Headaches News

2010-09-30 / Health News / 0 Comments

Watching Michael Vick Giving Redskins’ Defensive Players Headaches

While most of Washington is wondering how Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb will fare in his return to Philadelphia, his defensive teammates are trying to figure out how to cool down red-hot Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who’s even more of a two-way threat than McNabb was during his 18 starts against them.

“Donovan can throw it and also he can run, so you had to keep an eye on him (but) you could spy with one of our faster linebackers,” said cornerback Carlos Rogers. “Vick, he’s gonna need a DB on him. If you put a linebacker on him, they have no chance. He’s a real fast guy.”

Indeed, the 30-year-old Vick, the only quarterback to ever run for 1,000 yards in a season, is leading the NFL with 7.4 yards per carry since replacing McNabb’s successor, Kevin Kolb, at halftime of the season opener.

“Watching film, you see why (Eagles coach Andy Reid) made the change,” Rogers said. “Kolb, he can make the throws and some of the plays, but he don’t have the ability like Vick to get out there and make first downs and run. if we had Kolb it might change up a few things, (but) we’ve got Vick. Once a play breaks down, it’s still not over with yet so we’ll be running a lot.
“We’re gonna be jamming the receivers but also keeping an eye on him because he’s got the ability to scramble and get the yardage. A lot of quarterbacks drop back and if the first or second read is not there, they can just dump the ball to the running back. Vick is his own checkdown. He’ll take off and run.”

And Rogers said that Vick never had downfield receivers in Atlanta like Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson, whose 24.5 yards per catch leads the league for those players with at least eight receptions, or Jeremy Maclin, who has four touchdowns on just 11 catches.

“We’re gonna have guys watching (Vick) but also we’re gonna have to put our hands on these receivers to not climb up on these safeties. Every week they’re getting 40-, 50-, 60-yard touchdowns.”

Or as Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, Vick’s teammate in Atlanta from 2004-06, said, “The offense is putting up points and he’s directing the choir out there. He’s got them singing right now.”

For the record, Vick was just 8-for-16 for 122 yards and two touchdowns while running 10 times for 59 yards the last time he started against the Redskins in a 24-14 Falcons victory in 2006. He was 1-for-2 for five yards with five carries for 13 yards in brief appearances against Washington in his return to the NFL last year following a two-year suspension.

HART Health: Headaches Cause More Than $61 Billion a Year in Lost Time

Stocking Commercial First Aid Supplies Can Save Employers Billions a Year

SEATTLE, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ — Headaches, back pain, arthritis and other aches distract employees and cost companies more than $61 billion a year in lost productive time, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For individual companies, the cost is $22,000 a year for a company with 50 workers and $88,000 for a company with a staff of 200 people.

Employers can save billions of dollars in lost productive time each year by providing basic first aid supplies and over-the-counter pain medications in the workplace.

“Companies are often blind to the how much the real cost of minor pains such as headaches and back pains adds up to,” said Larry Shaw, CEO of HART Health a national manufacturer and distributor of industrial first aid supplies. “It isn’t just the hourly wage you have to pay when an employee struggles to get through the workday with back pain or a headache; it’s the value of what they could be producing.”

Using a sample of nearly 30,000 working adults, researchers found more than half reported having headache, back pain, arthritis or other muscle pain. Overall, 12.7 percent of the workforce reported lost productive time in a two-week period due to these common pains.

HART Health operates a first aid supply franchise that makes it easy for employers reduce the impact of common pain problems in the workplace.

“The cost of providing high quality commercial grade first aid supplies is very small,” said Shaw. “Larger companies get huge returns on the cost of the supplies. Our first aid van service is growing at double digit rates as more companies come to understand the true cost of employees who can’t treat common pains and aches while on the job.”

HART Health manufactures and distributes proprietary commercial grade versions of common over-the-counter medications, including BackPrin, an acetaminophen pain reducer with caffeine for faster relief, and Proprinal, an extremely popular coated ibuprofen tablet.

“We take the headaches out of the process,” said Shaw. “The majority of the $61 billion in lost time is easy for companies to recover by having the right first aid supplies available and our company is growing as a result.”

For information, please visit www.harthealthfranchise.com

Heavy Rain Causes Headaches

WNEP Stormtracker 16 meteorologists say some parts of our area have already received two inches of rain.

It has been pouring non stop for hours and it shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.

The heavy downpours are making a mess of some area roads.

Rivers, streams and creeks are definitely moving a lot faster and fuller Thursday after so much recent rain.

The wet weather is already affecting more than just roads but homes and businesses.

What’s usually a little run-off from a mountain in Lackawanna County looks more like a small river behind Advance Auto Parts near Clarks Summit. So much rain so fast caused water to pour into the back of the store.

It didn’t slow down business but it did soak some cardboard boxes on the floor. Workers put up sandbags around the back entrance to prevent any further flooding.

The road in front of the place, Routes 6 and 11, was not much better.

“It was nasty. There were streams coming down the side of it. Potholes were covered up but it was nasty out there,” said Keegan Scofield of Clarks Summit.

PennDOT crews stopped by multiple times to clear blocked storm drains.

Another nearby business waged a small weather war against mother nature using squeegees.

A swollen creek next to Kost Tire and Muffler prevented employees there from fixing cars for the morning until they could dry out the garage area.

“Because there’s a risk of shock. All of these lifts are electronic,” said Robert Fritsch of Kost Tire.

The wet weather isn’t just making a mess of some businesses, it’s also causing some trouble for a variety of outdoor events.

In Wilkes-Barre The River Common was gearing up to host an outdoor concert Thursday featuring Mike Miz. Now his act and the dozens of expected concert goers will be forced indoors.

While many outdoor events are being canceled one the biggest, the Bloomsburg Fair, is open for business.

Read More

Yeast Infection News

2010-09-29 / Health News / 0 Comments

Yeast Infection No More – Is This True Or Just Another Scam?

Linda Allen is not just a certified nutritionist, author, member of the American Holistic Health Association and health consultant. She has a background in medical research and is also someone who knows full well the pain, frustration and sheer hell that living with a chronic yeast infection can bring.

Yeast Infection No More is an online treatment program for yeast infection. This program consists of exactly 150 pages of practical and natural methods to fully understand yeast infection and eliminate the Candida albicans virus, the one that causes the infection, from your system. Purchasing the program also includes a three-month free e-mail consultation period with Linda Allen along with lifetime updates that contain improvements on the methods of treatment.

So what makes it any different to the dozens of other books about yeast infections?

To begin with, her book isn’t just another ‘yeast infection relief’ book; it’s an actual cure for the problem. You may think, “Well, they all say that.” And you’re probably right, but the difference with this book is that it doesn’t offer just ‘relief’ from your yeast infection, it is a real cure. Yeast Infection No More™ shows you exactly how to get to the bottom of the cause and then get rid of it. It will get to the internal crux of the infection rather than just treating the symptoms and making you think the infection’s gone… until it comes back.

Click to Download Yeast Infection No More System

Yeast Infection No More™ won’t just spout a lot of facts at you and expect you to believe every word. It will explain your infection and tell you about all the lies and myths that abound regarding Candida albicans. It can be a very confusing subject but this book will put it all in plain English and explain everything step-by-step. It is a very detailed book that approaches yeast infections from a holistic point of view.

The Yeast Infection No More™ ebook is 150 pages of easy to read detail and information about yeast infections and how to treat them 100% naturally. There are no drugs to take or creams to apply; just a solid 5 Step System to rid you of your infection. The book gives an in-depth overview of every stage then discusses all the specifics of the treatment in chronological order. It contains charts, checklists and many other items that enable you to keep track of the program and where you’re up to.

The Yeast Infection No More™ program isn’t a magic potion or quick-fix; it’s a holistic approach and a holistic solution that guarantees you’ll be free of Candida if you follow the program. It doesn’t matter how severe your infection is, this program will work, unlike the quick-fixes other programs falsely offer.

The only criticism that the Yeast Infection No More™ ebook has attracted is that it’s too full of information! People who thought it would be a quick pick-it-up-and-you’re-cured book might find it somewhat overwhelming at first but with a little perseverance, the most impatient reader will find this the most invaluable yeast infection book they’ve every bought.

Survey Reveals Roughly 3 in 5 Women May be Mistreating Their Yeast Infections

The MONISTAT® Brand aims to Cure Confusion by educating women about effective treatment options

SKILLMAN, N.J., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ — For more information, please go to: http://monistat.presslift.com/yeastinfections.

