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FRIDAY, Oct. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The tell-tale sign of Lyme disease is its bulls-eye rash, but that might be harder to spot in Black people, who are often diagnosed with more advanced disease than white people are, new research suggests.

The first sign of Lyme disease looks different on darker skin, and these differences are not usually reflected in images foun...

Just over a decade ago, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) made many common cancer screenings free. But a pair of new studies caution that when those free tests turn up signs of trouble, important follow-up tests may be too pricey for some patients.

The bigger concern: Some patients may forgo these expensive tests, even when they may prove lifesaving.

"With t...

A shift in thinking means it's OK to skip your monthly breast self-exam — but don't miss your regular professional checkup and diagnostic imaging, health experts say.

A periodic visual check in a mirror can be helpful, breast health experts from the Cedars-Sinai health system in California suggest.

"Beginning at age 40, women with an average risk for breast cancer should rely on a...

Colon cancer numbers dropped dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn't mean fewer people have the disease.

In Spain, researchers discovered a more than 40% decline in colon cancer diagnoses, leading experts to worry about the ramifications.

"These are very worrying findings indeed -- cases of colorectal cancer undoubtedly went undiagnosed during the pandemic. Not ...

When people suffer a severe head injury, it's hard to predict how they will fare in the long run. But a new study suggests that something fairly simple — measuring a protein in the blood — could help.

The protein, called neurofilament light (NfL), is a component of the nerve fibers brain cells use to transmit signals. Damage to those fibers (called axons) is known to foretell a high...

A pair of experimental tests could help doctors detect colon or prostate cancer with just a sample of blood or saliva.

One test examines a person's blood for four biomarkers linked to inflammation. In a small study, it outperformed the fecal blood test now used in colon cancer screening, said lead researcher Dr. Mona Eldeeb, of Alexandria University Medical Research Institute in Egypt.

An artificial intelligence tool could help radiologists spot breast cancer on ultrasound images and reduce the need for extra testing, new research suggests.

"Our study demonstrates how artificial intelligence can help radiologists reading breast ultrasound exams to reveal only those that show real signs of breast cancer, and to avoid verification by biopsy in cases that turn out to be be...

Hispanic people in the United States have lower cancer rates than white people, but they are much more likely to develop certain preventable cancers.

"The good news is that overall cancer rates are lower in Hispanic people, but we are seeing very high rates of infectious disease-related cancers, many of which are potentially avoidable," said study author Kimberly Miller, a scientist at th...

Many middle-aged adults with apparently healthy hearts have a "silent" buildup of fatty deposits in their arteries, a large, new study shows.

Researchers found that of more than 25,000 50- to 64-year-olds, about 42% had signs of atherosclerosis — a buildup of "plaques" in the arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

That was despite the fact that none had any history of...

Potentially dangerous symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children are not always immediately recognized by primary care providers, new research suggests.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas fails to make enough insulin, the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar used for energy by cells. Between 5% and 10% of cases of diabetes are type 1, which often first surfaces in childhood.

The Swe...

The number of U.S. infants born with syphilis is climbing at an alarming pace, reaching a high not seen since the 1990s, according to new government figures.

Newborn syphilis, a potentially fatal condition, was at one time nearly eliminated in the United States. But the disease has seen a resurgence in recent years — and 2020 was no exception, say researchers with the U.S. Centers for D...

Colon cancer risk runs in families, and it's not just a parent or sibling having had the disease that should concern you.

If you have a second- or third-degree relative who had colon cancer at an early age, your odds of having the disease substantially increase, a new study finds.

First-degree relatives include parents, children and siblings. Second-degree relatives include aunts, ...

Twenty years on, responders to the World Trade Center attacks in New York City are showing increased risks of certain cancers, two new studies confirm.

Researchers found higher-than-average rates of prostate cancer among firefighters, medics and other workers who toiled at the disaster site on and after Sept. 11, 2001.

And compared with firefighters from other major U.S. cities...

With the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, fewer Americans are uninsured and more are getting their blood pressure and blood sugar under control, a new study finds.

The gains are especially strong among Black and Hispanic patients, according to Boston University researchers.

"Our results suggest that over the longer-run, expanding Medicaid eligibility may improve key chronic di...

When Nancy Cappello was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2003, she was stunned.

How could this have happened? She went for her annual screening mammogram every year and was always told that all was fine.

It wasn't.

Cappello had dense breasts, but no one had ever told her. "The tumor was likely growing for five to seven years," said her husband, Joseph Cappello. "At th...

Most parents want their children to live carefree lives, so a diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating. Fortunately, pediatric cancers are rare.

Yet it doesn't hurt to be watchful for the warning signs, suggest experts in childhood cancer from Penn State Health.

The best screening most parents can do is to stay on track with well-child visits, the doctors said.

"For e...

