Thursday December 1, 2011
The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care now recommends mammograms every three years, no self breast examinations, and no clinical breast exams. They believe these procedures cause too many needless biopsies, mental anguish, and over treatment. This also leads to massive overtreatment of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) which is only life-threatening in 2% of cases. DCIS can be cautiously followed, but unfortunately is overtreated.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force also recommends that women under the age of 50 not have routine mammograms. The American College of Radiology remains adamant that mammograms should begin at age 40. It seems that selecting patients for breast cancer screening should be based in each unique individual situation.
Friday December 2, 2011
There is now a treatment for chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy that is being tested in an NIH funded clinical trial at UCSF. The results in clinical practice have been very promising in reducing pain, numbness and improving proprioception (balance). Dr. Len did the pilot study on this using infrared light therapy and is one of the authors of the paper that will follow the clinical trial.
A recent study published in Acupuncture in Medicine reported an 11 patient study with 6 patients who underwent 10 acupuncture treatments over 3 months and 5 control patients. The results suggest that acupuncture could be helpful in treating the pain and numbness. We believe that all therapies that could help should be considered whether it be infrared light therapy, acupuncture, supplements, or pharmaceutical drugs.
Monday December 5, 2011
In a global study of 100,000 nurses it was found that nurse burnout is widespread. How well nurses fare in their work is a barometer of how well patients are faring. Many RNs lacked confidence that patients could manage their care after discharge. Too many patients and nurse-physician relationships were major issues. What is needed is a reasonable amount of work, respect and appreciation for what they do, and a healthy working environment.
Tuesday December 6, 2011
Women between the age of 15 and 49 may reduce their risk of developing heart attacks, strokes, and hypertension by consuming fish right in omega 3 fatty acids. Compared to women eating fish high in omega 3 fats such as salmon, mackerel, cod and herring, have a 90% less risk compared to women eating little or no fish. This study was published in the journal, Hypertension, in December of 2011 and involved 49,000 over 8 years.
It still remains a problem that fish are high in mercury, which is highly toxic to the fetus. So, we do not recommend eating any fish during the year before and during pregnancy. It would make sense to use either fish or krill oil.
Wednesday December 7, 2011
It is a legal doctrine that holds corporate officers liable for company wrongdoing. However, in the medical arena, enforcement is minimal and companies get away with murder! The Vioxx story is a classic example where deliberate action knowingly led to 50,000 deaths and not one person was criminally prosecuted. In fact, the company denied any wrongdoing at all even though it paid about $6 billion to those injured or killed. They still made a huge profit. Oh well, business is business! You can make the same case for the rest of the NSAIDs that are on the market...they kill 30,000 people annually and put 300,000 in the hospital. Is the FDA liable for this?
In another example, Synthes Pharmaceutical company made a bone cement product used in spinal surgeries where the data was fabricated and people died from the product. Another case of murder that let the guilty party off scott free!
Thursday December 8, 2011
Iron storage disease, or hemochromatosis, affects 10-15% of the population, and perhaps even more if you know how to diagnose it. Iron overload increases free radical damage via the Fenton reaction. Hepcidin is a hormone that regulates iron levels by increasing the absorption of iron. The is new research showing that at least experimentally it is possible to block hepciden and lower levels of iron and LDL cholesterol by increasing reverse cholesterol transport.
Iron is carcinogenic and cancer cells hoard it. Artemisinin is a possible treatment for cancer. Here is a link to this video: Artemisinin a Cancer Smart Bomb
Friday December 9, 2011
Garlic oil may help release protective compounds for the heart during a heart attack, during cardiac surgery, or for congestive heart failure. The active compound is diallyl trisulfide, which can deliver hydrogen sulfide gas to the heart. In studies in mice when a coronary artery is tied off there is 61% less damage when diallyl trisulfide is administered. It lowers free radical levels in the mitochondria by turning down mitochondrial function and lowering free radical production.
Garlic has many other compound such as allicin, which helps reduce blood pressure, has an anticoagulant effect, and may also lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. There are three "gasotransmitters," nitric oxide, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide, that affect blood flow in large and small arteries.
The key substance in hydrogen sulfide is sulfur. There are three amino acids high in sulfur: cysteine, methionine, and taurine. Foods high in these substances include eggs, garlic, and many cruciferous veggies, as well as fruits such as blueberries, cheries and grapes.