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Latest Posts

Should Surgery Be Considered For A Persistently Hoarse Voice?

I was informed about this interesting concept on ABC news

With many aging baby boomers tapping into cosmetic surgery in order to look younger, some are taking it a step further to “sound” younger as well with a “voice lift”.

For some, it’s not right to look 10-20 years younger after a facelift but still sound like 70 years old.

A hoarse voice with aging is not unusual, but a surgical “voice-lift” is not necessarily the first step that should be taken.

First things first… Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*

The Link Between Oral Sex And Head And Neck Cancer

USA Today published a pretty accurate article regarding the rise of certain head and neck cancers with the increased popularity of oral sex and number of sexual partners.

The factor that creates this link is the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is associated with tonsil and tongue cancer. Alcohol and tobacco use is more highly linked with such oral cancers, but HPV does appear to be an independent risk factor.

A 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that younger people with head and neck cancers who tested positive for oral HPV infection were more likely to have had multiple vaginal and oral sex partners in their lifetime. Having six or more oral sex partners over a lifetime was associated with a 3.4 times higher risk for oropharyngeal cancer — cancers of the base of the tongue, back of the throat, or tonsils. Having 26 or more vaginal-sex partners tripled the risk. The association continued to increase as the number of partners in either category increased.

Of greater concern is that “French” kissing may also potentially be a mode of transmission.

The good news (if you’re a young non-smoker diagnosed with HPV-positive tumors) is that about 85 percent of non-smoking people with HPV-positive tumors survive. That number drops to 45 or 50 percent in people who smoke and are HPV-negative. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*

Doctors Meet A Decade Later

I just had my ten-year medical school reunion. It’s hard for me to imagine it’s been ten years since my last medical school class. It’s been fourteen years since that first week of gross anatomy. That class was so hard, I almost dropped out of medical school after one week.

A bunch of us local docs from my medical school class of 2000 rode to academic mecca in a stretch limo. What did I learn from my experience at my ten-year medical school reunion? Other than forgetting a few names:

  • When I was in medical school, lots of medical students, on occasion, would  drink heavily. I learned ten years later some doctors, on occasion, still drink heavily and get drunk.
  • When I was in medical school, lots of medical students smoked cigarettes. I learned ten years later some doctors, on occasion, still smoke (but only when they’re drinking). Apparently.
  • When I was in medical school, some students were really funny. I learned ten years later some doctors, on occasion, are still really funny, even when they aren’t drunk.
  • When I was in medical school, some students were really smart. I learned ten years later some doctors, on occasion, are still really smart. Most of us others have been dumbed down with years of practice.

It was fun to learn about what my colleagues have been doing. Ten years later the cellphones are a bit fancier, everyone’s talking about their Facebook page, and I’m completely content sitting  on the couch with Mrs. Happy watching everyone else get drunk like it was yesterday.

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

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Latest Book Reviews

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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