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Health Headlines - February 10

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:24pm
Biopsies Still Best for Detecting Breast Cancer

Biopsies remain the best technique to determine if a woman has breast cancer, after she has had an abnormal mammogram or physical examination, a new report contends.

Parents, Vending Machines Can Hamper Good School Nutrition

Early lunchtimes, parents who bring fast food to the cafeteria for their kids, and school income from vending machines can all conspire against high school students trying to make healthy food choices, a new study finds.

New 'Toolkit' Helps Schools Get the Lead Out

Experts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are offering schools and child-care facilities a new "toolkit" to help reduce lead in their drinking water.

Surgeries to Remove Precancerous Cervical Lesions Raise Obstetric Risks

Some of the most common methods used to treat precancerous cells of the cervix may also greatly increase risks for problem pregnancies, researchers report.

FDA Panel Calls for Strongest Warning on ADHD Drugs

A U.S. advisory panel recommended on Thursday the strongest possible label warning for Ritalin and other stimulants used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder because of potential cardiac risks.

Girls Try Drugs, Alcohol at Higher Rates

In a reversal of past trends, teenage girls are trying marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes at higher rates than boys, the White House drug czar said Thursday.

Woman Who Weighs 37 Pounds Has Healthy Boy

A woman who weighs 37 pounds, stands 3 feet tall and uses a wheelchair has given birth to her first child.

Eloysa Vasquez, 38, suffers from Type 3 osteogenesis imperfecta, a disorder that makes bones soft and brittle.

Her tiny, distorted body left little room for a fetus to grow and Vasquez suffered two miscarriages before doctors at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital delivered her son, Timothy, by Cesarean section Jan. 24.

"We just took one day at a time. We had a lot of people praying for us. We just believed ... and here we have our son," Vasquez told The Fresno Bee for a story Thursday.

Baby Timothy weighed only 3 pounds, seven ounces because doctors had to deliver him eight weeks prematurely to protect the mother's fragile health. The child did not inherit his mother's genetic condition.

Vasquez' husband, Roy, said his wife's small stature can be deceiving: "She's a strong lady."

According to the university, only one in 25,000 to 50,000 births are to a mother with osteogenesis imperfecta, and even fewer involve moms with the severe form with which Vasquez was born.

Obstetrician James Smith estimated Timothy's birth was a one-in-a-million event.

Health Tip: Tooth Pain May Actually Signal a Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when an area of heart muscle dies or is damaged because of a lack of oxygen.

Occasionally heart pain can radiate to the jaw and teeth.

Typically, pain occurs as a tightness or squeezing in the chest or behind the sternum that lasts longer than 20 minutes. But in rare cases the pain can also start in the jaw or teeth, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

If you suspect you might be having a heart attack, seek medical attention immediately.

Health Tip: There's No Cure for Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder that, over time, seriously impairs a person's ability to carry out daily activities. It is a form of dementia, whose symptoms include memory loss and changes in personality, mood and behavior.

It is not known exactly what causes Alzheimer's, but researchers believe it develops because of a complex series of events that happen in the brain over a long period of time.

The U.S. National Institute on Aging says the most common form of Alzheimer's is late-onset disease, which occurs after age 65.

Drugs such as donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), or galantamine (Razadyne) can help improve symptoms of the disease, but cannot stop it entirely.
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