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Running – Even a Little — Helps You Live Longer

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Even a little running on a regular basis can extend your life, Australian researchers say.

They analyzed 14 studies that included more than 232,000 people whose health was tracked for between 5.5 and 35 years. During the study periods, nearly 26,000 participants died.

The collective data showed that any amount of running was associated with a 30% lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 23% lower risk of death from cancer.

Even as little as 50 minutes of running once a week at a pace slower than 6 mph appeared to be protective, according to the authors of the study published online Nov. 4 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

They said that makes running a good option for people who say they are too busy to exercise.

The reasons running is associated with a reduced risk of premature death are unclear, and the study doesn’t establish cause and effect, said lead researcher Zeljko Pediscic. He’s an associate professor of public health at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.

His team also noted that the number of studies analyzed was small and considerable variation in their methods may have influenced the results.

Even so, any amount of running is better than none, the authors suggested.

“Increased rates of participation in running, regardless of its dose, would probably lead to substantial improvements in population health and longevity,” they concluded in a journal news release.

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Sources

SOURCE:British Journal of Sports Medicine, news release, Nov. 4, 2019

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Playing More Than One Sport Helps Teen Athletes Avoid Injuries: Study

SATURDAY, Nov. 2, 2019 — Teen girls who play several sports have a lower injury risk than those who focus on just one, a new study finds.

It included more than 1,100 girls who play basketball, soccer and volleyball. Most were middle and high school students; some were in college.

Girls who specialize too early in sports such as basketball, soccer and volleyball could find that a single-minded focus “may hinder motor development and lead to compromised hip and knee coordination during dynamic landing and jumping activities, which can lead to increased chance of potentially life-altering injuries,” said lead author Christopher DiCesare. He’s a biomechanist in the Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio.

The study also found that girls who focused on a single sport had a higher rate of hip and knee injuries and an increased risk of knee pain.

Researchers said playing multiple sports may improve girls’ coordination, and that those who specialize may not fully develop neuromuscular coordination patterns that can reduce the risk of injury.

Due to uneven growth in bone mineral and muscular and connective tissue strength before and during puberty, young athletes may be less able than older ones to handle the physical stresses associated with focusing on one sport, the study published Oct. 23 in the Journal of Athletic Training concluded.

“By understanding the influence that sport specialization has on coordination and the potential for injuries, there is the potential to make better decisions of when it may be appropriate to safely specialize in a sport,” DiCesare said in a journal news release.

More than 30 million young people participate in individual or team sports, and an increasing emphasis on the success has pushed many to specialize.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on sports.

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Posted: November 2019

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Beating Opioid Addiction Can Be Tough, Here’s What Helps

THURSDAY, Sept. 26, 2019 — A constant barrage of news on America’s opioid epidemic stokes feelings of hopelessness, and with good reason: Every day, more than 130 people are dying from overdoses, according to government statistics.

But amid the harrowing stories, there’s some good news: It is possible to recover from an opioid addiction.

That’s the primary message from a study published recently in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, in which an estimated 1.2 million American adults reported recovering from an opioid addiction.

While the research demonstrated that an opioid problem can be overcome, it also showed that the road to recovery is likely to be long and challenging. It will also require more resources than it takes to kick an alcohol problem.

“It can take up to five years of continuous remission before the risk of symptoms drops to levels seen in the general population,” said study lead author Lauren Hoffman, a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Recovery Research Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Using data from the 2017 National Recovery Survey, Hoffman and her team analyzed treatment and recovery services used by U.S. adults who had resolved opioid problems compared to those who had overcome an alcohol problem. Results showed stark differences between the two groups’ recovery route.

By mid-recovery (between one and five years), individuals who had resolved an opioid problem were four times more likely to have used pharmacotherapies (drugs to prevent cravings or relapse such as methadone or buprenorphine), two-and-a-half times more likely to use formal addiction treatment (such as cognitive behavioral therapy), and around two times more likely to use recovery support services and mutual help organizations than adults in mid-recovery from an alcohol problem.

Mid-recovery, adults recovering from opioid abuse also were more likely than those battling alcohol issues to report low self-esteem. During early recovery, the groups didn’t exhibit these differences.

The study “implies that perhaps those who have an opioid problem might need to utilize more services or utilize services for a longer period of time to maintain recovery and achieve recovery durations beyond one year,” Hoffman observed.

