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Too Much Drinking May Raise Lung Cancer Risk: Study

Posted: February 12, 2012 at 9:43 am


(HealthDay News) -- While smoking has long been linked to cancer, its frequent companion, drinking, may be as well, a new study suggests.

Three new studies presented at a medical meeting this week find a link between heavy boozing and a rise in risk for the number one cancer killer.

On the other hand, studies also suggest that heavier people are less likely to develop lung cancer than smaller folk, and black tea might help ward of the disease, as well.

The findings were to be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, Oct. 22-26, in Honolulu.

More Americans die from lung cancer than any other form, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available, more than 203,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with lung cancer, and nearly 159,000 died. Read more...

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Colon Cancer Screening Needed Less Than Every 5 Years

Posted: January 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm


Colon Cancer Screening Needed Less Than Every 5 Years - Colon cancer is easily treated if found early enough, but it appears current recommendations for scope screening every 5 years is unnecessarily frequent.

Sigmoidoscopy screening for colon cancer is recommended every five years for people over 50, however a new study found that screening that often may be unnecessary.

Sigmoidoscopy screening allows a doctor to identify polyps, or small growths, in the colon that could turn into cancer. Other colon cancer screening methods include fecal occult blood testing, which identifies blood in the stool, and colonoscopy, which examines the entire colon (sigmoidoscopy only examines the lower part).

While the American Cancer Society recommends that adults over 50 receive sigmoidoscopy screening every five years and a fecal occult blood test annually, some say this may be overly aggressive.

According to experts, it could take up to 15 years for polyps to develop into cancer and it may be that a one-time sigmoidoscopy screening is enough for those at average-risk. Read more...

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Report: Antibiotics can permanently destroy gut flora balance, leading to lifelong illness

Posted: January 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm


Overuse and overprescription of antibiotic drugs has become a widely known culprit in causing the emergence of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs," as well as the onset of digestive and other health problems, caused by the elimination of beneficial gut flora. But a new review published in the journal Nature suggests that such gut flora alterations could be permanent.

Professor Martin Blaser from New York University's (NYU) Langone Medical Center has been studying the long-term effects of antibiotics on gut flora, which has already confirmed a definitive link between antibiotics and the disruption of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. But what his research also seems to confirm is the possibility that such disruption might be permanent, at least in some individuals, and thus carry with it lifelong health consequences. Read more...

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Leading heart surgeon calls for ban on butter

Posted: January 15, 2012 at 11:14 am


A British heart surgeon has issued a call for a ban on butter, citing excessive consumption of saturated fats which he believes has rapidly increased the number of heart disease cases in the Great Britain. Dr. Shyam Kolvekar expressed concern that people as young as 30 years old are now getting heart bypass surgery, an issue that he believes could be remedied by switching from butter to margarine or other "healthy" spreads.

Roughly 90 percent of British children eat too much saturated fat according to a U.K. diet survey. Eighty-eight percent of adult men and 83 percent of adult women also consume too much, averaging 20 percent over the recommended maximum. Some researchers believe that saturated fat contributes to high cholesterol and artery blockage. Read more...

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Cholesterol—How Low Should It Go??

Posted: January 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm


Q: THESE RESULTS FLY IN THE FACE OF WHAT FACT RESPONSES HAVE INDICATED. ANY COMMENT? DAVID J. KRIZMAN, MD

http://www.everydayhealth.com/heart-health/how-low-should-cholesterol-go.aspx?xid=nl_EverydayHealthDietandNutrition_20081221

Cholesterol—How Low Should It Go?
Bringing your cholesterol numbers down is an important part of improving your heart health.

By Arthur Agatston, MD, Everyday Health heart expert If you have established heart disease or are at high risk, aggressive cholesterol lowering is beneficial no matter what cholesterol levels you start with. There are a number of studies that demonstrate this.
The 1998 Air Force/Texas Atherosclerosis Coronary Prevention Study was different from prior statin investigations. In this study, the participants started with normal levels of total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol and no obvious signs of cardiovascular disease. Understandably, many people thought that giving statins to people with normal LDL cholesterol was "overkill." In truth, it turned out to be lifesaving. Compared to people who were given a sugar pill (placebo), those who took a statin had a 37 percent lower risk of having a heart attack, unstable angina, or sudden cardiac death. Read more...

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Monitoring Protein Didn’t Improve Heart Failure Outcomes

Posted: at 1:31 pm


(HealthDay News) -- Using the biomarker molecule known as brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) to guide treatment for older people with chronic heart failure did not improve the clinical outcome in most cases in a Swiss study.

