Over 80,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed every year. Of the new cases, over 62,000 are men, and over 18,000 are women. Whites have higher incidence rates than blacks, although black patients have higher mortality rates, particularly black women. The majority of cases are found with painless gross hematuria (although most patients with gross painless hematuria don’t have bladder cancer). Nearly 80 percent of patients diagnosed with bladder ...

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Part 2 of a series. My own self-appointed role as my father’s health care advocate during his prostate cancer battle was a natural consequence of my training as a medical researcher. After earning a PhD in medical science, I became the elected family health and wellness guru, offering insight into everything from hangnails to stem cells, with the ongoing disclaimer that “I’m not a doctor, I just play one ...

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Quick quiz question: two people are diagnosed with melanoma -- Sarah Sunburn, an adamant sun-worshipper, and Paula Pale-All-The-Time, a fanatical sun-avoider. Who is more likely to die of the disease? The answer is pale-faced Paula. Surprised? Let me unpack this mystery and explain why sun exposure simultaneously kills people, while making the cancers they are diagnosed with appear to be less life-threatening. I will start with what you probably know already. Melanoma ...

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As a physician who has spent his career taking care of people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and various blood disorders, this is an amazing time to be working in these overlapping fields of medicine. I began my training when roughly half the people diagnosed with HIV were destined to develop cancer, and nearly everyone died shortly after they progressed to AIDS. In resource-rich countries today, HIV care is often as simple as ...

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Late one evening, I received a text from my oldest daughter. “What in medicine, that we do now, will we think is barbaric in 50 years?” Wow. They play more provocative bar games now than they played when I was in my 20s. I promptly texted back my knee-jerk response: “chemotherapy.” As we are on the brink of precision medicine, what will the next generation think of our “slash, burn and poison” paradigm ...

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"Does a rock float on water?" I asked the haggard woman lying in the ICU bed. I was an intern, in the first rotation of my medical residency, and Mrs. Jones had been my ICU team's patient for the past week. Over that time, she'd looked more and more uncomfortable, constantly gesturing for her breathing tube to be removed. Mrs. Jones tried to form words in response to my question, but the ...

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Part 1 of a series. The battle I walk into my parents’ home to pick my mom up for a family gathering. And like most days over the past few weeks, palpable sorrow greets me at the door. Our old dog lies sleeping on the couch, heavy with years, she’s difficult to rouse. She finally welcomes me with a geriatric tail wag and labored breathing. I glance at the ...

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From second through fifth grade, I mastered the art of being sick. I got out of school, soccer practice and piano lessons so that I could be the child I wanted to be — not sick, but loved, cared for. Here was my recipe: 1. Wake up. 2. Feel anxious about the day to come (this was natural). 3. Let the anxiety morph into a sickly pallor. 4. Bolster suspected illness with refusal to eat ...

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Prostate cancer often presents unique challenges to patients and physicians alike. It can be indolent and non-aggressive — or life-threatening and everything in between. Unlike most cancers that have a dedicated roadmap for treatment for prostate cancer revolves around opinions and biases. To help patients navigate the landmine of prostate cancer, I’ve compiled a list of 10 basic questions to ask when diagnosed with prostate cancer. Here they are: 1. “What is ...

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November 2017. I was on my pediatrics rotation at a local community clinic. My attending asked me if I could see Johnathan (identifying information and event details altered to protect confidentiality), an eight-year-old boy who has been increasingly fatigued since the start of the school year. I walked down the hallway laden with paintings of Amazon animals and knocked on room #13. "Good afternoon, Ms. Sanders. My name's T.J., and I'm ...

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