The findings don’t come as a surprise to some addiction experts.

“Once you are dependent on opioids, you are more likely to fall into the category of having a more severe problem,” said Frederick Muench, president of the Center on Addiction.

The study, he said, reinforces the need to incentivize recovery supports over long periods of time. This isn’t something the U.S. treatment system historically has advocated for, explained Muench. “Ongoing support isn’t necessarily covered by insurance,” he said.

Treatment services’ prohibitive costs and scarcity, especially in rural areas, have long been blamed as the primary obstacles standing in the way of recovery from opioid dependence. But Muench points to some positive trends. Notably, they include recent federal funding increases allocated to medication treatment for drug recovery, as well as recognition by the medical community of addiction medicine as an official subspecialty of preventive medicine.

As policymakers become more aware of the need to adequately address opioid use, the stigma that opioid users feel may simultaneously decline. That would be another step in the right direction for recovery, experts believe.

“Individuals with opioid use disorder are less likely to disclose their recovery status,” said Hoffman. Unlike alcohol use, which is more widely accepted, she sees the shroud of secrecy and stigma surrounding the use of opioids as detrimental, making countless individuals afraid to reach out for help. Knowing that there is hope for opioid users may spur them to seek outside assistance, she added.

For these reasons, professionals in the addiction field applauded Hoffman and her team for addressing recovery as part of their research.

“We mostly focus on the mortality of opioid users. Of course, it’s devastating. But we need to pay attention to the fact that people can recover,” said Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The new research may have put opioid recovery on the map. But for Hoffman, it spurs new inquiries.

“Recovery doesn’t look the same for everyone. It’s going to vary by substance, at the very least,” she suggested. “Those who suffer from an opioid problem might need prolonged clinical care or additional recovery support to maintain recovery in the long term.”

More information

There’s more on fighting drug addiction at the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Plant-Based Diet Helps Keep Diabetes at Bay

THURSDAY, July 25, 2019 — Turns out that the old adage — an apple a day keeps the doctor away — may actually be true. New research suggests that the more plant foods you eat, the lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

People who ate a mostly plant-based diet reduced their risk of diabetes by 23%, the study found.

The association was even stronger — a 30% drop in risk of type 2 diabetes — for people who ate healthy plant-based foods, including veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts and whole grains. These foods contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients.

So, what isn’t an especially healthy plant food? Processed foods and foods with added sugar. Think foods like white bread, white pasta, breakfast cereal, chips or cookies. The researchers also didn’t include starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, in their healthy-choices list.

“A plant-based diet is very healthful in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes,” said the review’s senior author, Dr. Qi Sun. He’s an associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

And the more healthy plant foods, the better, Sun said. But “you should be picky about what types of foods you count as plant-based,” he added.

Sun also explained that a diet doesn’t have to be strictly vegan or vegetarian to be healthy. He said it’s a good idea to minimize animal protein, but choices like fish, chicken and yogurt can still be part of a healthful diet.

The study didn’t spell out exactly why a mainly plant-based diet appeared to lower type 2 diabetes risk. The researchers controlled the data to account for weight, but Sun said people who eat more plant-based foods may maintain a healthier weight, leading to a lower diabetes risk.

He said it’s also possible that beneficial compounds, like antioxidants and beneficial plant oils, might help promote insulin sensitivity or reduce inflammation. If you’re eating more plant foods, you’re probably eating fewer animal products. And that reduces the amount of potentially harmful substances you consume, such as cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium.

The review included nine nutrition studies published between 2008 and 2018. These studies included more than 300,000 people, nearly 24,000 of whom had type 2 diabetes.

The researchers analyzed the nutrition information provided by study volunteers.

While the investigators found a link between plant-based foods and lower odds of diabetes, the authors noted that the study wasn’t designed to find a definitive cause-and-effect link.

Still, registered dietician and diabetes educator Maudene Nelson from Columbia Health in New York City wasn’t surprised by the findings.

“I love the thought of people eating more veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes. But when people hear they should eat a mostly plant-based diet, they imagine that as eating a big head of broccoli,” she said.

And, while you certainly can eat as much broccoli as you like, Nelson said a healthy, mostly plant-based diet can include lots of appealing options — a simple one is apples and peanut butter. Her favorite is a vegetable-filled gumbo. A kebob with more veggies than meat also fits the bill.

