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December 1, 2009, 8:26 AM CT

High-frequency ultrasound to diagnose skin cancer

High-frequency ultrasound to diagnose skin cancer
High-frequency ultrasound with elastography can help differentiate between malignant and non-malignant skin conditions, as per a research studypresented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"High-frequency ultrasound with elastography has the potential to improve the efficiency of skin cancer diagnosis," said main author Eliot L. Siegel, M.D., vice chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSM) in Baltimore. "It successfully delineated the extent of lesions and was able to provide measurable differentiation among a variety of non-malignant and cancerous lesions".

There are more than one million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the U.S. every year, as per the American Cancer Society. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for about 68,720 cases of skin cancer and 11,590 deaths in 2009, despite the fact that with early detection it is highly curable.

Suspicious skin lesions are typically diagnosed by dermatologists and biopsied based on their surface appearance and characteristics. Unfortunately, even to experienced dermatologists, non-malignant and cancerous lesions often appear similar visually and on physical examination, and some cancerous lesions may have a non-malignant appearance, particularly in their early stages. It is not uncommon for patients to have one or more lesions that appear concerning.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


December 1, 2009, 8:24 AM CT

Fear of anxiety may cause depression

Fear of anxiety may cause depression
Anxiety sensitivity, or the fear of feeling anxious, may put people who are already above-average worriers at risk for depression, as per Penn State researchers. Understanding how sensitivity to anxiety is a risk factor for depression may make anxiety sensitivity a potential target for treating depression in the future.

"Anxiety sensitivity has been called a fear of fear," said Andres Viana, graduate student in psychology. "Those with anxiety sensitivity are afraid of their anxiety because their interpretation is that something catastrophic is going to happen when their anxious sensations arise."

Statistical analyses of questionnaire responses showed that anxiety sensitivity, after controlling for worry and generalized anxiety symptoms in above-average worriers, significantly predicted depression symptoms. In addition, two of the four dimensions that make up anxiety sensitivity - the "fear of cognitive dyscontrol" and the "fear of publically observable anxiety symptoms" specifically predicted depression symptoms. The third and fourth dimensions, the fear of cardiovascular symptoms and the fear of respiratory symptoms, were not significant predictors.

"We were interested in examining the relationship between anxiety sensitivity as a whole and depression," said Viana. "In addition, we looked at the different dimensions of anxiety sensitivity to see which correlated with depression symptoms. One of the novel aspects of our study was to look at anxiety sensitivity in a sample of moderate to high worriers".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 1, 2009, 8:23 AM CT

Dangers of childhood lead exposure

Dangers of childhood lead exposure
A study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate brain function revealed that adults who were exposed to lead as children incur permanent brain injury. The results were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"What we have found is that no region of the brain is spared from lead exposure," said the study's main author, Kim Cecil, Ph.D., imaging scientist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and professor of radiology, pediatrics and neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. "Distinct areas of the brain are affected differently".

The study is part of a large research project called the Cincinnati Lead Study, a long-term lead exposure study conducted through the Cincinnati Children's Environmental Health Center, a collaborative research group funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Cincinnati Lead Study followed prenatal and early childhood lead exposure of 376 infants from high-risk areas of Cincinnati between 1979 and 1987. Over the course of the project, the children underwent behavioral testing and 23 blood analyses that yielded a mean blood lead level.

Lead, a common and potent poison found in water, soil and lead-based paint, is particularly toxic to children's rapidly developing nervous systems. Homes built before 1950 are most likely to contain lead-based paint, which can chip and be ingested by children.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 1, 2009, 8:20 AM CT

Heart disease may accompany narrowing in leg arteries

Heart disease may accompany narrowing in leg arteries
Results of a randomized, controlled clinical trial presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) reveal that one in five patients with narrowing or blockage in arteries that supply blood to the legs and other parts of the body also have significant but silent coronary artery disease.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when plaque, a combination of fat, cholesterol and other substances, builds up in the arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. PAD commonly affects arteries that carry blood to the legs, causing poor circulation, discomfort and pain. More than eight million Americans have PAD, as per the American Heart Association.

