This week the ACS released its annual report on Cancer Facts and Figures in the U.S. The journal Cancer analyzes and considers the data in a helpful article. Some of the key and mainly positive findings have been covered elsewhere: Between 1990 and 2008, death rates from cancer in the U.S. declined rather steadily, overall, by […]
Earlier this month the IOM issued a big report on breast cancer and the environment. The thick analysis, commissioned and sponsored by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, was authored by an expert panel. Their task – to assess all available information on what causes BC, and make recommendations accordingly – was essentially impossible. […]
Today’s ML comes straight from the Oval Office. President Obama talks about smoking, and how hard it is to stop, and what can be done to reduce the use and long-term health consequences of tobacco. What I like about this Presidential health advisory: He credits the ACS, which is sponsoring a smokeout today. He’s clear about […]
A curious diagram appeared in the most recent NEJM, in a perspective on U.S. dietary guidelines. It’s a USDA food wheel from the early 1940s. With Twitter-like style, it says: “For Health…eat some food from each group…every day! The details are rich: “butter and fortified margarine” constitute 1of the 7 groups. Further inspection-worthy, IMO. — Related […]
In the city where I live, it’s hard to buy a muffin at a Starbucks without stepping back from the counter and reconsidering. Swallowing 460 calories for a minimal-nutrient breakfast seems foolish. So I eat fewer muffins than I used to. The posted nutritional tidbits, however imprecise, on the contents of pieces of quiche, slices of […]
This weekend I learned that Gregg Allman, of the Allman Brothers, has hepatitis C. Not just that; he underwent a liver transplant last year for treatment of liver cancer. This information came my way via CNN, in a clip narrated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The cable TV crew filmed the old rocker in Macon, Georgia, […]
The June issue of Wired carries a feature on the Booming Market for Human Breast Milk. You can read about the under-the-counter and over-the-Internet sale of “liquid gold” with a typical asking price in the range of $1 to $2.50 an ounce. Here’s a taste, from the article: …“rich, creamy breast milk!” “fresh and fatty!”… […]
A few more thoughts on the CDC’s zombie ploy – Today’s Disruptive Women in Healthcare features a post applauding the agency’s out-of-the-box “thinking” to get the public’s attention turned to emergency preparedness. (As if that should be necessary, just after the worst radiation disaster in decades, as tornadoes rip through hospitals here in the U.S.) […]
There’s so much medical stuff I’d like to write on today. The thing is, it’s almost Passover. I’ve just got a few hours to finish readying our home for the holiday. And so this will be the topic for today’s ML, on home-making: Part of the Passover preparation is, in my mind, like spring cleaning: […]
a poem for Wednesday: I was touched by this headline in yesterday’s news: Japan nuclear crisis may have a silver lining for radiation health research. Yeah, and cancer is a gift. — The wasabi is too hot, NPR shared yesterday, and I agree. This radiation story has a long half-life, whether we write on it […]
Listening to and watching the news, last night and this morning, I’ve heard all kinds of stuff – mainly from reporters who don’t seem to know very much about physics or radiation. (Personal kudos to Anderson Cooper, who seems to have a broader command of the terms and handle on the situation than some of […]
Here is a partial list of agencies helping to provide assistance and relief to the people of Japan during this emergency: Save the Children Doctors Without Borders The American Red Cross* United Jewish Appeal Japan Earthquake Relief Fund You may have your own favorite charity, which of course may be the best way for you […]
I find it hard to think much about anything besides the earthquake and devastation in northeast Japan. It’s a place I’ve never been. I don’t speak the language. In trying to learn something from this, it makes sense to review what to do in case of a nuclear disaster, the kind of thing that should […]
From an article in today’s New York Times on hiring discrimination against people who smoke: “There is nothing unique about smoking,” said Lewis Maltby, president of the Workrights Institute, who has lobbied vigorously against the practice. “The number of things that we all do privately that have negative impact on our health is endless. If […]
A new Twitter follow led me to LongartsZwolle, a blog by a pulmonologist in the Netherlands. A February 1 post needs no translation: More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette The clip is said, on YouTube, to be a 1949 commercial for Camel cigarettes. I tried to find more on this, first by clicking […]
Today’s Times reports on our nation’s students’ poor science test results. The results are bleak: only 34% of fourth graders scored at a “proficient” level or higher; just 30% of eight graders scored at a proficient level or higher; 21% of twelfth graders scored at a proficient or higher level in science. The mega-analysis, prepared […]
…for this Friday morning, I’ll just mention the perspective piece called Can Congress Make You Buy Broccoli? And Why That’s a Hard Question. Really I think the better question is whether or not the government can force people to eat broccoli.
And how could the NEJM authors have known about last night’s episode of the Office, that Michael would break HR rules by forcing Kevin to eat a stalk of raw broccoli…Kevin spat it out, forcefully and problematically for some viewers.
My tentative conclusion is that …
I wish that more physicians would speak out in favor of stricter gun control laws. Firearms present a public health issue in the U.S. According to the CDC, over 12,000 Americans die each year from homicide involving firearms. The number of non-fatal gunshot wounds requiring hospital care approximates 48,000 per year.
The other day I wrote on advances in artificial red blood cells and developing platelets from stem cells. But those methods are in early research phases. Meanwhile, many patients need blood donated by adult humans, now. I have personally benefited from the generosity of blood donors. Some were strangers: In 1974 I received seven units […]
So many others have written on Wakefield’s fraud, and considered the role of the press in perpetuating the notion that vaccines cause autism, I wasn’t going to cover it here on ML. But I do think there are a few instructive points from this “lesson” about medical communication and news:
1. People aren’t always rational in their decisions about health care. (This is an understatement.)