Trending News Today: Top Oncology Group Warns About Alcohol-Cancer Link

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Yesterday, Maine voters approved a ballot measure that would expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, despite numerous attempts from Republican Gov Paul LePage to veto similar legislation, according to The New York Times. As a result of the vote, more than 80,000 Maine residents can enroll in the state’s Medicaid program. While Maine is the 32nd state to expand Medicaid, it is the first in which voters made the decision, the Times reported.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology recently released a warning about the link between alcohol and cancer. In the statement, the oncology group discussed studies that confirm light drinking can increase the risk of breast and esophageal cancers, according to The New York Times. Additionally, heavy drinking can increase the risk of mouth, throat, voice box, liver, and colorectal cancers. The oncologists stress that individuals can lower their risk of cancer by drinking less, according to the article.

A new study suggests that treating acute pain in the emergency department (ED) with OTC drugs may be just as effective as prescribing opioids for pain in the shoulders, arms, hips, or legs, the Los Angeles Times reported. Within 2 hours, patients treated with the OTC drugs reported a similar level of pain relief as those taking opioids, according to the article. These results suggest that non-addictive OTC pain medications could potentially replace opioids and changing prescribing practices in the ED could help fight the opioid epidemic, according to the article.