Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Wednesday, October 02, 2002
    Welcome to my blog! Big, first, initial post here. News of the day: from the Wall Street Journal, "Test to Detect Ovarian Cancer Is On the Way." Looks like a new test is in the works which should be much more reliable than the CA-125 test. This is MAJOR good news. I am so sick of patients coming in begging for that test because they got some random spam on the Internet telling them to ask for CA-125 no matter what! Guess what, people: it doesn't work. If you doubt me, go to truthorfiction.com and look it up for yourselves. This new test should be available in eighteen months or so and apparently "uses powerful mathematical algorithms to zero in on protein patterns that indicate ovarian cancer."

    Case of the Day: a new patient came in to see me last week complaining of pain in his left upper abdomen. I examined him and found a large spleen, but no enlarged lymph nodes. Blood tests come back: elevated white blood cells, 91% lymphocytes, 9% neutrophils. Holy guacamole, this guy has chronic lymphocytic leukemia! And, to boot, sickle cell trait (not that that matters to the leukemia, but it may make all you hematologists out there salivate.) You don't get a case like that walking in the door every day. Warms this internist's heart. It should be very treatable, once we get his CT scan done and finish the immunologic typing.



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