medicine

Granite Geek
4:08 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Granite Geek: Think Waiting For Test Results Takes A Long Time? Try Running A Medical Study

Run for it, polyps! Screening tests are coming for you!
Credit e_monk via Flickr/CC http://ow.ly/HgJDR

Medical professionals have a hard time getting people to come in and get screened for various cancers and diseases.

What can be even harder, though, is finding the right screening test.

A large-scale, nearly decade-long study of two screening methods for colorectal cancer is underway. It’s  known by the acronym CONFIRM.

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Word of Mouth
3:00 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

1.4.15: To Friend Or Unfriend, The Excrement Experiment, & Who To Follow On Twitter

Snow guns in full force at Crotched Mountain in Bennington, NH.
Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

The Ferguson decision, Eric Garner protests, immigration, all topics we avoid at the dinner table, but opinions run free on Facebook. On today’s show what to do when your Facebook friends make racist posts.

And, when it comes to Twitter followers, Katy Perry, Justin Beiber, and President Obama hold the top spots. We veer off social media’s beaten path to share some hidden gems in the twittersphere.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:04 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

12.17.14: An Icky But Effective Way Of Treating Diseases, A Conversation About Santa, & Good Gig

Credit Amy via flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes considering radical medical treatments require getting over the ick factor. On today’s show, how transplanting fecal matter from one person to another has saved lives, especially for those with antibiotic resistant digestive disorders, such as clostridium difficile, or C-Diff.

Then, Christmas is next week, a festival of lights, decorated trees, parties, and for some parents, the Santa conundrum…from to elf on a shelf to carrots for Rudolph, we’ll navigate the magical world of Santa.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
12:45 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

9.29.14: Alternative Medical Treatments & The Power Of Product Placement

From the Manual of Directions for Nurses in Army Hospitals, 1861
Credit elycefeliz via flickr Creative Commons

Think juice fasts are tough? Try blood-letting. On today's show, we’ll hear about some of the alternative medical treatments of the nineteenth century and how they laid the groundwork for modern medicine. Plus, we take a look at the funniest and most culturally resonant examples of product placement from the last ten years.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
11:43 am
Tue March 25, 2014

3.25.14: Walter Kirn, Snake Oil, Johnny Cash & "MFA Versus NYC"

Credit via amazon.com, Chris Devers and Heinrich Klaffs via flickr Creative Commons & nplusonemag.com

No fooling: today's show deals with some dangerous imposters. It's not all lies and deception, however. We also have some "lost" sounds from the man in black himself. Finally, Chad Harbach talks about his controversial essay about making it as a writer. Grab your headphones and turn up the volume; we've got the stories behind the stories.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:27 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Word Of Mouth 08.17.13

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

Looking for the best hour in public radio? Look no further than the Word of Mouth Saturday show. 100% nutritional content with no fillers or by products. On this week's show...

  • Ever wondered what it takes to be the Dungeon Master of a Dungeons & Dragons game? David Ewalt tells Virginia the secrets of the popular dice game from his book, Of Dice and Men...
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Word of Mouth
11:18 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Transplant Tourism

At his home outside of Boston, Jim McHugh describes the liver transplant that saved in his life
Credit Meg Heckman

Organ and tissue transplantation is a rapidly-developing area of medicine, one that’s rich with the potential to save lives and fraught with tough policy questions. The demand for replacement organs far outweighs the supply, so many patients die waiting. Others are willing to take drastic steps -- like moving to another state or a foreign country -- to get the organs they need to survive. Producer Meg Heckman brings us the story of Jim McHugh, a man in dire need of a liver transplant, and how his move to Indiana from New England during a snowstorm proved to be incredibly fortuitous.

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Word of Mouth
11:22 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Head Transplants: Ethical Nightmare Or Medical Breakthrough

Credit NIH Library via Flickr Creative Commons

In 1970, Dr. Robert White attempted an experimental surgical procedure that might as well have been lifted from the pages of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – he removed the head of one living monkey, and attached it to the body of another. Dr. White called it a head transplant and a success. His detractors called it a medical and ethical nightmare. In June of this year, Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero declared that advances in medical technology have made head transplants possible. A number of medical professionals greeted his announcement with skepticism. The Atlantic’s health editor James Hamblin wrote about how Canavero says the procedure will work.

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Word of Mouth
1:48 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Word Of Mouth 04.06.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

We bring you a collection of tasty segments we know you'll love, using the powers of public radio telepathy. 

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Will the Medical Marijuana Debate Return to the Granite State?

The rest of New England now allows use of marijuana for certain health conditions.  And with a Governor-elect saying she’s open to the idea here….supporters are feeling hopeful.  But opponents still have many concerns, among them: that medical marijuana would be hard to control, encouraging use by those who aren’t even sick. 

Guests:

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Ira Byock: The Best Care Possible (Rebroadcast)

Dartmouth physician Ira Byock says even with incredible advances in medicine, far too many Americans suffer needlessly and die “badly”.  In a new book, Byock calls for a new approach toward the end of life; one focused on taking care of persons, not just “bodies”, and helping patients and their families reach decisions about dying.

Guest: 

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Word of Mouth
11:26 am
Tue May 8, 2012

A Fantastic Voyage to Kill Superbugs

Photo by Microbe World, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Nano-technology is enabling breakthroughs in a number of scientific fields at an unimaginably small scale. Consider that the basic unit of measurement for nano-particles is 40,000 times smaller than the width of the average human hair.  Recently, researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital developed a nano-particle capable of infiltrating the human immune system and delivering a targeted dose of powerful antibiotics.

