Browsing All posts tagged under »Medicine«

Death to the Clamshell! I Long For The Simple Cardboard Box

August 28, 2017

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Hubby: “I’d like to find the guy who invented this crap and punch him in the face. If he was here I’d be like, ‘Oh, was this your idea? Come here so I can punch you in the face.'” Hubby is usually a pretty easy-going guy, and generally reserves such outbursts of violent fantasy for […]

Merry Christmas, Amy Berman: Still Going Strong Six Years After Cancer Diagnosis

December 26, 2016

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Way back in May of 2012, I pointed my blog to Amy Berman’s story in Health Affairs.   She had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in November of 2010.  As a registered nurse and a health foundation executive, she knew better than most what that meant.   Inflammatory breast cancer is incurable, and even with aggressive […]

10 Reasons Not to Get Cosmetic Breast Implants

August 15, 2016

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Or at least, read the information at these links if you’re thinking about it… and then decide if they are really worth it. –  Many of the changes to your breast following implantation may be cosmetically undesirable and irreversible.  This can be exacerbated by breast changes due to pregnancy, age, or weight gain/loss. –  The […]

If You’re Uploaded to a Cyber-Existence, Are You Still You?

June 27, 2016

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Ever since seeing the transporter on the original Star Trek, I have wondered:  if your molecules are disassembled here and an exact copy of you is reconstructed somewhere else out of other molecules, are you really still you?  I have my doubts, enough that should teleportation ever become feasible, I don’t think I’d have the […]

Amy Berman, Thriving for More Than 5 Years With Terminal Cancer

February 22, 2016

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It has been more than five years since Amy Berman was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, which is always fatal.  Even with aggressive treatment, only 11%-20% of patients make it as far as she has.  But Amy did not opt for aggressive treatment; quite the opposite.   As she wrote just this past November, “… […]

A Wasted Organ Transplant: Why Patients’ Social History and Potential SHOULD Matter

May 11, 2015

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If you were faced with 100 dying people, and could only save 79 of them, how would you choose? Back in 2012, 15-year-old Anthony Stokes was denied a lifesaving heart transplant. Doctors ruled him a bad candidate because of a “history of noncompliance,” meaning he was unlikely to follow doctors’ orders concerning medications and follow-up […]

Plastic Surgery: The One Thing Men are Not Allowed to Ask For

March 2, 2015

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They’ll let some guy have 100 operations to look like a Ken doll, but by God, don’t ask for a penis reduction, because that’s abnormal.   So The Daily Mail reports that a US teen has just had the world’s first penis reduction surgery. If you’re not real squeamish, or if you’re not a guy […]

Death to the Clamshell! I Long For The Simple Cardboard Box

November 14, 2014

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Hubby: “I’d like to find the guy who invented this crap and punch him in the face. If he was here I’d be like, ‘Oh, was this your idea? Come here so I can punch you in the face.'” Hubby is usually a pretty easy-going guy, and generally reserves such outbursts of violent fantasy for […]

Nurse Amber Vinson and the CDC: If These are Medical Professionals, We Are Doomed

October 17, 2014

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Is it just me, or does anyone else out there have the déjà-vu sensation that we are watching a bad horror movie unfold? Twelve Monkeys, or Z Nation, or Contagion, perhaps? At any rate, we are trapped in that sort of horror movie where the characters all do patently stupid things just to move the […]

Ebola Doubling Every 20 Days: Quit Placating the Public and Take it Seriously

October 3, 2014

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I don’t worry about known Ebola patients coming to the US under controlled conditions. I worry about unknown incubators traveling here and then becoming ill among the general population. It’s already happened.   So the news came this week that a man flew from Ebola-stricken Liberia to visit relatives in Dallas, TX, and now he […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to… If You Are Pro-Life, Then You Are Anti-IVF

August 29, 2014

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All, one more look back at a Lila-Encore!  Lila and Hubby are still unpacking and unboxing, and the new house is finally starting to look more like a house and less like a hurricane-mauled refugee camp.  Lila’s computer is up and running so I will soon be back to blogging! Meanwhile, here’s a look back […]

Another Reason to Oppose Fertility Treatments

August 4, 2014

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What if you could have several children, pick out your favorite, and throw the others away?  Now you can! In general, Lila is not a fan of fertility treatments. First of all, there is the population issue:  extinction from lack of people is pretty unlikely; on the other hand, a population collapse may very well […]

Joan Larsen’s Story of Ethan: Should Being A Doctor Be in His Future?

July 30, 2014

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By Joan Larsen The phone rang. As I answered, I would never have believed that – with my answers – I could be changing a life at the other end. Ethan – my friend’s newly 16-year-old son, a boy brilliant in my estimation – was counting on me for help. Those in high school honors […]

More Evidence that Many “ADHD Sufferers” are Just Unmindful

May 16, 2014

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Yep, I said it. I have always strongly suspected that ADHD is a vastly over-diagnosed disorder thanks to the demands of harried parents, exasperated teachers, and a medical business culture that incentivizes prescriptions and treatments. Don’t get me wrong. I am certain that there is a very small minority out there who actually have empirically […]

Joan Larsen: Aloft in the Outback – the Royal Flying Doctors Service

April 2, 2014

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By Joan Larsen England’s Prince Charles and his Camilla, both smiling brightly, waved as they stepped off the last stair of the plane into what Americans would call “nowhere”. . . but actually is a stop in Australia’s Outback. The sun beat down mercilessly, the wind was blowing up more dust than we see in […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: Are You Given Your Doctor’s Full Attention Any More?

