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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Reassuring news on cancer risk from IVF drugs – study

Paris (AFP) – A long-term study of women who used ovary-stimulating hormones for fertility treatment found no widespread evidence of a higher cancer risk, researchers said on Monday.

The results appear to contradict a number of studies in recent years that suggested such treatments may increase the risk of the disease.

Doctors have a choice of several hormone drugs to stimulate ovaries to produce eggs harvested for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

The forerunner, clomiphene, was gradually supplanted in the 1980s by two other groups — human menopausal gonadotrophins and follicle stimulating hormone.

In recent years, some studies raised safety questions as the drugs boost levels of the female hormones estradiol and progesterone, which are thought to play a role in breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.

But the new study found “little evidence” of a higher risk linked to hormone treatment, its authors said.

Humberto Scoccia from the University of Illinois at Chicago, who took part in the study, said the long-term picture was “generally reassuring.”

The data comes from a 30-year monitoring of nearly 10,000 women treated for infertility at five US clinics from 1965 to 1988.

During this period, doctors diagnosed 749 cases of breast cancer, 119 of uterine cancer and 85 of ovarian cancer among the group.

The probe did find an increased risk of breast cancer, but not of other types, among a sub-group of women who had used clomiphene intensively — in 12 or more treatment cycles.

There was no increased risk among those who took gonadotrophins except in a sub-group of women who remained childless after […]

By |June 30th, 2014|blogs|0 Comments

FDA approves inhalable diabetes drug Afrezza

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a long-delayed inhalable diabetes medication to help patients control their blood sugar levels during meals.

The FDA cleared MannKind Corp.’s Afrezza, a fast-acting form of insulin, for adults with the most common form of diabetes, which affects more than 25 million Americans. The approval decision comes more than three years after the agency first asked MannKind to run additional clinical studies on the drug.

Demand for diabetes treatments is surging globally as the prevalence of obesity explodes. According to the World Health Organization, roughly 347 million people worldwide have the disease, a chronic condition in which the body either does not make enough insulin to break down the sugar in foods or uses insulin inefficiently. It can lead to blindness, strokes, heart disease or death. In type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, the body does not use insulin properly. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In those cases, the body does not produce insulin.

Afrezza, an insulin powder, comes in a single-use cartridge and is designed to be inhaled at the start of a meal or within 20 minutes. MannKind has said that patients using the drug can achieve peak insulin levels within 12 to 15 minutes. That compares to a wait time of an hour and a half or more after patients inject insulin.

The FDA said in its approval announcement that Afrezza is not a substitute for long-acting insulin and is a new […]

By |June 28th, 2014|blogs|0 Comments

Canola oil-enriched diet may benefit people with diabetes

By Krystnell Storr

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Switching to a diet low in simple sugars and high in healthy fats, like the types found in canola oil, could help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar, according to a new study.

People with type 2 diabetes who were advised to follow a diet with a low glycemic index supplemented with extra canola oil had lower blood glucose levels and greater reductions in heart risk than those who ate a diet high in whole grains, researchers found.

“We know that olive oil has a good pedigree among clinicians but canola oil has a good pedigree too,” lead author Dr. David Jenkins, from the University of Toronto, told Reuters Health.

Canola oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid also found in walnuts, as well as monounsaturated fatty acids, which are also in avocados and olives.

A food’s glycemic index refers to how quickly it causes blood sugar to rise. Starchy foods like white bread and potatoes are considered to be high glycemic index foods because they can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Low glycemic index foods, such as lentils, soybeans, yogurt and many high-fiber grains, create a more gradual increase in blood sugar.

Sugar builds up in the blood of people with type 2 diabetes because it can’t be absorbed by cells, ultimately increasing the risk of other health problems such as heart disease.

“We thought using canola oil might be a […]

By |June 28th, 2014|blogs|0 Comments

Woman Documents Changing Appearance After Cancer Treatment With a Selfie a Day

Laura Price never thought she would shed her shoulder-length hair until she realized she was likely going to lose her hair to chemotherapy treatments.

In 2012 Price, at age 29, was diagnosed with breast cancer. As she prepared to start chemotherapy treatments she decided she would get rid of most of her hair in favor of a short pixie cut before the drugs kicked in.

“I never would have got this haircut or dared to cut it,” said Price now 31. “This haircut suits me more.”

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Price still lost her hair, including her eyebrows and lashes, but said cutting her hair ahead of time helped prepare her. As she went through treatment Price documented her changing appearance by taking a single selfie every day and using an app to make sure she could see just how much hair was growing back. While she sometimes wore wigs or hats when she went out, in the selfies she shows what was going on underneath her head covering.

She also started a blog to keep friends and family updated on her condition. However, her blog got such a strong response she eventually made it public and then began blogging for the Huffington Post U.K. about her experiences being treated for cancer as a young woman.

Now nearly two years out of treatment, Price is healthy with her hair back in […]

By |June 28th, 2014|blogs|0 Comments

Breast cancer warning from blood test

London (AFP) – Women with a predisposition to breast cancer could be warned of developing symptoms by a simple blood test even if they do not inherit genes associated with disease, scientists said on Friday.

Research has identified a molecular “switch” in blood samples that makes a woman vulnerable to breast cancer.

The marker is linked to the BRCA1 breast cancer gene but was also present in those who did not have the mutation and later developed the disease.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants are responsible for 10 percent of breast cancers and are inherited from parents.

A woman with the BRCA1 gene has an 85 percent risk of developing breast cancer, resulting sometimes in the drastic step of breast removal.

This leaves around 90 percent of breast cancer cases unexplained with no credible way of predicting the likelihood of non-inherited breast cancer.

Scientists claim that the “switch” is part of the process by which certain molecules acting on DNA cause genes to be activated or deactivated.

“We identified an epigenetic signature in women with a mutated BRCA1 gene […]

By |June 27th, 2014|blogs|0 Comments