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Frequently Asked Question!

Most women who get breast cancer do not have any family history of breast cancer. Just because a family member had breast cancer does not always mean that you will get breast cancer.

We do know that there are some genes associated with a known increased risk of breast cancer. These are BRCA 1 (breast cancer 1, early onset human tumor suppressor gene) and BRCA 2 (breast cancer type 2, susceptibility protein). Only 10 percent of women with breast cancer have these inherited genes. These women usually get breast cancer at a young age and have multiple family members with breast or ovarian cancer.

Answered by Stephanie Valente, DO. Dr. Valente is a breast surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. She is a board certified general surgeon with fellowship training in surgical breast oncology and serves as the Associate Director of the Cleveland Clinic Breast Fellowship.

Recurrent ear infections during childhood can sometimes lead to chronic hearing loss. If an infection is suspected, the child should be seen by a physician for appropriate treatment.

The only way to definitively know if you have colon cancer is to be evaluated for it. There are many different ways of screening for colon cancer. Colonoscopy is considered the standard because it not only can detect cancer and precancerous polyps, it can also serve as a way to biopsy the abnormal tissue for diagnosis. In some cases, the doctor can completely remove the polyps before they become cancer. You should have a discussion with your physician to see if and when you should undergo a colonoscopy.

If an athlete has any worrisome signs, such as prolonged loss of consciousness or focal neurological signs, or if he or she is getting worse, is not arousable, or has weakness or numbness that persists, he or she should probably be seen in the ER.

There is a lot of discussion by parents and physicians about the use of daily inhaled steroids (the “preventers” that you mentioned). When used at low dose, I feel there is robust data to support that they are very safe, even if used for years. There are good long-term studies that show there is not any significant effect on achieved height or growth velocity, and no effect on things that are associated with use of oral steroids, such as diabetes, hypertension, and immune suppression. At low dose, they won’t cause bone shrinkage. Most pediatric asthma specialists choose to decrease doses of any inhaled steroids used about every three to six months if they achieve good symptom control

There are two processes in the brain that create sleep drive in general. The first is the body’s clock. It creates sleepiness between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. and a little bit also in the afternoon; and it paradoxically creates wakefulness at around 8 p.m., during a time called ‘the forbidden zone of sleep.’

The second process relates more directly to your question. It is called “Process S,” where the “S” stands for ‘sleep.’ This is a process where the longer you stay awake, the more likely you are to go to the deeper stages of sleep when you go to sleep. We think it is driven by the build-up of adenosine in the brain over time. Caffeine antagonizes adenosine.

Now, if you take a nap, the brain gets rid of adenosine at its site of action rather quickly. So, if you take a nap, you are indeed less likely to be able to go to sleep as successfully at bedtime. However, this isn’t the only thing driving you to sleep when you go to bed at night. We ask our insomnia patients not to nap because we want to keep as much of Process S going as we can. But we also have to think about the clock aspects of sleep. Both are involved in whether a person sleeps at a particular time