Few women go through life having never suffered from the uncomfortable symptoms of a yeast infection. In fact, nearly 3 in 4 (72 percent) women will experience their first yeast infection before age 25. (1) Furthermore, the incidence of yeast infections is highest among young women ages 18-24 (2), who are new to the category and uncertain about symptoms and available treatment options. According to a recent survey of women ages 18-24 commissioned by the MONISTAT® Brand, sixty-one percent (61 percent) of young women are unsure about which, if any, over the-counter products can cure a yeast infection.

“Many women don’t realize that once they’ve identified they have a yeast infection they can easily treat it on their own terms,” said Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, a board-certified OB/GYN who practices in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Lenz, a partner in the MONISTAT® survey, reviewed the full results and offers the following advice to help cure the confusion around yeast infections:

Cure vs. Care
More than 1/3 (37 percent) of women incorrectly believe that treating the symptoms of a yeast infection is the same as curing the infection.

“I see many women who have unsuccessfully tried to treat their yeast infections,” said Dr. Lenz. “One of the biggest mistakes I see my patients make is using external symptom relief creams, such as Vagisil® (3) to treat a yeast infection. Vagisil®(4) does not cure the infection; it only temporarily masks or relieves symptoms.”

Over-the-Counter Cure
Thirty-eight percent (38 percent) of women mistakenly believe a yeast infection can only be cured by a doctor’s prescription.

“While there are prescription treatments available, they can sometimes take 24 – 48 hours to start working,” said Dr. Lenz. “If you know you have a yeast infection and you are in good health, try an over-the-counter remedy like MONISTAT® right away to cure the infection and treat the symptoms. The brand has a portfolio of products, including 1-, 3- and 7-Day treatments, to suit individual women’s needs, which are scientifically proven to be safe and effective.”

Know Before You Go
The majority of women (60 percent) have been unsure whether or not their symptoms were those of a yeast infection.

“The symptoms of a yeast infection vary greatly among individuals,” said Dr. Lenz. “The classic symptoms – thick, white and lumpy discharge, itching and burning – do not appear for all women. The important sign is always vaginal discomfort that develops out of the blue. If you are unsure, especially if you’ve never had a yeast infection, check with your doctor to make sure your symptoms aren’t actually the result of a sexually transmitted disease, bacterial infection or a combination of yeast and bacteria.”

“If your yeast infection does not clear up, contact your doctor,” adds Dr. Lenz. “Once you’ve treated the infection, long-term, preventative measures, including changes to your diet and lifestyle, can help prevent future infections.”

With 35 years of proven efficacy, MONISTAT® is the #1 Doctor Recommended over-the-counter cure that begins the cure on contact. For more information about the signs, symptoms of and treatment options for yeast infections, and to hear more from Dr. Lenz, visit www.Monistat.com.

(1) Ipsos Tracking Study, Q4 2009 [p. 94]

(2) The 2003 Gallup Study of Women’s Yeast Infection Treatment Products [p. 96]

(3) A product of Combe Incorporated. The trademarks use herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

(4) A product of Combe Incorporated. The trademarks use herein are trademarks of their respective owners.


MONISTAT®, which means “stops yeast infections,” is an over-the-counter, antifungal yeast infection treatment that relieves symptoms and cures the infection. The Brand offers a portfolio of products, including 1-, 3- and 7-Day treatments, which are available in three forms – OVULE®, cream and suppository – and are designed to help women confidently address their vaginal health needs on their terms. The active ingredient in MONISTAT® is Miconazole Nitrate. For a complete list of MONISTAT® products, visit www.monistat.com. MONISTAT® is a brand of McNEIL-PPC, Inc.

About the Survey

This MONISTAT® Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 711 nationally representative American women aged 18 to 24, using an email invitation and an online survey between June 4th and June 9th, 2010. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population of women 18-24 year olds.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the 711 interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.68 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from McNeil Consumer Healthcare and/or Johnson & Johnson’s expectations and projections. Risks and uncertainties include general industry conditions and competition; economic conditions, such as interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approvals; domestic and foreign health care reforms and governmental laws and regulations; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Exhibit 99 of Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 3, 2010. Copies of this Form 10-K, as well as subsequent filings, are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Neither McNeil Consumer Healthcare nor Johnson & Johnson undertake to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.

Johnson and Johnson highlights yeast infection misconceptions

Posted on 15/09/2010 in Pharmacy Supplier News
Johnson and Johnson has published results from a new survey which reveals a lack of awareness among consumers about treatment of yeast infections.

According to research commissioned on behalf of the healthcare group’s Monistat brand among a sample group of women aged between 18 and 24, the majority of females are unable to identify a vaginal yeast infection from its symptoms.

Further findings from the survey show that around a third of women believe treating symptoms using relief cream is the same as curing the infection, while most are unaware that the condition can be remedied using over-the-counter products.

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, a partner in the study, said this shows the importance of female patients seeking medical advice on the condition if they are uncertain.

She added: “Once you’ve treated the infection, long-term preventative measures including changes to your diet and lifestyle can help prevent future infections.”

This comes after Johnson and Johnson published a consumer study last month which illustrated the lifestyle benefits which children can experience by wearing contact lenses instead of glasses.

Read More

Cancer Treatment and Prevention News

2010-09-28 / Cancer News / 0 Comments

October: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a campaign launched 25 years ago to raise awareness of breast cancer nationwide. We post below some news on the disease for those who may be interested. Becoming aware of this disease and having it diagnosed in its early stages is not enough. Many patients still die prematurely no matter how rigorously they are treated.

A new study reported online in the journal Cancer found women whose wives or girlfriends are diagnosed with breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing mood disorders, such as major depression, that are so severe they require hospitalization.

The study suggests that men need emotional, social, and economic support to meet their psychological needs after their partners are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Previous studies have already shown that male partners of breast cancer patients are more likely than others to develop major psychosocial problems. But the current study found the disease raised risk of severe depression in men whose female partners were diagnosed with it.

Christoffer Johansen MD, PhD, DSc (Med), of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, Denmark and colleagues analysed data from 1,162,596 men ages 30 years or older to see how frequently partners of women with breast cancer were hospitalized with disorders like major depression, bipolar disease and other serious mood altering conditions.

During 13 years of follow-up, 180 of the 20,538 men analyzed were hospitalized with a mental disorder like depression.

Compared to men whose wives or girlfriends were not diagnosed with breast cancer, men with partners diagnosed with the disease were an overwhelming 309 percent more likely to develop a mental disorder.

The higher risk of being hospitalized was found in men whose partners were diagnosed with severe breast cancer compared to men whose wives or girlfriends were not diagnosed with the disease. Men whose significant others experienced a relapse were also more likely to develop depression compared to those whose wives/girlfriends were free of cancer. When female breast cancer patients died, their partners were 3.6 times as likely to develop depression compared to those whose partners survived.

“A diagnosis of breast cancer not only affects the life of the patient but may also seriously affect the partner,” said Prof. Johansen.

“We suggest that some sort of screening of the partners of cancer patients in general and of those of breast cancer patients in particular for depressive symptoms might be important for preventing this devastating consequence of cancer,” Prof. Johansen added.

Breast cancer patients with physical limitations more likely to die earlier.

A new study published online in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that breast cancer patients with basic physical limitations or disabilities that disallow them from simple everyday life tasks are more likely to die;such limitiations can be either a direct cause of the disease itself or its treatment.

The study led by researchers at the University of California – San Fransisco found breast cancer survivors who reported physical limitations after breast cancer treatment had the same risk of dying from breast cancer as those without limitations; however, they were more likely to die from other conditions.

Additionally, older women as well as overweight breast cancer patients were found more likely to have functional impairments for at least 18 months after treatment.

According to a press release by the UCSF, the findings suggest that physical activity is important in improving the outcome; simple modifications in habits that allow more physical activity would greatly improve patients’ health.

“Our study provides evidence of why it is important to develop interventions that improve physical function, to mitigate the adverse effects of physical limitations,” said Dejana Braithwaite, PhD, first author of the study and assistant professor at UCSF’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Intervention strategies – on the part of the individual, the community and the health provider – should emphasize physically active lifestyles,” Braithwaite added.

The association between physical inability and death risk was derived from an analysis of data from 2,202 women with breast cancer in California and Utah on their endurance, strength, muscular range of motion and small muscle dexterity after initial treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. The women were followed for a 11-year period and as many as 36 percent were found physically inactive.

Physical activity has been associated with a better long-term prognosis in breast cancer patients, while physical inactivity has been linked to bad outcomes.

A health observer suggested that breast cancer patients who died early may not voluntarily be physically active. Those who were physically inactive may have a worse condition in the first place. That is, physical inactivity may simply serve as a “biomarker” to indicate the severity of breast cancer and their overall health condition.