“It’s not just what you eat, but also how much,” Nelson added. So forgoing sausage for dinner can be a healthy choice, but if you then consume half a chicken instead, you’ll lose those benefits. When it comes to protein sources, she recommended eating no more than six ounces a day. That’s about the size of two decks of playing cards.

Sun suggested considering red meat or processed meats such as bacon or cold cuts as an occasional treat. He recommended limiting them to no more than one serving a week.

The study findings were published online July 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

More information

Learn more about preventing type 2 diabetes from the American Diabetes Association.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

How CBD Hemp Oil Helps Your Body Regain Balance

In case you haven’t noticed, CBD products are taking this country by storm. More and more people are learning about the valuable characteristics of the hemp plant and the many cannabinoids which make this plant so popular within the alternative wellness community. 

Buying straight from the shelf is outdated, chemicals are out and natural organics are in and CBD hemp oil is paving the way for this new lifestyle into homes all across the country. If you’re still on the fence about CBD oil and the validity it can bring your daily wellness routine, we want to share some facts with you that could change your mind about this product and help you begin a healthy regimen of this popular hemp plant ingredient.

CBD Oil Activates Your Endocannabinoids

As discussed in the CBD isolate vs Full Spectrum article, you understand there are certain upsides to using hemp oil on a regular basis. One of the positive outcomes of this plant is what the author mentioned as the “Entourage Effect”. This effect explains the entire CBD oil product as a whole because it describes the end result of the full spectrum product of the hemp plant. 

Once the hemp plant undergoes the extraction process, the plant oil contains all of the natural ingredients and compounds which are found in the hemp plant. That’s over 80 cannabinoids and terpenes working together to form this “entourage” in your body. This group of natural characteristics work together to create a healthy alternative lifestyle in the CBD hemp oil user through the marriage of an important activation in the human body called the endocannabinoid system.

The ingredients and compounds inside the hemp plant are what scientists call “phytocannabinoids” and the study of their chemical effect on the body revealed several webs of receptors throughout the human body called “endocannabinoids”. Endocannabinoids are the human body’s own form of cannabinoids. When the phytocannabinoids of the CBD hemp plant begin to interact with the endocannabinoids of the human body a magical symphony starts to take place, and it is music the human body is made to listen to.

One of the most interesting things about this Endocannabinoid System is the multiple receptors it has throughout the bodies neurological pathways and the other various pathways in the gut. The endocannabinoids (eCBs) are the transportation agents of the endocannabinoid system and are produced throughout the body which communicate with these receptor agents. The entourage effect is essential to helping the endocannabinoid system create the best atmosphere inside the human body to give the user a delightful experience and boost their alternative wellness as well.

There are two important eCBs drifting throughout your body, one of which is called anandamide which is a Sanskrit word meaning “joy” or “bliss”, also known as the “Bliss Molecule” by scientists. Anandamide can be interpreted without having to understand too much about what it does, a bliss molecule definitely doesn’t mean angry, and it has often been associated with a runner’s high feeling as well. The other important eCBs is called 2-AG and is responsible for our emotional state of mind and helps maintain cardio health. 

CBD Supports a Healthy ECS

While these eCBs are very important messenger traits of our ECS, the CB1 and CB2 receptors are just as important in maintaining a healthy ECS within our body. In order to maintain this healthy balance, it is crucial to understand the ingredients inside your CBD hemp oil and how it can help you stay on track. 

Not only does hemp oil produce valuable ingredients like CBD (cannabidiol), but it also produces other treasures such as CBN. CBN, or Cannabinol, could resemble CBD to the layperson, but doctors and scientists understand this powerful compound also works well to maintain a healthy structure inside. 

Compounds like CBC, which are said to not only bind to the CB receptors but also other receptors in the body as well, and THCa, also called Delta 9 and the non-psychoactive characteristic in THC has valuable properties. All of these ingredients work together to pull a more balanced state and it happens because of the entourage effect which is made available with products like full spectrum hemp oil. 

Newbies: Is Your CBD Oil Not Working?

Participating with CBD oil means you are playing the long game with your body, which is smart. If you are new to CBD oil and have taken it religiously for a week, but have yet to experience any of these positive outcomes, don’t worry. Scientists agree that when you experience CBD on a consistent basis (sublingually more than orally), it could take anywhere from 4 – 6 weeks before your body begins to re-establish that balance you are looking for. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as you already know, which means stay loyal to your CBD regimen. You too will begin to see the value in activating your body just like millions of others have.

