Even Light Drinking Can Increase Risk Of Cancer, But Doctors’ Message Isn’t ‘Don’t Drink’
“The message is not, ‘Don’t drink.’ It’s, ‘If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less. And if you don’t drink, don’t start,’” said Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In other public health news: West Nile virus, heart attack-related deaths, genetic tests, medical research, doctors working sick and more.
The New York Times:
Cancer Doctors Cite Risks Of Drinking Alcohol
The American Society of Clinical Oncology, which represents many of the nation’s top cancer doctors, is calling attention to the ties between alcohol and cancer. In a statement published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the group cites evidence that even light drinking can slightly raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer and increase a common type of esophageal cancer. Heavy drinkers face much higher risks of mouth and throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer and, to a lesser extent, colorectal cancers, the group cautions. (Rabin, 11/7)
The Washington Post:
New Evidence Of Brain Damage From West Nile Virus, Scientists Say
Experts who work on the mosquito-borne West Nile virus have long known that it can cause serious neurological symptoms, such as memory problems and tremors, when it invades the brain and spinal cord. Now researchers have found physical evidence of brain damage in patients years after their original infection, the first such documentation using magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. (Sun, 11/7)
The New York Times:
Women More Likely Than Men To Die In First Year After Heart Attack
Compared with men, women are at significantly higher risk of death in the first year after a heart attack, a new study has found. The generally higher risk of death in women who have heart attacks is well known, but the differences are largely explained by women’s older age when the attack occurs, higher rates of other diseases, and types of treatment they typically receive. (Bakalar, 11/7)
Hockey And DNA: Personalized Genetic Tests Show Up Rink-Side
The Boston-based consumer genetics company Orig3n had announced that it was planning to set up booths at a Boston Bruins game I was going to attend. Along with other fans, I could get a free DNA test and learn about my own genes. These kinds of tests are increasingly common — and many of them are marketed toward fitness junkies and sports fans like myself. The idea is that you can discover all kinds of things you never knew about your health. (Hogan, 11/7)
You Can Get Your DNA Tested At An NFL Game. Should You?
Depending on who you ask, finding out whether your genes make you a better athlete or give you healthier skin may be as easy as swabbing your cheeks for a DNA test on your way into a football game. But others say these "wellness" tests marketed directly to consumers are modern snake oil – worthless, or even misleading. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave a boost to direct-to-consumer genetic testing, when it announced plans to streamline its approval process. (Levy, 11/8)
Journal Editors Take Industry Payments, Too — In Two Cases, Over $1 Million
For the past decade, many medical journals have begun requiring contributors to disclose their conflicts of interest, but a new study finds that many journal editors — who are also doctors — themselves receive hefty payments from industry and most of their journals do a poor job of disclosing relevant policies. To wit, the study found that, in 2014, half of 713 journal editors, whose payments were reported to a U.S. government database, had received something of value from drug or device makers, and nearly 10 percent had received research funding. While the median general payment was only $11, the range was large — from $0 to more than $2,900. And two editors received more than $1 million in payments. (Silverman, 11/7)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Study Finds 40 Percent Of Doctors Work While Sick. Here's How Philly Hospitals Handle Sick Days.
Just what you need in flu session. The guy next to you – he’s sneezing. He’s sniffling. He’s coughing. He’s got a nose like Rudolph the reindeer. He’s…your doctor? The chances of that happening are better than you might think, according to a new study published this month in the American Journal of Infectious Control. Four in 10 healthcare professionals report to work while experiencing influenza-like symptoms, working a median of three days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). The findings were based on a survey of nearly 2,000 healthcare workers. (Giordano, 11/8)
The New York Times:
Could You Be Allergic To Additives In Food Or Drugs?
When Kammy Eisenberg broke out in hives last December, she attributed it to stress. But the rash persisted, and Ms. Eisenberg was covered in hives “from head to toe” for eight months. “It was everywhere,” said Ms. Eisenberg, 52, who lives in Atlanta. “I was beyond itchy.” Even powerful drugs like prednisone provided only moderate relief, she said. “My allergist was at a loss.” (Rabin, 11/7)
Kaiser Health News:
For Active Seniors, Cohousing Offers A Cozier Alternative To Downsizing
The 5-mile hikes, yoga classes and communal dinners are now routines for the residents at PDX Commons Cohousing in Portland, Ore. These 39 individuals (about half partnered but largely strangers at first) started forging relationships well before they moved in late this summer to join a trend called cohousing. “Here, you walk in and know every one of the people and you know them well,” said Steve Fisher, 63, a retired transportation planner who leads the weekly hikes. He and his wife moved from San Jose, Calif., to PDX Commons. “You greet them. They’re your friends. You do stuff with them. It’s the opposite of the isolation you sometimes get in the urban areas.” (Jayson, 11/8)