Forms & Information

Ask An Expert

Ask an Expert: Alcohol and breast cancer risk

Q: I enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner each night and thought it was good for my health.  Now I hear having a glass of wine each day can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.  Is that true?

Answer from the expert staff of the Ruth J. Spear Breast Center at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Benign breast lumps and breast cancer risk

Q. I recently had a benign breast lump removed. It turned out to be a “fibroadenoma,” and my doctor said it was totally benign. Still, I’m worried – does this mean I’m at an increased risk of breast cancer?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Breast cancer growth rate

Q: How long does it take for breast cancer to grow? My doctor just examined my breasts a month ago (no lumps), and today I found a lump. Is it possible that breast cancer could have developed so quickly?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Breast cancer in men

Q. I didn’t realize until recently that men can also get breast cancer. How common is it? If the women in my family have a history of breast cancer, should I be concerned?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center: 

Ask an Expert: Breast self-examinations

Q. I’m a young woman who tries to do breast self exams (BSE's) every month. But I often put them off because they make me so nervous. I just heard that not all health care organizations recommend monthly BSE's. What do you say?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Can vitamin D prevent breast cancer?

Q: “A friend forwarded an article to me suggesting that vitamin D can reduce the risk of getting breast cancer. Is this true?”

Answer from Alison Conlin, M.D., medical oncologist, Providence Cancer Center:

Ask an Expert: Chemotherapy and insomnia

Q: I'm undergoing chemo, and though I am experiencing heavy-duty fatigue, I am also suffering from insomnia! Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep; other nights I wake up around 3 a.m. for an hour or two. My medical oncologist said chemo can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and prescribed Ambien. I don't like the idea of relying on a sleeping pill. Anything else I can do?

Answer from Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine at Providence Cancer Center:

Ask an Expert: Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Q. I've just been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS.) I've heard it described as "stage 0" breast cancer. What does that mean? How worried should I be?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Homocysteine, vitamins and stroke prevention

Q: A friend of mine is taking folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements to lower her homocysteine levels and help prevent a stroke. What exactly is homocysteine? Should I be taking vitamin supplements if I’m worried about having a stroke?

Ask an Expert: HRT for breast cancer survivors

Q. I am a breast cancer survivor. Is it safe for me to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: Soy and flax in hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer survivors

Q. If a hormone-positive breast cancer survivor wants to be proactive in her cure, should she avoid/limit as many phytoestrogens as possible, or just soy and flax, which seem to be high in these estrogen mimics?

Answer from Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine Program at Providence Cancer Center: 

Ask an Expert: Stress and stroke risk

Q: I’ve read that stress can increase your risk of having a stroke. Does this warning relate only to anxiety experienced during times of crisis or extend to everyday stress as well?

Ask an Expert: Stroke vs. TIA

“Is a TIA truly a stroke, or is it caused by other problems? What is the process for finding a good specialist?"

Brain Watch Event - Twitter Highlights

Bringing science education to life, Providence School Outreach Program hosted more than 125 Portland-area high school students to watch a live “Brain Watch” surgery as Dr. Vivek Deshmukh, neurosurgeon with Providence Brain and Spine Institute, clamped a brain aneurysm in a 4-hour operation.

New heart pumps offer hope to sickest patients

Next-generation cardiac support devices overcome limits of earlier models and improve survival. – By Jacob Abraham, M.D., cardiologist, Providence St. Vincent Heart Clinic-Cardiology

Forms Instructions

Anesthesia and your child

General anesthesia provides complete absence of pain and total loss of consciousness during surgery. Our anesthesia team is very skilled in safely administering anesthesia medications to children of all ages.

Brain tumor-free, a life rebounding

Two years after a Providence surgeon removed the tumor that disrupted her life, Carol Fichtner is thriving.

Bringing baby home: Instructions for home care

Congratulations on your new baby! We've put together a list of helpful information and links to access Providence postpartum care services.

Caregiver Support Group - Websites

Links to websites offering support and information for caregivers of Alzheimers patients.

