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October 2016 Archives

Thyroid Cancer Rates Increasing

In general, thyroid cancer is one of the better cancers to be diagnosed with as it carries a lower fatality rate relative to other types of cancer. Thyroid cancer rates, however, are on the rise. According to Dr. David Terris, surgical director of the Augusta University Thyroid and Parathyroid Center, thyroid cancer is the fastest growing cancer over the past 10 years. Terris believes that some of this increase is most likely due to a better ability to find and detect cancer of the thyroid, while some of the inflation may be due to a true increase in the number of incidences. Terris says that nobody really knows why thyroid cancer rates are increasing.

Medication errors causing harm to children

When children fall ill, parents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are not only concerned about what is ailing their child, but also whether the recommended course of treatment is right for their child. With regards to infants and toddlers, the concern heightens, fearing that a slight mistake with medication could prove fatal. Although medical professionals are trained and educated on how to properly treat and administer medication to children, medication mistakes unfortunately occur, causing young patients harm and pain.

Report Concludes Contraceptives May Lead to Depression

A study by Danish researchers has found that hormonal contraceptives are linked with an increased risk of depression. The study viewed more than a million women between the ages of 15 and 34 from 2000 to 2013. Users of hormonal contraception had a 40 percent heightened risk of developing depression after six months of using the contraception. Certain pills, such as progestin-only pills or Levonorgestrel IUD posed an even greater risk of depression. Adolescent girls were found to have the greatest risk of developing depression, but this may be due to the fact that young girls are especially susceptible to depression. The researchers say that even though the risk of depression is significantly increased with the use of hormonal contraceptives, most women will not develop depression from using them. However, it is important that women are educated on the depressive risks of hormonal birth control methods and know that there are non-hormonal forms of birth control. To read a summary of the study by Nicholas Bakalar of the New York Times, click here.

What are the causes of medication errors and can they be reduced?

When residents in Pennsylvania become ill, they rely on medical professionals to diagnose and treat them. In most cases, this often requires prescribing the patient medication. And, while these medications can be effective when used properly, patients could be harmed due to negligence and errors occurring in the prescribing, distribution and administering medications.

New Jersey Transit kills 1, Injures 114

A commuter train on the New Jersey Transit Line smashed into the Hoboken Terminal on the morning of September 29th, killing one person and injuring 114 according to the Washington Post. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said the following regarding the crash: "The train came at a high rate of speed into the station and crashed through all the barriers, bringing it all the way to the internal wall of the Hoboken terminal. We have no indication that this was anything but a tragic accident." According to reports, some passengers were trapped under debris from the train and many people were openly bleeding from their injuries.

Does High Factor Sunscreen Decrease the Risk of Skin Cancer?

A recent study published by the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Oslo found that applying high factor sunscreen as opposed to low factor sunscreen can decrease the risk of developing melanoma by 33%. The study considered sunscreen above SPF 15 a high factor sunscreen, and in turn considered sunscreen below SPF 15 a low factor sunscreen. The study followed more than 140,000 Norwegian women for an average of ten years to draw its conclusions.

The long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury

Whether it is due to a fall in the workplace, an incident on another's property or a motor vehicle accident, suffering a head trauma will likely be a life-changing injury for victims in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. A traumatic brain injury or a TBI occurs when a victims suffers a bump, blow or jolt to the head. This injury disrupts the functions of the brain and could have serious long-term effects.

Should Men be Screened for Breast Cancer?

A common cancer misconception is that only women can be diagnosed with life-threatening breast cancer. To the contrary, approximately 440 of the 2,600 men who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year will lose their battle with the disease. Women have a much greater risk of being diagnosed with the disease than men; a woman's lifetime chance of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8, while a man's chance is 1 in 1,000. The American Cancer Society says that, "there is unlikely to be any benefit in screening men in the general population for breast cancer with mammograms or other tests." However, men with a family history of breast cancer or those who have gene mutations may benefit from routine screenings although there has been minimal research done on the benefits of breast cancer screenings in men. The American Cancer Society also notes that regular breast self-exams are not recommended for men and women who are at a normal risk for breast cancer.

Holding a negligent driver accountable after a motorcycle crash

Although the number of motorcycles on the roadways decreases as the fall weather settles in, motorists in Pennsylvania and elsewhere should still expect to still see some die-hard motorcyclists traveling throughout the fall season and even into the winter.

Sled Riding Safety

Autumn is upon us and soon the snow will begin falling. Snow brings with it the joy of playing in the snow and sled riding for kids across the country. But sled riding can be a dangerous endeavor for children; according to the most recent statistics, over 50,000 children per year are treated at hospitals due to sled, toboggan, and tube related injuries.

What are the common signs of a traumatic brain injury?

When an accident occurs, victims are often concerned with their safety and wellbeing. In fact, accident victims in Pennsylvania and elsewhere will look their body over, ensuring no major or even minor injuries were suffered. While this step helps them address major health concerns and injuries, this unfortunately does not help a victim address those injuries that do not have immediate signs and symptoms. One of those types of injuries is a head injury.

Brain Cancer #1 Childhood Cancer Killer

The centers for Disease and Control Prevention recently announced that brain cancer is now the number one cause of cancer death among children and teenagers, replacing Leukemia at the top of the list. Experts are attributing this switch to advancements in the treatment of Leukemia rather than an increase in the prevalence of brain cancer. Oncologists say that brain cancer is more difficult to treat than other forms of cancer due to the blood brain barrier, a barrier in the brain that blocks out certain drugs from reaching the brain.

Negligent drivers can be held accountable for motorcycle crashes

Although fall has officially started, residents in Pennsylvania will often continue to experience warm weather for quite some time. This means motorists will also continue to share the road with motorcyclists until the frigid weather rolls in. Whether a motorist is traveling near a motorcyclist, is turning on a road in front of a motorcyclist, entering an intersection with a motorcyclist or is traveling behind a motorcyclist, certain steps need to be taken to ensure safety.

Hospital Hides Surgical Error from Family

A cancer patient presented to the University Hospital Coventry in England to have her kidney removed as part of her cancer treatment; tragically, the mother of three passed away two days after the operation. The woman allegedly died due to a medical error in which the blood supply from two arteries was cut off, which was not supposed to be a part of the procedure. This fact was never reported to the woman's family. The family only learned of these allegations after BBC received an anonymous tip and informed the family. In addition, the hospital reportedly did not report any error to the coroner's office. The hospital wrote to the woman's family and apologized "for the distress that they have suffered." The hospital also said that the coroner was immediately notified of the death in a detailed report. The coroner's office, however, stated that "the hospital did not make the coroner aware of any surgical error at the time of death or subsequently until the matter was brought to the coroner's attention by solicitors for the family."

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