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Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

New Links Between Virus That Causes Leukemia in Animals and Prostate Cancer

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Acute_leukemia-ALLAccording to U.S. researchers a virus that has been found to cause leukemia and tumors in animals may play a part in prostate cancer in humans. Xenotropic murin leukemia virus related virus (also known as XMRV) was found in about 27% of prostate cancer cases( 233 active cases and 101 benign controls were studied), especially those with particularly aggressive tumors. It’s hoped that these findings could help with the development of a new vaccine or more effective treatment method based on the link.

Viruses like HPV have been found to cause certain cancers in recent years, making it possible for drug makers to develop vaccines to inoculate against the virus and thus prevent cancer.   If these findings prove to be true it could help vaccines and preventative medicines to reduce and in time perhaps eliminate some forms of cancer.

Prostate cancer kills 254,000 men a year and is the second most deadly form of cancer in men worldwide.

XMRV is a retrovirus which means that it introduces it’s genetic map into the framework of any cells it contaminates. This in turn either kills or makes the cell cancerous. If the way it infects the human body can be found and prevented some forms of prostate cancer could be averted.

Early Disease Detection

Test Your Heart Health At Home

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CholesterolDo you know that you can buy an at home test that will enable you to keep tabs on your heart health? There are products on the market that allow you to test your cholesterol levels, something that is very important when it comes to heart health, right at home.

You can keep tabs on your cholesterol so that you do not have it running out of control. This can end up causing a problem when it comes to the heart as high cholesterol is one of the precursors to heart disease. By keeping track of your cholesterol with a home cholesterol  test, you can toss away some fears that you may have about your heart health.

You can also make sure that you are the first to know if your cholesterol rises over 200, the number that distinguishes the border between high cholesterol and normal cholesterol levels. This simple at home test can be used for a healthy heart assessment.

Early Disease Detection

How Accurate Are At Home Cancer Testing Kits?

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cancerYou probably have heard that there are at home testing kits that can test for cancer. These kits test for prostate cancer, a common cancer in older men.  At home testing kits can signal that there is something wrong with the PSA levels in the urine which can be a precursor to prostate cancer. The at home test kits do not diagnose cancer nor do elevated levels of PSA mean that you have cancer.

Many men who are concerned with their prostate health prefer to test their PSA levels at home, especially if they are on medication for prostate health. Because elevated PSA levels are common in older men and are often controlled with medication, many men seek to see if the medication is working to control the levels by using at home prostate cancer testing kits.

At home prostate cancer tests are made to help those who are concerned with prostate health and only measure PSA levels. They are not meant as a way to diagnose cancer. As prostate cancer is very treatable when caught early, testing PSA levels at home can help some men catch a problem before it becomes a life threatening disease.

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness Pregnancy & Fertility

Accurate Endometriosis Diagnosis Possible with Less Invasive Testing

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Laparoscopic testing has long been used to test for endometriosis, but a new less invasive and nonsurgical test has been proven to be just as effective. If the method is approved by the FDA after further study into its effectiveness it may in fact replace laparoscopy. This could be good news for women facing endometriosis as the sooner the disorder is diagnosed the sooner treatment can begin. Normally it takes about 6-10 years to verify if the disorder is present in sufferers, delaying treatment and allowing the effects of the disorder to take root, deteriorating quality of life.

There are some negative aspects to this method however as women who are receiving hormone treatment can’t use it since the endometrial tissue fibers the test looks for may not be present in those who have been using hormones. Biopsy technique is also terribly important to getting the correct results in the method. Overall however the testing could help many women to diagnose and treat the disorder before it can begin to do damage to the body by progressing.

Substance Abuse

Treatment Resistant Addicts May Find New Hope in Medical Heroin

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A Canadian study’s findings may offer new hope to treatment resistant heroin addicts. According to this research long-term users who were treated with medical heroin were better able to stick to the treatment than those who relied on methadone. Rates of illegal drug use and criminal activity also decreased among the participants who had previously failed treatment programs. Offering these users who are often considered untreatable a new hop in medical heroin also offers them a better chance at survival as along with better access to doctors and nurses who can treat them they are also evading the HIV and overdose risks they face with street heroin. This benefit also stretches to the community as the costs of treating a patient with medical heroin are much cheaper than those incurred by standard methadone treatment.

About 15-25% of heroin users don’t respond well to methadone causing them to drop treatment before it’s really begun. The number of users who stayed with treatment using medical heroin was 88% versus the much smaller 54% of those using methadone. Criminal activities also shower a large difference, with methadone users’ rate of activities reducing by 48% and medical heroin users reducing by 67%. Although the drug is unlikely to be approved in the U.S, hydromorphone, a drug that produces similar results, is already in use.

Celebrity Substance Abuse Drug Testing

NASCAR Drug Testing Still Has Driver Support Despite Concerns

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The recent decision to conduct drug testing among NASCAR drivers has stirred a bit of controversy and caused issues for drivers like Jeremy Mayfield who tested positive in the first run of tests. However, the overall opinion of drivers is still in favor of drug testing because it reduces the risk of unnecessary accidents on the track. The randomization and the ability to ask questions about the process are cited as the chief reasons it’s more accurate and fair for the drivers involved.

Mayfield’s accusations of inaccuracy or conspiracy in relation to his own testing are refuted not only by the testing company used by NASCAR but the drivers who’ve experienced the tests themselves. Prescription drugs are asked about before the drug testing is conducted to reduce the risk of a false positive as is standard in most drug testing programs. Though the idea of a secondary lab drug testing company have been suggested as a way to verify the results nothing has been done in that direction as yet.

