DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column concerning the fellow who was reluctant to go to a doctor regarding his prostate. I'm very curious why the PSA is now considered a legitimate test for prostate problems. I distinctly recall a discussion on the radio with a doctor about 25 or 30 years ago, in which it was carefully explained why the PSA ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My friend lost hearing in one of her ears after a vertigo and dizziness spell a few months ago, when she also noted tinnitus. Her hearing issues have not resolved, unfortunately. Given some anecdotal reports of issues like this happening after receiving a COVID vaccine, she is wondering whether to get the new booster or not. She ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 86-year-old woman who was recently diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, stage 3A. It was discovered on a CAT scan when I went to the ER for diverticulitis. I have no symptoms. The doctor did a biopsy to confirm, and I had a PET scan as well. I feel good otherwise. I am only on blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 72-year-old male in good health who was told this week that my eyes have shown the beginning of glaucoma. There is no change in my 20/20 vision yet. In 2014, I had cataract surgery in both eyes. Is there any evidence that AREDS 2 vitamins (special eye vitamins) will do anything to moderate the effects of glaucoma? -- R.C. ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: A doctor friend suggested I purchase a nitric oxide nasal spray from Israel. She suggested using it when eating out or hanging out with friends maskless. Do you have an opinion about its efficacy? I got the most recent booster and a flu shot. The reason I'm concerned is that I see an uptick in people around me getting COVID for ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: A good friend of mine experienced what appeared to be a mild heart attack and went to his physician to have it checked out immediately. The tests found acute blockages in the arteries around his heart, and his doctors performed a triple-bypass heart surgery two days later.
My friend came through the procedure just fine, but by ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 64. I started taking statins to lower my cholesterol about two years ago. My cholesterol level sometimes went over 200, and after seesawing results, my doctor advised that I was unable to maintain a low cholesterol by diet alone and prescribed a statin. I took 10 mg of atorvastatin. I noticed I started having very detailed ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a healthy 46-year-old woman who exercises daily for health, strength and stress relief. I also want to stay relatively lean. In order to maintain muscle mass and control fat, I've been advised consistently (by a Ph.D. nutritionist and a couple of "nutrition coach" trainers) to take one gram of protein per pound of body ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Help! I am caught in a feud between my primary care doctor and my oral surgeon. For a number of years, I have been on Prolia for osteopenia. About a year ago, I had to have a tooth pulled; my oral surgeon said I must be off Prolia for at least four months; my doctor disagreed, saying it is more risky to stop the Prolia. I feel a ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife, who's 72, has had very dry eyes for a long time, so she uses Restasis (cyclosporine emulsion 0.05%) eye drops. Her co-pay (after meeting the deductible) last year was around $150 for a three-month supply. This year, it is around $450 (only a small change in the deductible with the same part D insurance provider), and she...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My healthy 91-year-old mother recently discovered that she has a diagnosis of trigger finger. She is hesitant to do surgery, but is hoping for more mobility in her hand. What are some of the best options for an independent woman at her age? -- M.B.
ANSWER: Stenosing flexor tenosynovitis, more commonly known as "trigger finger," ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have arthritis in both knees, but otherwise, I'm in good health (I'm 5'6" and weigh 130 pounds). My Fitbit indicates I get about 9,000 steps per day. I am ready for knee replacement, but I'm concerned about one activity I do. We usually spend two consecutive weeks at the beach, and I love to boogie board. When the tide is ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I suffered a lower back injury in 2001, with crushed and bulging discs in the L2, L3, L4 and L5 vertebras. After over a year of physical therapy and drugs, my pain doctor tried an epidural injection, which did not work, and then suggested I try something new at that time called a radiofrequency ablation, also called a lumbar ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm an 80-year-old male who learned from a much younger male about the tremendous improvement he's had in his life since undergoing a TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) procedure.
I hadn't know he was having a problem and had been through the drug routine that was providing him with limited improvement. Against my ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband is taking Eliquis for atrial fibrillation (AFib). The cost is going up, and there is no generic brand for Eliquis. Looking at drug websites, I have found other drugs that are anticoagulants: Xarelto, heparin and warfarin are a few. Is there a generic brand you would recommend that we can ask his doctor about to see if ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I've had a leaky aortic valve for approximately six years. I recently had an echocardiogram using Doppler. The last test I received was three years ago, which came back with a reading of mild-to-moderate aortic regurgitation. It initially started out as mild, then increased to mild-to-moderate in 2019. My test results for 2022 ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband has a tumor in the right sinus of his face, and the biopsy results show that it is cancer of the salivary glands (adenoid cystic carcinoma). The oral surgeon says it will continue to grow and cause discomfort, and wants to remove part of his jaw and teeth to do reconstructive work. All this involves several weeks in ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 77 and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. I am taking Fosamax and taking all the steps recommended for strengthening bones. But I have two questions: First, is it possible to avoid a fracture without taking medication. Second, is it necessary to avoid coffee completely? I am confused about both questions, having read a ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I've been seeing a man -- he's 75, and I'm 77. He uses the blue pill; however, he can't orgasm. I don't want him to feel insecure if I were to ask him questions, so could you explain his problem to me? -- Anon.
ANSWER: The "blue pill," Viagra (sildenafil), is a treatment for erectile dysfunction, and it works by increasing blood...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I need your opinion. I was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer almost two years ago. I have had chemo treatments (Keytruda, carboplatin and Alimta) for over one year. My most recent PET and CT scans of my lungs were all stable, with no change. My oncologist says that I do not have to come back for three months, and to get ...Read more