Author Archives: Amber Smith

Seven things your radiation oncologist wants you to know

BY AMBER SMITH Linda Schicker, MD, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at Upstate, tells what to expect when you face radiation therapy. She sees many of her patients at the Upstate Cancer Center’s radiation oncology office in Oneida, at … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Expert Advice, health care, HealthLink on Air | Tagged , , ,

Should weight loss be part of breast cancer treatment?

BY AMBER SMITH An obese woman with breast cancer is at increased risk for recurrence, compared with healthy-weight patients. Researchers want to know whether she can reduce her risk of recurrence by losing weight. Central New Yorkers can help find … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, diet/nutrition, fitness, health care, research | Tagged , ,

What to do about depression when battling cancer

BY AMBER SMITH Along with a diagnosis of cancer, people commonly experience bouts of sadness. Two or three out of 10 may develop depression. Others may experience a grief reaction with symptoms like those of depression but that come and go. … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, depression, health care, mental health/emotional health, podcast, psychology/psychiatry

An expert’s suggestions for getting proper sleep

BY AMBER SMITH The specter of cancer, the intricacies of treatment and the side effects can create enormous stress — which can lead to nights spent tossing and turning instead of sleeping. If that describes you, or someone you love, … Continue reading

Posted in brain/neurology, health care, sleep | Tagged , , , ,

Consider checking newly diagnosed diabetics for pancreatic cancer

BY AMBER SMITH One of the reasons pancreatic cancer is so deadly is because early symptoms are so vague. “The majority of cases are diagnosed at an advanced, incurable stage,” a team of Upstate doctors writes in the American Journal … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, diabetes/endocrine/metabolism, health care, pancreas/liver/gallbladder/bile ducts, research | Tagged , ,

Facing a crisis: Meet the Upstate experts working  to solve the opioid epidemic

The opioid epidemic is fueled both by the abuse of street drugs such as heroin and the addiction to prescription painkillers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says prescription opioids contribute to 40 percent of all opioid overdose deaths in the United … Continue reading

Posted in addiction, drugs/medications/pharmacy, emergency medicine/trauma, health care, infectious disease, poison center/toxicology, prevention/preventive medicine, psychology/psychiatry, public health, research | Tagged , , ,

Different types of aneurysms call for different types of repairs

BY AMBER SMITH When a blood vessel weakens, a balloonlike dilation called an aneurysm sometimes develops. This happens most often in the abdominal section of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body. If an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures, … Continue reading

Posted in health care, surgery | Tagged , , , ,

Want to go to medical school – as a ‘patient’?

BY AMBER SMITH One way future doctors and other health care providers learn is by practicing on people who pretend to be patients. Upstate Medical University has a corps of paid “standardized patients” who are trained to portray certain medical … Continue reading

Posted in health care, medical education

Things to think about before you buy a home genetic test kit

    BY AMBER SMITH If you’re intrigued by offers of direct-to-consumer medical genetic testing, Robert Roger Lebel, MD, director of medical genetics at Upstate, offers something to consider. Let’s say you come from a family with many members who have had … Continue reading

Posted in genetics, health care, HealthLink on Air | Tagged , , ,

‘A perfect example of why we became doctors’: Survival depended on a medical team, skillful surgery and a patient’s will to live

BY AMBER SMITH Pat Graham of Lansing wasn’t feeling well the evening of Aug. 31, 2017. A self-described borderline diabetic, he asked his wife to bring a glucose test kit when she came home from her job at Rite-Aid. By … Continue reading

Posted in health care, infectious disease, patient story, surgery, urology, weight loss | Tagged