Systems

Breast Self-Examination: Worth the Effort?

October 5, 2011
Breast Self-Examination: Worth the Effort?

By Katherine Husk

Faculty Peer Reviewed

A healthy 40-year-old woman comes into your office for a routine health exam.  After you have performed a clinical breast exam, she asks you whether she should be examining her breasts on her own at home…

Breast self-exam (BSE) seems sensible. Empowering a patient to develop a sense of a personal norm could allow for easier recognition of breast changes, and could perhaps lead to earlier evaluation by a medical professional. There is a great deal of controversy, however, …

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Metabolic Syndrome: Fact or Myth?

September 30, 2011
Metabolic Syndrome: Fact or Myth?

By Vicky Jones, MD

A 40-year-old female presented to her primary care provider with a chief complaint of weight gain over the past year.  She wants to be fully evaluated for any kind of medical disorder that could have caused it.  She has been seen by multiple specialists but no one can give her a “straight diagnosis”.  Their advice is for her to lose weight.  She insists she never had problems with her weight in the past and has no known medical disorders. Her physical …

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Stemming the Tide: The Promise and Pitfalls of HIV Prevention Research

September 28, 2011
Stemming the Tide: The Promise and Pitfalls of HIV Prevention Research

By Benjamin Bearnot

Faculty Peer Reviewed 

Since the discovery of zidovudine (AZT) in the mid-1980s, advances in antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for patients with chronic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have, until recently, outpaced concomitant improvements in methods for HIV prevention. Over the past few years, HIV prevention research has been building an impressive head of steam. While a completely effective vaccine for HIV prevention has continued to prove elusive, results of a modestly successful (~30% protective) vaccine trial based in Thailand were announced in 2009, …

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What is Sister Mary Joseph’s Nodule And Why Is It Significant?

September 15, 2011
What is Sister Mary Joseph’s Nodule And Why Is It Significant?

By Keri Herzog, MD
Faculty Peer Reviewed

The patient is a 62-year-old male who presented to an outpatient medical clinic complaining of a growing, slightly painful, periumbilical mass, and mild lower gastrointestinal discomfort over the last 4 months. On examination, the patient appeared cachectic with an erythematous soft nodule within the umbilicus. Laboratory evaluation revealed anemia (Hct: 28%) and colonoscopy detected a tumor in the sigmoid colon. Both biopsies of the sigmoid mass and the umbilical nodule revealed the presence of adenocarcinoma. Due to the …

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Avastin and the Meaning of Evidence

September 9, 2011
Avastin and the Meaning of Evidence

By Antonella Surbone MD PhD and Jerome Lowenstein MD

The recent hearings at the Food and Drug Administration regarding the revocation of approval for the use of Avastin in the treatment of breast cancer bring into sharp focus several very important issues in medicine today.

The pharmaceutical industry, armed with powerful new tools for deciphering the signaling mechanisms and mutations responsible for the development and progression of malignancies, has developed new therapies for treating cancer and other malignancies. The cost of development of each …

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Should My Patient with a Solid Tumor be Anticoagulated in the Absence of Venous Thromboembolism?

September 8, 2011
Should My Patient with a Solid Tumor be Anticoagulated in the Absence of Venous Thromboembolism?

By David Altszuler, Class of 2012

Faculty Peer Reviewed

An empiric association between occult malignancy and thrombophlebitis has been recognized since Trousseau first reported the syndrome in 1865.  The mechanism by which cancer predisposes to thrombophilia has not been fully elucidated; however, it is now clear that this is a symbiotic relationship.  The second leading cause of death in hospitalized cancer patients (and a leading cause of death in ambulatory cancer patients) is venous thromboembolism.  There are algorithms to identify cancer patients at high risk …

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Should you Treat a COPD Exacerbation with Antibiotics?

September 3, 2011
Should you Treat a COPD Exacerbation with Antibiotics?

By: Aviva Regev

Mr. S is a 68-year old man with longstanding COPD and a 40-pack-year smoking history.  He presents to clinic with three days of increasing shortness of breath, and complains that he has been coughing up “more junk” than usual.  As I watch him spit a wad of chartreuse sputum into his tissue, I reach for the prescription pad and tell him he’ll need a week of antibiotics.  He wants to know why he can’t just go up on his inhaled medications instead …

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You Don’t Look Diabetic:Diabetes in Non-Obese South Asians–Is There a Molecular or Genetic Basis for Increased Insulin Resistance?

August 24, 2011
You Don’t Look Diabetic:Diabetes in Non-Obese South Asians–Is There a Molecular or Genetic Basis for Increased Insulin Resistance?

By Adelaide Hearst, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Diabetes is a nationwide epidemic in the United States, affecting 23.6 million people, over 7% of the population. But all diabetics may not be created equal. In the US, Asians are 1.6 times more likely that non-Hispanic whites to have diabetes, even after adjusting for body-mass index (BMI), age, and sex. Asians have high rates of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease, and increased risk for metabolic syndrome compared to non-Hispanic whites.  Spend a day at Bellevue, …

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