Week in Review: April 3

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


U.S. Cancer Incidence, Mortality Largely Stable or Decreasing 

The rate of people being diagnosed or killed by cancer in the U.S. is stable or decreasing for men and women, according to a new report. “For the main cancers, it’s really pretty much good news, incidence and mortality is decreasing,” said Recinda Sherman, an author of the new report from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) in Springfield, Illinois. Via Reuters.

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China Aims to Double Doctor Numbers as Cure for Health Care Woes

China will almost double the number of its general doctors by 2020, trim its public sector, and improve technology as it seeks to fix a healthcare system plagued by snarling queues and poor rural services, its main administrative authority has said. China's fast-growing healthcare market is a magnet for global drug makers, medical device firms, and hospital operators, all looking to take a slice of a healthcare bill expected to hit $1 trillion by 2020, according to McKinsey & Co. Via FOX News. 

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Massive Tea Consumption Linked to Kidney Failure

The puzzling case of a 56-year-old U.S. man who suddenly developed weakness, fatigue, and body aches is leading doctors to warn that massive consumption of tea may be responsible for some unexplained cases of kidney failure. It's being called iced-tea nephropathy by the New England Journal of Medicine, which published a letter describing the case. Via Reuters.

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Here's What '60 Minutes' Didn't Tell You About The 'Miracle' Glioblastoma Treatment 

Earlier this week, 60 Minutes devoted not one but two segments to an early-stage trial at Duke University of a cancer therapy that some patients are calling a “miracle.” It’s a genetically modified form of the polio virus, injected directly into the brains of patients with glioblastoma, a particularly deadly type of brain tumor. Eleven of the 22 patients treated so far died, but the other 11 have seen their tumors shrink. Three featured in the story are cancer-free. Via Forbes.

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Olympus Scopes May Have Infected More Patients, Seattle Health Agency Says

More patients across the country may have been infected by medical scopes manufactured by Olympus Corp. than previously thought, health officials warned. Olympus' scopes are at the center of a string of recent endoscope-related superbug outbreaks that include Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Cedars Sinai Medical Center, as well as an earlier case at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. Via LA Times.

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Drinking Water Helps Prevent Kidney Stones

Drinking plenty of water will lower your risk of kidney stones, researchers report. "This analysis shows that drinking water is an effective way to cut one's risk for developing kidney stones in half," Kerry Willis, chief scientific officer at the National Kidney Foundation, said in a foundation news release. The current research looked at nine previous studies that included nearly 274,000 people. More than 550 people had a history of kidney stones. The review found that people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine were 50 percent less likely to form kidney stones than those who produced less urine. That amount of urine production is associated with drinking about eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day, according to the researchers. Via US News & World Report.

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Patients Bounce Back Faster From Surgery With Hospitals’ New Protocol

Hospitals are starting to abandon the time-honored drill for surgery patients— including fasting, heavy IV fluids, powerful post-op narcotics and bed rest—amid growing evidence that the lack of nutrients, fluid overload and drug side effects can do more harm than good. Rules on fasting before surgery are based on assumptions that anesthesia reactions might cause patients to throw up during a procedure and hamper breathing, but research has shown clear liquids within two hours actually decreases that risk, according to John Abenstein, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist. Via Wall Street Journal.

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The 3 Biggest Superbug Threats To Your Health—And What You Can Do To Protect Yourself

Yes, antibiotics are life-saving and their use has revolutionized medicine. But they’ve also gotten us into a bit of a predicament: Unchecked overuse of the meds is one of the main reasons we’re facing a worsening threat of infections from drug-resistant bacteria. In other words, we have a superbug problem. “We got ourselves into this situation because of indiscriminate antibiotic use,” says Pritish Tosh, M.D., an infectious diseases physician at the Mayo Clinic and a member of the Mayo Vaccine Research Group. Antibiotics worked tremendously well at first and saved millions of lives in the process, he says—but a few select bacteria could always mutate to survive our attempts to outsmart them. Via Prevention.

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Experts Weigh In on IgG4 Disease

The diagnosis of IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) requires biopsy confirmation and should not be based on the simple finding of an elevated serum concentration of the IgG4 antibody, according to an international consensus statement. The disease can manifest in almost any organ or anatomic site, but the most common are the pancreas, biliary tract, and salivary and lachrimal glands. "This is a relatively new area of research, and there are no large trials that have definitively addressed many of the questions we have about the management of IgG4 related disease," commented Eric Matteson, M.D., who chairs the department of rheumatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Via MedPage Today.

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Mayo Clinic Study Suggests Acute Injured Kidneys Can be Considered for Transplant

The shortage of kidneys needed for organ transplantation in the U.S. can be alleviated in part by using select kidneys with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), resulting in safe and positive outcomes, according to research conducted at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Results of the single-site study, led by Raymond Heilman, M.D., Chair of the Division of Nephrology, suggest that acutely injured kidneys from deceased donors can be considered for transplantation — reconsidering previous thinking that such kidneys should be discarded. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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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.