Healthcare reform law provides education on breast cancer prevention in young women

Breast cancer when found in young women tends to be more aggressive compared to breast cancer diagnosed in older women. Media reports say the healthcare reform law provides measures against development of breast cancer in women between ages of 15 and 44.

Under the law, the centers for Disease Control and Prevention is required to create education programs that are focused on young women and breast cancer and to encourage a healthy lifestyle that promotes prevention and early detection of the condition.

The law also provides $9 million annually between 2010 and 2014 for groups to help young women with breast cancer. Under the law, the National Institutes of health will develop new screening methods to prevent breast in young women and improve early detection, which is believed to cut risk of dying of the disease.

Breast cancer is diagnosed in 250,000 women in the United States and 10 percent of them are younger than 45 years, according to the American Cancer Society.

Simple steps can limit risk of cancer

By Ranit Mishori
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There was a time when “cancer” was a word that was only whispered in polite society. It was the devastating, invidious illness that almost nothing could be done about. Death from cancer was ugly, unavoidable and best not thought about until you absolutely had to. Preventing it was thought to be, in most cases, out of the realm of possibility.

Today, we know a great deal more about cancer and have made advances in its treatment. Yet many of us are still in denial, reluctant to engage the topic in our daily lives.

In fact, there are a number of common-sense ways to reduce your risk of getting certain kinds of cancer. No guarantees, but there are steps you can take now to improve your odds.

And guess what? They’re the same things you do to avoid getting heart disease. That’s right: Watching your weight, avoiding junk food and getting exercise – which you already knew will would help to fend off a heart attack – also greatly reduce your chances of getting cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, about a third of the 550,000 American cancer deaths each year are linked to obesity, poor diet and inactivity. Another third are due to smoking.

In other words, one of the biggest contributors to cancer risk is lifestyle – and that’s something over which you have control.

The numbers behind this statement? “Forty percent of breast cancer cases in the U.S. – about 70,000 cases a year – could be prevented” by changes in behavior, says Susan Higginbotham, director of research for the American Institute of Cancer Research.

A German study published last year in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 36 percent reduction in cancer risk overall among people who changed to more-healthful habits. A Harvard School of Public Health study described 44 percent of cancer deaths as avoidable in a report that appeared in BMJ, a British medical journal.

None of this is easy, but bad habits can be changed, and it’s good to know which ones count when it comes to reducing your risk of cancer. So here they are:


More than 100,000 cancer cases each year – cancers of the uterus, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, gallbladder, breast and colon – are linked to being overweight, according to the AICR. Scientists believe it partly has something to do with estrogen stored in and produced by our fat cells.

In women, “fat cells are a major source of estrogen after menopause,” says Michael Thun, vice president emeritus of epidemiology and surveillance at the American Cancer Society. That estrogen, he notes, “promotes the development of uterine and breast cancer.”

Read More

Heart Disease News

2010-09-27 / Health News / 0 Comments

Young adults not spared from heart disease

According to the report from Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF) unveiled on yesterday, almost 15 people die every day because of cardiovascular diseases in Singapore. The study has also suggested that the young people are also suffering from heart attacks and strokes.

According to the experts, the young generation is falling in to the heart problems because of their unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles. The SHF aid it would continue its efforts to improve the awareness of the heart diseases and blood pressure diseases. Instead of the only mass screening the SHF is providing 300 blood pressure monitors at various schools to monitor the blood pressure of the pupils.

All the blood pressure monitors are donated by a company. The children are also trained to use the monitor to test the blood pressure of their parents at home. SHF has aimed to cover 15 more schools in the next year.

The SHF has also raised questions on the use of the diabetes drug Avandia and said the drug had a negative impact on the heart of a human body. On Friday the SHF had appealed to the people of Singapore not to use the drug.

Study: Walking, Cycling Keeps Heart Failure at Bay

A new Finnish study has indicated that going to work on foot or cycling can be useful in warding off the possibility of a heart failure. And a job that is not sedentary helps too.

Senior researcher, Dr. Gang Hu of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told Reuters Health in an e-mail that engaging in some physical activity is of course important, but being active at workplace is essential too.

Walking to work everyday or spinning two wheels is integral in keeping good health.

Heart failure takes place when the heart is not able to pump enough blood that is required by the body. At present, five million Americans fall prey to heart failure.

Hu said, “Increases in computerization and mechanization that have resulted in ever-increasing numbers of people being sedentary for most of their time”.

It is pertinent to mention that earlier studies were focused on positive outcomes of regular exercise on both coronary heart disease and stroke. But, the investigators had not examined the effects of physical activity on the peril of heart failure, or the exceptional roles of relaxation and non-leisure movements on the condition.

Dr. Luc Djousse of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, observed that the results are in agreement with the Physician’s Health Study.

In this study, he and his associates had revealed that regular exercise was linked with a minor risk of heart failure in men.

Kenyans warned as heart diseases on the rise

At least 17.2 million people are dying from heart disease and stroke each year but this is expected rise to 41 million in five years, says Gender PS James Nyikal.

Dr Nyikal warned Kenyans during celebrations to mark World Heart Day in Nairobi on Sunday that increased intake of salt, alcohol, cigarettes and lack of exercise, were a threat to life.

Could be avoided

He said 80 per cent of premature heart-related deaths could be avoided.

In Kenya, heart specialists have sounded the alarm and are advocating for a radical change in people’s lifestyles.

The government has already banned adverts on smoking and smoking in public places. “Even though a lot has been done to discourage smoking, it is disheartening to note that in Kenya, the rate is as high as 50 per cent, especially in colleges and universities,” said Dr Nyikal.

He said in urban areas, dietary preferences had shifted from vegetables, legumes, fruits and home-made meals to fast foods, especially among children.

“With urbanisation and a free economy, a lot of processed and pre-packed foods are available in supermarkets. The sale of fast foods to children must be regulated,” he said, adding: “Heart diseases develop slowly. A poor diet at a young age contributes to early child deaths.”

Dr Nyikal said the global goal of reducing the death rate of chronic diseases by an additional two per cent annually would prevent 36 million deaths in the next five years.

Speaking at the same event, Kenya Cardiac Society chairman Prof Gerald Yonga said many deaths in Kenya were related to how we eat, drink and move.

“Kenyans are advised to avoid excessive intake of certain foods like fatty meat, salt or sugar, alcohol or cigarettes,” said Prof Yonga.

“Treating heart diseases is very expensive yet it can be avoided by changing our lifestyles because if we continue living this, we will die like flies.”

Read More

Allergies Today

2010-09-24 / Allergies / 0 Comments

Seasonal allergies treatments

by Manura Nanayakkara MBBS

Seasonal allergies are allergic reactions that develop in certain part of the year. It is usually triggered by environmental allergens such as pollens which are common during spring and fall.

Once entered into the body, allergens such as pollens initiate a cascade of reactions, which ultimately results in the release of neurotransmitter histamine. It is responsible for the allergic reactions. So most of the oral drugs inhibit histamine action. In addition, nasal symptoms are caused by edema of the inner nose.

Allergies, Celiac and Asthma: The New Allergicliving.com Has Got it All

Allergic Living magazine unveils the most comprehensive consumer allergy site on the Web. Allergicliving.com offers hundreds of articles from leading health journalists and a superb recipe center to serve the growing audience living with allergies and gluten-free.

(PRWEB) September 24, 2010

Allergic Living magazine proudly announces the complete rebuild of its website Allergicliving.com. The new site becomes the most comprehensive consumer allergy site on the Web.

It is an essential one-stop resource for those living with food allergies, celiac disease, asthma and environmental allergies.

“This is no mere cosmetic renovation,” Gwen Smith, Allergic Living’s editor and content director, says of Allergicliving.com. “We made a significant investment and rebuilt this site from the ground up. Visitors will find hundreds of great articles, recipes, blogs and interactive features.”

While the old site had already gained a half million visitors a year, an ambitious marketing and SEO campaign is underway to introduce a significantly larger audience to the newly unveiled Allergicliving.com.

Noting that the community of people living with allergies and celiac disease is rapidly growing, Smith says: “When you live with these conditions, there are so many questions and adjustments to your life. That’s why the team here is so passionate about our new site – Allergicliving.com will truly help people; it is that comprehensive.”

