Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 162 - this n that

Because it has been overused for reheating Thanksgiving leftovers, our microwave broke yesterday. I went to the mall (gag) and bought a new one after checking out the reviews on amazon. I wanted to see it before I bought it. That and three miles of dog walking pretty much used up my afternoon.

Other activities for the day were hanging out with Emily, reading this week's NEJM and a little weaving. This week's NEJM has a really interesting article on over-diagnosis in breast cancer. The idea is they looked at the population breast cancer data from SEER and noted that while early stage breast cancer diagnoses have gone way up since mammograms have become popular, late stage breast cancer diagnoses have only gone down a little bit. They do a bunch of fancy math that I can't follow and conclude that somewhere around 30% of early breast cancers are actually overdiagnosis of breast cancers that will never progress clinically. Wow! They make a pretty good case for mammogram as not a great screening test since detecting early cancers does not decrease the burden of advanced disease much. There was a nice op-ed piece in the NYT to go with this where the author pointed out how horrible a "quality measure" mammogram rate is. The idea is that if mammograms are not great screening tests, then the imperative to get them is not that strong and it is an individual patient/doctor decision so paying doctors or systems more for having a higher percentage of women with mammos would be rewarding systems for not being particularly patient centered.

The other news for today is that my labs from Friday came back. I am still quite anemic at 9.3, but my white count is 6.3 and my platelets are 330. What a relatively normal CBC that is! I can't wait to see how energetic and stamina-filled I feel at 12 or 13.

That is it for news from here for today. I'm hoping for more energy and more red cells tomorrow. (more, more, more!) For you, I hope for more of what you need most.

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