Criticizing The Fault in Our Stars does childhood cancer a disservice A pediatric oncologist seems to suggest we shouldn’t be getting too upset about childhood cancer because kids and teens dying or going blind “are things that we don’t typically encounter.” “I think the important thing to realize is that cancer in children is highly treatable and ultimately curable,” Dr. Charles Hemenway of Loyola University said in HemOnc Today, in response to the movie ...

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Address the racial disparity of colorectal cancerAn article published recently in the American Cancer Society journal CA: A Journal for Clinicians received a lot of media attention. The report showed dramatic declines in the rate of people being diagnosed with colorectal cancer, as well as decreases in the rates of colorectal cancer deaths over the past number of years. But the press didn't say much about the fact that not everyone ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, June 5, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Higher Breast Ca Risk for Childhood Cancer Survivors. Women who survived a childhood cancer were at elevated risk for breast cancer even if they were never exposed to chest radiation during their initial therapy.
  2. Off-Pump CABG: No Lasting Renal Benefit. Performing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) without cardiopulmonary bypass ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, June 4, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Advice to Docs Might Not Come From a Fellow Human. Long Island dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla knows well how to treat acne, burns, and rashes. But when a patient came in with a potentially disfiguring case of bullous pemphigoid -- a rare skin condition that causes large, watery blisters -- she was ...

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You will never see my face or know my name. You probably won't give much thought to what happens to your blood after your doctor says, "I think we need to run some tests," and the phlebotomist draws it into the tubes with their colored tops. I know I never did, until I became a medical laboratory technologist. Over the course of a normal day at the hospital lab, my coworkers ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, June 3, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. A 'Home Run' in Prostate Cancer Tx. Overall survival in metastatic prostate cancer improved by more than a year when patients received docetaxel at the start of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), according to trial results that oncologists here called "unprecedented."
  2. Early Palliation in Ca Patients Eases Caregiver Burden. Early ...

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I've had many Twitter conversations with cancer screening advocates who fear that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's "D" (don't do it) recommendation against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer will lead to a dramatic spike in prostate cancer deaths as primary care physicians screen more selectively, or perhaps stop screening at all. I seriously doubt these apocalyptic forecasts (for one thing, prostate cancer causes only 3% of deaths in men, and ...

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A woman in her 70s came into my clinic recently. Her primary doc found a mass so she came to the hospital for a biopsy and passed out on the table so they scanned her head and found a mass there, too. She started radiation and then came to meet me in the outpatient clinic. She had trouble expressing herself because she’d had a stroke two decades ago, but it didn’t ...

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The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma has increased more than five-fold over the past four decades in the U.S. While the rate of rise in incidence of esophageal cancer has slowed somewhat in recent years, this malignancy is still associated with a dismal prognosis. Barrett’s esophagus, the precursor lesion to esophageal cancer, is easily identifiable on routine upper endoscopy and can be monitored for the development of precancerous changes. We generally ...

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to live in this world you must be able to do three things to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go -Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1 As a parent, you are not supposed to have a favorite child, and since some of us physicians feel a strange but kindred protectiveness for our patients, likewise we ...

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