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Your heart is in an incredibly vulnerable state if you've suffered a heart attack or are fighting heart failure, and cardiac rehabilitation could be an important part of your recovery.

Unfortunately, not enough older folks appear to be taking advantage of this life-saving therapy.

Fewer than one in 10 eligible Medicare beneficiaries get recommended heart failure rehab treatments, th...

Americans don't like to dwell on dying, so maybe it isn't surprising that compared to other nations, the United States does just a middling job of providing a good death.

The United States ranked in the middle of 81 countries rated on how well their health care systems provide end-of-life care.

Only six countries — the United Kingdom, Ireland, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea and Co...

Two years into the pandemic, coronavirus treatments like monoclonal antibodies and antiviral pills have been approved to treat COVID-19, but it's hard to keep track of which ones still work, experts say.

For example, the monoclonal ant...

Transgender people get greater mental health benefits if they start gender-affirming hormone treatment when they're teens instead of waiting until they're adults, a new study finds.

"This study is particularly relevant now because many state legislatures are introducing bills that would outlaw this kind of care for

  • Robert Preidt
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  • January 14, 2022
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  • A drug used to treat several types of cancer is also an effective treatment for aggressive forms of endometrial cancer, the second most common cancer in women worldwide, a new clinical trial shows. The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus.

    "These findings suggest a long-term benefit to patients," said lead researcher Dr. David O'Malley, a gynecologic oncologist at the Ohio State ...

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the emergency use of Pfizer's new antiviral pill Paxlovid in people who are at high risk for severe COVID-19. It's the first approved treatment for COVID-19 meant to be taken at home.

    "Today's authorization introduces the first treatment for COVID-19 that is in the form of a pill that is taken orally — a major step forward in...

    At least 59 overdoses were prevented in the first three weeks that two overdose prevention centers have been open in New York City, the city's health department said Tuesday.

    During that time, there were more than 2,000 visits to the centers that are operated by OnPoint NYC and are the first publicly recognized overdose prevention sites to open in the United States. The city first

    A new program to boost the supply of cancer medicines for children in low- and middle-income countries has been announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

    The hospital is making a six-year, $200 million investment to launch the Global Platform for Access to Childhood C...

    An experimental drug, added to chemotherapy, may benefit women with an aggressive form of breast cancer, suggests an early study offering much-needed good news.

    The study involved women with "triple-negative" breast cancer, which accounts for about 15% to 20% of breast cancers among U.S. women. It is so called because the cancers lack receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone, ...

    Couples struggling to conceive a child through in vitro fertilization (IVF) sometimes are offered an often-painful procedure known as "scratching the womb" as a desperate last hope to get pregnant.

    As many as one-third of IVF clinics offer the practice in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, a new survey reports. It's very likely some U.S. clinics also offer the procedure, altho...

    People with depression symptoms might find some help from online programs or smartphone apps — but the human component remains key, a new research review suggests.

    Not everyone with depression can readily get to face-to-face therapy — whether due to time, distance, money or stigma. But smartphones are...

    For certain leukemia patients, some welcome findings: New research confirms long remissions after treatment with the drug ibrutinib and chemotherapy.

    The study involved 85 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). All were 65 or younger, and 46 had more aggressive, unmutated IGHV subtype of the d...

    A gene therapy that could provide a permanent cure for sickle cell disease continues to show success through a third wave of patients, researchers report.

    The therapy, LentiGlobin, restored normal blood function in 35 sickle cell patients who had the one-time procedure, according to clinical trial findings published Dec. 12 in the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 13, 2021
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  • Full Page
  • An experimental hormone therapy pill can effectively stall the progression of breast cancer, even in older patients whose tumors have mutated to make such therapy less effective, new trial results show.

    The drug elacestrant reduced the risk of breast cancer progression and death by 30% in postmenopausal patients whose cancers were fueled by the female hormone estrogen, compared to people ...

    Genetic testing can help guide management and treatment of unexplained epilepsy in children, new research suggests.

    "A genetic diagnosis impacted medical management for nearly three out of four children in our study," said study author Dr. Isabel Haviland. She's a postdoctoral research fellow in neurology/neurobiology at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

    In the ...

    Tony Head was depressed and fearing death from stage 4 prostate cancer when, as part of a supervised scientific trial, he took a large dose of the psychedelic agent in "magic mushrooms," psilocybin.

    Head donned a mask and headphones to shut out the world around him, and had an experience that changed the course of his life.

    "At some point in that time I felt like a higher power or ...

    Women are two times more likely than men to die after receiving a combination of cancer immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, but it's not clear if that difference is due to side effects or because the treatment isn't working, researchers say.

    This new class of highly targeted drugs — which includes pembrolizumab (Keytruda), nivolumab (Opdivo) or ipilimumab (Yervoy) — has...

    Early detection of ovarian cancer helps boost a woman's survival, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a new imaging drug that can help spot tumors during surgery.