Exclusive Features
Ask the Expert: 4 leading allergy specialists, a celiac disease expert and a certified asthma educator take your questions at Allergicliving.com.
Indepth sections on: Top 10 Food Allergies, Celiac Disease, Pollen Allergy, Asthma, Skin Allergy.
The new Allergy-Safe and Gluten-Free Recipe centers. Fully searchable. Outstanding recipes created by Allergic Living’s Chef Simon Clarke.
NewsFlash – our journalists report the latest news on Allergies, Celiac and Asthma.
The Healthy Home section – from safe painting to getting rid of dust mites.
Living sections: Travel with Allergies, School and Allergies and more.
Interactive: Story of the Month for kids and teens; Our Poll; commenting available on all articles.
The Talking Allergies Forum.
Slideshow photo stories.
Intuitive navigation and advanced search tools.
“I expect visitors will be amazed by the scope of the new Allergicliving.com,” Smith says. “We’re a little amazed ourselves – and eager to hear what others think of it.”

Contact: Gwen Smith

How to protect your family from food allergies before it’s too late

Does your child have reactions to foods they use to eat with no problem?

They could have food allergies that haven’t even been diagnosed and they can be very dangerous.

It’s more common than you think. In fact more than three million children in the U.S. have allergies.

Lisa Horne says her son had an anaphylactic reaction to a PB&J sandwich. She rushed him to the hospital, and today he has to avoid any contact with peanuts of any form. He has to carry an Epi-pen with him for the rest of his life, and have a medical ID on him at all times.

Symptoms :

Skin reactions, including hives along with itching, flushed or pale skin (almost always present with anaphylaxis)
• A feeling of warmth
• The sensation of a lump in your throat
• Constriction of the airways and a swollen tongue or throat, which can cause wheezing and trouble breathing
• A feeling of impending doom
• A weak and rapid pulse
• Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
• Dizziness or fainting

How to protect your family

Follow-up with your doctor or allergist if you’ve had a severe reaction.
• If you’ve been prescribed self-injectable epinephrine (i.e., EpiPen® or Twinject®), carry it at all times.
• Educate others about your allergy. Teach them what you need to avoid, the symptoms of an allergic reaction, and how they can help during an allergic emergency.
• Teach yourself and others how to use an epinephrine auto-injector. Practice until it becomes second nature.
• Wear medical identification jewelry noting your allergy.

Walk for food allergy

(Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010)
Time: Check-in begins at 9 a.m.; Walk begins at 10 a.m.
Location: Tempe Arts Park, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281
Distance: 3 miles
Restrictions: No pets, glass bottles, bikes, roller skates, or skate boards. Baby strollers and wagons are welcomed.

Read More

Obesity News

2010-09-23 / Weight Loss & Obesity / 0 Comments

Childhood Obesity Blamed on Virus

By Christopher Wanjek, LiveScience’s Bad Medicine Columnist

Doctors have found more evidence that a viral infection can trigger obesity. And no, the virus doesn’t live on cheese puffs and Twinkies.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, found traces of adenovirus 36 (AD36) in an alarming number of obese children and went so far as to claim that there is a positive association between the presence of the virus and obesity, as reported this week in the journal Pediatrics.

Excess calories and inactivity are clearly associated with obesity. And yet some children who have junk-food-filled diets and an exercise routine comprising entirely of walking back and forth from the refrigerator and sofa do manage to remain relatively thin. Why?

In my blood

Genetics, a popular rationale for all that’s right or wrong with any given person, can’t explain all cases of obesity, doctors say, particularly the sharp rise in childhood obesity. Bad habits among children have remained constant over the last two decades, but the child obesity rate has nearly tripled during this time.

AD36 is one of dozens of adenoviruses that are common causes of respiratory infections. Studies dating back to the 1990s have shown that lab animals deliberately infected with this human virus can get fat. In recent years, other studies have shown that upwards of 30 percent of obese adults have been infected by AD36, compared with only 10 percent of normal-weight individuals. The theory is that the virus targets immature fat cells and gets them to mature and proliferate rapidly.

This latest UC San Diego study, led by Jeffrey Schwimmer, examined 124 children; slightly over half were obese. Among all the children, only 19 (or about 22 percent) had been infected with AD36, a fact determined by the presence of AD36-specific antibodies in their blood. But among these infected kids, nearly 80 percent were obese.

More surprising to Schwimmer’s team, the infected obese children were much heavier than the non-infected obese children. The average BMI of the obese kids was about 33; but among the infected obese kids, the average BMI was over 36.

This translates to an average, extra bulk of 35.5 pounds (16 kilograms) for those with the AD36 virus antibodies. That’s a huge amount of extra weight for adults, let alone kids. Sadly, most obese kids will be obese adults and have a lifespan shortened by up to 20 years. A study out this year suggested obese men could die eight years earlier than other men.

Fat chance

Clearly you don’t need a virus to get fat; bad food and eight hours of daily TV-watching can work well for you in that regard. But as skeptical as you (and I) might remain, some doctors are becoming increasingly convinced that AD36 is playing some role in the obesity epidemic. Schwimmer’s team indeed has upped the ante by finding that those once infected have a high probability of being even heavier than other obese individuals.

What Schwimmer and others haven’t been able to establish, though, is cause and effect. Is AD36 a cause of the weight gain, or is the infection the result of having certain kinds of fat cells that the virus happens to like? Or, are obese people predisposed to persistent AD36-specific antibodies after infection? That is, maybe most people have been infected, but obese people maintain the presence of antibodies longer.

So many unknowns. Makes you want to do something crazy like eat better and exercise, just in case.

Cold Virus Linked to Childhood Obesity?

I just read a new study that was published in the online version of the journal Pediatrics on September 20th that links childhood obesity to adenovirus 36 – one of the viruses that cause the common cold. Sounds crazy, right? Perhaps, but it does raise some interesting questions.
Researchers studied 124 children between the ages of 8 and 18. Fifty four percent (67) of the children were considered obese based on their body mass measurements. On average, children who tested positive for adenovirus 36 weighed about 50 pounds more than those who tested negative. And even among the obese children, those who tested positive weighed about 35 pounds more than the obese children who tested negative.

However, only about 15 percent of all of the children tested positive for the virus at all – 22% percent of obese children and 7% of children who were not obese.

So what does all of this mean?

At this point, it’s hard to say. There certainly isn’t enough evidence to say the virus causes obesity and the researchers don’t seem to be suggesting that either. However, there may be more to childhood obesity than just a lack of exercise and poor diet.

We all seem to be so quick to judge parents when it comes to obese children, but like most health problems, it is probably a more complicated issue.

On the flip side, this was a very small study that did not cover an accurate cross-sample of the population (67% of the children were hispanic, 27% white and 11% black) and only 15% of those (18 children) studied had ever had this virus. So drawing a conclusion that there is a link between the virus and obesity at all seems like a stretch. It’s almost like saying a majority of the obese children had brown hair so brown hair must be related to obesity – which of course is ridiculous.

In reality, it could even mean that children who are obese are more likely to get adenovirus 36. To me, this actually makes more sense, because people who are obese typically have weaker immune systems and get sick more often.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on this new study and read more about it from Catherine Holecko, About.com’s Guide to Family Fitness.

Read More

Phobias News

2010-09-22 / Mental Health / 0 Comments

Are Social Media Phobias Holding Advisors Back?

By Howard J. Stock
September 21, 2010

Brokerage firms continue to talk a good game when it comes to social media, but few are actually doing anything about it, and that may turn out to be a mistake.

Like what you see? Click here to sign up for our daily newsletter to get the latest on advisor market trends, investment management, retirement planning, practice management, technology, compliance and new product development.

According to a report by Corporate Insight, almost all full-service brokerage firms expect the quality and content of social media outreach to improve, but James McGovern, the firm’s vice president of consulting services in New York, says few are willing to make the first move.

“There’s a lot of intent,” he says, citing 2008 data. “But there hasn’t been much by way of an embrace.”

Ironically, mutual funds, which were by far the most conservative of the financial services firms when it came to social media two years ago, have picked up the ball and run with it. Vanguard, for instance, has a corporate blog through which is offers commentary on various subjects and it has its own Facebook page.

In general, “asset management firms are at least leveraging their intellectual capital,” McGovern says.

Full service firms, by comparison, remain hobbled by vague rules from FINRA and onerous requirements where the rules are clear. “Archiving Facebook communications for six years is a pain, plus the rules are not yet crystal-clear to the attorneys charged with protecting these firms,” he says.

Advisors are taking baby steps. McGovern says that anecdotally, around 100,000 financial advisors have page on LinkedIn. “They’re creating profiles and connecting with their existing clients,” he says. At the very least, the site allows advisors an easy opportunity to keep up to date with what’s going on in their clients’ lives.

McGovern doubts that compliant sites such as Linked FA, while they keep advisors the right side of the law, are likely to catch on. “It sounds like the technology is great, but how are you going to get clients to sign up?” he points out. “It’s a lot easier to swap emails or to pick up the phone every six months.”