In Conclusion

People who are interested in establishing a balanced lifestyle and a more holistic outlook to their daily routine should look no further than CBD hemp oil. The characteristics in this product alone are enough to help your body regain the harmony it needs to correspond with natural ingredients more positively. Our body was made to be symbiotic with plants and other natural resources. We have it in our genetic makeup to receive CBD oil effectively, why more people are not discovering this about their body is appalling. You be the change you want to see in your own wellness. CBD hemp oil is a great way to start.

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

More Evidence That Socializing Helps Protect the Aging Brain

MONDAY, July 15, 2019 — Join a book club, take a cruise or just visit friends — new research supports the notion that social activities help stave off mental decline as you age.

The study found that seniors with high levels of an Alzheimer’s-linked protein in their brains were able to slow any mental decline if they got out and socialized regularly.

So, “social engagement may be an important marker of resilience” in older adults at risk of dementia, said senior author Dr. Nancy Donovan. She’s chief of geriatric psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

In the study, researchers tracked data on 217 men and women aged 63 to 89. These seniors were all taking part in the Harvard Aging Brain Study, a trial aimed at identifying early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Participants started the study with no evidence of mental decline, but some had high levels of amyloid beta protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s that can be detected in brain scans.

The researchers assessed seniors’ levels of social engagement (such as spending time with friends and family, and doing volunteer work) and their mental (cognitive) function at the start of the study and again three years later.

Among seniors with high levels of amyloid beta, those with lower levels of social engagement at the start had greater mental decline after three years than those who were socially active, the findings showed.

This association was not seen among people with low levels of amyloid beta, according to the study, which was recently published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

“Social engagement and cognitive function are related to one another and appear to decline together,” Donovan said in a hospital news release.

Her team believes longer studies might add more insight into mental decline over time as well as Alzheimer’s progression.

“We want to understand the breadth of this issue in older people and how to intervene to protect high-risk individuals and preserve their health and well-being,” Donovan explained.

This study relied on a standard measure of social engagement that didn’t assess all the subtle effects of digital communication or all the impacts of relationships, the researchers noted.

A more comprehensive assessment could be valuable in future clinical trials of Alzheimer’s disease, the authors added.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about Alzheimer’s disease.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Mary Blair ‘It’s a Small World’ Piece Helps Heritage to Record $2M Auction

Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas has reported a big winning bid for the castle façade concept art for the “It’s a Small World” Disneyland attraction. Setting the all-time record for the house’s highest grossing Animation Art auction, the sale surpassed $ 2 million over the June 15-16 event.

The painting 1964 by legendary artist Mary Blair secured a $ 66,000 winning bid against a $ 10,000 estimate. This sum also set a new world artist auction record for Blair’s work, surpassing the $ 60,000 record set by Heritage in 2018.

An important group of rare art from Lady and Tramp also proved popular in an auction successfully featuring art from every major animation studio, including Hanna-Barbera Productions, Warner Bros., artwork by the legendary Bill Melendez, MGM and more, with strong sale results across the board.

“This $ 2+ million sale puts us firmly at the top of Animation Art auctions,” said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation at Heritage. “We work all year long to bring collectors the very best lots.”

Among Blair’s most iconic artwork, generating top bids this sale was a Cinderella Coach and Castle Concept/Color Key Painting, completed in 1950, which sold for $ 38,400. An Alice and Flowers Concept Painting for Alice in Wonderland sold for $ 31,200, a surfers concept painting for “It’s a Small World” ended at $ 28,800, and paintings for key scenes in the 1950 film Cinderella and a serene concept painting for the feature film So Dear to My Heart sold for $ 22,800 and $ 21,600, respectively.

Additional concept paintings for Disney classics commanding big price tags included Gustaf Tenggren’s painting for Bambi, sold for $ 31,200, and an Eyvind Earle painting for Sleeping Beauty, featuring a beautiful Princess Aurora, sold for $ 24,000.