Caring for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease: Your Easy-to-Use guide from the National Institute on Aging

This booklet is free and discusses:

  • Stages of Alzheimer's disease
  • How to care for a person with Alzheimer's
  • Caring for yourself
  • When to get help
  • Medications and common medical problems
  • Copping with late stage Alzheimer's

For a hard copy of the booklet, contact the Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center at 1-800-438-4380.

Children’s visitation guidelines

The visitation policy for the children’s inpatient units at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center is designed to protect our patients, their families and other visitors.

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit Expectations

This handout discusses what to expect in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.

Going home from hospital - Children

Before your child is released from the hospital, you will meet with the pediatric staff to review instructions for home care, transportation, medications, physical therapy and follow-up appointments. Make sure you are comfortable with all aspects of your child’s home care, and feel free to ask questions.

Helpful resources from the Epilepsy Foundation

This website is a good source of information on:
  • Seizure first aid
  • Living with Epilepsy
  • Treatment options

Home Safety for People with Alzheimer's Disease

This booklet discusses the safety concerns of persons with Alzheimer's disease, safety interventions for the home environment, driving and planning for emergencies. It was produced by the National Institutes on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Education and Research (ADEAR) Center.

Hard copies of this booklet are available by calling 1-800-438-4380.

How to Manage Bathing Difficulties

This handout describes common bathing issues and helpful interventions for making it a more enjoyable experience.

Lost and found

Patients are asked not to bring items of value to the hospital. The hospital cannot accept responsibility for items of value. If you lose something...

Movie list for pediatric patients at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

Pediatric patients and their families can borrow movies free of charge while staying at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

Nearly a year old PICU is caring for the sickest kids

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center's new pediatric intensive care unit has helped more than 68 critically ill children with conditions ranging from respiratory distress to seizure. – Marie Curley, RN-BC, nurse manager, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

Now surgeons can see scans through a microscope

Developed at Providence Brain and Spine Institute, microscope-integrated radiology lets surgeons instantly view pre-op images through the surgical microscope. – By Vivek Deshmukh, M.D., neurosurgeon

Patient Right to Support Persons

Patients with a disability who need assistance communicating with their hospital care team, making medical decisions or engaging in activities of daily living may designate up to three support persons. Support persons will be required to meet specific conditions outlined in Providence Health & Services policy. If conditions are met, identified support persons may be present at all times during the patient’s hospital stay. 

Patient rights and responsibilities

Because of our core values – compassion, justice, respect, excellence and stewardship – we believe that as a patient you have certain rights. At the same time, because we consider you an active partner in your health care, we acknowledge that you also have some responsibilities.

Pediatric surgery checklist

Preparing your child for surgery.

Post-discharge phone calls bear results

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center saw patient-satisfaction scores climb after instituting follow-up phone calls.

Preparing for your delivery: Resources for new mothers and families

Ready to have your baby? Here's everything you'll need to prepare for delivery at a Providence hospital or medical center.

Pre-Surgery Pediatric Health Status Summary Form

To make sure you get the best, safest care possible, we need some important information about you. Before your child comes to the hospital for surgery, please complete and bring with you a copy of this Pediatric Health Status Summary for children under the age of 13.

Prostate cancer research gets a boost

Prostate cancer, once it spreads to lymph nodes and bones, generally is not curable. But basic and clinical researchers at Providence are working on this challenge.

Providence leads in excellence once again

From Leapfrog's high safety marks to other awards, these honors tie directly to the care we give our patients. – Dave Underriner, chief executive, Oregon Region

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center - Postoperative care instructions

Thank you for choosing to have your surgery at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. We would like to provide you with information about your...

The day of your child’s surgery: What to expect

If your child needs to have surgery, you may be nervous about the procedure and anxious about preparing your child to handle the situation. These guidelines will help you know what to expect and, hopefully, ease your anxiety.

The Epilepsy Diet

The Epilepsy center at the Providence Brain and Spine Institute together with Providence Outpatient Nutritional Services offers the modified ketogenic diet as a therapy for our adult patients with epilepsy. The major differentiating factor between them all is the amount of calories that come from protein, carbs, and fat.

What to do if your child has a fever

Having a sick child is never easy. The people of Providence want to help you care for your children in the right place. Some illnesses may require a trip to a doctor or a hospital. Other illnesses can be treated best at home.

When should a patient be referred to Providence Cognitive Assessment Clinic?

