A hundred bucks doesn’t buy much these days. A crisp Ben Franklin can be exchanged for
- 50 Big Macs
- A Broadway show ticket
- A night in a New York City hotel (just joking)
- A college textbook (paperback)
- Your life
Your life? Yes, 5 crumpled Andy Jacksons can save your life, as was reported earlier this year in a front page article in The Plain Dealer, Cleveland’s only daily newspaper. University Hospital is now offering a $99 spiral computed tomography (CT scans) of the chest in individuals who are at increased risk of developing lung cancer. The rationale is that if cancers can be detected early, then the cure rate for surgical removal is very high.
Gary Schwitzer, medical blogger and press watchdog, tries to bring some balance to the distorted media coverage of CT lung cancer reportage.
The test is Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at MD Whistleblower*
I live on the West Coast, where it is rare to see a smoker. Because it is not socially accepted, smokers are not out in the open. They lurk behind buildings to take a smoke break at work and I don’t even own an ashtray for friends because none of my friends smoke. But San Francisco isn’t the rest of America. In 2010 there were 45.5 million Americans who smoke, with men smoking more than women. Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Each year approximately 433,000 people die of smoking-related illness.
Here are some more stats on American adult smokers. The highest prevalence is American Indians/Alaska Natives (31.4%) followed by whites (21%). Smoking incidence decreases with increasing education and improved economics. By region, the Midwest has the most smokers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia (22-27%). That is huge.
California and Utah have the lowest percentage of adult smokers at Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
Abraham Verghese, MD, Standford University
My wife has two world-class oncologists who help her manage her Stage 4 Lung Cancer. Both are excellent clinicians. Yet their skills differ in one very important way. Her radiation oncologist physically touches her a lot (in a good way of course!). There are the touches on her arm, a hand on the shoulder, hugs, and of course a thorough hands-on physician exam. Her medical oncologist not so much.
We all recognize the therapeutic value of touch. Dr. Abraham Verghese, a Stanford Physician and Professor, at the 2011 Med2.0 Conference, described the power of touch associated with the physical exam. In the following scenario he describes an interaction with a chronic fatigue patient who came to him after being seen by many other physicians: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*
Lyall A. Gorenstein, MD, FRCS (C), FACS
A recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that CT screening reduced deaths from lung cancer by 20%. While it may seem intuitive that screening would help to detect lung cancers and reduce deaths, until now, that had not been definitively proven.
“This is a landmark study,” said Lyall A. Gorenstein, MD, Director of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, who lauded the study’s design and its clear implications for treating patients at risk for lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, but the merits of screening — whether or not it actually improves patient outcomes – has been a topic of debate for the last 30 years. Dr. Gorenstein believes that Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Columbia University Department of Surgery Blog*
You have heard it countless times, “The War on Cancer.” President Nixon announced it. The National Cancer Institute has spearheaded what TV and radio commercials always talk about as “the fight against cancer.” Singular. But we really need to start thinking about it as a plural. Wars on cancer. Fights against cancer. Taking it one step further, we need to see each person’s fight as an individual battle. Not just individualized to the patient’s spirit or age or sense of hope, but individualized to his or her particular biology, matched up with the specific cancer and available treatments. That is the nature of “personalized medicine” applied to cancer. We’ve been talking about it for a few years around here, but what’s exciting now is that even more super smart people in the cancer scientific community are devoting themselves to it.
I met two people like that today near the research labs at the University of Washington in Seattle. Without giving too much away (they’ve got big plans), these two hematologist-oncologists, with many advanced degrees between them and decades of experience, are trying to build something really big that could lengthen lives and save many too.
What they’re trying to do is Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Andrew's Blog*