Sunday, June 12, 2011

American Council on Science and Health 2011: Week 22


The presence of linked articles here are merely a way of showing what is going on, whether I agree or disagree with the positions presented. I have highlighted what I think are "must read" articles with asterisks.  Rich Kozlovich

New melanoma drug illustrates shift in cancer research as treatments get personal Results from a large international phase III clinical trial conducted at 104 centers in 12 countries brings exciting news to some melanoma patients, and to medical progress as well.

***Prostate cancer treatment: Still more questions than answers How to appropriately treat early-stage prostate cancer still remains a hotbed of controversy, with various studies often suggesting conflicting recommendations.

Short-term smoking not safe either, increases risk for peripheral artery disease 
The list of reasons why no one should take up smoking is endless, and a new study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, led by Dr. Eruna Pradham, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, should provide us with yet another such disincentive.

Teenagers listen when doctors talk about smoking — but doctors have to talk! The June issue of Pediatrics confirms that physicians truly can be a significant influence on their teenage patients' attitudes toward tobacco use.

Chemicals not the culprit: Sperm counts stable, not declining Radical environmentalists have pointed to chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates as "toxins" responsible for causing obesity, cancer, and even male infertility due to decreased sperm counts.

***Meningitis vaccines save infants’ lives Haven't heard much about bacterial meningitis in the past few years?

New influenza vaccine formula not a flu-ke: Don’t skip the shot! The CDC has determined that the 2011-12 flu vaccine formula will remain the same as last season's. But that doesn't mean that folks who were vaccinated last year can skip the shot this year.

***A planet hungry for GM food Over the weekend, Justin Gillis of The New York Times published his extensive article underscoring a serious and growing global health problem: food shortages and undernourishment.

***NY Times’ slanted agenda once again refuted In yesterday's Dispatch, ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross expressed skepticism toward claims made by Justin Gillis in The New York Times that man-made climate change has already manifested in the form of decreased agricultural output. Well, Dr. Ross wasn't the only one critical of these assertions.

Don’t be a baby: Bottle after one year may only feed obesity A new study may offer parents a fat incentive to wean their children off baby bottles before they reach their first birthday.

Highest simvastatin dose unnecessary and risky Statin drugs have been notably free of serious side effects, despite being used by millions of patients since the late 1980s. However, a new FDA safety advisory announced Wednesday should result in a decreased dosage of the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin (Zocor)

***E. coli outbreak in Europe: Was it preventable? Media coverage of the disastrous E. coli outbreak in Europe has become a source of both anxiety and relief for Americans: In Germany, nearly 3,000 have fallen ill thus far - 700 with acute kidney failure - and 27 have died, but there's been no sign that this highly virulent form of E. coli has caused any illness in the U.S.

***Big news (not): Atrazine never caused cancer, and it still doesn’t  Atrazine, the herbicide most responsible for the well being of the cornfields across so much of the U.S. countryside, has once again been deemed a non-threat to human health.

***Are we now a third-world country? Can we really be running out of cancer drugs? Recent shortages of cancer medicines have brought to light an often problematic disconnect between the financial incentives of drug manufacturers and the needs of patients.

Teenagers listen when doctors talk about smoking — but doctors have to talk!
The June issue of Pediatrics confirms that physicians truly can be a significant influence on their teenage patients' attitudes toward tobacco use.

NSAIDs and heart complications revisited
Previous studies have suggested that certain pain-relieving drugs, with the exception of aspirin and acetaminophen, may increase the risk of heart attack or death from a cardiovascular event.

***Parents, have no fear: Vaccines are here (to save the day)!
A series of studies published in the journal Health Affairs offers both hopeful and discouraging news on the vaccine front.

***FDA chickens out by removing arsenic from feed
3-Nitro may sound like the name of a formidable opponent on American Gladiator, but it's actually an animal drug given to pigs and poultry to promote their growth and has been in use since 1944.

***Re autism: the fault is in our genes, perhaps
A series of studies published in the journal Neuron find that genetic mutations may be the underlying cause of a major portion of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

You gotta protect your eyes!
While we should all be spreading on the sun block to protect our skin against harmful ultraviolet (UV) light this summer, it's easy to forget about this equally vulnerable organ when you're out in the sun: your eyes!

If there is a health scare today, the American Council on Science and Health will most likely have the answer by tomorrow; and for members it will appear in your e-mail. No effort on your part, except to read the answer. All that the ACSH is interested in are the facts and they are prepared to follow them wherever they lead. Who can ask for more?  Please Donate Now!


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