Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest gynecologic cancers, killing approximately 14,000 women in the United States per year. Recent research continues to point the finger at the fallopian tubes and their potential role in the disease, suggesting that some of the most aggressive ovarian cancers originate there. In a recent study, nearly 73% of women had a salpingectomy—–the removal of the fallopian tubes––while undergoing a routine hysterectomy, according to Kaiser Health News. Just 2 years prior, fewer than 15% of a comparable group had the surgery. The results of the study showed that the large increase did not yield any differences in surgical outcomes, while the operating times and blood loss was slightly improved in patients who had a salpingectomy. Until recently, the fallopian tubes have been neglected. “Nobody thought it made any difference which side you put your clamp on,” senior author Dr Bethan Powell told Kaiser. “If there are health benefits to leaving the ovary, we should leave the ovary. But there’s no reason we should leave the tube.” There have been 2 medical societies in recent years that have issued statements regarding the importance of the removal of the fallopian tubes, Kaiser reported. In 2013, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology developed a clinical practice statement, which recommended removing both fallopian tubes to help prevent ovarian cancer.
Mumps cases have been rising, with most clusters appearing in Arkansas, Iowa, and Illinois; however, the infectious disease is much less hazardous than it was decades ago, thanks to the MMR vaccination, according to NPR. Typically, health officials will report only a few hundred cases of mumps per year, but this year the total has topped 4000. Arkansas has the most, with more than 2200 cases. Manisha Patel, medical officer at the CDC, told NPR that the mumps component of the MMR vaccine is not as potent as it is for measles and rubella. It is about 88% effective, meaning in a room of 100 vaccinated, 88 will be protected, and 12 run the risk of getting the mumps. However, Dr Dirk Haselow, the Arkansas state epidemiologist, said that the outbreak seems to be easing in his state.
Texas has formally announced the end of Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, which could affect 11,000 patients, according to The New York Times. The office of inspector general for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission issued a final notice on Tuesday, terminating Planned Parenthood’s enrollment in Medicare. If the termination is not stopped, it will become effective in 30 days, the Times reported.