Friday: Health Points
- This’ll make you nervous next time the ole kneel acts up. Madeline Vann of HealthDay News reports that knee pain may signal lung cancer. Take a look:
In just under 2 percent of these patients, the mild knee arthritis was accompanied by non-small cell lung cancer. All patients were middle-aged men who had been heavy smokers for most of their lives. Once the cancer tissue was surgically removed, the knee pain cleared up as well.
About 85 percent of all lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Unless it is caught early, non-small cell lung cancer is difficult to treat. It spreads to the bones in one in five cases and is well advanced by the time it is diagnosed in half of all cases.
- Crazy CarbWire thinks a free fast food chicken sandwich and a soda is a great idea—can you hear the call of the cuckoo bird? Check it out:
Mmm mmm, this is about as easy a freebie you'll ever see and I encourage you to take advantage of it before 11:59pm on September 29, 2007. But don't wait until the last minute because only one million of these coupons will be distributed and then they are gone…
…Easy peasy and it's FREE FOOD! If you ask for the chicken to be chargrilled without the bun, then they'll give you plenty of greens to wrap it in. And the Diet Coke can be replaced with unsweetened tea if you'd like that better.
- According to Jill Daly of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, state agencies are working diligently to find the cause of the recent salmonella outbreak. Read on:
After the salmonella strain, Salmonella Schwarzengrund, was detected in two dogs in the homes of two of the ill persons, and in unopened bags of dog food produced by Mars Petcare in the Everson plant in Fayette County, the company voluntarily recalled two brands Aug. 21. The plant was closed last week for inspection and cleaning. Officials from the company could not be reached to update the plant's status.
Further investigation of the outbreak is a collaboration between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health officials in the affected states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The break in the case -- tracing human sickness to dog food -- was made by Pennsylvania investigators, led by Dr. Stephen Ostroff, director of the bureau of epidemiology at the state Health Department.
- Urban Sprouts School Gardens passes a long a story describing San Francisco’s commitment to better nutrition. Here’s more:
San Francisco's Mayor Newsom, is supporting better nutrition options at schools with a $500,000 grant to the SFUSD Student Nutrition Services (SNS). What will be done with the money? SNS is planning to install salad bars at 25 SF schools this year, including three schools with Urban Sprouts gardens: June Jordan School for Equity, Excelsior Middle School and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.
- A new study has determined that breast cancer is actually more deadly for black women. Marilynn Marchione of the Associated Press is on it:
Researchers for the first time used the National Cancer Data Base, a tumor registry maintained by the American College of Surgeons, to explore these issues, using more than 170,000 cases diagnosed in 1998. Ten percent were in black women.
The study focused on the 95,500 women whose cancers were invasive rather than still confined to a milk duct. About 39 percent of such tumors in black women were estrogen receptor-negative, or ER-negative, compared with 22 percent of those in white women.
Estrogen helps tumors grow. Drugs that block this hormone, like tamoxifen and a newer class of medications called aromatase inhibitors, work against these cancers.
- Swine flu? I’ve heard of bird flu, mad-cow disease, and SARS, but swine flu? Aetiology talks about how swine flu might be staging a comeback, in Ohio. Look:
This characterization of the 1918 pandemic virus (serotype H1N1) as "swine flu" came back to haunt us in 1976, when H1N1 caused the death of a solider at Fort Dix, New Jersey and triggered a mass vaccination campaign here in the U.S. (with its subsequent fallout). Since then, sporadic human cases of swine influenza have been reported, either clincally (such as this one in Iowa earlier this year, or subclinically, as described in this research. Now in Ohio, they're looking to see whether swine flu has again jumped into humans. More after the jump.
- Considering how fat this country is, this is an odd headline. Andrew Martin of The New York Times reports, “Store Chain’s Test Concludes That Nutrition Sells.” Read on:
After analyzing a year’s worth of sales data, Hannaford found that customers tended to buy leaner cuts of meat. Sales of ground beef with stars on their labels increased 7 percent, and sales of chicken that had a star rating rose 5 percent. Sales of ground beef labeled with no stars dropped by 5 percent, while sales of chicken that had a zero-star rating declined 3 percent.
Similarly, sales of whole milk, which received no stars, declined by 4 percent, while sales of fat-free milk (three stars) increased 1 percent.
Sales of fruits and vegetables, however, remained about the same as they did before the ratings were introduced. All fresh produce received stars.
- More great news for flaxseed! The Cancer Blog passes on new research claiming that flaxseed can reduce hot flashes. Check it out:
The frequency of hot flashes among the women decreased 50 percent over six weeks. Flaxseed contains lignans and omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans have weak estrogen characteristics. Dr. Pruthi cautions that this was a pilot study and further study in a large, randomized placebo-controlled study may not turn out such results.
- Not sure what to say about this one, but, get a load—a big load—of China’s newest pop-stars. Brace yourself. Maureen Fan of The Washington Post reports:
On stage, however, the four members of a singing group known as Qian Jin Zu He are strong and confident, belting out their signature rap song, "So What If I'm Fat," passing out photographs of themselves and signing autographs.
The lead singer, 26-year-old Xiao Yang, is 375 pounds; the others in the group are between about 200 and 300 pounds. Together, they tour the country, performing at nightclubs, paint factories, garment industry conventions and shopping malls.
Their success has been modest, but given the powerful discrimination against the obese in China, Xiao said her discovery by a talent agent has been "like a tree branch saving me in the water."
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