Health News Stories
Excerpts of Key Health News Stories in Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important health news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These health news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Health News stories


Note: This comprehensive list of health news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

A Judge’s Plea for Pot
2012-05-17, New York Times
Posted: 2012-05-22 11:47:59
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/opinion/a-judges-plea-for-medical-marijuana...

Three and a half years ago, on my 62nd birthday, doctors discovered a mass on my pancreas. It turned out to be Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. I was told I would be dead in four to six months. Today I am in that rare coterie of people who have survived this long with the disease. But I did not foresee that after having dedicated myself for 40 years to a life of the law, including more than two decades as a New York State judge, my quest for ameliorative and palliative care would lead me to marijuana. My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery. Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep. The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless. Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep. This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue. Being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am receiving the absolute gold standard of medical care. But doctors cannot be expected to do what the law prohibits, even when they know it is in the best interests of their patients. When palliative care is understood as a fundamental human and medical right, marijuana for medical use should be beyond controversy.

Note: The author is Gustin L. Reichbach, who is a justice of the New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. For lots more from reliable sources on the benefits of many mind-altering drugs, click here.




Puberty Before Age 10: A New ‘Normal’?
2012-04-01, New York Times
Posted: 2012-04-24 12:06:12
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/magazine/puberty-before-age-10-a-new-normal...

In the late 1980s, Marcia Herman-Giddens, then a physician’s associate in the pediatric department of the Duke University Medical Center, started noticing that an awful lot of 8- and 9-year-olds in her clinic had sprouted pubic hair and breasts. The medical wisdom, at that time, based on a landmark 1960 study of institutionalized British children, was that puberty began, on average, for girls at age 11. But that was not what Herman-Giddens was seeing. So she started collecting data, eventually leading a study with the American Academy of Pediatrics that sampled 17,000 girls, finding that among white girls, the average age of breast budding was 9.96. Among black girls, it was 8.87. When Herman-Giddens published these numbers, in 1997 in Pediatrics, she set off a social and endocrinological firestorm. “I had no idea it would be so huge,” Herman-Giddens told me recently. “The Lolita syndrome” — the prurient fascination with the sexuality of young girls — “created a lot of emotional interest. As a feminist, I wish it didn’t.” Along with medical professionals, mothers, worried about their daughters, flocked to Herman-Giddens’s slide shows, gasping as she flashed images of possible culprits: obesity, processed foods, plastics. One concern, among parents and researchers, is the effect of simultaneous exposures to many estrogen-mimics, including the compound BPA, which is ubiquitous. Ninety-three percent of Americans have traces of BPA in their bodies.

Note: For lots more on from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.




VA offers spectrum of services to vets with PTSD
2012-04-07, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-04-17 09:55:51
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/06/INA01NTT6G.DTL

About 10 to 15 percent of the more than 1.4 million Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are [dealing] with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD results when a person experiences a traumatic event that involves exposure to personal threat or the death or extreme suffering of others; an event that creates strong feelings of fear, helplessness or horror. It's common for one to be greatly troubled by uncontrollable painful memories that cause emotional distress, ... sleep loss, irritability and inability to have positive emotions. The good news is that effective treatments for the disorder are available. To date, the [VA] has seen more than 223,600 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with PTSD. What stops vets from going for help? Going for treatment can feel like an admission of failure or personal weakness. And most people don't know much about what to expect of mental health treatment. In fact, treatment for stress disorder is a straightforward process. You learn about the effects of trauma ... and how recovery takes place. You form friendships with other vets. And you master some practical skills for dealing with painful memories, anger or physical tension. The earlier we treat combat veterans with readjustment problems, the better chance we have of stopping PTSD. Going for help is an act of courage that can cut short distress and restore a sense of personal power, hope and connection with others. If you are a veteran reading this ... seize the day and go for help. If you're a family member of a veteran with a problem, talk to him or her about treatment and offer to help with the process, or to go for counseling yourself to ... learn how you can help your loved one.

Note: For practical information on how to get help with PTSD, click here.




