From complex or serious conditions like cancer and heart disease to the latest news on research and wellness, host Dr. Halena Gazelka asks the questions and gets easy to understand answers from Mayo Clinic experts.
Head and neck cancers are becoming increasingly common
There are many causes of head and neck cancers (https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/head-and-neck-cancer-center/home/orc-20457069%20?mc_id=us&utm_source=newsnetwork&utm_medium=l&utm_content=content&utm_campaign=mayoclinic&geo=national&placementsite=enterprise&invsrc=other&cauid=100721), and treatment is complicated. And one of the fastest growing demographic of cancers in the U.S. is human papillomavirus (HPV) (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hpv-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20351596%20?mc_id=us&utm_source=newsnetwork&utm_medium=l&utm_content=content&utm_campaign=mayoclinic&geo=national&placementsite=enterprise&invsrc=other&cauid=100721) in younger people, says Dr. Daniel Ma (https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/ma-daniel-j-m-d/bio-20055472%20?mc_id=us&utm_source=newsnetwork&utm_medium=l&utm_content=content&utm_campaign=mayoclinic&geo=national&placementsite=enterprise&invsrc=other&cauid=100721), a Mayo Clinic radiation oncologist.
"This is a treatable disease," says Dr. Ma. "It's a disease that's very responsive to radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. And it's one of those diseases, because the patients are young, that there's a good cure rate."
Dr. Ma says treatment for the numerous head and neck cancers requires medical coordination. "It's where tight collaboration between an ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon medical oncologist who gives chemotherapy, and a radiation oncologist, like myself, who gives radiation or X-ray treatments, is crucial for the success of the treatment."
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Ma describes the various symptoms and getting a diagnosis, and he talks about Mayo Clinic's Oropharynx Cancer Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/oropharynx-cancer-clinic-in-minnesota/overview/ovc-20425053%20?mc_id=us&utm_source=newsnetwork&utm_medium=l&utm_content=content&utm_campaign=mayoclinic&geo=national&placementsite=enterprise&invsrc=other&cauid=100721), which he says is the first such multidisciplinary clinic in the country. Dr. Ma also explains advances in treatment like newer radiation techniques, including proton therapy, and more minimally invasive surgical techniques.
Don’t miss a beat with preventive heart care
For many people, the COVID-19 (https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19) pandemic has provided an opportunity to reassess priorities in their lives, spend more time with loved ones, and take care of some projects or personal issues that they’ve been avoiding. But some people may have been avoiding their heart health (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-disease-prevention/art-20046502).
Dr. Christopher DeSimone (https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/desimone-christopher-v-m-d-ph-d/bio-20209047), a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, says he's concerned some patients may have been ignoring symptoms, waiting six or nine months, or even a year, before going to in for a medical exam.
"What's really heartbreaking is there are things we could have offered patients — medicines and interventions — things that we could have caught in an earlier time frame," says Dr. DeSimone. "We could have really impacted their quality of life and lessened their risk from dying of heart disease."
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. DeSimone talks more about the concerns of delayed heart health care and describes heart disease symptoms. And he emphasizes how safe it is to go to the hospital for a heart check during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the verge of another COVID-19 surge
As spring break travelers return home and the highly transmissible U.K. COVID-19 (https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19) variant is discovered in all 50 U.S. states, the country is on the verge of a fourth COVID-19 pandemic surge. That's according to a number of health experts, including Dr. Gregory Poland (https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/poland-gregory-a-m-d/bio-20053165), an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group (https://www.mayo.edu/research/labs/vaccine-research-group/overview).
However, Dr. Poland says there is some good news related to the transmission of COVID-19 on surfaces.
"Wisdom resides in changing your mind and your recommendations as new data and science becomes available," says Dr. Poland. "What the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doing is modifying those guidelines, saying that the risk of touching a contaminated surface and then getting infected is very low."
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast Dr. Poland explains more about the CDC guidelines and he addresses other COVID-19 topics in the news, including recent data that says men are more vaccine-hesitant than women.
Mayo’s bold changes, moving forward through the COVID-19 pandemic
In the midst of the COVID-19 (https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19) global health crisis, Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/) is changing the way patient care is provided.
"I think, as an organization, we've made close to a decade of progress over the course of one year," says Mayo Clinic President and CEO Dr. Gianrico Farrugia (https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/farrugia-gianrico-m-d/bio-20053394). "The COVID-19 pandemic pushed us faster and further than we could have imagined. We're now tangibly stronger than we were pre-COVID — in our practice, in education, in research and in operation and business agility."
One example, says Dr. Farrugia, has been with virtual and digital care. "We all want to see our patients in person," explains Dr. Farrugia. "But the other side of the coin is that it's important to meet patients where they are, to make health care easier for their daily lives. What we're seeing now is that we can do both physical and virtual care really well and do it seamlessly."
"The pandemic served to reinforce our 2030 'Bold.Forward.' strategy, which is to cure more patients, to connect people and data, to create new scalable knowledge, and to transform health care through our unique Mayo Clinic platform," says Farrugia.
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Farrugia says, "Amidst all the grief and the loss that we all experienced, there's a lot we have gained and now it's incumbent on us to make sure we use it to transform health care." Listen as Dr. Farrugia describes how that transformation is happening at Mayo Clinic.
The importance of physical activity for kids of all abilities
When it comes to children, physical activity is important for development. Physical activity helps build strong bones and muscles and reduces the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/physicalactivity/facts.htm), regular physical activity also reduces stress and anxiety, and kids who are physically active tend to perform better in school, including getting better grades.
The benefits of activity are universal, including for children with disabilities or different abilities. Participation in sports and activities can promote overall wellness and help kids with disabilities maintain a healthy weight, which is a common problem. Participation, especially in team sports, can also promote a sense of belonging.
On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Ask the Mayo Mom (https://twitter.com/drangelamattke?lang=en) host Dr. Angela Mattke (https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/mattke-angela-c-m-d/bio-20055584) is joined by Dr. Amy Rabatin, a pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center (https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/childrens-center), to discuss why physical activity is important for children of all abilities.