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Heredity's Role in Pancreatic Cancer Confirmed

Fri Mar 8, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A study of people with a family history of pancreatic cancer shows them to be at increased risk of developing the disease, according to Canadian researchers.

Dr. Steven A. Narod of the University of Toronto and his colleagues suggest that these first-degree relatives of patients with pancreatic cancer, who are themselves at high risk for the disease, "might benefit from increased surveillance or chemoprevention."


Gum Chewing Found to Boost Brainpower, Memory

Wed Mar 13, 2002

By Jeremy Laurence

LONDON (Reuters) - The often-maligned act of chewing gum could in fact make us smarter, according to British research.

A joint study carried out by the University of Northumbria and the Cognitive Research Unit, Reading, has found that chewing gum has a positive effect on thinking, memory and other cognitive tasks.


Fitness Level Found Vital in Men's Death Risk

Wed Mar 13, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The fittest may indeed survive the longest, according to new research suggesting that physical fitness is more important in death risk than even high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking.

The study of more than 6,200 US men who underwent treadmill testing for cardiovascular disease found that the risk of death over the next 6 years declined as exercise capacity rose. This was true of both men with cardiovascular disease and those whose exercise tests were normal.


Study Finds Racial Differences in U.S. Cancer Care

Fri Mar 8, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - US minorities may receive less aggressive cancer treatment than whites--potentially amounting to more cancer recurrences and higher death rates, according to researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).


On-The-Job Paint Exposure Ups Cancer Risk

Wed Mar 13, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Men and women in the painting trades or who work in paint manufacturing may have an increased risk of cancer, depending on the job they do, according to the results of a large study conducted in Sweden.

The findings are published in the March issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.


Pediatricians Urge Vision Screening for All Kids

Fri Mar 8, 2002

By Charnicia E. Huggins

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - All children should be screened for amblyopia, or lazy eye, and a new test could help increase vision screening rates, especially in young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in a statement released this week.

Monkeys' Minds Used to Move Computer Cursor

Wed Mar 13, 2002

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - US researchers have developed a technology that allows monkeys to move a computer cursor with their minds alone--raising the possibility that a similar system could one day help people with severe paralysis communicate and function more independently.

This stranger-than-fiction science, in which implanted electrodes helped the monkeys' brain activity control the computer-cursor movement, could "potentially be applicable to humans," the study's lead author told Reuters Health.


Medical Experts Advise UK to Ease Cannabis Laws

Thu Mar 14, 2002

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - Medical experts have given the go-ahead for the government to reclassify cannabis as low-risk in the latest in a series of moves relaxing attitudes towards soft drugs.

In a report to Home Secretary David Blunkett, medical experts from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) said all cannabis preparations should be downgraded to Class C--the lowest risk grouping of controlled drugs. Classifying it as any higher risk was "disproportionate," the report said on Thursday.


More Caution Urged with Contact Lens Use

Tue Mar 12, 2002

By Jacqueline Stenson

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Many people underestimate the risks of contact lenses, continuing to wear them when their eyes become tired or irritated and not cleaning them as directed, according to a Florida doctor.

In the short term, these missteps can lead to sore, itchy eyes, abrasions and sometimes to potentially blinding ulcers and infections, said Dr. Thomas J. Liesegang, an ophthalmologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.