Dr. Don Ng, associate director of the General Medicine Clinic at UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, comments on cultural awareness, issues affecting ethnic populations and the community resources available that may help optimize their health care.
Because carriers of genetic disorders often don't have symptoms, primary care physicians can play an important role in helping patients decide if carrier screening and testing are appropriate. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) has developed screening guidelines.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a major source of disability. Carotid artery disease causes an estimated 20 to 30 percent of all preventable strokes in adults. While surgery is the current standard of treatment, recent studies show that carotid angioplasty and stenting may be a good, less invasive alternative for some patients.
"Runner’s knee" — the most common knee problem seen by primary care physicians — can lead to irreversible osteoarthritis. Now, new MRI techniques can detect early degradation of articular cartilage before osteoarthritis develops. Strength exercises and safer training practices can prevent further deterioration.
Chronic pain is a particularly difficult condition to treat because the source of pain is often unknown. Some patients suffering from back, neck, arm, leg and hip pain spend years trying various treatments. Spinal injections using advanced imaging technology — the 64-slice CT scanner — can more effectively diagnose and relieve back pain.
A recent study found that 65 to 75 percent of adults over the age of 65 suffer from degenerative scoliosis. New treatments, including minimally invasive surgery, effectively and safely restore quality of life in older patients.
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