Archive for March, 2010

Mammography and Politics

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

I actually think that politics has a hand in all human interaction, so for me it’s not much of a stretch to think the changing guidelines for women with regard to when to start mammograms to screen for breast cancer is benefiting some political agenda.  Because it sure isn’t benefitting women.  Trouble is, I can’t figure out why, say, insurance companies would support the concept of women being screened later.  If cancer is found later, the cost of treatment goes up…unless they’ve crunched the numbers and discovered that the number of women who would be sacrificed by later mammograms is statistically insignificant to the total picture.

Anybody have any ideas?

Aspirin and cancer

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

A recent study of 4000 nurses who had been treated for breast cancer at least 12 months earlier, suggests that low dose aspirin can have a positive effect on reducing reoccurrence.  It’s a good study, but it isn’t a clinical study, with the very stringent controls atttached.

This isn’t the first indication that aspirin may have a beneficial effect with regard to cancer – not just breast cancer, but colon cancer, as well.  I heard a similar buzz a couple of years ago, so I started on my own, taking low dose aspirin.  The problem was, I started bruising.  Maybe the dosage was still too high – I was taking what used to be called “baby aspirin” – but clearly, my body was having issues with regular usage, so I stopped.

I asked my nurse-practitioner what my oncology group thinks.  They’re not recommending it.  They’re not saying “don’t use it”, but they’re saying something along the lines of if you want to try it, you’re on your own here.  They’re waiting for clinical trials.

I’m not wedded to doing only what’s recommended by the results of clinical trials (or I wouldn’t be recommending marijuana for nausea and pain relief), but if I try the aspirin regimen again, I’ll bear in mind my oncologist’s take on the matter, and if I start bruising again, I’ll drop it.

Anybody out there have thoughts on this?