Not all absentmindedness is dementia. Here's a handy chart to help you determine if your patient needs further testing.

Proprietary Health Article

A better predictor of stroke risk in a-fib patients

Studies show that a newer, more refined scoring system more accurately identifies risk for thromboembolism. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

A cardio workout (and workup) for athletes

James Beckerman, M.D., explains how competitive players or weekend warriors can now receive cardiac screenings at Providence Sports Care Center at Providence Park.

A crash, a recovery, a brain aneurysm

Heath Munger's brain aneurysm was dangerous and complex. A skilled Providence neurosurgeon and a new device repaired the damage and gave this father a future.

A need for speed promotes neurointensive care

Studies find that the relatively new care model for critically ill neurological patients decreases mortality and shortens hospital stays. – By John Zurasky, M.D., neurointensivist

A pinched nerve brings agony; a surgeon brings relief

Rachel Frazier is a jogger, golfer and power walker. She’s used to the odd muscle and joint aches that come with being physically active. But the pain that came the winter of 2012 was something entirely different. It started in her upper left arm and radiated downward to her thumb, and it kept getting worse.

A reversible dementia

Normal pressure hydrocephalus can be mistaken for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, but with appropriate treatment, its symptoms can be relieved or even reversed. – Ann-Marie Yost, M.D., neurosurgeon, Providence Brain and Spine Institute

A treatment for “untreatable” back pain

For some patients with persistent pain, spinal cord stimulation provides relief when other options have failed. – Martin Baggenstos, M.D., neurosurgeon

Amid the benefits of osteoporosis therapy, an unexpected risk

Bisphosphonates are widely accepted for treating postmenopausal osteoporosis. Yet these beneficial drugs also carry a potential complication: proximal femoral stress reactions and spontaneous fractures. – By Hans Moller, M.D., medical director, Providence Orthopedic Institute Fracture Care Program

Apnea can cause patients to lose more than sleep

Untreated, the disorder can lead to serious cardiovascular conditions including arrhythmia, pulmonary hypertension and valvular disease. – By Emilia Arden, D.O., FACC, cardiologist, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

Back pain: When it's time to call a specialist

Aging, lifestyle and heredity all play a role in back problems, but if pain persists despite home treatments, specialists can help diagnose and treat the cause. – By Gloria M. Dagenais, RN

Beating the dose benchmarks on fluoroscopy

Because time is a poor measure of dose, Providence labs have improved on state-mandated measures. – By Jeff Robins, RT (R) (CV), MBA, cardiovascular lab manager, Providence Portland Medical Center

Breast cancer chemoprevention in the spotlight again

After a tentative start, chemopreventive therapies might return to the forefront.  A recent international study reports promising results. – By Ali Conlin, M.D., medical oncologist

Can an exercise program ease chemotherapy fatigue?

A study examines the effects of exercise for cancer patients starting chemotherapy. – By Anupama Kurup, M.D., medical oncologist

Cardiac devices: When it's time to get the lead out

Thanks to new laser techniques, cardiac-device lead extraction carries a 98 percent success rate, with rare major adverse events. By S. Anthony Garvey, M.D., cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Providence St. Vincent Cardiac Device and Monitoring Clinic

Case study: A rare brain tumor, a rare procedure

A young woman is diagnosed with a malignant cartilaginous tumor located deep in the skull base. In this case, a novel endoscopic endonasal approach proved superior to traditional techniques. – Pankaj Gore, M.D., neurosurgeon, and Edsel Kim, M.D., ear, nose and throat surgeon

Case study: How to assess and treat a patient's genetic risk of coronary artery disease?

Easily obtained genetic tests can determine if aggressive statin therapy is appropriate. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Casting a light on lumpectomy

An optical fiber may transform how small breast lesions are located and removed.

