Surgeon Performance Impaired After Drinking Alcohol the Day Before Surgery

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SURGEON PERFORMANCE IMPAIRED AFTER DRINKING ALCOHOL THE DAY BEFORE SURGERY

Surgeons, like pilots, are held to a very high standard of conduct when it comes to alcohol and drug use. Unlike pilots, however, there are no rules barring surgeons from having a few beers, or other alcoholic drinks, on the day or evening before they enter the operating room to perform surgery.

While most surgeons drink alcohol responsibly, some surgeons (like people in any other profession) may occasionally have a few more drinks the day or evening before they report for duty than might be considered prudent. When a surgeon has a few more alcoholic drinks than they might have planned on the day before they are scheduled to perform surgery, most will undoubtedly assume that “sleeping it off” overnight will leave them fresh and in tip-top shape to wield the scalpel in the operating room on the next morning. However, a newly published clinical research study suggests otherwise….

A newly published prospective, randomized clinical study, which appears in the latest issue of the Archives of Surgery, included two groups of study volunteers. A total of 8 expert laparoscopic surgeons were included in one group, while the other group consisted of 16 university science students. All 24 participants were trained to use a computer-based laparoscopic surgery training device that is routinely utilized to train new surgeons in laparoscopic surgery skills. The science students were then divided into two groups. The “control” group abstained from alcohol for the 24-hour period prior to being tested on their laparoscopic skills, while the other half of the students (the “experimental group”) were allowed to drink alcohol freely until they felt themselves to be “intoxicated.” The 8 expert laparoscopic surgeons were all permitted to drink alcoholic beverages “until intoxicated.” The following day, all 24 study volunteers were tested on the laparoscopic training device at 9:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 4:00 PM. All study participants also underwent breathalyzer testing to measure their blood alcohol level, and only one of the volunteers had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit (for driving) of 0.1 percent at 9:00 on the morning after their drinking binge.

Among the science students, performance deteriorated in all of the tested laparoscopic surgery skills among those who had consumed alcohol on the day prior to testing (when compared to the “control group” of students). The outcome was not any better for the expert laparoscopic surgeons, either. These experienced surgeons, all of whom consumed multiple alcoholic drinks on the day before testing, showed significant deterioration in the time that it took them to perform specific laparoscopic surgery skills, as well as a significant deterioration in their coordination and in the number of technical errors that they made. Moreover, this significant deterioration in surgical performance was still detectable at 4:00 PM on the day after these study volunteers had consumed multiple alcoholic beverages, and despite blood alcohol levels well below the legal limit for driving.

As previous research with airline pilots has shown, alcohol consumption within 24 hours of performing critical tasks can cause significant cognitive and physical impairment, even when blood alcohol levels are zero, or near zero. The findings of this clinical study of surgeons came to similar conclusions, and these findings suggest that surgeons should avoid the consumption of multiple alcoholic drinks within 24 hours of entering the operating room.

For a complete evidence-based discussion about how to live an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Cruciferous Vegetables and Prostate Cancer Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES AND PROSTATE CANCER RISK

Isothiocyanates are a class of dietary compounds that are found in most cruciferous (“brassica”) vegetables. (Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, chinese broccoli, broccoli rabe, collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, rutabaga, arugula, radish, and watercress.) Isothiocyanates, which are partially responsible for the bitter, sulfurous taste of many cruciferous vegetables, have been extensively studied as potential cancer prevention agents. Among the cancers that dietary isothiocyanates may help to prevent is prostate cancer (the most common type of cancer among men).

A newly published laboratory research study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggests that dietary isothiocyanates may indeed reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. In this study, laboratory mice that are predisposed to developing prostate cancer were divided into two groups. The “experimental” group of mice was fed a diet supplemented with phenethyl isothiocyanate (3 µnol per gram), while the “control” group of mice was fed a standard commercial mouse diet without added phenethyl isothiocyanate. After 19 weeks, the animals were sacrificed, and microscopic evaluation of their prostate glands was performed.

After extensive testing of the prostate glands of these male mice, it was discovered that the mice that were fed the phenethyl isothiocyanate supplement were 36 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer when compared to the mice in the “control” group. Moreover, among those mice, in both groups, that did go on to develop prostate cancer, the mice in the “experimental” group had tumors that were 26 percent smaller than the mice in the “control” group. Importantly, no toxic side effects were observed among the mice that received the phenethyl isothiocyanate supplement.

The findings of this particular laboratory research study are consistent with the findings of multiple other laboratory studies, and suggest that cruciferous vegetables may decrease the risk of prostate cancer, as well as other cancers. Moreover, there are numerous other laboratory studies that have identified specific mechanisms whereby isothiocyanates alter specific genetic and biochemical pathways that are known to be involved in the development of prostate cancer (and other types of cancer, as well).

While research studies involving laboratory mice or rats cannot directly prove that cruciferous vegetables, or isothiocyanate supplements, can actually reduce the risk of prostate cancer in humans, previous clinical research studies have suggested that a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables may, at a minimum, significantly reduce the risk of aggressive forms of prostate cancer in humans.

 

For a complete evidence-based discussion regarding a potential role for cruciferous vegetables and isothiocyanates as part of an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race. For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!


On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com “Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!

 


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.




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Curcumin and Colorectal Cancer Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



CURCUMIN AND COLORECTAL CANCER RISK

Curcumin, which makes up part of the curry spice turmeric, has been extensively studied in the laboratory as a possible cancer prevention supplement.  As with all disease prevention research, though, it is easy to find contradictory research results regarding the potential effectiveness of curcumin in preventing new or recurrent cancers.  More importantly, however, there has been very little research performed in humans with curcumin.

Prior laboratory research, in mice and rats, has suggested that curcumin may decrease the incidence of aberrant crypt foci and adenomatous polyps in the colon and rectum.  These abnormalities are thought to be among the earliest observable changes in the colon and rectum that precede the development of colorectal cancer (although not all patients with these abnormalities of the colon and rectum will actually go on to develop colon or rectal cancer).  Now, a newly published clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research, suggests that dietary supplements of curcumin in humans may also help to prevent precancerous colorectal aberrant crypt foci.

In this small clinical pilot study, 41 smokers were recruited after screening colonoscopy biopsies revealed the presence of aberrant crypt foci.  The patient volunteers participating in this study were given either 2 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days, or 4 grams per day for 30 days.  After this 30-day treatment period, repeat rectal biopsies were performed.

While the patients who received 2 grams of curcumin per day did not show any decrease in the number of aberrant crypt foci within their repeat rectal biopsies, the patients who received 4 grams of curcumin per day experienced a very significant 40 percent reduction in the number of precancerous aberrant crypt foci within the rectum.

While the results of this very small study do not prove that curcumin supplements can directly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in humans, this study does provide tantalizing evidence that curcumin supplements can decrease very early precancerous changes in the cells that colorectal cancer arise from.  Of course, longer term and larger prospective clinical research trials will be necessary to prove that curcumin supplements can directly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.  However, this intriguing little study is an important step in that direction.  (As always, I remind readers to check with their doctor before taking any new dietary supplements or medications.)


For a complete evidence-based discussion regarding a potential role for curcumin in an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!


On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.




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