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  • July 07, 2016 7:32 AM | Deleted user


    Young women who get the recommended three doses of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine have fewer abnormal Pap tests than unvaccinated women and women who only get two doses, Canadian researchers say.

    HPV vaccination is intended to prevent cervical cancer and abnormal cells that can lead to cancer, but how well it’s working among North American women remains unclear.

    “Both HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening are important to further reduce the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of cervical cancer,” senior study author Dr. Huiming Yang from Alberta Health Services in Calgary told Reuters Health by email.

    The province of Alberta implemented a school-based HPV vaccination program for girls in 2008 and expanded it to include boys in 2014. The HPV vaccination program provides three doses of the vaccine over a six-month period.

    Yang and colleagues studied the impact on Pap test results eight years into this program.

    The researchers analyzed data on 10,204 women, 56 percent of whom were unvaccinated and the rest had received at least one dose of HPV vaccine before having cervical cancer screening.

    Overall, 14.5 percent of women had abnormal Pap tests and 85.5 percent had normal tests. Most abnormal tests, nearly 94 percent, were low-grade abnormalities, but the rest were the high-grade abnormalities that could progress to cervical cancer.

    Less than 12 percent of women who had received at least three doses of the vaccine had abnormal Pap results, whereas 16 percent of unvaccinated women had abnormal tests. This translates into a 28 percent risk reduction with full HPV vaccination.

    The difference was even greater – a 50 percent reduction in risk – when only high-grade abnormalities were included, according to the results published in CMAJ.

    Surprisingly, incomplete HPV vaccination with two or fewer doses of the vaccine was not associated with a lower risk of having an abnormal Pap test.

    "Our study shows that three doses HPV vaccination is very effective in reducing cervical cell abnormalities, particularly for high-grade lesions, but two does not appear to offer similar protection,” Dr. Yang concluded. “It is important to complete all scheduled doses of vaccine.”

    "I found it interesting that young women in this study that received two doses of the quadrivalent vaccine had similar odds of having an abnormal Pap as those who had 0 doses,” said Dr. Jacqueline M. Hirth from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, who has also studied the effect of HPV vaccination on cervical cancer screening among young women.

    That result should be interpreted with caution, she told Reuters Health by email, since many of the young women in this sample were under 21 years of age and may not have been receiving routine Pap screenings.

    “They may have actually gone to their providers for abnormal bleeding or other symptoms, which may have prompted them to receive Pap tests that would not have met the criteria for ‘routine’ screenings,” Hirth said.

    HPV vaccination in combination with cervical cancer screening according to guidelines is important for the prevention of cervical cancer, Hirth said, because the HPV vaccine does not protect against all high-risk HPV types.

    She added that it's important for women to receive all three doses of the HPV vaccine and to undergo cervical cancer screening regardless of vaccination history in order to reduce their risk of developing HPV-related cancers.

    SOURCE: CMAJ, online July 4, 2016.

  • July 06, 2016 11:20 AM | Deleted user

    (Reuters Health) – Breast cancer survivors may not always realize why follow-up care is important, a small study suggests.

    According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the purpose of follow up care is to keep patients in good health, manage side effects from treatment, find out if cancer has returned, and screen for other types of cancer, along with providing emotional support.

    Many patients in the study understood this, to some extent. “When patients were asked about the aims of breast cancer follow-up, they most frequently mentioned that follow-up was to detect recurrence or give reassurance,” according to a report in Maturitas.

    But 12 patients said they were somewhat uncertain about the aims of follow-up.

    And some women believed – incorrectly - that breast cancer could not recur after two to five years of follow-up, and that recurrences could not develop directly after or between follow-up appointments.

    Dr. Annette Berendsen and colleagues at University Medical Center Groningen in The Netherlands interviewed 61 women with a history of early-stage breast cancer.

    The women were in their early 60s, on average, and had been diagnosed with breast cancer an average of seven years earlier. All had undergone some type of surgery, and 39 had also received radiation.

    Many of the women reported feeling scared, worried and distressed before follow up visits, and roughly a quarter said the appointments made them felt anxious and as if they were dealing with their breast cancer again. But after receiving news they were cancer-free, most said their worries disappeared.

    Some mentioned “surveillance for metastatic disease” as the reason for follow up while others couldn’t identify different ways the cancer could return. Women also questioned whether physical exams and mammography could detect any signs of their cancer returning, while others valued the tests in their follow up visits.

