SEARCH

Wednesday
Sep292010

Mammogram Study Reignites Controversy on Breast Cancer Screening

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new study seems poised to reignite the debate over who should receive mammograms and when. The Swedish study found that starting women on mammography at age 40 rather than age 50 was associated with a 26-percent reduction in risk of death from breast cancer -- a finding that raises new questions about what women 40-49 should do about mammography screening. The study comes just a week after another study, also from a Scandinavian country, found that mammography screening contributed only a 10 percent reduction in mortality.  Researchers led by Hakan Jonsson of Umea University in Umea, Sweden reported the findings at a press briefing in advance of a presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium.  The debate erupted last year when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that women under age 50 don't need routine screening mammography.  USPSTF's earlier stance was in accord with American Cancer Society guidelines suggesting mammography every one to two years for all women age 40 and older.

Copyright ABC News Radio


Wednesday
Sep292010

FDA & CPSC Warn Consumers: Stop Using Infant Sleep Positioners

Photo Courtesy -- CPSC.gov(WASHINGTON) -- Wednesday in a press release, two federal agencies advised consumers "to stop using infant sleep positioners."  The statement on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said they had received "12 reports of infants between the ages of one month and four months who died when they suffocated in sleep positioners or became trapped and suffocated between a sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet."  “The deaths and dangerous situations resulting from the use of infant sleep positioners are a serious concern to CPSC,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “We urge parents and caregivers to take our warning seriously and stop using these sleep positioners, so that children can have a safer sleep.”  CPSC is interested in receiving incident or injury reports related to these products. Visit https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx to file a report.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Wednesday
Sep292010

Mental Health Experts Analyze 'Thrill Kill' Soldiers' Actions 

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(FORT LEWIS, Wash.) -- Five U.S. soldiers stand accused of using grenades and rifles to murder three unarmed Afghan civilians earlier this year, and investigators say several of the soldiers even collected the dead civilians' body parts.

In a videotape obtained by ABC News' Brian Ross Unit, one of the accused soldiers, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, confessed to the murders. He said the officer in charge, Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, gave orders to carry out the killings and that Gibbs had no problem murdering innocent civilians.

Mental health experts overwhelmingly agreed the actions the soldiers have been accused of are inexcusable, and they said a number of complex psychological factors may play a role in why soldiers obey their commander's orders -- even when this means committing atrocities. The emotional toll of combat, people's tendency to do whatever they're told to do and the soldiers' fear of their sergeant, whom several of the them portrayed as a "thrill killer," could have contributed to their decision to kill unarmed civilians, they said.

"Sleep deprivation plays a role, there's some question of traumatic brain injury and some question about the use of prescription drugs," said Dr. Jon Shaw, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine who spent more than 20 years in the military. He has no involvement with the accused soldiers.

The attorney for one of the accused soldiers said his client was under the influence of prescription drugs during his videotaped confession. Another of the accused soldiers said drug use -- often hashish laced with opium -- was rampant at their base in Afghanistan.

"There's a serious problem with substance abuse happening among our soldiers," said Dr. Jeffrey Victoroff, associate professor of clinical neurology and psychiatry at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. He added, though, the he doesn't believe substance abuse alone led to murder.

Extreme stress, psychiatrists say, is perhaps one of the biggest factors that can affect soldiers' judgment.

"When you're exposed to that kind of stress, there's a readiness to be more passive and accept external authority, especially in a command structure," Shaw said. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

Contraceptive May Be Therapy for Endometrial Cancer

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MILAN) -- An intrauterine contraceptive device may successfully treat endometrial hyperplasia, a precancerous condition, and early stage endometrial cancer, according to a small study.  As MedPage Today reports, researchers analyzed results from 34 women, ages 20 through 40, implanted with an intrauterine device (IUD).  They found that almost all of the patients with atypical endometrial hyperplasia were cured by a year's exposure to the IUD, along with six months of hormone therapy, as Dr. Lucas Minig of the Hospital Universitario Madrid Sanchinarro in Madrid and colleagues reported. Minig was formerly at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy, where the study was carried out.  Additionally, 57.1 percent of women with well-differentiated endometrial cancer limited to the endometrium had a complete response to the therapy, Minig and co-authors wrote online in Annals of Oncology.  The finding offers the possibility of therapy that would allow many women to avoid a hysterectomy and have children.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

Research Shows CO2 Triggers Pain Sensors

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- According to new research from the University of Southern California, carbon dioxide, found in carbonated beverages like soda, sets off pain sensors in the nasal cavity.  These sensations are similar to those triggered by mustard and horseradish, but are lower in intensity.  "Carbonation evokes two distinct sensations. It makes things sour and it also makes them burn. We have all felt that noxious tingling sensation when soda goes down your throat too fast," said Emily Liman, an associate professor of neurobiology in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.  The burning sensation derives from a system of nerves that are responsive to skin pressure, sensations of pain, and nasal and oral temperature.  "What we did not know was which cells and which molecules within those cells are responsible for the painful sensation we experience when we drink a carbonated soda," said Liman.  After pouring carbonated saline onto a dish containing nerve cells taken from the sensory circuits in the nose and mouth, the researchers discovered that the gas only activated a certain type of cell.  "The cells that responded to CO2 were the same cells that detect mustard," Liman said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep282010

Viagra for Prostate Cancer?  

