9.9.9 And Pizza-Themed Cupcakes
Today I attended a sold-out, National Press Club luncheon where Herman Cain was the featured speaker. When I signed up for the luncheon 4 weeks ago I had no idea that rumors of a sexual harassment “scandal” would suck the air out of the packed ballroom. While Cain convincingly diffused the scandal, I was there primarily to hear what he had to say about healthcare. In fact, I had submitted a question for his consideration a month in advance.
Interestingly, Mr. Cain stated that he decided to run for office the day that President Obama signed Obamacare into law. He said that he was so disappointed in Obama’s leadership on this policy in particular, that he was moved to step up to get America back on the right track. Cain argued that the American people didn’t want Obamacare, and the way that the president forced it upon them against their will was emblematic of his poor leadership skills. He went on to say that America’s healthcare system is the best in the world, and that he wouldn’t have beaten colon cancer without the great care he received. “We don’t have a healthcare quality problem, we have a healthcare cost problem” he quipped. He then suggested Read more »
The right side of the colon seems to be the Achilles heel of colonoscopy because polyps there tend to be flat and harder to find, and we confer the least protection from later colon cancer in that zone.
A recent article summary in Journal Watch Gastroenterology concludes that when we see a right-sided colon polyp, we may have missed another, so we should go back and look again.
This provocative recommendation represents a major change in the way we normally perform colonoscopy. But the issue is, and always has been, how to identify and remove all polyps from the colon.
So the questions I have Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gut Check on Gastroenterology*
Female models may be tall and beautiful, but they are also at markedly increased risk of developing cancer. The New York Times reported on a fascinating research article regarding height of a women and risk of cancer.
Specifically, for every four-inch increase in height over 5 feet 1 inch, the risk that a woman would develop cancer increased by about 16 percent, especially for:
• Colon Cancer (RR per 10 cm increase in height 1.25, 95% CI 1.19—1.30)
• Rectal Cancer (1.14, 1.07—1.22)
• Malignant Melanoma Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*
Dr. Mehmet Oz recently had a piece in Time titled “What I Learned from My Cancer Scare” in which he became the the more humbled Mr. Mehmet Oz. As noted previously here, Dr. Oz last summer had a colonoscopy at age 50 and much to everyone’s surprise had a precancerous colon polyp. He was advised to follow-up again for a repeat test in 3 months.
As the Time magazine piece noted, he didn’t return for 9 months despite repeated reminders from his doctor.
From this experience, he essentially stumbled upon what has been challenging American medicine and primary care. How do we enable patients to do the right thing and get the screening tests done and treatments necessary to avoid premature death and maintain a high quality of life? As a highly trained professional, Dr. Oz knows the risks and benefits of not doing a preventive screening test. As a doctor, he knows all of the secret protocols and codespeak we use when calling patients or asking them to see us in the office for important matters. As a doctor, he also understood the importance of a repeat colonoscopy to ensure no more colon growths.
Yet he didn’t return for 9 months. Why? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Saving Money and Surviving the Healthcare Crisis*
Dr. Mehmet Oz just might be the last person on earth people would expect to get a colon polyp. He’s physically fit (he left me in the dust the last time we ran together), he eats a healthy diet, he doesn’t smoke, and he has no family history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps.
But several weeks ago, when Mehmet had his first screening colonoscopy at age 50, I removed a small adenomatous polyp that had the potential to turn into cancer over time. Statistically, most small polyps like his don’t become cancer. But almost all colon cancers begin as benign polyps that gradually become malignant over about 10 to 15 years.
Since there’s no way of knowing which polyps will turn bad, we take them all out. The good news is there’s plenty of opportunity to prevent cancer by removing these polyps while they are still benign. But only about 63 percent of Americans between ages 50 and 75 get screened for colorectal cancer. Read more »