Items in AFP with MESH term: Patient Selection

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Cancer Screening Guidelines - Article

ABSTRACT: Numerous medical organizations have developed cancer screening guidelines. Faced with the broad, and sometimes conflicting, range of recommendations for cancer screening, family physicians must determine the most reasonable and up-to-date method of screening. Major medical organizations have generally achieved consensus on screening guidelines for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer. For breast cancer screening in women ages 50 to 70, clinical breast examination and mammography are generally recommended every one or two years, depending on the medical organization. For cervical cancer screening, most organizations recommend a Papanicolaou test and pelvic examination at least every three years in patients between 20 and 65 years of age. Annual fecal occult blood testing along with flexible sigmoidoscopy at five-year to 10-year intervals is the standard recommendation for colorectal cancer screening in patients older than 50 years. Screening for prostate cancer remains a matter of debate. Some organizations recommend digital rectal examination and a serum prostate-specific antigen test for men older than 50 years, while others do not. In the absence of compelling evidence to indicate a high risk of endometrial cancer, lung cancer, oral cancer and ovarian cancer, almost no medical organizations have developed cancer screening guidelines for these types of cancer.


New Concepts In Acute Pain Therapy: Preemptive Analgesia - Article

ABSTRACT: Pain, which is often inadequately treated, accompanies the more than 23 million surgical procedures performed each year and may persist long after tissue heals. Preemptive analgesia, an evolving clinical concept, involves the introduction of an analgesic regimen before the onset of noxious stimuli, with the goal of preventing sensitization of the nervous system to subsequent stimuli that could amplify pain. Surgery offers the most promising setting for preemptive analgesia because the timing of noxious stimuli is known. When adequate drug doses are administered to appropriately selected patients before surgery, intravenous opiates, local anesthetic infiltration, nerve block, subarachnoid block and epidural block offer benefits that can be observed as long as one year after surgery. The most effective preemptive analgesic regimens are those that are capable of limiting sensitization of the nervous system throughout the entire perioperative period.


Methadone Therapy for Opioid Dependence - Article

ABSTRACT: The 1999 Federal regulations extend the treatment options of methadone-maintained opioid-dependent patients from specialized clinics to office-based opioid therapy (OBOT). OBOT allows primary care physicians to coordinate methadone therapy in this group with ongoing medical care. This patient group tends to be poorly understood and underserved. Methadone maintenance therapy is the most widely known and well-researched treatment for opioid dependency. Goals of therapy are to prevent abstinence syndrome, reduce narcotic cravings and block the euphoric effects of illicit opioid use. In the first phase of methadone treatment, appropriately selected patients are tapered to adequate steady-state dosing. Once they are stabilized on a satisfactory dosage, it is often possible to address their other chronic medical and psychiatric conditions. The maintenance phase can be used as a long-term therapy until the patient demonstrates the qualities required for successful detoxification. Patients who abuse narcotics have an increased risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection, hepatitis, tuberculosis and other conditions contributing to increased morbidity and mortality. Short- or long-term pain management problems and surgical needs are also common concerns in opioid-dependent patients and are generally treatable in conjunction with methadone maintenance.


Overview of Refractive Surgery - Article

ABSTRACT: Patients with myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism can now reduce or eliminate their dependence on contact lenses and eyeglasses through refractive surgery that includes radial keratotomy (RK), photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), laser thermal keratoplasty (LTK) and intrastromal corneal rings (ICR). Since the approval of the excimer laser in 1995, the popularity of RK has declined because of the superior outcomes from PRK and LASIK. In patients with low-to-moderate myopia, PRK produces stable and predictable results with an excellent safety profile. LASIK is also efficacious, predictable and safe, with the additional advantages of rapid vision recovery and minimal pain. LASIK has rapidly become the most widely performed refractive surgery, with high patient and surgeon satisfaction. Noncontact Holium: YAG LTK provides satisfactory correction in patients with low hyperopia. ICR offers patients with low myopia the potential advantage of removal if the vision outcome is unsatisfactory. Despite the current widespread advertising and media attention about laser refractive surgery, not all patients are good candidates for this surgery. Family physicians should be familiar with the different refractive surgeries and their potential complications.


Breast-Conserving Surgery for Breast Cancer - Article

ABSTRACT: Surgical treatment of breast cancer has changed significantly in recent years. Fine-needle aspirations or core-needle biopsies can be used in the diagnostic process, thus avoiding scarring incisions. The preferred method of treatment for many women with early breast cancer is conservative surgical therapy (principally lumpectomy and axillary dissection) followed by breast irradiation. Sentinel node biopsy is being investigated as an alternative to standard axillary node dissection. This could decrease morbidity following standard axillary dissection. These techniques allow women with different forms of breast cancer to conserve their breasts. For women who choose mastectomy, immediate reconstruction of the breast is now routinely performed with a prosthetic implant or autologous tissue. Clinical history, physical examination, and breast imaging are the most effective means of follow-up.