Butterball Workers Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charges
2012-02-16, ABC News
Posted: 2012-04-11 18:47:13
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/butterball-workers-arrested-animal-cruelty-char...

Six workers at a Butterball turkey farm in North Carolina face criminal charges after an undercover video revealed alleged animal abuse, and a state employee who tipped off Butterball before a police raid on the farm has pled guilty to obstruction of justice. Butterball ... accounts for 20 percent of total turkey production in the U.S.. Mercy for Animals [is] the animal rights group that shot the undercover video. "Unfortunately, every time we send an investigator they emerge with shocking evidence of animal abuse," said MFA executive director Nathan Runkle. "Before ending up in restaurants and grocery stores, turkeys killed for Butterball are routinely crowded into filthy warehouses, neglected to die from infected, bloody wounds, and thrown, kicked, and beaten by factory farm workers." In addition, Dr. Sarah Mason, a veterinarian at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, was suspended from her job ... and was sentenced to 45 days in the Hoke County jail after pleading guilty to obstructing justice and obstructing a public officer. Mason admitted calling a friend who worked at Butterball prior to the raid. Though she initially denied talking to the Butterball employee, Dr. Mason later admitted telling him about the existence of the Mercy for Animals video showing alleged abuse. In the video, workers can be seen kicking and stomping on turkeys, as well as dragging them by their wings and necks. The video also shows injured birds with open wounds and exposed flesh. Butterball ... has said it was "shocked" by the undercover video, is taking the animal cruelty investigation seriously.

Note: For two excellent and fun short videos showing both the problem and solutions for cruel factory farming, click here and here. For lots more little-known, excellent information to promote your health, click here.




Activists Call for End to 'Cruel' Battery Cages for Chickens
2011-11-19, ABC News
Posted: 2012-04-11 18:45:39
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/activists-call-end-cruel-battery-cages-chickens...

In the wake of an ABC News investigation into alleged unsanitary and inhumane practices at one of the nation's largest egg farms, animal rights activists are calling for an end to the egg industry's widespread use of so-called "battery cages," in which birds live six to a cage in long stacks of wire cages. "The battery cage system is inherently cruel," said Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals, who estimated that 95 percent of the hens used in egg production are kept in battery cages. He urged the industry to adopt more humane methods of egg production, and urged McDonald's, the nation's largest egg buyer, to stop buying eggs from battery cage farms. Undercover video shot by a Mercy for Animals activist who worked at one of the nation's largest egg producers, Sparboe Farms, shows the battery cages in use. "Scott," the activist who made the tape, said that the five to seven birds were kept in each cage, with their beaks cut at an early cage so they wouldn't peck each other, and that each bird lived its life in an area smaller than a standard sheet of paper. He said the birds "can't fully spread their wings, they can't walk around. There were [dead] birds that were left in the cages that were decomposing for weeks or months at a time," claimed Scott. Until the ABC News investigation and the FDA's warning, McDonald's drew all its eggs for restaurants west of the Mississippi River from Sparboe. Just before the ABC News report aired, McDonald's announced that it would no longer get its eggs from Sparboe Farms. Activists, however, are now asking why McDonald's won't stop buying eggs from any producer that uses battery cages.

Note: To watch a video of this sad scene, click here. To learn how this report resulted in both McDonald's and Target canceling their contracts with Sparboe Farms, click here.




The Problem with Factory Farms
2010-04-23, Time Magazine
Posted: 2012-04-11 18:43:08
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1983981,00.html

If you eat meat, the odds are high that you've enjoyed a meal made from an animal raised on a factory farm. The government designation is CAFO, which stands for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. Basically, it's any farm that has 1,000 animal units or more. A beef cow is an animal unit. These animals are kept in pens their entire lives. They're never outside. They never breathe fresh air. They never see the sun. According to the USDA, 2% of U.S. livestock facilities raise an estimated 40% of all farm animals. This means that pigs, chickens and cows are concentrated in a small number of very large farms. There are simply too many animals in too small of a place. CAFO cows eat a diet of milled grains, corn and soybeans, when they are supposed to eat grass. The food isn't natural because they very often put growth hormones and antibiotics in it. When you have 2,000 cows per acre instead of two, you have a problem. You can't fit them in a pasture — you fit them in a building. You don't have enough land to absorb their waste. The manure is liquefied. It gets flushed out into an open lagoon [and] sprayed into waterways and creeks. This stuff is untreated, by the way.

