Week In Review — Nov. 14

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.


Skin Cancer Costs Rising Rapidly in U.S. 

More Americans are getting diagnosed with melanoma, the deadly skin cancer associated with UVA and UVB sun exposure, and the costs of treating it are rising fast. This alarming trend is adding to an already hefty health care bill for what has typically been the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. From 2002 to 2006, an estimated 3.4 million adults in the U.S. were treated for skin cancer. That number rose to 4.9 million people from 2007 to 2011. Via CBS News.

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Medicare Proposes Covering Lung Cancer Screening

Medicare may soon begin paying for yearly scans to detect lung cancer in certain current or former heavy smokers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday issued a long-awaited proposal to begin covering the screening for high-risk beneficiaries if their doctors agree they meet the criteria. Via AP.

Are Wireless Phones Linked With Brain Cancer Risk?

Swedes who talked on mobile or cordless phones for more than 25 years had triple the risk of a certain kind of brain cancer compared to those who used wireless phones for less than a year, a new study suggests. The odds of developing glioma, an often deadly brain cancer, rose with years and hours of use, researchers reported in the journal Pathophysiology. Via Reuters.

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Ebola Outbreak: MSF to Start West Africa Clinical Trials

Clinical trials to try to find an effective treatment for Ebola patients are to start in West Africa next month. The medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres, which has been helping lead the fight against the virus, says three of its treatment centres will host three separate research projects. Meanwhile, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lifted the state of emergency imposed in the country. Via BBC Africa.

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U.S. Releases Low 2015 Obamacare Enrollment Forecast

The U.S. administration on Monday dramatically cut expectations for 2015 Obamacare enrollment, saying it aims to have a total of 9.1 million people enrolled in government-backed federal and state health insurance marketplaces next year. Via Reuters.

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Surprise Results in Medical Tests Draw New Focus

The patient comes in for a checkup on the lungs, and a scan reveals a clogged artery. A test for a teen’s concussion finds a brain tumor. An X-ray of an ER patient’s broken ribs shows a mass on the kidneys. They are all known as “incidental findings” because they are abnormalities discovered unintentionally and not related to the medical condition that prompted the test…“It can be a Pandora’s box because when you open it you don’t know what’s going to come out,” says Phillip Young, associate professor of radiology and chair of the Division of Body MRI at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “We want to handle these incidental findings as judiciously as possible and do all of the good and none of the harm.” Via Wall Street Journal.

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Allergic to Penicillin? You're Probably Not

Most people who think they are allergic to penicillin in fact are not, researchers said Friday. It’s something doctors have suspected for a long time, but the researchers say they were surprised by just how many people weren’t allergic to the antibiotic: it was 94 percent of them. Dr. Thanai Pongdee, an allergist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida and colleagues tested 384 people who said they were allergic to penicillin. Tests showed 94 percent of them were in fact, not allergic. Via Today Show.

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General Health Surveillance, Screening Important for Long-Term Liver Transplant Survival 

Outcomes for liver transplant recipients have never been better, and long-term survival will depend on a holistic approach to optimizing screening and primary prevention in this population, says the Mayo Clinic’s Kymberly Watt, MD. She spoke to the need for both hepatologists and primary care providers to adopt evidence-based health surveillance for long-term survivors of liver transplant on November 9, 2014 at The Liver Meeting in Boston, MA. Via Healthcare Professionals Live.

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Mayo Clinic Prepares for Deer Season

The Minnesota DNR says nearly 500,000 hunters will be in blaze orange this weekend for deer opener. While most hunters aim to come home with a trophy buck, it is also crucial to come home safe. “We see three or four hunters a year falling out of tree stands. Most of them have fractures of their arm or leg, many of them have spine fractures. One per year will have a spinal cord injury and that is a permanent issue for them,” said Dr. Donald Jenkins from Mayo Clinic. Via KAAL.

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Mayo Clinic Researchers Identify First Steps in Formation of Pancreatic Cancer

Researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville say they have identified first steps in the origin of pancreatic cancer and that their findings suggest preventive strategies to explore. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Dr. David Midthun: Lung Cancer Screening


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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.