Week in Review: Feb. 17

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.

Industry News

Studies Reveal Effectiveness of Cooling Caps in Fighting Chemo-Induced Hair Loss

Hair loss has seemed an unavoidable side effect of chemotherapy. But, two new studies gave hope to breast cancer patients. Studies focused on women with breast cancer and whether using cooling caps can prevent hair loss. One study found that half of the women who got scalp cooling kept at least 50% of their hair, compared to no women keeping their hair in the group without the cap. The second study found that two-thirds of the women who had scalp cooling retained their hair. Via CBS News.

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No Drugs for Back Pain, New Guidelines Say

Skip the meds. Lower back pain—one of the most common reasons for a doctor’s visit—is best treated with alternative, natural and psychological therapies, say new guidelines from the American College of Physicians. Opioids—one of the most commonly prescribed medications for pain relief and a source of increasing addiction and death—should only be considered for chronic back pain when other alternatives—natural and prescription—don’t work, say the guidelines published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Even acetaminophen, which includes the brand name Tylenol, is no longer recommended for acute lower back pain relief due to a 2014 study in the journal The Lancet that showed it was no more effective than placebo. Via Wall Street Journal.

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Health Care Adjusts to a More Diverse America

The future of American health care looks a lot more like the Salud clinic than Norman Rockwell’s iconic small-town doctor’s office. The country is on course to lose its white majority around 2050. That future is already visible in Sacramento County and neighboring Yolo County, where West Sacramento is located: by 2013 the combined population of Hispanic, black, Asian, and other nonwhite residents had edged out whites. In West Sacramento, a historically working-class county across the river from the state capital, more than 2 out of 5 public schoolchildren already speak a language other than English at home. Sacramento-area hospitals, community health centers and doctor’s offices have had to adapt. They’ve hired more multilingual, bicultural staff. They’ve contracted with interpretation services. The medical school at the University of California, Davis, is trying to figure out how to recruit more Latino students to a profession that remains largely white and Asian. And doctors are being trained to deliver culturally appropriate care to patients of many backgrounds. Via Pew Trusts.

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Why Your Doctor’s Advice to Take All Your Antibiotics May Be Wrong

You’ve heard it many times before from your doctor: If you’re taking antibiotics, don’t stop taking them until the pill vial is empty, even if you feel better. The rationale behind this commandment has always been that stopping treatment too soon would fuel the development of antibiotic resistance—the ability of bugs to evade these drugs. Information campaigns aimed at getting the public to take antibiotics properly have been driving home this message for decades. But the warning, a growing number of experts say, is misguided and may actually be exacerbating antibiotic resistance. Via STAT.

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How Tech Ate the Media and Our Minds

Our brains have been literally swamped and reprogrammed. On average, we check our phones 50 times each day—with some studies suggesting it could three times that amount. We spend around six hours per day consuming digital media. As a result, the human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since 2000, while the goldfish attention span is 9 seconds. And we just mindlessly pass along information without reading or checking it. Columbia University found that nearly 60% of all social media posts are shared without being clicked on. Via Axios.

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Mayo Clinic News

Noseworthy Talked to White House Officials about Travel Ban

Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy defended the clinic's response to President Donald Trump's travel ban during a recent interview. Noseworthy appeared on Twin Cities Public Television's public affairs show "Almanac." During the interview, he was asked about Mayo's response to Trump's executive order, which suspended the nation's refugee program and bans people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals recently upheld a restraining order on the travel ban. Noseworthy responded that he brought up the travel ban when he met with White House officials last week about veterans' health care. Via Post-Bulletin.

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DMC Board Approves $38M Mixed-Use Development for Discovery Square

The Destination Medical Center Corporation’s board of directors, which oversees developments related to the 20-year, $6 billion plan to transform Rochester into America’s health care capital, approved a $38 million mixed-use development project. Titan Real Estate and Investments and Opus Group will work together to build a new 156-unit apartment complex with 9,000-square-feet of retail shopping space. “It fits well within the Discovery Square sub-district plan, one of the top priority areas for the [Destination Medical Center, or DMC,] initiative and the DMCC board,” said Lisa Clarke, Executive Director of the DMC Economic Development Agency, in a statement. Via Twin Cities Business.

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Mayo Clinic Doctors Demonstrate Dangers of Ice Fishing

Ice fishing may be a favorite pastime of many Minnesotans, but doctors say it can also be more dangerous than some realize. Mayo Clinic doctors aimed to demonstrate those dangers with the help of a mannequin they call Gus. Gus has been dinged, dented, and generally doomed in a series of Mayo Clinic public education videos. Previous installments include Gus being hit by a driver who's texting, suffering a fireworks injury, and receiving the Heimlich. Via KSTP.

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Mayo Clinic Researchers Quantify Immune Cells Associated with Future Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers from Mayo Clinic have quantified the numbers of various types of immune cells associated with the risk of developing breast cancer. The findings are published in a study in Clinical Cancer Research. "This is the first study to quantify the numbers of various immune cell types in breast tissue and whether they are associated with later breast cancer risk," says the study's lead author, Amy Degnim, M.D., a breast surgeon at Mayo Clinic. Via Healthcare Business News.

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Researchers Identify New Process to Raise Natural Armies of Cancer-Targeting T Lymphocytes outside the Body

Mayo Clinic and University of Washington researchers have discovered a new culture method that unlocks the natural fighter function of immune T-cells when they are passing through the bloodstream. This allows T-cell armies to be raised directly from blood that naturally recognize and target proteins that are present on most human cancers. The results are published in the February 14 issue of Oncotarget. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Gina Chiri-Osmond

Gina Chiri-Osmond is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She manages public relations and media outreach. Gina has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011. Outside of work, Gina is going for gold in volleyball at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo . . . or at small-town summer festivals.