Health Matters: Vaping dangers, flu shots, peanut allergy treatment and prostate cancer awareness

vaping e-cigarettes
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(KMOX) — The most recent edition of Health Matters Presented by SSM Health provides KMOX listeners with an in-depth look at several hot button medical issues.

One of the big topics discussed in this week's show concerned vaping-related lung illnesses. Our new co-host — Dr. Fred Buckhold, a SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University — says he doesn't think health officials are overreacting to the hundreds of illnesses possibly linked to electronic cigarettes.

We also talk about the need to get a flu shot.  SSM Health primary care physician Dr. Kristina Anderson tells us about some upcoming free flu vaccination clinics in the St. Louis area.

Plus, we talk with SLU Care pediatric allergy and immunology physician Dr. Bradley Becker at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital about a new peanut allergy treatment.

And since September was Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we visit with Dr. John Bedwinek, an oncologist at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital Lake Saint Louis, to find out about the latest in screening and treatments.

Listen to this weekend's show below:

Health Matters Presented by SSM Health aired on Sept. 28, 2019, at 4 p.m. on KMOX

  1. Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. Our new co-host addresses the big health story of the week — vaping-related lung illnesses and deaths. Are health officials overreacting? How dangerous does he think vaping is? Is it better than smoking regular cigarettes? His advice to teens or anyone who is currently vaping? How has this changed the way he talks with his patients? The generic brand of a popular heartburn medication is on hold following concerns that the drug may cause cancer. What's going on with Zantac? How concerning is this? What should consumers do? What alternatives are there? And there's been a big increase in salmonella cases tied to bacteria from backyard chickens. What's going on there? How big of a problem is this? CDC says there may be 29,000 people sickened by their backyard birds already this year. What safety precautions need to be taken if you own backyard chickens? 
  2. Dr. KRISTINA ANDERSON, a primary care physician with SSM Health Medical Group. SSM Health is offering free flu vaccination clinics on Oct. 12 from 8 a.m. until noon at nearly all SSM Health hospitals — including St. Clare, St. Mary's, St. Joseph Lake Saint Louis, DePaul and a special pediatric flu clinic at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Also at SSM Health Outpatient Center on Veterans Memorial Parkway in St. Charles. Is it too soon to get a flu shot? Not at all, says Dr. Anderson.  Who is most at risk? How dangerous is the flu? Can you get sick from the flu shot? Why get the shot if you can still get the flu? Should pregnant women get the flu shot?  Is it available in a nasal spray?  Who needs the high dose flu shot? How long till the flu shot is totally effective? How long till it loses its strength? When is it too late to get the flu shot? We also hear the story of a St. Louis man who did not get a flu shot — and got really sick. He's now telling everyone they need to get the flu shot. 
  3. Dr. BRADLEY BECKER, SLU Care pediatric allergy and immunology physician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. An FDA advisory panel gives the OK for a new treatment to help children with life-threatening peanut allergies. What is this new medicine and how does it work? Dr. Becker says this new treatment is not a cure but meant to help lessen a child's adverse reaction to peanuts. It is a pill that exposes the child to small amounts of peanut protein — or peanut powder — to desensitize them over a long period of time. How common are peanut allergies? What is the current treatment? Can you outgrow peanut allergies? Will you offer this treatment once it is fully approved? Can you just buy peanut powder at the grocery store and do the treatment yourself? Are peanut allergies on the rise? How big of a deal is this for children with peanut allergies and their families? 
  4. Dr. JOHN BEDWINEK, an oncologist at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital Lake Saint Louis. September was Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. One man is diagnosed with prostate cancer in America every three minutes — according to the American Cancer Society. How common is prostate cancer? Who is most at risk? What are the risk factors and symptoms? What is the preferred method of screening? PSA is still the best method, says Dr. Bedwinek. At what age should men start getting a PSA? What about a digital rectal exam? What are the current treatments for prostate cancer? What is active surveillance? How good are the outcomes?

Health Matters presented by SSM Health is paid programming. KMOX does not necessarily share the viewpoints and/or opinions of paid programming.