November 2014 Focus

by U.S. Medicine

January 5, 2015

In this Issue:

Focus on Oncology

Increasing Cancer Treatment Delays Have Plagued VAMCs for Nearly a Decade

Male Breast Cancer at the VA Rarer Than the Female Disease, but More Deadly

Pharmacy Update

Training Program Prepares Military Pharmacy Techs for Assignment Anywhere

Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Consult

What Is the Link Between RA and Peridontal Disease?

Urology/Nephrology Clinical Consult

What Is The Best Predictor of Heart Disease in CKD Patients?


Pentagon Announces Ebola Medical Support Team
WASHINGTON – DoD announced that it is organizing a 30-member expeditionary medical support team that can provide assistance on short notice to civilian medical personnel in the event of additional Ebola cases in the United States. According to DoD, the military team will consist of 20 critical care nurses, five doctors trained in infectious disease, and five trainers in infectious disease protocols. The team will be sent to Fort Sam Houston, TX, where they will be trained by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. After completing the training, the team will be in a “prepare to deploy” status, available to be sent to other domestic locations, according to the Pentagon. More


Karl Bilimoria, MD
Increasing Cancer Treatment Delays Have Plagued VAMCs for Nearly a Decade
CHICAGO – The news media frenzy of the last six months might suggest otherwise, but concerns about delays in treatment for veterans are nothing new at the VA, especially related to cancer treatment. For example, at least two studies have documented increasing delays in initiation of treatment for cancer since 1995, although the impact of the treatment delays on outcomes has not been clear. Those earlier reports attributed much of the increase in wait times to demographic and diagnostic developments and changes in treatment. Is that still the case? More

Anita Aggarwal, DO, PhD,

Male Breast Cancer at the VA Rarer Than the Female Disease, but More Deadly
WASHINGTON – Men are diagnosed with less than 0.1% of all breast cancers, but for those unfortunate few, the disease extracts a high toll – and a 65% increase in mortality risk compared to women. The interpretation of the odds rates are not as straightforward as they might appear, however. For example, Men tend to be older when diagnosed and have more comorbidities that could contribute to the difference in mortality rates. More

Training Program Prepares Military Pharmacy Techs for Assignment Anywhere
SAN ANTONIO – A newly minted Navy pharmacy technician could find herself working alone on a ship with no pharmacist within hundreds of miles. Daunting? Not to pharmacy technicians who have completed the DOD pharmacy training program offered through the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, TX. Since its establishment four years ago, the multiservice training program has graduated more than 400 pharmacy technicians annually, preparing them for virtually any deployment. More

What Is the Link Between RA and Peridontal Disease?
OMAHA – Could the periodontal region, much like the joints, be targeted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Or does periodontal disease (PD) set off immune responses that are more severe in some forms of RA? Those are questions raised by a recent study from the Omaha VA Medical Center and University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha after results indicated greater presence of PD in patients with RA. More


What Is The Best Predictor of Heart Disease in CKD Patients?
BALTIMORE – The best indicator of the risk of heart disease in chronic kidney disease(CKD) patients appears to be calcium buildup in the coronary arteries as opposed to other risk factors, according to new research. Results from the study, which involved researchers from the San Francisco VAMC, indicated that calcium buildup in the coronary artery walls was more useful for correctly determining CKD patients’ risk of cardiovascular disease, especially coronary heart disease and heart failure, than other measures of atherosclerosis such as thickness of the carotid artery walls and narrowing of the arteries in the legs. More

Brenda L. Mooney
Editorial Director, U.S. Medicine
[email protected]
39 York Street
Lambertville, NJ  08530

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