Physician Experts

A Revolutionary Development for Women’s Health

Paul Klatte, MD

A major advancement in mammography called tomosynthesis means finding with more specificity for doctors and less radiation exposure for patients. Dr. Paul Klatte, Parma Hospital’s chairman of the Department of Radiology, has the latest.

Parma Hospital is excited to offer its patients the very latest in breast evaluation and mammographic workup. The Radiology department is installing digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), a revolutionary addition to women's health complementing mammography. 

Routine mammography is inherently limited as it is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional structure, even with compression. DBT greatly reduces this limitation by "slicing through" overlying structures much as a CT scan of the body does, aiding in accurate diagnosis. 

In summary, DBT results in much improved sensitivity and specificity for breast disease. Initial studies have demonstrated fewer additional tests to clarify questionable findings at screening mammography, and have demonstrated significantly higher and earlier cancer detection rates. DBT also accomplishes this with less radiation than the typical diagnostic workup with routine mammography. 

Breast imaging specialists have commented that this is the most significant development in breast evaluation since mammography itself. Please stay tuned to the newsletter for the inception date and additional information on this cutting-edge technology. 

Silence that Alarm...Spring Forward and Sleep Well

Mike Saridakis, DO

When we moved the clocks forward, we gained an hour of daylight, but many people felt shortchanged by losing an hour of sleep. Memory, mood and more can easily be affected by this subtle shift. Dr. Mike Saridakis offers some advice on securing a good night’s sleep that can help you wake up refreshed and informed.

The Sunday morning after we had to “spring” forward, I struggled to rouse my teenagers out of bed to get ready for church. The simple act of changing the clock by one hour can throw off one’s internal clock, which can lead to daytime fatigue. With 40 percent of Americans reportedly sleep deprived, the time change may be enough to push them over the edge. 

Short episodes of sleep deprivation are nothing to worry about, but chronic sleep loss can contribute to health problems like weight gain, high blood pressure and a decrease in the immune system. Even learning, memory and mood are affected. Finally, there are many safety concerns from lack of sleep, such as motor vehicle and on-the-job accidents. 

How much sleep do I generally need? 

Generally speaking, humans require about eight hours of sleep per night. Some people require as little as six hours per night, provided they do not exhibit daytime drowsiness. Others need up to 10 hours of sleep per night in order to feel well rested. It is also important to note that the need for sleep does not decrease with age, although the ability to stay asleep all night does. Thus, many people require naps as they get older.
Good sleep hygiene and habits are important year round. Even simple changes to weekly bedtimes, such as staying up more than two hours later than usual on weekends – along with sleeping in – can throw off one's biologic clock. A simple shift in sleep of one hour can take 24-48 hours to adjust in most and even a week in others. 

How do I know when I’m sleep deprived? 

Early signs of sleep deprivation include irritability, moodiness, and disinhibition. If the sleep deprivation is not addressed, one may develop apathy, slurred sleep, and flattened emotional responses, impaired memory, and an inability to multitask or be creative. 

How do I prevent sleep deprivation? 

Maintain a good bedtime routine.

Avoid staying up beyond 2 extra hours on weekends. Be disciplined – go to bed on time! 

Avoid alcohol or caffeinated beverages.

Although alcohol can help some individuals fall asleep, it often leads to poor quality of sleep. Caffeinated beverages, especially beyond the late afternoon, can lead to restlessness and poor sleep.

Control stress.

Stress is the number one reason for short-term sleep deprivation. Take the time to try and solve the stressors of life and seek professional help if it persists beyond two weeks.

Create a positive sleep environment.

A quiet, dark room at a comfortable temperature is ideal. Minimize interruptions by family and electronic devices.

Address physical/health ailments.

Conditions like arthritis and back pain can prevent a comfortable night of sleep. Hormonal changes like PMS and menopause can lead to hot flashes and restlessness at night. Prescribed and over-the-counter medications can also affect sleep. Thus, verify the necessity of these medications and whether a change can be made.

When do I need to see a doctor?

If you’ve attempted these suggestions and sleep problems persist beyond two weeks, a consultation with your primary care physician would be appropriate.