There have been conflicting reports about the value of monitoring blood levels of BNP, a protein produced by stressed heart cells, for better management of heart failure. For example, a French study reported in 2007 found that BNP monitoring reduced deaths and hospitalizations in a 115-participant trial.

But the new study, published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association by physicians at University Hospital Basel, found that BNP-monitored therapy guidance generally did not improve 18-month survival or quality of life over conventional symptom-guided therapy.

All the people in the trial were 60 or older. All were hospitalized for heart failure, and all had BNP blood levels at least double the normal readings. Read more...

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Are Too Many Older People Screened for Cancer?

Posted: January 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm


(HealthDay News) -- Many older Americans get screened for colon, breast, prostate and cervical cancer even though guidelines recommend against routinely screening the elderly, a new study finds.

As the population of the United States continues to age, balancing good health care with costs will be a continuing battle, experts say. "In an era of escalating health care utilization and expenditures in the United States, identifying areas for cost containment while concurrently improving quality of care in our health care system is increasingly paramount," said lead researcher Keith Bellizzi, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

"Perhaps this area of health care warrants further attention," Bellizzi added.

Currently, nearly 37 million people in the United States are 65 and older, and that number will probably double by 2030. Historically, older adults have been excluded from cancer clinical trials, so what is known about the effectiveness of screening in seniors is limited, he said.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine screening for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer at age 75 and beyond, and advises against cervical cancer testing after 65, according to the study. Read more...

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Men More Likely to Skip Cancer Screenings: Study

Posted: December 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm


(HealthDay News) -- Men are less willing than women to be screened for cancer, even though men have higher cancer death rates, a new study shows.

Researchers conducted a telephone survey of nearly 1,150 adults in New York City, Baltimore, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, who answered questions from the Cancer Screening Questionnaire. Most of the participants were aged 30 to 59, and 35 percent of them were men.

"This study examined beliefs and attitudes held by men and women about cancer screening. Our aim was to gain insight for improving existing cancer health promotion practices," study corresponding author Jenna Davis, of the department of health outcomes and behavior at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., said in a center news release.

"Our findings indicate that there is a need for better health and cancer screening promotion among men," she said.

The researchers suggested several reasons why men are less willing than women to undergo cancer screening: most cancer awareness campaigns in the media are for women's breast cancer; there is a lack of government-sponsored men's cancer awareness campaigns; and studies indicate that women see their primary care doctor more often than men. Read more...

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Ovarian cancer screenings are essentially useless

Posted: December 11, 2011 at 11:44 am


A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer has found that current ovarian cancer screening technologies do virtually nothing to decrease the overall death rate from the disease. Laura Havrilesky, MD, MHSc, and her team from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, discovered that in many cases, ovarian cancer progresses so fast that screenings are unable to detect a problem until it is too late.

"If we assume ovarian cancers grow and spread at different rates, the best screening strategy available will only reduce the number of women dying from this cancer by 11 percent," Havrilesky is quoted as saying. "This is partially because the slower growing cancers are more likely to be caught by a screening test."

So the team has concluded that the best way to deal with ovarian cancer is to try harder to prevent it, and develop better methods of treating it. Because there is really one no way to determine the nature of ovarian cancer from patient to patient, there is also no single conventional method that effectively recognizes each unique type and its eventual progression rate. Read more...

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Hopes Dashed That Vitamin D Reduces Cancer Risk

Posted: December 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm


(HealthDay News) -- New research appears to dash hopes that people who consume more vitamin D might be at less risk of developing several less-common types of cancer.

Researchers found no link between higher blood levels of vitamin D and lower rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma or cancers of the endometrium, esophagus, stomach, kidney, ovary and pancreas.

Vitamin D is obtained by the body through exposure to sunlight, certain foods such as oily fish, fortified foods and nutritional supplements.

Authors of a new study analyzed blood samples drawn from more than 12,000 men and women in 10 studies. The previous studies followed the patients for as long as 33 years, allowing researchers to determine if they developed cancer.

"We did not see lower cancer risk in persons with high vitamin D blood concentrations compared to normal concentrations for any of these cancers," said study co-investigator Dr. Demetrius Albanes of the U.S. National Cancer Institute in an institute news release. "And, at the other end of the vitamin D spectrum, we did not see higher cancer risk for participants with low levels."

However, the researchers did find that people with high levels of vitamin D were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. It's not clear if there's a cause-and-effect relationship, and the study authors called for more research to assess the possible association. Read more...