    Dr. Gary Lyman, who specializes in breast cancer research and treatment at the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, told Reuters Health by phone, “This study confirms patients’ misconceptions of what the purpose and goals of follow up care is all about.”

    Lyman, who was not involved with the study, recommends that doctors be clear with their patients as to why certain tests are necessary and others aren’t.

    As for patients, he urges them to ask questions.

    “Have a conversation with your doctor about what follow up work should be done, how often and why,” he said. “Find out why to fully understand the next steps in your care.”

    SOURCE: Maturitas, online June 23, 2016.

  • July 06, 2016 11:17 AM | Deleted user

    Consuming higher amounts of unsaturated fats was associated with lower mortality, according to a study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In a large study population followed for more than three decades, researchers found that higher consumption of saturated and trans fats was linked with higher mortality compared with the same number of calories from carbohydrates. Most importantly, replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats conferred substantial health benefits. This study provides further support for the 2015­2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that emphasize the types of fat rather than total amount of fat in the diet. 

    The study is the most detailed and powerful examination to date on how dietary fats impact health. It suggests that replacing saturated fats like butter, lard, and fat in red meat with unsaturated fats from plantbased foods—like olive oil, canola oil, and soybean oil—can confer substantial health benefits and should continue to be a key message in dietary recommendations. The study will be published online July 5, 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

    "There has been widespread confusion in the biomedical community and the general public in the last couple of years about the health effects of specific types of fat in the diet," said Dong Wang, a doctoral candidate, SD '16, in the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study. "This study documents important benefits of unsaturated fats, especially when they replace saturated and trans fats." 7/6/2016 Higher consumption of unsaturated fats linked with lower mortality 2/2 

    The study included 126,233 participants from two large long­term studies—the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow­Up Study—who answered survey questions every 2­4 years about their diet, lifestyle, and health for up to 32 years. During the follow­up, 33,304 deaths were documented. Researchers from Harvard Chan School and Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the relationship between types of fats in the participants' diets and overall deaths among the group during the study period, as well as deaths due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and respiratory disease. 

    Different types of dietary fat had different associations with mortality, the researchers found. Trans fats—on their way to being largely phased out of food—had the most significant adverse impact on health. Every 2% higher intake of trans fat was associated with a 16% higher chance of premature death during the study period. Higher consumption of saturated fats was also linked with greater mortality risk. When compared with the same number of calories from carbohydrate, every 5% increase in saturated fat intake was associated with an 8% higher risk of overall mortality. Conversely, intake of high amounts of unsaturated fats—both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated—was associated with between 11% and 19% lower overall mortality compared with the same number of calories from carbohydrates. Among the polyunsaturated fats, both omega­6, found in most plant oils, and omega­3 fatty acids, found in fish and soy and canola oils, were associated with lower risk of premature death. 

    The health effects of specific types of fats depended on what people were replacing them with, the researchers found. For example, people who replaced saturated fats with unsaturated fats—especially polyunsaturated fats—had significantly lower risk of death overall during the study period, as well as lower risk of death from CVD, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and respiratory disease, compared with those who maintained high intakes of saturated fats. The findings for cardiovascular disease are consistent with many earlier studies showing reduced total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol when unsaturated fats replace trans or saturated fats. 

    People who replaced saturated fats with carbohydrates had only slightly lower mortality risk. In addition, replacing total fat with carbohydrates was associated with modestly higher mortality. This was not surprising, the authors said, because carbohydrates in the American diet tend to be primarily refined starch and sugar, which have a similar influence on mortality risk as saturated fats. "Our study shows the importance of eliminating trans fat and replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fats, including both omega­6 and omega­3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. In practice, this can be achieved by replacing animal fats with a variety of liquid vegetable oils," said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard Chan School and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. 

    More information: "Specific Dietary Fats in Relation to Total and Cause­Specific Mortality," Dong D. Wang, Yanping Li, Stephanie E. Chiuve, Meir J. Stampfer, JoAnn E. Manson, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, and Frank B. Hu, JAMA Internal Medicine, online July 5, 2016, DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2417 

    Provided by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health "Higher consumption of unsaturated fats linked with lower mortality" July 5, 2016­07­ higher­consumption­unsaturated­fats­linked.html

  • July 06, 2016 11:15 AM | Deleted user

    Effectiveness drops dramatically after that.

