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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Increasingly, the stuff we buy is electronic. In fact, not only that, but increasingly the stuff we buy with is electronic, too. We are using gizmos to shop for gadgets, or possibly gadgets to shop for gizmos. In any event, we are ever more frequently in the company of the energy fields our electronic devices, and in particular our smart phones, generate. This deserves more attention than most of us accord ...

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Use crowdsourcing to develop clinical trialsAt my hospital, we are committed to offering a lot of clinical trials in the community. But it’s hard -- nationally, only about 3% of patients with cancer participate in clinical trials. Even at some academic centers, it may be below 10%. With less research funding available, we need to find new ways to make it easier and cheaper ...

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Twitter -- its functions, benefits, risks and limitations -- has figured prominently in the heated discussion about Emma and Bill Keller's respective editorials in The Guardian (since deleted, though the archived version is still available) and the New York Times about the Twitter feed of Lisa Bonchek Adams. I have followed Lisa for a long time and greatly admire her thoughtful, highly personal tweets about the ups and downs ...

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Where I come from, when most people refer to the Good Book, they are referring to the Bible.  This is not true for my father, because to him, the Good Books are something else entirely. He describes a scene early in his career as a plastic surgeon, when he had taken his doting mother to see his new office. Coincidentally, a lovely thank you note had just arrived from one of ...

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A large woman, she has soiled herself.  With practiced motion, Bob rolls his wife onto her side. Yellow diarrhea has leaked out of the diaper, soaking the nightgown and sheets, finding its way into each fold, crease, and flaw.  The room fills with odor, but the winter house remains dark; outside wind blows down the empty street. It is 2:00am and Bob is cleaning shit.  Only 90 minutes asleep, he ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Adrenal Masses May Carry Heart Risk. Patients with adrenal incidentalomas may have worse cardiovascular outcomes if their tumors secrete even low levels of cortisol.
  2. TAVI Increases Use of Valve Surgery, Too. Despite concerns to the contrary, the introduction of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) into everyday practice has not decreased the number of patients undergoing surgical valve replacement.
  3. Obama ...

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