Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Today is the 4th, a few updates and national news

Today was the second day since I started my chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin. No side effects yet, but as I'm only 2 days into the treatment that's not unusual.

Today also marked my second official day of radiation. It's odd how quickly the radiation treatments are compared to the severity of the attack on the cancer cells. The entire office visit takes less than 45 minutes and other than a sharpie marker used to place targeting crosses across my chest and an odd inked outline resembling the state of Illinois, so far I have no ill effects whatsoever. But I am assured the effect will build inexorably towards great distress, an experience I'm not really looking forward to.

Apart from the quick radiation session today my time was spent in getting my water services re-activated and then knuckling down to writing. I write murder mysteries and have a series premiering at a local community theatre on the 20th of this month soon, and am racing to get the scripts finished before the side effects of my medical treatments reduce my output. There's so much to do and so little time.

Meanwhile I've also done a bit more research and setting up relevant news alerts online. Two stories that caught my attention today involve a move by various medical associations to decrease testing and treatment of certain illnesses, including an end to five cancer tests and treatments.

I've included links to those stories below. 

Doctor Panels Recommend Fewer Tests for Patients
The American Gastroenterological Association is urging its physicians to prescribe the lowest doses of medication needed to control acid reflux disease. In a move likely to alter treatment standards in hospitals and doctors’ offices nationwide, a group of nine medical specialty boards plans to recommend on Wednesday that doctors perform 45 common tests and procedures less often, and to urge patients to question these services if they are offered. Eight other specialty boards are preparing to follow suit with additional lists of procedures their members should perform far less often.
-- Read the whole story by clicking here

Also in the news:
Doctors call for end to five cancer tests, treatments  (Reuters)
 - In a move that threatens to further inflame concerns about the rationing of medical care, the nation's leading association of cancer physicians issued a list on Wednesday of five common tests and treatments that doctors should stop offering to cancer patients. The list emerged from a two-year effort, similar to a project other medical specialties are undertaking, to identify procedures that do not help patients live longer or better or that may even be harmful, yet are routinely prescribed. As much as 30 percent of health-care spending goes to procedures, tests, and hospital stays that do not improve a patient's health, according to a 2008 analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget office.
-- Read the whole story by clicking here

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