Author Archives: Aaron Goldenberg

eNewsletter Winter 2021 – Telemedicine Update, the ‘Miracle Drug,’ Cervical Cancer & Race





MPCP




 


 





 
Winter 2022
E-Newsletter
 
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a telemedicine update for patients









Telemedicine: Evenings, Weekends, and Daytime Hours
By: ARIEL WARDEN-JARRETT, M.D.

MPCP offers telemedicine visits – including after hours — to give you medical care in your home and lower your risk of being exposed to the coronavirus.


SEE ARTICLE


a man going for a run

 








The ‘Miracle Drug’ For Everyone
By: JOSE ZARZUELA, M.D.
If there was a miracle drug to boost your mood and energy, reduce your weight, prevent serious illness, and help you sleep better, would you take it?


LEARN MORE


a mother and daughter embracing eachother

 








Cervical Cancer: Very Preventable
By: DELILAH MILLIGAN, CRNP
Cervical cancer is highly preventable and treatable. So why are women – especially those of color — still dying from it?


SEE HOW


Helpful Links


26 years

 




Maryland Primary Care Physicians
HealthWise Volume 34, Winter 2022 | Locations | Find us on Facebook



Cervical Cancer: Very Preventable

By: DELILAH MILLIGAN, CRNP

Cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer death for American women. Thanks to routine testing and vaccination, it is now largely preventable, but women of color still get and die from the disease at higher rates than other women.

Cause of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. Most people’s immune systems fight off HPV with no problem. In 10%-20% of women, however, the virus survives and can cause cervical cancer.

Routine Pap tests can detect precancerous conditions of the cervix, as well as early stages of cancer, and the HPV vaccine is effective in preventing the disease. With this combination, cervical cancer rates and deaths have declined by 75% in recent years.

Racial disparities in cervical cancer
Despite this good news, women of color are twice as likely to get and die from cervical cancer than white women. Reasons for this include disparities experienced by some minority women:
• Economic barriers to gynecologic care. Low-income women are less likely to be able to access health care, including cervical cancer screening.
• Even when they get a Pap test, minority women have less access to follow-up care. This makes them more likely to get a late-stage diagnosis of cervical cancer when successful treatment is more difficult.
• Black women are the least likely of any racial group to get the HPV vaccine. Barriers include limitations in insurance coverage, lack of information about the value of the HPV vaccine, and mistrust of the health care system.

Symptoms of cervical cancer
Early-stage cervical cancer generally has no symptoms. Signs of more advanced cancer include:
• Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods, or after menopause
• Watery, bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy and have a foul odor
• Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse

Reducing your risk of cervical cancer
• Receiving a vaccination to prevent HPV infection can reduce your risk of cervical cancer. Ask your doctor whether an HPV vaccine is right for you.
• Routine Pap tests can detect precancerous conditions of the cervix, as well as catch cancer early when it’s treatable. Begin Pap tests at age 21 and repeat them every few years.
• Prevent HPV and other sexually transmitted infections by practicing safe sex, such as using a condom every time.
• Smoking has been linked to cervical cancer, so if you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.

Delilah Milligan, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Notre Dame of Maryland University and her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Chamberlain College of Nursing. She cares for patients in MPCP’s Glen Burnie office.

The ‘Miracle Drug’ for Everyone

By: JOSE ZARZUELA, M.D.

Suppose there was a miracle drug that could boost your mood and energy, reduce your weight, prevent serious illness, and even help you sleep better. Would you take it?

Good news: The miracle drug is real. It’s called exercise.
Your body needs regular physical activity to work right and feel good. People who are active tend to have fewer health problems. But people who spend most of their time just sitting weaken their bodies. And if a sedentary lifestyle is compounded with overeating, smoking, and too much alcohol, you greatly increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other serious issues.

More good news: You don’t have to spend hours at the gym. Something as simple as a brisk daily walk gives you physical and emotional benefits. When you head out for a walk, or any other type of moderate exercise:
• Your heart pumps more oxygen throughout your body. This helps lower your risk of heart diseases such as high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and heart attack.
• Your body releases immune cells that find and destroy dangerous intruders (such as viruses) and defective cells (that can cause disease).
• Your brain produces more dopamine, a chemical that improves your mood and makes you feel more relaxed.