    En Español

    TUESDAY, July 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A flu shot during pregnancy protects newborns against the flu for about two months after birth, a new study finds.

    Previous studies have shown that flu vaccination during pregnancy helps protect newborns. This study shows the length of protection is likely limited to the first eight weeks of life, said Marta Nunes, of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and her co-authors.

    Researchers assessed more than 1,000 infants born to women given a flu shot during pregnancy. They found the vaccine's effectiveness was highest (85.6 percent) during the first eight weeks after birth. Effectiveness ranged from about 25 percent to 30 percent at ages 8 to 16 weeks, and 16 to 24 weeks.

    The findings were published online July 5 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

    The results are important because infants have high rates of flu, which puts them at risk for hospitalization and death, the study authors said in a journal news release.

    Current vaccines don't work well in infants younger than 6 months and aren't approved for use in that age group, they added.

    More information

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on pregnancy and flu vaccination.

    SOURCE: JAMA Pediatrics, news release, July 5, 2016

    -- Robert Preidt

    Last Updated: Jul 5, 2016

    Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • July 06, 2016 11:13 AM | Deleted user

    Written by Catharine Paddock PhD

    Published: Tuesday 5 July 2016

    Health authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom are alerting hospitals to be on the lookout for an emerging multidrug-resistant yeast in patients that is causing potentially lethal, invasive infections in healthcare settings. First brought to the attention of medical authorities in 2009 in Japan, outbreaks of Candida auris infections have now occurred in nine countries on four continents.

    ICU bed Patients who have been in intensive care for a long time appear to be particularly susceptible to invasive infection by C. auris.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. and Public Health England (PHE) in the U.K. have issued alerts to hospitals and testing labs warning that healthcare facilities in several countries have reported that C. auris has been causing severe illness in hospitalized patients.

    Invasive infection - where the yeast enters the bloodstream - with any Candidaspecies can be fatal. Based on information from a limited number of patients, the CDC note that 60 percent of patients with C. auris infection have died. However, many of them had serious illnesses that, on their own, raised their risk of death.

    There are three main reasons to be concerned about C. auris infections, say the CDC. First, it is often multidrug-resistant; second, it is difficult to identify; third, it has caused outbreaks in hospital settings.

    C. auris can enter the bloodstream and spread through the body, causing severe invasive infection. It often does not respond to commonly used antifungal drugs, making infections difficult to treat. The yeast can also cause wound infections and ear infections.

    Recent emergence of C. auris in different places a mystery

    The yeast infection was first identified in 2009 in Japan after being isolated from ear discharge of a patient. Since then, C. aurisinfections that have entered the bloodstream have been reported from South Korea, South Africa, India, and Kuwait.

    Infections have also been identified in Colombia, Pakistan, the U.K., and Venezuela, although these are not detailed in any published reports, note the CDC.

    Sporadic cases have been identified throughout England since 2013. One English hospital has identified more than 40 cases in its adult critical care unit.

    Two other cases have also been identified in another English hospital, and investigations are under way to find if there are any other cases, says Dr. Berit Muller-Pebody, head of the antimicrobial resistance section at PHE.

    So far, however, no multidrug-resistant strains of C. auris have been found in the U.K.

    A review of samples collected in the past has raised the possibility of there having been at least one case of C. auris infection in the U.S. that occurred in 2013.

    Why C. auris has recently emerged in so many different places is somewhat of a mystery. Molecular analysis of strains suggests while they are related within a country or region, they are highly distinct between continents.

    Retrospective testing of samples have revealed that the earliest known infection with C. auris was in South Korea in 1996.

    C. auris identification is difficult, risk factors unclear

    C. auris can only be identified reliably with molecular analysis; conventional lab techniques can mistakenly confuse it with another related fungus.

    Misidentification leads to the wrong treatment and raises the chance of the infection spreading to other patients.

    Unlike its cousin C. albicans - the yeast that causes thrush infections in the genitals and mouth - C. auris has also been found in urine and respiratory samples. However, it is not clear whether it causes infections in the lung or bladder.

    There is not much data on risk factors for C. auris infections, but the CDC say evidence suggests these are much the same as for other types of Candida infections, including recent surgery, diabetes, use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and antifungals, and use of central venous catheter (catheter in a large vein).