Note: For two excellent and fun short videos showing both the problem and solutions for cruel factory farming, click here and here. For lots more little-known, excellent information to promote your health, click here.




A Single Antibody to Treat Multiple Cancers?
2012-03-28, Time Magazine
Posted: 2012-04-11 18:32:12
http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/28/a-single-antibody-to-treat-multiple-can...

A single treatment to cure all cancers? Scientists may be one step closer. In a recent study, scientists reported that they successfully tested an antibody treatment that shrank human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver and prostate tumors transplanted into mice. The antibody blocks a protein called CD47, which normally sits on the cell surface and issues a “don’t eat me” signal that prevents the body’s immune system from attacking it. About a decade ago, scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine, led by professor of pathology Irving Weissman, discovered that using an antibody to block CD47 cured some cases of leukemia and lymphoma in mice by allowing macrophages to seek and destroy the cancerous cells. In the new study, Weissman’s Stanford team showed that the CD47-blocking antibodies may also work against a number of other cancers. The researchers found that CD47 existed on nearly every cell, which suggests that the protein may be common to all cancers. Cancer cells expressed about three times more CD47 than healthy cells. “If the tumor was highly aggressive, the antibody also blocked metastasis. It’s becoming very clear that, in order for a cancer to survive in the body, it has to find some way to evade the cells of the innate immune system,” said Weissman in a statement. The antibody treatment didn’t work in all cases. Some mice injected with breast cancer cells from a human patient showed no changes after treatment. Yet in five mice with breast cancer, the antibody treatment cured them, with no signs of recurrence four months after treatment.

Note: With millions around the world dying of cancer every year, why aren't the most promising treatments being fast tracked? Why did it take 10 years form Weissman to reach this stage? Why isn't the very promising treatment of DCA, which is both cheap and incredibly promising, being given many millions to move rapidly forward? To read major media articles describing other potential cures not being adequately funded, click here. To understand why some treatments are suppressed, click here.




Microbes may play crucial role in human health
2011-10-09, Washington Post
Posted: 2012-04-11 18:29:09
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/microbes-may-play-cruci...

The average person’s body contains about 100 trillion cells, but only maybe one in 10 is human. Human cells ... are far outnumbered by those from microbes — primarily bacteria but also viruses, fungi and a panoply of other microorganisms. That thought might make a lot of people lunge for the hand sanitizer, but that impulse may be exactly the wrong one. Researchers are amassing a growing body of evidence indicating that microbial ecosystems play crucial roles in keeping us healthy. Moreover, scientists are becoming more convinced that modern trends — diet, antibiotics, obsession with cleanliness, Caesarean deliveries — are disrupting this delicate balance, contributing to some of the most perplexing ailments, including asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer and perhaps even autism. These microbial stowaways may wield far greater powers than previously appreciated. Acquired beginning at birth, this mass of fellow travelers may help steer normal development. Investigators are trying to identify which organisms may truly be beneficial “probiotics” that people could take to help their health. One intriguing finding is that babies born through Caesarean section apparently miss out on acquiring their mothers’ microbiota. The rising number of C-section babies ... might help explain trends such as rising incidents of asthma and food allergies caused by misfiring immune systems. Obese people appear to have a distinctive mix of digestive bacteria that make them prone to weight gain. Thin mice get fatter when their microbiota is replaced with the microbes of obese animals.

Note: For more on probiotics from Dr. Mercola, click here. For an informative Newsweek article further exploring this topic, click here.




Gregg Williams' speech adds fuel to bountygate fire
2012-04-06, USA Today
Posted: 2012-04-11 18:24:07
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/story/2012-04-05/saints-violence-...

