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March 2014

Below, find some possible story ideas for media opportunities.
For more information about these items, or for other media requests, contact Cleveland Clinic's Corporate Communications at 216.444.0141.

If you are a member of the media and would like to link to our HealthHub content or have interest in interviewing one of our physicians on the featured topics, please email Jenny Popis at popisj@ccf.org.


March 2014

Colon Cancer Prevention - A Colonoscopy Can Save Your Life

Colorectal cancer, which starts in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum, is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The good news is it is preventable and if it is caught early, it has very good survival rates. The key is catching the cancer in its early stage and getting a colonoscopy can spot polyps in the colon before they turn into cancer. Below are some key points to consider when it comes to colonoscopies:

  1. Test time - In general, people should begin getting colonoscopies at age 50. However, if you have risk factors such as a history of colon cancer in your family, you should get a colonoscopy earlier. Go to www.clevelandclinic.org/marchforth to take a 5-minute risk factor test.
  2. Screening saves life - The best tool we have to catch colon cancer in its early stage is a colonoscopy. Over the years, polyps - which are growths that form on the surface of the colon - can turn into cancer. A colonoscopy screens for polyps that need to be removed before they turn into cancer.
  3. Myths about colonoscopies - Many people put off getting colonoscopies because they think it will be unpleasant. However, most people who have had the procedure say it is not that bad after all. A colonoscopy is certainly worth it if you compare the procedure to the pain of going through colon cancer. Colon cancer is one of the few cancers we can prevent and a colonoscopy is the best tool to screen for cancerous polyps and remove them.

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Caroline Auger at augerc@ccf.org or 216.636.5874.

World Kidney Day Sheds Light on Chronic Kidney Disease

The presence and cost of chronic kidney disease (CKD) are increasing around the world. About 1 in 10 people have some form of kidney damage, and every year millions die prematurely of complications related to their kidney disease. CKD can develop at any age in both men and women and in every country. CKD also increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Both high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are increasing around the world and with them come the risk for CKD.

Most people have no symptoms until CKD becomes advanced. The signs of advancing CKD include swollen ankles, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, decreased appetite, blood in the urine and foamy urine.

Since CKD is a silent disease until advanced, on March 13, World Kidney Day we are calling on everyone to check if they are at risk for kidney disease and encouraging people with any risk factors to take a simple kidney function test. A person can lose up to 90% of his or her kidney function before experiencing any symptoms.

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Tora Vinci at vinciv@ccf.org or 216.444.2412.

See what’s trending on Cleveland Clinic’s Health Hub blog.

If you are a member of the media and would like to link to our content or have interest in interviewing one of our physicians on the featured topics, please email Jenny Popis at popisj@ccf.org.

Spring Sports Injury Prevention

Spring is officially here and with the sunshine comes outdoor sports and activities. Staying active is great for both parents and kids, but it’s important to practice safety while doing so.

Richard Figler, MD, Sports Health Physician at Cleveland Clinic offers the following tips to help you stay healthy and safe as you leap into springtime sports:

  1. Growing Pains or Injury - Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between the two. Seek a trained healthcare provider who will be able to better examine what your body may be really feeling.
  2. Take time to Stretch- If any part of an athlete’s body is overly tight, other parts of the body will increase motion to compensate. It would make sense to pursue a flexibility program in order to remain agile so that you can decrease the risk of injury. Consider dynamic stretching as part of your routine in order to decrease injuries to other parts of the body. Overall flexibility is key to avoiding injury.
  3. Dynamic Stretching - This involves warming up the muscles and taking joints through a gentle range of motion while currently stretching the muscles through an arc of motion that the body typically does during sports activities. This takes the place of what we used to do in the past, which was termed ‘static’ stretching. Performing dynamic stretching before and after events will lead to better performance and hopefully to injury reduction.
  4. Strength and Conditioning - A good strength and conditioning program year-round is very helpful to maintaining top athletic form. Consider incorporating multiple, different activities into your routine to improve overall strength and conditioning throughout the year.

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Laura Ambro at ambrol@ccf.org or 216.636.5876.

See what’s trending on Cleveland Clinic’s Health Hub blog.

If you are a member of the media and would like to link to our content or have interest in interviewing one of our physicians on the featured topics, please email Jenny Popis at popisj@ccf.org.

Debunking Autism Myths During National Autism Awareness Month

Autism is a complex brain development disorder that indicates varying degrees of difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Because of its complexity, there are many myths that have circulated about autism. April is National Autism Awareness Month and Thomas Frazier, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism, says there are many common myths you might hear, but it’s important to know the actual truth behind them.

  1. Autism is due to poor parenting – Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder and many good parents have children with autism.
  2. Autism can be cured – Autism is considered a lifelong disorder. However, children who are identified early and receive early, intensive intervention may see excellent outcomes and can live productive, meaningful lives.
  3. Childhood vaccines can cause autism – There is no scientific support to indicate that vaccines cause autism.
  4. If diagnosed with autism, it will continue to worsen over time – This depends on the person, level of functioning, response to intervention and the person’s overall physical health. Many children with autism respond very well to intervention and symptoms improve over time.

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Jenny Popis at popisj@ccf.org or 216.444.8853.