Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have just published a paper showing that the circumference of one's waist is a better predictor of cardiovascular disease risk than the body mass index.

The risk factors identified were lipid profile, blood pressure, and glucose level. A waist circumference of 35 inches [35 inches? Are they kidding me?] conferred a cardiovascular risk comparable to a body mass index of ...

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As a reminder to all, this link from the American Cancer Society reviews the guidelines on screening and surveillance for the early detection of polyps and colorectal cancer.

There are three risk catagories: average, increased, and high. Check out the table at the bottom of the link to see what risk category you fall in.

50,000 people die from colon cancer each year - one every 9.3 ...

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The Next Pandemic?

Two people in northern Vietnam have contracted "bird flu" according to officials, bringing the number of victims in Asia to over 40.

The last influenza pandemic was in 1968, and experts think that the next one is slated to appear in the very near future - will it be avian flu? For more information go here.

I think we all need to keep up to date ...

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A feast, at Intueri.

Dr. Paul Rousseau from Arizona State University has written an interesting summary of the problem of denial of terminal illness, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, May, 2003.

Below are selections from the article, which should pique one's curiosity:

"Although denial may produce a focus of concern, it may also serve as a protective and adaptive mechanism to absorb deleterious and life-threatening information in a manageable and ...

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Much denial-blogging today. Alisha's mother-in-law won't accept physical limitations imposed by her cancer. Orac tries to help a patient who rejects her malignant biopsy results. What is denial, and how should we approach it? (Pause for a quick check - has the Cheerful Oncologist posted about this yet? No? I'd love to know what he thinks!) Here's Dr. Simon Wein, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering ...

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The role of targeted therapy in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is being explored, tested, reported and argued about almost continuously in the medical oncology literature. Rituximab, a highly specific monoclonal antibody that binds to an antigen called CD20 on B-lymphocytes, is commercially available and has been studied extensively. It is quite active against both indolent and aggressive NHL.

Whether rituximab prolongs survival in this disease is still to be determined. ...

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Blog Plugging

My alter-ego, The Cheerful Oncologist, has written a little post on the first and most important responsibility of the cancer specialist. To find out what this is, point your mouse here.

After you read it, feel free to commit floccinaucinihilipilification.

Who says it is impossible to lose weight? By simply walking more (and eating a more healthy diet) 20,000 Iowans have lost over 65,000 pounds over the past three years.

The subjects are grouped in teams and record their steps by wearing a pedometer. The total distance walked by the group thus far: 4.8 million miles.

Many people think that in order to lose weight they must ...

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Fatal crashes of medical helicopters

Accident rates are rising (NYT):

...the industry's rapid, competitive growth may also be exacting a toll. Federal regulators and some doctors worry that the pool of skilled helicopter pilots has become drained and that some of those flying are making poor decisions. In addition, some companies are flying older helicopters that lack the instruments needed to help pilots navigate safely. Of the ...

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Researchers at the University of Nottingham, U.K., have released a study showing that normal weight women who skip breakfast have higher fasting levels of total and LDL cholesterol, and have impaired insulin sensitivity to a test meal - which raises serum glucose levels. The implications of this study are that women may not only gain weight, but increase their risk of heart disease and stroke by avoiding eating first ...

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Global Anti-Smoking Pact Goes Into Effect
"A global treaty aimed at dissuading children from smoking and helping adults kick the habit came into force on Sunday with the United Nations saying it could save millions of lives." (via Yahoo Newsbv) The US has not yet signed the treaty.

Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:

(1) dysphoric or depressed mood
(2) Insomnia
(3) irritability, frustration, or anger
(4) anxiety
(5) difficulty concentrating

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Treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after it becomes resistant to chemotherapy has been the subject of intense scientific and clinical research. The study of targeted therapy, in which a drug or biological agent attaches only to a specific receptor on a malignant cell, led to the approval and release of the anilinoquinazolines gefitinib (Iressa) and erlotinib (Tarceva), for the treatment of patients with NSCLC who have failed or can ...

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Overmedicating the Elderly

A new study from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society states that almost one in three seniors are receiving medications "deemed potentially inappropriate for older people".

Medicines on the list included antispasmodic drugs and propoxyphene. Several solutions to the problem are mentioned, all centered around good communication between doctor and patient, and knowledge of drug side effects in the elderly.

Greetings to all of Kevin's readers (and I know you are many)!

Have you ever run into a high school or college student who is interested in becoming a doctor? It would seem that the opportunities for young people to "shadow" a practicing physician or scientist are readily available, and from my experience such exposure can push a youthful mind over the edge into a love and passion for ...

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...and the right to refuse medical treatment, at Bioethics Discussion Blog.

Where was the patients physician? Where was the ethics committee to help educate the patient and physician (and, by the way, the viewing public) on the well established ethics and law? Where was the advocate of the disabled, the rehabilitation therapist to provide the patient with factual information of what could yet be done to help her live maybe ...

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Pain meds weren't enough:

Darcie Prestegard has spent much of her life coping with chronic pain, the result of a childhood accident. For years she tried to block it out, competing on the rodeo circuit despite constant sharp pains in her leg. Eventually she sought medical help for her discomfort. Surgery and various medications brought some relief, but the pain always returned. Her doctors said it might never go away completely. ...

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He's joining me here, guest-blogging till Thursday. (Thanks, C.O.!)

Please send your submissions to me at maria at intueri dot org with a title of "Grand Rounds Submission". And send them in before 6:00PM PST (that's 9:00PM for you Eastern Seaboard peeps) on February 28th, 2005.

Dr. George Vaillant, MD, directs the Study of Adult Development at Harvard University. He's searching for "a theoretical framework, as well as data, for understanding how older people end up fulfilled or not." Among his findings:

* It is not the bad things that happen to us that doom us; it is the good people who happen to us at any age that facilitate enjoyable old age.
* Healing relationships ...

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