Rare Diseases: Not So Rare

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Because today - February 29 - is Rare Disease Day, we're posting the March edition of Physician Focus early.

A rare disease, officially defined by the Orphan Drug Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1983, is one that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. But the practical definition is much broader: some disorders afflict several thousand individuals; some just a handful. But in one sense rare diseases are not so rare: close to 7,000 such conditions exist, collectively affecting 30 million people.

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February To Your Health: Unnecessary Antibiotic Use

Welcome to another edition of the HCAM News medical segment, To Your Health. I’m Dr. Jim Kenealy.

We are well into the cold and flu season and, as an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist, my office is packed these days with patients suffering from colds, ear infections, sore throats and cough. Many of these patients expect me to treat their complaints with a prescription for an antibiotic. Some are insistent, others downright demanding. However, the vast majority of these maladies are viral in nature and antibiotics have no beneficial effect on viral infections.

Hopkinton Youth Services: Adolescence and Healthy Body Image

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On Monday, February 27th from 7:00-8:00pm Jean Vazza of Hopkinton Youth Services will facilitate a community-minded discussion on "Adolescence and Healthy Body Image" at the Hopkinton Public Library.

Topics of focus include concerns related to teen dieting, eating disorders, signs of depression, mood swings, drug/alcohol use, addiction and sleep problems. Discussion will emphasize ways of promoting healthy life practices in eating, sleeping, exercise and wellness in the teen years and participants will be encouraged to contribute their concerns and suggestions.

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January To Your Health: Frostbite

Hello and welcome to this chilly edition of the HCAM medical segment, To Your Health. I’m Dr. Jim Kenealy.

You knew it was coming and it’s finally here – the cold, frosty weather and snow that makes New England a winter play-land. It’s time to break out the skates, skis, or snowboards, and fire up the snowmobile. As you enjoy your particular version of frigid fun, beware of frostbite. Though we often think of it as a minor nuisance, it can lead to pain, disfigurement, and even amputation.

Caring for chronic wounds

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From left, host Bruce Karlin, M.D., Evan Provisor, M.D., and Susan Proulx, B.S.N., R.N., this January on Physician Focus.

If you’ve ever had a wound or sore that was slow to heal, then you could be a candidate for the kind of medical treatment that’s the subject of the January edition of Physician Focus. While the human body has a natural and wonderful ability to heal itself normally from injuries, certain conditions can impede the healing process and result in chronic wounds that require specialized care.

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To Your Health, December 2011 “Hazardous Toy List”

Ho, Ho, Ho and the Happiest of Holidays to our HCAM viewers! Welcome to this special holiday edition of To Your Health. I’m Dr. Jim Kenealy.

The holidays are a time for celebration and giving and nothing puts a bigger smile on the face of the recipient, or the giver, than giving a toy to an excited, grateful child. Yet, imagine the dismay and horror, if your well-intentioned gift caused harm, or worse, to your beloved child or grandchild. The toys we give are often a reflection of the season itself – bright, colorful and LOUD. And therein lies the problem.

Spilka to Discuss Dangers of Texting While Driving at Keefe Tech

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Senator Karen Spilka will speak to students about the dangers of texting while driving at the Joseph P. Keefe Technical High School in Framingham on Wednesday, December 7th.

The event is part of AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign aimed at raising awareness about the risks of texting and driving. As part of the presentation today, AT&T will show a 10-minute documentary that tells the true stories of young drivers whose lives were altered, or even ended, because of texting and driving.

How's your medical literacy?

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Malignancy. Hemorrhage. Contusion. Pulmonary. If you know what these words mean, go to the head of the class. Medicine has a language all its own, and for too many patients, it can produce mystery and confusion. Throw in great amounts of misunderstanding and miscommunication, and you have what health experts call medical illiteracy.

Some 90 million people – nearly half of the adult population in the United States – have low medical literacy – defined as the ability of patients to read, understand, and act on medical information to make good decisions about their health.

Adolescent Health Survey Results Tonight

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Topics such as substance abuse, mental health, physical activity, nutrition, bullying, cyber bullying and sexual behavior will all be discussed as the Hopkinton Schools, in conjunction with Hopkinton Youth Services, presents results from the 2010 Metro-West Adolescent Health Survey administered to both middle and high school students last fall.

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November 2011 - The Flu and You

Welcome to this month’s edition of the HCAM News medical segment, To Your Health. I’m Dr. Jim Kenealy. Fall is here and so is the flu season, so grab your tissues and O.J. while we discuss this yearly malady.


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