February 5, 2014

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by Joan Larsen I am going to be honest in the telling of my story.  In choosing my internist long ago, I wanted “the best” there was:  a person very sharp, knowledgeable, and let’s not forget “caring”.  Over the years, I developed a personal relationship with him as well.   He beamed when he saw me.  […]

Statistics Show US Population is Too Sick, Uneducated and Impoverished

January 24, 2014

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Warning:  this is not a politically correct post. Any  population will always have some individuals who are diseased, incompetent, weak, and generally unfit for reproduction or survival, to put it in Darwinian terms.  A healthy, competent, self-sufficient population will always have some minimal number of these individuals, but the majority of a successful population will […]

The Cult of Life at any Ghoulish Cost

January 17, 2014

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Why do we accept, even celebrate, the most ghoulish medical procedures – so long as they have a whiff of a chance of producing an infant, even an unhealthy one? For those who have read Frank Herbert’s Dune novels (original series published 1965-1985), you may recall the mysterious but universally loathed axlotl tanks, a closely […]

Women Beware: Your Living Will May Be Ignored, and Your Family’s Finances Devastated

January 13, 2014

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If you are even one day pregnant and suffer a medical catastrophe that renders you brain-dead, your wishes, even  in a written living will, might not be honored.  Depending on where you live (or are hospitalized), your empty husk could be kept marginally alive, at your family’s great and unwilling expense, until your fetus can […]

Health-Care System Reform: What Doctors Would Change

January 3, 2014

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Last month, MedPage Today started running a series of interviews in which they ask leading doctors and clinicians ten questions about medical practice, our health-care system, and their experiences and opinions.  Two of those ten provide some exceptional insights into what’s wrong with our health-care system: 1)  What’s the biggest barrier to your practicing medicine […]

Merry Christmas, Amy Berman

December 23, 2013

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Way back in May of 2012, I pointed my blog to Amy Berman’s story in Health Affairs.   She had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in November of 2010.  As a registered nurse and a health foundation executive, she knew better than most what that meant.   Inflammatory breast cancer is incurable, and even with aggressive […]

What Sleep Really Does, and Why You Shouldn’t Skimp

December 16, 2013

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A study by Dr. Maiken Nedergaard at the University of Rochester found that “sleep’s critical function is to allow metabolic waste products to be cleared from the brain, which apparently cannot occur during waking hours,”  Medpage Today reports.   If you’re interested, you can read the paper at the NIH website; but essentially, the natural interstitial […]

Nature, Nurture, and Free Will: Which One Rules Our Choices?

December 2, 2013

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A neuroscientist with a normal, loving life discovers that medically, he is a psychopath.  Now what? What drives our actions?  Are our choices really a product of exercising our free will, or are we just genetically programmed bio-automatons? Because of my own background, I ponder these questions more than most folks, perhaps.  Adopted as an […]

Health News You Can Use: Cheap Alzheimer’s Prevention?

November 29, 2013

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Check out this article in the Vancouver Sun by Dr. Patrick McGeer:  “Government should support clinical trials to learn if ibuprofen can prevent Alzheimer’s.”  The thrust:  the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research at the University of British Columbia — of which Dr. McGeer is the director — has observed that a) the beta-amyloid brain plaques […]

Your Health: Should You Take Pills “Just in Case?”

November 22, 2013

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So apparently, the number of US patients taking statins (drugs aimed at reducing cholesterol and preventing heart attack or stroke) is about to potentially double, thanks to some new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiologists.  Melissa Healy’s article in the Los Angeles Times explains:  in a nutshell, the old […]

The Ethics of Postmortem Parenthood

October 1, 2013

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As Mikaela Conley reports in Medpage Today:  in Israel, a 17-year-old traffic accident victim’s family obtained a court order to remove and freeze her eggs before taking her off life support, but judges have declined the family’s petition to have the eggs fertilized with donated sperm until the family can prove that their deceased daughter […]

Is “Mountain Dew Mouth” Really Caused by Mountain Dew?

September 30, 2013

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First, sodas were blamed for the obesity epidemic.  Now, they’re being blamed for “Mountain Dew Mouth.”  I don’t entirely buy it. Priscilla Harris, of the Appalachian College of Law, has been battling excessive soda consumption in Appalachia since at least 2009, when she wrote a legal brief blaming the region’s poor dental health on sodas, […]

10 Reasons Not to Get Cosmetic Breast Implants

August 27, 2013

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Or at least, read the information at these links if you’re thinking about it… and then decide if they are really worth it. –  Many of the changes to your breast following implantation may be cosmetically undesirable and irreversible.  This can be exacerbated by breast changes due to pregnancy, age, or weight gain/loss. –  The […]

The Hunt for Immortality: Just Stop

August 19, 2013

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Achieving actual, biological immortality – or even just a relatively modest increase in average human lifespans – would be an unmitigated disaster. Once again in the news, we see stories of scientists studying the genetic makeup of strangely afflicted children who never seem to age.  Not only do they appear not to age, they never […]

Dr. Eric Topol’s Vision: Your Phone as a Portable, Individual, Digital Medical Device

August 13, 2013

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Sometimes, the best innovators, the ones who make the biggest leaps in progress, are not those who make an original invention, but rather, those who fully grasp what can be done with that invention in their own fields of expertise.  Cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol is one such innovator, with sweeping and yet completely achievable ideas […]

The Problems With Saying Obesity Is a Disease

July 2, 2013

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Is it or isn’t it?  The American Medical Association and the general public are both sharply divided, but the hotly contested AMA decision to call obesity a “disease” will have far-reaching and as yet unforeseen consequences. As of yesterday, Medpage Today was running an informal survey asking “Is obesity a disease?”  Of 1729 votes when […]