Tips to Cope with the COVID-19 PandemicNuvance Health
Answers to common questions and ways to help you manage stress during the COVID-19 pandemic
A colonoscopy is the best way to screen for and prevent colorectal cancer (CRC) because it allows your doctor to find and remove precancerous growths called polyps before they have a chance to turn into cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that most people have colonoscopy screenings starting at age 50. People who are at a higher risk for CRC due to family history or other factors should begin having screenings at a younger age based on their doctor’s recommendation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Palforzia, a peanut powder product designed to help reduce peanut-induced allergic reactions. Although Palforzia just received FDA approval, Nuvance Health allergists/immunologists have been offering oral immunotherapy (OIT) for various food allergies for five years. By slowly increasing a person’s tolerance to an allergen over time, OIT can lower the risk of having a severe allergic reaction. This lowered risk may help reduce anxiety for kids with food allergies, as well as their family members and caregivers.
New study results confirm that guideline-directed medical therapy is as effective as more invasive procedures at preventing death, stroke, and heart attack in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). The study results suggest that guideline-directed medical therapy should be the initial treatment strategy for patients with stable CAD. The study results validate the evidence-based, guideline-directed, conservative treatment approach that the cardiovascular specialists at Nuvance Health have always used to treat CAD.
Research shows that as many as 50 percent of adults in the United States make New Year’s resolutions, but fewer than 10 percent keep them for more than a few months. Giving up on New Year’s resolutions is often related to three issues: difficulty breaking old habits, focusing on specific outcomes, and problems with purpose. You can increase your chances of achieving your New Year’s resolutions by setting realistic and achievable process goals that will help you form new habits, as well as following other steps for success.
A vaccine is available to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and can cause diseases such as genital warts and cancer. The HPV vaccine now protects against nine strains of HPV. Research shows that the HPV vaccine is safe and effective. The HPV vaccine is approved for men and women between the ages of 9 to 45. The HPV vaccine can protect adults from HPV-related diseases, however it provides the most protection when it is given in childhood before someone becomes sexually active. Parents should talk with their child’s pediatrician about the HPV vaccine. Adult men should ask their primary care provider about the HPV vaccine, and adult women should speak with their gynecologist.
A strong family history of various cancers and her own breast cancer diagnosis led Wendy Richardson to pursue genetic testing at Danbury Hospital. Genetic testing results showed that Wendy was at high risk for breast and stomach cancer. Wendy and her healthcare team used this information to make decisions about her breast cancer treatment and future preventive care. Wendy believes that the information she received through genetic testing is powerful because it has allowed her to be proactive about her and her family’s health.
At-home genetic tests are popular holiday gifts that can be fun and interesting, but they also have limitations and risks — such as providing unexpected or upsetting results.
Thanksgiving is also National Family Health History Day. Public health organizations and healthcare providers are urging families to use the holiday as an opportunity to start conversations about family health history. Knowing your family’s medical history and sharing it with your medical providers can help your healthcare team assess your risk for certain diseases and recommend appropriate healthcare services and testing. Although it can sometimes be challenging to find out about or share your health history, overcoming these barriers can provide health benefits for you and your family — and possibly save a life.
Katherine (Kathy) Wenning tripped and broke her neck when she was at her weekend home in Washington, Connecticut. Kathy and her husband, Michael, knew she needed emergency care. They weren’t sure where to go because they live in Manhattan, and they’ve never needed urgent medical attention while staying in Washington.
Drew, a 65-year-old man from Connecticut, was diagnosed with a spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (SDAVF), which is a rare vascular malformation of the spinal cord that only affects 1 in every 200,000 people. SDAVFs are underdiagnosed because symptoms can be vague and mirror many other types of medical problems. If left untreated, SDAVFs can result in permanent spinal cord injury. Despite the uncommon diagnosis, a multidisciplinary care team from Nuvance Health, including primary care, neurology, radiology, and neurosurgery correctly and expeditiously identified and surgically treated Drew’s SDAVF.
E-cigarettes — especially flavored vaping products — are becoming more popular among teens. Vaping can cause serious health issues in teens, including e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), and impaired brain development. Vaping can also put teens at an increased risk of developing other addictions too. Parents can talk with their kids about the dangers of vaping in a non-judgmental way. Pediatricians can also help by providing parents and teens with information and resources.
John Kaczmarczyk, 58, was unconscious at the bottom of a flight of stairs in his home when his wife and son found him.
When Gary Colon, 51, of Miami, Florida suddenly had trouble speaking, he called his sister, Becky, of Stratford, Connecticut for help. She urged him to go to an emergency department, where he had tests that revealed a meningioma. This large brain tumor was indenting and injuring the speech area of his brain. Becky quickly made arrangements for Gary to come home and have brain surgery at Norwalk Hospital, where she’s worked for 17 years and knew he would get the best care. Norwalk Hospital is equipped to handle these types of brain surgery cases because of the highly trained neurosurgeons, and seasoned physician assistants, nurses, medical assistants, operating room staff, and intensive care unit staff who work so well together.
Vaping-associated lung injury is a condition characterized by lung inflammation and damage that can lead to respiratory failure and death. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain, as well as fatigue, fever, and weight loss. Many patients report gastrointestinal symptoms too. Healthcare experts are urging people to avoid vaping because the exact cause of vaping-associated lung injury is unknown. People who are using vaping products — especially young people, who have been most frequently affected by the condition — should closely monitor their health and seek immediate medical care if they develop symptoms.
Three primary care physicians from Western Connecticut Medical Group (WCMG) analyzed new research about several widely known “magic” health numbers and shared their health and wellness recommendations.
When Linda Sprick of New Milford, Connecticut, received the news that she had Stage IIA breast cancer, she decided to face her diagnosis head-on and do whatever was necessary to get well. Linda had two lumpectomies at Danbury Hospital, followed by radiation therapy at New Milford Hospital, which is closer to her home. New Milford Hospital uses an advanced radiation therapy technique to reduce radiation exposure to healthy organs. Linda and her husband Tomm especially appreciated the complimentary, healthy meals they received through New Milford Hospital’s Eating Well program. Today, Linda is cancer-free. She and her husband are excited to resume their normal lives and continue worldwide travel.
Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital received approval to join NRG Oncology as primary clinical research sites. This means that patients at Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital now have expanded access to the latest clinical trials for breast cancer, radiation oncology, and gynecologic cancer.