AMSA's 2015 Annual Convention
Join Us Next Spring
in Washington, DC!

February 26 - March 1, 2015 

Side Effects

The New Physician Summer 2014 Volume 63, Number 3


Man’s best friend could put a dent in the number of unnecessary biopsies men get for prostate cancer. Using two trained dogs, Italian researchers were able to detect prostate cancer with 98 percent ac-curacy. Their work, presented at an American Urological Association scientific meeting in May, built on a smaller 2010 study and focuses on detection of volatile organic compounds released by prostate cancer tumors. Concerned about the dog in the exam room? Don’t worry. They work by sniffing urine samples, not the patient himself.


Here’s to good dental hygiene! Harbored by plaque, a film of bacteria forms on teeth. This biofilm produces acids that damage the surface of the teeth over time. Researchers publishing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that red wine inhibited growth of the biofilm, regardless of the wine’s alcohol content. While there are already agents to control bacteria and biofilm formation, it’s possible those substances are contributing to broader microbial resistance. Red wine to the rescue. But just using it for a swish-and-spit seems like a waste.


Better be a good teammate. Danish researchers following nearly 10,000 men and women found that those who are in frequent conflict with others have a higher risk of death in middle age—nearly three times higher. Other sources of social stress also carried risk. In particular, they found an association between an increased risk of death and frequent demands by partners or children. Publishing their results in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the authors suggest that those with social stressors could benefit from skills training in managing worries and demands. So, if you need a self-interested reason to play well with others, there it is.