Rest in peace, Charlie Bell
The former CEO of McDonald's, Mr. Bell passed away from colon cancer at age 44. His case was previously discussed here.

Red meat and colon cancer



There was a retrospective cohort study in today's JAMA linking red meat consumption with colon cancer. There has always been some controversy correlating the two factors - this study is one of the larger cohort studies suggesting a link:

The participants who consistently ate the most red meat and processed meats had a 50 percent higher rate colorectal cancer than ...

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Colon Cancer Screening Still Underused
More awareness is needed to screen for colon cancer. This is one type of cancer that is curable if detected early enough. Options include a fecal-occult stool test yearly, in combination with flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years. The best evidence-based recommendations can be found via the USPSTF.

Law and Order's Jerry Orbach passes away from prostate cancer



Some statistics from the American Cancer Society:

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, excluding skin cancers, in American men. The American Cancer Society estimates that during 2004 about 230,110 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the US. About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only ...

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Beware of what you buy over the internet
Salves bought over the internet for non-melanoma skin cancers can cause deep tissue necrosis.

40 percent of the low-income, rural women over age 40 did not know mammograms check for breast cancer
That is not acceptable in this day and age. Clearly we have more work to do with patient education.

The Painkiller Panic
"One of the most frustrating things about the latest news on painkillers is that almost none of the people reporting it understand the concept of relative risk--i.e., that a doubling of adverse events like heart attacks still doesn't mean that event is very likely. A doubled risk might well be a chance worth taking, especially if the baseline risk is low to begin with and the drug's ...

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Lawsuits limit cancer tests
"Experts and doctors agree that not enough Florida women are getting mammograms, but the cause of the shortfall has provoked a sharp debate.

Now, a task force appointed by the Legislature and the governor is blaming lawsuits for discouraging radiologists from offering mammograms, which could reduce the availability of the test."

Mammograms can be notoriously subjective, and thus a perfect area for ...

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Fear Mongering At The FDA
I haven't seen the preliminary Naproxyn data that the FDA based its press release on, but this article suggests that the increase in cardiac events wasn't even statistically significant:

In the Alzheimer's study, though, there was no increase in heart risk for long-term Celebrex users. There was a slight increase in heart risk for naproxen users, but the increase was so small that it may ...

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So, which is it?

Here is the problem with the mainstream media reporting medical news. Take the recent NEJM article on the fecal DNA test for colon cancer screening. The following are three headlines I browsed via Google News.

1) New Test May Ease Colorectal Cancer Screening: Noninvasive Test May Encourage More Frequent Colorectal Cancer Screening

2) DNA Test for Colon Cancer Disappoints

3) ...

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