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Aspirin therapy may help reduce risk of cancer, prevent spread of disease

Daily low-dose aspirin therapy may hold even more health benefits than previously thought, according to new studies. A daily dose of aspirin may reduce a person’s chance of developing or dying of cancer, and can prevent tumors from spreading, the studies say. Aspirin therapy is often prescribed for patients who have had or are at risk for heart attack and stroke. It works by interfering with the blood’s clotting action. Clots can form when a fatty deposit in the arteries bursts. When clots lodge in the artery, they can cause a heart attack or stroke. Recent studies have shown that ... Read More

Gardasil distribution stalled in France pending government-ordered study

The distribution of Merck’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil has been halted in France, where a government-appointed group of immunologists and other researchers has been formed to determine if the benefits of the vaccine are worth the risks. As in the United States, Gardasil has become a “thorny subject” in France, with many parents suspicious of the vaccine’s benefits and fearful of its risks, according to France’s Le Point. Data pulled from the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows that from the time Gardasil was introduced in 2006 until September 15, 2011, 20,096 adverse events following the vaccine ... Read More

New iPad app helps identify best antidepressant for patients

A new iPad app can help doctors determine the best antidepressant to treat patients. The new Clinaptica Depression Consultant app was developed by Scaled Psychiatric Systems, Inc. It costs $4.95 at the App Store, and is designed to go beyond any previous system for people with depressive disorders to recommend antidepressant therapies specific to different patient characteristics. Arizona Physician Dr. Rakesh Patel has used an online version of the program since 2006 and says the treatment recommendations have been “spot on almost every time.” A multi-study presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in 2009 showed that a sample ... Read More

Transvaginal mesh fast-tracked through FDA approval

Consumer Reports, one of the nation’s oldest and most trusted authorities on consumer product quality, has launched an offensive against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 510(k) medical device approval process, saying it has created “a nightmare scenario” for millions of Americans. The FDA’s 510(k) process, used to push transvaginal mesh, bladder slings, and other medical devices to market, is often referred to as the “fast-track” process or fast-tracking because it does just that; the process speeds many medical devices to market by forgoing clinical safety testing. Medical devices that are granted a ride on the 510(k) speedway must ... Read More

Medical experts identify Pradaxa risk factors that increase chance of bleeding

A team of leading New Zealand hematologists are turning to the New England Journal of Medicine to reignite concerns about a blood thinner used in heart patients. The medical experts say that the trial used to assess the safety of the drug Pradaxa is questionable and that there is research showing the medication can cause prolonged bleeding events, particularly in elderly and underweight patients with renal problems. The team of experts says that high risk patients were not properly represented in safety trials conducted by the drug’s maker, Boehinger Ingelheim, and that prolonged bleeding caused by Pradaxa may likely have contributed ... Read More

BA lawyer appointed to help manage Actos bladder cancer litigation

Nineteen plaintiffs attorneys, including Beasley Allen attorney Andy Birchfield, have been appointed to manage litigation involving claims that Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co.’s type 2 diabetes drug Actos causes bladder cancer. Takeda, Asia’s largest drug maker, may face as many as 10,000 bladder cancer claims with Actos after a study showed that use the drug put users at risk for the disease. Federal lawsuits against Takeda were previously consolidated before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in Lafayette, Louisiana. The first hearing is set for March 22. The lawsuits allege patients who used Actos are at an increased risk for developing bladder cancer, ... Read More

Less frequent pap testing won’t increase cervical cancer death rate, authorities say

New guidelines established by the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force call for an end to annual Pap smear tests, recommending instead that women be tested once every three to five years. But as opponents of the Gardasil human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine have pointed out, Pap tests are the best protection against cervical cancer resulting from human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. So why would trusted medical authorities call for less Pap screening? Dr. Michael LeFevre, co-vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, told the Associated Press that studies demonstrate the cervical cancer death rate is ... Read More

Could traumatic brain injury explain soldier’s killing spree?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) may have played a role in one U.S. soldier’s unprovoked massacre of 16 Afghan citizens early Sunday morning, according to numerous reports of the horrific incident coming out of the Middle East. Investigators are trying to determine why the Army-trained sniper left his post in Camp Belambay, Afghanistan in the middle of the night and walked more than a mile south to a village where he methodically entered private homes and opened fire on their occupants. In one home, four family members were killed. In a second home, the soldier killed three adults and eight ... Read More

US Soldier allegedly suffered from TBI before Afghan shooting spree

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) during a recent tour of war duty may have been the trigger that sent a US soldier on a bloody rampage, killing Afghan civilians including women and children. An official told ABC News that the soldier had suffered a mild TBI at some point previously either from hitting his head on the hatch of a vehicle or in a car accident. He went through advanced TBI treatment at Fort Lewis. He also was put through mental health screening as part of sniper training and had routine behavioral health screenings. Throughout all the testing, the soldier ... Read More

Selenium linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes

People who take selenium supplements may be putting themselves at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. Selenium is a trace mineral that has garnered much praise over the past decade for offering a host of health benefits, especially for individuals with low selenium levels. Low levels of selenium in your blood can be dangerous. It can put you at risk for poor immune function, cognitive decline, and even death. Adequate levels ensure good male fertility; protect against bladder, lung, colorectal and prostate cancers; and help ward off viruses. But too much selenium can have detrimental ... Read More