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March / April 2010

Medical news, inspiring stories, and more!

Health Topic:

Preventing Colorectal Cancer

March Is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Julia Bastas doesn't love getting a colonoscopy, but she knows how important it is. "I lost a 41 year-old brother and a 43-year-old sister to colon cancer," says the Somerville resident. "Both died in their 40s, so I'm not taking any chances." At 37, Julia is below the recommended age of 50 for colonoscopy screenings, but because of her family history, she has been advised to have a colonoscopy every 1-2 years and has been referred for genetic testing to see if she and her family members harbor a genetic mutation that puts them at a higher risk for colon cancer and perhaps other cancers as well. Learn more, take our quiz and watch video >>

Leading Edge:

Single Incision Colectomy

New Twist on Colon Removal

It was a Friday night and Anne MacAdam could no longer stand the intense pain. Emergency room doctors determine her bowel had twisted and she would need surgery. Dr. Deborah Nagle, chief of colorectal surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, used a leading-edge procedure. She removed a large portion of Anne's colon through one small incision. Learn more about the potential benefits of single incision, laparoscopic colectomy and why BIDMC was one of the first in the country to offer this new technique to appropriate patients. Learn more and watch video >>

Clinical Corner:

Women and Sports Injuries

Why It's a Different Game

In general, women suffer more athletic injuries than men, especially when it comes to the knee. Dr. Bridget Quinn, of the Sports Medicine Program at BIDMC, answers questions about the potential cause of sports-related injuries in women and how they might be prevented. Read the Q&A >>

Health & Hope:

Josh Poytress's Story

Surgery Restores Young Pitcher's Arm and Future

It was game three of the 2009 season for the Cape Cod League, the oldest amateur baseball league in the nation, when left-handed pitcher Joshua Poytress noticed his arm was swollen and discolored. Josh Poytress, left, and vascular surgeon Marc Schermerhorn, MD. For two consecutive days prior to game three, Poytress had felt sharp pains in his scapula (shoulder blade). The 18-year-old California State University Fresno freshman -- an elite player who had been drafted in the 16th round to the Houston Astros as a high school senior -- decided to rest his arm and wait for the pain to subside. What Poytress believed to be a pinched nerve was actually a life-threatening blood clot. Read Josh's story >>

The Heart of BIDMC:

Jeanne McCarthy, NICU Social Worker

NICU Programs Benefit Premature Babies and Their Parents

Jeanne McCarthy is known around the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical as the "Chief Cuddler." "I wish they wouldn't call me that," she says humbly. "I am a cuddler, but I also help manage the cuddling program." McCarthy has earned the nickname by being one of the best volunteers in the NICU cuddling program. The program provides volunteer "cuddlers" to interact with premature babies during times when their parents can't be at the hospital with them. Read more >>

Health Headlines:


Atrius Health and BIDMC

New Relationship Benefits Patients

Atrius Health, the state's largest independent physicians group (comprised of affiliates Dedham Medical Associates, Granite Medical, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Southboro Medical Group and South Shore Medical Center ) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have expanded their relationship to establish a new model of health care delivery, better serving area patients. Read more >>

BIDMC and Red Sox.com

Hit a Home Run For Health

Red Sox Opening Day is just around the corner and the team is already hard at work training for what all Sox fans hope will be a great season. But even trained athletes have to deal with injuries. Read more >>

As Spring Heats Up, Studies Show
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers On The Rise

Both new diagnoses and a history of non-melanoma skin cancer appear to have become increasingly common, and the disease affects more individuals than all other cancers combined, according to a number of new published studies. Read more >>