The patient was hacking sputum into a tissue when the resident and I entered his room. “How long have you had that cough?” “Oh this? As long as I can remember.” “But it’s been worse lately?” “Yeah.” “Worse how?” “More stuff coming out each time. See?” He opens the tissue. “How much sputum is there?” “Sputum?” “The stuff you cough up.” “I don’t look that close.” “More than two spoonfuls?” “Oh yes. Definitely.” “And the color?” “White-ish.” “Ever see any streaks of blood?” “Never.” “And how long have ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Healthier Americans Mean a Stronger Economy. More health insurance results in more Americans who are in better health, which in turn makes the economy stronger.
  2. Dronedarone in Middle Age Linked to More Admissions. Treatment with dronedarone (Multaq) was associated with a higher risk for hospitalization than treatment with amiodarone ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Brain Cancer: Did '60 Minutes' Report Raise False Hope? A glioblastoma therapy touted in a "60 Minutes" report that aired Sunday evening, focusing on the use of the polio virus to treat glioblastoma, isn’t a particularly new idea and results are still unpublished -- but some oncologists are worried that patients ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Nephrologists Iffy About Dialysis in Expectant Moms. A third of nephrologists reported being somewhat to very uncomfortable caring for a pregnant patient on hemodialysis despite a growing number having to do so.
  2. What Makes an Opioid Stronger or Weaker Than Morphine? A February 2015 report from the Centers for ...

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At age 37, after a nearly 2-year battle with stage IV lung cancer, a talented neurosurgeon lost his battle. My oncology-related newsfeed is filled with stories this week about this brave and clever man’s recent passing. In a field where the recent tweets tout results of the latest clinical trials (overall survival prolonged from 2 months to 4 months!), it is sobering to be reminded of what truly matters to ...

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The sun rises and the sun sets. It seems like the sun rotates around the Earth. Cancer cells rise and are killed by surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. It seems like cancer is a disease. But the sun does not rotate around the Earth, and cancer is not a disease. The many kinds of cancer cells are the products of the disease neoplasia that can emerge in our bodies’ organs and tissues. Strange ...

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Several years ago, a few colleagues and I performed a systematic evidence review to help update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's recommendations on screening for prostate cancer. One of our key questions asked about the harms associated with prostate cancer screening, other than the overdiagnosis (and resulting unnecessary treatment) of clinically insignificant tumors. Since routine prostate-specific antigen screening had been going on for nearly two decades by then, we expected to ...

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I walked into room 30 to find two eager sets of eyes awaiting me. One set belonged to a young man, late-twenties, muscular and imposing, sitting in a chair in the corner of the room. His eyes were hazel brown, big and inviting, relieved at seeing my entry into their sheltered world. The other set of eyes, darker brown and magnified by her gold-stemmed glasses, belonged to my patient, a ...

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The mortality from colorectal cancer has decreased substantially in the U.S. during the past decade. While some of the improvement is due to better cancer treatment and reduced risk factors, the largest proportion is thought due to screening. The concept that early detection saves lives has now become well recognized. The harms of screening -- particularly among individuals with limited life expectancy -- are less well appreciated. Royce et al. recently published a ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Turbulent Future for Oncology. The nation's cancer care system risks slipping into a socioeconomic vortex that threatens the ability to meet a growing demand for care, according to a report from a leading organization of cancer professionals.
  2. Newer Stents Fall Flat in Multivessel Disease. Surgery still beats stents in ...

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