My cancer has been knocked into oblivion From the beginning, there were so many signs that my cancer didn’t have a chance. First, there was the rock-hard lymph node above my collarbone that disappeared with one night of steroids, even before I started chemotherapy. Then, there was the chest x-ray done only a few days after starting my first round of chemo. It’s not pretty, and you can see that the ...

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Mammograms: Breast cancer screening as an individual patient decision In a major cancer screening development, a study from the British Medical Journal found that an annual screening mammography didn't result in a mortality benefit:

Women screened annually by mammography for 5 years had had a breast cancer mortality hazard of 1.05 compared with the control group during the screening period. During follow-up for a mean of 22 years, the mammography group ...

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This morning I went for my annual mammogram. It’s not something I generally look forward to. In fact, I mildly dread it. In my personal experience, mammograms have ranged from quite uncomfortable to downright painful. And then there’s the general unpleasantness of standing topless in a cold room. The first time I had this screening imaging study done, the plate pressed so hard into my sternum that I was almost in ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Mammography: Study Finds No Lives Saved. Annual mammography failed to reduce breast cancer mortality in women, ages 40 to 59, compared with physical examination or routine care, according to 25-year follow-up data from a Canadian screening program.
  2. Gestational Hypertension: Monitoring vs Delivery? Pregnant women with nonsevere hypertensive disorders between 34-37 weeks should be monitored closely rather than delivered immediately to avoid ...

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In 2005, my husband and I bought a small farmhouse in northern New England next door to Tom and Sally. They were in their early seventies, married nearly fifty years, with a large family. Tom's grandfather had built a farmhouse in 1900 on the family's small pig farm. In the 1970s, Tom and Sally had parceled off the land and built a modern house for themselves, a stone's throw from the ...

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Ben's first symptom was coughing up blood.  The cancer had been silently growing for months, if not a few years.  He had no pain or shortness of breath.  The chest x-ray showed a "5cm L hilar mass" and the subsequent CT scan showed enlarged lymph nodes and likely spread to the liver. "So Doc, what is it?  A cancer?  How much time do you give me?"  All these questions on a ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. SGR Deal Reached. Physicians will get a 0.5% pay increase each year for 5 years under a deal by a bipartisan team of House and Senate negotiators to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician payment under Medicare.
  2. Mixed Results for Brachytherapy in Breast Cancer. Older breast cancer patients had an increased rate of subsequent mastectomy if they received ...

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Cardiologists are causing patients to get cancer. It’s true. Cardiologists routinely perform angiograms on patients who have no heart disease whatsoever. As shown in this Harvard newsletter, each angiogram exposes the patients to about 7 mSv of radiation. Add in the myocardial perfusion imaging at another 25 mSv of radiation and you have enough radiation to cause cancer in an otherwise healthy individual. And cardiologists routinely subject patients with normal coronary arteries ...

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A few short years ago, my wonderful father-in-law Bill was diagnosed with an inoperable cancer. My husband and I traveled to the Midwest to visit Bill and my mother-in-law Betty. We were happy to be able to spend a little time with him, and he knew we were there. Sadly, he passed away the night before we left. We believe he held on until my husband arrived; all his other children lived nearby. Later, ...

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I feel … Much better than I did after my last chemo cycle. I feel tired, but not bad. I feel really glad that using a smaller needle for the lumbar punctures spared me the headache. I feel thrilled to have a port and have that PICC line out. There’s nothing like having medical tubes dangling out of your arm to make you feel extremely cancery. Plus, with the port buried under my skin, water ...

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