Breast Cancer Patients Get Longer Radiation Than Necessary

Women 50 or older who have lumpectomies for small breast tumors are being given follow-up radiation treatment that lasts nearly twice as long as guidelines recommend, new research finds. Even more disturbing, the decision to stick with the longer, more expensive treatment may be because it’s more profitable for radiation-treatment centers, a study coauthor contends. Radiation, which is standard treatment after surgery for early-stage breast cancer tumors, is used to kill any cancer cells remaining after surgery. It usually involves …

So Why Are Waiting Room Magazines So Old?

Ever wonder why the magazines in your doctor’s waiting room are so out of date? One office I was in had a Golf Digest from 2012. Are our docs just trying to bore us to death? Do they put out only old magazines and keep the new ones for themselves? Or is something else going on? New Zealand doctor Bruce Arroll kept getting complaints about the magazines in his general practice office, so he and a colleague decided to find …

Yes, Men Are Idiots. And Science Can Prove It

Men are idiots. No, truly, they are, and now all the long-suffering, eye-rolling women of the world have the hard science to prove it. A bunch of British researchers who, may I point out, are all men, have done a study on what they call the male idiot theory (MIT). The research, published in the traditionally quirky Christmas issue of the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), takes a look at sex differences in “idiotic risk-taking behavior” where the payoff …

7 Ways to Reduce Acid Reflux (Even if You’re the President)

A nagging sore throat had President Obama checking in for an exam recently with his doctors. The diagnosis was one that’s familiar to millions of Americans: acid reflux. Acid reflux — aka heartburn — occurs when stomach acid sloshes up into your esophagus, irritating and inflaming the tissue, including the back of the throat. If it happens several times a week and becomes severe, it’s called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It’s estimated that 60 percent of U.S. adults will experience …

It’s Going to Be a Bad Flu Season

Sorry, folks, but we’re headed into a nasty flu season. The government’s disease experts say this season’s strain will be particularly virulent and — even worse — about half of the strain’s viruses have already mutated into a form that the current vaccine can’t fully protect against. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the flu shot is still the best bet for protection, but they also urged people who feel they are coming down with …

Why Are Some Generic-Drug Prices Soaring?

Inexpensive generic drugs have helped millions of Americans save money on brand-name medication, but lately soaring prices on some longtime generics are prompting investigations into this pricing U-turn by pharmaceutical companies. In addition, a a new AARP drug-pricing report shows retail prices for brand-name prescription drugs continue to increase. The debate over some generic price hikes has spurred the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging to hold a hearing to review pricing on a dozen generics, and the Department …