Hand-painted cels from fan favorite productions brought several bids:

  • A production/color model cels and key master pan background for 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sold for $ 32,400.
  • Cels from beloved Peanuts holiday programs generated multiple bids as a pair of 1965 production cels from A Charlie Brown Christmas, by master animator Bill Melendez, sold for $ 18,600.
  • Two highly desirable production cels featuring Snoopy depicted as the WWI Red Baron flying ace from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown sold for $ 16,800.
  • A 1933 production cel and key master background for the iconic Mickey Mouse film The Mad Doctor sold for $ 14,400.
  • Winsor McCay’s 1914 animation drawing of Gertie the dinosaur, an important piece of inked production artwork from the early landmark animated short, sold for $ 13,200.

Additional highlights from the auction include, but are not limited to:

  • An embellished portrait print of the for “Quicksand” Stretching Room from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion sold for $ 28,800.
  • A poster for Disneyland’s “Santa Fe Railroad” park attraction from 1958 ended at $ 15,000.
  • A circa 1960s original maquette used to design the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean attraction brought $ 11,400.

Heritage Auctions’ next Animation Art Auction is scheduled for Dec. 14. Consignments are welcomed until Oct. 31 and bidding will open around Nov. 24.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Mickey Mouse - The Mad Doctor

Mickey Mouse – The Mad Doctor

Mary Blair - It's a Small World

Mary Blair – It’s a Small World

Mary Blair - Cinderella Castle

Mary Blair – Cinderella Castle

Gustaf Tenggren - Bambi

Gustaf Tenggren – Bambi

Mary Blair - Alice in Wonderland

Mary Blair – Alice in Wonderland

Animation Magazine

Sensor-Laden Glove Helps Robotic Hands ‘Feel’

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Holding an egg is a lot different from holding an apple or a tomato, and humans are naturally able to adjust their grip to avoid crushing or dropping each object.

Artificial hands installed on prosthetic limbs and robots don’t have that natural ability — yet.

An inexpensive, sensor-laden glove could lay the groundwork for advanced prosthetic hands that are better able to grasp and manipulate day-to-day objects, Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers report.

The glove costs just $ 10 but contains a network of 548 sensors that gather detailed information about objects being manipulated by the hand inside the glove, they said.

Using the glove, the researchers are creating “tactile maps” that could be used to improve the dexterity of artificial hands, said lead scientist Subramanian Sundaram, a postdoctoral researcher at MIT.

“You can look at these tactile maps and begin to understand what kind of objects you’re interacting with. We also show you can use these tactile maps to estimate the weight of the object you’re carrying,” Sundaram said. “We can clearly unravel or quantify how the different regions of the hand come together to perform a grasping task.”

Sundaram and his colleagues developed the glove to help improve the fine motor skills of robot hands.

“This has really been a grand challenge in all of robotics — how do you build dexterous robots, robots that can manipulate objects much in the way humans do?” Sundaram said.

Their solution involves a simple knitted glove that has a force-sensitive film applied along the touching surfaces of the palm and fingers, feeding data to hundreds of sensors.

Researchers wearing the glove interacted with a set of 26 different objects with a single hand for more than five hours, creating a huge amount of tactile data.

They then fed the data into a computer, training it to identify each object from the way it was held.

“We can look at a collective set of interactions and we can say with generality how different regions of the hand are used together,” Sundaram said. “You can understand how likely you are to use each region in combination with the others to grasp an object.”

Continued

Using this data, robots fitted with similar sensors could be taught to handle and manipulate fine objects without squeezing them too hard or handling them with butterfingers, Sundaram said.

But the data from these gloves also could be used to vastly improve the intelligence of prosthetic hands, said David Putrino, director of rehabilitation innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

“When you look at this technology, the first thing that pops to mind is this is an extraordinarily low-cost training platform for creating a repository of grip strategies,” said Putrino, who wasn’t involved with the study.

As recently as five years ago, this sort of technology would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, he noted.

“What these guys have achieved is an order-of-magnitude drop in the cost of what they can do with these flexible, stitched in electrodes, so it’s very exciting,” Putrino said.

It would probably be too much to expect a person to deal with all of the feedback from a prosthetic hand fitted with the same amount of sensors as the glove, Putrino said.

“Given how many sensors that they have, it would be like learning a very complicated language,” he said.

However, such data from the gloves could be used to install prosthetic hands with programs designed to grasp different objects in the most sensitive and effective way, Putrino said.

A person could either use voice commands to tell their hand what they plan to grasp, or the hand could be fitted with a camera that automatically recognizes different objects about to be grabbed, Putrino said.

