A prostate cancer breakthrough: The good and not so good newsThe annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology is a place where many commercial interests jostle for attention to make their latest promising therapy the star of the show. But a standard widely available generic drug stole the show by producing incredible results in improving survival for men with advanced prostate cancer. And that has some of us ...

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Dr. Bob Sears deserves blame for declining vaccination rates Measles is on its way to an all time high. In 2000, measles was eliminated (meaning some travelers from areas with low vaccine penetration might arrive in the U.S. with the disease, but no case came from U.S.), but has been slowly creeping back. Since 2008, this has been more than a trickle. Let’s put the important goal of measles elimination in perspective. Before ...

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Applying the anti vaccine mentality to car seats What if a big TV station came out with a blockbuster story claiming that infant car seats were implicated in cerebral palsy (CP)? After all, something like 99.7% of babies diagnosed with cerebral palsy had been brought home from the hospital in a car seat. In fact, every single time they went anywhere in a car, they were strapped into them. That’s ...

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“I don’t like taking medicines.” All physicians hear some form of this opinion very frequently. Even more frequently, patients don’t state this view outright but rely on it to completely subvert their doctor’s plans. When I was new to practice such an utterance would shock and confuse me. “I don’t want to take any medicines,” a patient would declare. “That’s fine,” I would reassure my interlocutor. “It’s a free country. No one is going ...

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Find yourself a physician who is stingy with prescriptions Antibiotic use is the direct cause of the rise of untreatable superbugs that are killing people. Antibiotic use is also the cause of most cases of C. diff colitis in kids, a potentially life-threatening, difficult-to-treat gut disorder. Antibiotics have also been linked with recurrent wheezing  in infants and inflammatory bowel disease. They can also trigger allergic reactions that can be severe ...

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Medical cannabis: Be informed and challenge the myths Medical cannabis is a treatment option with a low risk of dependence, minimal side effects, and few detrimental health effects, that has the potential to help hundreds of thousands of people suffering from various debilitating symptoms. Medical cannabis has gotten a bad rap over the past several decades in the United States due to laws put into place in the early-mid ...

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Colorado and Washington are the first states to legalize recreational marijuana.  In my state of Colorado, Amendment 64 was passed by 55 percent of voters by ballot referendum last year and took effect on January 1 of this year.  State government officials are giddy with the prospects of increased revenue from marijuana sales.  Marijuana tourism is booming in Colorado, giving new meaning to “Rocky Mountain High.”  Now, four months into this new experiment, it may be worth looking ...

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It’s another Monday morning at the substance abuse clinic. It is my turn as the doctor in the black swivel chair in the corner office overlooking a half-vacant strip mall. Today’s first inductee is a pregnant 22-year-old with track marks on her forearms. Her obstetrician and case worker at the Department of Human Services made her come. It is obvious she is less than thrilled. “How long have you been doing opiates?” ...

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How crazy is it to drug babies? It was shocking enough to discover that 20% of teenage boys get labelled as having ADHD, and 10% are on stimulant medications for it.  That 11% of all kids aged 4-18 get the diagnosis of ADHD, and 6% the drugs.  That stimulant prescriptions and pharma profits are skyrocketing all around the world.  And that ADHD guidelines encourage making the diagnosis and starting the drugs ...

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The United States of America is addicted to narcotics.  I do not mean the millions of individuals who are hooked.  I mean the whole nation is jonesing for the stuff.  I also do not mean the junk that slips into our nation in coffee cans or across midnight borders.  I mean the billions of pills pouring off assembly lines.  I could blame pharma or the FDA, but the truth is ...

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