Remember, never underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep!

Ask the Doctor: Breast Cancer and Mammograms

Got questions about breast cancer and mammograms? We have answers.

A conversation with Dr. Wei Lin, an oncologist with Crystal Hematology & Oncology on the Parma Community General Hospital campus, about the screening test that is your best defense against a leading type of cancer.

Is breast cancer the most common cause of death for women?

No. Breast cancer is the fifth leading cause of death. Women have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer accounts for 1 in 3 cancer cases diagnosed in women. Yet, because it is treatable especially if detected early, fewer women have been dying from this disease due to early detection and improvements in treatment.

What is the best way to find breast cancer early?

By a mammogram.

What is a mammogram?


A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. If you are 50 or older, be sure to have a screening mammogram every year. If you are age 40–49 years, talk to your doctor about when and how often you should have a screening.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?


When breast cancer starts out, it is too small to feel and does not cause signs and symptoms. As it grows, however, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels.


Symptoms may include:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit). 
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast. 
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin. 
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast. 
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area. 
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.     
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast. 
  • Pain in any area of the breast. 


Why should I have a mammogram?

Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. When their breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives.

Where can I go to get screened?


Parma Community General Hospital offers state-of-art digital mammography. You may call WellPointe Pavilion to schedule an appointment: (440) 743-4455.

How can I lower my risk of breast cancer?


  • Control your weight and exercise. 
  • Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor what is your risk of getting breast cancer and how you can lower your risk. 
  • Find out the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy. 
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Can men get breast cancer?

Men can also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than 1 is in men.


Dr. Lin can be reached at Crystal Hematology & Oncology at 6707 Powers Blvd., MAC building 2, Parma, (440) 743-2590.

Eleven Tips for Exercise Success

Mary Anthony, DO

You’ve heard it so often that you may tune it out, yet it bears repeating: You can gain good health and youthful fitness with regular exercise. Here are 11 tips to help you achieve exercise success. 


1. Set Realistic Goals


Be realistic about your exercise goals if you are starting a program. You’ll be discouraged if you expect to achieve too much too soon. Exercise should be a gradual, but challenging, process. Weight loss, muscle strength, and endurance can be achieved with regular exercise over time.


2. Maximize Workout Time


The American Academy of Sports Medicine recommends 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5-6 days per week. You may want to begin with 3-4 days per week. Cardiovascular exercise is defined as achieving 65-85 percent of your maximum heart rate. An efficient workout can be completed in 30 minutes if you achieve and sustain your heart rate goal. A 50-60 minute workout at a slow pace is less beneficial.

Note: Your maximum heart rate = 0.67 x your age.


3. Exercise with a Friend


Use the buddy system to motivate yourself and a friend to exercise regularly. But keep in mind that your goal is to exercise, not catch up on the latest news. If you can carry on a conversation while taking a stroll in the park, or walking side-by-side on a treadmill, you are probably not getting a good workout.


4. Wear Good Shoes


Your shoes are your most important piece of equipment. There are two criteria in selecting shoes. First, the shoes should be designed for the specific exercise activity.  Second, the shoes must fit properly. Many back and lower extremity injuries (hips, knees, ankles and feet) are the result of improper shoes. 


5. Vary Cardiovascular and Strength Training Exercises


Cardiovascular exercises, such as walking or using an elliptical machine, can become boring. Add variety to your exercise program. For example, include weight training, yoga or spinning classes. These help maintain cardiovascular fitness while also maintaining muscle tone and strength.  A combination of cardio and strength training is essential for overall fitness and weight control.


6. Use Exercise Equipment Properly


An elliptical machine or stairclimber should be used to increase your heart rate. These machines are designed for cardio fitness, not resistance training. For example, a stair machine set at a high resistance may require too much effort that can lead to injury such as a strained back. Lifting weights is a slower-paced exercise, and working out with Nautilus equipment or free weights requires a controlled, steady movement. Quick, ballistic weightlifting is a common cause of injury.


7. Listen to Your Body


There are times when pain or injury interferes with exercise. Therefore, listen to your body. Do not push yourself through pain. If necessary, seek medical advice and treatment. But do not let injury discourage all exercise. Changing your exercise routine can maintain fitness while recovering from injury.


