Posted in cancer, Entertainment, Health, news, Politics, Radio

Rush Limbaugh Reveals He Has Advanced Lung Cancer

69 year-old Rush Limbaugh has revealed on air that he has “advanced” lung cancer and will be undergoing treatment.

He was diagnosed in January after he was exhibiting symptoms of shortness of breath.

The conservative talk show icon will take some time off for treatment but still hopes to continue broadcasting.

“I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, and I thought about not trying to tell anybody, I thought about trying to do this without anybody knowing, because I don’t like making things about me,” he said. But “there are going to be days that I’m not going to be able to be here, because I will be undergoing treatment, or I’m reacting to treatment.”

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6129307883001#sp=show-clips

Early lung cancer can be silent.  As it progresses, however, symptoms such as chronic cough, wheeze, blood in sputum, lethargy and weight loss can ensue.

Limbaugh was known for his affinity for cigars.  It is unclear how much he smoked.

Although lung cancer risk drops dramatically the longer one avoids tobacco products, the resulting tissue damage, injury to one’s immune response, and genetic mutations may persist.  Moreover, lung cancer can occur even in non-smokers.

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer related death in the US for both men and women, surpassing breast and colon cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, they estimate in 2020 there will be 228,820 new cases and 135,720 deaths from lung cancer.

Prognosis depends on the stage of cancer at time of diagnosis.  According to American Lung Association:

The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 56 percent for cases detected when the disease is still localized (within the lungs). However, only 16 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. For distant tumors (spread to other organs) the five-year survival rate is only 5 percent.

This is a developing story.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in cell phones, disease, economy, Education, Health, Millennials, New Year's, news, Politics, pornography, relationships, seniors, teachers, teens

The Twenties: Predictions for the Next Decade

 

Image above from MHLNews

 

Welcome to the 2020’s!!  Whereas the 1920’s were roaring with music, fashion, cars, speak-easy’s, and prohibition, the 2020’s will be no less dramatic.  Expect a high speed roller coaster with exponential changes across the board in all industries, jobs, housing, schooling, technology and relationships. Whether we like it or not, this is where I believe we’re heading……

  1.  Education – most schools will be online, similar to Ready Player One in which a student logs in from home and enters a “virtual classroom” each morning. Afternoons will be designated for sports, exercise and team projects.
  2. Teacher glut – As schools move more towards online, one teacher can teach to multiple virtual classrooms at the same time.  Chat rooms will be staffed by educators who will answer student’s questions individually.  But teacher to student ratio can be widened, allowing school districts to hire less staff.
  3. Half of all US employees will be working from home.
  4. Commercial real estate glut – as more businesses use online platforms, and employees work from home, less office space will be needed, trimming bottom lines for corporations who don’t want to spend extra for rent, cleaning, utilities and security.
  5. Recession will begin mid-decade
  6. Trump will be reelected in 2020 but Pence will fail to win the Presidency in 2024 resulting in the White House turning Democrat mid decade.
  7. A female President or Vice President will elected
  8. Men’s and Women’s restrooms will be renamed as “Restrooms” allowing any gender to use the facilities
  9. Medicine will become socialized as a Democratic executive branch will implement a public option or buy-in to Medicare/Medicaid, with tight rules to curb healthcare spending.
  10. Telemedicine will be your primary care provider with allowances to see a doctor in person if certain criteria are met.
  11. Drones will be delivering medicine, packages, mail to your door
  12. Anorexia and other eating disorders will rise as “intermittent fasting” becomes more popular
  13. New superbugs, viruses and fungi will be resistant to the best of our medications and non antibiotic/viral/fungal treatments will be perfected.
  14. Less than 1/4 of Generation Z’ers (those born after 2000) will choose to get married
  15. Less than 1/4 of Generation Z’ers will have a car
  16. Apartment and condo living will surpass single family residence homes as there is less upkeep and commitment during a trying economy.
  17. The 4-year college degree will be offered for free, but online and useless due to its ubiquity
  18. Virtual TV show watching, where you can  engage within the scene, will surpass current streaming of shows in popularity
  19. Currency will be obsolete as cards and finger prints will be used for money exchange
  20. Kiosks will replace most salespeople in retail industry
  21. A younger “teen” porn industry will arise as kids outsmart parental controls and demand footage devoid of middle-aged actors but casting those in their young twenties….with companies marketing directly to young adults.
  22. Some seniors may live to 125-130 years old
  23. Marijuana use will become epidemic with people becoming tolerant to common strains resulting in needing more potent leaves.
  24. Vegetarian and Vegan diets will surpass meat and potato saturated meals
  25. “Farting rooms” will be created in buildings to allow those who are eating more vegetables to release their gas.
  26. Smart toilets and do it yourself testing will be in every household
  27. The Supreme Court will weigh in on mandatory vaccines
  28. Baby Yoda will have a Star Wars Movie Series
  29. Radio will be stronger than ever as people want to hear real opinions
  30. TV News programs will begin to fall as demand for non-opinionated factual news rises
  31. The Dallas Cowboys will make it to the Superbowl at least once; the Kansas City Chiefs…multiple times.

I know some of these sound crazy but this is where society is heading.  The 2020’s will be fast paced, and blow right by you, so hold on to your hats….which by the way will also be making a comeback.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Health, news, Politics

Joe Biden’s Eye Turns “Bloody” During Townhall: Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Explained

Reports of former Vice President Joe Biden’s eye turning “bloody” surfaced this week.  He was speaking at a CNN hosted town hall on climate change when reporters noticed his left eye turned blood red.

 

Biden-Eye-640x335.jpg

The condition however is called a “subconjunctival hemorrhage” and is harmless, but needs some explanation.

What is a subconjunctival hemorrhage?

The conjunctival is a vascular membrane that lines the eye and lids.  When a blood vessel breaks, hemorrhages, it appears dark beefy red over a portion of the white part of the eye.

conjunc.jpg

Sometimes these hemorrhages occur when one incurs trauma to the eye or rubs it aggressively, but most often it occurs spontaneously within a week or two as the blood gets cleared by body mechanisms.

However, of note, a subconjunctival hemorrhage could happen when blood pressure rises, such as during a sneeze, laugh, strain when stooling, or cough.  It could also happen if one has a bleeding disorder, or inability to clot.

Although the subconjunctival hemorrhage is benign, those who incur one might consider having their blood pressure checked and labs to ensure they have strong clotting abilities.

 

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Great Gift!!!

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in Blood, Health, news, Politics

Majority of US Governors Proclaim State Blood Donation Days to Fight Blood Shortage

Multiple governors are proclaiming state blood donation days in response to blood bank shortages throughout the country.

Each year multiple Governors declare state blood donation days to unite during National Blood Donation Week.

This year more are uniting to help bring in more blood supply.

According to the American Red Cross, 36,000 units of blood are needed in the U.S. every day.

Emergency rooms treating trauma victims, hospitals treating anemic patients, and medical clinics replenishing low blood levels in cancer patients require a steady supply of blood products.

38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10% actually do.

Inconsistent donation patterns during the year result in unpredictable and reliable blood supply numbers, hence donation is requested year round.

Vitalant, formerly known as United Blood Services, suggests donating three times a year.

The summer and holiday season appear to be the “dryest” in terms of donations.  States and regions frequently need to ship blood to areas who are in need.

National Blood Donation Week is September 2-9th and this year National Blood Donation Day falls on September 5th, with many states declaring September 5th their State Blood Donation Day.

U.S. blood drop

States who have already proclaimed September 5th their Blood Donation Day this year include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Arizona has proclaimed September 2-9th Arizona Blood Donation Week

…….with more to come as the date nears.

To donate blood or host a blood drive, please visit the American Red Cross or Vitalant websites.

For a list of governor proclamations visit here.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a board certified Family Medicine Physician and a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

 

Posted in cancer, Health, news, Politics

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Additional Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Ruth Bader Ginsburg reportedly has undergone pancreatic cancer treatment and is doing well.

The radiation treatment took place at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and began earlier this month when doctors found a tumor on her pancreas.

A statement from the Supreme Court reads:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg today completed a three-week course of stereotactic ablative radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The focused radiation treatment began on August 5 and was administered on an outpatient basis to treat a tumor on her pancreas. The abnormality was first detected after a routine blood test in early July, and a biopsy performed on July 31 at Sloan Kettering confirmed a localized malignant tumor. As part of her treatment, a bile duct stent was placed. The Justice tolerated treatment well. She cancelled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule. The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans. No further treatment is needed at this time.

 

dt_140626_pancreas_cancer_800x600

Last Fall, the Supreme Court Justice had surgery to remove two cancerous nodules in her lungs.

These were found a few weeks prior when she was undergoing treatment for a fall in which she sustained broken ribs on her left side.

The pulmonary lobectomy surgery occurred at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City as well.

Reportedly her current cancer does not appear to have spread to other parts of the body.

The 86-year-old Justice has previously battled colon cancer as well.

Each year over 56,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, whose 5-year survival rate is 5%.  Older individuals who are healthy can do as well as those who are younger when diagnosed with advanced stage of the disease.  However some sources cite the median survival time is between 2 and 6 months if the cancer is diagnosed at a late stage.

This is a developing story.

 

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Great Gift!!!

The Ultimate Medical Student HandBook

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in Health, news, Politics

Ending Surprise Medical Bills…Not So Easy

The Trump Administration has vowed to put an end to “surprise medical bills.”  But this may be easier said than done.