Gregg Williams' profanity-filled speech to the New Orleans Saints' defensive players the night before their mid-January playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers included a target list: Alex Smith's chin. Vernon Davis' ankles. Kyle Williams' head. Frank Gore's head. And, according to audio captured ... Williams chillingly suggested that 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree "becomes human when we (expletive) take out that outside ACL." [This] provided more evidence against the Saints on a day when coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to appeal penalties for their roles in a bounty scandal that has rocked the league. The audio also raised anew some questions for the NFL. Has the league lost control of what is supposed to be the controlled violence of America's most popular game? And how might the sport be affected by its professional level's apparent disregard for player safety. While Williams' speech ... could easily be criticized for ill intent, it also illustrated the type of macho mentality that has existed in pro football since its inception. A former linebacker [Coy Wire] played under Williams with the Buffalo Bills when players were also paid cash in a similar bounty scheme. "Gregg Williams was part of a culture of relentlessness," says Wire. "It wasn't just him. It was a group of people who wanted to find a competitive edge." In its findings announced in early March, the league maintained that between 22 and 27 players from the Saints defenses from 2009 to 2011 were involved in the bounty program.




Living Seed company takes root from heirloom seeds
2012-03-28, San Francisco Chronicle
Posted: 2012-04-11 18:21:58
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/27/DD9P1NDH6T.DTL&ao...

Two entrepreneurs are hoping to take gardening back to a time when an abundance of plant diversity was the norm. Matthew Hoffman and Astrid Lindo grow, source and sell seeds of rare and heirloom edibles. "What's amazing is 100 years ago, everybody saved their own seed," Lindo said. By 1983, the 408 varieties of peas cultivated on American farms some 80 years earlier had dwindled to 25. Sweet corn saw a drop from 307 to 12 varieties. Hoffman undertook intensive training in New Mexico at the first-ever seed school taught by Bill McDorman, one of the veterans of the contemporary North American seed-saving movement. His enthusiasm was infectious; within a few months, Lindo decided to ... immerse herself in the fledgling business. The couple talked with experienced seed growers and farmers, researched catalogs, and scanned gardening forums and blogs online. And then they dug in and began growing their own seed. McDorman, director of Native Seeds/Search, a Tucson organization focused on conserving the genetic diversity of crops ... is effusive in his praise of the couple. "These young kids are way smarter than we were," he remarked. "Matthew and Astrid are indicative of what's coming, a whole new wave." The couple have ... a lively Twitter feed, a blog and a Facebook page as well as a YouTube channel with instructional videos on seed-saving techniques. The company also donates seeds to school garden programs, urban garden programs and correctional facilities.

Note: Learn more at www.livingseedcompany.com. Read the blog at this link and check them out on twitter:@LivingSeedCo; Facebook: www.facebook.com/LivingSeedCompany; and YouTube: bit.ly/wR0P3B




Can three minutes of exercise a week help make you fit?
2012-02-27, BBC News
Posted: 2012-04-11 18:19:02
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17177251

A few relatively short bursts of intense exercise, amounting to only a few minutes a week, can deliver many of the health and fitness benefits of hours of conventional exercise, according to new research. This apparently outrageous claim is supported by many years of research done in a number of different countries. [Welcome to] the world of High Intensity Training (HIT). By doing just three minutes of HIT a week for four weeks, [you can] expect to see significant changes in a number of important health indices. But how much benefit you get ... may well depend on your genes. The fact is that people respond to exercise in very different ways. In one international study 1,000 people were asked to exercise four hours a week for 20 weeks. The results were striking. Although 15% of people made huge strides ... 20% showed no real improvement at all. The exercise they were doing was not making them any aerobically fitter. [HIT is] actually very simple. You get on an exercise bike, warm up by doing gentle cycling for a couple of minutes, then go flat out for 20 seconds. A couple of minutes to catch your breath, then another 20 seconds at full throttle. Another couple of minutes gentle cycling, then a final 20 seconds going hell for leather. And that's it. Active exercise ... seems to be needed to break down the body's stores of glucose, deposited in your muscles as a substance called glycogen. Smash up these glycogen stores and you create room for more glucose to be sucked out of the blood and stored. Like any new exercise regime if you have a pre-existing medical condition you should consult your doctor before trying it.

