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To Your Health: NLM update Transcript

NIH MedlinePlus magazine Fall 2016: 12/05/2016

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Greetings from the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus.gov

Regards to all our listeners!

I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Here is what's new this week in To Your Health, a consumer health oriented podcast from NLM, that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.

The new edition of NIH MedlinePlus magazine covers the cancer research moonshot, the opioid overdose epidemic, as well as lymphedema.

The cover features actress Kathy Bates, who explains she developed lymphedema after breast cancer surgery. Lymphedema is a condition that occurs when lymph fluid does not drain properly, and causes swelling, often in one's arms or legs.

Bates tells NIH MedlinePlus magazine and we quote: '...many doctors think since lymphedema is rarely fatal that it's merely a cosmetic issue. They haven't a clue of how many millions of people suffer in this country — 10 million. More than MS, muscular dystrophy ALS, Parkinson's and AIDS combined...' (end of quote).

NIH MedlinePlus magazine explains patients can prevent lymphedema (or keep it from getting worse) by: protecting your skin; exercise; and seeing a trained specialist for manual lymph drainage treatments.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes MedlinePlus.gov has a comprehensive health topic page devoted to lymphedema, which is accessible by typing 'lymphedema (that's 'L...Y...M...P...H...E...D...E...M...A' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page and then clicking on 'Lymphedema (National Library of Medicine).

In a separate section, NIH MedlinePlus magazine explains 1.9 million Americans have prescription opioid use disorder and 586,000 have heroin use disorder. While heroin is an opioid drug that is produced from morphine and sold illegally, most abuse occurs from prescription opioid medications, which reduce pain after surgery or an injury.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine reports current efforts to respond to opioid overdose include: improving the prescription of opioid drugs by physicians; expanding patient access to medication-assisted treatments; and increasing the use of Naloxone and other drugs that prevent an opioid overdose death. NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes the U.S. Surgeon General, recently sent a plea to 2.3 million physicians and health care workers to counter opioid abuse by treating pain with more safety and effectiveness.

The deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse tells NIH MedlinePlus magazine (and we quote): 'We can't just stop treating pain... But now that we're discerning some of the risks, we must balance the need for pain treatment with the abuse potential' (end of quote).

NIH MedlinePlus magazine also provides a question and answer interview about the White House's Cancer Moonshot Initiative with Dinah Singer Ph.D., one of the co-chairs of the Initiative's Blue Ribbon Panel.

Dr. Singer tells NIH MedlinePlus magazine the Cancer Moonshot differs from other cancer initiatives by addressing some of the barriers to cancer research progress. For example, Dr. Singer explains one of the Moonshot's initiatives will be to increase access to cancer clinical trials.

She tells NIH MedlinePlus magazine (and we quote): 'Today, only five percent of all cancer patients are enrolled in clinical trials. One of the recommended actions is to develop a network that will engage patients directly and increase their access to studies' (end of quote).

Other articles in the current NIH MedlinePlus magazine include: clinical trial enrollment; healthier pregnancies; vasculitis; and coverage of the swearing-in of NLM's new director Dr. Patti Brennan in September.

As always, NIH MedlinePlus magazine provides a helpful list of phone numbers (many of them a free call) to contact NIH's array of institutes and centers.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine is distributed to physicians' offices nationwide by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine. You can subscribe or find the latest edition online by clicking on 'Magazine,' which is on the bottom right side of MedlinePlus.gov's home page.

Previous editions of NIH MedlinePlus magazine are available at the same site. A link to NIH MedlinePlus Salud, which provides other health information and resources in Spanish, is available there as well (see the top right of the page). The web version of NIH MedlinePlus magazine includes links that visually supplement the information in some articles.

Before I go, this reminder... MedlinePlus.gov is authoritative. It's free. We do not accept advertising .... and is written to help you.

To find MedlinePlus.gov, just type 'MedlinePlus.gov' in any web browser, such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Explorer on any platform.

We encourage you to use MedlinePlus and please recommend it to your friends. MedlinePlus is available in English and Spanish. Some medical information is available in 48 other languages.

Your comments about this or any of our podcasts are always welcome.

Please email the podcast staff anytime at: NLMDirector@nlm.nih.gov

A written transcript of recent podcasts is available by typing 'To your health' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page.

The National Library of Medicine is one of 27 institutes and centers within the National Institutes of Health. The National Institutes of Health is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A disclaimer — the information presented in this program should not replace the medical advice of your physician. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease without first consulting with your physician or other health care provider.

It was nice to be with you. Please join us here next week and here's to your health!