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May 4, 2006, 4:58 PM CT

Breast Conservation Is A Good Option

Breast Conservation Is A Good Option
For women diagnosed with a type of non-invasive breast cancer, removing the breast is not the only therapy option. Breast conserving surgery, long known to be successful at treating the more common invasive cancer, can also be effective for this pre-invasive condition, as per a new study from scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The condition, called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, is being diagnosed more often. It accounts for 22 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses and affects about 62,000 women each year. If left untreated, DCIS can progress to invasive breast cancer, which is the most common type of breast cancer diagnosed.

Treatment for DCIS is either mastectomy, which removes the entire breast, or breast-conserving lumpectomy, which removes only the malignant area, followed by radiation treatment.

In this study, scientists at U-M and William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., looked at the records of women who had opted for lumpectomy and radiation for DCIS between 1981 and 2003. Of the 513 women studied, only 8 percent developed a recurrence of breast cancer or DCIS.

Of those recurrences, 97 percent were detected by mammography, and 91 percent were diagnosed exclusively by mammography, suggesting that regular follow-up mammograms are a reliable way of detecting any return of cancer after breast-conserving surgery.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 4, 2006, 4:52 PM CT

Embryos In 3-D

Embryos In 3-D Three-dimensional computer image of a mouse embryo
Utah and Texas researchers combined miniature medical CT scans with high-tech computer methods to produce detailed three-dimensional images of mouse embryos - an efficient new method to test the safety of medicines and learn how mutant genes cause birth defects or cancer.

"Our method provides a fast, high-quality and inexpensive way to visually explore the 3-D internal structure of mouse embryos so scientists can more easily and quickly see the effects of a genetic defect or chemical damage," says Chris Johnson, a distinguished professor of computer science at the University of Utah.

A study reporting development of the new method - known as "microCT-based virtual histology" - was published recently in PLoS Genetics, an online journal of the Public Library of Science.

The study was led by Charles Keller, a pediatric cancer specialist who formerly worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of University of Utah geneticist Mario Capecchi. Keller now is an assistant professor at the Children's Cancer Research Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

University of Utah co-authors of the study are Johnson - who directs the university's Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute - Capecchi, medical student Mark S. Hansen and several members of Johnson's institute: computer science undergraduate Thomas Johnson III, research assistant Lindsey Healey and former associate director Greg M. Jones, who now is state science advisor to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


May 4, 2006, 4:52 PM CT

Embryos In 3-d D

Embryos In 3-d
D Three-dimensional computer image of a mouse embryo
Utah and Texas researchers combined miniature medical CT scans with high-tech computer methods to produce detailed three-dimensional images of mouse embryos - an efficient new method to test the safety of medicines and learn how mutant genes cause birth defects or cancer.

"Our method provides a fast, high-quality and inexpensive way to visually explore the 3-D internal structure of mouse embryos so scientists can more easily and quickly see the effects of a genetic defect or chemical damage," says Chris Johnson, a distinguished professor of computer science at the University of Utah.

A study reporting development of the new method - known as "microCT-based virtual histology" - was published recently in PLoS Genetics, an online journal of the Public Library of Science.

The study was led by Charles Keller, a pediatric cancer specialist who formerly worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of University of Utah geneticist Mario Capecchi. Keller now is an assistant professor at the Children's Cancer Research Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

University of Utah co-authors of the study are Johnson - who directs the university's Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute - Capecchi, medical student Mark S. Hansen and several members of Johnson's institute: computer science undergraduate Thomas Johnson III, research assistant Lindsey Healey and former associate director Greg M. Jones, who now is state science advisor to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


May 4, 2006, 4:46 PM CT

Attitudes And Consequences Of College Drinking

Attitudes And Consequences Of College Drinking
Professors at Kansas State University have found that males tend to be greater risk takers when it comes to alcohol, while women tend to use more protective strategies, including drinking only with friends, counting the number of drinks, limiting the amount of money spent on drinking and eating food before drinking.

