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home : columnists : dr. john roberts August 28, 2014


Colorectal cancer screening is essential
This week I want to talk about screening for colorectal cancer (CRC). Fortunately, screening for this type of cancer has become more common due to increased public awareness aided by campaigns such as CDC's Screen for Life www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/sfl/.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Swimmer's Ear can begin in number of ways
I've seen a fair number of cases of swimmer's ear in the last few weeks. We tend to see more cases of this in hot, humid weather, but it can also be brought on by other conditions.

The medical term for swimmer's ear is otitis externa, indicating inflammation of the external ear. This is in contrast to the more common otitis media, or inflammation of the middle ear (the part of the ear behind the ear drum).

The number of people who suffer from swimmer's ear is about four per 1,000 per year, or about three to five percent of the population.

Monday, August 18, 2014
Concussion: 'I got my bell rung'
Fall sports season is here and I've already seen a few athletes who have suffered concussions. Concussions have always been a part of sports, especially those involving high-energy collisions such as football, soccer, hockey and basketball. I'm sure you have read or heard that research is allowing us to get a firmer grasp on how to manage concussed athletes.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Stress Fractures
I saw a young athlete last week complaining of shin pain. The source of the pain was a stress fracture. It is estimated that between five and 30 percent of athletes and military recruits develop a stress fracture each year. Briefhaupt was the first person to describe the condition in military recruits in 1855.

Everyone is familiar with bone fractures, especially those that result from acute trauma. These fractures are usually easy for an untrained person to see on an X-ray - the bone looks like a broken stick. Stress fractures, however, can be much more difficult to diagnose.

Monday, August 4, 2014
Science-based medicine
I'm writing this as we're getting closer to the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). No matter whether or not you support the ACA, the underlying impetus for the law remains - the health care "system" in our country is in serious trouble. One of the concepts addressed in the ACA is the requirement that medical treatments are to be studied thoroughly and be based on the best scientific and medical evidence available.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Lyme Disease
The arrival of warm weather this year means we have to start worrying a little bit about Lyme Disease. Most people are aware of the association between tick bites and Lyme disease, but few know exactly what Lyme disease is or what causes it.

Lyme Disease was named in the late 1970s when an outbreak of arthritis in children occurred around the town of Lyme, Connecticut. The actual disease has been described since the early 1900s.

Monday, July 21, 2014
Time for annual student athlete exam
The fall sports season is just around the corner and it's time for another round of sports physicals. Most of the youth in the county participate in some type of organized school sport. The IHSAA requires high school athletes to have a yearly PPE or "Pre-Participation Examination." Many junior highs or middle schools and even grade schools are now requiring them before allowing athletes on the field.
Monday, July 7, 2014
Medicare: Easy target for fraud
This week, I'd like to write about a problem that costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year - Medicare fraud and abuse. Medicare paid out $549 billion in payments for services and medications in 2011. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports that 8.6 percent or $28.8 billion of those payments were "improper," meaning the services were not necessary, did not meet Medicare guidelines, or were downright fraudulent.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Shoulder Pain, Part 2
Welcome back to part two of my series on shoulder pain. First, I want to do a quick review of shoulder anatomy (see diagram). The upper arm bone (humerus) joins to the scapula at the glenoid and is held in place by two structures: (1) a rim of cartilage (glenoid labrum) that forms a shallow cup for the head of the humerus to sit in, and (2) the rotator cuff which is made up of four tendons that wrap around the head of the humerus.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Ready for your picnic?
We're just starting to enter barbecue season and it's a good time to review food safety. Food-borne illness is something that almost all of us have experienced at some point in our lives.

Food-borne illness is defined as more than two people having a similar illness with evidence of food as the source. The overall rate of these illnesses has gone down drastically in the last century with improvements in food handling and sanitation. However, we still hear about illness outbreaks like the recent ground beef contamination with E. coli.

Monday, June 2, 2014


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