Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

An Advert: SonoCine

30 January, 2011

We now move to the medical arts, where things quite simply aren’t as they should be.

Dr. George Papanicolaou first presented his findings that cancerous cells could be found in a vaginal smear in 1928. Despite the efforts of the American Cancer Society to promote the use of Dr. Pap’s screening tool, it took until the mid 1960′s for the test to become part of a routine check-up.

I recently went for a routine mammogram.  The results came back with phrases like: “questionable central nodularity right cc view and axillary portion left breast MLO view.”  Since my previous mammogram results were not available to this radiologist, he suggested “spot compression views and ultrasound if necessary” for further evaluation.  My nurse practitioner called me to follow up.  I told her that I wasn’t coming back for spot compression, but that I was going for SonoCine screening.  (Here’s their website.)  She hadn’t heard of SonoCine, but agreed that more radiation probably wasn’t a good thing.

SonoCiné is an automated breast ultrasound system that has been cleared by FDA as an adjunctive examination to mammography. It is a complimentary examination and not a replacement for mammography.

Early studies indicate that, when used as an adjunct to mammography, SonoCiné may find smaller cancers than may not be found by mammography alone.

SonoCine isn’t covered by health insurance plans.  As far as I can tell, it hasn’t been embraced by the medical community on the scale that it deserves to be.  So, dear consumer, it is up to you to be informed and make some noise about this.

I don’t have breast cancer.  I do have a couple of fibroadnomas.  You can read about what they are over here.

For those of you who have had breast cancer or have a history of breast cancer in your family, I recommend SonoCine.  For those of you who have ‘dense breasts’ – I recommend SonoCine.

To the medical community: It’s time you embrace a tool that works.  To the insurance companies:  Do the right thing.  Besides, this might save you some money.

SoCal folks, you can get your SonoCine at the Hall Health and Longevity Center in Venice.  (Here’s their site.)

YouTube video here.

Special thanks to Nancy, whose cancer was found by SonoCine early.  Thanks for hoisting and waving the SonoCine flag.

Griffith Observatory

30 May, 2007

Uh oh. I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug. Two posts in one day, while work waiting to be done (=billable hours) languishes on my desk (what desk? I mean the dining room table).

LA Observed got me all fired up about the Griffith Observatory Planetarium controversy in a piece called: Actors or Astronomers?.

The meat of the discussion is here.

In the interest of my financial health, I’m copying the comments that I posted at the meaty link above so that I can get busy with real paying work.

I’ve seen the planetarium show, and my Jane Q. Public reaction is as follows: (1) It is too simple for an adult audience. Why not do a kids version and an adult version? (2) The lame lit orb thing carried by the narrator/actor is cheesy and detracts from the meager content. (3) The actor who “voiced” the show I attended needs to go back to acting school. His voice was fake, almost creepy. At the start of the show, I could hardly believe a real person was speaking. Then his lips moved.

I’d rather a few ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ from a live astronomical mind than a smooth-talker with nary a slip of tongue. Education is not something we do terribly well in this country, and taking the marrow out of the planetarium presentation is a step in the wrong direction.

I stood in line (30 minutes on a weekday afternoon) and plunked down the dough for the planetarium because I expected to learn something. Instead, in the midst of a performance that was supposed to feel ‘live’ but felt more fake than if it had been recorded, I found myself wondering about the career missteps that lead an actor to the ultimate nutty professor role.


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