Thyroid Cancer Is Almost Always Over-Diagnosed

Posted On : November 12, 2014,   Time : 7:14 am

Is thyroid cancer the most over-diagnosed cancer of them all? That appears to be the case in South Korea, where the number of thyroid cancer cases are 15 times higher than they were 20 years ago, the New York Times has reported, citing a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The number of thyroid cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S. have doubled during that same period. Researchers say that the number of cases have grown due to the fact that clinicians have zeroed in on tiny and often harmless tumors and then treating them aggressively. However, the mortality rate for thyroid cancer has remained stable for many years, even though the number of cases diagnosed is rising faster than any other form of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society

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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, National Family Caregiver Month

Posted On : November 7, 2014,   Time : 6:41 pm

November has two specific events that correlate closely to medical diagnoses and obtaining second opinions to confirm them. The first event is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a growing problem in the United States. In 2012, there were an estimated 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the population, with diabetes, according to data from the American Diabetes Association. That's up a full percentage point just from 2010, when it affected 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. Although a large part of that increase is attributed to those who contract type 2 (adult onset) diabetes, a recent study by Kaiser Permanente researchers indicated that cases of type 1 diabetes are also increasing among children. Diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of limbs and kidney and heart failure. It is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. An extremely unsettling fact is that more than 8 million Americans have diabetes and are not aware of it, and a startling 86 million

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EHRs Can Help Detect Hypertension

Posted On : November 4, 2014,   Time : 7:45 pm

More than 30 percent of Americans may suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension, a condition that can lead to strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease. However, as many as 20 percent of people who have hypertension may not be aware that they have a potentially fatal medical condition. An electronic health record (EHR) can help solve that. Researchers have concluded that using a specific algorithm in EHRs can detect whether patients who use such records may have hypertension. The condition can be hard to diagnose with a single blood pressure reading in a physician’s office because there are so many commonplace reasons why someone might have a high reading. But using an EHR in the right way can aggregate and analyze several blood pressure readings and give doctors clues as to w

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Access To Your Own Medical Records Could Be “Tipping Point” In Consumer Engagement

Posted On : November 4, 2014,   Time : 7:39 pm

A former top-level government official and healthcare information technology expert believes that allowing patients easy access to the electronic health records could revolutionize the delivery of healthcare services. “Access by individuals and their families to their own health records can empower them to coordinate care among multiple healthcare providers, find and address dangerous factual errors, and take advantage of a growing ecosystem of apps and tools for improving health-related behaviors, saving money on health services, and getting more convenient, personalized care,” Lygeia Ricciardi wrote in The Health Care Blog. Until recently, Ricciardi was the director of the Office of Consumer e-Health at the Office of the National Coordinator, a federal agency

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How Not Obtaining A Second Opinion Can Lead To Premature Death

Posted On : October 29, 2014,   Time : 9:36 pm

The family of Daniel Gapinski wishes he had obtained a medical second opinion sooner. The Illinois resident died prematurely when a neuropathologist misdiagnosed a mass growing near his pituitary gland in his brain as a benign meningloma. It was actually malignant kidney cancer that had metastasized to his brain. But as a result of the initial diagnosis, Mr. Kapinski underwent little followup care after its removal. The kidney cancer diagnosis was not made until two years later, when Mr. Kapinski's symptoms returned. By then, the cancer was too far advanced to treat. A jury recently awarded $1.7 million to Mr. Kapinski's estate and family, determining that the initial misdiagnosis led to his dying prematurely, according to the News-Tribune newsp

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