Weekend Surgery is More Risky than Weekday Surgery



A new study notes a much higher risk of death associated with surgery performed at the end of the week, compared with Monday surgeries.


 

WEEKEND SURGERY IS MORE RISKY THAN WEEKDAY SURGERY

Previous studies have suggested that surgeries performed after hours and on the weekends are associated with a greater risk of death when compared to surgeries performed earlier in the week.  This finding is not particularly surprising, as patients who undergo surgery after hours and on weekends are more likely to be undergoing surgery for emergency conditions, and are likely to be more severely ill, compared with patients who are undergoing elective scheduled surgery on weekdays.  However, a newly published research study shows that elective non-emergency surgeries are also associated with a much greater risk of death when performed at the end of the week or on weekends, when compared with elective surgeries performed early in the week.  This clinical research study appears in the current issue of the British Medical Journal.

A retrospective study reviewed hospital data between 2008 and 2010 for all public hospitals in England. In particular, the outcomes of patients undergoing elective surgery were analyzed. Altogether, 4,133,346 inpatient admissions for elective surgery were evaluated. These more than 4 million surgical cases were associated with 27,582 deaths within 30 days of surgery.

When compared to elective surgeries performed on Mondays, elective non-emergency surgeries performed on Fridays were associated with a 44 percent increase in the risk of death. The news for elective surgeries conducted over the weekend was even worse. Compared to Monday surgeries, elective surgeries conducted over the weekend were associated with an 82 percent increase in the risk of death!

English public hospitals, like most hospitals in the United States, sharply reduce their staffing levels on weekends. Given that life-threatening complications associated with major operations are most likely to occur during the first 72 hours following surgery, it is not surprising that major operations performed on Fridays or weekends, even elective non-emergency operations, are associated with a higher risk of complications and death, as the patient safety benefit associated with full weekday staffing in the hospital is lost on weekends (and holidays) in the vast majority of hospitals. In my own Surgical Oncology practice, I routinely schedule major elective surgeries at the beginning of the week, in recognition of what has been called the “weekend effect.” I and my Surgical Oncology colleague also personally see all of our surgical patients seven days a week, including weekends and holidays, in an effort to ensure that their ongoing care meets the highest standards, and to closely follow their postoperative recoveries.

Unfortunately, not all complications, and not all deaths, can be prevented following surgery. However, data from clinical research studies such as this study provide important opportunities to reduce postoperative complications, including the “ultimate complication,” to the lowest achievable levels.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, 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. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.

 

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Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer on talkabouthealth.com

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Dr. Wascher Discusses Chronic Pain After Mastectomy for Breast Cancer on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Cancer on cancersupportivecare.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Exercise in Cancer Prevention on Open Salon

Dr. Wascher Discusses Aspirin as a Potential Preventive Agent for Pancreatic Cancer on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on eHealth Forum

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Dr. Wascher Discusses the Treatment of Stomach Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Management of Metastatic Cancer of the Liver on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on hopenavigators.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on interactmd.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Thyroid Cancer on health2fit.com

 

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According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


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


 

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.  Over the past 12 months, 3.2 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  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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Aspirin Dramatically Reduces Prostate Cancer Death Rate






 

A new study shows that aspirin reduces the risk of death from prostate cancer by 60 to 80%.


 

ASPIRIN DRAMATICALLY REDUCES PROSTATE CANCER DEATH RATE

 

Prostate cancer is the most common of all major cancers in men, and the second most common cause of cancer-associated death in men.  Based upon data from the American Cancer Society, 242,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States in 2012, and more than 28,000 American men will die of this disease this year.

 

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there are multiple evidence-based strategies available for men to decrease their risk of developing prostate cancer.  However, one area where prostate cancer prevention research in humans has been lacking is in the assessment of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications for the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.  There is abundant scientific evidence that this class of medications (which includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other common anti-inflammatory drugs) can significantly reduce the risk of other types of cancer, including, notably, colon and rectal cancer.  Now, a new study involving nearly 6,000 men with prostate cancer indicates that the humble aspirin tablet appears to dramatically reduce the risk of cancer-associated death in men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

 

The prospective Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE) Study enrolled 5,955 men with early-stage prostate cancer.  All of these men underwent either surgery (prostatectomy) or radiation therapy as primary treatment for their prostate cancer.  Among these nearly 6,000 patient volunteers, 2,175 were taking one or more blood thinning medications for other illnesses, including aspirin, Coumadin (warfarin), Plavix (clopidogrel), or Lovenox (enoxaprin).  The outcomes of these nearly 6,000 prostate cancer patients were carefully monitored over an average follow-up period of 70 months.  Importantly, throughout the course of this large prospective clinical study, patients were required to provide updated health information on a quarterly basis.  Moreover, their Urologists also separately provided ongoing clinical updates on these patients.  This unique study design, along with its prospective nature and its large cohort of patient volunteers, provides a very high level of clinical evidence for this study’s findings.