Full service firms’ reticence is a problem because both advisors and their clients are now used to using social media: “You need to be where the action is,” McGovern says.

Mitchell Kauffman, an independent advisor with Raymond James in Pasadena, Calif., is comfortably walking what the full service firms still see as a tightrope, using LinkedIn and, soon, Twitter and Facebook to disseminate pre-approved white papers he’s written on the market. Kauffman is also setting up a YouTube account to post videos of him discussing economic conditions. It’s all compliant, and the advisor hopes the content will lead to clients and prospects to sign up for more. “In an economic downturn, people are looking for more meaningful connections,” he says. “Regulators’ narrow approach is missing an opportunity to serve investors.”

Kauffman says that while he has received a few inquiries from prospective clients who found him through his social media outreach, that aspect of the strategy is still in its infancy. “Networking is not about hunting, it’s about farming,” he says. “I’m making myself available as a resource and feedback is positive, but I can’t say it’s opened the floodgates of new business, although that may come at some point.”

Rather, “this is something that can really help build close relationships, reassure clients and help enhance my search presence,” on the internet.

Most advisors, though, are still on the sidelines, and that’s a problem. While full-service firms are dragging their feet, other firms are leaping in. Charles Schwab, for instance, uses Twitter for customer service and it has created customer communities. And self-service firms Zecco and TradeKing have both made social media the focus of their business, with investment forums that are open to anyone who wants to join, the goal being “to drive traffic and turn investors into customers,” McGovern says.

Even banks are trying it. Wells Fargo stands out for launching a blog the day after its acquisition of Wachovia to update customers on its integration. It was also one of the first banks to use Twitter, reaching out to users—those with a significant number of followers at least—who were complaining about fees of service.

McGovern doesn’t expect full-service firms to hold out much longer—the competition is simply too great. “Once these firms work out the data monitoring and retention issues, and their advisors understand what they can and can’t talk about, we’ll see some interesting developments,” he says. “It’s inevitable; it’s the way the world is going.”

Funny phobias cause concern

Going to the beach, passing a piercing parlor or watching a Britney Spears music video causes little distress for most. For sufferers of omphalophobia, or the fear of belly buttons, these incidents could cause serious reactions.

A phobia is a severe and illogical fear of an object or situation. About 8.7 percent of American adults have at least one phobia, according to a 2005 study from the National Institute of Mental Health.

“To be a phobia it has to be something that doesn’t pose a threat,” said Sarah Burger, graduate student researcher in the Anxiety Research Group and clinical psychology doctoral candidate. “If you’re afraid of something actually dangerous, that’s called rational thinking.”

Many people have strong fears or dislikes that may not technically be phobias.

“OK, well, I really don’t like it when people rub carpet,” said nutrition freshman Kelli Kostizak. “It makes my stomach knot up.”

Undecided freshman Sarah Brody said she knew a person with a “weird” fear.

“I had someone who said they’re really afraid of moss,” Brody said.

Unlike general, everyday fears, phobias can cause distress through anticipation, by either thinking about a situation or coming into contact with a certain object.

“The phobia is kind of where the fear has reinforced itself,” said Michael Strangstalien, mental health clinician for Counseling and Psychological Services. “It doesn’t even need to necessarily happen.”

Burger’s research compares how those with phobias predict they will react upon encountering their phobia with their actual reaction.

Burger asked participants to predict their reaction to encountering the object of their phobia in different situations such as reading about it, seeing it in a movie or finding it in their room.

“Now we’re actually having them test their predictions,” Burger said.

People with arachnophobia are monitored while being approached by a virtual tarantula, a robotic tarantula and a living tarantula. Some reactions to the object of the phobia include panic attacks, increased heart rate and nausea, according to Burger.

Strangstalien described a phobia as a “psychological jail” in which those affected will rearrange their lives to avoid all contact.

Phobias range from the fear of snakes, ophidiophobia, to the more obscure gnosiophobia, which is the fear of knowledge.

“My favorite phobia is ponophobia,” Strangstalien said. “Ponophobia is the fear of hard work.”

Strangstalien said it is common to disregard unusual phobias as unreasonable, which can lead to the stigmatization of those who suffer from them.

“(People) think some of these phobias are crazy,” Strangstalien said. “To the person who is terrified of having to work, that’s real in their mind.”

The most common phobias at the UA are the fear of blood injections and social phobias, according to Strangstalien.

“I have both of those,” Brody said. “I hate when I get my blood drawn, and I get shaky when I talk publicly.”

Many people suffer from phobias regarding public speaking or social situations.

“Usually people will actually get visceral, somatic symptoms,” Strangstalien said. “They’ll get physically sick.”

Strangstalien said he does not treat a large number of phobic students at the UA.

“These things get noticed in high school or earlier years,” Strangstalien said. “It’s been treated.”

For those whose phobias dictate their lives, professional help is available.

“It’s not enough to say ‘It’s all in your head,'” Strangstalien said.

Scientists still do not know exactly what causes phobias. But Burger said many theories predict phobias stem from people having an association of the object of their phobia with “something that actually is scary.”

Many people cannot remember the specific instance that started their phobia.

“A lot of people say, ‘I don’t know. I’ve been afraid as long as I can remember,'” Burger said.

Some theories suggest people learn these associations as infants before their memories are fully formed.

The biological preparedness theory attempts to explain why humans are more likely to be afraid of spiders than string. Phobias may have acted as a natural preservation mechanism in the past.

“We’re sort of keyed up to be fearful,” Burger said.

Read More

Cancer and Chemotherapy

2010-09-20 / Health News / 0 Comments

Cognitive Effects of Breast Cancer Tx Related to Age

Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and
Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner Earn CME/CE credit
for reading medical news
Hgh online pharmacy
Action Points
Point out that cognitive changes associated with chemotherapy are typically only seen in a subgroup of patients. This study represents an attempt to dissect out which patients are more susceptible to these effects.
Chemotherapy-related cognitive changes had significant associations with older age and lower baseline cognitive reserve, data from a case-control study of breast cancer patients showed.

Older patients with lower cognitive reserve who were treated with chemotherapy scored significantly lower on tests of processing speed than women treated only with tamoxifen (P=0.003) and a healthy control group (P<0.001), investigators reported in an article published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Chemotherapy also appeared to have a temporary adverse effect on verbal ability, which differed significantly from the tamoxifen-only and control groups at one month (P=0.01). Verbal ability improved, however, during two subsequent follow-up evaluations of patients who received chemotherapy.

The findings suggest that pretreatment factors, as well as various aspects of breast cancer and its therapy, have an impact on cognitive functioning, the researchers wrote.

“This study helps clarify two issues,” Tim A. Ahles, PhD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told MedPage Today. “The results indicate that only a subgroup of patients have long-term cognitive changes. Factors associated with long-term changes have been an area of interest to us and others.

“The second issue is that 20% to 30% of breast cancer patients appear to have lower-than-expected cognitive performance at diagnosis. This is higher than in the general population. We were curious to see whether that also predicted post-treatment cognitive changes, and our assessment of cognitive reserve sort of captures that.”

An exploratory analysis suggested that tamoxifen negatively affected certain aspects of cognitive function in patients who did not receive chemotherapy.

Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have yielded evidence that breast cancer chemotherapy causes changes in cognitive function in a subgroup of patients. Similar studies have indicated that tamoxifen also contributes to cognitive decline, Ahles and colleagues wrote in the introduction to their findings.

Other data have shown lower-than-expected performance on neuropsychological tests in subgroups of breast cancer patients before treatment, suggesting that certain aspects of the cancer itself may affect cognitive function.

“Taken together, these findings suggest that there are multiple aspects of breast cancer and its treatment that may impact cognitive functioning in a subgroup of vulnerable individuals, which highlights the importance of identifying risk factors for cognitive decline,” the authors wrote.

Age has a well-established influence on cognitive decline, leading to speculation that older adults may have increased vulnerability to cognitive adverse effects of chemotherapy. However, prior studies have not examined possible interactions between age and cancer treatment and resulting effects on cognitive functioning.

Cognitive reserve, which constitutes an individual’s innate and developed cognitive capacity, may also play a role in a patient’s vulnerability to the cognitive effects of chemotherapy. Ahles and colleagues examined associations among age, pretreatment cognitive reserve, and post-treatment cognitive function. They defined cognitive reserve by scores on the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT-3).

The study involved patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer of stages 0 to 3A. The study population included 60 patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy and 72 patients who received adjuvant tamoxifen but no chemotherapy. The control group consisted of 45 healthy women who met inclusion criteria except for a diagnosis of breast cancer.

