Women: Don’t Ignore These Signs of Heart Attack

**By J. Susie Woo, MD, FACC** Marysville resident Wendy Knowles never thought she was at risk for a heart attack, especially since she is only 47 and lives a healthy lifestyle. But when she recently experienced muscle spasms in her shoulders, … [Read more...]

The ABCs of RA: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

**By Amish Dave, MD, MPH** What is rheumatoid arthritis?  Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints that, according to the Arthritis Foundation, affects more than 1.3 million Americans. It is a common autoimmune … [Read more...]

It’s Not Too Late to Protect Yourself from Flu

**By Uma Malhotra, MD** Flu activity is increasing in Washington state this month, after a sharp increase across the country around mid-December. Did you get your flu shot? If not, do it now – it's not too late. Flu season usually peaks in January … [Read more...]

Testing Cognitive Function: One Piece of the Health Care Puzzle

**By Norifumi Kamo, MD** Eldon Hill, a 96-year-old retired OB/GYN, was showing signs of memory loss.  His son, Carter Hill, also a physician, noticed his father seemed to forget how to write checks, and struggled to keep up with his passion for … [Read more...]

More than Medication: How Pharmacists Help in Your Care

**By Alison Koop** When her pharmacist left the neighborhood drugstore, my friend felt adrift. This one pharmacist had always been there to answer her questions in between doctor visits. She could ask him whether a new drug prescribed by her … [Read more...]

How Instagram – and Eating Vegan – Is Helping Create a Type 1 Diabetes Patient Community

by Marianne Beirne *** In today’s socially connected world, people living with medical conditions don’t have far to look to find others sharing their experiences. These growing patient communities have given rise to thousands of websites, blogs, … [Read more...]

Understanding the Pelvic Floor: Five Things Women Should Know

**By Una Lee, MD** What is the pelvic floor and why is it important?  The pelvic floor is not a “floor” but more like a “bowl” of muscles and connective tissues that sits within the bony pelvis. This is a critical structure because it supports … [Read more...]

Empowered to Choose: What Women Should Know about Screening Mammography

These days women are getting conflicting recommendations about when to start screening mammograms and how often to have them. I talked with breast surgeon Janie Grumley, MD, who says that a better understanding of mammograms as a screening tool and … [Read more...]

Integrated Behavioral Health: Taking Care of the Body and Mind

A Virginia Mason patient for 32 years, Tom Cyr visited his primary care physician with some familiar complaints. He had back pain, a side effect from a hard physical career, and his damaged knee – a decades-long condition requiring multiple surgeries … [Read more...]

When Colon Cancer Spreads: Advanced Treatments Help People Live Longer, Better

**By Flavio G. Rocha, MD** Cancer that starts in the colon can sometimes spread to other parts of your body, including the liver. Another name for it is metastatic, or stage IV, colon cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer … [Read more...]