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Smart medicine is better health.

Welcome to Knowledge of Medicine –your internet resource for everything medicine. We provide the best health/medical resources available on the internet for both the professional and patient communities. Our comprehensive searches and selection of those medical internet sites with extraordinary content are provided as educational and informational tools. Medical care delivery must be educational,participatory and collaborative with all health partners. Take charge of your medical knowledge –only you can do it!

Harlan R. Weinberg,MD,FCCP

Educate –Participate –Communicate

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Developing an Incident Management System to Support Ebola Response — Liberia,July–August 2014

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

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Assured Brand Naproxen Sodium Tablets by Contract Packaging Resources,Inc.:Recall –Packaging Mix-Up

Risk of allergic reactions,from mild irritation or hives to serious reactions such as anaphylaxis that may be life-threatening.
MedWatch Safety Alert RSS Feed

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Coping with GVHD after my stem cell transplant

Harley731.jpgBy Harley Hudson

I decided to keep a diary of my stem cell transplant experience so it might help others in preparing for their stem cell transplants. You can read my previous entry here.
 
Just the words “graft-vs.-host disease”(GVHD) are enough to make stem cell transplant patients shiver. We’ve all heard the stories of the worst cases.

After everything I’d learned about stem cell transplants leading up to my own this past summer,I was afraid of developing GVHD even though my doctors told me the majority of patients actually don’t end up developing this condition.

And then it happened. Sixty-six days after I underwent a stem cell transplant to treat my chronic lymphocyctic leukemia (CLL),a rash appeared on my legs and arms. I was pretty sure it was GVHD. This was confirmed the following morning when one of my doctors,Issa Khouri,M.D.,and his team looked at my very red and splotchy legs and arms.

My GVHD treatment

Big deal,right? In truth,it wasn’t. Melanie and I were prepared for this. We were pretty sure of I had GVHD even before I visited the doctor. This was simply a small speed bump on the way to full recovery.
All we needed was the treatment plan so we could get rid of it in the least amount of time. I was prescribed a steroid cream and prednisone. A week later,the GVHD was under control.

The key was catching it early so that I could receive prompt treatment. I suppose it was the research we’d done before my transplant that gave us the peace of mind to simply accept that it was easily treatable. But,as an added precaution,I posted the finding on my Facebook page so all of my friends would know to pray. They responded in marvelous ways —and so did my GVHD.

What is GVHD?
GVHD occurs when the new cells from a transplant attacks not only the cancer but also the body.

GVHD can attack any organ or body tissue. The most common locations are the skin,mouth,gut,liver and lungs. GVHD also can attack joints,eyes or any other tissue. That is why it is very important to report all abnormalities,no matter how trivial they seem.

GVHD can be acute (usually occurring within 100 days of the transplant) or chronic. Symptoms of chronic GVHD can range from a temporary rash like mine to more chronic issues like joint problems,dry eyes,or symptoms similar to an autoimmune disorder.

The immune system doesn’t have a mechanism that allows it to naturally defend against GVHD. That’s why early detection and proper treatment are so important.

This also is partly why your care team performs daily blood draws following a stem cell transplant. The nurses are specially trained to work with transplant patients. They know what to look for. They ask questions. But it is the job of us,the patients,to be honest and aware of our own bodies.

GVHD is a serious matter,but the good news is the team at MD Anderson knows exactly how to treat it with great success. Personally,I would not go anywhere else in the world for treatment. As I look around,I see that people from around the world feel the same way.

Harley Hudson is a retired pastor,carpenter,electrician,plumber,assembler of road graders,furniture refinisher,janitor,graphic designer,English teacher,aircraft parts inspector,and college adjunct professor of writing,among other lesser career choices He and his wife live in Arkansas and have three daughters and nine grandchildren. Follow him on his personal blog,or read more Cancerwise posts by Harley Hudson.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is one of the cancers MD Anderson is focusing on as part of our Moon Shots Program to dramatically reduce cancer deaths. Learn more about our CLL Moon Shot.

Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center

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EARLY RELEASE:Control of Ebola Virus Disease — Firestone District,Liberia,2014

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

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Saba Shark Cartilage Complex,60 Capsule Bottles:Recall –Possible Salmonella Contamination

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children frail or elderly people,and others with weakened immune systems. Posted 10/20/2014
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First person:Getting to know cardiothoracic surgeon Stephen Swisher,M.D.

Steve_Swisher1020.jpgBy Jacqueline Mason

History buff is just one way to describe Stephen Swisher,M.D. He’s also a husband and father of two,head of our Surgery division,an honored professor in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery,and co-leader of MD Anderson’s Lung Cancer Moon Shot —our own history-making endeavor in the world of medicine.

How do you view your current role here?
I see myself as a surgeon but also as a division leader and an advocate for surgeons. I try to help communicate other surgeons’points-of-view at MD Anderson.

What influenced you to become a cardiothoracic surgeon?
No one in my family had a career in medicine. I became interested in medicine after I took a course in biology. The anatomy of the chest is particularly interesting and exciting to me. During my general surgery residency at the University of California at Los Angeles,a cardiothoracic surgeon and researcher I worked with influenced my decision to complete my fellowship in surgical oncology. Also,the chief of surgical oncology at that time,demonstrated to me the process of taking research findings and using them to improve surgery for cancer patients. That’s something I’ve come to especially appreciate in my co-leadership of the Lung Cancer Moon Shot.
What inspires you to come to work every day?
Our patients and how appreciative they are of what we do. Cancer is so impactful on the entire family,and families tend to rally during those times. That’s inspiring to see. It makes you cognizant of what they’re going through.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your career or personal life?
One of the biggest challenges that’s been gratifying to overcome has been being able to raise two kids when both my wife,Kelly,and I are surgeons at MD Anderson. It’s been a partnership. We have a son and a daughter who are both in college,and it seems so much easier now. It makes me appreciate all our employees who come to work,pick up their kids from day care,rush back and forth,and still do the incredibly hard and meaningful work they do every day. Interestingly,my daughter is showing a strong interest in going into medicine.

What’s something few people know about you?
I spent two years living in Casablanca,Morocco,when my father worked for a bank there. I attended a French-speaking school and continued my education in a French school when our family later returned to Brooklyn,which is where I’m from originally.

How do you relax?
I play tennis and watch sports —I like to go to football and basketball games. I also relax by reading. I’m reading a book called “Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln”by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It has a lot of strategies on how to be a good leader. I’m fond of American history.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
President Harry Truman said,“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”I like that.

What do you want your MD Anderson legacy to be?
I’d like my legacy to be that I helped develop a Surgery division that’s regarded by our patients and colleagues as the best clinical translational Surgery division in the country.

A longer version of this story originally appeared in Messenger,MD Anderson’s bimonthly publication for employees.

To schedule an appointment at MD Anderson,please call 1-877-632-6789 or request an appointment online.

Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center

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Surveillance and Preparedness for Ebola Virus Disease — New York City,2014

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

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Application of a Novel Curcumin Analog in the Management of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy

Diabetes Journal current issue

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The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Practice Guidelines on the Role of Multimodality Treatment for Cancer of the Esophagus and Gastroesophageal Junction

This is one of a series of guidelines from the Task Force of the General Thoracic Workforce of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) focusing on the management of esophageal cancer. This article addresses the role of multimodality therapy in the treatment of this disease. Evidence-based guidelines are recommendations,not absolutes,and are intended to assist health care providers in clinical decision making by reviewing a range of acceptable approaches for the management of specific conditions.
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

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Notes from the Field:Increase in Gonorrhea Cases in Counties Associated with American Indian Reservations — Montana,January 2012–August 2014

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

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