All study participants completed a battery of tests that assessed verbal ability, verbal memory, visual memory, working memory, processing speed, sorting, distractibility, reaction time, and self-reported depression. Breast cancer patients completed the tests before treatment and at three intervals after completing therapy. Women in the control group were tested on four occasions that approximated the time intervals for the patients.

The analysis showed significant interaction among group, age, and baseline WRAT-3 reading score (P<0.001). Older patients with lower baseline WRAT-3 scores and exposure to chemotherapy scored significantly lower on processing speed, averaging 0.15 less per 10-year increase in age and one standard deviation lower WRAT-3 score than the no-chemotherapy group and 0.23 less than the control group.

The authors found a significant group-by-time interaction (P=0.01) and a significant age-by-WRAT 3 interaction for verbal ability but not a significant three-way interaction.

Age significantly affected performance on the verbal memory, visual memory, working memory, and sorting assessments, and baseline WRAT-3 reading significantly influenced distractibility.

To examine the impact of tamoxifen, the authors compared results of 39 patients treated with the drug, 20 patients who received no endocrine therapy, and the healthy controls. The analysis showed a significant impact of tamoxifen on processing speed (P=0.036) and verbal memory (P=0.05).

Patients treated with tamoxifen performed significantly worse than the controls on processing speed (P=0.016), verbal memory (P=0.018), and verbal ability (P=0.023). Patients who did not receive tamoxifen did not differ significantly from the controls in any of the analyses.

Spotting the signs of breast cancer early helped save my life

Sep 20 2010 By Lisa Adams

IN white, high-heel white boots and a daring psychedelic mini skirt, Christine Kelly felt fabulous at a 1960s-themed fancy dress party to celebrate her 40th birthday.

But only a few months later, her world collapsed after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Now the Edinburgh mum-of-two has been chosen to speak about her fight with the devastating disease at an event tomorrow to mark the launch of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Landmarks across the capital, including Edinburgh Castle gatehouse, the Balmoral Hotel and the HBOS building on the Mound will be flooded with pink light.

It is a signal to Scots women that thinking pink and checking their breasts regularly could save their lives.

Christine said: “They say life begins at 40. For me, life suddenly changed at 40. I’d started a new job, the kids were at school, we had a lovely house and things were looking rosy.

“Then it all fell apart. The only reason I’m here today is because I spotted the signs early. If breast cancer is caught early, there is hope you can get through it and have the rest of your life to live.”

The statistics are frightening. Breast cancer affects one in nine women, so the chances are we will all know someone touched by the disease.

Scientists at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Unit at the University of Edinburgh are leading the world in the fight against the disease.

More than 7000 Scottish women have signed up to join the Breakthrough Generations Study – an examination of the health and lifestyles of 100,000 women over the next 40 years, which aims to find the causes of breast cancer.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Scotland but modern treatments mean many more are surviving and going on to live healthy lives.

“Cancer services have developed and improved significantly in recent years, with state-of-the-art equipment and more doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Research is also vital and that’s why I am involved in the Breakthrough Generations Study.

“Hopefully, the knowledge gained through this survey, and others like it, will help to spare more mothers, daughters, grannies and best friends from the trauma of cancer.”

For Christine, it offers hope that her children Ashleigh, 21, and Nathan, 15, may one day live in a cancer-free world.

That’s why she has no fear of telling her story at tomorrow’s reception in front of more than 200 people, including other survivors as well as Sturgeon, scientists and charity representatives.

Christine said: “I am just about to turn 50, and want to celebrate by giving something back to those who made it all possible for me to have these years and many more to come. I’m determined to start my 50s as I would have liked to start my 40s.”

Christine, who is divorced, has raised more than 5000 for breast cancer charities and is planning a sponsored walk from Edinburgh to Glasgow to mark her 50th birthday in November.

But she recalls vividly how frightened she felt in the summer of 2001 when, after a holiday in France, she first felt a lump on her right breast.

Christine said: “It was Saturday night and I was massaging cream into my skin to keep my tan when I found a lump.

“I went to the doctor on Monday. At first, the doctor said I had lumpy breasts but I was certain that lump hadn’t been there before and I asked to be referred to the hospital. I had about six weeks to wait and got on with my life.”

The alarm bells started ringing after she was called back to the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh for a second mammogram. When a sample from the lump was taken to be analysed, Christine feared the worst.

She said: “I thought it must be time to accept some bad news. It was like an out-of-body experience. It felt like this was happening to somebody else.

“I’m very practical, so I thought we’d get through it. I had 101 questions after the doctor confirmed it was cancer.”

Telling her family was tough. She said: “How do you tell your mum you’ve got cancer? My daughter who was 12 at the time found it really difficult.

“She felt she couldn’t speak to me because she didn’t want to upset me. It took a long time and it was through the school that we finally got some counselling for her.

“I had a lovely book for my son which was written in child-friendly language. He was younger, so very accepting.”

Christine, who had no history of cancer in her family, had a grade-three aggressive tumour that was linked to hormone levels.

It had doubled in size in just a few weeks. At the end of September, after the tumour and the lymph nodes under her arm were removed, she heard her first good news. The cancer had not spread.

But chemotherapy transformed her from a fit young mum who went walking and running to a seriously ill woman with no hair who felt constantly on edge.

After six weeks of radiotherapy, Christine started feeling stronger. She took the drug tamoxifen for five years and, as she ticked each month off the calendar, slowly started to believe the cancer had gone for good.

Seven years on, she heard the magic statistics she’d been praying for – that she has the same chances of developing breast cancer as a woman of her age who had never had the disease.

But the experience had changed her. Christine said: “I see life differently. Before, I got stressed about the little things.

“If there’s one thing on my wish list for the future, it would be education to encourage all women to check their breasts regularly and if they notice any changes to consult their GP.”

The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Over-50s get an invitation for free screening every three years, which you should take. For more help, call 08080 100 200 or see breakthrough.org.uk.consult

Pediatric Cancer:Curing the Beast

Do you know how many children will die in 2010? Do you know their names? Some of you do.

“Our dear precious Sam has won the prize. He is celebrating in Heaven with Jesus and other family members that have passed on before him. We had told Sam all week this past week that we would be with him soon….in just the blink of an eye. How I cannot wait for that day! Everything feels so different. We knew this was coming 4 weeks ago when Sam was sent home in hospice care. Even knowing in our hearts that this would happen never prepares you for when it actually happens. Mike and I were holding Sam and he died in our arms and went straight to the arms of Jesus. He put up such a fight and never stopped fighting until the very end,” Sam’s Mom.

What would you do if you had taken your child to the doctor for flu-like symptoms and found it was so much more than the flu?

Peyton’s parents remember, “Our entire world stopped. We awoke to a phone call from our doctor saying we needed to pack a bag and take our daughter up to All Children’s Hospital immediately. Once in the doctor’s office at ACH, we were told that yes, she did have Leukemia. They gave her some local anesthesia and we sang some songs while I had to hold her down so they could do a bone marrow and spinal test. She was a trooper throughout, but we found out later that the Leukemia had invaded her body so much that the doctor was unable to get enough bone marrow to test.”

After immediate admission to the hospital, Peyton got an IV and morphine was administered every 15 minutes. Peyton’s dad said, “It may seem odd, but I had heard so much about morphine, I was actually leery of it. But it helped out with her pain, and made her silly. She got 2 blood transfusions. Her white blood cell count was high, but her red blood cell and platelet counts were low. Thanks to the morphine, she slept.”

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to improve the care, quality of life and survival rate of children with malignant diseases.

Since its inception, PCRF has raised over $22 million to fund cuttingedge research that leads to medically sound treatment protocol for childhood cancers. Much progress has been made. For instance, childhood leukemia, once almost certainly fatal, now has a 70% survival rate. But the battle is far from over – cancer continues to afflict more children under the age of 18 each year than any other disease.

Due to the dedication of volunteers supporting PCRF, 80% of every dollar raised goes directly to research. PCRF is privately supported through donations from individuals, charitable foundations and businesses that recognize the urgent need to improve treatment and cure childhood cancers. The foundation raises funds through gifts from individuals, special giving programs, events, corporate sponshoships, grants and the sale of holiday cards drawn by children fighting cancer.

According to the PCRF website, they currently are funding grants for research in the areas of stem cell transplantation, stem cell biology, molecular oncology, and molecular and cellular genetics. PCRF supported over $1.2 million in research work in 2009.

There are some optimistic moments in the research and treatment of childhood cancers every time a child survives.