Hepatitis B - Article

ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. More than 400 million persons, including 1.25 million Americans, have chronic hepatitis B. In the United States, chronic hepatitis B virus infection is responsible for about 5,000 annual deaths from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis B virus is found in body fluids and secretions; in developed countries, the virus is most commonly transmitted sexually or via intravenous drug use. Occupational exposure and perinatal transmission do occur but are rare in the United States. Effective vaccines for hepatitis B virus have been available since 1982; infant and childhood vaccination programs introduced in the 1990s have resulted in a marked decrease in new infections. Risk factors for progression to chronic infection include age at the time of infection and impaired immunity. From 15 to 30 percent of patients with acute hepatitis B infection progress to chronic infection. Medical therapies for chronic hepatitis B include interferon alfa-2b, lamivudine, and the nucleotide analog adefovir dipivoxil.


Management of Hepatitis C: Evaluating Suitability for Drug Therapy - Article

ABSTRACT: Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is a common and serious disease. Although an estimated 2.7 million persons in the United States have this disease, most have not yet been diagnosed. Recent advances in treatment provide successful cure in 50 to 80 percent of cases. Current drug therapy consists of a combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Although all patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection are potential candidates for treatment, pharmacologic therapy has a number of contraindications. Evaluation of suitability for treatment includes a thorough search for comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions that can be contraindications. Initial testing involves anti-hepatitis C virus antibodies, but definitive diagnosis of active disease requires detection of viral RNA. Most patients require a liver biopsy to determine the amount of hepatic fibrosis and ongoing hepatocellular inflammation. Viral genotype also should be determined: type 1 requires 12 months of treatment and does not respond as well as types 2 and 3, which require only six months of treatment. Common side effects of drug therapy include anemia, anorexia, depression, fatigue, fever, headache, myalgia, nausea, and erythema at the injection site.


Management of Genital Warts - Article

ABSTRACT: Genital warts caused by human papillomavirus infection are encountered commonly in primary care. Evidence guiding treatment selection is limited, but treatment guidelines recently have changed. Biopsy, viral typing, acetowhite staining, and other diagnostic measures are not routinely required. The goal of treatment is clearance of visible warts; some evidence exists that treatment reduces infectivity, but there is no evidence that treatment reduces the incidence of cervical and genital cancer. The choice of therapy is based on the number, size, site, and morphology of lesions, as well as patient preferences, cost, convenience, adverse effects, and clinician experience. Patient-applied therapy such as imiquimod cream or podofilox is increasingly recommended. Podofilox, imiquimod, surgical excision, and cryotherapy are the most convenient and effective options. Fluorouracil and interferon are no longer recommended for routine use. The cost per successful treatment course is approximately dollars 200 to dollars 300 for podofilox, cryotherapy, electrodesiccation, surgical excision, laser treatment, and the loop electrosurgical excision procedure.


Diabetic Nephropathy: Common Questions - Article

ABSTRACT: Diabetic nephropathy, or diabetic kidney disease, affects 20 to 30 percent of patients with diabetes. It is a common cause of kidney failure. Diabetic nephropathy presents in its earliest stage with low levels of albumin (microalbuminuria) in the urine. The most practical method of screening for microalbuminuria is to assess the albumin-to-creatinine ratio with a spot urine test. Results of two of three tests for microalbuminuria should be more than 30 mg per day or 20 mcg per minute in a three- to six-month period to diagnose a patient with diabetic nephropathy. Slowing the progression of diabetic nephropathy can be achieved by optimizing blood pressure (130/80 mm Hg or less) and glycemic control, and by prescribing an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker. Patients with diabetes and isolated microalbuminuria or hypertension benefit from angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers. In the event that these medications cannot be prescribed, a nondihydropyridine calcium channel blocker may be considered. Serum creatinine and potassium levels should be monitored carefully for patients receiving angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers. These medications should be stopped if hyperkalemia is pronounced.


Caring for Patients After Bariatric Surgery - Article

ABSTRACT: Bariatric surgery leads to sustainable long-term weight loss and may be curative for such obesity-related comorbidities as diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea in severely obese patients. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass has become the most common procedure for patients undergoing bariatric surgery. The procedure carries a mortality risk of up to 1 percent and a serious complication risk of up to 10 percent. Indications include body mass index of 40 kg per m2 or greater, or 35 kg per m2 or greater with serious obesity-related comorbidities (e.g., diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, debilitating arthritis). Pulmonary emboli, anastomotic leaks, and respiratory failure account for 80 percent of all deaths 30 days after bariatric surgery; therefore, appropriate prophylaxis for venous thrombo-embolism (including, in most cases, low-molecular-weight heparin) and awareness of the symptoms of common complications are important. Some of the common short-term complications of bariatric surgery are wound infection, stomal stenosis, marginal ulceration, and constipation. Symptomatic cholelithiasis, dumping syndrome, persistent vomiting, and nutritional deficiencies may present as long-term complications.


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