’t have much time to exercise. An executive at a chain of discount stores, he got to work early to get a head start on what often was a 12-hour workday. His incentive was getting home early enough to see his young daughter, Katie, before she went…

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Adults with Smallpox vaccine may have immunity from Monkeypox

Dear Doctors: How long does the smallpox vaccine stay effective? I ask because I received it as a child in the 1950s. Is it known if the vaccine would be effective against monkeypox some 60 years later, or is a booster needed? Does a booster even exist? Dear Reader: With cases of monkeypox spreading throughout…

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Though not yet considered endemic, COVID-19 is here to stay

Ask the Doctors by Eve Glazier, M.D. & Elizabeth Ko, M.D. Dear Doctors: We don’t hear about COVID-19 that much these days. The words I keep hearing are endemic, epidemic and outbreak. Can you explain what the differences are? Is COVID-19 over? Dear Reader: You’ve asked several questions that, based on the mail we’re getting,…

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Net carbs are carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols

Dear Doctors: I had lunch with a co-worker, and she’s on a keto diet. She says she can have only 35 grams of carbohydrates per day. The label on the candy bar she was eating said it had 26 grams of carbs, which is almost her whole carb budget. But she said it only had…

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Saliva a key defense from toxins and microorganism

Dear Doctors: Our 9-year-old loves science and has become obsessed with saliva. He recently learned in school that it helps prevent disease, and now he wants to know more. My wife and I are glad he’s curious and hope you can help. What is saliva? Does it really help people stay healthy? Dear Reader: Your…

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