Saturday, August 6, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week 30

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. Rich Kozlovich

Cancer

Prostate cancer vaccine doesn’t get a fair shot due to reimbursement obstacles Approved in April 2010, Dendreon Corp.'s prostate cancer drug Provenge is revolutionary in that it uses the patient's own cells to stimulate the immune system to fight off the disease.

Reasons for disparity in breast cancer treatments not all black and whiteThe medical community has gradually become aware of a difference between the care that black and white women with invasive breast cancer receive.

Benefits of tamoxifen therapy hold up even 15 years laterA new follow-up study led by the Early Breast Cancer Trialists's Collaborative Group shows that treatment of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer with tamoxifen for five years reduces annual breast cancer mortality by 30 percent, compared to a placebo - and the effects have now been shown to last for at least 15 years after starting use of the drug.

Advances in colon cancer detection: A huge potential lifesaverThough it claimed the lives of more than 50,000 Americans in 2010 alone, colon cancer is actually a largely preventable disease when people adhere to the recommended screening guidelines.

Dietary issues

Adding cost to U.S. dietary guidelines is good food for thoughtFor those who wish to adhere to the new U.S. dietary guidelines, a new study published in the journal Health Affairs finds that eating the recommended amount of nutrients such as potassium, fiber, and vitamin D can add a substantial amount to the yearly grocery bill.

Fishy business, continuedIn June, the U.S. House of Representatives - caving to the demands of several colleagues from salmon-producing states - voted to prohibit the FDA from investigating the benefits and risks of allowing genetically modified Aquabounty salmon onto the market.

Kids food ads playing to a smaller audience: Ratings still poor He thought it couldn't be done, but after reading Karen Kaplan's latest article in the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Ross is now a believer that you can indeed turn lemonade into lemons.

Heart

Social networks may extend life for heart attack patientsIt turns out that, for heart attack patients, one is indeed the loneliest number.

Wiggle it — just a little bitFor those who are daunted by the current federal recommendation of 150 minutes of physical activity a week, new findings suggest that as little as 10 or 15 minutes a day could still reduce the risk of heart disease.

Rulings and Decisions

CPSIA slightly improvedPublishers and marketers of most children's books are finally being spared the headache that the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) caused U.S. manufacturers of children's products.

IOM Report says FDA should go back to the drawing broad on medical device approval process After commissioning the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a widely respected part of the National Academy of Sciences, in 2009 to examine specific procedures and regulatory pathways used to approve medical devices, the FDA may not be so pleased with their findings.

Gene patents OK, higher court rulesUpending a lower court's 2010 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled in favor of the biotechnology industry and determined that genes and DNA can indeed be patented.

Scares and Consequences

Sound science weekend reading"Where does a chemical go to get its reputation back?" an editorial in Wednesday's The Wall Street Journal asks.

Fasten your child’s car seat: It’s not toxic
Unfortunately, an alarmist report from a group called the Ecology Center may have some parents hesitating before they fasten their child into a car seat.

Tobacco

New research lights up success of e-cigarettes
As electronic cigarettes become a more popular means of quitting conventional cigarettes, studies pointing to their efficacy are accumulating.

Greater advertising of smokeless tobacco worth the investment
While the amount of money that tobacco companies spent on advertising and promotional expenditures fell by 18 percent between 2006 and 2008, nationwide advertising of smokeless tobacco products actually increased by 55 percent during the same time period, according to a new Federal Trade Commission report.

Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals

Big problems for big pharma
These days, already-hurting pharmaceutical companies are fighting a new uphill battle - obtaining insurance reimbursement for newly approved drugs.

Welcome news for low-income women seeking to avoid unintended pregnancy
How is the birth control pill like a flu shot? According to the Department of Health and Human Service's newly adopted health recommendations, prescription contraception should join the list of items that health insurers offer at no charge.

This and That

A “text”book example of a clever medical solutionMalaria has long been endemic to the country of Kenya - a fact that's not helped by the population's low compliance with treatment guidelines. But because cell phone use happens to be about as widespread as malaria, some enterprising researchers decided to take advantage of this concurrence by using text messaging to remind health workers to adhere to national malaria treatment guidelines.


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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