Dogs and Cancer, Assisted Living, End of Life, and Being Married

Can dogs smell lung cancer?


The economy is making it hard for seniors to afford assisted living.


Kevin MD says “Take care of yourself now.”  You’ll regret not taking care of yourself when your health goes.  


More on end of life choices.


Wives make their husbands healthier.

Diabetes Test Strip Recall, Nutrition, Drug Shortages, and Disability

Bayer is recalling diabetes test strips in the United States.


Kaiser Health News Roundup.  Some of the best headlines about healthcare on the web.  This batch includes articles about “saying no” to more care, Medicare cost reduction, and stem cell research.


Nutrition science is undergoing a bit of an upheaval.  Why is this not surprising? 


More on drug shortages.  It’s getting a little scary out there!


Social Security Disability is in trouble.  2017 is the year everything hits the fan.

Links: hospitals and cancer patients, Walmart prescription help, and drug testing using the elderly

Hospitals are now helping cancer patients navigate the care maze.


Walmart now has an iPhone app for prescriptions.


Most clinical trials exclude the elderly.  But, how can you exclude the elderly for drugs that are meant to be used in that age group?  Interesting problem.

The Hospice Debate Continues

Hospice has been a big issue in the news lately, and it will continue to be a bigger issue as Medicare struggles to bring end-of-life costs under control.  


Here is a recent Health Affairs article about a woman who felt relieved when her cancer-stricken husband finally decided to go on hospice.  


Here is an older article by the physician-turned-writer, Atul Gawande, about hospice use in America.  


Both articles are worth reading.  Gawande is an extraordinary writer, and I highly recommend his articles and books.

Senior Housing Links!

A hospital in Maryland just paid $1.8 million to settle complaints related to a cariologist accused of unnecessarily stenting.

Kevin says there is no such thing as a complete physical.

Kevin also discusses how caregiver burnout is another name for exhaustion.

The Happy Hospitalist discusses plastic surgery in old age.




Senior Housing Links of Interest

Anti-Aging Medicine isn’t Great (Cosmetic Surgery This plastic surgeon says that there’s no evidence that hormone-based anti-aging treatments actually work.

Consumer Reports and the Scientific Method (Get Better Consumer Reports is testing alternative medicines using less-than-scientific methods.  The author cries foul.

Antidepressant Prescriptions without a Diagnosis (Pharmalot)  This post summarizes an article from Health Affairs which found that the majority of patients who take antidepressants do not have a formal diagnosis of depression or mental illness.

Consumer Health Information Panel to be Formed (Kaiser Health News) As a result of health reform legislation, the federal government is creating a panel to give consumers information about treament options.

Senior Housing Links of Interest

Research Points to Alzheimer’s Early Toll (from the Wall Street Journal)  Drug companies will focus their efforts on patients with early stages of dementia.

Boomers still get Heart Disease (from Health Populi)  Despite an increased emphasis on staying fit and active, many Boomers still have heart disease.

Patients Want Online Communication from their Doctor (from Health Populi) …sort of.  It still hasn’t completely caught on yet, but providers and experimenting with new ways of communicating with patients.

Pfizer and Over-the-Counter Lipitor (from Wall Street Journal Blog) It’s unclear whether or not the FDA would approve something like this, but if it does, it might change the way patients with high blood pressure interact with their doctors.