Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Fall 2010 Issue of NIH MedlinePlus is now Online

“The latest issue of the NIH MedlinePlus Magazine is now available online. In every issue you’ll find information you can use to keep you and your family healthy, including links to MedlinePlus, NLM’s award-winning consumer health web site”

Contents include

**Feature – Fighting Gum Disease (with information on  how to take care of your teeth, risk factors, treatment and research)

**Feature: Phobias and Anxiety Disorders (with fast facts and links to informative Web sites)

**Feature: Alzheimer’s Disease

**Feature: Coronary Heart Disease

 

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Many with Terminal Cancer Still Getting Routine Screens

Advanced cancer patients should not be put through futile testing at end of life, experts say

Excerpts from a Health Day news item

TUESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) — Many patients with incurable cancer are still being screened for common cancers, although these tests are unlikely to provide any benefit, researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City have found.

Specifically, many patients diagnosed with advanced lung, colorectal, pancreatic, gastroesophageal or breast cancer are still undergoing the ordeal of routine breast, prostate and colon cancer screening, said the researchers. Not only might these patients suffer from invasive procedures like colonoscopies near the end of life, the researchers said, but they face the unnecessary risk of additional tests, biopsies and psychological distress resulting from the detection of new malignancies.

“For patients living with advanced cancer, cancer screening should not be a routine procedure,” said lead researcher Dr. Camelia S. Sima, an assistant attending biostatistician.

[snip]

The report is published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The article is freely available at http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/304/14/1584

[snip]

There needs to be greater awareness that cancer screening when one is near the end of life is unlikely to provide a benefit, Sima pointed out.

“Screening guidelines could be reassessed to address the appropriateness of screening for patients whose very limited life expectancy due to advanced cancer negates any potential benefit that may be derived,” Sima said.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, said that “we can do a lot of good with screening, but we have to recognize that there comes a time when it’s simply not the right thing to do.”

Lichtenfeld suggested that patients should discuss the appropriateness of a screening test with their doctor. “Putting people at the end of life through screening is not appropriate for the person, and from a societal viewpoint, it’s not a good use of our limited resources,” he said.

“Why would this happen in the first place?” Lichtenfeld asked. “It flies in the face of compassion; it flies in the face of common sense.”

 

 

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , | Leave a comment

When It Comes to Math, Females Are As Smart As Males

[Editor Flahiff’s note…When I was in high school in the 70’s…I do not recall any buzz about girls not doing as good at math…
or that girls had to “dumb down” in order to be attractive to boys….my peer group “pressure” was to do one’s best academically, but be friendly to all regardless of grades/abilities]

 

Study of nearly 1.3 million students finds no difference in abilities

Excerpt from this Health Day news item

TUESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) — Males and females have equal math skills, a new report confirms.

Researchers reviewed 242 studies published between 1990 and 2007 that assessed the math skills of nearly 1.3 million people from grade school to college and beyond. They also examined the findings of several large, long-term scientific studies.

Both analyses showed a “meaningless” difference in math skills between males and females. The findings were published in the Oct. 11 online edition of the journal Psychological Bulletin.

(Editor’s note…The full text may be available at your local academic, public,  or medical library…ask a reference librarian for details. You may be charged for the article if the library has to obtain it from another library)

While social scientists agree that both genders have equal math abilities, many parents and teachers still believe boys are better at math than girls. This can lead them to guide girls away from careers in math-heavy sciences or engineering, said the study’s chief author Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

   

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