Baby boomers targeted for Hepatitis C testing

If you’re age 50 or older, ask your doctor to be screened for Hepatitis C

The diagnosis was a surprise for Claudia Dionne: testing during her yearly check-up revealed hepatitis C. The liver-damaging virus was not causing symptoms but for the 4 million people in the United States with hepatitis C it can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and is the most common reason people need a liver transplant.

But research is changing what comes next for those who learn their diagnosis early. Four new drugs – Victrelis, Incivek, Olysio and Sovaldi — approved in the past three years make treatment easier and more effective. Additional medicines are Continue reading


Is it old age, or aortic stenosis symptoms?

Those suffering aortic stenosis symptoms often attribute them to old age

Elderly man and stethoscope - aortic stenosis symptoms can mimic signs of aging

Is your elderly parent or loved one “just getting older”? Or could his or her health problems be aortic stenosis symptoms?

Is your elderly parent or loved one experiencing normal slowdowns in health as a result of old age, or is it something more severe?

Aortic stenosis symptoms parallel health concerns that are often attributed to old age, including:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Increasing fatigue and low energy level
  • Heart murmur
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Fainting or passing out

What is aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is a condition in which the aortic valve does not open fully, decreasing blood flow from the heart to the body. Severe aortic stenosis is often unpreventable and is most commonly attributed to old age (70+). Other causes may be a buildup of calcium deposits causing narrowing of the valve, high blood pressure, radiation therapy or a history of rheumatic fever.

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Making new memories through photography

New program offers portrait photography to Cancer Center patients


Joe Bushkuhl

Photographs contain memories and provide opportunities to tell our stories and connect to our feelings. For cancer patients and cancer survivors, these feelings can become part of the healing process. A new photography program at the Cancer Center, “Life Images of Today and Tomorrow,” provides a unique opportunity for patients and families to have portraits taken by a professional photographer and to make new memories in the process.

“Life Images of Today and Tomorrow” is a partnership with the Washtenaw Community College Photography Program that is offered at no cost to patients and their families. Professors and students from WCC provide portrait services in a studio at the Cancer Center. At session’s end, patients receive flash drives for printing, along with informative tools about the meaning of photographs and suggestions for photography creations. The Cancer Center Art Therapy program hosts periodic follow-up workshops for those interested in creating art with the images and sharing stories in a supportive environment.

Joe’s story

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It’s Car Week! Hands-on car themed activities for kids

car themed activities for kidsWhen you live in Michigan, home to Motor City, adding a car-themed week into your summer fun is almost a given. There is no shortage of car themed activities to do at home and in the area.

(Plus we are still super excited about the magic of cars after Caden’s Car Show earlier this month!)

So get your motors running and try out some of these car-themed activities with your kids this summer!

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Spider and varicose vein treatment: More answers to your questions

Vein treatment timing and recurrence, health dangers and more

Many individuals come to the U-M Vein Center with questions about veins2.fwhow to make their legs look and feel better. Often, the focus is on spider and varicose vein treatment. In a recent post, I answered questions about the cost of vein treatment, whether it is painful, compression stockings and more. Here are some other questions I’m often asked. Continue reading