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Office Hours

(By Appointment)

Mon    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tue     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wed    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Thu     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Frid     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sat and Sun  Closed

 

Quest Lab hours:     Mon-Fri 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Questions Regarding the Benefits of Mammograms

The article pulished on February 11, 2014 in the BMJ entitled Twenty-five Year Follow up for Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: a randomised Screening Trial has stirred confusion and concerns about the need for routine screeing mammograms in the fight against breast cancer.

 

This study was an update on the orginal study and was one that the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cited in its 2009 guideline upadates.

 

This study's conclusion states that annual mammography for women between the ages of 40-59 does not reduce mortality beyond that of physical examination and usual care.

 

I am concerned that this conclusion that has been aired on many news casts will deter women in this age group from obtaining a life saving test.  There are several flaws in the study which brings into question the validity of the conclusion. The authors of the study admit and discuss some of these concerns including selection bias and the effects of the "usual care in the community."  Women should note that this article does further state that women with non-palpable breast cancer detected by mammography expierence superior long-term survival compared to those diagnosed with palpable breast cancer.  The authors state the reason for this is not clear and possibly due to lead time bias or overdiagnosis. I believe more study is definitely needed on this important health issues. However, in the interim the well known fact that earlier detection leads to a better prognosis will not alter my recommendations for screening mammography.

 

You may read the full article at http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g366

 

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

 

 

The importance of the Tdap booster

In the October 15, 2013 edition of the American Family Physician Journal an article titled Pertussis: A Reemerging Infection highlighted an alarming trend in recent years. This trend is an increasing incidence of Pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

 

Whooping cough is an acute upper respiratory tract infection. Initially symptoms are very much like a common cold and include runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, feeling run down and mild cough which can last for 1-2 weeks. The infection then progresses into a several week period of severe coughing fits, physicians refer to them as paroxysms.  The coughing fits involve a long series of continuous coughs during a single breath that ends with loud "whoop" sound (Hence the name whooping cough).  An example of the classic cough can be heard by audio clip at http://www.pkids.org/diseases/pertussis.html (link provided by authors of the article in the American Family Physician). The coughing fits can be quite distressing causing shortness of breath, watery eyes and even vomiting. The final recovery phase of the infection can last an additional 1-2 weeks. The entire infection lasts between 6-7 weeks. Infants are the most at risk for complications requiring hospitalization.

 

The key to preventing this disease is vaccination. Children should undergo a primary vaccination series by age 6. For older children who were not vaccinated, incompletely vaccinated or delayed in vaccination, standard catch up vaccination schedules are available from your physician. In 2006 the ACIP (CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) recognized the problem of declining immunity in adults. Immunization guidelines now recommend adolescents age 11-18, adults age 18-64 and adults over the age of 65 who might be in contact with children under the age of 12 months receive a single booster of Tdap to prevent this disease.

 

Vaccinations are a very important part of everyone's health maintenance visit. Please be sure to discuss your immunization status during your next appointment.

 

For more information on this topic go to http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/infections/common/bacterial/903.html

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

Patient Portal popular at Capital Family Practice of Fairfax

Capital Family Practice of Fairfax has been offering an electronic health record patient portal for our patients for over a year. It has become a very popular way for our patients to communicate with our office staff, request appointments, prescription refills, referrals and to review their medical record. The patient portal is secure with an individual user name and password to ensure information is safe, secure and HIPPA compliant. The patient portal reduces the need to call into the office which means less time on hold. We have added a link to the portal on our website for ease of access.

If you are interested in signing up for our portal, contact reception at our main number (703-352-0500) or sign up in person the next time you are in the office.

Kathleen M Curtis MD

Capital Family Practice of Fairfax is all about Family.....Kids too!

Last week I announced that in the coming weeks we will be adding new features to our web site, including Pediatrics Corner. This page will be dedicated to our littlest patients, newborns, through our young adults, teenagers.  A few days later after reading this announcement one of my patients said to me, "I didn't know you saw kids."  My jaw about hit the floor. I was shocked that she, and possibly many more of our patients, were not aware of the full scope of our practice!  It was then that I realized the need to remind and discuss the importance of family medicine.

 

As Family Medicine providers we are trained in the full scope of medicine from infant care, pediatric, adolescent, adult to geriatric medicine.  In Family Medicine we enjoy and see the benefit of taking care of the whole family. During the time that I have been practicing I have had the opportunity to take care of up to four generations within one family. I have gotten to know and see children grow, go off to college, get married and have their own children.  This is truly one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.  So, yes!....All of the providers here at Capital Family Practice of Fairfax see kids!

 

We do routine check ups/physicals, childhood immunizations, same day sick visits, sports physicals, college entrance exams and much more.  We also work closely with the pediatric specialists in the area and can refer for more specialized care when needed. 

 

If there are multiple family members who have become ill why go to two different offices, one for the kids and one for adults, when everything can be handled by your family physician? 

 

We would love to see all of you!

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

 

 

Tips of a Healthy School Year

The new school year for Fairfax County and Fairfax City schools starts 9/4/12. Capital Family Practice wants you and your family to have a healthy and productive school year.

 

It is important for a healthy immune system for the body to have a well balanced diet. Kids need to eat breakfast before rushing to the bus stop. Encourage your child to eat fruits and veggies on a daily basis. The nutritional punch in these help keep your immune system strong and ready to go.  Young children and teenagers need adequate sleep. Every child is different but most need 8-10 hours every night. Try to keep to a set bed and wake time. This helps prevent fatigue and sleep problems. Moderate exercise on a daily basis keeps us fit and strong. Consider signing up for an after school activity that involves physical activity.

 

Cold and flu season are almost here. Everyone over the age of 6 months should receive a flu vaccine. You may stop by Capital Family Practice anytime during normal business hours for a flu shot. No appointment is needed.

 

Handwashing is your best defense against exposure to bacteria and viruses. Wash hands frequently with hot sopay water for at least 30 seconds. Remind young children to keep nonfood items (pencils, etc..) out of their mouths.

These are just a few tips to keep healthy this school season.

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD