Research has found aspirin or resistant starch doesn’t help people with Lynch syndrome avoid new polyps. While almost all people had seen a cancer-related ad, very few actually got a prescription for the advertised drug. People who followed a low-fat, high-fiber diet most carefully had fewer new polyps.
A Johns Hopkins team has developed SUDS — a device for cleaning ER equipment that wipes out dangerous bacteria and keeps it from returning for several days. The Caring Connection will help you find advance directive forms and instructions for your state.
- People with Lynch syndrome don’t benefit from either aspirin or resistant starch (Novelose) even when aspirin is given at a high dose of 600 mg a day. Over four years, Lynch patients on aspirin, Novelose, or a combination of the two had no fewer polyps than clinical trial participants on placebo. Serious adverse events, gastric bleeding, strokes, and heart attacks, weren’t any different between the two groups either. Dr. John Burn and the CAPP2 team report their results in the New England Journal of Medicine, December 11, 2008.
- Almost 9 out of 10 patients in treatment asked about cancer-related advertising directed at consumers had seen ads, mostly on television. A majority of surveyed patients felt that the ads made them “aware of treatments they did not know about“, presented information “in a balanced manner“, and helped them have “better discussions” with their doctor. One in ten felt that the ads reduced their confidence in their doctor’s judgment. Of those who were aware of ads, 1 in 5 discussed an advertised medicine with their doctor, but of those only 20 percent actually received a prescription for the drug. Gregory A. Abel and the team at Harvard Medical School report the results of the survey in an early online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology August 3, 2009.
- People prone to colorectal polyps who were “super-compliers” in following a recommended low-fat, high-fiber diet with high amounts of fruits and vegetables had 35 percent fewer new polyps than people who were not on the diet at all. However, most trial participants didn’t report that level of compliance. Of 1,900 people in the trial, only 210 consistently reported success in following all three diet recommendations: low fat, high fiber, and high fruit/vegetable intake. Dr. Leah B. Sansbury and her team from the Polyp Prevention Trial Study Group reported their results in the American Journal of Epidemiology online July 30, 2009.
- A team at Johns Hopkins has developed a device, similar to a shower cubicle, that can clean and decontaminate hard-to-clean emergency room equipment from electrocardigram machines to cell phones. SUDS or the Self-cleaning Unit for the Decontamination of Small instruments beats manual scrubbing for removing bacteria and keeping it away for at least two days. Two days after manual cleaning, 1 in 4 devices had new bacterial growth, but SUDS-cleaned devices were bacteria-free even in heavy ER settings. Treatment inside the 7 foot high SUDS machine didn’t appear to damage electronics, and its use can replace expensive and wasteful disposables. Development and testing of the SUDS device is described in Annals of Surgical Innovation and Research, online July 30, 2009.
- Caring Connections, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, provides free advance directives and instructions for each state that can be downloaded and filled out. The packets include information about the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the specific forms and information you’ll need for your own state. Depending on the state, advance directives allow you to appoint an advocate or proxy to make health care decisions if you are unable to speak for yourself and to specify what health care you do or do not want if you are critically ill.