Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Unusual medical story on NBC4; Andraka bio video airs on Aussie TV; Trump's gaffe

NBC Washington presented a disturbing case history health report this evening (Tuesday, August 25, 2015).  A young woman, married with children, living in Urbana, MD (near Frederick) elected to go to Sloan-Kettering in New York City and have hear entire stomach removed, only a year or so after her father died of stomach cancer, after she learned she carries an unusual gene that increases the risk of stomach cancer, as well as a rarer breast cancer. Apparently she underwent a total gastrectomy.  She says the motive is to be here for her children, but it’s unclear why doing the surgery immediately after a genetic test would really be indicated.

Perhaps future tests for specific proteins (like in Jack Anraka’s test for pancreatic cancer) could be developed to monitor patients with genetic susceptibilities but no tumor.
She has to stay on a liquid diet and feed herself about every ninety minutes, and keep a detailed log of food. But some gastrectomy patients are gradually able to return to solid food. The idea is to adjust to a “new normal”.

The gastroenterologist said that the stomach actually adds relatively little to digestion, but is essentially a storage reservoir.

Women have sometimes undergone prophylactic mastectomies at young ages after genetic counseling, and this could be very challenging to marriages.

The Australian version of CBS 60 Minutes presented an updated 10-minute biography of teen medical innovator Jack Andraka, 18, about to start at Stanford in a couple weeks but now traveling in Australia. MSN carries the video (“Cool to Be Clever”) here    but there’s no embed offered.

The video (I think released today) even mentioned his kayaking and triathlon (which I hadn’t heard about). On the same day, Donald Trump (unfortunately) said in Iowa, “I will never enter a bicycle race as president” (before throwing out a Univision protestor).  I guess he’ll leave the racing to a protégé, Troy McClain, from the 2004 Apprentice Season. 

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