    Patients who have been in intensive care for a long time appear to be particularly susceptible.

    More work needed to understand C. auris

    The CDC note it is unlikely that travel to the countries with known outbreaks of C. auris will increase a person's chance of becoming infected with the yeast, as infections have primarily affected patients who were already in the hospital for other reasons.

    Most C. auris infections are treatable with a class of antifungals called echinocandins. However, in some cases, the yeast infections have been resistant to all three main classes of antifungals, making them more difficult to treat. In such cases, the infection is treated with high doses of several classes of antifungal drugs at the same time.

    The authorities say more work is needed to understand how C. auris spreads, but early evidence suggests it could be via contact with surfaces or medical equipment, or from person to person.

    However, certain infection control measures - such as strict hand hygiene and wearing gowns and gloves - are likely to prevent spread. Thorough environmental cleaning of hospital rooms could also help.

    Other measures include screening of patients, isolation of those infected, and temporary closure of affected wards to enable thorough deep cleaning with an approved, fungus-targeting product.

    The CDC say:

    "C. auris may not represent a new organism so much as one that is newly emerging in various clinical settings. Although the causes for such emergence are unknown, they may include new or increasing antifungal selection pressures in humans, animals, or the environment."

    The CDC recently called for more effort to fight superbugs.

    Written by Catharine Paddock PhD

    CDC, Clinical alert, accessed 4 July 2016.

    Department of Health: Public Health England news alert, accessed 4 July 2016.

    Additional source: CDC, Candida auris Questions and answers, accessed 4 July 2016.

  • July 05, 2016 9:38 AM | Deleted user
    However, study did not meet primary objective of reducing odds of vasovagal syncope by 40 percent

    FRIDAY, July 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Fludrocortisone is associated with a reduction in the risk of vasovagal syncope, according to a study published in the July 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

    Robert Sheldon, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues examined whether fludrocortisone treatment reduces the risk of recurrent vasovagal syncope by at least 40 percent. A total of 210 patients with a median of 15 syncopal spells over a median of nine years were randomized to fludrocortisone or placebo; 14 patients were lost to follow-up before syncopal recurrence.

    The researchers found that 96 patients had one or more syncope recurrences. The fludrocortisone group had a marginally nonsignificant reduction in syncope (hazard ratio, 0.69; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.46 to 1.03). Fludrocortisone correlated with a significant reduction in the likelihood of syncope in a multivariable model (hazard ratio, 0.63; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.42 to 0.94). There was a significant benefit due to fludrocortisone when analysis was restricted to outcomes after two weeks of dose stabilization (hazard ratio, 0.51; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.28 to 0.89).

    "The study did not meet its primary objective of demonstrating that fludrocortisone reduced the likelihood of vasovagal syncope by the specified risk reduction of 40 percent," the authors write. "The study demonstrated a significant effect after dose stabilization, and there were significant findings in post hoc multivariable and on-treatment analyses."

    Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

    Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
    Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

    Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • July 05, 2016 9:37 AM | Deleted user

    When a woman is diagnosed with the earliest stage of breast cancer, how aggressive should her treatment be? Will the non-invasive cancer become invasive? Or is it a slow-growing variety that will likely never be harmful?

    The technique combines imaging and mathematics. It's called biomarker ratio imaging microscopy, or BRIM.Researchers at the University of Michigan developed a new technology that can identify aggressive forms of ductal carcinoma in situ, or stage 0 breast cancer, from non-aggressive varieties.

    "A patient with DCIS is typically treated as if she has invasive disease, which is easy to understand. When women hear breast cancer, they're petrified. And physicians are keenly concerned about outcomes as well," says study author Howard R. Petty, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences and of microbiology and immunology.

    "But, DCIS is not the same disease for everyone. If we can identify potentially non-aggressive lesions, perhaps those women don't need aggressive treatment."

    BRIM combines traditional pathology techniques and fuses it with mathematical analysis to determine the relative levels of certain biomarkers in a tumor.

    Petty and co-author Andrea J. Clark looked at biopsy samples from 23 patients with DCIS. They used fluorescence imaging, in which tumors are stained to identify key biomarkers. Each biomarker was stained a different color. The stained samples were then entered into a computer program that determines the ratio of biomarker in each pixel.

