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Zika May Not Last in Semen as Long as Thought

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 – Zika virus might not remain in the semen of some infected men as long as previously thought, a small study suggests. The researchers said Zika may only be present in semen for about a month. Previous research had suggested that Zika virus can be found in semen for as long as 188 days after the onset of symptoms. The new study included 12 men in French Guiana who had Zika virus. Four of the men never had any detectable Zika in their semen. One excreted Zika virus in his semen for at least three days. And seven had Zika-laced semen for at least a month, the researchers reported. The maximum duration of detectable Zika in semen in the study was 45 days. "These data suggest that not all men who are symptomatically infected with Zika virus will have Zika virus RNA detectable in semen," Dr. Franck de Laval, of the Military Center for Epidemiology and Public Health in ... Read more

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Alternative Medicine Alone as Cancer Treatment Linked to Lowered Survival

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 – People who choose alternative medicine over traditional cancer treatments for curable cancers have a higher risk of dying early, researchers report. "We now have evidence to suggest that using alternative medicine in place of proven cancer therapies results in worse survival," said study lead author Dr. Skyler Johnson from Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center. "It is our hope that this information can be used by patients and physicians when discussing the impact of cancer treatment decisions on survival," Johnson said in a school news release. Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, is likely the most famous person who initially chose alternative medicine as a sole treatment. He eventually turned back to conventional medicine when the alternative medicine treatment didn't keep his pancreatic cancer at bay. But at that point, the cancer had ... Read more

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Americans Injuring Themselves Grooming Pubic Hair

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – Should you consider trimming or shaving "down there," proceed with care – a new study finds injuries tied to pubic hair grooming are more common than you might think. Cuts, burns and infections are reported more than a quarter of the time, according to the online survey of more than 7,500 U.S. adults. "In another study, we found that 3 percent of all adults who were seen in the emergency room for urinary injuries had injuries related to pubic hair grooming," said lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Breyer. He's an associate professor of urology and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. In this latest report, Breyer and his team found that nearly 67 percent of men and 85 percent of women said they groomed their pubic hair. Among those who did so, nearly 26 percent said they had injured themselves in the process. Injuries were ... Read more

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Only About One-Third of Americans Use Condoms: CDC

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – Condoms can help prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but only about a third of Americans use them, a new federal report shows. "The use of condoms is a public health issue," said report author Casey Copen, a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. "STDs can lead to long-term consequences, such as infertility," she said. "Condoms, when used consistently and correctly, reduce the risk of HIV and STDs." About 20 million new cases of STDs are diagnosed each year in the United States, the CDC said. These infections include human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis and HIV. The choice of whether to use a condom or not is influenced by a number of factors. These include: a woman's desire to get pregnant, one's experience using other ... Read more

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Treatment Costs Can Be Another Blow to Cancer Patients

Posted 27 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 27, 2017 – The emotional and physical costs of cancer can be staggering. But the financial side of cancer is also a great burden, with many patients in the United States struggling to pay for treatment, new research reveals. "The current health law has greatly improved access to meaningful health coverage for cancer patients, survivors and all those with chronic diseases," Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said in a network news release. "Yet costs remain a challenge for those facing cancer. Our country and our lawmakers should come together to find bipartisan solutions that begin to address patient costs without sacrificing the quality of coverage," he urged. Researchers surveyed financial navigators at 11 hospitals in nine states. Financial navigators – typically trained social workers or nurses – help cancer patients ... Read more

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Doctors' Group Offers Ideas for Easing Cancer Costs

Posted 19 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – New cancer drugs routinely cost $100,000 a year or more, and older cancer drugs are rising in price, too. Now, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has some suggestions for easing patients' money woes. The proposals include allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, legalizing the importation of drugs, and adopting bundled, or group, payment programs. In the new policy statement, ASCO also says it supports creation of a panel of "stakeholders" in health care to determine the effectiveness of its proposals. Such a group might also outline a uniform approach for assessing the value of drugs. "In what, undoubtedly, is one of the most difficult times in their lives, individuals with cancer should be focused on getting the best care possible, not worrying about financial strain on their families," said Dr. Clifford Hudis. He's CEO of ASCO, a leading ... Read more

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Most Breast Cancer Patients Have Help Choosing Treatments

Posted 10 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 10, 2017 – Most women who've been diagnosed with breast cancer don't go it alone. Many breast cancer patients depend on family and friends to help them make treatment decisions, get to doctor appointments and seek out other resources. A new study finds half of women rely on three or more people to help them through it. "People just diagnosed with cancer are often scared and overwhelmed. Having another person to help them process information is important," said study lead author Lauren Wallner, an assistant professor of general medicine and epidemiology at the University of Michigan. "Physicians need to recognize that women involve other people in their treatment decisions," she added in a university news release. "These people represent an important group to provide information about treatment options." For the study, the researchers surveyed about 2,500 women who had ... Read more

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FDA Widens Access to 'Cooling Cap' to Stop Hair Loss in Cancer Patients

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – More cancer patients may be able to ward off hair loss during chemotherapy treatment. A cooling cap approved in 2015 for use in breast cancer patients has won expanded approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The DigniCap Cooling System can now be used for patients with solid tumors, the FDA announced. The computer-controlled cap contains liquid that circulates and cools the scalp, narrowing blood vessels. This reduces how much of the chemotherapy drugs reach hair follicle cells, the FDA said. Cooling also decreases activity of hair follicles and slows cell division. The result: Chemo drugs don't affect them as much, according to the FDA. Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy, especially during treatment of most solid tumor cancers. Hair may fall out all at once, little by little or become thin. It's usually temporary – and upsetting. ... Read more

