The Medical Screenings All Men Need, and When

No matter how fast medicine moves us towards treatments, preventive medicine will always be the most effective and cheapest way to keep healthy. Yesterday, we went over the most common screenings for women. Today we’ll look at men’s health screenings, when you should get them, and what kind of experience you’re in for.

Source: The Medical Screenings All Men Need, and When

Curious to know about colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy preparation?

64oz to be drunk in 8oz servings every 15 mins – wasn’t awful tasting…similar to warm, flat, weak Gatorade.

As you’d expect, you’ll start with solid poop, then brown liquid to clear liquid.

What you don’t expect is the velocity which it shoots out of your butthole – near the end, I felt like I was jet propelled. It’s like your anus is blowing its nose FORCEFULLY.

I also didn’t expect how sore my butthole would feel afterwards. If you’ve had stomach flu where all you did was poop, you’ll have an idea how raw it felt.

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Tumor-killing Virus Nearly Doubles Survival Time of Brain Cancer Patients

To defeat the deadliest of cancers, it’s time to unleash the viruses.

In a small clinical trial with brain cancer patients, a tumor-seeking virus successfully invaded cancer cells and smuggled in molecular detonators, allowing doctors to selectively blast the deadly growths with a toxic drug. In the trial’s 45 participants, who were fighting the most aggressive forms of brain cancer known, the virus-drug combo nearly doubled their average survival time while showing no dangerous side effects. The finding, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, demonstrates the utility of such viruses and also provides a green light for the treatment strategy to move on to more trials.

Source: Tumor-killing virus nearly doubles survival time of brain cancer patients

Paging Gord Downie.

Genes Change Your Risk for Disease, but Aren’t Necessarily Destiny

In 1951 essayist Norman Cousins wrote: “The hand that is dealt you represents determinism. The way you play your hand represents free will.” He was writing about the nature of man, but it’s not unreasonable to extrapolate his thoughts to the part that our genes play in our health.

The genetic material we inherit from our parents may be a blueprint, an instruction book used to build our body and to keep it running, but – for most of us – it doesn’t determine our fate completely.

Source: Genetics: Risk or Destiny?

Disease is one aspect; athleticism is another.  I’ll never be an elite athlete, but that won’t stop me from enjoying a hobby.

Medical Error Could Be ‘Third Leading Cause of Death in the US’

You’ll never see a death certificate with the words ‘medical error’ as the cause of death. But a new study suggests that it could be considered the third biggest cause in the US.

Source: Medical Error Could Be ‘Third Leading Cause of Death in the US’

We often see the doctors as the faces of healthcare, but we forgot that there are others that work just as hard to make sure the patient goes home better than they came in.  Nurses, lab folk, and techs.

That said, at the end of the day – people are fallible.

First US Penis Transplant Successfully Carried Out on Massachusetts Man

All those spam emails are about to come true…

A Boston man who lost most of his penis in a fight with cancer has become the first US patient to receive a penis transplant.

Thomas Manning, 64, a bank courier from Halifax, Massachusetts, received the new organ from a deceased donor in a 15 hour-long operation conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on May 8 and 9. The procedure involves doctors hooking up nerves, veins, and arteries between the recipient and donor organ. So far, Manning’s doctors are “cautiously optimistic” that he will recover urinary and sexual function in the coming weeks and months.

Source: First US penis transplant successfully carried out on Massachusetts man

I’m sure some potential donors would say their organ would have to be taken from “their cold, dead hands”. Everyone hopes to go out doing something they love… 😉

I believe Russia’s approach to organ donation is that it is an opt-out policy – otherwise your participation is assumed.  I don’t know if that is true, but I personally like the idea.

Meet the 72-year-old Cancer Survivor Who Was Thrilled to Finish the Boston Marathon – Dead Last

It takes a special kind of person to make finishing a race dead last feel like a win, but Fran Drozdz is just that person.

A 72-year-old cancer survivor, Drozdz had run more than 75 marathons when she signed up for the Boston Marathon with a charity team supporting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Source: Meet the 72-year-old cancer survivor who was thrilled to finish the Boston Marathon – dead last

Finishing is still quite the accomplishment.

The Way Cancer Cells Spread Is Even Scarier Than We Thought

Cancer cells have a terrifying-yet-ingenious way of passing through even the smallest blood vessels to spread throughout the human body, according to a new study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital. Figuring out how to prevent them from doing so may help slow down the spread of this killer disease.

Source: The Way Cancer Cells Spread Is Even Scarier Than We Thought

It’s interesting but very, very preliminary.

They are circulating tumor cells xenografted into a fish embryo. We don’t really know much about ciruculating tumor cells (CTC’s) except that some early studies have shown that if they can be found, the risk of recurrence is higher. We haven’t yet found a way to impact those findings so the recommendation is to not even look for them. Finding them does not change therapy, and finding them does not guarantee relapse although the companies that make the assay try to sell it on “don’t you want to know?” In fact, no. I do not want to know a number that may scare people, may not lead to bad outcomes even though it sounds like it does, and has no bearing on actual treatment decisions.

That said, this begs the question of why these cells are capable of the behavior… How do they attain this ability?

It’s Not Cancer: Doctors Reclassify a Thyroid Tumor

An international panel of doctors has decided that a type of tumor that was classified as a cancer is not a cancer at all.

As a result, they have officially downgraded the condition, and thousands of patients will be spared removal of their thyroid, treatment with radioactive iodine and regular checkups for the rest of their lives, all to protect against a tumor that was never a threat.

Source: It’s Not Cancer: Doctors Reclassify a Thyroid Tumor

News worth passing onto anyone you know who is currently dealing with thyroid issues.

Smart Scalpel Can Distinguish Between Healthy and Cancerous Brain Tissue

Performing any kind of surgery on the brain is already a tremendously difficult procedure, but removing only cancerous tissue is even more of a challenge because it’s very difficult to visually distinguish the good brain from the bad. But what if the scalpel in a surgeon’s hand could tell the difference between the two?

Source: Smart Scalpel Can Distinguish Between Healthy and Cancerous Brain Tissue

The article suggests that the technology could be used on other cancers.  But if that was the case, why not have developed that first?

Standing Desks Are No Replacement For a Workout

Planting your behind in a seat for hours at a time has been squarely linked to an increase in health problems, from shorter lifespans to a slew of diseases, including cancer. Concerned office workers have leapt to standing desks as healthier alternatives. But prolonged sitting may be getting a bum rap, a new study suggests.

Source: Standing desks are no replacement for a workout

The moral of the story is still this: go out and get some exercise.

No gym membership needed. Go out and run. Or walk at first if you can’t run. Or try cycling. Or try rowing. Or swimming. Can’t swim? Even better- you’ll go on a great journey just learning how to swim crawl correctly.

What – winters are bad where you live? Cross country skiing.   Endurance exercise has the power to change your life.