Posts tagged ‘recommendations’

June 27, 2014

Health Heroes: Soccer and Child Safety

soccer head case by woodleywonderworks via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)It’s World Cup season and everyone’s having fun (minus a few scrapes, bruises and one bite)! The excitement is contagious and kids and adults alike are running home to grab their own soccer balls and bouncing into the nearest park.

 

What’s not to love?  Running, jumping, kicking… hitting your head?! What? Yes, in a hands-free sport, “headers” are allowed. However new research (and honestly some older research too) is showing this type of soccer play is dangerous, especially to kids.

 

While Abby Wambach made it look cool, it turns out scoring a goal with hard force to the skull can hurt the brain. This is not so cool – particularly for those below the age of 14, when the brain is still developing.

 

A new initiative called Parents and Pros for Safer Soccer has been formed in conjunction with the Sports Legacy Institute and the Santa Clara Institute of Sports Law and Ethics and a number of world renowned soccer players including Brandi Chastain, Cindy Parlow Cone and Joy Fawcett.

 

Parlow Cone was forced to retire from soccer due to head injuries and fatigue – all resulting from a series of concussions across time from headers. She said that when she was a child practicing headers, she thought that “seeing stars” was normal for everyone. Well, it may be a common experience to see stars when subjected to head trauma, but head trauma shouldn’t be so common. Heading is the leading cause of serious injuries in the sport.

 

So during this time of soccer-mania when kids are developing healthy heroes, it’s a good time to note what traits to emulate and what’s age-appropriate for the sport. In this case, no headers for those young developing brains!

 

For more on the topic, the Times has a great article, here.

(Image credit: soccer head case by woodleywonderworks via Flickr Copyright Creative CommonsAttribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health atwww.mammographykc.com and general radiology atwww.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

 

NOTES:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/25/sports/worldcup/us-womens-soccer-stars-take-lead-on-risks-of-heading.html?_r=0

May 1, 2014

Lung Cancer Screening and (New) Recommendations

smoking kills by André Hengst via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)When it comes to cancer, lung cancer leads the list of the most deadly for men and women in the US. Fighting this disease has been an uphill battle, impeded by the fact that most patients are not diagnosed until late in their disease. Having an effective screening test to identify lung cancer when it is small and treatable has been a goal for years – the development of low-dose CT chest for the screening for lung cancer has brought hope.

 

We are therefore profoundly disappointed that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)’s Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) did not vote to recommend Medicare coverage of low-dose CT screening. Their primary concern is not that is does not find cancer, but that it will find too many things that are not cancer.

 

We disagree with the CMS, as do other (more important!) groups in the US. The United States Preventative Services Task Force (their statement can be found here) recently recommended coverage. This is critical, as those preventive services deemed appropriate by the Task Force are mandated to be covered under the Affordable Care Act. What does that mean? A double standard – those with health insurance will be covered, those with Medicare will not if the CMS acts on the recommendations of their advisory committee.

 

One of the (many!) advocates of low-dose CT screening is the American College of Radiology (their statement can be found here). The ACR supports the use of screening CT chests in those patients at the highest risk – in other words, heavy smokers or heavy former smokers. The National Lung Screening Trial found that there was a 20% reduction in deaths for heavy smokers due to screening (the trial report can be found here). That’s no small number. The ACR is working on developing uniform guidelines to help with interpretation and to reduce the number of false findings – those that seemed to concern the Advisory Committee.

 

Luckily, the CMS is not bound by the recommendations of MEDCAC and action based on the recommendation isn’t expected until late fall of this year. We hope that reevaluation of the data occurs between now and then, so that Medicare patients are covered.

 

If you’d like to know more about lung cancer and what you can do about it, we recommend checking out Free to Breathe. Eliminating the use of tobacco is a larger goal which will more profoundly affect lung cancer in the US – if you smoke, get help to stop.

Imagine attribution: smoking kills by André Hengst via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health atwww.mammographykc.com and general radiology atwww.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!