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Who Should Get a CT Scan to Screen for Lung Cancer?

Posted: November 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm


(HealthDay News) -- Annual low-dose CT scans cut the death rate from lung cancer by 20 percent in heavy smokers and formerly heavy smokers, compared to those who get annual chest X-rays, according to the results of a major National Cancer Institute study released on Wednesday.

Experts are calling the findings a major advance in efforts to combat lung cancer deaths. By catching the cancer early, the tumors can be removed surgically -- hopefully before they've spread and become very difficult to cure.

"This is a momentous time in the history of public health research," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. "The NLST [National Lung Screening Trial] is the best-designed and best-performed lung cancer screening study in history."

Yet the findings raise as many questions as they answer, said Dr. Harold Sox, a professor emeritus of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School who wrote an accompanying editorial to the study published in the June 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Read more...

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Cholesterol Measurements May Be Made Easier

Posted: November 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm


(HealthDay News) -- Methods to gauge blood cholesterol to determine vascular disease risk can be simplified, researchers in England say.

Their method measures levels of either total or high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good" cholesterol) in the blood or apolipoproteins (proteins that help transport cholesterol), without the need to have patients fast and without regard to another form of blood fat called triglycerides.

"Expert opinion is divided" on which combination of measurements is ideal in gauging cardiovascular risk, explained John Danesh, of the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration Coordinating Centre at the University of Cambridge, and colleagues.

In order to examine the association between major blood fats and apolipoproteins and coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, the researchers analyzed data on more than 300,000 people without initial vascular disease who took part in 68 long-term studies.

During the follow-up periods of the studies, there were almost 8,900 nonfatal heart attacks, more than 3,900 coronary heart disease deaths, over 2,500 ischemic strokes, 513 hemorrhagic strokes and more than 2,500 unclassified strokes, the study authors noted.

The analysis of the data yielded a number of findings. Read more...

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Kids of Deployed Soldiers Vulnerable to Stress

Posted: November 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm


(HealthDay News) -- About one-third of children of deployed U.S. Army soldiers are at high risk for psychosocial problems, mainly due to high levels of stress experienced by the parent who is still at home, a new study shows.

The research included the spouses (mainly wives) of 101 deployed Army personnel. Participants completed a series of questionnaires and provided information about their children, aged 5 to 12.

The researchers concluded that 32 percent of the children were at high risk for psychosocial problems. This doesn't mean they had psychological problems, but that they were more vulnerable to developing such disorders. That rate is 2.5 times higher than among children in the general population.

The study also found that children of parents with high stress levels were about seven times more likely to be at high risk for psychosocial problems. Psychosocial problems were less likely among children whose parents received support from military organizations and among children of college-educated parents. Read more...

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Treatment of Depression More Than Triples in the US Over the

Posted: October 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm


Treatment of Depression More Than Triples in the US Over the Last 10 Years

Among people receiving treatment for depression in the US, the percentage of those on antidepressant medication has risen dramatically, while fewer are opting for time on the couch in psychotherapy.

The number of Americans treated for depression soared from 1.7 million to 6.3 million between 1987 and 1997, and the proportion of those receiving antidepressants doubled.

The researchers attributed the sharp increases to the emergence of aggressively marketed new drugs like Prozac, the rise in managed care and an easing of the stigma attached to the disease.

The study found that the share of patients who used antidepressant medication climbed from 37% to nearly 75%. At the same time, the proportion who received psychotherapy declined from 71% to 60%.

The publicizing of newer antidepressants that have fewer side effects - such as Prozac, which was introduced in late 1987 - has helped make patients more willing to seek treatment, the researchers said. This publicity has included pharmaceutical industry efforts to market the drugs directly to consumers and public-awareness campaigns about depression. Read more...

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Exposing the fraud and mythology of conventional cancer treatments

Posted: October 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm


Treating cancer is BIG business in America -- in fact, it's a $200 billion a year business. Yet 98 percent of conventional cancer treatments not only FAIL miserably, but are also almost guaranteed to make cancer patients sicker.

What's worse: The powers are suppressing natural cancer cures that could help tens of thousands of people get well and live cancer free with little or no dependence on drugs, surgery and chemotherapy.

The treatment of cancer in the U.S. is one of the most bald-faced cover-ups in medical history. Enough is enough! You deserve to know the truth about the criminality of oncologists and about the dangers of chemotherapy, conventional cancer treatments and the cancer "business."