    The drug, Cytalux (pafolacianine), is meant to improve a surgeon's ability to detect ovarian cancer while operating on a patient.

    It is administered intravenously before surgery and is used in conj...

    A defect in the blood-brain barrier may play a role in Parkinson's disease, a groundbreaking research study suggests.

    The blood-brain barrier acts as a filter to keep out toxins while still allowing the passage of nutrients to nourish the brain. This study found that in some people with Parkinson's, the b...

    Debate rages over access to abortion, but experts say the collected medical evidence makes one thing clear — it is a fundamentally safe procedure for women.

    Abortion is safer than childbirth and it's also safer than a host of other common procedures — colonoscopy, tonsillectomy and plastic surgery, said Dr. Sarah Prager, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wa...

    Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who take medications that suppress the immune system don't have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 than those with normal immune systems, a new study finds.

    Early in the pandemic, it was feared that people taking immunosuppressive drugs were at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to their weakened immune systems. The drugs are used to treat cancer and autoim...

    Guidelines for treating movement problems in people in the early stages of Parkinson's disease have been updated.

    The new treatment recommendations from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) focus on dopaminergic medications, which increase dopamine levels or mimic dopamine effects. Parkinson's is a movement disorder that occurs when nerve cells in the brain fail to produce enough dopam...

    Gene therapy shows promise in reducing, and even halting, potentially life-threatening bleeding events in people with hemophilia, researchers report.

    Hemophilia A is the most common inherited bleeding disorder, affecting one in 5,000 males worldwide. It's caused by a missing coagulation factor called FVIII.

    The current standard of care involves regular infusions of the FVIII protein...

    Gene therapy might soon offer a new option for children with a rare genetic disorder that damages tissues throughout the body, researchers are reporting.

    In a study of eight children with the condition, called Hurler syndrome, researchers found that the gene therapy was safe over two years. It also showed potential for beating the current standard treatment, stem cell transplantation.

    ...

    Pfizer Inc. announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement for its promising COVID-19 antiviral pill to be made and sold cheaply in 95 developing nations.

    The countries included in the licensing deal are mostly in Africa and Asia, and they account for more than half of the world's population, the company said in a

  • Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
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  • November 16, 2021
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  • For decades, doctors have struggled with the fact that the benefit of any blood-thinning pill came with the added risk of excess bleeding.

    Now, an experimental anti-clotting pill called milvexian has been found to be effective in patients who had knee replacement surgery — without adding any excess risk for bleeding.

    The study focused on these patients because they're known to be ...

    Arm and shoulder pain are common for women after breast cancer surgery, and beginning a supervised exercise program soon afterwards can go a long way to easing the discomfort, new research suggests.

    As the team of British investigators explained, restricted shoulder movement and chronic pain or swelling in the armpit area can really impact a patient's recovery and quality of life.

    ...

    Since 1971, when the U.S. government made defeating cancer a goal and put major funding behind it, death rates for many cancers have plummeted, but some are increasing, according to a new American Cancer Society report.

    Death rates for all cancers combined have declined since passage of the National Cancer Act of 1971, according to the report. For example, in 2019, deaths from lung c...

    Multiple sclerosis patients might be able to think more clearly and move more easily if they regularly undergo whole-body vibration training, a new pilot study reports.

    A small group of MS patients who experienced vibration training showed improvements in decision making, information processing, attention and memory, according to find...

    "Ultra-low" doses of the drug rituximab may be enough to keep some patients' rheumatoid arthritis under control for several years, a new, preliminary study suggests.

    Researchers found that among 118 patients, low doses of the drug were comparable to standard ones in controlling flare-ups for up to four years.

    The findings, the researchers said, suggest that some patients can try low...

    Mike Smith is beating the odds.

    Diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer back in 2016, the 56-year-old South Carolina resident says there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic as the "narrative of lung cancer changes from being a horrific, terminal disease to a chronic disease and, ultimately, to a cure."

    Still, he remains clear-eyed about the challenges he faces.

    "I'm at war," he s...

    Nearly one-third of older U.S. adults visit at least five different doctors each year — reflecting the growing role of specialists in Americans' health care, a new study finds.

    Over the past 20 years, Americans on Medicare have been increasingly seeing specialists, researchers found, with almost no change in visits with their primary care doctor.

    On average, beneficiaries saw a 34...

    A cheap and widely available antidepressant drug called fluvoxamine may reduce COVID-19 patients' risk of serious illness requiring hospitalization, according to a new study.

    The trial included almost 1,500 unvaccinated outpatients in Brazil. All of the patients tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 and were deemed to be at high risk for a severe case of illness.

    Fluvoxamine...

    After prostate cancer surgery, men can safely undergo fewer radiation treatments at higher doses, a new clinical trial shows.

    Researchers found that the shorter regimen — given over five weeks, instead of seven — did not raise patients' odds of lasting side effects.

    Safety has been a "major concern" because when patients have fewer radiation treatments, the daily dose needs to b...

