Medicine and Pharmaceuticals

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It’s pretty widely known that chronic over-indulgence in alcoholic beverages can play havoc with one’s liver — in extreme cases ending up with cirrhosis and a non-functioning organ. But non-drinkers can also have liver problems. In particular, there is one called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, which is a risk factor for chronic liver disease and cardiovascular disease, according to the authors of a recent...

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Overall, breast cancer accounts for about 40,000 deaths in the United States annually. The mortality rate, and survival rates, differ for the different types of breast cancer, and can be linked to the presence or absence of  receptors (e.g., estrogen, progesterone, or HER2) on the tumors. For example, the five year survival rate for women with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) tumors is better than for...

shutterstock_346411787A recent report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology presents some puzzling news — survivors of some types of cancer seem to be more prone to developing obesity than other people. It's well known that obesity itself can increase the risk of some types of cancer, such as breast and colorectal cancer, but the converse hasn't been widely recognized. Dr. Heather Greenlee from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and her colleagues analyzed data...

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It's not possible to determine at which point the Olympics morphed from a competition between athletes to one between pharmacologists. But, a look at the list of banned substances, the number of illegal drugs and medical procedures—well over 100— will make your eyes bug out of your head. Some of them make sense. For example, alcohol is banned for archers, as it should be. archery

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The fact that many species of bacteria are becoming resistant to our most widely used antibiotics is a matter of increasing concern to physicians and public health officials alike. According to the CDC, "Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections." The organization also...

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One of the hallmarks of aging — even in healthy individuals — is a decrease in the body's ability to regulate hydration.If the body doesn't have enough water - dehydrated - then the ions and proteins in the blood and tissues will be too concentrated to work properly. Conversely, too much water dilutes the blood and can be problematic too. The body monitors the level of hydration — too much water and the excess is excreted in the urine. If there's too little, the kidneys decrease the water they...

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By now most folks are aware that the class of drugs called statins can lower levels of blood cholesterol by their action on the liver and thus help prevent heart attacks. But they may be able to do more than that. In addition to their effectiveness lowering cholesterol, statins have anti-inflammatory effects. And a small, new, study demonstrated the efficacy of one statin in preventing the negative consequences of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS...

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In the fight against Alzheimer's, memory loss has kept its place as the frontrunner of early warning signs, but that may no longer hold true. Experts unveil that sharp changes in behavior and personality could indicate very early stages of frontotemporal dementia. They shared the findings and other themes at the annual...

shutterstock_359258204Final recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for the frequency and type of test to screen for colorectal cancer were recently released.

Colorectal cancer, or CRC, is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States — the USPSTF estimates this year that about 134,000 people will get a CRC diagnosis, with roughly 49,000 dying from it. But screening has been found to be effective in finding the disease early, and thus the USPSTF has evaluated the data on different types...

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This year's gathering of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago will be an informative one. Cancer research and treatment is at the forefront of a tremendous and exciting frontier.

For a very long time the three main modalities of cancer treatment have been surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But thanks to recent advances we can add immunotherapy into the mix, what some call “the fourth pillar”...