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Pancreatic cancer treatment offers hope to early-stage patients

Early-stage pancreatic cancer patients in Illinois and worldwide could live longer with the help of a four-drug chemotherapy combo, according to a new study. The combo could become the new standard of care for patients who qualify for surgery.

Telehealth shows big potential to reduce medical mistakes

Health care providers in Illinois, especially at emergency rooms, continually face challenges when collecting information from patients about their medications and medical conditions. Ideally, emergency departments have a pharmacist who can interview incoming patients and alert other medical staff members to medication use and potential side effects. To improve access to pharmacists, one hospital experimented with a telemedicine system.

The pros and cons of LASIK

LASIK is a surgical procedure that can improve a person's eyesight. By changing the shape of the cornea, the procedure allows Illinois patients to rely less on glasses and contacts to see properly. The FDA regulates any device used to perform a LASIK surgery, but it does not regulate the doctor who performs it.

Mobile apps can help avoid misdiagnosis

For patients in Illinois going into the hospital or seeking treatment for an unknown condition, the threat of misdiagnosis may loom as a major concern. There are a number of mobile applications that aim to protect patients and improve the diagnostic process. Despite the growth in the technology, many have not been evaluated, and their impact on patient outcomes is unknown. One app that has been studied is the PTT Advisor, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some blood pressure drugs linked to pancreatic cancer in women

Illinois readers should be aware that certain high blood pressure medications could increase a woman's risk of developing pancreatic cancer after she goes through menopause. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth deadliest form of cancer in the U.S.

Radiology software can help prevent misdiagnosis

Patients in Illinois may be concerned about the danger of a mistaken diagnosis or the failure to diagnose a serious disease like cancer, especially if they have an undiagnosed illness or are preparing to enter the hospital. There can be significant consequences to a person's health if they are misdiagnosed; when people receive incorrect treatment or fail to receive treatment at all, especially for a progressive disease, their health condition may worsen dramatically and the results could even be fatal. Reducing diagnostic errors is a key priority for health care facilities that want to protect themselves and provide the highest quality of patient care.

Stay informed about immunotherapy side effects

Residents of Illinois who undergo immunotherapy for cancer, especially mesothelioma, should know about the side effects. Since the goal of immunotherapy is to enhance the immune system so that it can fight off cancer cells on its own, the side effects are not as severe as those of chemotherapy, which kills healthy cells that are also rapidly dividing. Patients generally feel like they are fighting the flu.

Glenn Frey's widow sues hospital for wrongful death

Illinois residents might recall the death of Eagles guitarist and co-founder Glenn Frey in 2016. The Eagles stated that Frey died of complications of colitis, pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis, and now his widow is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital in New York.

Robotic system for breast biopsies is in development

Because of human error and the inadequacies of current surgical technology, breast biopsies can provide inaccurate results. Illinois women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer may be interested to know that a 3D-printed robotic system that is being developed can transform how biopsies are conducted and can increase the accuracy of the procedures and breast cancer diagnoses. The research that is producing this new technology could affect medical laboratories and surgical pathology around the world.

Durotomy and medical malpractice

Durotomy refers to small tears made in the spine's outer membrane, or dura mater. It is sometimes an inevitable result of surgery, though it does not lead to long-term problems if caught and treated in time. When the dural tears are not caught in time or reopen after the second surgery, it can lead to a medical malpractice suit. Illinois patients might want to know about a study analyzing the factors that tip the scales in such lawsuits.