Demystifying atherosclerosis and peripheral arterial disease

Some key concepts in identifying, diagnosing and treating the conditions. – By Aaron Schoenkerman, M.D., FACC, cardiologist, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

Disk problems causing back pain? Think again

Facet joints may be the Rodney Dangerfield of the spine, but when it comes to causing back problems they deserve more respect. – By Jeffrey P. Johnson, M.D., neurosurgeon

Five things to know about heart disease

The risk factors for cardiovascular disease and heart attack can be both obvious and hidden.– By James Beckerman, M.D., cardiologist

For a-fib, a welcome alternative to warfarin

At last, a favorable oral antithrombin for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Fortifying the plant-based diet for heart health

A growing number of our patients adhere to some sort of plant-based diet. Although these diets are generally beneficial to heart health, providers should heed some nutritional red flags. – By Naji M. Hamdan, M.D., cardiologist, and Terese Scollard, MBA, RD, LD, registered dietitian

Groundbreaking immunotherapy: More tailored, less toxic treatments

Inside your body, standing at attention in your blood, tissues, and organs, there are millions of tiny troopers mobilized against invaders.

Home away from hospital

Jo Anne Coonrod's illnesses used to send her to the hospital. Thanks to home palliative care, she's getting treated before an emergency.

Hospitals earn joint replacement certification

Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent medical centers have earned The Joint Commission Disease-Specific Certification for hip and knee replacement.

Lipid management: Which test is best for which patient?

Management of dyslipidemia, particularly with statins, has significantly reduced major cardiovascular events. Yet half of heart attacks occur in patients with “normal” cholesterol. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Mars, venus and cardiovascular disease

Both genders are at risk for cardiovascular disease, but for women, the condition can be even deadlier. – By James Beckerman, M.D., cardiologist

Maximizing minimally invasive brain tumor surgery

Colloid cysts are rare and potentially deadly, but with special training, endoscopic resection can be done swiftly and easily. – By Pankaj A. Gore, M.D., neurosurgeon

Mediterranean diet: Eating our way to cardiovascular health

A new study finds that Mediterranean-style diets reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular death even more than a standard low-fat diet. – Naji Hamdan, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Mitral valve trial offers promise for high-risk patients

The COAPT trial will test the MitraClip mitral valve repair system, a minimally invasive approach to treat mitral regurgitation in patients at too high a risk for valve surgery. – Ethan C. Korngold, M.D., cardiologist

New look, more space for Providence St. Vincent Medical Center Tower

A remodel of the 1969 Providence St. Vincent Medical Center Tower will serve the community for the next 50 years.

Prostate cancer and PSA: Should your patient get screened?

Oncologist and researcher Brendan Curti, M.D., discusses the benefits and limitations of the prostate-specific antigen test – and which patient groups can benefit from annual screening.

Providence Stop-Smoking Resources

If you smoke, one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health is to quit smoking. Providence Health & Services supports you in this effort. The resources below can help you stop smoking for good.

Purposeful hourly rounding: How Providence CARES

As 7W develops its Accountable Care Unit, the rest of the hospital is also undergoing changes in care practices. Providence St. Vincent Medical Center is the first hospital in the region to launch a new nursing program that enhances the way we check on our patients. – Bonnie Thompson, RN, project lead and chief operating/nursing officer, Providence Seaside Hospital

Relieving the pain of a cervical herniated disk

Arm pain from a compressed nerve often can be controlled conservatively, but if the pain is severe and lasting, new surgical options can offer permanent relief with faster recovery times. – J. Rafe Sales, M.D., orthopedic spine surgeon

Sex after heart attack – when is it safe?

Patients may be reluctant to raise the subject, a candid conversation can ease their worries. – By James Beckerman, M.D., cardiologist

Studying statin chemoprevention in colon cancer patients

A clinical trial examines whether statins will inhibit a recurrence in patients with resected stage I or II colorectal cancer. – By Anupama Kurup, M.D., medical oncologist

Sustained Long Term Use of Interferon Beta-1a in Patients with Relapsing MS

Improving care for patients with multiple sclerosis

Stanley Cohan, M.D., Ph.D., and researchers from Providence Multiple Sclerosis Center presented two posters at the 4th Cooperative Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) in San Diego, California from May 30 - June 2, 2012. In this poster presentation, they shared promising results for a  more affordable and less risky therapy for patients with relapsing MS.

