You Won’t Believe What They Found on Colonoscopy Instruments

It’s hard enough convincing people to have a

Ken Burns, Katie Couric to Tackle Cancer, ‘Emperor of All Maladies’

He’s taken on the Civil War, baseball and jazz. Now, spurred by a personal tragedy, America’s foremost documentarian is tackling cancer. According to the Associated Press, Ken Burns will collaborate with Siddhartha Mukherjee to bring the author’s book The Emperor of All Maladies to PBS in spring 2015. The film is scheduled to run for six hours, over three nights. Burns’ mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was 3, and she died 8 years later. “There was never …

Chew On This: Gum Helps Surgery, But Not Diets

Chewing gum fans won one and lost one this week: A new study found that chewing gum after colon surgery could help shorten your hospital stay. On the other hand, chewing gum failed to help dieters eat less in another study. People who have surgery for colon cancer – meaning a portion of the colon is removed –  typically spend several days in the hospital waiting for their intestines to start working again so they can eat normally. Previous studies …

Days of Laughter, Days of Grief

A lifelong friend received the worst kind of news not long ago when he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and given a matter of a few months to live. It had spread to his liver and lungs, and because of its total involvement with his liver it was considered inoperable. They gave him chemo and test trials of various possible cures but nothing worked.  The “Big C,” as he put it, could not be stopped. “I am being …

Colonoscopies and Seniors: What to Do?

Following up my last post – Learning to Say No to Doctors – I was interested to read results of a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association that reported up to 38 percent of colonoscopies performed on those between 76 to 85 years old (and almost 25 percent of those over 86) were potentially inappropriate under existing guidelines. I take a personal interest in this procedure because colon cancer played a significant role in my …

Free Colonoscopy Coverage Means Polyps, Too

A routine colonoscopy was supposed to be free under the new health care law, but then insurers began charging if doctors found and removed a polyp during the procedure. That’s a no-no, announced the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week, in an effort to clear up confusion about this and other medical tests that should be considered free preventive care, the Associated Press reported. In the notice posted on the HHS website, the agency explained that “polyp …