Being married to a transplant physician tends to give one a different perspective on life, and in particular, risk taking. For example I’m embarrassed to admit I rarely climb ladders anymore unless it is absolutely unavoidable. Between you and me, the last time I had to change a lightbulb in the garage, instead of using a ladder, I stood on the roof of my wife’s S.U.V. (note to self, need to make up story explaining dent on roof of S.U.V.).
But I must admit, I do have a terrible weakness for speed. And while said weakness has been limited to things with four wheels, I’ve always toyed with the notion of someday getting a motorcycle. I never took up motorcycle riding in my younger years, but now as I see older and older people leisurely riding their hogs, and parking their chrome babies in handicapped designated spots, I wonder; could it really be that risky?
The other day, as we were taking a drive on a minimally trafficked two lane road, a couple of kids went flying by us on sportbikes at near triple digit speeds.
My immediate response; “AWESOME! I WANT ONE!”
My wife’s response; “Young . . . healthy. . . perfect candidates for organ harvesting!”
My desire to ride motorcycles has since waned. Continue reading “Marriage and Motorcycles.”
In 2011 The National Cancer Institute published results from their study of low dose CT lung cancer screening of individuals identified as at risk for lung cancer. The investigators enrolled those between 55 to 74 years of age who had at least 30 pack years of smoking under their belt (number of packs per day multiplied by number of years smoked). These people were then randomly assigned to either a chest x-ray group or a “low dose” CT scan group, with 3 images over 2 years. There was initial criticism that the authors used chest x-rays as the control rather than “usual care”. However given that the PLCO trial, comparing chest x-rays to usual care, subsequently showed no difference between the two, this would appear to have been a sound strategy.
The study also received some well deserved praise, as it was the largest study of its kind, and demonstrated some very impressive findings, as detailed in the article’s abstract. The most striking findings were:
- a 20% reduction in the risk of death from cancer relative to the control group.
- a 6.7% reduction in the risk of death from any cause relative to the control group.
I cannot sum up how to you how astounding these results were/are to the medical community, specifically to those who are involved as patients, or in the treatment, diagnosis, support, research, and fund raising of lung cancer. Continue reading “Lung Cancer Screening: Almost There . . .”
It happens thousands of times a day, all across the country. People go to their doctor’s office after some testing has been performed. The physician, unaware that any testing has been ordered by another physician, asks their usual questions. The patient, awaiting an opinion rendered on the recently performed test begins to answer the doctor’s questions with increasing impatience and trepidation, fearing the worst. “Why is he asking so many questions. . . why is he not telling me the results? Did my cholesterol panel show cancer?” And finally the question comes to the fore;
“ Doctor did you get my test results?”
“No, what test did you have”
“But I told them to send it to you!!” Continue reading “Where Medical Reports Go to Die.”
My dear readers, it is with great regret that I relay the news to you that your author has been diagnosed with a terminal, incurable affliction similar to what you see in the picture above. You may think I’m talking about simple male pattern baldness. But no, this is much more spontaneous, insidious, and frankly morally shameful. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it appears that I have the early stages of comb-over.
Continue reading “A New Staging System for a Terminal Disease.”