Lung cancer screening CT took its most important step toward widespread implementation last week, when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a draft of its forthcoming recommendation that the 9 million U.S. people meeting entry criteria for the National Lung Screening Trial (age 55-79, with 30+ pack-years smoking history and quit < 15 years) should undergo yearly low-dose lung cancer screening CT. The recommendation earned a Grade B in the USPSTF’s ...

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Many, myself included, have written about the overuse of head computed tomography (CT) scanning in children. This concern has become more focused now that we have some data on the radiation risk of those scans. The bottom line is not that we should stop doing head CTs in children, but that we should always balance the risk against the benefit, just as we should do with all medical testing. In ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. System-Wide Program Helps Control BP. A multipronged hypertension program implemented within an integrated healthcare system was associated with substantial improvements in blood pressure control.
  2. MRIs May Have Fueled Increase in Mastectomy. Older breast cancer patients had significantly higher odds of undergoing mastectomy if their evaluation included MRI, use of which increased exponentially during the study period.
  3. Shoe Inserts No ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Data Promising for Next-Gen Inhaled Insulin. Two late-stage trials in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have shown benefits for the latest incarnation of rapid-acting inhaled insulin (Afrezza) over insulin and oral diabetes drugs.
  2. Byetta May Help in Type 1 Diabetes, Too. The GLP-1 agonist exenatide (Byetta), used in type 2 diabetes, may have metabolic effects on patients with ...

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Hospital transport arrives to take my daughter just after 9am. We’d been told her ultrasound and x-ray were scheduled for 10am, an hour away. Jess and I exchange a look. She’s just about to take another swig of the laxative drink she’s been drinking since 8:30. “I’ll go with you,” I say. “We’ll make sure there’s a bathroom nearby.” Strike one for the Golden Cocoon. We get to the ultrasound department, and are left ...

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A study published in the British Medical Journal highlights the importance of carefully choosing which children should receive diagnostic CT scans.  As a diagnostic test, CT scans utilize ionizing radiation that can cause cellular DNA damage, increasing the risk of cancer.  Children who received a CT scan were 25% more likely to develop a cancer in 10 years after radiation exposure, according to a study of 11 million ...

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A JAMA Pediatrics article found that the use of pediatric CT scans rose in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s. Further, research shows that these CT scans can increase risk for future cancer diagnoses. Authors calculated the risk: they estimate that for every 4 million pediatric CT scans preformed annually, some 4800 children will go on to develop cancer as a result. Like many studies published this decade, the ...

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Emily wrote in about an article about prenatal ultrasounds and autism: “I saw this on The Daily Beast today. Is the media trying to freak us expecting couples out or what? How big of a question is this in scientific circles or is this just sensational stuff? Sometimes I think there should be studies about how the internet causes anxiety disorders!” A good question, and another post that I’m going ...

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Respect diagnostic radiation, but don’t have an irrational fear of it I’ve written before about the increased risk for future cancer, if any, of diagnostic radiation. These posts have generated a large number of comments and questions from parents. Most take the form of fear they have needlessly increased their child’s future cancer risk by agreeing to a CT scan. A new research study give us some important new information about ...

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The Food and Drug Administration was created in 1927 in order to carry out the mission of the Food and Drug Act put into effect by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. In the early 1900's and before, medicines killed and maimed people in gruesome ways and adding chemical substances to foods to mask the fact that they were rotten or substandard was felt to need some sort of legal response. The ...

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