Note: For lots more on this, see the excellent article on mercola.com at this link. And for two amazing one-minute videos of a highly inspiring gymnast who is 86-years-old doing her routines, click here.




Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds
2010-05-03, New York Times
Posted: 2012-04-11 18:12:49
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/business/energy-environment/04weed.html

Just as the heavy use of antibiotics contributed to the rise of drug-resistant supergerms, American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup has led to the rapid growth of tenacious new superweeds. To fight them [farmers] are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing. “We’re back to where we were 20 years ago,” said [farmer Eddie] Anderson. Farm experts say that such efforts could lead to higher food prices, lower crop yields, rising farm costs and more pollution of land and water. The first resistant species [was found] in 2000. Since then, the problem has spread, with 10 resistant species in at least 22 states infesting millions of acres. The superweeds could temper American agriculture’s enthusiasm for some genetically modified crops. Roundup Ready crops account for about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton grown in the United States. However, if Roundup doesn’t kill the weeds, farmers have little incentive to spend the extra money for the special seeds. “The biotech industry is taking us into a more pesticide-dependent agriculture when ... we need to be going in the opposite direction,” said Bill Freese, a science policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety in Washington. Roundup-resistant pigweed ... could pose as big a threat to cotton farming in the South as the beetle that devastated the industry in the early 20th century.

Note: Few Americans are aware that almost all of the soybeans and corn they eat was genetically modified. And thanks to a controlled media, even fewer know that these GM crops have repeatedly been shown in scientific studies to cause cancer and even death in lab animals. For lots more on this, click here and here.




CDC: U.S. kids with autism up 78% in past decade
2012-03-29, CNN
Posted: 2012-04-02 21:14:50
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/29/health/autism

The number of children with autism in the United States continues to rise, according to a new report released ... by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest data estimate that 1 in 88 American children has some form of autism spectrum disorder. That's a 78% increase compared to a decade ago, according to the report. In 2000 and 2002, the autism estimate was about 1 in 150 children. Two years later 1 in 125 8-year-olds had autism. In 2006, the number was 1 in 110, and the newest data -- from 2008 -- suggests 1 in 88 children have autism. Boys with autism continue to outnumber girls 5-to-1, according to the CDC report. It estimates that 1 in 54 boys in the United States have autism. A child or adult with an autistic spectrum disorder might: --Repeat actions over and over --Not look at objects when another person points to them --Avoid eye contact and want to be alone --Prefer not to be held or cuddled or might cuddle only when they want to --Appear to be unaware when other people talk to them but respond to other sounds.

Note: Children with autistic characteristics were extremely rare until just the last 50 years or so, when vaccines first started. For dozens of major media articles showing a link between autism and vaccines, click here. For an MSNBC article featuring Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. showing a very strong correlation between vaccines and autism, click here.




2 Studies Point to Common Pesticide as a Culprit in Declining Bee Colonies
2012-03-30, New York Times
Posted: 2012-04-02 20:59:31
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/science/neocotinoid-pesticides-play-a-role-...

Scientists have been alarmed and puzzled by declines in bee populations in the United States and other parts of the world. They have suspected that pesticides are playing a part, but to date their experiments have yielded conflicting, ambiguous results. In Thursday’s issue of the journal Science, two teams of researchers published studies suggesting that low levels of a common pesticide can have significant effects on bee colonies. One experiment, conducted by French researchers, indicates that the chemicals fog honeybee brains, making it harder for them to find their way home. The other study, by scientists in Britain, suggests that they keep bumblebees from supplying their hives with enough food to produce new queens. The authors of both studies contend that their results raise serious questions about the use of the pesticides, known as neonicotinoids. “I personally would like to see them not being used until more research has been done,” said David Goulson, an author of the bumblebee paper who teaches at the University of Stirling, in Scotland. “If it confirms what we’ve found, then they certainly shouldn’t be used when they’re going to be fed on by bees.” Environmentalists say that both studies support their view that the insecticides should be banned. The insecticides, introduced in the early 1990s, have exploded in popularity; virtually all corn grown in the United States is treated with them. Neonicotinoids are taken up by plants and moved to all their tissues — including the nectar on which bees feed.

