Prevention

Can I take something to prevent colorectal cancer?

Screening for colorectal cancer can lower mortality, but it varies in effectiveness and is not always possible to perform, so alternatives are needed. Researchers analyzing studies found evidence for regular use of low-dose aspirin, leading the US Preventive Services Task Force to recommend it for some people.

Wondering about COVID-19 vaccines if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding?

If you are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, or have recently given birth and are breastfeeding, you may have questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Get informed by consulting trusted health sources, and talk with your medical providers about your options.

Making the most of physical activity apps

Most people know exercise is good for their health, but only about half of Americans meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. Making exercising more fun helps keep people interested, and research has demonstrated that there is a relationship between using activity apps and increased engagement in exercise.

Good news: Deaths due to HIV are way down

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A new study cites a remarkable decline in deaths due to HIV infection, and dramatically fewer new cases of HIV infection in the US over the past decade. But there is still a long way to go before declaring victory over HIV/AIDS.

Masks save lives: Here’s what you need to know

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Early in the pandemic, there was confusion and skepticism about whether wearing masks would be helpful for the general public, but a rapidly expanding body of evidence shows that mask-wearing leads to lower rates of infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Migraine headaches: Could nerve stimulation help?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Millions of people suffer from migraines, and research has been trying to understand what causes them. A current theory involves branches of the trigeminal nerve. Now the FDA has cleared an over-the-counter device to prevent or treat migraine by stimulating this nerve with mild electrical shocks.

Be vigilant about bug spray

Steve Calechman

Contributor

It’s likely people are trying to spend more time outside this summer, whether to avoid indoor situations where COVID-19 may spread or just for enjoyment. But the threat from illnesses spread by ticks and mosquitoes hasn’t changed, so knowing basic information about insect repellent, and using it the right way, will help people protect themselves.

Healthy headphone use: How loud and how long?

Headphones and earbuds are nearly ubiquitous, but how often do people think about whether or not they are using them safely? Knowing about safe listening levels and safe length of listening time will help people protect themselves while using their listening devices.

Daily decisions about risk: What to do when there’s no right answer

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

With COVID-19 cases still rising in many places, all of us must make daily decisions involving personal risk. But often, there’s no single right answer that applies to everyone. Here’s how to make sensible decisions around many different activities.

Collaborative care: Treating mental illnesses in primary care

Collaborative care is a team-based model of integrated psychiatric and primary care that can treat mental illnesses in the primary care setting. Providing this patient-centered care in the primary care setting improves access to mental health care and reduces stigma.