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Tue, 26 Sep 2017
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Ambulance

Breast Implants Are Linked to Rare but Treatable Cancer, F.D.A. Finds

Breast implants may cause a small but significant increase in the risk of an extremely rare but treatable type of cancer, the Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday.

The risk applies to both saline- and silicone-filled implants, and to all women who have them, whether for reconstruction after cancer surgery or for cosmetic enlargement of the breasts.

The cancer, anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, involves the immune system. It is not breast cancer. It is usually a systemic disease, but in the cases linked to implants, the lymphoma grew in the breast, usually in the capsule of scar tissue that formed around the implant. The cases were discovered because women developed symptoms long after they had healed from the implant surgery - lumps, pain, asymmetry of the breasts, fluid buildup and swelling.

Family

US panel urges new look at 'silver' teeth fillings

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Gaithersburg, Maryland - Enough uncertainty surrounds silver-colored metal dental fillings with mercury that U.S. regulators should add more cautions for dentists and patients, a U.S. advisory panel said on Wednesday.

While past data has backed the cavity treatment, the fillings should be accompanied by warnings about unknown risks for vulnerable people such as children and pregnant women, the Food and Drug Administration's panel of outside advisers said.

"There really is no place for mercury in children," Suresh Kotagal, a panelist and neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said of the toxic metal.

Attention

Legally Poisoned

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Carl Cranor
Americans are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of suspected toxic substances every day, substances that affect the development and function of the brain, immune system, reproductive organs or hormones. Children are the most vulnerable. But no public health law requires product testing of most chemical compounds before they enter the marketplace.

That must change, UC Riverside professor Carl Cranor argues in a new book, Legally Poisoned: How the Law Puts Us at Risk from Toxicants (Harvard University Press, 2011).

The current harm-based or risk-of-harm-based legal structure for regulating exposure to toxic substances is problematic, says Cranor, a professor of philosophy and longtime advocate of reforming U.S. regulatory policies. "Because most substances are subject to post-market regulation, the existing legal structure results in involuntary experiments on citizens. The bodies of the citizenry are invaded and trespassed on by commercial substances, arguably a moral wrong."

Scientists are finding that every industrial chemical and pesticide produced today is capable of entering our bodies, says Cranor, who has served on science advisory panels for the state of California and on Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences committees. For three decades he has studied U.S. regulatory policy and philosophic issues concerning risks, science and the law, as well as the regulation of carcinogens and developmental toxicants, and protection of susceptible populations from new and existing technologies and toxicants. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and University of California Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program.

Cranor notes that the Centers for Disease Control has identified more than 200 toxicants in the bodies of average Americans, a number that he contends is low only because the CDC has not yet developed protocols to reliably identify other substances.

Arrow Up

BPA Bill Would Ban Toxic Chemical in Bottles

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© n/a
Representative Edward Markey (Democrat) continues with his fight against bisphenol A - BPA - by introducing a bill banning the use of the hazardous chemical substance in food and drink containers, said The Boston Globe.

Markey's bill, noted The Boston Globe, seeks to ban BPA in all reusable containers as well as in the plastic lining of canned foods and disposable containers and to mandate that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) look at other substances in beverage and food containers, limiting use if the agency finds that they present a health risk.

Info

Americans Are Wary Of Genetically Engineered Foods

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Genetically engineered salmon
Would you eat a genetically engineered salmon? Are you even sure what the difference is between the regular variety and one that's been tweaked to grow faster?

Don't feel bad if you're unsure. Only a quarter of Americans say they fully understand what genetically engineered food is all about, according to a survey of more then 3,000 people conducted for NPR by Thomson Reuters last month.

Press people a little further by asking them if genetically engineered foods are safe, and the uncertainty climbs higher. Only 21 percent of people are convinced the foods are safe. Most are unsure - 64 percent. The remaining 15 percent think the foods aren't safe.

Info

Indigestion: Natural Remedies for Relief

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© Huffington Post
Indigestion isn't an especially glamorous medical topic, but relieving this condition - and keeping the whole gastrointestinal (GI) tract operating comfortably and efficiently - is vital to overall well being. As French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau put it, "Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook and a good digestion."