Regular exercise strengthens your heart, muscles, and bones, leading to overall better health. It also provides these other benefits:
• Increased ability to focus, as well as better memory and decision-making.
• Better moods: Increased levels of dopamine produce a greater sense of well-being, as well as reducing anxiety and worry.
• Improved sleep. Exercise can help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Sound good so far? It gets better
• Exercise helps you manage your weight or lose pounds. It causes your body to burn more calories, and the more you burn the easier it is to control your weight.
• Helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels. Exercise can lower your blood sugar level and make your insulin work better. This can cut down your risk for type 2 diabetes, or if you already have it, exercise can help you manage it.
• Reduces your risk of some cancers. Studies show that regular physical activity can lower the risk of colon cancer 17%-30% and breast cancer risk 20%-30%.

How to get started
It doesn’t take much exercise to start boosting your health. Even small changes can help. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk down the hall to a coworker’s office instead of sending an email. Wash the car yourself. Park further away from your destination.
For most people, your goal should be to work up to at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise, like a brisk walk. You could split that into 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
The resources below can help you get started. And if you haven’t been active for a while, it’s a good idea to consult with your health provider first.
10-Minute Workout (video)
How to Start a Walking Program
Ways to Exercise If You Hate to Work Out

Jose Zarzuela, M.D.Dr. Zarzuela is a Maryland Primary Care Physicians partner and is certified by the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons for Internal Medicine and Sports Medicine. He sees patients in MPCP’s Pasadena office.

Telemedicine: Evenings, Weekends, and Daytime Hours

By: ARIEL WARDEN-JARRETT, M.D.

Did you know that since the start of the pandemic, MPCP created ways to be more available to meet your medical needs? MPCP offers telemedicine visits to enable you to get medical care right in the comfort of your own home. This not only lowers your risk of being exposed to the coronavirus but offers a very convenient way of getting care. Telemedicine allows you and your provider to see each other while you talk together. It can be scheduled during regular office hours, but after-hours and weekend appointments are also available.

What equipment do I need for a telemedicine visit?
You just need your smartphone, an iPad, or a home computer with a camera and microphone. MPCP uses Zoom and a few other HIPAA-safe apps to connect with patients.

Is telemedicine really effective?
Most of our patients say it works very well for most appointments. Your doctor will listen to your symptoms and ask questions, just as if you were in one of our exam rooms. Using video, your doctor will be able to see things that will help make a diagnosis. But if there is a concern at the end of your visit that something is still unclear, your doctor will have you come into the office as safely as possible for a face-to-face evaluation.

Can I get a prescription filled from the visit?
Yes, your provider can send any necessary prescriptions to your pharmacy electronically. If you need blood tests, X-rays or other tests, your provider will arrange for you to get them safely.

How do I schedule a telemedicine visit?
You can simply call your MPCP office to schedule a telemedicine visit. If you prefer a particular video platform, just let the scheduler know when you make your appointment. Otherwise, a medical assistant will call you before your appointment to help you connect. You may also be advised to collect your medication bottles, gather information such as your blood sugar or blood pressure logs, and to take your temperature or weigh yourself prior to your visit.

What about after-hour appointments?
MPCP offers evening and weekend telemedicine visits for acute care (illness or injury) to better fit your schedule. Appointments can be scheduled Monday to Friday 5-10 pm, Saturday 10 am – 4 pm, and Sunday 12- 6 pm. Call 410-729-3368 to schedule an after-hours telemedicine appointment, or see this video to learn more.

Will my insurance cover telemedicine visits?
Yes, insurance companies are encouraging doctors to connect with their patients through telemedicine. However, deductibles and co-pays may be applied. You should check with your insurance company as it relates to your specific coverage.

Ariel Warden-Jarrett, M.D.Dr. Warden-Jarrett is a Maryland Primary Care Physicians, LLC partner and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She holds her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and sees patients in the Bowie office.