Chemotherapy kills more than cancer
Want proof? Did you know that 9 out of 10 oncologists would refuse chemotherapy if they had cancer? That's up to 91% -- a huge percentage that clearly shines a light on the truth: chemotherapy kills. Conventional oncologists are not only allowing this to happen, but they're also bullying many patients into chemotherapy and surgery right after their diagnoses. Read more...

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Prevent heart disease with quality multivitamins

Posted: October 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm


Taking quality multivitamins is a great way to supplement one's diet with high doses of nutrients that are often lacking in modern-day food. And a new study out of Sweden has found that women who take multivitamins help to reduce their overall risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.

For ten years, Dr. Susanne Rautiainen and her colleagues from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm monitored 31,671 women with no history of heart disease and 2,262 women with heart disease to observe their progression in overall health. Roughly 60 percent of women from both groups took some kind of dietary supplement.

At the completion of the study, 3.4 percent of the women who had no heart disease to begin with, but who did not take any dietary supplements, ended up having heart attacks. In contrast, only 2.6 percent of women from the same group who did take a multivitamin had heart attacks. Statistically, the multivitamin group exhibited a 27 percent less chance of having a heart attack. Read more...

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Chocolate compounds fight high cholesterol

Posted: October 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm


Chocolate has received a lot of attention for being a treasure trove of nutritional goodness. Polyphenols in cacao beans are linked to promoting heart, brain, and liver health, which has sparked renewed interest in chocolate as a medicinal food. And a new study adds to the growing list of benefits, showing that chocolate polyphenols also help to lower bad cholesterol.

Published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, the study tested the effects of polyphenol-rich chocolate in a group of 12 volunteers with type-2 diabetes. After 16 weeks, the researchers from Hull University in the U.K. discovered that the polyphenols helped lower participants' bad cholesterol levels while raising good cholesterol levels.

"Chocolate with a high cocoa content should be included in the diet of individuals with type-2 diabetes as part of a sensible, balanced approach to diet and lifestyle," said professor Steve Akin, author of the study. Read more...

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Wikipedia Accurate on Cancer Facts, But Hard to Read: Study

Posted: October 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm


(HealthDay News) -- The facts about cancer found on the website Wikipedia are about as accurate as the information on the disease found on the patient-oriented section of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Physician Data Query (PDQ), a comprehensive peer-reviewed cancer database, according to a new study.

Although experts from Thomas Jefferson University were hard-pressed to find errors on Wikipedia, they did find the content on the site was harder to read and included links to more dense information than the simplified, shorter explanations found on PDQ.

"There are a vast number of websites where patients can obtain cancer information," study leader Dr. Yaacov Lawrence, adjunct assistant professor of radiation oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and director of the Center for Translational Research in Radiation Oncology at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, said in a university news release. Read more...

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Healthy Living Can Cut Chances of Developing Diabetes

Posted: September 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm


(HealthDay News) -- Living a healthy lifestyle can cut your risk of diabetes by as much as 80 percent, researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health report.

It has been clear that diet, exercise, smoking and drinking have an impact on whether one is likely to develop type 2 diabetes, but how each individual factor affects the risk had been unclear.

"The lifestyle factors we looked at were physical activity, healthy diet, body weight, alcohol consumption and smoking," said lead researcher Jarad Reis, a researcher from the U.S. Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

"For each one of those, there was a significant reduction in risk for developing diabetes," he said. "Having a normal weight by itself reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 60 to 70 percent."

For example, eating a healthy diet reduced the risk by about 15 percent, while not smoking lowered the risk by about 20 percent, he said.

The more healthy lifestyle factors one has, the lower the risk for developing diabetes, Reis noted. Overall, risk reduction can reach 80 percent, he said. Read more...

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Fear of Dying During Heart Attack May Make Matters Worse

Posted: September 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm


(HealthDay News) -- People who become very afraid of dying in the moments during and days after a heart attack also seem to have more inflammation, an indicator that they may, in the long run, do worse than patients who are less fearful, a small British study suggests.

The finding, published online June 1 in the European Heart Journal, "reminds us of the connection between the mind and the body," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"This trial shows us that when patients are so fearful, there's an increase in inflammation and decrease in heartbeat variability, which could lead to poor outcomes. So we must address not only the body issues but the mind issues as well," she said.

Added Dr. Robert Gramling, associate professor of family medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York: "This and the vast literature related to emotions and mind/body interactions are confirmatory that understanding people's emotional response does interplay with the biologic mechanisms. Read more...

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