Unfortunately, too many Americans are taking a dubious shortcut to digestive health: GI medication use has jumped dramatically in recent years. One in ten Americans was prescribed at least one GI medication on an outpatient basis in 2007 (the most recent year for which figures are available) compared to 1 in 15 in 1997. Such medications often do more harm than good - masking imbalances that can lead to more serious conditions, and causing numerous side effects, including lower B12 levels, increased risk of fractures and even increased risk of infections.

Beaker

Doctors Eye Chemicals for Rise in Child Cancers

© AFP
A mom whose four-year-old died after losing a battle to a brain tumor called Wednesday for tougher US regulation of chemicals suspected of being behind a rise in childhood cancers.

"There's growing evidence linking toxic chemicals and carcinogens in the environment with childhood cancer," Christine Brouwer told a telephone news conference as she described losing a child to cancer.

"I'll most likely never know what caused my daughter's cancer, but researchers are finding more and more links between the hazardous substances in our homes and workplaces and cancer and other diseases."

Brouwer's daughter Mira underwent several operations and endured painful and nauseating treatments to try to beat the cancer she was diagnosed with just before her second birthday, on January 27, 2004.

After several rounds of surgery and months of treatment, Mira's cancer went into remission and she seemed to have won her fight against the ailment.

But it came back on her fourth birthday, killing her weeks later.

Ambulance

Overuse of Antibiotics

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© Common Dreams
Stop buying soaps, handwipes and cleaning agents whose vendors lure you with the label "antibacterial"

Reading a recent issue of Public Citizen's excellent Health Letter titled "Know When Antibiotics Work," I recalled the recent tragic loss of a healthy history professor who was rushed to a fine urban hospital, with a leading infectious disease specialist by his side. No antibiotics could treat his mysterious "superbug." He died in 36 hours.

Wrongful or overuse of antibiotics has a perverse effect-causing the kinds of bacteria that these drugs can no longer destroy. The World Health Organization has cited antibiotic resistance as one of the three most serious public health threats of the 21st century.

Syringe

Dr Wakefield demands retraction from BMJ after documents prove innocence from allegations of vaccine autism data fraud

In light of new evidence that has emerged clearing Dr Wakefield of the allegations that he fabricated study data involving MMR vaccines and symptoms of autism, Dr Wakefield is now publicly demanding a retraction from the British Medical Journal and author Brian Deer. Documents just made public reveal that another medical research team which included a senior pathologist independently documented evidence of a possible MMR vaccine - autism link 14 months before Dr Wakefield's paper first appears in The Lancet -- based on several of the same children appearing in Dr Wakefield's study.

Magic Wand

Book Review: Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You!

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Book Review: Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You! by Uffe Ravnskov, MD PhD.

Fat and cholesterol good for your?? Why its preposterous I tell you! And if this wasn't such a serious and important topic it might be worthwhile to spend a good deal of time simply on the reaction of mainstream medicine to Dr. Ravnskov's positions. To point out how this medical doctor, nephrologist and PhD could not get an English language publisher for his first book on the topic, The Cholesterol Myths until Sally Fallon in the alternative medicine field published it through her own company. How, despite being literally burned on a Finnish talk show, the original book was in such demand that it was selling often selling for well over 100 dollars for a used copy until the publication of the current book. Even with the publication of Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You! which covers and expands upon the material in the first book, used paper back copies of The Cholesterol Myths sell for over twenty dollars and new copies around $40.

The topic of heart disease is a serious one, however, and rather then spend more time on the reaction to these writings it is necessary to try and at least scratch the surface of what Dr. Ranvskov is actually saying. This is not so easy in that the numerous chapters are wide ranging, controversial and generally include some 30 - 70 references a piece. While it has become more fashionable recently to question the cholesterol lowering campaign, to my knowledge, even to the present no one has put together such a well-referenced, well organized and cogent critique of the cholesterol lowering campaign as Dr. Ravnskov. Personally, this was the first book I read which led me to begin to question much of the conventional medical wisdom I had been taught in medical school and beyond. If cholesterol lowering for heart disease may be in error, what other precepts of modern medicine might not be equally idolatrous? I also suspected when I first heard of this book, that despite the author's credentials it would almost certainly be laughably bad, well I was in for a surprise.