Current Health Columns
Breast Cancer, the 75 year perspective
In the era of "The Greatest Generation", the 1940's, only
72% of women diagnosed with Breast Cancer lived for five years. Today
the five-year survival is 97%. This remarkable improvement in the results
of treatment has several causes. Of significant importance is the education
of women to pay attention to themselves. Regular self-examination of the
breasts by women was previously strongly encouraged, but large studies
have questioned the value of self-exam. It appears to result in more surgery
with no influence on cancer mortality. A more modest goal of increased
breast self-awareness has gained support recently. This personal awareness,
along with increased public awareness of the issue has helped significantly.
Read More on "Breast Cancer, the 75 year perspective"
Five Unusual Hernias
If someone tells you they had to have a hernia repair, you would ordinarily
think of just a few common types they might have had. Most often, you
would think of the typical inguinal hernia (in the groin area); or perhaps
the umbilical (belly button) hernia. Another common type is an incisional
hernia at the site of a previous operation. There are, however 15 or twenty
different types of hernias, some of which are quite rare and a bit interesting.
Read More on "Five Unusual Hernias"
Treating Animal Bite Injuries
Bite injuries, particularly those with some tissue removed can result
in significant cosmetic and functional problems. This problem is fairly
common; about 50% of the population will at some point in their life suffer
an animal bite. Animal bite wounds account for about 1% of all emergency
room visits. Examples of animals inflicting bites in the Bitterroot would
include dog, cat, horse, donkey, bear, wolf, lion, raccoon, badger, and
Read More on Treating Animal Bite Injuries?
Is the newest, smallest, and fastest always best?
How surgical innovations come about.Kids growing up are always trying
to find something to brag a bit about. "My dog's bigger than
yours." "My brother can beat up your brother." "I
have pretty hair because its: curly, long, short straight"…you
fill in the blank. This seems to be built into the nature of children
somehow. You can imagine Abraham Lincoln bragging about how many books
he read by candle light. Another drive is to do something that hasn't
been done before. Climb the tallest mountain, swim the ocean, go over
the falls in a barrel. And finally people seem to have the need to take
good things to an extreme. For example: eat the entire container of ice
cream, or build an enormous house, or wear the smallest bikini.
Read More on Is the newest, smallest, and fastest always best? How surgical
innovations come about.
Muscle Compartments, What could go wrong?
During normal life we are not aware of the coordinated movement of the
muscles of our arms and legs as they alternately contract and relax to
allow us to go about our activities. There is actually a very complex
interaction of the muscles to finely control our movements. This includes
both complex tasks such as typing and large muscle tasks such as running
or just getting out of bed. The muscles connect to our bones and cross
various joints, and in some cases they connect to fibrous tissue called fascia.
Read More on Muscle Compartments, What could go wrong?
To read more of Dr. Ilgenfritz's Health Columns,
- Past Professor of Surgery, 1999-2000 Michigan State University College
of Human Medicine
- Associate Professor of Surgery, 1990-1999, Michigan State University College
of Human Medicine
- Assistant Professor of Surgery, 1986-1990, Michigan State University College
of Human Medicine
- Counselor, Michigan Chapter American College of Surgeons, 1999-2000
- President, Medical Staff, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, 2001-2004
- Dr. Ilgenfritz became an Attending Surgeon at MDMH in 2000. He came from
Michigan with his wife Martha and their four children. He has had many
articles published in numerous medical journals as well as articles in
the Ravalli Republic relating to his specialty.