Managing your health care

What’s your approach to health? Check your medicine cabinet

Attitudes toward health –– broadly, maximalist or minimalist –– tend to form early in life and are embedded in our family’s approach to health and well-being. The contents of your medicine cabinet reflect which approach you prefer.

Are early detection and treatment always best?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The culture of American medicine has long believed and supported the idea that more early detection and treatment is best. But some testing is costly, invasive and carries needless risks, and some conditions go away on their own. Early detection and treatment can be lifesaving — just not for every health issue.

Reducing your risk of changes in thinking following surgery

As more older people undergo surgeries, the risk of complications increases, including for cognitive decline following their procedures, particularly after cardiac surgery. But awareness and pre-planning with your care team can help you avoid such complications.

Is it time to give up your annual mammogram?

The question of what age a woman can stop having mammograms does not have a definite answer, but is one each woman must answer based on her circumstances and her feelings about the risks of the procedure versus its benefits.

No spleen? What you need to know to stay healthy

Wendy Stead, MD

Contributor

You don’t need your spleen to live a normal, healthy life, but the spleen does play an important role in defending the body against infection, so those without it need to take certain precautions to ensure they remain healthy.

Can telehealth help flatten the curve of COVID-19?

Virtual health care is a convenience in ordinary times, but a valuable tool during a crisis like the one we are experiencing. Also called telehealth, telemedicine, or digital care, it allows medical staff to evaluate patients to determine possible treatment needs and whether they can remain at home.

Too old for the pediatrician? Time to switch doctors

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Wondering how a teen or young adult can smoothly smoothly transition from seeing a pediatrician to a medical practice that treats adults? Making plans and taking these steps will help.

Safer surgery: Steps you can take

Millions of Americans have elective surgeries like knee or hip replacements. When choosing a surgeon or procedure, follow these steps to make surgery safer.

Post-hospital syndrome: Tips to keep yourself or a loved one healthy after hospitalization

Post-hospital syndrome is a period of vulnerability after a patient is discharged from the hospital that leaves a person at increased risk for rehospitalization. Patients and their loved ones can take steps to minimize or prevent effects of post-hospital syndrome.

Immunotherapy: What you need to know

Immunotherapy has emerged as a viable treatment option for some advanced cancers. People considering it — and even people who have had it — have many questions.