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Diabetes and Cancer Linked – Biomedical Scientists

Cancer • • DiabetesApr 28 10

A team of biomedical scientists based have linked diabetes with cancer in women.

They suggest that female patients with type 2 diabetes have up to a 25 per cent increased risk of developing cancer than those without the condition, the Daily Mail reports.

According to NHS figures, around 2.3 million people have diabetes in the UK and there are at least half a million more who suffer from it and are not aware.

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Use and Costs of Diagnostic Imaging Increasing for Patients With Cancer

CancerApr 28 10

From 1999 through 2006 the use of diagnostic imaging for Medicare patients with cancer increased, with use of positron emission tomography (PET) increasing the most significantly, according to a study in the April 28 issue of JAMA. Imaging costs for these patients also increased, outpacing the rate of increase in total costs among Medicare beneficiaries with cancer.

Cancer-related expenditures are expected to increase faster than any other area of health care. “Emerging technologies, changing diagnostic and treatment patterns, and changes in Medicare reimbursement are contributing to increasing use of imaging in cancer,” the authors write. “The types and costs of imaging, including costly new imaging modalities, among Medicare beneficiaries with cancer have not been examined previously.”

Michaela A. Dinan, B.S., of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined changes in the use and costs of imaging and how these changes have influenced the cost of cancer care. The study included an analysis of a nationally representative 5 percent sample of claims from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. From 1999 through 2006, there were 100,954 new cases of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, leu¬kemia, lung cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and prostate cancer.

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Australia seeks plain packaging for tobacco products

Public Health • • Tobacco & MarijuanaApr 28 10

Australia will force tobacco companies to adopt plain packaging, removing all colour and branding logos within two years, in a world-first move aimed at reducing smoking-related deaths, government sources said.

Laws to be in force by January 2012 will prohibit tobacco companies from using any tobacco industry images and promotional text, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, the centre-left government will announce later on Wednesday.

The government believed the move, expected to be confirmed by Health Minister Nicola Roxon, would reduce the attractiveness of tobacco packaging and its potential to mislead particularly young people.

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Body’s own “heat messenger” offers new painkiller

PainApr 28 10

Researchers have discovered the body’s own “heat messenger,” which helps nerves feel pain, and said on Monday they hope to use it to design a new, safer class of painkillers.

They found heat activates basic fatty acids similar to capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, and found two potential ways to block the sensation.

“For the first time we have the opportunity to try to block pain at its source,” Dr. Kenneth Hargreaves of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

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Citing Obesity of Children, County Bans Fast-Food Toys

Children's Health • • ObesityApr 28 10

It was not a happy day for the Happy Meal.

In what it described as a blow against the fattening temptations of fast food, the board of supervisors in Santa Clara County, south of San Francisco, voted Tuesday to ban the promotional toys that often accompany child-size portions of cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets if those meals don’t meet certain nutritional standards.

The criteria, which are based on federal standards and recommendations from the nonprofit Institute of Medicine, would apply to all fast-food restaurants giving away toys in meals in-tended for children. Ken Yeager, the board president, said the new law would level “the playing field by taking away the incentive to choose fatty, sugary foods over healthier options.”

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Campaigns do little to combat obesity

ObesityApr 28 10

When I was a teenager, I was walking down the street and a man hollered out of his car window, “When you wear red, people call you Kool-Aid!”

As amusing as it may be to compare a person to a man-sized pitcher of sugar water, at the time, I felt ugly.

I have always been “fat,” but I have never been unhealthy.

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