As per the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the U.S.

"PAD patients, including those experiencing no symptoms of heart disease, are known to be at high risk for cardiovascular events such as a heart attack or stroke," said Rozemarijn Vliegenthart Proenca, M.D., Ph.D., radiology resident at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands. "The purpose of our clinical trial was to investigate whether noninvasive imaging of the heart and subsequent therapy of PAD patients result in a decrease in cardiac events in comparison to standard care".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


December 1, 2009, 8:19 AM CT

Overweight children may develop back pain

Overweight children may develop back pain
Being overweight as a child could lead to early degeneration in the spine, as per a research studypresented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"This is the first study to show an association between increased body mass index (BMI) and disc abnormalities in children," said the study's main author, Judah G. Burns, M.D., fellow in diagnostic neuroradiology at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City.

In this retrospective study, Dr. Burns and his colleagues evaluated MR images of the spines of 188 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 20 who complained of back pain and were imaged at the hospital over a four-year period. Trauma and other conditions that would predispose children to back pain were eliminated from the study.

The images revealed that 98 (52.1 percent) of the patients had some abnormality in the lower, or lumbar, spine. Most of those abnormalities occurred within the discs, which are sponge-like cushions in between the bones of the spine. Disc disease occurs when a bulging or ruptured disc presses on nerves, causing pain or weakness.

"In children, back pain is commonly attributed to muscle spasm or sprain," Dr. Burns said. "It is assumed that disc disease does not occur in children, but my experience says otherwise".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 1, 2009, 8:15 AM CT

Successful weight control strategies

Successful weight control strategies
Adolescent obesity is a major public health problem that impacts one out of every three children, resulting in 4-5 million overweight youth in the United States. As per a research findings reported in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, scientists reviewed differences in weight control behaviors, including dietary intake and physical activity, comparing overweight adolescents who lost weight and those who did not in order to better understand which strategies could be most effective.

Research has documented that one of the strongest predictors of adult obesity is adolescent obesity, with 70% of obese adolescents becoming obese adults. Identifying effective weight control strategies for adolescents is important and could help influence interventions for obesity in youth.

Investigators surveyed 130 adolescents, 62 who had been successful in losing weight and 68 who had been unsuccessful. Questioning adolescents and their parents, the authors reviewed weight control strategies, sedentary behaviors, dietary intake, physical activity, weighing frequency and current weight status.

In this pilot study weight control strategies were broken down into four categories. The first, "Healthy Weight Control Behaviors" (HWCB ), included eating less calories, increasing exercise, eating less high fat and junk food, drinking less soda, drinking more water, weighing oneself, eating more fruits and vegetables, and engaging in different kinds of exercise. The second category, "Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors" (UWCB) included laxatives, vomiting, diuretics, smoking, and fasting. The third category, "Extreme Dietary Changes" (EDC), included use of liquid diet supplements, the Atkins diet, a structured diet, fasting, and increased protein consumption. The fourth category, "Structured Behaviors" (SB), included eating a certain amount of calories, counting calories, recording food intake, and working with a professional.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 1, 2009, 8:14 AM CT

Glucose intolerance in pregnancy

Glucose intolerance in pregnancy
Women who have gestational glucose intolerance (a condition less severe than gestational diabetes) exhibit multiple cardiovascular risk factors as early as three months after birth, as per a newly released study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Scientists in this study sought to evaluate the relationship between gestational glucose intolerance and postpartum risk of metabolic syndrome (defined as the clustering of several cardiometabolic risk factors including obesity, high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol). Metabolic syndrome, like gestational diabetes itself, is linked to increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Scientists followed 487 women who underwent oral glucose tolerance testing during pregnancy. Each subject was classified as either having normal glucose tolerance, gestational glucose intolerance or gestational diabetes. At three months postpartum, scientists reviewed each subject's cardiometabolic characteristics, such as blood pressure, weight, waist measurement and lipid levels.

