The United States of America is addicted to narcotics.  I do not mean the millions of individuals who are hooked.  I mean the whole nation is jonesing for the stuff.  I also do not mean the junk that slips into our nation in coffee cans or across midnight borders.  I mean the billions of pills pouring off assembly lines.  I could blame pharma or the FDA, but the truth is ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Carbs May Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber had a significant favorable association with prostate cancer risk.
  2. Obama Stands Pat for Now on VA, Shinseki. President Obama said in a news conference Wednesday that he is awaiting a preliminary report due next week on healthcare problems at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities before taking ...

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When doctors tweet about oncology, they tweet about breast cancer. A lot. Last year, about 4,000 doctors tweeted about cancer generating somewhere in excess of 80,000 tweets. And more than one in four -- a whopping 26 percent -- mentioned breast cancer, according to an analysis of physician tweets that we conducted for the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. That doctors talk overwhelmingly about breast cancer is either a ho-hum ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. VA Top Doc Calls It Quits. Robert Petzel, the man in charge of healthcare for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), resigned Friday in the wake of a growing scandal over the care provided to veterans at various VA healthcare facilities.
  2. Steroid Use in RA More Common. More patients with rheumatoid arthritis today are initiating treatment with glucocorticoids (GCs) early in ...

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You can never be prepared for a diagnosis of breast cancer An excerpt from A Breast Cancer Alphabet. There is a hushed reverence in the waiting area outside the Oval Office. After all those years of The West Wing, one might think there would be a bustle of activity -- a swirl of smart, earnest people walking and talking at the same time. Perhaps I would catch ...

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Three months ago, Anne finished chemotherapy.  She is tired, overweight, anxious and her feet burn.  Anne sleeps poorly, cannot concentrate at work and her relationship with her husband is distant, let alone intimate.  In my office for a “survivor’s” visit, Anne asked the glaring question. “Will I recover?  Will I ever be the same?”  After a moment of thought I answer, “I hope not.” Okay, I was not really that cold.  ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Botulinum Toxin for Postop Afib? Injecting botulinum toxin into the fat pads around the heart after bypass surgery might stave off postoperative atrial fibrillation.
  2. Leadless Pacing Shows Promise, But Hits Snags. Longer-term results from the first-in-man study of the Nanostim leadless pacemaker showed the device continued to work as expected, but a post-marketing study in Europe has been temporarily halted following ...

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A few days ago I decided that since I have been officially retired for two months, it was time to change my profile on the LinkedIn social network.  After all, the purpose of that network is to link business and professional people to potential opportunities and ideas.  I needed to let contacts know that I am no longer with the university where I practiced for the last seven years, while ...

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Last summer I met with a patient in my clinic who had come to the hospital with leg weakness and his CT scans showed widespread cancer. His type of cancer is rare and treatable with a pill, which he had been taking for about a month. He was tolerating it without too much trouble. During our first visit, he was insightful but overwhelmed. “I know how sick I am -- just ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Nasogastric Tube May Be Obsolete for GI Bleeds. Placement of a nasogastric tube for determining treatment of patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding may be unnecessary since almost all these patients will eventually undergo an endoscopic procedure.
  2. ASCO Issues New Breast Cancer Tx Guidelines. The American Society of Clinical Oncology has released two new sets of clinical practice guidelines for the treatment ...

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