8. Hydrate with Plain Water


Exercise requires hydration with plain water. Sports drinks and commercial flavored water have added sodium and sugars with unwanted calories and artificial additives.  Electrolyte replacement is unnecessary when exercise does not exceed ninety minutes. 


9. Stretch After Exercise


Stretching is an important part of a regular exercise program. It helps prevent injury and maintain muscle strength and tone. However, stretching should always be done when the muscles are warm, after a cardiovascular workout.  Stretching warm muscles maximizes flexibility. Stretching before workout may result in sore muscles and potential injury.


10. Track Nutrition


A well-balanced diet is the foundation of your exercise program. Complex carbohydrates, such as multi-grain breads and cereals, are essential for stamina. Protein is the building block for muscle strength. Stamina and strength decrease with age, but proper nutrition can significantly delay this decline.


11. No Excuses


There are many excuses not to exercise. “I don’t have time.” “I’m too tired.” “I get bored easily.”  But these are only excuses. Exercise is a proven method of preventing disease, reducing cancer and improving overall and mental health. A regular exercise program leads to a healthy, youthful, and more energetic life. Exercise starts when you do.

Your Best Feet Forward

Joseph Ripepi, DPM

Flip-flops are no longer just a sandal for wearing on the beach or at the pool. Women have taken to wearing them all day … every day … and their feet are shouting “help!” Although flip-flops come in every color and design imaginable, they have no arch support and offer no stability for the foot. This causes abnormal strain on the band of tissue that extends from the heel to the base of the toes and results in a condition known as “plantar fascitis” or heel pain. 

Flip-flops don’t have to be banned entirely but should be worn only some of the time. Supportive athletic shoes or sport sandals as the mainstay of the summer footwear menu will go a long way toward keeping your feet healthy and pain free all season long.

The Bare Facts

Joseph Ripepi, DPM

You wouldn’t grab a pot of boiling water with your bare hands, right? The summer sun can heat surfaces like sidewalks, asphalt and sand to triple-digit temperatures, potentially causing third-degree burns on the soles of your bare feet. Try not to walk barefoot on hot surfaces to keep your feet safe.

Two of the most common injuries caused by going barefoot are cuts and puncture wounds. Grass, sand and other surfaces can camouflage sharp objects such as broken glass, nails and sea shells. Protect your feet by wearing shoes. If you do get a cut or puncture wounds from going barefoot, remember this: Medical treatment within the first 24 hours is important to avoid serious infection or other complications.

Also, do you stop at the ankles when applying sunscreen? Keep going! Feet can get sunburned, too. Apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet. 

Joseph Ripepi, DPM
6688 Ridge Road, Suite 1320
Parma, OH  44129
(440) 843-3692 

 A Healthy Partnership

Stephany George, MD

It is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  If you haven’t already established an ongoing relationship with a physician, why not do it now?

Where to begin: Talk to family members and friends and find out what they think about their own physicians. You can also call the Parma Hospital Physician Referral Service at (440) 743-4900 for the names of physicians in this area.

What next: Many physicians offer “meet and greet” appointments at no charge.  These are generally brief, so come prepared with your questions. Office location also often plays a role in decision-making. After you’ve done your homework, choose the physician who best meets your needs, someone you can talk to without hesitation.  Make an appointment for an examination and testing to diagnose and treat any underlying health problems and to establish a baseline health profile. If medications are prescribed, take them as directed.  Schedule necessary follow-up appointments and by all means ask questions.  

Maintaining the relationship: Don’t wait until you’ve taken the last pill in the bottle before you request a refill. Call well in advance. Be aware that an office visit may be required before the refill is authorized, depending on the medication and the date of your last visit. If you cannot keep an office appointment, call and cancel.  Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated.

Too much information: Be careful when you surf the internet for medical information. Some of it is very useful and some of it is not; the same goes for seeking medical advice from friends and family. Check with your physician before making any changes to a prescribed course of treatment or therapy. 

A healthy relationship with your physician will go a long way toward making you a HealthiHer.