Diabetes drugs may help control lung cancer: study

Reuters today: "Commonly used diabetes drugs such as metformin may help control lung cancer, and may help prevent it, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday."

Beware the doctor rating services--lack of updates misleading!

Looks like a lot of these doc rating sites get their data from a small number of review sources.  The ongoing problem of lack of data credibility on the web affects medicine as well.

This from Barbara Duck--

Is health care a right?

I think George Carlin was on the mark when he said there are no rights.  If a country can imprison its own citizens (as in the Japanese internment camps during WWII) with no due process, there are no rights.

So where does that leave health care?

I think the word "dignity" is more apropos than "right" when it comes to health care.  The ability to see a doctor, to have a hospital nearby, to have a pharmacy nearby with good medicines and a skilled pharmacist, these are human dignities.

From Health News Review, Gary Schwitzer More robot hype - McGill's McSleepy joins DaVinci for McProstate removal


Impact of "off-label" use of experimental drugs in oncology--not as bad as you'd expect

A lot of fire and brimstone coming down from Reuters by way of Dr. Otis Brawley of American Cancer Society today, concerning the off-label use of experimental cancer treatment.

The quote from Dr. Brawley was that "many of these drugs end up not being the tremendous improvement that we hoped they would be," and certainly I share his frustration in the slow pace of innovation in the cancer research arena.  We have precious little innovation to show for the billions of dollars devoted yearly to cancer research.

Blood thinner use blocks prostate cancer progression: study

Prostate cancer patients taking either aspirin or warfarin, two common blood thinners, were less likely to die of their prostate cancer, according to a study to be released next week at the radiation oncology meeting, ASTRO.

This was more of a correlation study, not as accurate as a prospective trial, but interesting because it highlights a new potential connection between cancer and aspirin.

Do calcium supplements cause heart attacks?

This question came out of left field last week, but it looks like there was some coverage of the subject this summer.  A paper published in BMJ in July combined results from many studies and found an increased risk of coronary disease with calcium supplementation.  LA Times had coverage at the time.

Shock wave treatment for plantar fasciitis: "no bueno"

My former boss in practice had wicked plantar fasciitis.  He tried everything, physical therapy, boots, inserts, different sneakers.  Nothing helped.  Then he lost a bunch of weight, about 30 pounds, and he says now he has no pain.

"Should I get a Whooping Cough vaccine?"

If you're over 65 and haven't had a pertussis vaccine in a while, at least in California, you should get the whooping cough vaccine.

This message is not out there--I hadn't heard anything about it.  Patients have been asking, but there isn't the information getting to us guys in the trenches.

The issue is now getting some press coverage.

Medical miracle of the week: industrial bleach

It'd be funny if it weren't sad.  You can't make this stuff up, but there's a guy on the internet hawking bleach as a potential cure for diseases from malaria to cancer.  Coverage was last month in the UK's Guardian newspaper online.

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