The advantages and limits of electromyography

EMG exams are valuable for diagnosing peripheral neurological disorders in many cases, but not all. – By Steven A. Day, M.D., neurologist

The next-generation brain aneurysm repair

Beyond coiling and clipping: a newly approved braided stent offers a solution for treating complicated brain aneurysms. – By Vivek Deshmukh, M.D., neurosurgeon

The skinny on saturated fat

When it comes to diet and heart disease, conventional wisdom isn’t always wise. – By James Beckerman, M.D., cardiologist

Top-selling statins finally going generic

Patents for Lipitor and Plavix expire at the end of 2011, opening the door to cost-effective alternatives. – By Douglas Dawley, M.D., cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute

Treating motor impairment in Parkinson’s disease

In the past four decades pharmacological progress has been spectacular, so now physicians and patients may choose among multiple options. Providence Center for Parkinson’s Disease follows these decision-making guides. – Richard Rosenbaum, M.D., neurologist

Understanding – and prescribing – palliative care

It’s common to believe that palliative care is for patients nearing the end of life when all other treatment options are exhausted. In truth, its aim is to alleviate suffering in all its forms – physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual – and it can begin as early as diagnosis. – By Woody English, M.D., regional medical director, Providence Palliative Care

Unruptured intracranial aneurysms: indications for treatment

Unruptured intracranial aneurysms are common incidental findings on brain imaging. The challenge is to determine which aneurysms pose the greatest risks … and why. – By Vivek Deshmukh, M.D., neurosurgeon

Vitamin D and breast cancer: Is there a link?

Studies have provided conflicting results, but here’s what we know so far. – By Ali Conlin, M.D., medical oncologist

What to expect: Helping a loved one through the dying process

This 12-page guide helps caregivers and family members understand the emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of the days and moments before death.

Where doctors come to heal themselves

The significance of the Kleenex boxes placed on every tabletop isn’t apparent at first. But 15 minutes into this lunchtime gathering of doctors, nurses and a host of other health care workers, the reason becomes clear.

World-class technology: intraoperative MRI suite

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center is home to the world’s most advanced operating suite for brain tumors.

Young, athletic and at risk for sudden death?

While the incidence of sudden cardiac death is low, allowing an at-risk youth to participate in sports could be critical. – By James Beckerman, M.D., cardiologist

Recommended Resource

American Cancer Society: Guide to Quitting Smoking

The American Cancer Society’s guide to quitting smoking including questions people need to know about quitting and the steps to do so.

American Lung Association

The American Lung Association website is a patient and care provider resource with information about respiratory illnesses from asthma to emphysema. Includes causes, warning signs and symptoms, research and patient care treatment resources.

American Stroke Association Website

Provides warning signs and overview of stroke, emergency stroke center locations and patient education resources.

Care Facilities - Multnomah County

Resources for caregivers of dementia and alzheimer's patients, including care facilities, in-home care and adult day care in Multnomah County.

Care Facilities - Other WA & OR counties

Resources for caregivers of Dementia and Alzheimers disease in other WA and OR counties

Care Facilities - Vancouver, WA

Resources for caregivers of Dementia and Alzheimer's patients in Vancouver, WA.  Includes care facilities, in-home care and adult day care.

Care Facilities in Washington County

Resources for caregivers of dementia and Alzheimer's patients in Washington County.  Includes care facilities, in-home care and adult day care. Smoking Cessation

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services resource page on Smoking Cessation including a quick guide to healthy living and tools to quit.

National Cancer Institute

National Cancer Institute home page with links to all cancer topics, clinical trial information, statistics, research and treatment information.

National Cancer Institute Prevention and Cessation of Cigarette Smoking: Control of Tobacco Use

National Cancer Institute’s overview of Prevention and steps for how to get into a cessation program.

National Cancer Institute Smoking Quitline

National Cancer Institute’s page on free resources available to help someone quit smoking, including the national Quit Line.

National Lymphedema Network

The National Lymphedema Network (NLN) is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded in 1988 to provide education and guidance to lymphedema patients, health care professionals and the general public by disseminating information on the prevention and management of primary and secondary lymphedema.

National Stroke Association Website

Comprehensive overview of stroke, including warning signs, emergency stroke center locations and patient education resources.


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Reflection walk at Catlin Gabel

We understand having friends and family in the hospital is stressful. If you need time away for reflection, the beautiful grounds of Catlin Gabel are available to you and your family.