One issue that seems to need a second glance is the need for some sort of appeals process. The lack of it is affecting Mayfield, who having gotten two positives for methamphetamine use, is required to complete a rehabilitation program to end his indefinite suspension from driving. In the event of a false positive a driver could be suspended without actually abusing drugs, a problem that could certainly cause issues should it arise.

Health & Wellness Uncategorized

Pfizer Finalizes Another Lawsuit Over Their Products

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Pfizer was sued by the Nigerian state of Kano for an incident related to a clinical trial conducted there in 1996 which is said to have left 11 children dead and another 181 incapacitated. The state made their claim in 2007 based on allegations that the group gave 200 Nigerian children meningitis medication which included 100 of those children being the then experimental antibiotic Trovan, without approval of the Nigerian government or the legal guardians of the children.  The claim demanded $2.7 billion in damages for the incident which the company consistently denied and claimed resulted in only beneficial results. The company is however expected to be paying 75 million to settle the claim.

This is hardly the first time Pfizer has dealt with such claims. Drugs like Bextra, Celebrex, and Vioxx have all been recalled for causing problems and even death in patients who’ve taken the drug. Perhaps this will lead to an evaluation of the company’s products and methods of research?

Health & Wellness

Obama’s Health Plan: What the Skeptics Aren’t Telling You

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You’ve probably heard a lot about Obama’s Health reform goals over the last several months from the campaign he ran for presidency to the more current debate over its effectiveness. There’s a lot of information to absorb going over these changes and it’s easy to rely on the news to tell us just what these changes will be, but the fact of the matter is that you’re hearing more flack than truth.

Changes Obama’s Plan Will Make:

  • No discrimination for patients with pre-existing health problems.
  • Extensions for coverage on young adults.
  • No huge out of pocket costs, co-pays or deductibles.
  • No cost sharing for preventative care.
  • Protection from being dropped when you get seriously ill.
  • Guaranteed renewable coverage while premium payments are met.
  • No caps on lifetime or annual coverage.
  • Allow you guaranteed Coverage at the doctor you want.
  • Preventing families from going bankrupt due to medical bills.
  • Make it easier to get health coverage at work even in small businesses.

These aren’t small steps. They’re clear goals that will help to improve the health of our nation. So why is Obama’s Health Plan getting flack? Why is it being represented as bad for business and bad for the people it hopes to help? Health care costs are anticipated to double over the next few years, more and more are losing their insurance coverage because they can’t afford it. The government has long been against changing programs in a direction that doesn’t benefit it financially. Insurance companies are a source of that income and don’t want to lose a chunk of their profit. What better way to kill a plan than to make it look like something it’s not?

Early Disease Detection

Using Home Testing Supplies For Diabetes

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diabetes test kitDiabetics are notoriously non-compliant when it comes to taking their medication and keeping track of their blood sugar levels. Home testing kits make it easier than ever for those who may be on the brink of Type II diabetes or those who already have this disease to keep track of their blood sugar levels.

There are monitors that can not only test the blood sugar levels, but also keep track of the readings. This is important information for any diabetic and should be revealed at the doctor’s office. Regular doctor visits with a history of readings is essential for anyone who has diabetes. This way, the doctor can make sure that the medication is working to keep the diabetes under control. If controlled properly through diligent diabetes home testing methods, people who have it can control their condition with drug therapy instead of resorting to insulin.

There are some home testing kits that include everything that is needed for blood glucose level testing. These include the meter as well as the sampling devices. Newer kits do not require you to prick your fingers to test your blood glucose levels.

Diabetics should look for home testing supplies that are easy for them to use and understand. By using home testing products to treat the condition of diabetes, someone with this disease can live a longer and more productive life.

Substance Abuse

Marijuana and Meth Use by Teens Declining

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We have always received bad news from studies that it has become hard to see the silver lining. But for a change, the Associated Press reports that a study is now saying that parents and anti-drug advocates may be getting through to America’s youth.

The study is set to be released today and was sponsored by The Partnership for a Drug-Free America. President and Chief Executive Steve Pasierb says further that one factor for the decline may be due to the proactive effort of parents to reach out to their kids, and their children’s positive response to their efforts. Kids nowadays, it seems, are more willing to listen and heed their elder’s advice, especially the girls.

anti-dope imageA five-percent increase was noticed in the number of teens who indicated that they were “learning a lot” from their parents. The annual survey logged the percentage of these teens at 37%; last year’s figure was 32%. While it may not appear to be much, this is actually the highest it has been in 15 years. Over the past 20 years, the noticeable trend is that teenagers who say that they learn about the consequences of substance abuse at home are half as likely to use drugs versus kids who don’t get advice at home.

And if that figure is increasing, there are figures that are declining, but in a positive way — the percentage of marijuana and meth use.

The most widely abused substance among teens is marijuana, and this year, the number of teenagers who admit to having used the drug at least once in their lifetime went down to 33% last year from 37% in 2005. The percentage of methamphetamine use decreased to 6% from 8%. Figures for teen use of pot in the past month saw a decrease of 30% since 1998.

According to the study, parents usually discuss marijuana and meth the most at home, followed by cocaine, crack and heroin. The least discussed substances that are abused are prescription drugs like Vicodin. The rate of teen abuse for prescription drug has not decreased since 2005.