Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or request an order form of available health newsletters at 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. Health newsletters may be ordered from www.rbmamall.com.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 58 years old and have early stage prostate cancer. My PSA is 6.5. How do you know when “wait and see” is the right approach? If I do need treatment, what are your thoughts about high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)? Why don’t some insurances cover the procedure?
I’ve been a vegetarian for the past few years, and I’m concerned about how to get enough protein without consuming meat from any type of animal. Until recently I was supplementing my diet with protein drinks and protein bars, but now I’ve been told that because these are processed foods, they’re not good for my health. What are the healthy sources of plant protein?
I have a question about excipients, something you discussed in a recent column about thyroid medication. Twice in my life, I took Celebrex for orthopedic pain.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I’m 86, and was finally, after a few false starts, diagnosed with two compression fractured vertebrae, which were very painful. This was followed by a diagnosis of osteoporosis.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been diagnosed with bursitis on my left hip, and my pain management doctor says she can give me an injection to help. I had one last year by an orthopedist.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. A spine specialist has advised surgery to fuse vertebrae in two places. I have already had surgery to remove a herniated disk on both these vertebrae and spinal epidurals with limited success.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 77-year-old woman who suffered with urinary tract infections until my gynecologist prescribed estradiol, which I currently take.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old woman developing arthritis in my fingers, especially the middle joints. I do various finger bending and straightening exercises, and I rub my hands together vigorously to warm them.
DEAR DR. ROACH: In 2017, my white blood cell count was 8.9 and my lymphocytes were 3.2. My recent blood tests showed a second increase in both numbers, with the WBC 10.2 and lymphocytes 4.8.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I’m a 58-year-old male with seasonal allergies. I often take the generic versions of Zyrtec and Claritin to deal with the symptoms.