Healthcare :: Mayo Clinic Podcasts Offer In-Depth Discussion on Diseases, Conditions

Mayo Clinic is launching a series of new free audio podcasts so people can learn more about diseases or conditions that interest them through in-depth discussions with Mayo Clinic experts.

The first six categories for these extended discussions include Heart Disease, Cancer, Bones and Muscles, Women’s Health, Men’s Health and Children’s Health.

“Television and radio broadcasters typically keep their news stories short to attract and hold the interest of the mass audience,” explains Thomas Shives, M.D., a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon who is the medical editor for Mayo Clinic’s daily Medical Edge radio program and the audio podcasts. “But because in podcasting people are subscribing to topics in which they are interested, a more in-depth discussion is typically what they want.”

Since April 2000, Mayo Clinic has offered Mayo Clinic Medical Edge, a series of weekly 90-second news features, to television stations throughout the United States and Canada. The daily 60-second radio version has been available since March 2004.

Podcasting is a method of distributing audio and visual information using the Internet. The electronic files can be downloaded to electronic devices (like iPods) or computers and replayed at a convenient time. The term “podcast” is a combination of “iPod” and “broadcasting.”

Mayo Clinic began podcasting in September 2005, offering its Mayo Clinic Medical Edge radio program directly to individuals through iTunes. In January 2007, Mayo Clinic added its Medical Edge video podcast, providing weekly patient-focused stories featuring the latest research and health tips.

Computer users may subscribe to any of these podcasts at, through online podcast directories such as or by going to iTunes and searching for “Mayo Clinic.”

Here are introductions to the first episodes of the new audio podcasts:

Heart Disease – – Every year thousands of people have open heart bypass surgery to reroute blocked arteries. The standard operation requires your heart to be stopped and your blood circulated through a heart-lung machine. But now a group of doctors is performing bypasses while the heart keeps beating. Listen as Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Surgeon Thoralf Sundt, M.D., discusses off-pump bypass.

Cancer – – Research has shown that for some cancers, screening for early detection most definitely saves lives. Examples are mammograms for breast cancer and colonoscopy for colon cancer. But not all cancers have screening tools that have been proven to save lives, and that includes the leading killer, lung cancer. It’s a topic of intense research and debate, explained by James Jett, M.D., a lung cancer specialist at Mayo Clinic.

Bones and Muscles – – Your wrist is a complex maze of bones, muscles and connective tissue. When there’s a problem, tracking down the cause can be tough, even with today’s specialized tools. A new finding at Mayo Clinic could help thousands get relief from annoying and sometimes debilitating wrist pain. Mayo researchers have identified a type of ligament injury that has been overlooked until now. Richard Berger, M.D., Ph.D. explains the findings, and the operation he’s developed to fix it.

Women’s Health – – More women are beating breast cancer than ever before, thanks to better treatment and early detection. Mammography is a screening tool that can detect cancer early, while it’s still curable with surgery. But as Mayo Clinic Oncologist Charles Loprinzi, M.D., points out, there’s one type of breast cancer often doesn’t show up on mammograms. It’s called inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and it strikes fast and spreads quickly. But IBC can be stopped if you know the signs and symptoms.

Men’s Health – – When it comes to health, they’re the topics all men should be tuned in to. Mayo Clinic Family Medicine specialist Jerry Sayre, M.D., lists the five top causes of death among men, and discusses what you can do to help lower your risk.

Children’s Health – – “I’m too tired to go to school.” Sound familiar? Thousands of teenagers have a hard time getting moving in the morning. But for kids with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome – – POT syndrome, or POTS – – the fatigue is debilitating. It keeps these teens from normal activities such as sports or social events. Many can’t even go to school. Mayo Clinic Pediatrician Philip Fischer, M.D., explains how you can tell if your teen’s tiredness or other related symptoms are a sign of a real problem.

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