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Ask the expert: Dimitri Cefalu, M.D.

Created date

May 25th, 2010

Erickson health and wellness experts can be found at Erickson-built communities all over the U.S. This month our expert is Dimitri Cefalu, the medical director at Seabrook in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. . Cefalu received his bachelor s degree in zoology from Rutgers University in Newark, N.J., and his medical degree from the University of Palermo in Palermo, Italy. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J. He is board certified in internal medicine. Cefalu joined Seabrook in April 2001.

Please note: The following questions were submitted by readers. The answers are intended for general information purposes and should not replace your doctor s medical advice. Q: I am 80 years old and in good health. Do I still need prostate exams? A: There is some controversy about the necessity of preventive screenings like prostate exams and mammograms, especially in older adults. The risks, costs, and benefits of such tests need to be carefully considered by taking into account your personal medical history and whether you would want to undergo treatment if cancer was detected. Ultimately, the decision to undergo preventive screenings is yours alone. But your doctor and loved ones can help you reach a decision that s right for you. [caption id="attachment_12020" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Swollen legs? Sometimes it s a matter of leg veins not working as well as they used to. (File photo)"][/caption] Q: Every so often, my legs swell up after I ve been standing for a period of time. I am 78 and in fairly good health except for mild high blood pressure. How can I prevent this from happening? A: There are a multitude of factors that could be contributing to your swollen legs, including health conditions like heart disease or certain medications. But because you notice it particularly after standing for prolonged periods, it could be that your leg veins just don t work as well as they used to. It s best, however, to see your doctor for an evaluation to determine the cause. In the meantime, try elevating your legs above your heart while lying down to help the swelling subside. Exercise your legs this helps pump fluid from your legs back to your heart. Wear support stockings (sold at most drug and medical supply stores), and follow a low-salt diet, which may reduce fluid retention and swelling. Send your health question It could be featured in an upcoming edition of the Erickson Tribune!