Wednesday, April 27, 2011

UpToDate for Patients: A Unique Resource

UpToDate for Patients provides free access to current information on hundreds of health topics to inform patients and help them share in the decision making process with their healthcare providers.

Similar to the information UpToDate creates for healthcare professionals, the patient information topics are reviewed every four months based on the recent medical literature. All patient information topics are written and edited by UpToDate's in-house nurse practitioner and physician editors and reviewed by an external physician author and section editor. Thus, their information is current, accurate and evidence-based.

The health topics include an in-depth discussion of the risk factors, causes, diagnostic processes, preventive measures, complications, and recommended treatments for many of the most common conditions. There are extensive references and links to article abstracts.

You can find UpToDate's website on the UCSF Patient Health Library's Health Information Websites page along with many other health information resources.

Need more help? Contact the Patient Health Librarian, by email, telephone, or in person.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is an alliance of the world's leading cancer centers, including the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. NCCN aims to provide people with cancer—and the general public—state-of-the-art cancer treatment information in easy-to-understand language. includes information on all facets of cancer, from prevention and screening through life after cancer.

NCCN publishes NCCN Guidelines for Patients: free guidelines to help patients when they talk to their doctor about treatment options.

Currently available are NCCN Guidelines for Patients on Breast Cancer, Melanoma, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, and Prostate Cancer.

For more information:

About the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Medical care at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Health Information Websites from the UCSF Patient Health Library

Monday, April 4, 2011

Getting Enough Whole Grains?

What are whole grains? How much of them should be in your diet? How can you tell which products in the grocery store are whole grain and which aren't?

"Terms such as '100 percent wheat,' 'multi-grain,' 'seven-grain,' 'stone-ground,' or 'bran' don't necessarily indicate a product is made mostly of whole grains," says the January 2011 issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. "Make sure a type of whole grain — such as whole wheat — appears among the first items in the ingredient list." For the complete article, come into the Patient Health Library where we have the newsletter in print.

Tips from the UCSF Medical Center: Eating Right for Your Heart

  • Keep a jar of oat bran or wheat germ handy. Sprinkle over salad, soup, breakfast cereals and yogurt.
  • Use whole-wheat flour when possible in your cooking and baking.
  • Choose whole grain bread. Look on the label for breads with the highest amount of fiber per slice.
  • Choose cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Keep whole-wheat crackers for an easy snack.
  • Cook with brown rice instead of white rice. If the switch is hard to make, start by mixing them together.

The Scoop on Whole Grains
From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Whole grains: Hearty options for a healthy diet
From the Mayo Clinic

Thought for Food: Intact Grains vs. Whole Grains
From Synapse, the UCSF student-run newspaper

There's a great article in the March 2011 issue of Nutrition Action HealthLetter, entitled  Carbo Loading: Do You Overdo Refined Grains? Read it at the Patient Health Library!