    Some biomarkers are highly expressed in cancer; others have very low expression. With BRIM, researchers take the ratio of expression. This means high and low do not cancel each other out, but rather combine to form an image of improved contrast.

    Using this technique, researchers could separate the DCIS patient samples into those with a lot of cancer stem cells - which are highly aggressive - and those that resembled benign tumors. They found 22 percent of the samples had low scores suggestive of very slow-growing, non-aggressive disease.

    "This approach is going to be a new and powerful one. It works because we're looking at it mathematically," Petty says. The results are published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

    Ratio imaging microscopy was used in the 1990s to look at calcium signals. Here, the researchers resurrected this technique and applied it using antibodies and biomarkers.

    Biomarkers were selected based on an extensive literature search. The researchers suggest that another advantage to BRIM is that it combines multiple biomarkers, rather than relying on a single marker.

    Rates of ductal carcinoma in situ have increased since screening mammography became common. Some experts believe that DCIS can become invasive breast cancer, but this has not been proven. Currently, there is not a way to stratify the disease based on aggressiveness.

    The researchers suggest that in addition to preventing overtreatment, BRIM could be used to help more broadly with  treatment decisions. As the biomarker literature becomes more expansive in other cancer types, the researchers say they will expand their work to other forms of cancer.

    They plan to conduct a large retrospective study correlating BRIM scores to patient outcomes.

    Explore further: Potential for prediction of progression for early form of breast cancer

    More information: Andrea J. Clark et al, Identification of lesion subtypes in biopsies of ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast using biomarker ratio imaging microscopy, Scientific Reports (2016). DOI: 10.1038/srep27039 

  • July 01, 2016 10:39 AM | Deleted user

    The following training resources on the Zika virus and related topics are provided for health professionals. This list is not inclusive of all resources, but instead highlights key CDC training opportunities and websites.

    Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Calls/Webinars

    Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR)

    This button links to a page on the MMWR website with a list of all published Zika-related reports. Continuing education is available for all MMWR reports.

     CDC MMWR Zika button

    Zika Video Resources

    Doctor Cono's interview on Platform Q Health: A CDC Update for Clinicians on Zika Virus Disease

    A CDC Update for Clinicians on Zika Virus Disease

    Dr. Joanne Cono, MD, ScM, Director of the Office of Science Quality of the CDC gave a live presentation regarding the latest Zika information available and answered a myriad of questions from your fellow health care practitioners.

     Screenshot of Matt Karwowski, MD MPHZika for Pediatricians: Critical Update

    Dr. Matt Karwowski, a pediatrician with the Pregnancy and Birth Defects Team for CDC's 2016 Zika Virus Response, reviews what we know about Zika virus and congenital microcephaly and other birth defects. He also discusses CDC's guidelines for healthcare providers caring for infants and children with possible Zika virus infection.

     Screenshot of a medscape video featuring Dr. Obuyebo.Medscape Expert Commentary: Advising Pregnant Women About Zika

    Dr. Titilope Oduyebo, an obstetrician-gynecologist from CDC’s Pregnancy and Birth Defects team, gives key insight into the Zika virus. She discusses what we know about Zika virus infection during pregnancy, and reviews CDC’s current recommendations for screening, testing, and management of women with possible Zika virus exposure.


    CDC TRAIN provides free access to thousands of courses, more than 1,000 of which were developed by CDC programs and funded partners. Courses in CDC TRAIN are available on a wide array of public health and health care topics and in a variety of formats, including classroom training, webinars, and online self-study options. Many offer free continuing education.

    This link  takes you to a search listing of training activities on CDC TRAIN related to Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue, chikungunya, and malaria.

    Disclaimer: Training found through a search of the website is made available as a public service. Web pages, training, and programs from non-federal organizations are provided solely as a service. These links do not constitute an endorsement by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only courses offered by CDC Course Providers have been verified and approved by CDC.

  • July 01, 2016 7:52 AM | Deleted user


    (Reuters Health) – Stretching just 10 minutes a day might help ease menopause and depression symptoms in middle-aged women, a small study suggests.

    “Light-intensity exercises such as stretching have not been previously evaluated for its impact on menopausal and depressive symptoms,” lead researcher Yuko Kai told Reuters Health by email.

    Forty Japanese women, ages 40 to 61 years, participated in the study at the Physical Fitness Research Institute, Meiji Yasuda Life Foundation of Health and Welfare in Tokyo.