 

The results of this study were striking.  While the non-aspirin blood thinners appeared to have minimal impact on the death rate due to prostate cancer, the regular use of aspirin was associated with a whopping and highly significant 57 percent reductionin the risk of death due to prostate cancer among these nearly 6,000 patient volunteers.  Even more impressive was the finding that men with high-risk forms of prostate cancer were almost 5 times less likely to die of prostate cancer if they took aspirin (i.e., 4 percent risk of death versus 19 percent risk of death at 10 years, respectively), which equates to a nearly 80 percent reduction in the risk of dying from prostate cancer.

 

The findings of this study have significant public health implications.  For men already diagnosed with prostate cancer, and especially men who have prostate cancer with high-risk features, aspirin appears to dramatically reduce the risk of cancer-associated death for a period of at least 10 years, based upon the findings of this ongoing study.  Additionally, this finding that aspirin dramatically reduces the risk of cancer-associated death in men diagnosed with prostate cancer also strongly suggests that there may also be a role for aspirin as a prevention agent for prostate cancer, much as it is currently used to prevent colorectal cancer in high-risk patients.  I consider the findings of this clinical study to be of very high significance, and it should, in my opinion, compel a new randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded prospective study to validate these extremely impressive and encouraging findings.

 

Although favorable data supporting aspirin as a powerful cancer prevention agent continues to accumulate, the regular use of aspirin can be associated with serious, and even life-threatening, side effects, including ulcers of the GI tract, GI tract bleeding, kidney injury, and allergic reactions, among others.  Therefore, if you are thinking of adding aspirin to your list of medications, then I urge you to first discuss this with your doctor!

 

A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race is now available in both printed and digital formats from all major bookstores.  Get your copy now, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle now!

 

Please be sure to check out Dr. Wascher’s latest music video:

Dark as Night, Part 1

 


Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1


At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, 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. Within three months of publication, 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


 

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 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  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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Even 15 Minutes of Exercise Per Day Reduces Death Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update





A new clinical study shows that as little as 15 minutes of exercise per day, or 90 minutes per week, can significantly reduce the risk of premature death.





EVEN 15 MINUTES OF EXERCISE PER DAY REDUCES DEATH RISK

As I discuss in detail in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, regular exercise not only decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, but cancer as well.  Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise per day, and for at least 5 days per week.  You might respond to this recommendation by saying that you are simply too busy to spend this much time exercising (although, in truth, almost all of us can meet this goal if we are truly committed to living a healthy life…), and so you might, instead, simply choose not to exercise at all.  Well, what if I told you, then, that even shorter periods of moderate exercise, when performed regularly, can still significantly reduce your chances of early death due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses?

An important new prospective public health study from Taiwan appears in the current issue of the prestigious journal, The Lancet. In this extremely large study, 416,175 volunteers (199,265 men and 216,910 women) were followed for an average duration of 8 years. Based upon the amount of weekly exercise claimed by each volunteer, these men and women were then divided into 5 different groups: inactive, low, medium, high, or very high levels of weekly physical activity. This huge cohort of clinical research volunteers were then closely observed during the course of this public health study.

In this study, the volunteers in the “low” exercise group, who exercised for an average of only 92 minutes per week, were 14 percent less likely to die of any cause when compared to the “inactive” group volunteers, and these “minimal exercisers,” on average, lived for 3 years longer than the non-exercisers! Moreover, for every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise above the minimum of 15 minutes per day, death from all causes was reduced by an additional 4 percent, and death due to cancer wasreduced by an additional 1 percent!

Importantly, the beneficial health effects of even modest-to-moderate levels of exercise were experienced by all of the volunteers in this clinical research study, irrespective of age or gender. (Even volunteers with cardiovascular disease experienced these same significant health benefits from modest levels of regular daily exercise.)

The results of this enormous prospective public health study make it clear that even as little as 15 minutes of moderate exercise per day, or 90 minutes per week, can yield impressive health benefits, including a significant decrease in the risk of death due to all causes (including cancer), and a significant increase in lifespan.  Therefore, although most of us really can set aside at least half an hour per day, 5 or 6 days per week, to engage in moderate exercise, even more modest levels of regular exercise are still very worthwhile.  So, for those of you who are avoiding exercise altogether because you feel like you are unable to put in at least 30 minutes per day, the results of this important research study will, hopefully, motivate you to get up off of that couch and go out for at least 15 or 20 minutes of daily exercise!


 

For a comprehensive guide to living 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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