    High-dose radiation therapy may stall tumor growth in patients with advanced lung cancer who are not fully responding to drug therapies, a preliminary study suggests.

    The study involved patients whose lung cancer was considered "oligoprogressive." That means the cancer had spread to other sites in the body, and the patients were having a mixed response to standard systemic treatments — ...

    Antibody infusions help keep high-risk COVID-19 patients out of the hospital, but getting the therapy can be a challenge. One U.S. health system has found a creative way to address the problem: home infusions administered by paramedics.

    Researchers found that the tactic was feasible, delivering antibody infusions to 144 COVID-19 patients in their homes over three months earlier this year....

    Nine of 10 patients with so-called "bubble boy" immune disease who received gene therapy about a decade ago are still disease-free, researchers report.

    The gene therapy was developed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to treat the rare and deadly immune system disorder formally known as adenosine deaminase--deficient severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID).

    It'...

    The number of Americans seeking treatment for anxiety and depression has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating what a leading medical association terms a "mental health tsunami."

    That's the key takeaway from a nationwide survey of psychologists by the American Psychological Association (APA).

    "[The findings] highlight what we have been saying since the early days of the pand...

    Gender-affirming breast removal (mastectomy) can greatly enhance a patients' mental well-being, a new study finds.

    Gender-affirming mastectomy is the most common type of gender-confirming surgery, but there's "not a lot of information out there about how exactly these types of surgeries help people," said study co-author Dr. Megan Lane. She is a plastic surgery resident at Michigan Medic...

    Men still outnumber women in stroke therapy clinical trials, which means women may end up receiving less effective treatment, researchers say.

    For the new study, investigators analyzed 281 stroke trials that included at least 100 patients each and were conducted between 1990 and 2020.

    Of the nearly 590,000 total participants, 37.4% were women. However, the average rate of stroke amo...

    Despite hints of promise from early research, a new clinical trial finds no evidence that kids with autism benefit from nasal sprays containing the "love" hormone oxytocin.

    Researchers called the findings disappointing.

    But they said the study also offers important information: Some parents of children with autism are already using oxytocin nasal sprays in the hopes of supporting th...

    The coronavirus pandemic forced a significant shift to telemedicine treatment for addiction, but it's not clear whether that approach is better than in-person care, a new study finds.

    Before the pandemic, addiction treatment services in the United States had many restrictions on telemedicine use, so only about 27% of addiction facilities offered telehealth services, while telehealth was u...

    Clot-busting drugs may be safe for certain stroke patients with brain aneurysms that haven't ruptured, researchers say.

    An aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. In the new study, patients had suffered an ischemic stroke, which is caused by blocked blood flow in the brain.

    Even though clot-busting drugs are the main treatment for ischemic stroke, they're often not given ...

    In yet another illustration of how the pandemic wreaked havoc on medical care, a new report shows that 15% of adult cancer patients worldwide didn't get potentially lifesaving surgery due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

    "Our research reveals the collateral impact of lockdowns on patients awaiting cancer surgery during the pandemic. Whilst lockdowns are critical to saving lives and reducing the spr...

    Imagine battling debilitating depression for years, trying everything but finding little or no relief.

    That's what Sarah, 36, lived with most of her adult life.

    "I had exhausted all possible treatment options," recalled Sarah, who did not want her last name used. "It [depression] had controlled my entire life. I barely moved. I barely did anything. I felt tortured every day."

    ...

    Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. said Friday that it will seek federal approval for emergency use of its new antiviral pill molnupiravir, after a clinical trial showed the drug halved the risk of hospitalization or death when given to high-risk people shortly after infection with COVID-19.

    The new medication is just one of several antiviral pills now being tested in studies, and experts s...

    The cancer drug cisplatin can save children's lives, but often with the side effect of hearing loss. Now a new study shows that young children are especially vulnerable, and the hearing damage may begin early in the course of treatment.

    The researchers said the findings highlight the need to screen kids' hearing during each round of cisplatin treatment, to catch problems early.

    A saltwater solution may help stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus in its tracks, Brazilian researchers report.

    However, although saline may keep the virus from replicating, it does not offer full protection against infection or a cure for COVID-19.

    "It's not a single solution, and it would have to be used in the first few days after infection," said researcher Cristiane Guzzo, a professor of ...

    Treating sickle cell anemia with the drug hydroxyurea may also reverse related heart abnormalities, a new study suggests.

    Heart issues are common among people with sickle cell disease. Among them are enlargement of the heart and an impaired ability to relax heart muscles, a condition called diastolic dysfunction that can lead to heart disease and heart failure and death. Long-term treatme...

    As severe cases of COVID-19 rise and demand surges for monoclonal antibody treatments, the U.S. government is ordering more from two key suppliers.

    Monoclonal antibodies, which are lab-engineered immune system proteins, can help trigger a healthy immune response against COVID-19 infection.

    The Biden administration has also taken over distributing the therapeutics, to help avoid shor...