Articles by:

Charlea T. Massion, MD and Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD

Browse articles by Charlea T. Massion, MD, and Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD

Happy New Year — how recently have you thought about dying? Do you already have an Advance Directive and designated health care proxy? If so, good work! If not, this column can help you complete one in 2015.

Diabetics often experience neuropathy (nerve pain or dysfunction); some people with diabetic neuropathy (DN) may be unaware of it because symptoms can be subtle. DN symptoms range from numbness or tingling to severe pain that interferes with daily activities and keeps people up at night.

Recommendations about bone density (BD) testing have shifted over the last few years — we are proud to say, more toward what the NWHN has recommended for over a decade! This article reviews the BD testing recommendations from the Choosing Wisely® campaign.

You’re crawling with germs – and that’s a GOOD thing. All of us are coated inside and out with a complex protective film of microorganisms. If that film’s disrupted, the consequences can be devastating.

Does the man in your life have “Low-T” (low testosterone) Syndrome? Oh, wait; make that “the men in your life” — chances are any of the men you know over age 40 qualify for a diagnosis.

We constantly hear that obesity is a killer and that the obesity epidemic will surely sink our health care system — but are a few extra pounds really bad for your health? A recent study suggests that being a little overweight may actually reduce your chance of dying.  Hear us out, though, before scarfing some cookies in celebration!

Although CT (pronounced “cat”) scans may sound warm and fuzzy, these three-dimensional X-rays expose people to very high doses of radiation. A chest CT exposes patients to more than 400 times the radiation dose than a regular chest X-ray.

What’s behind the shortage of common generic medications? The number of reported prescription drug shortages in the United States nearly tripled between 2005 and 2010. At the same time that new and expensive drugs are dominating the market, proven workhorse drugs with a long history of successful use — like the two your doctor tried to order for you  — are becoming harder to obtain.

Avast Avastin!

By: Charlea T. Massion and Adriane Fugh-Berman , , ,

Why won’t ineffective treatments go away? The story of the use of Avastin for breast cancer treatment is a cautionary tale about how pharmaceutical companies dupe health care providers and consumers into accepting — even demanding — inferior drugs, and bully Federal agencies trying to protect the public.

Whose silly idea was it to start X-raying people along with the baggage at airports? Most of the media coverage of airport security scanners has focused on privacy issues, but we’re far more concerned about possible health risk: frequent flyers may be racking up increased cancer risk along with their miles, because of radiation exposure.

About the Authors

Charlea T. Massion, MD

Charlea T. Massion, MD, is a practicing physician in Santa Cruz County specializing in hospice and palliative care. Charlea brought her passion for improving women’s health along with 40+ years of health care experience to the NWHN as a member of the board for 8 years. She also co-founded the American College of Women’s Health Physicians.

Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD

Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, is a former NWHN Board Chair whose research presents a critical analysis of the marketing of prescription drugs. Adriane educates prescribers on pharmaceutical marketing practices as Director of the PharmedOUT program, and created the Health in the Public Interest program at Georgetown University School of Medicine where she trains a new generation of consumer advocates. Additional articles by Adriane can be found here.