Steve Benton, professor of counseling and educational psychology, Ronald Downey, professor of psychology, and Sheryl Benton, assistant professor of counseling and educational psychology and assistant director of Counseling Services, have done a study and paper on college student drinking, attitudes of risk and drinking consequences.

"My belief is that we have to face the fact that a certain percentage of college students will drink," Steve Benton said. "So, what can we do to reduce the likelihood of them getting into trouble?".

The scientists looked at how risk, along with other factors, play out in understanding the kinds of behavior people get into.

"Students who tend to have attitudes that make them greater risk takers are more likely to get into trouble when drinking," Steve Benton said. "Even when controlling the amount of alcohol, it's not how much you drink that affects the amount of trouble, but how risky you are."

He said that if a person doesn't care what others think and doesn't worry about laws, then they're more likely to get into trouble. Those with a lower-risk attitude will get into less trouble.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 4, 2006, 4:39 PM CT

New Strategy To Fight West Nile Virus

New Strategy To Fight West Nile Virus
The spread of West Nile Virus appears to be triggered by a complex interaction of mosquitoes, nesting birds and specific weather patterns, researchers say, which leads to "amplification" of the virus within mosquito populations.

Scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Florida have identified how those factors mesh to create heightened risk of the West Nile Virus in southern Florida, and they hope to expand their studies to the rest of the nation.

Results of the research have been published by the Centers for Disease Control.

A number of early hydrologic models predicting the transmission of West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases may have been a bit too simplistic, relying on factors such as total rainfall to estimate disease risk, said Jeffrey Shaman, an assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at Oregon State University. The situation, he adds, is much more complex.

"In some cases, rain can actually help control mosquitoes by flushing away larval habitats," Shaman said. "And simply having more mosquitoes doesn't necessarily mean that we'll experience a greater incidence of West Nile Virus. The mosquitoes themselves must first be infected with the virus. Scientists call the process through which more mosquitoes become infected 'amplification,' and there are many factors that lead to that stage.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 11:38 PM CT

PMS: A Fact Of Life Or All In The Mind?

PMS: A Fact Of Life Or All In The Mind?
Premenstrual distress: An unavoidable condition a number of women suffer with relentless regularity. Or is it? Can heterosexual women learn a thing or two from their lesbian sisterhood?

In her keynote talk: "Premenstrual Syndrome and Self-policing: Constructing and Deconstructing Premenstrual Distress in Lesbian and Heterosexual relationships", Professor Jane M Ussher, will put forward her views to delegates of an international 3-day conference for psychology experts to be held at the University of Leicester, entitled "Qualitative Research and Marginalisation."

Professor Ussher is Professor of Women's Health Psychology and Director of the Gender Culture and Health Research at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and a world-renowned expert in her field.

Her talk draws on her recently published book 'Managing the Monstrous Feminine: Regulating the Reproductive Body' (Routledge, 2006), She commented: "The majority of women experience physical and psychological changes in the premenstrual phase of the cycle, but only some women experience distress associated with these changes, and position them as PMS. My paper argues that this distress and self-diagnosis is associated with practices of self-policing - negative self-judgement, self-silencing, self-sacrifice, over responsibility and self blame.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 11:26 PM CT

Fenretinide Cuts The Risk Of Second Breast Cancers

Fenretinide Cuts The Risk Of Second Breast Cancers
A 15-year follow-up of women in a breast cancer trial has found that fenretinide[1] - a drug correlation to vitamin A - significantly cuts the risk of a second breast cancer among younger patients.

The Italian research team reporting the findings on-line (Thursday 4 May) in Annals of Oncology[2], are sufficiently convinced of the drug's protective potential to call for a trial to test its use as a preventive in pre-menopausal healthy women at high risk of the disease. They are now seeking international partners and funding for such a trial.

