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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > CancerOvarian cancerObesity


Minimizing Obesity’s Impact on Ovarian Cancer Survival

Cancer • • Ovarian cancer • • ObesityDec 29 08

Obesity affects health in several ways, but new research shows obesity can have minimal impact on ovarian cancer survival. A study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center found ovarian cancer survival rates are the same for obese and non-obese women if their chemotherapy doses are closely matched to individual weight.

The findings contradict earlier research that shows obese women have lower ovarian cancer survival rates compared to non-obese patients. In the UAB study, such survival disparity disappeared when chemo doses were calculated by actual body weight rather than a different dosing standard, said Kellie Matthews, M.D., a UAB gynecologic oncologist and lead author on the new study.

“Often chemotherapy dosing is calculated using ‘ideal’ body weight as a guide. We found using actual body weight works best, and it wipes away much of the difference in survival rates between obese and non-obese patients,” Matthews said.

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Cystic fibrosis patients’ self-assessment of health can predict prognosis

Urine ProblemsDec 29 08

Adult Cystic Fibrosis patients can provide important information that helps to predict their prognosis, according to research that asked 223 adult CF patients to assess their own health and well-being.

“We wished to see whether patients themselves had clinically relevant insight to their disease, and we found that they did,” said lead author of the study, Janice Abbott, Ph.D., of the University of Central Lancashire in England.

The study was published in the first issue for January of the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Pollution at home often lurks unrecognized

Gender: Female • • Public HealthDec 26 08

Many people may be surprised by the number of chemicals they are exposed to through everyday household products, a small study finds, suggesting, researchers say, that consumers need to learn more about sources of indoor pollution.

In interviews with 25 women who’d had their homes and bodies tested for various environmental pollutants, researchers found that most were surprised and perplexed by the number of chemicals to which they’d been exposed.

The women had been part of a larger study conducted by the Silent Spring Institute in which their homes and urine samples were tested for 89 environmental contaminants—including pesticides and chemicals found in plastics, cleaning products and cosmetics.

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Diabetic youth may try unhealthy dieting tactics

Diabetes • • DietingDec 26 08

Young people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are often overweight and many turn to unhealthy weight loss practices, such as using over-the-counter diet aids without a doctor’s advice, fasting and taking laxatives, new research shows.

Dr. Jean M. Lawrence, of Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, and colleagues studied 1742 female and 1615 males, of whom 520 had type 2 diabetes and 2837 had type 1 diabetes. The subjects’ average age was 15 years.

Roughly half of the subjects reported ever trying to lose weight, they report in the journal Diabetes Care.

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Post-cancer reproduction still low for women, men

Cancer • • Fertility and pregnancyDec 25 08

Strategies introduced in the late 1980s for protecting fertility in patients undergoing cancer treatment may have indeed helped boost reproduction rates modestly among survivors of certain types of cancer, new research from Norway suggests.

However, overall, female cancer survivors remain about half as likely as women who had never been diagnosed with the disease to have a child within the 10 years following their diagnosis, the researchers found. For male cancer survivors, reproduction rates were about 30 percent lower than among their healthy peers.

“There is much left to be done to improve post-diagnosis reproduction, in particular in women,” Dr. Sophie Dorothea Fossa of The Norwegian Radium Hospital in Oslo and her colleagues conclude in a report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Metabolic syndrome predicts kidney disease

Diabetes • • Urine ProblemsDec 25 08

Having the so-called metabolic syndrome may raise the risk of chronic kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes, researchers from China report.

Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of risk factors for diabetes and heart disease—including abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides (another type of blood fat). The syndrome is typically diagnosed when a person has three or more of these conditions.

The current study suggests that conventional cardiovascular risk factors are also predictors of kidney trouble, Dr. Peter C. Y. Tong from The Chinese University of Hong Kong noted in comments to Reuters Health. “Hence, physicians should actively assess patients with diabetes for these risk factors and treat them aggressively,” Tong said.

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Rare sleep disorder may be a harbinger of dementia

Neurology • • Psychiatry / Psychology • • Sleep AidDec 25 08

More than half of people with a rare sleep disorder develop a neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson’s disease, within 12 years of being diagnosed, results of a Canadian study published Wednesday indicate.

So-called “REM sleep behaviour disorder” affects a small percentage of the population, Dr. Ronald B. Postuma, at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and colleagues explain in the journal Neurology. It is characterized by a loss of the normal muscle relaxation while dreaming and is seen most often in men aged 50 and older. REM sleep behaviour disorder should not be confused with insomnia, night terrors, or confusional arousals.

Small studies have identified REM sleep behavior disorder as a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease and dementia. To investigate further, Postuma’s team conducted a follow-up study of 93 patients diagnosed with unexplained REM sleep behavior disorder between 1989 and 2006. The average time from diagnosis to last evaluation was 5.2 years.

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Newly Found Enzymes May Play Early Role in Cancer

CancerDec 25 08

Researchers have discovered two enzymes that, when combined, could be involved in the earliest stages of cancer. Manipulating these enzymes genetically might lead to targeted therapies aimed at slowing or preventing the onset of tumors.

