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Study finds men less likely to survive breast cancer

Male breast cancer patients in West Virginia and around the country are more likely to die than women, according to a new study published in JAMA Oncology. The study, which is the biggest of its type, was conducted by researchers at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Researchers examined data on 1,816,733 American breast cancer patients diagnosed between January 2004 and December 2014. Of those patients, 16,025 were men. They found male patients were less likely than female patients to be alive 3 years, 5 years and 10 years after their diagnosis. The discrepancy between sexes was still present after the researchers controlled for other contributing factors like socioeconomic status, access to care and clinical predictors.

September is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month

Approximately one in five women living in West Virginia and across the U.S. is suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, according to the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Association. To help raise awareness about the condition, the organization announced that September is PCOS Awareness Month.

Despite its name, polycystic ovarian syndrome doesn't actually involve cysts. Instead, it is a hormonal imbalance involving androgens, insulin and progesterone. This imbalance can cause a range of symptoms, including excess hair, acne, weight gain and mood swings, which can all make sufferers feel shame and embarrassment. It can also cause pelvic pain and problems with ovulation and fertility, meaning sufferers have difficulty conceiving.

Men should be part of breast cancer clinical trials, says FDA

The Food and Drug Administration has issued guidelines for the inclusion of men in clinical trials testing the efficacy of breast cancer drugs. This is a major step because, as men in West Virginia and across the U.S. should know, breast cancer does affect men. The percentage of breast cancer patients who are men is less than 1%, but the risk for it is still there.

Because men are so rarely affected by breast cancer, there is a lack of FDA-approved treatments for breast cancer that are specifically for men. Those treatments that are for men are based on data gathered from female breast cancer patients. Yet men's bodies react to different drugs than women's bodies do, so the need for more treatment options is a pressing one.

Five widespread medical errors

Malpractice is the failure of a doctor, nurse or another medical professional to live up to an objective standard of care. There are five common examples of malpractice with which West Virginia residents should be familiar. If they ever become a victim of one of these forms of malpractice, they may be able to file a claim.

The first kind of negligence misdiagnosis, which can lead to patients undergoing harsh and unnecessary treatments while their real conditions worsen. In some cases, a new condition may develop as a result of such diagnostic errors. A second widespread error in the field of medicine occurs during the prescribing, dispensing, preparing and administering of drugs. The cause is very often lack of communication.

CVSA: September 15 to 21 is Brake Safety Week

Truckers in West Virginia probably know that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds various inspection sprees throughout the year in the effort to enforce federal trucking regulations. If truckers do not follow these regulations, they only put themselves and others at risk because a poorly maintained truck will not prevent crashes as well or protect occupants in the event of a crash.

The next inspection spree that the CVSA has planned is Brake Safety Week. From September 15 to 21, inspectors in both the U.S. and Canada will be stopping CMVs at random and inspecting the brake systems. Brake Safety Weeks usually have a special focus, and this one's will brake hoses and tubing. All too often, truckers are driving with leaking, damaged or improperly attached hoses and tubes.

AAA urges drivers to replace faulty air bags

Some West Virginia motorists may still be driving cars that have Takata air bags in them and that were recalled in 2015. It is estimated that more than 15 million vehicles have them. Over 150 model and year combinations were released by 19 manufacturers that had the air bags installed. AAA is urging people to get the air bags replaced.

The replacements can be done for free at dealerships. When the recall was originally announced, drivers often had long waits before the repairs could be done because there was an insufficient stock of replacements. That problem has now been solved, but only about two-thirds of vehicles carrying the air bags have had them replaced.

Study highlights the costs of a missed or delayed diagnosis

One in three of the medical malpractice cases in West Virginia and around the country that involve patients who either died or were left permanently disabled are caused by delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. That was the conclusion reached by researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after studying 55,000 malpractice cases. The results of the study were released online by the medical journal Diagnosis on July 11.

The researchers estimate that about 12 million Americans fall victim to diagnostic errors every year and between 40,000 and 80,000 of them die as a result. The lawsuits filed by these patients and their dependent family members have cost the health care system and its insurers approximately $1.8 billion over the last 10 years. Almost three-quarters of the most serious of these cases involved the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancers, vascular conditions or infections.

Many patients misdiagnosed as having burning mouth syndrome

West Virginia residents should know about a condition known as burning mouth syndrome, which is characterized by a constant burning or tingling sensation in the mouth. Sometimes it goes together with dryness or a metallic taste in the mouth. There are many people who experience a burning sensation due to dry mouth, but this is not the same as BMS.

Unfortunately, because BMS is so complex and a standard definition for it does not exist, many patients are the victims of misdiagnosis. Being diagnosed with BMS, they receive treatments that wind up never addressing the real issue. It is only after they visit several healthcare providers that victims are typically given the correct diagnosis.

Bedsores may be an early sign of nursing home neglect

Few decisions are more difficult than choosing to move an aging parent into a nursing home. While you can likely depend on nursing home employees to provide effective care for your elderly loved one, you must realize that nursing home neglect happens. In fact, about 10% of Americans over 60 experience some type of neglect or abuse. Even worse, when abuse happens, an individual’s risk of death may increase by as much as 300%. 

There is no such thing as standard nursing home neglect. That is, your loved one’s neglect may involve poor hygiene, incorrect medication, substandard living conditions or something else. Often, though, bedsores are an early indicator of nursing home neglect. If you have an elderly loved one in a long-term care facility, you should know a few things about the condition. 

Why people lack trust in others

Trust can be critical for companies in West Virginia that want to grow or strengthen their brand. However, trust in people and companies has been declining, according to a variety of sources including the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. The Edelman Trust Barometer found that 73% of those who responded said that fake information could be used against them. There are many reasons why people aren't placing their faith in other people or institutions, such as the blatant release of false data.

Reports about business leaders and other leaders in society being taken into custody or indicted for crimes also leads to a lack of trust. However, there are ways that companies may be able to regain the trust of their employees. One idea to is replace control with empowerment of workers to make decisions. This may help middle managers get more done without worrying about what top leaders may think.

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