“At age 2, Sierra was diagnosed with PNET (primitive neuro ectodermal tumor). She received high dose chemotherapy and stem cell rescue in May 1996. A very healthy Sierra now loves any sport, especially Little League, and physical education is her favorite subject in school! Sierra’s mother notes that “Sierra is tough! She has recently become very open about her cancer and she shared about her brain tumor and scar at her Share Day at school.”

“Eleven years ago, 4 year old Jack was diagnosed with acute lymhoblastic leukemia and immediately began treatment with aggressive chemotherapy for three years. Jack’s mom had been volunteering at PCRF prior to his diagnosis. Today Jack is a healthy and active freshman in high school, enjoying a life of soccer, football, fishing, surfing, boogie boarding and loves playing electric and acoustic guitar.” Now living like a typical teenager, his life as a young child was anything but.

There are thousands of stories about childhood cancers; there will be about 12,000 stories of cancer diagnosis this year. There will be about 4,000 stories of pediatric cancer related deaths; 11 stories a day.

September has been set aside as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month spotlighting the types of cancer that largely affect children, survivorship issues, and – importantly – to help raise funds for research groups working towards a cure.

The voices of the children cry out for a cure! The parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends of those children carrying the burden of fighting these terrible childhood cancers also cry out for a cure.

Pediatric Cancer needs to be brought out into the daylight where it can receive the attention it deserves as the ugly beast stealing our children before they have the chance to explore life. Research is essential in the discovery of Pediatric Cancer treatments, essential in saving the lives of these children.

Read More

Arthritis Treatment Today

2010-09-17 / Health News / 0 Comments

Rheumatoid arthritis drug carries risk of potentially fatal allergic reaction

TORONTO – The maker of a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis is updating safety information after an elderly patient taking the medication died from a severe allergic reaction.

Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., in consultation with Health Canada, said allergic reactions can occur from Actemra (tocilizumab) and patients should be closely monitored while taking the drug.

Actemra is administered intravenously to treat adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. No Canadian cases of anaphylactic reaction have been reported.

The company said in an advisory Friday that the patient who died had a long history of rheumatoid arthritis and had also been taking other rheumatoid arthritis medications before and after starting treatment with Actemra. The patient was also on blood pressure medications.

The company said this is the first reported case of death due to a suspected severe allergic reaction in a patient treated with Actemra. Allergic reactions that required patients to stop taking the drug were reported in 13 of about 3,800 patients receiving the medication during clinical trials. These reactions usually occurred during the second to fifth infusion.

In the event of an allergic reaction, Actemra should be permanently discontinued, the drugmaker said.

Study proves arthritis supplements don’t work

According a new study, glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, prescribed to thousands of arthritis sufferers, have no effect.

The new research included 10 large, randomized, controlled studies. A team of researchers determined that individuals taking the supplements didn’t differ from those taking a placebo on measures of pain or any changes in joint space.

Lead researcher, Prof. Peter Juni, head of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern in Switzerland, concluded the supplements don’t pose any real danger, however they simply do not work.

When studied alone, Glucosamine monotherapy had a small edge over chondroitin monotherapy. Glucosamine had a small effect on joint space narrowing, while chondroitin alone had no effect.

“None of the two supplements we evaluated appears to have any clinically relevant benefit in terms of pain relief that could be detected by patients with knee or hip arthritis.” Jun and his team concluded.

Furthermore, when benefits were discovered for the two supplements, they tended to be in industry-funded trials as opposed to those without commercial sponsorship, Juni and colleagues indicated.

Worldwide sales of glucosamine hit nearly $2 billion in 2008, an jump of about 60% compared to 2003, Juni said. The supplement became popular after A team of researchers reported in The Lancet in 2001 that glucosamine may be one of the first products to prevent the worsening of osteoarthritis.

Arthritis is a very common condition with over 140 different types that can affect people of all ages. Osteoporosis affects approximately one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 years Because it is a chronic disease, Arthritis continues indefinitely and may not go away. Regular flares in disease activity can occur.

Early care urged for rheumatoid arthritis

By Clive Cookson in Birmingham

Published: September 15 2010 23:35 | Last updated: September 15 2010 23:35

The onset of rheumatoid arthritis should be treated urgently, scientists say, because new research shows that the disease can often be controlled or even “switched off” in its earliest stage.

The British Science Festival in Birmingham heard on Wednesday that the development of arthritis in patients with early joint pain and inflammation can be predicted quite accurately with simple blood tests and biopsies. The auto-immune process responsible for the disease can then the targeted with drugs, before it causes severe and permanent damage to the joints and other parts of the body.
Karim Raza, of Birmingham University, said rheumalogists were gathering evidence about the benefits of early diagnosis, and the reasons why patients and their doctors delay taking action against rheumatoid arthritis, with support from the National Institute for Health Research, in preparation for a public health campaign on the issue.

“Early diagnosis of RA is essential as we have shown that the processes occurring in the joints of patients in the clinically apparent stage of the disease are different from those occurring later,” said Dr Raza.

Preliminary research suggests that the early disease process can be switched off in 50 to 60 per cent of patients with methotrexate, an inexpensive drug that damps the immune reaction. Those who do not respond can move on to – much more expensive – antibody treatments.

The problem, according to Dr Raza, is that most patients, and many GPs, still regard the onset of rheumatoid arthritis as a non-urgent matter, which they can do little about, apart from taking painkillers.

Although the most obvious effect of rheumatoid arthritis is to destroy bone and cartilage in the joints, its impact is more pervasive. “People with RA die 10 years younger than average … mainly because they are more susceptible to heart disease,” said Dr Raza.

On average today people take an average of six months from the onset of symptoms to see a rheumatologist, because the patient puts off seeing a doctor and then the health service delays the progress from GP to hospital appointment. But effective treatment needs to start within three or four months, according to Dr Raza.

The long-term aim of rheumatologists is for patients and the NHS to take the onset of rheumatoid arthritis as seriously as cancer.

Read More

Asthma Treatment

2010-09-15 / Health News / 0 Comments

Asthma Drug Albuterol May Help Treat MS

Sept. 13, 2010 — Adding the asthma drug albuterol to a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) improved walking ability and delayed the time to first relapse among patients in a newly published study.

Patients starting daily injections of the MS drug glatiramer acetate — known by the brand name Copaxone — showed improvement over the course of a year when oral albuterol was added to the treatment regimen.

Those treated with Copaxone and placebo showed slight declines in function after a year of treatment, study researcher Samia J. Khoury, MD, of Harvard Medical School tells WebMD.

The study was small, but Khoury says the findings indicate the inexpensive drug may be a useful addition to early MS treatment.

“I do give albuterol to my patients early in treatment if they don’t have contraindications,” she says. “It is cheap and generally well tolerated and patients take just one pill a day.”
Albuterol for MS

The inhaled form of albuterol is widely prescribed to patients with asthma, COPD, and other pulmonary diseases to open constricted airways.

Khoury and colleagues at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital first considered using albuterol as an additional early treatment for multiple sclerosis almost a decade ago.

That was when the researchers first reported that the asthma drug inhibited production of specific inflammation-causing messenger proteins linked to MS, known as interleukin-12 (IL-12).

High levels of IL-12 have been reported in patients with secondary progressive MS, which is an advanced form of the disease characterized by progressive symptoms and few or no relapses.

Disease-modifying drugs like Copaxone, interferon-beta 1a and 1b, and Tysabri appear to slow the progression from early disease to secondary progressive MS. It is now recommended that patients consider starting these treatments as early as possible following diagnosis.

In the newly reported study, Khoury and colleagues randomly assigned 44 patients with relapsing-remitting MS who had not previously received treatment affecting the immune system to receive daily injections of Copaxone with oral albuterol or a placebo pill for up to two years.

Neurological testing was performed at the beginning of the study and again at three, six, 12, 18, and 24 months. Blood samples were collected four times over the first year. Brain imaging to look for the lesions associated with MS was also performed at enrollment and at 12 and 24 months.

Thirty-nine patients were included in the final analysis. Improvement in functional status was seen in the combined treatment group at six months and a year, but not at two years. Most of the improvement was related to walking and was measured by timing how long it took a patient to walk 25 feet.

Published online today, the study appears in the September issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Treatment with albuterol is generally not recommended for some patients taking beta-blockers or for those with heart palpitations or anxiety, Khoury says.

She adds that MS patients without these contraindications may benefit from taking the drug with disease-modifying therapy during the first year of treatment.

Second Opinion

National MS Society spokesman Nicholas LaRocca, PhD, says larger studies are needed to confirm the findings.