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Word of Mouth
10:47 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Closeted MD

Photo by deathtiny42, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

We begin with homophobia in American hospitals. A recent, New York Times op-ed by Dr. Pauline Chencaught  our eye. In an era of rapidly expanding acceptance and rights for gays and lesbians, her question, “does medicine discourage gay doctors?” is one we had not yet heard asked. So, we invited Dr. Chen to tell us more. 

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Word of Mouth
11:30 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Is depression in the blood?

(Photo by abbyladybug via Flickr Creative Commons)

A pair of new studies indicates that depression could be detectable by a blood test. So far, depression has primarily been diagnosed through non-medical means and descriptions of common symptoms. Here with more on the recently discovered connection between the brain and blood is Jennifer Welsh, staff writer for Live Science who  wrote about the research.  

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:34 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Doctors have feelings, too

(Photo by Boxercab via Flickr Creative Commons)

A recent study in the medical journal Health Affairs found that more than ten percent of doctors admit to not telling patients the complete truth about their medical conditions, with one in five also confessing to not disclosing medical errors. Danielle Ofri is Associate Professer at NYU. She’s also attending physician at New York's Bellevue Hospital, and a regular contributor to The New York Times' Health section.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:45 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Doctors Urge Their Colleagues To Quit Doing Worthless Tests

Doctors, don't order that CT scan when a less-expensive ultrasound would work just as well, the Choosing Wisely campaign advises.
Catherine Yeulet iStockphoto.com

Nine national medical groups are launching a campaign called Choosing Wisely to get U.S. doctors to back off on 45 diagnostic tests, procedures and treatments that often may do patients no good.

Many involve imaging tests such as CT scans, MRIs and X-rays. Stop doing them, the groups say, for most cases of back pain, or on patients who come into the emergency room with a headache or after a fainting spell, or just because somebody's about to undergo surgery.

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Health
6:06 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

NH House Approves 24 Hour Wait For Abortion

The NH house has voted to require women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion. 

The so-called women’s right to know bill had to be pared back to win final house passage. Penalties for doctors were stripped, as was the  requirements that abortion providers give women seeking an abortion specific information about abortion risks, including a contested claim linking aborts to breast cancer.  According to the final amendments lead author Republican Tammy Simmons of Manchester, limiting the proposal to a simple 24 waiting period is a common sense compromise.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Cheney Operation Underscores Heart Transplant Issues

Dick Cheney is interviewed in New York in August 2011. The former vice president is recovering after having heart transplant surgery on Saturday.
Richard Drew AP

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering from a heart transplant he received Saturday at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

The operation makes Cheney among more than 2,300 Americans who get heart transplants every year.

Heart transplantation has come a long way since Christiaan Barnard stitched the heart of a young woman into the chest of a middle-aged man in South Africa in 1967. That transplant recipient died 18 days later. Today, recipients can expect to get a decade or more of life from their new hearts.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Ira Byock: The Best Care Possible

Dartmouth physician Ira Byock says even with incredible advances in medicine, far too many Americans suffer needlessly and die “badly”.  In a new book, Byock calls for a new approach toward the end of life; one focused on taking care of persons, not just “bodies”, and helping patients and their families reach decisions about dying.

Guest: 

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Shots - Health Blog
4:14 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Prone To Failure, Some All-Metal Hip Implants Need To Be Removed Early

Young-min Kwon of Massachusetts General Hospital holds the metal-alloy ball of Susy Mansfield's faulty artificial hip joint. The yellowish tissue on top is dead muscle caused by a reaction to the metal debris produced by the defective hip implant.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 5:01 pm

When Susy Mansfield needed a hip replacement in 2009, her orthopedic surgeon chose a relatively new and untested kind of artificial hip made entirely of metal.

"He said, 'You're young. Metal is good for younger people. It's going to last a lot longer,' " says Mansfield, who was 57 at the time.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:17 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Connecticut Considers Letting Health Aides Give Medicines To Homebound

Connecticut is rethinking who should be allowed to give medicines to Medicaid patients cared for at home.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon February 27, 2012

New Methods Could Speed Up Repair Of Injured Nerves

Pinwheels like these are often used to test nerve responses.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 11:07 am

When a nerve is injured, it's often hard to get it to regrow fast enough to restore function.

But now researchers say they can speed up that process, so that damaged nerves can be healed in days instead of months — at least in rats.

The scientists say they've developed a technique that reconnects the severed ends of a nerve, allowing it to begin carrying messages again very quickly. Usually, severed nerves must regrow from the point of injury — a process that can take months, if it ever happens.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Latest Drug Shortage Threatens Children With Leukemia

Many hospitals are perilously close to running out of a form of methotrexate that's necessary to inject in high doses to treat certain forms of cancer.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:55 pm

It's a new kind of brinksmanship for U.S. doctors: caring for patients with life-threatening diseases when the supply of critical drugs threatens to disappear.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:27 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Asperger’s Syndrome… No More ?

Photo by utbmobile, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

After taking nearly two decades to root itself in the popular consciousness, the mysterious neurological condition Asperger’s Syndrome may soon be history - proposals for the fifth edition of the psychiatrist’s bible, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM five, recommend filing Aspergers under the general category of autism spectrum disorder.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
3:35 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

From Russia with...Acupuncture?

Awesome Russian dolls, all lined up
(Photo by

Jessica Golloher, Word of Mouth's eyes and ears in Moscow, reports on the scads of Russians signing up for alternative medicine. 

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