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Week In Review — March 21

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week’s top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.

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Colon cancer cases decline for older americans

Americans appear to be winning the war on colon cancer, with a new study finding that colon cancer rates among Americans aged 50 and older fell by about a third from 2000 to 2010. The 30 percent decline is due to the growing use of colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer, say researchers from the American Cancer Society. Via Health.com. 

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5 million have enrolled for coverage under health law, White House says

The White House said Monday that more than five million people had signed up for private health insurance under President Obama’s health care law, an increase of about 800,000 in the last two weeks. Marilyn B. Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that some consumers were obtaining insurance for just $22 a month. The six-month open enrollment period ends on March 31, and Philip M. Schiliro, a health care adviser at the White House, said the final enrollment numbers would be “better than many people anticipate.” Via NY Times.

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Health law concerns for cancer centers

Cancer patients relieved that they can get insurance coverage because of the new health care law may be disappointed to learn that some the nation’s best cancer hospitals are off-limits. An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington state’s insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it’s in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more. Via ABC News.

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Nearly half of Americans believe in medical conspiracy theories

About half of Americans agree with at least one medical conspiracy theory, a new study suggests. The study surveyed more than 1,300 Americans to see whether they agreed with six popular medical conspiracy theories — such as the discredited link between vaccines and autism, or the belief that water fluoridation is a cover-up to allow companies to dump dangerous chemicals into the environment. Via Huffington Post.

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Unease grows among U.S. doctors over Indian drug quality

Some U.S. doctors are becoming concerned about the quality of generic drugs supplied by Indian manufacturers following a flurry of recalls and import bans by the Food and Drug Administration. India supplies about 40 percent of generic and over-the-counter drugs used in the United States, making it the second-biggest supplier after Canada. Via Reuters.

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Lynx out, Mayo in on team jerseys

Ladies and gentlemen: Your world champion Minnesota Mayo Clinics! The Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA today became the first team in the Twin Cities to wipe its name off its jerseys and sell the space to an advertiser, in this case the Mayo Clinic. The Lynx already used their jerseys to boost Boost Mobile, but Mayo will get top billing. Via MPR.

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Exact Sciences’ colon cancer test detects more tumors 

The test’s tumor-detection abilities were greatest for the earliest and most curable stages of colon cancer, with a 94 percent detection rate in those with stage I or II disease, the study found. Those levels haven’t been found with any other noninvasive test, said David Ahlquist, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic and a co-inventor of the test. Via Bloomberg.

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Proton Beam offers state-of-the-art cancer treatment at Mayo

We’ve been following it since the groundbreaking, now the first ever look inside Mayo’s nearly $200 million proton beam therapy building. It’s the recipient of one of largest donations Mayo Clinic has ever received, the Richard O. Jacobson Building, home to the Mayo Clinic proton beam therapy program, is now complete… “This is a dream come true. Its’ like Christmas day for us,” said Robert Foote, M.D. Mayo Clinic. Mayo doctors will now be able to treat cancer patients more effectively with fewer side effects. “Conventional radiation has an entrance dose and an exit does that causes side effects and complications,” said Dr. Foote. Via KAAL.

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Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: People at high risk for osteoporosis may benefit from bone density test

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What is a bone density test? Is it necessary to have one even if I’m healthy? I am a 67-year-old woman and I exercise daily. Via Chicago Tribune.

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Health watch: A promising at-home colon cancer test

A new at-home test to check for colon cancer is showing promising results. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say the results are impressive. Colon cancer is preventable and curable if caught early, yet millions of Americans don’t get screened. Now, the test, called the Cologuard, detects blood in a patient’s stool sample as well as DNA changes that can be a sign of cancer or precancerous polyps. Via WCCO

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Dr. Donald Hensrud:  The Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program

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