“This is a promising study, but it was small,” he tells WebMD. “I think it would be premature to recommend adding this to treatment based on one study.”

But Khoury says since albuterol is now generic, its manufacturers have little financial incentive to conduct additional research.

As researchers search for new and better MS treatments, LaRocca says taking a closer look at drugs that are already available makes sense.

“The cost of developing new drugs is astronomical,” he says. “If there are drugs already out there that are not overly expensive and can be used with the currently available treatments, that is certainly worth exploring.”

For the Treatment of Asthma, Surveyed Safety-Minded Physicians May Be the Most Rapid Adopters of Emerging Brands With a Novel Mechanism of Action

BURLINGTON, Mass., Sept 13, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, identifies a segment of safety-minded physicians who are the most likely to rapidly adopt emerging brands with a novel mechanism of action when compared with other physician segments in the analysis. Thirty percent of physicians surveyed fall into the safety-minded physician segment and report their top drivers of brand choice when prescribing a drug for asthma include the drug’s risk of life-threatening side effects, risk of severe side effects and a long-term safety record.

According to the new report, Brand Perception Series: Physician Segmentation in Asthma, physicians report the greatest need in asthma treatment is for a drug with a novel mechanism of action. The safety-minded physician segment contains the greatest percentage of surveyed physicians who say they are familiar with such agents, including Aerovance’s Aerovant, GlaxoSmithKline’s Bostria and Ception Therapeutics/Cephalon’s Cinquil.

More than half of surveyed physicians in the safety-minded segment say they currently prescribe Sepracor/Nycomed’s Alvesco, the newest of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). The safety-minded physician segment is also a high-volume segment, treating more asthma patients per month and writing more prescriptions for asthma medications per week than other segments in the analysis.

“Surveyed safety-minded physicians’ use of Alvesco and their familiarity with emerging brands with a novel mechanism of action indicate they may more readily use these novel emerging brands despite their concern with long-term safety, especially if the mechanism of action is considered safe,” said Decision Resources Analyst Amanda Puffer, M.Sc. “Considering safety-minded physicians’ use of current brands and the patient populations they treat, these physicians may be a good target for emerging brands with a novel mechanism of action.”

About Brand Perception Series: Physician Segmentation

Brand Perception Series: Physician Segmentation identifies key physician segments to uncover targeted opportunities for current and emerging drug brands. This series offers a fresh look at a competitive drug market by analyzing physician perception of current and emerging drugs using unique physician profiles that will help biopharmaceutical companies understand and size market opportunities.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources (www.decisionresources.com) is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources and master their chosen markets. Decision Resources is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at www.DecisionResourcesInc.com.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact:

Decision Resources Decision Resources, Inc.
Lisa Osgood Christopher Comfort
781-993-2606 781-993-2597
losgood@dresources.com ccomfort@dresources.com

Half of Children With Treatment-Resistant Asthma Not Treated According to Guidelines

September 14, 2010 — Many children with treatment-resistant asthma under specialist care are misdiagnosed. More than half would be successfully managed with a re-evaluation and better use of standard therapies, British researchers report.

In a review published in the September 4 issue of the Lancet, Andrew Bush, MD, consultant pediatric chest physician, and his colleague Sejal Saglani, MD, both from Royal Brompton Hospital in London, United Kingdom, examined evidence drawn from children with mild to moderate asthma and data extrapolated from adults with severe asthma. They will present the full results next week at the European Respiratory Society 2010 Annual Meeting in Barcelona, Spain.

“Despite the interest in innovative approaches, getting the basics right in children with apparently severe asthma will remain the foundation of management for the foreseeable future,” Drs. Bush and Saglani write.

“The current best approach is thorough multidisciplinary assessment of children with problematic severe asthma, which should result in at least half of these children being successfully managed with conventional treatments,” they continue.

According to the authors, management strategies — incorporating improved asthma education related to adherence to treatment, inhaler technique, dose, and frequency — and minimization of environmental triggers need to be reviewed in these apparently treatment-resistant patients.

The review examines studies that have been published in the past 15 years. The authors make recommendations on the basis of findings from a literature review and from their own clinical practice. Drawing data from their own series of home visits to investigate therapy use, the authors report that “treatment-related issues contributed to poor control in about half the patients.”

Among areas discussed during home visits with patients, the investigators addressed psychosocial issues as a trigger for asthma exacerbations. They found anxiety and depression were common among children with severe asthma and their parents.

“Any major illness will have spin-offs on the child’s life. A child is more than a pair of lungs, so anxiety and depression are common in children and parents, very naturally, and need to be addressed,” Dr. Bush told Medscape Medical News.

Comorbidities such as reflux, rhinosinusitus, dysfunctional breathing, food allergy, and obesity were reviewed for their role in the potential exacerbation of asthma.

Once these potentially reversible factors have been identified in treatment-resistant patients, the authors recommend that the next step be a discussion with a multidisciplinary team.

“The aim is to decide whether further invasive investigations are justified and, if not, to develop a plan to address the reversible factors identified,” they write.

Dr. Bush added that good respiratory nurses find out far more than professors in clinics, “so we need a full multidisciplinary team to try to sort out an individualized treatment plan on the basis of what is causing the pathology. Let’s work together to get more information.”

However, if satisfied that the basic patient management needs are met, the review showed that there was less evidence available to help decide on the next steps.

Dr. Bush recommends open discussion of the options available. “The best trials are in omalizumab, which would be my first choice if the child met the criteria; otherwise we develop an individualized treatment plan based on the type of inflammation of the airway,” he said.

Commenting on the review, Jonathan Grigg, MD, professor of paediatric respiratory and environmental medicine at Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University, United Kingdom, said difficult-to-treat asthma is a major problem but receives little attention.

“Bush and Saglani’s comprehensive review in the Lancet is welcome. What is now needed is a concerted effort by funders to support comprehensive trials of new therapies. Governments should also recognize the importance of innovation when evaluating the cost-effectiveness of therapies that may be used in children with difficult asthma,” he said.

Warren Lenney, MD, consultant respiratory paediatrician from the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in the United Kingdom, who also commented on the review, agrees that home visits are essential to understand if and how therapies are being used.

“Once these basic failings have been rectified there remain a small number of children with asthma who are problematic to manage and need the expertise of specialized children’s asthma centers. This paper gives an excellent plan to address the need at the very severe end of the spectrum,” he pointed out.

He added that often labeling a child’s asthma as “very severe disease” is unfounded. “Despite huge increases in our knowledge of childhood asthma over the past 30 years, the striking feature for all to consider is that basic diagnosis and decision making is weak.”

Dr. Bush emphasized a need for further research and collation of patient data, adding that an adult registry already exists and a pediatric one is being set up. His team is also part of European initiatives.

Dr. Bush’s emphasis “on reconsidering the diagnosis and carefully assessing whether there has been good adherence with treatment is crucial,” said Raezelle Zinman, MD, from the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

“I am not sure that this necessitates an admission to hospital or home visit as a first step,” Dr. Zinman added. “There needs to be documentation of what medication has been prescribed and with what frequency the prescription is actually being filled. This can be clarified with a call to the pharmacy. Simply checking the technique of medication delivery can be done in the office and can be very informative. For example, I have seen patients with vocal cord dysfunction and asthma who have been instructed to take their medication by performing an inspiratory capacity and breath-hold maneuver. In this condition, the vocal cords come together rather than separate when trying to take a breath in and the medication is not able to penetrate to the lungs.”

“A better technique is to have the patient breathe in and out of a valved holding chamber 5 times after actuating the metered dose inhaler into the chamber,” Dr. Zinman suggested.

“Another frequent comorbidity in difficult-to-treat asthmatics is sinusitis. I frequently am able to gain control [of asthma] after initiating therapy for rhinitis and sinusitis,” she pointed out. “In children who have not responded to therapy, I have used a clinical trial of oral steroids for 2 weeks on an outpatient basis, with reassessment of lung function at the end of that period to look for improvement. These results are interpreted as evidence of reversibility but should not be presumed to be the ultimate improvement achievable.”

“It is rare that invasive investigations are required beyond [computed tomography] imaging of the chest and sinus to rule out other diagnoses if the patient fails to respond to the above,” Dr. Zinman asserted. “The difficult-to-control pediatric asthmatic patient warrants referral to a pediatric pulmonologist who has the expertise to work through these issues and determine appropriate therapy. We have all seen patients who have been misdiagnosed and overtreated with chronic steroid therapy to the point of becoming Cushingoid. Earlier referral should prevent this and decrease morbidity.”

Dr. Bush, Dr. Grigg, Dr. Lenney, and Dr. Zinman have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Read More