Married cancer patients get better more often
A new study shows that married people were 20 percent
less likely to die from cancer than patients who were separated,
divorced, widowed or never married, according to a study published in
September in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The real secret to survival may be social support rather than marriage
itself, says study author Ayal Aizer of the Harvard Radiation Oncology
Program in Boston. He was interviewed by USA Today.
Spouses or partners provide take care of patients, driving them to
appointments or even just making sure they take their medicine.
One key conclusion is simply that a caring social network makes people
get well. According to Paul Nguyen, oncologist in Boston, 'being there'
for a person really does help. When you help people with their
appointments and general health, you are also helping them recover from
So your painful shoulder has been a nagging problem but now you can't move
it at all. Frightening, definitely. But no need to panic.
Frozen shoulder can repair itself without treatment during the course of
a year or more.
Doctors are not completely sure what leads to frozen shoulder. It seems
to occur in people whose shoulders are immobile for a period of time
because of rotator cuff injury, a broken arm, or stroke recovery.
Frozen shoulder occurs when the capsule around the shoulder joint
thickens and tightens. Stiff tissue bands can develop, and there may be
reduced synovial fluid to lubricate the joint, say doctors at the Mayo
It usually develops in three stages.
First, shoulder pain occurs with any movement and become worse at night.
In the second stage, range of motion decreases notably and it may be
difficult or impossible to raise your arm to comb hair. Pain may well
diminish in this stage.
The third stage is the thawing stage. Range of motion improves but pain
will probably linger. A doctor or physical therapist may recommend
stretching and simple exercises.
Injecting sterile water into the joint can make room for joint movement.
Surgery to remove scar tissue inside the joint can also give some
relief. It could take up to a year for the joint to thaw entirely.
Women, aspirin and colon cancer protection
Many studies show that taking a baby aspirin every
day can reduce a man's risk of colon cancer.
Now, a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that
middle-aged women who took 100 milligrams of aspirin (a little more than
a standard baby aspirin) at least every other day for 10 years were less
likely to develop colon cancer.
Women at high risk because of family history or previous polyps should
discuss it with their doctors.
New devices guard the head from concussion but not controversy
Player safety has become the goal for college and pro
football with the NCAA and NFL facing lawsuits over concussions.
Though both college and pro sports penalize players for taking aim at
the head or neck of an opponent, but it still happens either on purpose
or by accident.
Some colleges and universities are outfitting their players with
Guardian Caps that fit over their regular helmets. The caps are actually
shells that fit over the helmet. They have padded compartments
throughout the top and sides of the caps. They dissipate energy better
than a solid helmet.
Right now, they can only be used in practice, but 35 states have schools
or leagues using at least 20 Guardian Caps each.
Other companies are also offering products to protect the brain.
A Pennsylvania company offers extra head padding that includes
bulletproof material. Riddell, maker of the official helmet of the NFL,
is introducing a sensor system in its helmet that signals when an impact
exceeds certain thresholds. Reebok has a new impact sensor that flashes
when impacts exceed the designated threshold.
The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE)
says schools' primary focus should be on limiting illegal hits by
players and medical handling of concussions when they occur.
They also say, "A helmet addition that changes or alters the protective
system by adding or deleting protective padding ... or which changes or
alters the geometry of the shell or adds mass to the helmet, whether
temporary or permanent, voids the certification of compliance."