Reports of “sticker shock” have exponentially grown over the years and consumers want transparency of what their health care visit is going to cost.  However, the average physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, hospital, medical center, etc. don’t know themselves until the insurance company sends an EOB “Explanation of Benefits” delineating what is discounted, what is covered, and what is the patient responsibility.

So to start, President Trump is asking Congress to address those charges incurred by “out of network” facilities to which patients go to in an emergency setting.  Wanting to hold “insurance companies and hospitals accountable,” President Trump wants to put an end to patients getting charged for “services they did not know anything about, and sometimes services they did not have any information on.”

Can he do it?  Politicians on both sides of the aisle want to help curb health care costs, but both sides want to get the credit.  There’s race to see who could do more for healthcare before the 2020 election.

Why can’t health costs be predictable/fixed?

There’s a few reasons why cost transparency in an emergency medical setting is challenging.

Firstly, insurance companies aren’t transparent to hospitals. They only inform the medical facility of the out of pocket costs once they take weeks to review the claim.  This can be streamlined and cut down in time with software, but same day pricing by an insurance company is impeded by the need to see if the patient paid (or will pay) their premiums that month, or if they are still employed and have the same active insurance.

Secondly, patients don’t always know what their diagnosis is when they walk up to the front counter. Some may think they have a “cold,” but actually end up having a bout of pneumonia. Some may think they have a “stomach bug,” but after CT confirmation, learn they have appendicitis. Hence until the medical provider performs the evaluation and testing, a diagnosis and then “cost to treat”, cannot be given.

Finally, patients may not prefer the “cost factor” added into their facilities’ decision making.  If they pay a certain amount for a visit and end up needing more pain control, a repeat breathing treatment, or some extra bandages, they may not want to have to take out their wallet, sort of speak, each time they need more services.

As a physician who, for years, pleaded with insurance companies to give us an idea of what they would want a patient to pay, I’m for any campaign to increase price transparency and offer patient’s more choice.  However, since medicine and health can be unpredictable, coming up with predictable “costs” may prove difficult.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Health, news, Politics

Medicare For All: Realistic or a Fantasy?

Image above from Getty Images

Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Presidential Election called for a single payer system to cure our healthcare woes. Now Democratic contenders for the 2020 election are calling for the same.  Some voters are salivating at the thought, tired of high insurance premiums and deductibles. Others are cringing at the idea of the government running our healthcare system. Yet most are confused and want more details. So let’s break it down.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is the health insurance offered by the federal government for those over 65 and with disabilities.  According to medicare.gov they breakdown medicare as the following:

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for:

  • People who are 65 or older

  • Certain younger people with disabilities

  • People with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD)

The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)  

Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.

Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) 

Part D adds prescription drug coverage to:

  • Original Medicare
  • Some Medicare Cost Plans
  • Some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans

These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C) is an “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D.

 

What is Medicare For All?

Originally suggested by Senator Bernie Sanders, Medicare for All would essentially allow all Americans to qualify for Medicare.  According to Unitedmedicareadvisors.com:

Medicare for All promises to cover numerous healthcare products and services, including the following:

  • Inpatient and outpatient health care services

  • Preventative, emergency, and nonemergency health care services and treatments

  • Primary and specialty health care, including palliative and long-term care

  • Care for vision, hearing, and oral health problems

  • Mental health and addiction services

  • Prescription medication

  • Medical equipment and supplies

  • Diagnostic tests

The concept sounds nice but Medicare doesn’t currently cover many of the above such as hearing aids, dental exams, and long-term care.

 

How would Medicare For All be subsidized?

Unitedmedicareadvisors.com reports the following:

Medicare for All, estimated to cost around $1.38 trillion a year, would operate with funding from the following sources:
  • $630 billion from a 6.2 percent income-based premium paid by employers
  • $210 billion from a 2.2 percent income-based premium paid by households making more than $28,800
  • $110 billion from progressive income tax rates for Americans with yearly earnings over $250,000
  • $92 billion from taxing capital gains and dividends in line with employment income
  • $15 billion from limiting tax deduction for Americans with yearly earnings over $250,000
  • $21 billion from a new Responsible Estate Tax applied to the homes of Americans inheriting more than $3.5 million
  • $310 billion from savings as health-related tax expenses become obsolete

Unfortuantley tax hikes on employers could lead to price hikes and less employment.

So the concerns I have are Medicare doesn’t currently cover what Medicare for All is touting and the expense may be underprojected.

7615-04-figure-31

The image above from Kaiser Family Foundation predicts beneficiaries will outnumber workers.

Moreover many healthcare providers do NOT take Medicare so access can be an issue.

However, until premiums and dedutibles go down, and more Americans become insured, plans such as this will gain attention and popularity.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.