Search Results for "proton beam"
Colonoscopies: America’s gold standard, while Canada says they’re not justified
Alan Cassels, who is a journalist and pharmaceutical policy researcher at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, reflects on the differences between Canadian and US guidelines on colon cancer screening and why that disparity isn’t being reported on. Do borders really exist in medicine, where the mere act of crossing political boundaries changes what screening […]1
Is more testing really the way to save American healthcare?
What was the Daily Beast thinking when it gave a big wet kiss to the piece headlined “How to Save American Healthcare” by British journalist Charlotte Lytton, a contributor who asserts that even more technology is the path to cheaper healthcare? Lytton writes: “A new wave of tests and technologies is slowly bringing about the […]
The hospital-media partnership: promoting public health or inducing public demand?
Following is a guest post from Dr. Saurabh Jha, a radiologist at the University of Pennsylvania who recently joined the HealthNewsReview.org team. He is active on Twitter under the handle @RogueRad. The views he expresses are his own and do not reflect the views of his employer. When I was seven, my mother told me that […]7/18/2013
Robotic Surgery Roundup: Take Me Out To The Ballgame and much more
Robotic surgery systems are spreading so quickly across the US and across the globe that trying to keep up with the news could become a fulltime beat. Here are just a few nuggets in an attempt to catch up on things you may have missed. The Reading (PA) Eagle reports, “Fans test surgical robot at […]1 5/21/2013
IMRT for prostate cancer: newer, costlier radiation no better than old
HealthDay reports on a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine: “The costly form of radiation therapy that has become the norm for prostate cancer in the United States may be no better than the older, cheaper variety — at least for some men, a new study suggests. Researchers found that among more than 1,000 U.S. […]1/3/2013
Cyberknife ads – one example of increasing excess of hospital marketing
We’ve been following claims for Cyberknife “knife-less surgery” for a long time. See search results from our blog. We’ve seen billboards promoting it in the metropolitan health care market we live in. And big East Coast medical centers promoting it at subway stops. But only recently did we start noticing many TV commercials promoting […]
Incomplete MPR reporting on Mayo prostate cancer scan
I’m a big fan of Minnesota Public Radio and usually a big fan of their health care news coverage. They’ve done some bold and innovative coverage in recent years. But when I heard (on the radio) and saw (online) MPR’s story, “Prostate cancer scan advance helps Mayo doctors with early detection,” I saw and heard […]4/11/2012
Canada has 1 surgical robot for every 97 in the U.S.
The surgeon who blogs as the Skeptical Scalpel – and who is a frequent critic of the proliferation of robotic surgical systems – is at it again, this time posting “Robots attack America, but Canada not so much.” (Addendum on April 12: Don’t miss our later post on direct-to-consumer website promotion of robotic prostatectomy.) […]1/16/2012
Salt Lake Tribune shows how to scrutinize new technology claims by local hospital
Kudos to reporter Kirsten Stewart of the Salt Lake Tribune for showing how to avoid local boosterism – so often seen when the local health care industry makes an announcement or holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony. In her story, “Utah doctors tout high-tech cancer treatment,” she helps readers think critically. You should read the full story, […]1/4/2012
Editorials cite “crazy medicine, unsustainable public policy” with new radiation treatments
We should not overlook the Journal of Clinical Oncology editorial (opens as pdf file) that accompanied the robotic prostatectomy side effects paper about which we’ve already blogged. That editorial – by 3 authors from the University of California San Francisco cancer center – reminds readers that the costs of robotic prostatectomy (on average, they say, […]1/4/2012
“Gizmo idolatry,” robotic prostatectomy, and real data
Robotic prostatectomy has spread all over the US despite the fact that we don’t have clinical trial data to show that it’s better than traditional open surgery. The marketing of the new, the high-tech, is amplified by news coverage that uses headlines such as the following: Robot doctor – surgery of tomorrow Da Vinci puts […]10/14/2010
New issue of Health Wonk Review
Jason Shafrin of the Healthcare Economist blog hosts and posts the latest Health Wonk Review. He includes a link to my post of last week about a weak Chicago Tribune story about a new proton beam therapy center at a suburban hospital.6/10/2010
Small town newspapers and the medical arms race
OK, it’s “only” a small town newspaper. But a lot of people live in small towns. And a small town newspaper may be the biggest source of news about your local health care facilities. So when The Tribune of Ames, Iowa published a story not about the University of Iowa’s longterm experience with proton beam […]3/12/2010
The Prostate Cancer Treatment Bazaar, complete with lack of trial data & conflicts of interest
Not to be missed in this week’s Archives of Internal Medicine is an invited commentary, “The Prostate Cancer Treatment Bazaar,” by Dr. Michael Barry. After describing about a dozen different treatment options for prostate cancer, Barry writes: “Complicating the decision, there is an embarrassing lack of comparative clinical trials among these therapies. In fact, for […]3/8/2010
The high-tech prostate treatment train has left the station…before the evidence is in
MedPageToday.com reports some staggering numbers that show how “expensive prostate cancer treatments are winning out over the old standards, driving up the cost of treatment before there’s clear evidence that they improve outcomes.” For example: Robotic and laparoscopic procedures jumped from 1.5% to 28.7% of radical prostatectomies in the Medicare population between 2002 and 2005. […]