1. DRUGof the decade - statins. Cholesterol lowering drugs prevent heart attacks and strokes multiple studies over the past decade have shown that statins, which block production of cholesterol in the liver, cut down on heart attacks and strokes, especially in high risk individuals.
2. PROCEDUREof the decade - cardiac stents. More than one million (drug coated) stents are done in the U.S. every year. They keep coronary arteries - which feed the heart - open, improving quality of life. Death from heart disease is down 40 percent, and stents are a contributing factor.
3. SURGERYof the decade - minimally invasive improvements in diagnostic tests like MRIs, CT and PET scans have led to earlier diagnoses. Surgery has been helped by advancing technology and techniques allowing smaller incisions, with the help of laporoscopes, robotics, and computer-aided surgery.
4. DISCOVERYof the decade - mapping the genome-targeted therapies for cancer are a big step forward, with Herceptin for breast cancers that are HER-2 receptor positive, and monoclonal antibodies for cancer including Rituxin, and Avastin. Mapping the genome in 2001 provided the treasure map, and science is now in the process of finding the buried treasure - determining who responds to which treatment and why, with personalized medicine and predicting diseases before they happen on the horizon.
5. TIPof the decade - be a lean, mean, fighting machine. Over the past 10 years, we've learned more than ever about the importance of sleep, moderate exercise, low stress, and diet to prevent heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and cancer.
Dr. Marc Siegel is an internist and associate professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. He is a FOX News medical contributor and writes a health column for the LA Times, where he examines TV and movies for medical accuracy. Dr. Siegel is the author of a new ebook: Swine Flu; the New Pandemic. Dr. Siegel is also the author of "False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear"and "Bird Flu: Everything You Need to Know About the Next Pandemic."Read more at www.doctorsiegel.com