“We could conceivably reactivate a completely normal gene in a tumor cell – a gene that could prevent the growth of a tumor if reactivated,” says David Jones, Ph.D., professor of oncological sciences at the University of Utah and senior director of early translational research at the university’s Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI).

“We believe this could be one of the earliest processes to go wrong in cancer,” he adds. “By manipulating these enzymes, we could possibly prevent or slow the onset of tumors.”

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Child’s ADHD Diagnosis Is Tied to Mother’s Health Status

Children's Health • • Gender: Female • • Psychiatry / PsychologyDec 25 08

The probability of having one’s child receive an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis involves a mother’s own medical conditions and her use of health services prior to having the child, a new study finds.

What is not clear, however, is whether the effects are due to biological, environmental or psychosocial factors — or some combination of these.

The new study implies “that the diagnoses and health care utilization that a mother receives prior to having her child is predictive of having a child who is diagnosed with ADHD,” said G. Thomas Ray, lead author. “Our study raises the possibility that certain types of mothers — those who get or seek diagnoses and who use more health services — may be more likely to seek ADHD diagnoses for their children.”

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Longer Sleep Linked With Lower Incidence of Calcification in Coronary Arteries

Heart • • Sleep AidDec 24 08

Participants in a study who slept on average an hour longer per night than other participants had an associated lower incidence of coronary artery calcification, which is thought to be a predictor of future heart disease, according to a study in the December 24/31 issue of JAMA.

Risk factors for coronary artery calcification (the accumulation of calcified plaques visible by computed tomography [a method of imaging body organs]) include established heart disease risk factors such as male sex, older age, glucose intolerance, tobacco use, dyslipidemia (disorders of lipoprotein metabolism, which includes high cholesterol levels), high blood pressure, obesity, raised inflammatory markers and attaining a low educational level. Recent data suggest that sleep quantity and quality are connected to several of these risk factors. “However, some of these correlations have only been documented in studies in which sleep is measured by self-report, which may be biased or insufficiently accurate,” the authors write.

Christopher Ryan King, B.S., of the University of Chicago, and colleagues tested whether objectively measured sleep duration predicted the development of calcification over 5 years of follow-up. The study included 495 participants from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults [CARDIA] study, who were black and white men and women age 35-47 years. At the start of the study in 2000-2001, the participants had no evidence of detectable coronary calcification on computed tomography scans.

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Hospice rules may deter some African Americans

Public HealthDec 23 08

African Americans are less likely than whites to seek end-of-life hospice care—and a new study suggests that hospice admission criteria may be partially to blame.

The researchers found that compared with whites African Americans are more likely to want to continue aggressive treatment and expressed a need for more services.

The findings also suggest it might be time to redesign hospice enrollment rules, the investigators suggest.

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Experts identify gene variants linked to lung cancer

Cancer • • Lung Cancer • • GeneticsDec 23 08

Researchers in China and the United States have identified mutations of two genes which appear to make ethnic Chinese more susceptible to lung cancer, they wrote in the journal Cancer.

Their finding involves two genes, ABCB1 and ABCC1, which were previously thought to be linked to eliminating carcinogens from the lungs and protecting them against inhaled toxins.

In their study, the researchers analyzed the genes of 500 patients with lung cancer and 517 cancer-free participants in southeastern China.

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New approach successful for most eating disorders

Psychiatry / PsychologyDec 23 08

UK researchers have identified a type of treatment that can help most people with eating disorders, with lasting results.

“Now for the first time, we have a single treatment which can be effective at treating the majority of cases without the need for patients to be admitted into hospital,” lead researcher Dr. Christopher G. Fairburn of the University of Oxford commented in a press release.

“Eating disorder not specified,” in which a person has disordered eating patterns but doesn’t meet criteria for bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa, is the most common type of eating disorder, followed by bulimia nervosa, Fairburn and his team note in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Eighty percent of patients undergoing outpatient treatment for an eating disorder fit into one of these two categories, but the best treatment for patients with non-specified eating disorders has not been studied.

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Early cardiac activity predicts good IVF outcome

Fertility and pregnancy • • HeartDec 23 08

A beating fetal heart 4 weeks after in vitro fertilization (IVF) predicts successful completion of the first trimester of pregnancy.

“Early ultrasound, in the patient with no history of miscarriage, is a very good predictor of a viable pregnancy,” Dr. Peter G. McGovern from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark told Reuters Health.

McGovern and his colleagues measured fetal cardiac activity 4 weeks after IVF in 139 women undergoing fresh IVF cycles.

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CPAP improves glycemic control in diabetics

DiabetesDec 23 08

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, primarily used as a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, improves glycemic (blood sugar) control during sleep in patients who also have type 2 diabetics, according to a report in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

The average decrease in nocturnal glucose level in diabetic patients was about 20 mg/dL. “The decrease was small in those with good glycemic control and much greater in those whose control was poor,” Dr. Arthur Dawson from Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California, told Reuters Health. This finding “suggests that treating obstructive sleep apnea could have a major impact on the management of those type 2 diabetics who, for whatever reason, cannot get their glucose levels down to the optimal range.”

Obstructive sleep apnea, one of the most common types of sleep disorders, is characterized by loud snoring and the cessation of breathing during sleep due to blockage of the airways. This results in continuous arousals during the night, leading to sleep deprivation and daytime fatigue.

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