Black Americans and Mexican Americans typically develop type 2 diabetes up to seven years earlier than their white counterparts, a new study finds.

In all, more than 25% of adults in the two groups reported being diagnosed with diabetes before age 40, and 20% didn't know they had the disease.

Researchers said the findings highlight the need to address economic and social conditions ...

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar revealed Thursday that she's been treated for early-stage breast cancer, including surgery to remove a lump and radiation therapy.

The 61-year-old Minnesota Democrat said in a statement posted on social media that Mayo Clinic doctors found worrying signs...

Leaky heart valves can put pregnant women at serious risk, according to a large study that runs counter to established practice.

The condition used to be considered relatively harmless during pregnancy. But this analysis by Johns Hopkins University researchers of more than 20,000 individual medical records reveals that heart valve disease puts women at risk for bleeding, high blood pressu...

Many parts of the United States saw a significant drop in breast cancer screening of older low-income women during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows.

The analysis of data from 32 community health centers that serve low-income people found that breast cancer screening for 50- to 74-year-old women dropped 8% between July 2019 and July 2020. That wiped out an 18% increase between Jul...

The recommended age to start screening overweight and obese people for diabetes will be lowered by five years from 40 to 35, the nation's leading panel of preventive health experts has announced.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has decided an earlier five years of testing could help detect more people who have prediabetes, said Dr. Michael Barry, vice chair of the USPSTF....

Regular skin checks to look for signs of melanoma could save your life.

Self-exams for the deadliest type of skin cancer should be done at least once a month in a well-lit room in front of a full-length mirror and also with a hand mirror for hard-to-see areas, said Dr. Arun Mavanur, a surgical oncologist.

You also need to get checked by a doctor if you have risk factors for melanoma...

Long stints on the night shift could set you up for the dangerous heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation (a-fib), new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on more than 283,000 people in the UK Biobank database, and found that those who worked night shifts on a usual or permanent basis had a 12% higher risk of a-fib than those who only worked during ...

When a suspicious skin lesion sends you scurrying to a dermatologist, asking for a full-body skin check could save your life.

Dermatologists are twice as likely to find skin cancer with a full-body check, a new study reveals. More than half of the skin cancers discovered were not in the location the patient was concerned about.

"If the dermatologist did not check their entire body,...

Colonoscopy screening can help prevent colon cancer by allowing doctors to find and remove potentially pre-cancerous growths called polyps. But if they fail to get the whole growth, the odds of a recurrence are high, a new study shows.

The likelihood that it will occur within the next few years more than doubled.

Repeat exams found a new growth in the same colon segment 52% of the t...

Admit it, you've probably put off doctor visits whenever possible during the pandemic, and getting back on track with your health care is a daunting prospect.

Never fear, says an expert who offers some advice on resuming in-person health care visits.

The first step is to push aside any shame about falling behind on regular appointments, said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, president of...

Spit and scan. That's all you have to do, and in less than an hour, you can not only find out if you have COVID-19 but what variant you have, all without leaving your home.

This is the hope and promise of a new saliva-based COVID-19 test that is currently under development.

"Several at-home tests are available for telling you whether you have COVID-19, but none of them test for vari...

Exactly what symptoms of early COVID-19 infection you suffer may depend on both your age and gender, a new study finds.

"As part of our study, we have been able to identify that the profile of symptoms due to COVID-19 differs from one group to another. This suggests that the criteria to encourage people to get tested should be personalized using individuals' information such as age. Alter...

Death rates from Alzheimer's disease are particularly high in the rural United States, a preliminary study finds, highlighting a need for health care resources in traditionally under-served areas.

Researchers discovered that over the past two decades, rural areas in the Southeast have seen the highest death rates from Alzheimer's, at 274 per 100,000 people. That's about twice the rate as ...

Plenty of seniors may struggle with problem drinking, but a new study shows that less than half of them discuss their alcohol use with their health care providers.

"Older adults are at high risk for the harms of alcohol use, especially for those with existing chronic disease and who take prescribed medications," said lead study author Pia Mauro. That makes "discussions about alcohol with ...

Many Americans are being charged for preventive -- and supposedly free -- health care, new research shows, and those bills may keep them from booking appointments in the future.

Out-of-pocket charges for preventive care that should be free under the Affordable Care Act can discourage patients from receiving recommended care, said study lead author Alexander Hoagland, a Ph.D. student in ec...

A noninvasive method of screening for endometrial cancer often fails to detect signs of it in Black women, a new study says.

The findings raise questions about the use of transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) to determine the need for a biopsy in these patients, according to the authors.

"Black women have an over 90% higher [death] rate after diagnosis of endometrial cancer when compared w...

Teens and young adults with cancer who live in rural areas or far from the hospital where they were diagnosed are more likely to have advanced cancer and more likely to die, new research shows.

"A number of studies have indicated that place of residence can influence cancer survival; however, few studies have specifically focused on geographic factors and outcomes in adolescents and young...

