Treating heartburn with over-the-counter medicines provides short-term relief, but if the symptoms persist it can cause more harm than good. Heartburn has the ability to mimic more serious conditions such as acid reflux and GERD. Acid reflux is a common medical condition that can range in severity from mild to serious. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the chronic, more severe form of acid reflux. Heartburn is a symptom of both. Most often, your doctor will be able to identify whether you have heartburn or GERD by doing specific tests.
Srinadh Komanduri, MD, gastroenterologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital answered the following frequently asked questions:
What is GERD? GERD is an acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease. This refers to contents on the stomach moving up into the esophagus and resulting in bothersome symptoms such as heartburn.
By Kasmer K. Quinn
Riad Salem, MD, to receive the Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation Leaders in Innovation Award
By: Kasmer K. Quinn
The Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation will honor Riad Salem, MD, Chief of Interventional Radiology at Northwestern Medicine, and Director of Interventional Oncology at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, at the 2017 Society of Interventional Radiology’s (SIR) Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C. Dr. Salem will receive the Leaders in Innovation Award, established by the SIR Foundation in 2002, honoring interventional radiology pioneers who have brought to fruition ideas that have improved the practice of interventional radiology and the quality of patient care. The innovative ideas could be devices, techniques or approaches to clinical practice and research.
“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by my peers with the SIR Foundation Leaders in Innovation Award,” said Riad Salem, MD. “This award represents another triumph of our specialty and cements the principles of interventional oncology as an integral component of modern interventional radiology and cancer care. It is the culmination of a decade-long vision of structured research and development towards a new treatment paradigm. Radioembolization is now recognized as a standard of care by international guidelines and has been incorporated by thousands of hospitals benefiting patients worldwide. For this experience, I am blessed.”
By: Kasmer K. Quinn
February is National Cancer Prevention Month. It's a disease that more than a million Americans are diagnosed with each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Reducing cancer risk is something that must take place on a daily basis, with each and every decision that a person makes.
Shikha Jain, MD, Hematologist and Oncologist at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, shares her top 8 cancer prevention and screening tips:
1. Avoid All Tobacco Products:
All types of tobacco products can cause cancer including second hand smoke. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking accounts for approximately 30 percent of all deaths from cancer in the United States. This includes approximately 80 percent of all deaths from lung cancer. Smoking also increases the risk of many other cancers, including, but not limited to: mouth, larynx and pharynx, esophagus, kidney, liver, bladder, pancreas, stomach, colon and rectal.
Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
Twelve hours after quitting the carbon monoxide levels in your blood drops.
Two weeks to three months after quitting your circulation improves and your lung function improves.
Five years after quitting, your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder decreases by 50 percent. In women, the risk of cervical cancer falls to that of a nonsmoker.
Ten years after quitting, your risk of laryngeal and pancreatic cancer decrease. At that time, the risk of dying from lung cancer is approximately 50 percent compared to that of an active smoker.
By Kasmer K. Quinn
Researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered a new way to tell if prostate cancer can return and potentially cause death even after initial treatment. Edward Schaeffer, MD, PhD, Chair of Urology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, shared his thoughts on the study with WBBM’s Rob Hart.
“The study allows doctors to catch problems much earlier than in the past. Men whose PSA levels are above 0.5 after treatment need closer monitoring,” said Dr. Schaeffer. “By doing that, you may be able to help patients be more proactive about their follow-up, and their subsequent treatment after radiation therapy.
More than 4,000 people are expected to participate in the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University’s 23rd Annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration Walk & 5K Run in Chicago’s Grant Park on Sunday, June 5 - National Cancer Survivors Day. One of the nation’s largest cancer survivorship events, the celebration brings cancer survivors, families and friends together with the physicians, scientists and health professionals who support them in a tribute to cancer survivors and the breakthroughs being made in cancer treatment and research. Participants will have the option of joining a non-competitive walk or a chip-timed 5K along the lakefront.
“Our Annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration provides a wonderful opportunity to honor cancer survivors, celebrate advances and look toward the future,” said Leonidas C. Platanias, MD, PhD, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. “Lurie Cancer Center and Northwestern Medicine clinicians and researchers are focused not only on providing innovative cancer care, but also expanding the programs and support to improve our patients’ quality of life after treatment. We are proud to stand with our patients and their families. Their strength and resilience inspires everything we do.”
Graceful Victory: One Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation Board Member’s Personal Account with Breast Cancer
By Kris Lathan
Two years ago, life was quite good for Sofia Ahmad Jones. Her two young children were thriving. Her marriage was stronger than ever. She was a busy Mom who was handling the hustle and bustle of Chicago - living better than most. By her own account, she was young and healthy and feeling great. The stability of “a good life” is why when her 40th birthday came and went in February of 2012, she didn’t panic or race into the doctor’s office to get her first mammogram. In fact, months went by, and every month she told herself that as soon as life settled down a bit, she’d eventually get to it.
“I actually discovered the lump myself while at home over Fourth of July weekend,” said Jones. “I didn’t really ‘freak out,’ but I called my gynecologist. I described it to her, and she got me an appointment the next day. Things moved pretty fast from there because I had a biopsy that Wednesday, and I was diagnosed on Friday. Breast cancer caught me completely off my feet. I automatically thought, ‘Oh My God, am I going to live?’ I was out of my mind.”
By Bret Coons
Most people don’t consider breast cancer to be a disease that spreads to different parts of the body, but that is exactly what happens when breast cancer becomes metastatic. Even after breast cancer – or any other kind of cancer – has spread to a new part of the body, such as the liver or lungs, the cancer is still referred by the part of the body where the cancer started. The nature of metastatic breast cancer makes it a difficult disease to treat.
However, according to William J. Gradishar, MD, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University’s Maggie Daley Center for Women's Cancer Care at Northwestern Memorial’s Prentice Women’s Hospital, new developments in testing and treatments are extending and improving the lives of patients with metastatic breast cancer, even when the cancer is not curable.
By Sharon Green, executive director, Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Since the passage of NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, which mandated the inclusion of women in federally funded clinical trials, there has been a growing body of evidence that sex differences are found in all body systems beyond reproductive health. Sex differences can have significant and underestimated consequences in clinical medicine.
The Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has partnered with five clinical services at Northwestern Medicine, and encouraged the establishment of women-centric clinics that address the special needs of women outside of the traditional women-only conditions such as female cancers. The intent is to integrate new knowledge to complex chronic diseases and overall health. These clinics are not intended to be primary care centers but rather authoritative consulting services where physicians can refer their patients for complicated conditions.
By Bret Coons
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America, the majority of which are basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma. These cancers are not always easy to spot, so it is important to understand the differences between them and the similarities they share.
By Marla Paul
A gel form of tamoxifen applied to the breasts of women with noninvasive breast cancer reduced the growth of cancer cells to the same degree as the drug taken in oral form but with fewer side effects that deter some women from taking it, according to new Northwestern Medicine® research.
Tamoxifen is an oral drug that is used for breast cancer prevention and as therapy for non-invasive breast cancer and invasive cancer.
Because the drug was absorbed through the skin directly into breast tissue, blood levels of the drug were much lower, thus, potentially minimizing dangerous side effects — blood clots and uterine cancer.
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The Northwestern Medicine News Blog features health system news, research innovations, health information and various perspectives—including clinical and medical information as well as other healthcare-related issues.