PreP for HIV/AIDS

Two pills and an injection are FDA-approved to prevent HIV infection. Not enough patients and providers know about them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes guidelines and updates for preventing HIV infection. They call it Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP. People at risk for HIV infection can be “PrEP-ared” to avoid infection. FDA-approved medications for

Is Olive Oil Good Medicine?

A study found that olive oil increased longevity and reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases, but it only showed correlation, not causation. I enjoy the taste of olive oil and use it for cooking. It has been recommended as part of the Mediterranean diet for heart health and as a

TB Or Not TB? Don’t Rely on a Blood Test

TB can’t be diagnosed with a blood test. Tuberculosis has been infecting humans since prehistoric times. It’s still with us. It usually can be cured today with good medical care but is still a serious problem in much of the world, especially among underprivileged socioeconomic groups and some ethnic populations. It kills 1.5 million people

A Desperate Choice

A therapy for brain tumors in young children involves deliberately infecting them with a virus. Scary, and is it worth it? In a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine I read about a novel possibility for treating cancer that I had not been aware of. The study’s title was “Oncolytic DNX-2401 Virus for Pediatric Diffuse Intrinsic

100% Cure Rate Is Hard to Believe

An experimental cancer drug made 100% of rectal cancers disappear in a small trial, allowing subjects to avoid the standard treatment of chemotherapy and surgery . “Some scientists say these kinds of results have never been seen in the history of cancer research.” 100% is hard to believe; the 95% confidence interval was 74 to 100. Whatever the true

Statistical Shenanigans?

The manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines say they are 95% effective. Peter Doshi re-examined the evidence and estimates they are only 19-29% effective. This pre-print of an as-yet unpublished re-analysis raises many questions but doesn’t support the claims being made on antivaccine sites. A correspondent asked for my opinion about a study that he said has been appearing

The Role of Liquid Biopsies in Oncology

Liquid biopsies can be used to reduce the amount of chemotherapy used for patients with stage II colon cancer. When a patient has cancer, cell-free tumor DNA circulates in the blood and can be detected in a peripheral blood sample. This is known as a “liquid biopsy,” and it has become a routine practice in

Will Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

Are you having trouble losing weight? So are a lot of other people. Have you tried intermittent fasting? Should you? According to a survey by the International Food Information Council, intermittent fasting was the most popular weight loss diet in 2018. Some have called it a fad whose adverse effects have not been sufficiently studied, and

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