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Surviving American Medicine

Second Semester Grades for Obamacare: How Is the ACA Doing?

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 08.21.2014 | Politics
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

In March, I gave my first semester grades for the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known generally as Obamacare), and it received a C grade for a GPA of 2.0. Now, a semester of health care later, how is it doing?

6 Tips About Breakthrough Drugs: For Example, Should Breast Cancer Patients Try to Get Palbociclib?

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 08.12.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

Breakthrough drugs are widely covered in the media. After hearing about these new drugs, patients and their families are always asking me how they can get access to the new medicine or participate in a clinical trial of the new drug. Let's look at a current example.

Preventing Ebola and More Common Infections: Tips For You On Contact and Hygiene

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 08.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

Social gestures are important to feel welcome, express trust, show gratitude, and conclude visits with a hopeful tone. Find the best way between you and your doctor to have these feelings, but do not increase your risk of infection in the process.

Why Variability in Cancer Care Recommendations Means You Should Consider Second Opinions

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 07.24.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

Make sure your care is following the best guidelines, or if your doctor is not following best guidelines, that the doctor has a good explanation of why you actually need something different. Good patients get good information which gets good care which gets the very best outcomes. And often, good patients need to get second opinions.

Are There Tears in Your Popcorn? What to Learn From The Fault in Our Stars

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 08.31.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

The Fault in Our Stars movie portrays the fault in our lives when challenged with illness, and the joy in our lives when these challenges are met.

Tony Gwynn's Biggest Hit and His Advice for Us

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 08.20.2014 | Impact
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

After wearing number 19 for the San Diego Padres, Tony Gwynn was elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot on which he was eligible. But his biggest accomplishment (to me) was when he courageously faced cancer surgery in August 2010.

An Unknown Legacy of Casey Kasem -- Supporting Patients in Need

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 08.18.2014 | Impact
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

On Father's Day June 15, 2014, the world lost Casey Kasem. I identified with Casey because we were both music lovers, both short and both very friendly. But also, we were both committed to supporting cancer patients in need of help.

The American Cancer Society at 100 Years: Helping Make More Survivors, Like Jaclyn Smith!

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 08.15.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

For the past 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has been helping promote the best science to help control cancer. In support of that goal, t...

What's the ObamaCare GPA? The ABCs of Giving a Grade to the Affordable Care Act

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 06.22.2014 | Politics
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

I want to grade what the ACA is doing for me now. Because that's where healthcare reform hits the road, in the care that each of us pays lots of dollars to receive.

Mickey Rooney, Teen Idol Turned Elder Hero: What We Can Learn From Him

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 06.11.2014 | Entertainment
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

He showed us how to continue to be productive even as we become older. And then he showed us how vulnerable anyone can be to elder abuse, and how to handle this tragedy.

When the Wicked Stepmother Fran Drescher Tells You to Get to Work, Better Listen

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 06.08.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

We all know about the wicked stepmother in the story of Cinderella, and how she orders poor Cinderella to do the cleaning and household chores. The ro...

Out Damned Spot: What Actor James Rebhorn Says to Us

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 06.03.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

Although Lady Macbeth says "out damned spot" probably to a blood stain she thinks she has on her hands, it's a more damned spot when it represents a m...

You CAN Get A Perfect Night's Sleep

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 05.31.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

Cleaning up your living room is not as important as cleaning up your brain, and sleeping helps you do it.

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Story and Obamacare Coverage of Drug Addiction

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 05.05.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

Addiction is everywhere, help is more available, and you have friends and/or family who care about you. Take the first steps today to know your risks and find solutions for a better tomorrow.

Shirley Temple and the Newest Information on Mammograms: What They Tell Women to Do

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 04.21.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

Shirley Temple was one of the first celebrities to acknowledge having cancer and the first to crusade for breast cancer awareness and early diagnosis. She must always be remembered as an important cancer crusader.

Senator Coburn's Obamacare Moment: What It Tells Us

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 04.14.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

The decision made by Senator Coburn was a difficult one. He took the last option and decided to pay cash to continue his care with his former oncologist. And even more courageously, he made his story and decision public.

Where Have All the Cheap Drugs Gone?

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 04.08.2014 | Politics
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

What can you do to find affordable medications? Here is a long list of my tips.

Saving Mr. Disney: What Walt Taught Us

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 03.17.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

So with what we know today, we could have saved Mr. Disney, and many of the other celebrities. More importantly, you can save your own life by recognizing the problem of smoking addiction and committing yourself to improvement.

With Fewer Cancer Deaths, What Should You Do Now?

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 03.15.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

Still the most feared of all diseases, cancer now has some good news. But the responsibility is yours to make sure you are one of the good statistics, not one of the bad ones.

10 Best New Year's Resolutions for 2014

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 03.02.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

New Years, and the time I always resolve to lose more weight, is arriving. Will I once again choose a diet du jour, and try to follow it for a few months, only to slip back into my favorite high calorie snacks and desserts?

10 Steps You Should Take Now to Protect Your Health in 2014

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 02.22.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

You need to take charge of your medical care now more than ever. If you do this well, you will have confidence in the future. Letting things just happen around you may lead to bad decisions, serious undiagnosed illness, suffering, disability, and sometimes even death.

6 Medical Tips On Choosing HPV Vaccination For Your Daughter Or Son (Or Not)

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 02.16.2014 | Healthy Living
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

No one wants to talk about it, but HPV (human papilloma virus) is common, sexually-transmitted, and can cause suffering and reduced quality of life. This is serious stuff, and you should take a moment to think about it now.