Category: Health

Crowdsourcing effort takes aim at deadliest breast cancers

CHICAGO (AP) — Forget the pink ribbons. Spitting in a tube for science is what unites a growing group of breast cancer patients taking part in a unique project to advance treatment for the deadliest form of the disease. For many of the 150,000-plus patients nationwide whose tumors have spread to bones, brains, lungs or other distant organs, the hue heralding breast cancer awareness and survival each October is a little too rosy. They know cancer will likely kill them. And they’ve often felt neglected by mainstream advocacy and medical research. But now they have a way to get...

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Colorado gives marijuana candy a new look to avoid confusion

DENVER (AP) — Wondering if that brownie contains pot? Colorado has you covered. A requirement that edible marijuana products come with a diamond-shaped stamp and the letters T-H-C – not just on the packaging but on the brownies, candies and other edibles themselves – takes effect Saturday. The rule referencing marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient was added after complaints that the treats look too much their non-intoxicating counterparts. It is the first such requirement in any legal weed state. Colorado’s new "universal symbol" for foods that contain marijuana is designed to give the treats a distinct look even after they’re out...

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Did landmark laws from Congress enable high drug prices?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are venting outrage over high prescription drug costs, but if Congress is looking for culprits, it might want to look in the mirror. Republican- and Democratic-controlled Congresses, and presidents of both parties, may have set the stage for the startling prices that have consumers on edge. In the last 13 years, Congress passed major legislation that expanded taxpayer-financed coverage for prescription drugs but lacked explicit mechanisms for dealing with costs, instead relying mainly on market forces. Lawmakers look like unwitting enablers in the eyes of some experts. “Congress in attempting to expand access to prescription...

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FDA approves ‘artificial pancreas’ to manage diabetes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators have approved a first-of-a-kind “artificial pancreas,” a device that can help some diabetes patients manage their disease by constantly monitoring their blood sugar and delivering insulin as needed. The device from Medtronic was approved Wednesday for patients with Type 1 diabetes, the kind usually diagnosed during childhood. About 5 percent of the nation’s 29 million Americans with diabetes have this type. Type 1 diabetes patients now have to manage their insulin through multiple injections throughout the day or a drug pump that delivers it through a tube. Their own pancreas doesn’t make insulin, a...

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Puerto Rico finds unexpected source of growth in agriculture

GUANICA, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Ricans are buying rice produced on the island for the first time in nearly 30 years. They are also eating locally grown mushrooms, kale and even arugula, along with more traditional crops such as plantains and pineapples. The U.S. territory is seeing something of an agricultural renaissance as new farms spring up across the island, supplying an increasing number of farmers’ markets and restaurants to meet consumer demand for fresher produce. Farming has become one of the few areas of growth on an island struggling to emerge from a 10-year-old recession and a...

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Walking is medicine? It helped high-risk seniors stay mobile

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not too late to get moving: Simple physical activity – mostly walking – helped high-risk seniors stay mobile after disability-inducing ailments even if, at 70 and beyond, they’d long been couch potatoes. One health policy specialist said the study released Monday suggests prescribing exercise may be just as important as prescribing medications. "Once you lose that mobility piece of your life, then you really lose independence," said Patricia Katz of the University of California, San Francisco, who wasn’t part of the new research but said physicians need to put the findings to use. Katz called...

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Research finds talc doesn’t cause cancer; juries disagree

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two lawsuits ended in jury verdicts worth $127 million. Two others were tossed out by a judge who said there wasn’t reliable evidence that the talc in Johnson & Johnson’s iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer. So who’s right? And is baby powder safe? Most research finds no link or a weak one between ovarian cancer and using baby powder for feminine hygiene, a practice generations of American mothers have passed on to their daughters. Most major health groups have declared talc harmless. Johnson & Johnson, whose baby powder dominates the market, says it’s perfectly...

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Italy campaign to combat infertility stumbles with racist ad

ROME (AP) — Italy’s efforts to combat infertility and reverse one of Europe’s lowest birthrates stumbled badly Thursday following an ad campaign denounced as sexist, racist and ignorant of the economic reasons why Italians aren’t having babies. Italy on Thursday celebrated its first-ever “Fertility Day,” promoted by the Health Ministry to prevent infertility and sterility through education and health programs. Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin sought to keep on message during the official launch, decrying the fact that 700,000 Italians who want to have children can’t because of infertility problems. The campaign focuses on tobacco, drug and alcohol abuse. But...

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Remote Alaska port clinic goes modern with telemedicine

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The only clinic in one of the nation’s busiest commercial fishing ports is so remote that even conventional telemedicine for emergencies has been impossible for its limited staff – until this week. Starting Thursday, a new partnership with an Anchorage hospital will virtually beam critical care doctors 800 miles away to the emergency room on Unalaska Island, home to Dutch Harbor. But instead of transmissions with fiber-optics, which are nowhere near the isolated Alaska island, the team putting together the system is relying on satellite technology in what is believed to be a first in...

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Miami’s Wynwood cleared of Zika; focus shifts to Miami Beach

MIAMI (AP) — With health authorities declaring a win against Zika in Miami’s Wynwood arts district, their emphasis shifts to the remaining transmission zone on nearby Miami Beach, where residents have objected to the aerial pesticide spraying crediting with halting infections. No new cases of Zika have been reported in Wynwood since early August, and on Monday health officials declared it to be no longer a zone of active local transmission. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted a warning for pregnant women to stay out of Wynwood altogether, but continued to caution them about traveling to...

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FDA tentatively approves first drug for muscular dystrophy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health regulators have granted tentative approval to a highly contested drug for muscular dystrophy that has become a flashpoint in the debate over patient access to experimental medicine. The Food and Drug Administration said it cleared Sarepta Therapeutics’ injection for a rare form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a deadly inherited disease that affects boys. It’s the first FDA approval for the degenerative condition, which causes muscle weakness, loss of movement and eventually death. Monday’s announcement comes nearly five months after the agency and a panel of outside advisers panned the drug at a public meeting,...

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Brain cancer now leading childhood cancer killer

NEW YORK (AP) — Brain cancer is now the deadliest childhood cancer in the U.S., now ahead of leukemia, a result of improved leukemia treatment and a frustrating lack of progress on brain cancer. Government statisticians reported the change in rankings Friday, drawing from a review of 15 years of death certificates. "I think most people, when they think of childhood cancer, think of leukemia," said Sally Curtin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This is kind of a changing of the guard." Cancer is the fourth leading cause of death for children overall, accounting for about...

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