    Twenty of the women were randomly assigned to stretch 10 minutes a day before bedtime for three weeks. The other 20 were instructed to remain sedentary before bed.

    The research team evaluated the women’s menopausal symptoms using 10 questions about vasomotor symptoms (such as hot flashes and chills), psychological symptoms (including mood and sleep disturbances) and body aches.

    They used a separate set of questions to evaluate symptoms of depression.

    At the start, the groups were generally similar. More than half the participants were postmenopausal and nearly two-thirds had depression. Most of the women were not physically active.

    On average, the stretching group stretched about five days per week.

    Overall, the women in the stretching group had improved scores on both sets of questions after the three-week study period, compared to the group that didn’t stretch before bed.

    The frequency of hot flashes wasn’t different in the two groups, however.

    While stretching before bed isn’t a bad idea, Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of The North American Menopause Society, told Reuters Health by email, “it is impossible to tell if the positive effect found from stretching on menopausal and depressive symptoms was due to the stretching, the increased movement, or not doing whatever they normally do during the 10 minutes before bed such as eat, smoke or drink, etc.”

    Pinkerton said the results would have been more interesting if the comparison group had been assigned a task to do before bedtime, to see if it was the stretching itself that was helpful or just the fact of doing something before bed.

    In most studies of methods for reducing hot flashes, the placebo group sees some improvement, too, she pointed out. In this trial, the comparison group had no improvement at all, which means, she said, that it was not an adequate control group.

    For more conclusive results, Pinkerton said, "this study needs to be replicated with larger, more diverse postmenopausal women with an active control group.”

    In the meantime, she added, women should remember that “being sedentary has been shown to be bad for (their) physical and mental health and to increase hot flashes. Being active every day has been shown to lessen severity of hot flashes, improve mood, coping ability and may decrease (their) risk of cognitive loss."

    Additionally, Pinkerton said, "if women were to exercise with light walking 30 minutes daily and then stretch for 10 minutes, they might improve health, menopausal symptoms, mood and cognition and, if stretching helps sleep, improve their sleep quality.”

    SOURCE: Menopause, online June 13, 2016.

  • July 01, 2016 7:52 AM | Deleted user

    THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women with a gene mutation known as BRCA1 have an increased risk for a deadly form of uterine cancer, a new study finds.

    The BRCA1 gene mutation is already well known for significantly increasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. In fact, the risk is so high that some women consider having both breasts, as well as their ovaries, removed to prevent breast and ovarian cancers, the researchers noted.

    This latest study is the first to find a conclusive link between the mutation and a slight increase in the odds of developing an aggressive uterine cancer, the researchers said.

    The study authors looked at data from nearly 1,100 U.S. women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. The women were from the United States and the United Kingdom. Their health was followed for a median of about five years. BRCA2 also raises the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

    During the research period, eight of the women in the study were diagnosed with uterine cancer, a rate that's slightly higher but not statistically different than for women in the general population.

    However, five of those cancers were an uncommon and highly aggressive type called serous endometrial cancer. Four out of five of those cancers occurred in women with the BRCA1 mutation, the study showed.

    "We were surprised when we saw the data," study author Dr. Noah Kauff, head of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at the Duke Cancer Institute, said in a university news release.

    "This is an event that should not occur in the over 600 women with BRCA1 mutations in our study. Even if we followed these women for 25 years, you would only expect to see no more than one serous cancer," he explained.

    The study was published online June 30 in the journal JAMA Oncology.

    The findings could help women with the BRCA1 mutation and their doctors make treatment decisions, the researchers said.

    "Our findings suggest that it may be important for women with BRCA1 mutations to consider removing their uterus at the time they are considering removing their ovaries and fallopian tubes, unless they are hoping to still have children using assisted reproductive methods or have other medical reasons," Kauff said.

    But, if women have already had surgery to remove their breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes, the benefit of having another surgery to remove the uterus is less clear, the researchers said.

    Kauff said that more studies need to be done to see whether or not a 3 to 5 percent risk of serous uterine cancer over 25 years justifies the costs and potential complications of a second surgery.

    More information

    The U.S. Office on Women's Health has more on uterine cancer.

    SOURCE: Duke University, news release, June 30, 2016

    -- Robert Preidt

    Last Updated: Jun 30, 2016

    Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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