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss in older people, and early detection can bring better treatment. Now, researchers in Australia say their experimental genetic test for glaucoma can identify 15 times more people at high risk for the disease compared to a current genetic test.

"Early diagnosis of glaucoma can lead to vision-saving treatment, and genetic information can potentiall...

The COVID-19 pandemic could leave a grim legacy for women's health.

New research suggests that disruptions in breast cancer screening and treatment in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to an increase in deaths from the disease.

While mammography rates have accelerated in 2021, "facilities should prioritize screening women who missed their routine mammography ...

A major U.S. hospital system had a strong rebound in most cancer screening tests after a steep drop-off in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Boston-based Mass General Brigham system. Depending on the type of test, between March and June of 2020, the number of cancer screenings dropped off between 65% a...

One of the big issues in prostate cancer care is overdiagnosis -- men who are treated for low-risk, slow-growing tumors that might be better left monitored and untreated.

Now, research out of Sweden suggests that having patients undergo MRI screening, along with targeted biopsies, could reduce the number of prostate cancer overdiagnoses by half.

The new approach can detect just as...

Americans' overall death rate from cancer continues to fall -- but rising rates of certain cancers and ongoing racial disparities linger.

Those are among the findings of an annual report to the nation from several major cancer organizations.

The good news includes an accelerating decline in the overall cancer death rate, among both women and men, and across racial and ethnic groups....

Many women in the United States aren't screened for cervical cancer because they can't afford it, a new study finds.

Screening helps reduce cervical cancer cases and deaths, but disparities in screening rates exist based on income, insurance status, race and ethnicity.

"Low-income women need greater access to insurance coverage options, Medicaid eligibility, or free screening progra...

Breast and cervical cancer screenings dropped sharply among low-income minority women during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

That could lead to delayed cancer diagnoses, health consequences and an increase in existing disparities, the agency warned.

The new findings "reinforce the need to safely maintain routine health care services d...

A gene variant may be driving high rates of unnecessary bone marrow biopsies in Black Americans, researchers say.

The variant is responsible for lower white blood cell levels in some healthy Black people, the investigators said.

"We've essentially created this racial health disparity by not fully considering how genetic variation affects white blood cell levels," said study co-autho...

You decide to take a popular colon cancer screening test that can be performed at home, and it comes back positive. A follow-up colonoscopy is scheduled, but then you suddenly receive a large and unexpected medical bill.

That's what happened to a Missouri woman who was hit with $1,900 in medical expenses after using the popular at-home colon cancer screening test called Cologuard.
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Most Americans with dementia are undiagnosed, which shows how important it is to screen and assess seniors for the disease, researchers say.

Their new analysis of data from a nationwide survey of about 6 million Americans aged 65 and older revealed that 91% of people with cognitive impairment consistent with dementia did not have a formal medical diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disea...

Could a new one-and-done blood test designed to detect as many as 50 different types of cancer become a diagnostic game changer?

Yes, say researchers, who report the method appears accurate and reliable at identifying and locating cancer, including some kinds for which there are now no effective screening methods.

"[The test] sets the stage for a new paradigm of screening individual...

All children should be screened for conditions that may put them at risk for cardiac arrest or death, a new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement recommends.

The screening should be done whether or not kids play sports, and it is particularly important as they begin middle school or junior high, the statement says.

It updates 2012 guidelines and was published online ...

A leading medical group is offering testing guidelines for children with autistic behaviors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health emphasized that certain measurements to test for exposure to chemicals are not helpful to guide treatment. The council pointed out that just because a chemical is found in the body doesn't mean it will cause harm.

The counc...

Men tend to put their health care last, but Penn State Health offers some tips this Father's Day for ensuring guys stay healthy in the future.

"Men tend to take care of their cars more frequently than they do themselves. But when men wait to see the doctor once their 'check engine' light comes on, they suffer major health problems that could've been prevented," said Dr. Eldra Daniels. He ...

It's long been known the sun's rays can cause skin cancer.

But a new poll shows that only about 30% of American adults say they're concerned about developing skin cancer -- even though nearly 70% have at least one risk factor for the disease.

The American Academy of Dermatology's survey found that 49% of respondents were more worried about avoiding sunburn than preventing skin cance...

Despite calls from some leading health experts to scrap annual physicals because they are a waste of time and money, a new study finds advantages to routine screenings.

"While it is disappointing that I can't tell my patients a visit with me or my colleagues will help them live longer, it is good to know there are proven, measurable benefits," said senior study author Dr. Jeffrey Linder. ...

If it's been a while since you've seen your doctor, it may be time to schedule a visit to catch up on preventive health screenings or discuss any health concerns and chronic medical conditions.

During the 15 months since people began quarantining, many have avoided leaving their homes except when necessary, including not going to the doctor. But now COVID-19 cases in the United Sta...