Recent Articles
  • Healthwatch 16: Colon Cancer Screening

    SCRANTON, Pa. — The prevalence of colon cancer in this area is higher than the national average. A man from Lackawanna County learned that it can strike anyone, at any age. Michael Dyson of Madison Township remembers feeling some discomfort in the spring of 2016. “I started having cramping, abdominal cramping. You go through that every so often. But then I started noticing black, tarry stools. You figure it’s probably nothing,” Dyson said. But it wasn’t nothing, and it didn’t […]

  • Healthwatch 16: Health and the Half Marathon

    SCRANTON, Pa. — A few weeks from now, the Scranton Half Marathon will be celebrating its fifth run around the city. Runners from 29 states and other countries will be taking part, and so will Geisinger Health System. The countdown is on to the Scranton Half Marathon, this year on Sunday, April 8. Race director Matthew Byrne is also the co-founder of the Scranton Running Company, a hub for the city’s runners since 2010. The idea for the half marathon […]

  • Healthwatch 16: Robotic Surgery

    WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — If you had to have surgery 20 years ago, it would typically be with a big, open incision and a fair amount of risk, according to a doctor at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport, who invited us to take a tour of what’s becoming more the norm: robotic surgery. Step inside the operating room at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport for a close look at some of the hospital system’s robotic surgery offerings. “It’s no longer the future of […]

  • Healthwatch 16: Renal Race

    WILKES-BARRE — A few years ago, a Luzerne County family got a scary diagnosis: Frank Pikul was in his 30s when he was told he had kidney cancer. Fast forward to now he and his wife Erin are planning the seventh annual Renal Race this weekend in downtown Wilkes-Barre. This year a whole radio station is involved. The crew is now fighting on behalf of one of their own. The seventh annual Renal Race is scheduled for Sunday morning in […]

  • Healthwatch 16: Girls on the Run

    SCRANTON — A national nonprofit that teaches young girls good life lessons through running is expanding in part of our area. Girls on the Run is kicking off two new chapters in Lackawanna County next week, and one of those chapters is in memory of a woman who, her friends say, would have loved to be involved. It may seem like these girls were a little young to be racing last December. They weren’t competing, and that’s the point. This […]

  • Healthwatch 16: Unusual Path to Med School

    SCRANTON — Sometimes, instead of talking about a particular disease, or new medical procedure out there, it’s worth hearing about the doctors and doctors-to-be themselves — including a medical student at Geisinger’s Commonwealth School of Medicine, his unusual journey to med school, and why others shouldn’t be afraid to follow their own. Ask second-year Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine student Jason Homza when he was first interested in being a doctor and he’ll tell you a story about his brother […]

  • Healthwatch 16: Heart Murmurs

    PLAINS TOWNSHIP — We hope we’ve helped shed some light on various heart issues during Heart Month, which is February. We close it out with a closer look at heart murmurs. Dr. Vernon Mascarenhas is director of noninvasive cardiology at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical center near Wilkes-Barre. “Murmurs are most commonly picked up under stethoscope, during a routine physical exam. That typically also alerts the physician, who in turn lets the patient know, most commonly after that the gold standard […]

  • Healthwatch 16: TAVR Heart Procedure

    JESSUP — A heart problem that used to require open-heart surgery no longer does, and that has one man from Lackawanna County back at the bowling alley again. If you frequent Chacko’s Family Bowling Center in Wilkes-Barre, you’ve probably seen Carmen Vinciguerra. The 76-year-old man from Jessup loves to bowl. He also happens to work at Chacko’s. He’s the guy behind the pins. “I’m a mechanic on the automatic bowling machines and the automatic scoring systems,” Vinciguerra explained. But he […]

  • Healthwatch 16: Detecting AFib

    SCRANTON — We continue talking about your heart in Healthwatch 16, both because February is heart month and because so many doctors say that cardiac issues are a big problem in this area. George Hunter, 65, of Tafton, is a former firefighter and mill worker who has been exposed to a lot of smoke and asbestos. “I was working, cutting wood at home, and I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t really do anything. I thought I was having lung issues,” Hunter […]

  • Little Hats, Big Hearts: Raising Awareness of Congenital Heart Defects

    SCRANTON — Congenital heart defects are common birth defects. It means that a baby’s heart has a problem with its structure at birth. They’re only a few days old, but already these tiny babies, twin brother and sister Leo and Leah, own hats. Mom and dad La Rhonda Boone and Michael Gamalia from Carbondale are seeing double. These little ones, who join a big brother and sister at home, were born February 10. They were surprised and thrilled that workers […]

  • Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness

    EAST BUFFALO TOWNSHIP — It’s been a few years in the making, but a recreation and wellness center in Union County is hitting its stride. The Miller Center celebrated a grand opening last summer but invited us in a few weeks ago to see what they’ve rolled out since. Just outside Lewisburg, in Union County, the Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness is just about finished. “Just a couple little things, little paint, little electrical, but for the most part […]

  • Healthwatch 16: Mako Robotic Arm

    GEISINGER MEDICAL CENTER — Robotics is a real buzz word in the medical field these days. There are lots of new advances when it comes to using robotic technology during surgery. Officials at Geisinger Health System are excited about something called the Mako Robotic Arm, which they’re now using for joint replacements. He’s walking slowly and with a cane, but then again, Matt Pruchnik, 57, of Orangeville, had a knee replacement surgery just three weeks before we met him at […]