Note: For many disturbing reports from reliable sources on the mysterious mass deaths of animals, click here.




Cage Vs. Free Range Eggs
2012-02-01, National Geographic
Posted: 2012-03-27 08:51:23
http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/cage-vs-range-eggs-2872.html

Egg-laying hens confined to cages do not have space to move, stretch or engage in natural behaviors, which causes them to engage in repetitive or destructive behaviors, such as feather-pulling or pecking at their neighbors. Caged hens show more fearful behavior and become prone to skeletal problems because of captivity. Because free-range hens are allowed outdoor access, more space to move around and more opportunities to engage in natural behaviors, free-range eggs are generally regarded as a more humane alternative to conventionally produced eggs. Large numbers of animals confined in small spaces, as seen in conventional egg-production facilities, pollute the air, water and soil with the vast amounts of manure they produce. Animal-based agriculture doesn't have to create a liability for the environment. In his 2006 book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan described poultry farms where rotating pastured poultry among fields provided enough manure to boost the nutrient levels in the soil without becoming toxic. At the same time, the chickens helped to control pests. In addition to being healthier for the planet, free-range eggs are often healthier for you too. In 2007, Mother Earth News collected nutritional data from the eggs produced by 14 flocks of free-range pastured hens and compared that with data provided by the USDA for conventional eggs. The study revealed that the free-range eggs, on average, contained one-third less cholesterol and one-quarter less saturated fat, in addition to higher levels of vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.




White Coats, White Lies: How Honest Is Your Doctor?
2012-02-09, Time Magazine
Posted: 2012-03-20 10:48:45
http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/09/white-coats-white-lies-how-honest-is-yo...

Is your doctor telling you the truth? Possibly not, according to a new survey in Health Affairs of nearly 1,900 physicians around the country. The researchers found that 55% of doctors said that in the last year they had been more positive about a patient’s prognosis than his medical history warranted. And 10% said they had told patients something that wasn’t true. About a third of the MDs said they did not completely agree that they should disclose medical errors to patients, and 40% said they didn’t feel the need to disclose financial ties to drug or device companies. Nearly 20% of the doctors admitted that they didn’t disclose a medical error to their patients because they were afraid of being sued for malpractice. Doctors’ fear of malpractice suits may often be misplaced. Studies suggest that in cases where physicians are open about their mistakes, patients are more likely to be understanding and refrain from suing. So how can doctors learn to be more honest with their patients? More training about how to communicate with people about their health is critical — especially when it comes to delivering bad news. Patients also need to be clear and firm about how honest they want their doctors to be. Communication is a two-way street, after all, even in the doctor’s office.

Note: For key reports from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.




Deception at Duke: Fraud in cancer care?
2012-02-12, CBS News
Posted: 2012-03-20 10:45:43
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57376073/deception-at-duke-fraud-in-can...

Chemotherapy can be a tough road for people with cancer, often debilitating and even dangerous. Which is why five years ago, when Duke University announced that it had an advanced, experimental treatment that would match chemotherapy to a patient's own genetic makeup, it was hailed as the holy grail of cancer care. The scientist behind the discovery was Dr. Anil Potti, and soon Dr. Potti became the face of the future of cancer treatment at Duke, offering patients a better chance even with advanced disease. However, when other scientists set out to verify the results, they found many problems and errors. Duke's so-called breakthrough treatment wasn't just a failure -- it may end up being one of the biggest medical research frauds ever. Dr. Potti resigned from Duke. He faces an investigation into research misconduct. These days, he's working as a cancer doctor in South Carolina. And if you look online, you will see that he is celebrated for "his significant contribution to the arena of lung cancer research." The websites were created with the help of an online reputation consultant, perhaps to put the best face on the available data.

Note: For lots more from major media sources on corruption in scientific research and publication, click here.