The women in the long-term follow-up comprised a sub-group of 1,700 - 60% of the patients in a 10-centre trial lead by Professor Umberto Veronesi and co-ordinated by Milan's Istituto Nazionale Tumori when he was its director. The study, which began in 1987, randomised more than 2,800 women to receive 200 mg fenretinide daily for five years or no extra therapy after surgery for early-stage breast cancer.

The new analysis, also lead by Professor Veronesi, who is now Director of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, followed the 1,739 patients who had been recruited by the Istituto Nazionale Tumori centre, investigating whether these patients developed a second cancer either in the treated breast or the other breast.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 11:21 PM CT

Newborns With Jaundice At No Greater Risk

Newborns With Jaundice At No Greater Risk
Newborn babies who are diagnosed with and treated for jaundice are no more likely than other babies to suffer long-term developmental problems, as per a research studyreported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, by scientists from the University of California, San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research, is good news for parents because about 60 percent of newborns develop jaundice, and it is one of the most common reasons babies are re-hospitalized after birth.

"These are reassuring results" said Thomas B. Newman, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics and biostatistics at UCSF and the lead investigator of the study. "Our research shows that when severe jaundice is detected and treated properly, we can prevent long-term neurological problems." The study appears in the May 4, 2006 issue of NEJM.

Jaundice is a common condition in newborns. It refers to the yellow color of the skin and eyes caused by excess levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the normal recycling and replacement of red blood cells. In adults the liver processes the bilirubin, but in newborns the liver is still immature and often is unable to break bilirubin down fast enough, so levels build up. In a newborn the bilirubin rises rapidly in the first few days after birth, peaking below 15 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in about 90 percent of babies. Levels of 30 mg/dL or more can lead to a condition called kernicterus, which can cause deafness, cerebral palsy, brain damage or even death.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 11:16 PM CT

Australians Too Busy For Lunch

Australians Too Busy For Lunch
While most Australians believe that eating a substantial, healthy lunch is important, one in three skip this vital meal at least once a week, and one in 10 rarely or never have it.

A new ACNeilsen Omnibus poll of 1400 Australians shows that people engaged in home duties are most likely to skip lunch; with almost half those surveyed (46%) doing so at least once in the past week.

Too busy is the catch-cry of lunch-skippers - 43% said they didn't have time to go out or make themselves something to eat. A further 20% said they weren't hungry at lunchtime while another one in ten (11%) said they had too a number of personal tasks to do to fit food into their break.

The more work responsibilities people have, the more likely they are to claim they can't do lunch. More than half the respondents on annual salaries of $60,000 or more said they were simply too busy.

Only a handful of those surveyed blamed their lack of lunch on takeaways being too expensive, fattening or unavailable in their area. Nor were they worried about being perceived as slacking off at work if they take time out. One in five men who don't lunch (21%) think skipping lunch helps them lose weight compared to only 13% of women. Of the one in ten people who rarely eat lunch, more than half (55%) don't think it's important as long as they have a good dinner.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 11:11 PM CT

Drug Could Help Quit Smoking

Drug Could Help Quit Smoking
Smokers who try to quit using existing medications, such as nicotine patches or Zyban, are about twice as likely to succeed as those who don't use medicine or are prescribed placebos during clinical trials.

But despite the relative effectiveness of medications currently on the market, more than 80 per cent of quitters will be smoking again within a year, as per a review in the latest IJCP, the UK-based International Journal of Clinical Practice.

A new kind of drug has now been developed that could improve long-term quit rates, as per Dr Jonathan Foulds from the Tobacco Dependence Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Varenicline is being evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration under a six-month priority review which began in late 2005.

"Trials carried out so far have yielded promising results, suggesting that varenicline could be a major advance in the therapy of nicotine dependence" says Dr Foulds.

"Drugs are normally earmarked for priority review by the FDA if they are felt to address health needs that are not currently being adequately met.

"What makes varenicline different to existing medicine is that it is the first therapy specifically designed to target the neurobiological mechanism of nicotine dependence."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         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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