Monitoring Your Baby’s Heartbeat During Labor

Doctors, nurses, and midwives check your baby during labor and birth with a “fetal heart rate monitor.” There are two ways to do this: Continuous monitoring (CM): Records your baby’s heartbeat throughout labor. Intermittent auscultation (IA): Checks your baby’s heartbeat at certain times during labor. IA is often a better choice. You may want to… Read more »

Radiation therapy for cancer

If you have cancer, you and your doctor want to do all you can to treat it. It might seem like more treatment is better. However, that’s not always true, especially if the cancer is advanced. At that point, improving your quality of life may be your first goal. It’s important to get the right… Read more »

Stable Heart Disease

Large blood vessels called arteries supply blood to your heart. They can become narrowed or blocked. This is called heart disease. As a result, less blood and oxygen may flow to your heart. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, or other symptoms. An angiogram is a test for heart disease. The doctor places… Read more »

Radiation therapy for breast and gynecologic cancers

If you have breast, ovarian, uterine, or another gynecologic cancer, there are a lot of decisions to make about your treatment. One common treatment is radiation therapy. When it comes to radiation therapy, sometimes less is more. The advice below is from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Use it to start a conversation… Read more »

Stress tests after a stent procedure

A stent procedure is done to open a blocked artery in your heart. Sometimes people get yearly stress tests afterward to see if the blockage might happen again. But stress tests usually aren’t helpful after a stent procedure unless you have symptoms of heart disease. Here’s why. Routine stress tests usually aren’t needed. Stress tests… Read more »

Blood Transfusions for Anemia in the Hospital

Getting a blood transfusion in the hospital can save your life. You may need a lot of blood if you are bleeding heavily because of an injury or illness. But anemia is usually not urgent. And usually you don’t need a lot of blood. You may only need one unit of blood while you are… Read more »

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Radiation for Cancer

Bone cancer: Can radiation help the pain? Yes. If cancer has spread to your bones, radiation can help relieve your pain. You may only need one, or a few, treatments. Early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer: Do I need radiation after surgery? You probably don’t need radiation if cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes in the… Read more »


Colonoscopy is the most accurate test for cancer of the colon and rectum, proven to detect the disease early and save lives. But even a very good test can be done too often. Here’s when you need it, and when you might not. Having a colonoscopy more than once every five or ten years usually… Read more »

Preventing Seizures After an Ischemic Stroke

An ischemic (iss-keem-ik) stroke is the most common type of stroke. A blood vessel gets blocked so that it can’t send blood to a part of the brain. This injures the brain and can cause a seizure. A seizure causes: Involuntary body movements. Strange sensations. Blackouts. Some doctors routinely prescribe anti-seizure medicine after an ischemic… Read more »

Blood Tests to Show Your Risk for Miscarriage

Blood tests to show your risk of miscarriage have become more common. The tests show if you have a condition called “thrombophilia.” This condition can increase blood clots. It may increase the risk of a miscarriage or other problems during pregnancy. There are many different tests for thrombophilia. Doctors often order the tests for pregnant… Read more »

Brain Scans for Head Injuries

A blow to the head can be scary. Usually, the injury is not severe. But sometimes there can be a concussion, bleeding on the brain, or cracks to the skull. It is important for the doctor to examine you or your child for a possible concussion or another injury. A blow to the head can… Read more »

Medicines to Relieve Chronic Pain

Opioids (narcotics) are common pain medicines. They can help if you have bad short-term pain —like pain after surgery for a broken bone. They can also help you manage pain if you have an illness like cancer. But opioids are strong drugs. And usually they are not the best way to treat long-term pain, such… Read more »

Low Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit the doctor. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the… Read more »

Medical Tests Before Surgery

Doctors often order medical tests for patients before surgery. These are called pre-operative or “pre-op” tests. They include chest X-rays, blood and urine samples, and heart and lung tests. These tests can be helpful if you are having serious surgery, especially if you have health problems. The tests can show if you will need special… Read more »

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists can help people who are having trouble moving after an injury or surgery. They also help people with conditions such as: Arthritis Back or shoulder pain Cerebral palsy Osteoporosis (weak bones) Spinal cord injury Stroke Physical therapists can help people gain strength and get moving again. They can help reduce or prevent pain… Read more »