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Teen Birth Rate Drops Again to All-Time Low: CDC

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – Teen births in the United States dropped to a record low last year, falling 9 percent from 2015, U.S. health officials reported Friday. The overall birth rate declined, too, dropping 1 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of births in 2016 was 3,941,109. Moreover, the fertility rate declined to 62 births per 1,000 among women of childbearing age – a record low for the nation, researchers found. Births among 15-to 19-year-olds have declined dramatically since 2007 – more than 50 percent, said lead researcher Brady Hamilton, a statistician at CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. "It's really quite astounding for a demographic rate in an age group to decline that much," he added. The teen birth rate was 20.3 births per 1,000 female teens in 2016, compared to ... Read more

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Most U.S. Teens Aren't 'Doing It'

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – Sex is everywhere in the media, and so you may be convinced that today's teens are always looking to "hook-up." But new federal research says it's just not so. Instead, the study found that most teenagers in high school aren't sexually active. "The myth is that every kid in high school is having sex, and it's not true," noted Dr. Cora Breuner, a professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children's Hospital, who reviewed the findings. "It's less than half, and it's been less than half for more than 10 years," she said. The study found that only 42 percent of girls and 44 percent of boys aged 15 to 19 reported having sex at least once. And Breuner said that finding is nothing new. Going back to 2002, fewer than half of older teens told researchers that they are sexually active, federal data show. Further, most teens who choose to go all the way wind up losing their ... Read more

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Publicly Funded Cancer Trials Gained Americans 3 Million More Years

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Public-funded trials have significantly extended the lives of people diagnosed with cancer, according to new research. SWOG, the clinical trials network funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), has involved more than 200,000 patient volunteers. These trials have led to approval of 14 new cancer drugs and more than 100 changes to cancer care standards. All told, the clinical trials studied extended life by 3.34 million years, the study found. SWOG estimates the dollar return on investment from federal funding at $125 for each year of life gained. "A lot of people with cancer have lived longer because of the therapies tested in our publicly funded trials," study leader Joseph Unger said in a SWOG news release. He is an assistant member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Cancer Prevention Program in Seattle. "At the same time, the cost of ... Read more

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U.S. Teen Births Hit Historic Low in 2014: CDC

Posted 30 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 30, 2017 – Teen births continue to decline in the United States, with health officials reporting a 9 percent drop from 2013 to 2014. Births to 15- to 19-year-olds fell to a historic low of 24 births per 1,000 women in 2014, said Sherry Murphy, a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. At the same time, the proportion of births to women 30 and older increased, said Murphy, lead author of the report. Mothers 30 and older accounted for 30 percent of births in 2014 – up from 24 percent in 2000, the researchers found. There were other changes in U.S. birth patterns as well. "The number of overall births increased 1 percent in 2014 to about 4 million, compared with 2013," Murphy said. The infant mortality rate decreased slightly in 2014 to a historic low – about six infant deaths per 1,000 births, the ... Read more

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Hormone Replacement Therapy Tied to Hearing Loss

Posted 12 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – Hearing loss has been linked to several factors associated with menopause, a new study says. One factor is your age at menopause. An older age is tied to a higher risk of hearing troubles. And, a second factor is the use of oral hormone therapy to ease some of the symptoms of menopause. The researchers also found that the longer a woman used hormone therapy, the greater the odds of hearing issues. Hearing loss was already known to be more common in women after menopause, a time when natural hormone levels drop. Because of this, doctors had suspected that the use of oral hormone therapy might offer some protection against menopause-linked hearing loss, the researchers said. "The finding from this observational study that women who underwent menopause at a later age and used oral hormone therapy had greater hearing loss was unexpected but should lead to more ... Read more

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Government Funding Could Save Canadians $4 Billion on Medicines

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – A new report suggests that Canada would reap savings of more than $4 billion a year if the government funded nearly 120 types of "essential" medications. "Adding an essential medicines list is a pragmatic step toward universal pharmacare," said Steven Morgan, in a news release from the Canadian Medical Association. "It would ensure all Canadians have access to the most commonly required medicines while saving patients and private drug plan sponsors over $4 billion per year," Morgan said. He's a professor at the University of British Columbia. The report authors listed 117 drugs as essential medications. This list included antibiotics, insulin, birth control and antidepressants. These drugs made up 44 percent of all prescriptions filled at Canadian retail pharmacies in 2015. When "therapeutically similar" drugs were included in the list, that figure was as high ... Read more

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Pediatricians Revise Guidelines for Teen Victims of Sexual Assault

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – Pediatricians should be comfortable with treating and screening for sexual assault – and they should know where to send their teenage patients for any additional help they might need. Those are some of the major points in updated recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on helping teens who've been sexually victimized. The last time the group published guidelines on the issue was 2008. Since then, the problem of sexual assault – particularly on college campuses – has gained more public attention, explained Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, lead author of the new recommendations. In 2014, she noted, a White House task force issued a report calling on colleges to ramp up efforts to combat sexual assaults. Of course, sexual assault is not limited to college campuses, said Alderman, who is an adolescent medicine specialist at Children's Hospital at ... Read more

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