A worrisome report on breast cancer trends in the U.S. appeared on-line today, ahead of print in an AACR journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The analysis, based on the NCI’s SEER data from 2000 – 2007, shows that the incidence of breast cancer in the U.S. is no longer declining. (A drop after 2002 […]
Since Watson won on Jeopardy, there’s been lots of talk of robots assuming doctors’ roles. Ten years into our future, machines with programmed empathy and nuanced diagnostic skills will solve diagnostic dilemmas, deduce optimal treatment and make us well. Yesterday I found a new Xtranormal video, this one crafted by Dr. Charles of his excellent […]
Today a short article in the NY Times, New Kidney Transplant Policy Would Favor Younger Patients, draws my attention to a very basic problem in medical ethics: rationing. According to the Washington Post coverage, the proposal comes from the United Network for Organ Sharing, a Richmond-based private non-profit group the federal government contracts for allocation […]
There’s a new study out on mammography with important implications for breast cancer screening. The main result is that when radiologists review more mammograms per year, the rate of false positives declines. The stated purpose of the research,* published in the journal Radiology, was to see how radiologists’ interpretive volume – essentially the number of […]
Lately I’ve been worrying about Kevin’s refusal to eat broccoli, and wondering what exactly is so good about those green bunches of roughage. In browsing the Web for more detailed information on the matter, I found a helpful vitamin chart.
This table comes from the HHS-sponsored National Women’s Health Information Center – a good spot to know of if you’re a woman looking on-line for reliable sources. It’s a bit simple for my taste. In the intro, we’re told there are 13 essential vitamins our bodies need. After some basics on Vitamin A – good for the eyes and skin, as you probably knew already – the chart picks up with a quick review of the essential B vitamins 1,2,3,5,6, 9 and 12 (my favorite), followed by a rundown on Vitamins C, D, E, H (that would be biotin) and K:
Last week I considered the relationship between the Prince Albert and his speech therapist in The King’s Speech. One aspect I wanted to explore further is why the future king initially insisted on calling the practitioner “doctor.” In real life, now, patient-doctor relationships can be topsy-turvy. This change comes partly a function of a greater […]
On Friday the New York Times reported that surgeons are performing far too many open breast biopsies to evaluate abnormal mammogram results. A new American Journal of Surgery article analyzed data for 172,342 outpatient breast biopsies in the state of Florida. The main finding is that between 2003 and 2008, surgeons performed open biopsies in an operating room – as opposed to less invasive, safer biopsies with needles – in 30 percent of women with abnormal breast images.
I was truly surprised by this should-be outdated statistic, which further tips the mammography math equation in favor or screening.
The FDA recently identified a link between breast implants and a rare form of lymphoma. From today’s report in the New York Times: When talking to patients about a rare type of cancer linked to breast implants, plastic surgeons should call it “a condition” and avoid using the words cancer, tumor, disease or malignancy, the […]
In today’s Times, Nicholas Wade reports on a potentially serious, besides costly, problem for biomedical researchers: Human DNA Contamination Seen in Genome Databases. He writes: Nearly 20 percent of the nonhuman genomes held in computer databases are contaminated with human DNA, presumably from the researchers who prepared the samples, say scientists who chanced upon the […]
I’m taking notes on the Cochrane Library. The site – a collection of databases and reviews – drew my attention yesterday when an embargo was breached for an article to be published there having to do with zinc’s putative power to squelch the common cold. From the website, published John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: the […]