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HEALTH SCAN

Tuesday, April 6, 2010; HE02

TAPEWORM

You don't have to wait for the movie

Now@NEJM blog, blogs.nejm.org/now

The New England Journal of Medicine's new blog, Now@NEJM, is aimed at medical doctors, so the headlines are about as catchy as the titles of the journal's studies -- "Aspirin Plus Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin in Women with Recurrent Miscarriage" and "Vertebral Osteomyelitis" are two examples from recent weeks. But there's one prominent exception: the March 18 post "Tapeworm As Seen During Colonoscopy." It's a video of a pulsating, mucus-yellow tapeworm wriggling its way through the inside of a 46-year-old woman's colon. Apparently, she got it from eating raw trout. The video is linked from NEJM's "Images of Clinical Medicine" database, which contains pages and pages of similar fare (a nasty case of shingles taking over a man's head; a foot ulcer) sure to satisfy . . . 13-year-old boys with grotesque curiosities and strong stomachs?

PROSTATE CANCER

Survivors' stories

"Prostate Cancer Survivors Speak Their Minds" (John Wiley & Sons, $16.95)

Kudos to the men -- celebrities and normal folk alike -- who share their experiences with prostate cancer in this book, co-written by CBS News journalist Norman S. Morris and his doctor, urologist Arthur L. Burnett II. Contributors include athletes Arnold Palmer, Ken Griffey Sr. and Robin Cole. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) writes in the foreword that the diagnosis was "like a swift kick to the midsection" but that he was lucky to have access to "the best health care on earth." Kerry and others point out that prostate cancer does not strike all men equally -- African American men have the highest rates of contracting the disease and their death rates are 2.4 times higher than white men's, according to the book.

-- Rachel Saslow

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