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An increasing number of drugs are being prescribed "off-label" after being approved for one use and proving to be useful for something else.  Off-label use of medicines accounts for about one-fifth of all prescriptions, according to a past study in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Viagra, for example, is a triple threat -- it's most commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction and is FDA-approved to treat pulmonary hypertension, but it can also be used to increase blood flow as a way to avoid amputations. And now, researchers may have found yet another use for the extremely popular drug: to help treat prostate cancer when used in combination with another cancer drug. There are other drugs that perform double duty, including a skin cancer cream used to smooth out your facial wrinkles, a baldness drug to protect against prostate cancer, and a drug for enlarged prostate and possibly prostate cancer that may stop baldness.  Many of these off-label uses meet with controversy and questions about their value, particularly since the FDA has not yet approved the uses.  As a result, drug companies cannot advertise off-label uses.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Monday
Sep272010

POM Wonderful Reacts to FTC Complaint; Lawsuit Developing

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Federal Trade Commission complaint charges POM Wonderful LLC with "making false and unsubstantiated claims that their products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction."  David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection said, “When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made.  Contrary to POM Wonderful’s advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM Juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses.”  On Monday, POM Wonderful declined to answer questions, however a spokesperson released a statement on behalf the the popular juice company.  In the statement, POM accuses the FTC of "wasting taxpayer resources to persecute the pomegranate."  The statement also indicates that POM has initiated a lawsuit to preserves its "first amendment rights to communicate the promising results of [their] extensive scientific research program on pomegranates."  POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice is available at grocery stores nationwide.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Monday
Sep272010

Study: Sports Drinks a Hidden Source of Sugar for Kids

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Soda has become public enemy number one in the childhood obesity epidemic, but what about other sweet sippers? Are kids mistakenly subbing fizzy beverages for just-as-caloric fruit and sports drinks? New research from the University of Texas School of Public Health suggests this may be the case.

Researchers found that unhealthy behaviors such as eating fried foods and physical inactivity "were associated with soda consumption, but healthy habits tended to be associated with higher intake of flavored and sports drinks," Deanna Hoelscher, professor of behavioral sciences and co-author on the study told ABC News. "That surprised us because it looks like kids think that these flavored and sports drinks are healthier for them," she adds.

Past research has lumped all sugar-sweetened beverages together, but this study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, looked specifically at how kids may be consuming non-soda sweet drinks, such as fruit punch or sports beverages.

While many of these drinks pack the same size caloric punch as soda, the data suggested that kids who were otherwise eating healthy and getting exercise where more likely to consume these drinks.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

Crisp Fruits, Veggies Can Help Tame Bad Breath

Photo Courtesy - Getty ImagesThe medical term for it is halitosis, but you don't need to be a doctor to sniff out bad breath. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day to get rid of the food debris and plaque that often lead to bad breath. But what else can you do? Simple steps, like eating crisp fruits and vegetables, can help stop bad breath. Apples, celery, cucumbers and carrots are natural cleansers, according to Bad-Breath-Guide.com. One myth is that eating is the cause of bad breath. Eating stimulates saliva, which keeps your breath fresher. The exception would be foods such as onions and garlic, which smell to begin with and will stay on your breath until you brush. Once you cleanse your mouth of them by brushing and flossing, their bad smells are gone.

More Tips to Prevent Bad Breath:

  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Maintain good oral hygiene. This includes flossing. Toothbrushes cannot remove bacteria that gets trapped under your gums. Also, be sure to get your teeth cleaned by a dentist twice a year.
  3. Treat existing oral diseases.
  4. Clean your tongue while brushing your teeth.
  5. Use natural antibiotics.
  6. Switch from coffee to tea.
  7. Chew sugarless gum. 
Monday
Sep272010

Gene Defect Related to Migraines May Lead to Relief

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MONTREAL) -- Experts estimate that between 15 and 20 percent of migraine sufferers experience an aura, or an abnormal feeling marked by visual disturbances, such as dark spots, hallucinations or zigzag lines. These auras are an indication that a migraine is about to hit.

For those who suffer from migraines with auras, a new gene discovery may someday lead to relief, according to a study published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Medicine.  A group of Canadian researchers discovered a mutation in a gene that regulates the flow of potassium. This genetic abnormality can cause nerves to be over-stimulated, leading to the painful symptoms of migraines preceded by an aura.  Experts say these findings are an important step toward understanding more about the genetic factors underlying this extremely disabling disorder, and hold a lot of promise for developing an effective treatment.

"Some genetic factors, as found in this study, might suggest some families are predisposed to migraine," said Dr. Ronald Purdy, professor of medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "It all suggests a 'threshold' that when too low, migraine occurs. This threshold may be determined by genetic factors, and hence the importance of the study."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio