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February 2009

Welcome to Primary Care Connections

Dr. Anthony Luke, a primary care doctor who specializes in sports medicine at UCSF Medical Center, reminds us to educate patients about playing it safe during the winter sports season. Basic safety precautions can prevent serious injuries.

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Peripheral Artery Disease — Under Diagnosed, Under Treated

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects up to 20 percent of those over age 55. Diabetics in particular are two to four times more likely to develop the condition. Still, it is under diagnosed and under treated, leading to limb amputation, heart attack and stroke. Primary care physicians play a critical role in the early diagnosis, risk-factor management and timely intervention of this disease.

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Virtual Colonoscopy Equally Effective, Less Invasive

The availability of virtual colonoscopy — a less invasive and equally effective alternative to standard colonoscopy — may encourage more people to undergo colon cancer screening and save lives. Research confirming the procedure's effectiveness is expected to lead to insurance coverage for patients this year.

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Extending the Lives of Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Advances in the diagnosis and surgical removal of pancreatic cancer can significantly extend the lives of patients with early stage disease. But only half of the patients with potentially resectable pancreatic tumors are undergoing surgery, a recent study has found. Primary care doctors can play a critical role in ensuring patients are treated with surgery.

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Radiofrequency Ablation for Uterine Fibroids Instead of Hysterectomy

A new laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation (RFA) technique can effectively treat uterine fibroids, with several advantages over hysterectomy. The minimally invasive procedure avoids early onset menopause and may perserve a woman's fertility.

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Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy for Cancer, Pre-Malignant Disorders

Esophageal cancer is on the rise, possibly because of improved detection as well as an increase in obesity and reflux disease. A new minimally invasive surgery has proven to be highly successful for the treatment of esophageal cancer and pre-malignant esophageal disorders, with less blood loss and pain, and a shorter recovery for patients.

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Continuing Medical Education

Attend one of UCSF's upcoming CME courses for the latest research in medicine. See a list of courses by department.

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