Hopefully, by now, people are realizing that more is not necessarily better. A new study reported at the American Heart Association 2009 Scientific Sessions showed that patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) receive large doses of ionizing radiation per hospital admission. They looked at patients treated at 55 academic hospitals and found, on average, each patient received seven studies per AMI admission. The studies included chest X-rays, chest CT, head CT, ...

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Originally posted in MedPage Today by Nancy Walsh, MedPage Today Contributing Writer Hormonal contraceptives have a variety of noncontraceptive uses, ranging from common problems such as dysmenorrhea to severe conditions such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, according to a new practice bulletin from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). How women can benefit from oral contraceptive pills "Combined hormonal contraceptives can correct menstrual irregularities resulting from oligo-ovulation or anovulation and ...

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More celebrities are giving medical advice these days. Rahul Parikh explores the phenomenon in a recent piece from Slate, citing Lance Armstrong, Suzanne Somers, and Jenny McCarthy, among others. But does their celebrity make them an authority in a given medical issue? Unfortunately, too many people think so, as following celebrity medical advice can be dangerous

Their messages have led some doctors and patients to make inappropriate health decisions, at times increasing ...

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by Tim Noonan When a team misses out on an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl, World Series, Final Four, or something similarly trivial, these words may be appropriate. When the person, who has been the center of your life dies, what is more insensitive than, We're sorry for your loss? What kind of language is that to use when providing some of the worst news we could imagine? True, we ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Crystal Phend, MedPage Today Senior Staff Writer Many women at elevated breast cancer risk may refuse MRI as part of their screening program, largely because of fear and inconvenience, researchers found. Why are women refusing an MRI to screen for breast cancer? Among eligible women with dense breasts who were at intermediate to high risk for breast cancer, 42.1% refused additional MRI screening as part of a ...

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Would you take a pill every day to reduce the risk of breast cancer? That's a question Tara Parker-Pope asks in a recent blog entry. Referring to Tamoxifen, a drug that's been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women, she notes that a substantial number said they wouldn't take the drug after hearing about the side effects:

Just 6 percent said they would consider it after ...

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by Dana Griffen Receiving a cancer diagnosis is an upsetting experience for the patient, as well as his or her family and friends. Cancer patients are thrust into a new world with new language and new rules. Knowing where to turn and who you can trust is a huge concern. One of the first things a cancer patient will discover is that he or she will not be treated by only one ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Chris Emery, MedPage Today Contributing Writer Medical teams should take a lesson from airplane crews, a new study concludes. A cockpit checklist to improve patient safety Medical personnel who used procedural checklists modeled after preflight checklists used by airplane crews were more likely to report safety-related incidents and feel empowered to address safety issues, according to an online report in the Dec. 21 ...

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One of the best ways to combat unnecessary tests is to truthfully expose their risks and complications. Patients can only make an informed decision after such a discussion with their physicians, and too often, the media ignores publicizing risk. If, for instance, more airtime was spent discussing the risks of breast cancer screening, the outcry wouldn't have been as great. Perhaps that's changing. The Archives of Internal Medicine recently released a study ...

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Lawrence Jones started smoking Kool Menthols when he was playing Rhythm and Blues in the ‘70s, as a way of fitting in with his bandmates and the in crowd at the clubs where he played. The band broke up after a few years, but the cigarettes remained. Instead of being a way to look sophisticated, smoking became a means for Jones to relax and, he says, to feel he was “in ...

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