That way, the prosthetic hand would be able to apply an egg-handling strategy to an egg, and an apple-handling strategy to an apple, he said.

“You could have this whole repository of grasping and hand-posturing profiles for every scenario you can think of,” Putrino said.

The new report was published May 29 in the journal Nature.

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Radiation Helps Some Hormone-Driven Breast Cancer

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For women with hormone-driven breast cancer, adding radiation to hormone therapy might keep their cancer from coming back for up to a decade, a new study finds.

Breast cancer didn’t come back in the same breast for 97.5% of women who had radiation therapy plus hormone therapy compared to just over 92% of women who had hormone therapy alone, the researchers said.

In addition, over the study’s 10-year follow-up period, 94.5% of the women in the radiation therapy group were still alive without a cancer recurrence, compared to just over 88% of women who only had hormone therapy.

Study author Dr. Gerd Fastner, from Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria, said the study shows that adding radiation therapy can increase disease-free survival and improve the odds a cancer won’t come back over the long term.

Dr. Alice Police, regional director of breast surgery at Northwell Health Breast Care Centers Westchester in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., said the findings are important because “there have been a lot of studies trying to prove that in small cancers in postmenopausal women, there may be a group of women who can skip radiation. This study shows it’s still not safe to omit radiation therapy in women who have had breast-conserving surgery.”

Police added that while women with these specific cancers might think they can choose one treatment or another, a combination yields the best results.

The study included nearly 900 postmenopausal women. Fastner said they were between 46 and 80 years old, with an average age of 66. All of the women were from Austria, and most were white.

The women in the study all had breast cancer that was considered low risk for spreading. Their tumors were small in size (under 3 centimeters).

All of the women had breast-conserving surgery. That means rather than removing the entire breast (mastectomy), surgeons remove the tumor and a bit of the healthy tissue around the tumor.

The study patients all had hormone receptor-positive cancers, which means that hormones such as estrogen and progesterone fueled the cancer’s growth, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. About two of three breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive, according to the American Cancer Society.

Continued

After surgery, the women in the study were all treated with hormone therapies such as tamoxifen or anastrozole. These therapies either remove hormones or block their action, according to the cancer institute.

Some women — 439 — received radiation therapy for just over a month within six weeks of their surgery. The remaining 430 women took hormone therapy alone.

A decade later, 10 women in the radiation group had a recurrence of cancer in the same breast. In the hormone therapy-only group, 31 women had a cancer recurrence, the researchers found.

The findings are to be presented Sunday at the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) meeting, in Milan. Findings presented at meetings are typically viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Fastner said it’s still a matter of some debate if all women with these low-risk cancers should be given radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery, largely because of newer techniques, such as partial breast radiation and brachytherapy.

And, in a small, select group of women, it might be better to forgo radiation.

“The total omission of radiotherapy should only be considered in frail, elderly patients who would not be able to tolerate such treatment,” Fastner said in a meeting news release.

Funding for the study was provided by Astra Zeneca, a pharmaceutical company that produces hormone therapies.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Gerd Fastner, M.D., associate professor, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria; Alice Police, M.D., regional director, breast surgery, Northwell Health Breast Care Centers Westchester, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; April 28, 2019, presentation, ESTRO meeting, Milan

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Special Bag Helps People Get Rid of Unused Opioids

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — After undergoing surgery, many people who are prescribed opioid painkillers have no idea how to dispose of leftover pills so they won’t be misused by others or harm the environment.

Giving special disposal bags to these patients more than doubled the percentage of people who safely disposed of their unused painkillers, according to researchers.

The new study included 208 patients who were prescribed opioids (such as OxyContin) when they left the hospital after surgery.

Of those, 63 received no formal information about disposal of leftover pills (“usual care”); 75 got an educational brochure outlining the importance of proper disposal of pills; and 70 received special disposal bags called Deterra bags.

The bags contain activated charcoal that binds to prescription drugs when water is added, making them unusable. Once in a landfill, the bags break down and prevent the drugs from leaching into the environment.

The bags cost about $ 7 each for individual buyers, but the research team bought them in bulk at a wholesale price for the study.

The researchers then followed up with the patients six weeks after they left the hospital.

