For Nursing Home Patients, Breast Cancer Surgery May Do More Harm Than Good

Surgery is a mainstay of breast cancer treatment, offering most women a good chance of cure.

For frail nursing home residents, however, breast cancer surgery can harm their health and even hasten death, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.

The results have led some experts to question why patients who are fragile and advanced in years are screened for breast cancer, let alone given aggressive treatment.

Hurricane Maria’s Official Death Toll In Puerto Rico Now Stands At Nearly 3,000

Nearly 3,000 Puerto Ricans died as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria last year, a number that dwarfs the government’s initial tally of 64, according to a report commissioned by Puerto Rican officials and released Tuesday.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who asked for the research following criticism of the American territory’s low death count, said his government accepts the new numbers and wants to learn from the crisis.

Scientists unpick how cannabis component may fight psychosis

LONDON (Reuters) – British scientists have unraveled how a non-intoxicating component of cannabis acts in key brain areas to reduce abnormal activity in patients at risk of psychosis, suggesting the ingredient could become a novel anti-psychotic medicine.

Green shoots of cannabis are seen in a field overlooking a lake in Yammouneh in West of Baalbek, Lebanon August 13, 2018. Picture taken August 13, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

While regular use of potent forms of cannabis can increase the chances of developing psychosis, the chemical cannabidiol or CBD appears to have the opposite effect.

Doctors may not follow peanut guidelines for allergy-prone babies

(Reuters Health) – Primary care physicians and pediatricians may not be following current guidelines that recommend introducing puréed peanuts to allergy-prone babies before the age of 6 months, a Canadian study suggests.

In a survey of pediatricians, family doctors and allergy specialists, the majority of pediatricians and family doctors recommended introducing allergenic foods between 6 months and 1 year of age. Most allergists correctly said milk, egg and puréed peanuts or peanut powder should be introduced between the ages of 4 and 6 months.

Parent Alert! Your Kid May Be Vaping More Than Tobacco

By now, many parents know kids are vaping sweet-smelling tobacco — often using devices that look deceptively like pens or flash drives. And most parents are hip to the prevalence of underage marijuana use.

Now comes a combo of the two: vaping pot. Experts and educators say young people are — once again — one step ahead of the adults in their lives, experimenting with this new and more heady way to consume weed.

Shifting Gears: Insuring Your Health Column — Born With The ACA — Draws To A Close

Until I started writing the Insuring Your Health column eight years ago, I had no idea what a medical loss ratio was, and I’d surely never used the words “benchmark silver plan” in a story. If asked, I would have guessed that “ACA” stood for the American Canoe Association (which is actually a thing, by the way).

Now I know better. Way better, having written once or twice a week for several years about how the Affordable Care Act has affected consumers’ health care coverage and costs.

Heart benefits of fish oil, aspirin questioned in diabetics

(Reuters Health) – A new large study of fish oil and aspirin in people with diabetes has found that the oil supplements don’t prevent first-time heart attacks or strokes, yet aspirin does, although the benefit of aspirin therapy is canceled out by a higher risk of unwanted bleeding.

Nearly 15,500 volunteers were tested to see if either treatment made a difference. None of them had heart disease at the start of the study but all had diabetes, which typically increases the risk of cardiovascular problems two- to three-fold.

Children taking multiple medications at risk for severe reactions

(Reuters Health) – Nearly one in five American children use at least one prescription medication, and roughly one in 13 kids takes more than one prescription drug, according to a new study.

And among the children taking more than one medication, one in 12 is at risk of a harmful drug interaction, researchers report in Pediatrics.

Adolescent girls are most at risk of adverse reactions, including a potentially deadly heart condition, the researchers found. In fact, one in five of those taking multiple medications were found to be at risk of a major drug-drug interaction.

A Jolt To The Jugular! You’re Insured But Still Owe $109K For Your Heart Attack

Drew Calver took out his trash cans and then waved goodbye to his wife, Erin, as she left for the grocery store the morning that upended his picture-perfect life.

Minutes later, the popular high school history teacher and swim coach in Austin, Texas, collapsed in his bedroom from a heart attack. He pounded his fist on the bed frame, violent chest pains pinning him to the floor.

The Doctors Want In: Democratic Docs Talk Health Care On The Campaign Trail

Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency physician from western Michigan, had never considered running for Congress. Then came February 2017. The 46-year-old Democrat found himself at a local town-hall meeting going toe-to-toe with Rep. Bill Huizenga, his Republican congressman of the previous six years.

“I told him about my patients,” Davidson recalled. “I see, every shift, some impact of not having adequate health care, not having dental insurance or a doctor at all.”

His comments triggered cheers from the audience but didn’t seem to register with Huizenga, a vocal Obamacare critic. And that got Davidson thinking.