Heisenberg uncertainty principle:  A principle in quantum mechanics holding that increasing the accuracy of measurement of one observable quantity increases the uncertainty with which another conjugate quantity may be known. Perhaps it is because I just got back from Albuquerque, a city which has become like a second home to me, that I have Heisenberg on my mind. For the one or two of you out there who are not Breaking ...

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“The plastic surgeons tell me that women who like to swim do much better with reconstruction than with prostheses,” says a young breast surgeon at our weekly breast cancer tumor board, the working conference where we discuss every new breast cancer patient before starting treatment. There’s a slight note of surprise in her voice; to her, it’s simply another consideration when advising women before mastectomy. For decades, the only option after a ...

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His wife thinks he looks like Tom Cruise.  There is a resemblance, I can see him riding a motorcycle off the side of a burning building, jaw fixed, eyes on fire, ready to save the damsel ... only he is not so short.  Funny, brilliant and genuine, we have known each other for exactly two decades, sharing the growth of our families, the anxieties of middle age, and the vicissitudes ...

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About 25km outside of Sao Paulo, Brasil, in a small city called Barueri, lies the grave of my mother’s cousin. Henrique was the Brasilian version of Mr. T -- a larger than life character, he spent his days on the pitch as the starting goalie of a local football club. “Senhor Henrique” was well known.  He had three major trademarks:

  1. His favorite words to opposing players were “tenho pena de tolo” ...

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Oncolore: Challenging conventional wisdomIncreasingly, cancer care is becoming more evidence-based and personalized. But there are still a lot of areas where we need to question the conventional wisdom. How much of what we learned during training is based upon evidence versus anecdote and assumption? When I finished medical school, internship was challenging but very rewarding. It helped me recognize much better when people are really ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. 'Healthy Obese' Have More Arterial Plaque. The notion that people can be "fat but fit" is being challenged by a study showing a high prevalence of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis -- as measured by CT coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores -- in obese subjects with no evidence of metabolic syndrome.
  2. Lung Docs Stunned by Coverage Decision. When low-dose CT screening for lung ...

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Rachel squeezed my hand and looked me in the eye. "Not good, is it?" I shook my head. "How bad?" she asked. I shook my head again, and squeezed her hand back. She sighed, blinked away tears, and forced a smile. "Just give me some time," she said. Time was unfortunately not something Rachel had on her side. At the peak of her career as a world-class ballet dancer, she had been ...

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The American Cancer Society recently released important new data showing that the rate at which people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the U.S. has dropped 30% in the last ten years for those aged 50 and older.  Much of this decline was attributed to the widespread uptake of colonoscopy screening.  Colonoscopy is the only screening test that examines the entire colon and allows removal of precancerous polyps in the ...

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The myth that bras cause breast cancer is apparently coming ‘round the barn again. The latest scare-you-out-of-your-brassiere “article” claims there are “five research studies” that show a strong correlation between bra wearing and breast cancer. Well, that certainly sounds all scientific. Why the bra hullaballoo? A couple of anthropologists wrote a whole book about their incorrect theory back in 1995, Dressed to kill: The link between breast cancer and bras. Every now ...

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Treating cancer should not be paved in our patients financial despairMartha (name changed) had recurred yet again -- her third in as many years. Despite our best attempts, remission proved fleeting. Fortunately, she had few (if any) symptoms of the cancer in her abdomen; no bloating, no nausea, no difficulty moving her bowels. Her concerns were more psychological -- anxiety and frustration because her cancer refused to go away, and indeed, ...

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