The investigators found that about 28 percent of those in the usual care group had disposed of their leftover opioids. The methods of disposal included: throwing the painkillers in the garbage; flushing them down the toilet; or taking them to a law enforcement agency or other approved location.

Among those patients who received an educational brochure, 33 percent said they had disposed of leftover pills. People in this group who put their leftover pills in the trash were more likely to say they first mixed the painkillers with unpalatable substances to prevent others from abusing the drugs.

Among those given Deterra bags, 57 percent said they’d disposed of their leftovers, mostly by using the bag. Only one in 10 said they put their unaltered pills in the garbage or toilet, the findings showed.

“We need everyday disposal options that address patients’ needs and break down common barriers for safe disposal,” said study leader Dr. Chad Brummett. He is director of pain research at Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan’s academic medical center.

Brummett said some patients may be uneasy about taking unneeded medications to law enforcement offices or take-back drives, and doing so may be inconvenient.

The researchers said the fact that more than 40 percent of patients with disposal bags still had their leftover opioids four to six weeks after surgery highlights the need for continued attention to proper medication disposal.

The findings are outlined in a research letter published online March 27 in JAMA Surgery.

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Sources

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, March 27, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Brexit survival kit helps Britons face the worst with freeze-dried fajita

LEEDS (Reuters) – With just nine weeks to go until Britain is due to leave the European Union, a company is selling worried Britons a survival kit to help them prepare for the worst. 

James Blake from emergency food storage.co.uk sticks a label on the company’s ‘Brexit Box’ which contains dehydrated food, water purifying kit and fire starting gel at their warehouse in Leeds, Britain January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble

The “Brexit Box”, retailing at 295 pounds ($ 380), provides food rations to last 30 days, according to its producer, businessman James Blake who says he has already sold hundreds of them.

With still no deal on how Britain will trade with the EU once it leaves, retailers and manufacturers have warned a “no-deal” Brexit could cause food and medicine shortages due to expected chaos at ports that could paralyze supply lines.

The Brexit Box includes 60 portions of freeze-dried British favorites: Chicken Tikka, Chilli Con Carne, Macaroni Cheese and Chicken Fajitas, 48 portions of dried mince and chicken, firelighter liquid and an emergency water filter.

“Right now we are in a Brexit process that nobody has control over, we have no idea what is happening. Our government has no idea what is happening, but you can control what happens to you by taking control yourself,” said Blake.

“One of those things is to be a little bit ahead, have some food in place,” he added.

Customer Lynda Mayall, 61, who ignored government assurances that there is no need to stockpile food for Brexit, said: “I thought: let’s make sure I’m covered in the event of things going awry.

In addition to her Brexit Box, Mayall, a counsellor and therapist, has stocked up on household products such as washing liquid, which she thinks may become scarce.

The Brexit Box’s long shelf life – the canned food will last up to 25 years – is appealing.

“In the event I don’t need it for Brexit, it is not going to go to waste,” Mayall said.

Reporting by Reuters Television; Additional reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Good Sleep Helps Kids Become Slimmer Teens: Study

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Regular bedtimes and adequate sleep during childhood may contribute toward a healthy weight in the teen years, a new study finds.

The study included nearly 2,200 kids in 20 U.S. cities. One-third of them had consistent, age-appropriate bedtimes between ages 5 and 9, according to their mothers.

Compared to that group, those who had no bedtime routine at age 9 got less sleep and had a higher body mass index (an estimate of body fat based on height and weight) at age 15, according to the Penn State study.

Parenting practices in childhood affect physical health and BMI in the teenage years. Developing a proper routine in childhood is crucial for the future health of the child,” study co-author Orfeu Buxton said in a university news release.

Buxton is director of the Sleep, Health and Society Collaboratory at Penn State.

“We think sleep affects physical and mental health, and the ability to learn,” he added.

The findings highlight the importance of educating parents about children’s bedtimes.

Several factors should determine bedtimes. They include what time the child must get ready for school, how long it takes to get there and the school’s start time, according to the researchers.

“Giving children the time frame to get the appropriate amount of sleep is paramount,” Buxton said.

Bedtime should be set to give the child an adequate amount of sleep, even if he or she doesn’t fall asleep right away, he explained.

The report was published recently in the journal Sleep.

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Sources

SOURCE: Penn State, news release, Dec. 6, 2018

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Good Sleep Helps Kids Become Slimmer, Healthier Teens: Study