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Breast Cancer Awareness Week!

This week marks the beginning of breast cancer awareness week. Breast cancer is a cancer that primarily affects breast tissues. Both men and women can develop breast cancer, although male breast cancer is relatively rare. People of all ages, races, sexual preference, and social backgrounds are at risk for breast cancer. In 2010, over 200,000 American women and nearly 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Almost 40,000 women and 400 men will succumb to the disease this year.

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Electronic Healthcare?

In today’s world, the focus seems to be on electronics and new technology. Electronics are attractive to companies because they compile information all in one place and leave space more organized. With this, practices that have been around for centuries are in need of restructuring themselves to keep up with the modern times. So, what does this mean for doctors and the medicinal practice? They need to start going electronic, too! This is a profession that is centuries old and has the newest advancements in technology on some terms, but is extremely lacking in others – like all the paperwork! Doctors and hospitals are moving towards electronic prescriptions and records. Although concerns have arisen about this new system, the many benefits seem to outweigh those concerns.

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Robotic Seal Helps Dementia Patients

Soothing dementia patients can often be a difficult task. Pet therapy has been proven to reduce anxiety and other symptoms in dementia patients. Many nursing homes utilize animals because they are so effective with patients, whether or not they have dementia. Birds, dogs, rabbits, and sometimes cats bring comfort to agitated patients. Animals allow many patients nationwide to engage with the world and with each other. Japanese researchers have developed Paro, a therapy robot designed to look like a baby harp seal, expanding on the concept of pet therapy. Paro is not your ordinary robot. The seal comes equipped with various sensors and other features that allow him to act like a real animal. Paro coos and cuddles like a real animal, offering comfort to senior dementia patients and young children alike. When you pet Paro, it feels you are stroking a real warm, soft animal. Paro responds to its name and different patterns of stroking, imitating a real baby harp seal. Paro is powered by a plug that looks like a pacifier.

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Study Argues Nurse Anesthetists Don’t Need Supervision by Anesthesiologists

A study conducted earlier this month by two researchers at the non-profit Research Triangle Institute and funded by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists confirmed that “certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) who receive high-level training are able to provide the same level of services as anesthesiologists at potentially lower cost.” The study found no evidence that patients were at an increased surgical risk when they were administered anesthesia by a CRNA unsupervised by an anesthesiologist.

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You’re NOT too legit to quit—Smoking, that is

Chances are that you are one out of the 21 percent of American adults over the age of eighteen who regularly smokes cigarettes. And chances are, if you’re one of those people, you should quit smoking. Yes, you’ve heard it all before. Smoking is bad for you (fact). Still, no matter how much you enjoy smoking, you should (and can) quit.

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How Healthy is Coffee?

Researchers have found that coffee may actually have many health benefits. Analysis by scientists found that people who drank four or more cups of coffee every day actually decreased their likelihood of oral cancer. The caffeinated beverage has other health benefits too.

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Lookin’ Good In Those Genes!

People all over the world are living longer. Worldwide, few people reach the age of 100, and those who do are often celebrated for their longevity. Only one out of every six thousand people will blow out the candles on their 100th birthday cake. Even fewer people (one out of every seven million) have lived beyond age 100 into their 110s or 120s. Currently, the United States and Japan are home to the largest numbers of people aged 100 or older world wide.

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Healthcare Reform Extends Medicare’s Solvency by 12 Years

As discussed my previous blog post in July, both Social Security and Medicare are facing serious financial troubles in the near future as a result of Baby Boomers aging into the programs and rising healthcare costs. Medicare has specifically had a bleak outlook for the next few decades as reports in recent years indicated the program will face insolvency if its obligation to provide benefits to a growing pool of enrollees is not balanced by an increase in tax revenues. Trustees of Medicare reported Thursday that cost-cutting measure in The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 have pushed Medicare’s impending insolvency off another 12 years. Because of these provisions in the law, Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund should remain solvent until 2029. Both the 75 year shortfall for the hospital fund and the projected costs of the Medicare Supplementary Insurance program were further brought down. The trustees warned that though these projections are an improvement over last year’s estimates, additional reforms will be necessary for the programs to be financially sustainable.

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