U.S. panel, cancer groups discourage annual Pap test
2011-10-19, MSNBC/Reuters News
Posted: 2012-03-20 10:34:51
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44955035/ns/health-cancer/t/us-panel-cancer-group...

Pap smear tests are still the best way to prevent cervical cancer, but women should not seek them every year, a U.S. government-backed expert panel and major cancer groups said. Instead, every three years is a reasonable timetable, according to the Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the same group that recently recommended against routine prostate cancer tests for healthy men. Proposing changes to 2003 recommendations, the task force also said evidence is still insufficient to weigh harms and benefits of tests screening for human papillomavirus (HPV) -- in contrast with the views of cancer patient advocates. However, in a rare show of unity, the groups including the American Cancer Society sided with the panel on the new recommendations and proposed new screening guidelines themselves for the first time, bluntly recommending against the common practice of annual Pap tests. Echoing the panels' recommendations, the cancer groups also said women younger than 21 do not need to get tested. However, despite the task force's skepticism over the effectiveness of the HPV test in preventing cancer, the cancer society and other groups called the combination of regular Pap plus HPV testing the "preferred strategy" for women over 30, if done every three to five years.

Note: For an excellent Dr. Mercola article on the risks involved with both Pap tests and the HPV vaccine Gardasil, click here.




Shine a Light: The Suitcase That’s Saving Women’s Lives
2012-01-12, NationalGeographic.com
Posted: 2012-03-20 10:20:08
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/01/12/shine-a-light-the-suitcase...

In the fight against maternal mortality in the developing world, a rugged, portable “Solar Suitcase” is providing reliable electricity to clinics in 17 countries where healthcare workers previously struggled to provide emergency obstetric care by the light of candles, flashlights and mobile phones. The Solar Suitcase powers medical LED lights, headlamps, mobile phones, computers and medical devices. Healthcare workers using the Solar Suitcase report greater facility and ease in conducting nighttime procedures. Improved lighting allows health workers to identify and treat complications such as obstetric lacerations and hemorrhage, nurses to locate and administer intravenous medication, and emergency Caesarean sections to be performed 24 hours a day. Solar-powered mobile phones allow on-call doctors to be alerted when obstetric emergencies require surgery. With augmentation, the solar suitcase powers blood bank refrigeration, permitting life-saving transfusions to occur without delay. An estimated 358,000 maternal deaths occur worldwide. Reducing childbirth deaths depends, in part, on providing adequate emergency obstetric care. However, a lack of health facility power translates to an inability to perform life-saving care.




Mercury fillings 'filled' with controversy
2011-11-30, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2012-03-13 16:25:44
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sc-health-1130-dental-fillings-20111130,...

Silver amalgam fillings, which have plugged American cavities for more than 150 years, have lost their luster over the last couple of decades thanks to the rise of more attractive tooth-colored fillings and concerns about the environmental and health impact of their chief ingredient: mercury. Although use of amalgam fillings has dropped 30 percent in the last decade, according to the American Dental Association, these fillings are still sitting in hundreds of millions of mouths, and dentists continue to fill some 50 million teeth with amalgam each year — especially in children. Mercury, a known neurotoxin, makes up 50 percent (in weight) of amalgam fillings, which also contain silver, copper and tin. For some dentists, toxicologists and advocates, the fact that mercury has been shown to hurt the neurological system, kidneys and other organs is reason enough to keep it out of people's mouths. "When you plant a neurotoxin two inches from the brain, can you say no one is ever harmed from that?" said Charlie Brown, director of Consumers for Dental Choice. His group advocates that dentists be required to disclose the mercury content of amalgam fillings to patients. The buildup of mercury from vapors 24 hours a day, over a lifetime, is the greatest concern, said Boyd Haley, retired professor emeritus at the University of Kentucky. Eighty percent of mercury vapor stays in body tissue for days, months, even years, because the body doesn't have a good system for excreting it, he said.

Note: For an informative article by Dr. Mercola showing that there is no reason to put mercury in your mouth and plenty of risk, click here.





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