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Health Articles

Support Group Helps Patients

A breast cancer diagnosis can be frightening, but the right support makes a big difference in a woman’s mental, emotional and physical health. Saint Francis Healthcare System’s Power of Pink Breast Cancer Support Group begins its next session Tuesday, January 3, from 6-8 pm in Womancare. The... Read more

Pink Pals Support Pink Up

Saint Francis Foundation’s annual Pink Up™ campaign brings together the business and educational communities in support of breast cancer awareness at a spectacular level. An initiative this grand in scope comes with its share of manpower challenges, and the Pink Pals are helping meet those needs. “Pink... Read more

Treating Cancer With Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It can be used in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy, and in some cases, it can be the sole treatment for certain types of cancer. “Depending on the type of cancer, we may use radiation therapy... Read more

Special Treatments for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Many different subtypes of breast cancer are categorized according to what is causing the tumor to grow, whether it be estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Triple negative breast cancer is an especially aggressive type of cancer that is not fueled... Read more

Breast Cancer Index (BCI) Tests Recurrence Risk

Breast Cancer Index (BCI) is a test to help doctors determine the likelihood that certain types of breast cancer will return after five years and whether extended hormonal therapy will benefit the patient. Carlos Robles, MD “When a woman is first diagnosed with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, cancer... Read more

Immunotherapy Offers New Hope for Cancer Patients

Cancer patients have another weapon in their fight against the deadly disease: immunotherapy. It is changing cancer care, and making treatment more powerful with fewer side effects. Immunotherapy uses the body’s natural defense system to fight against cancer. Unlike chemotherapy, which destroys both cancer cells and healthy... Read more

New Options Treat Cancer 

People who fall victim of cancer have many more options for treatment, thanks to advances in immunotherapy and targeted therapies. Immunotherapy consists of treatments that stimulate the immune response to fight cancer. “Previously, there were no good treatments for melanoma,” says Carlos Robles, MD, medical oncologist/hematologist, Saint... Read more

NICU Saves Babies’ Lives

Some parents know before birth that their baby will need extra help in its first few weeks of life. But other times, complications can arise unexpectedly. Birth depression occurs when a baby does not receive enough oxygen and blood during delivery, and it can happen due... Read more

Lung Cancer Treatments Vary

While lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, researchers are developing new treatments every day to help prolong lives of lung cancer patients. Typically, the first line of treatment is surgery. A surgeon may remove a small section of lung, an... Read more

Finding Relief for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects millions of Americans. At Saint Francis Healthcare System, there are many options to relieve the pain, from conservative to surgical. “On the conservative end, primary care physicians can provide anti-inflammatory medication,” says Brian C. Schafer, MD, orthopedic surgeon who practices... Read more

Nurse Practitioners Equal Another Primary Care Option

Nurse practitioners are nurses who have undergone advanced training and are able to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, order lab work and imaging tests, and write prescriptions.  They can manage many health conditions, teach health promotion and help patients with disease prevention. “Saint Francis Healthcare System... Read more

High Cholesterol Brings Issues

High cholesterol is a common condition that can have deadly consequences. One in six Americans suffers from high levels of cholesterol. A high cholesterol problem leads to heart disease and raises your risk of heart attack and stroke. “A certain amount of cholesterol is good for your... Read more

Treating Brain Tumors Varies

Treatment for brain tumors is based on the tumor size, location and likelihood of spreading or recurring. There are four grades of tumors – I, II, III and IV. Tumors that are classified as grades I or II grow slowly and are generally benign. While these tumors... Read more

Midwives Deliver Babies

Saint Francis Medical Center offers two certified nurse midwives, Tracy Carr, RN, BSN, MSN, CNM, and Megan Keeney, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, CNM, who serve as primary caregivers for moms-to-be and are present during their labor and delivery. “Certified nurse midwives have a great deal of formal training... Read more

Do You Qualify for Weight-Loss Surgery?

Weight-loss surgery at Saint Francis Healthcare System’s Weight Loss Solutions can be a life changer for those who have struggled using other methods. However, not everyone who is overweight is a candidate for bariatric surgery. In 1991, the National Institutes for Health (NIH) established criteria all patients... Read more

GI Disorders Affect Many

Gastrointestinal disorders affect millions of Americans. Among the most common are gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and celiac disease. GERD: This condition causes damage to the lining of the esophagus and is often characterized by heartburn that occurs more than once a week. IBS: Affecting... Read more

Get Stroke Screening at Checkup

When you see your primary care physician for your annual checkup, ask about undergoing a stroke screening. People who are most at risk for stroke are those who have close family members who suffered a stroke before the age of 50. Those older than 60 who have... Read more

Talk to Doctor About Suspicious Skin Lesions

That strange-looking spot on your skin may be a sign of something dangerous. If you are concerned about an area, talk to your primary care physician about a skin cancer screening. “As with other cancers, you want to catch any kind of skin cancer early,” says Deborah... Read more


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