Findings support that even mild glucose intolerance during pregnancy predicts an increased likelihood of the metabolic syndrome at 3 months postpartum. The presence of cardiovascular risk factors as early as three months postpartum indicates that these risk factors appears to be longstanding and contribute to the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease in this patient population.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


December 1, 2009, 8:12 AM CT

Aviation-related injuries

Aviation-related injuries
The first ever published study of aviation-related injuries and deaths in the U.S. finds that more than 1,013 patients are admitted to U.S. hospitals with aviation-related injuries annually, and that 753 aviation-deaths occur each year. The study, conducted by scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy and Columbia University, also reports that the largest categories of patients were occupants of civilian, noncommercial powered aircraft (32 percent) and parachutists (29 percent). For aircraft occupants as well as parachutists, lower limb fractures were the most common injury, encompassing 27 percent of all hospitalized injuries. While burns were seen in only 2.5 percent of patients, they were responsible for 13 percent of deaths. The report is reported in the recent issue of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine

"Our findings provide valuable information, not previously available, on the number and kinds of injuries sustained in aviation-related events," said main author Susan P. Baker, professor with the Injury Center. "Because a number of injuries can be prevented through changes in the structure of aircraft, these data should be used to recognize needed improvements in aircraft design. For example, the high numbers of lower limb fractures suggest modifications should be considered to the various structures likely to be contacted by the feet and legs when a crash occurs."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 30, 2009, 8:08 AM CT

Too much physical activity may lead to arthritis

Too much physical activity may lead to arthritis
Middle-aged men and women who engage in high levels of physical activity appears to be unknowingly causing damage to their knees and increasing their risk for osteoarthritis, as per a research studypresented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Our data suggest that people with higher physical activity levels appears to be at greater risk for developing knee abnormalities and, thus, at higher risk for developing osteoarthritis," said Christoph Stehling, M.D., research fellow in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and radiology resident in the Department of Clinical Radiology, University of Muenster, Gera number of.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects an estimated 27 million American adults.

The UCSF study involved 236 asymptomatic participants who had not reported prior knee pain and were enrolled in the National Institutes of Health Osteoarthritis Initiative. Study participants included 136 women and 100 men, age 45 to 55, within a healthy weight range. The participants were separated into low-, middle-, and high-activity groups based on their responses to the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) questionnaire. PASE is a standard test that scores an older individual's physical activity level, based on the type of activity and the time spent doing it. Several factors contribute to the final PASE score, but a person whose activity level is classified as high typically might engage in several hours of walking, sports or other types of exercise per week, as well as yard work and other household chores.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 30, 2009, 8:03 AM CT

Elastography reduces breast biopsies

Elastography reduces  breast biopsies
Elastography is an effective, convenient technique that, when added to breast ultrasound, helps distinguish malignant breast lesions from non-malignant results, as per a research study that's ongoing presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

When mammography yields suspicious findings, physicians often use ultrasound to obtain additional information. However, ultrasound has the potential to result in more biopsies because of its relatively low specificity, or inability to accurately distinguish malignant lesions from non-malignant ones. Approximately 80 percent of breast lesions biopsied turn out to be benign, as per the American Cancer Society.

"There's a lot of room to improve specificity with ultrasound, and elastography can help us do that," said the study's main author, Stamatia V. Destounis, M.D., a diagnostic radiologist at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, a large, community-based breast imaging center in Rochester, N.Y. "It's an easy way to eliminate needle biopsy for something that's probably benign".

Elastography improves ultrasound's specificity by utilizing conventional ultrasound imaging to measure the compressibility and mechanical properties of a lesion. Since malignant tumors tend to be stiffer than surrounding healthy tissue or cysts, a more compressible lesion on elastography is less likely to be cancerous.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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