February 28, 2017

Health Roundup: Simple new ways to detect ovarian and lung cancers, treat common vertigo, prevent stroke and prevent serious migraines

Blood test spots ovarian cancer in nine of ten cases.

Women at high genetic risk should have a blood check every four months.  A mutated BRCA1 gene raises the risk of ovarian cancer from 1.3 per cent to 39 per cent. Women with such gene, like Angelia Jolie, are advised to have their ovaries removed. A number of other genes, if mutated, also increase the risk.

A simple and cheap nose swab could soon detect lung cancer in smokers, scientists claim.

Detecting these changes can accurately predict whether the patients have tumors without having to perform a biopsy.
Smoking damages the cells in the lining of the nostrils involved in smell, research shows.  A persistent cough, coughing up blood, persistent breathlessness and unexplained tiredness are symptoms of what may be lung cancer. Those suspected of having it are given a chest x-ray and then scans - but these are unable to differentiate between benign and malignant lesions.

Those believed to be at risk then have to undergo an invasive bronchoscopy to take a tissue sample. Boston University School of Medicine researchers found a biomarker in the nasal passages can determine the likelihood of a lung lesion being malignant. The simple swab of their nose can determine if they have the disease sparing them from costly and risky procedures.

Colorado Doctor Finds Way To Treat Common Vertigo

Dr. Carol Foster, Director of the Balance Laboratory at the University of Colorado School of Medicine has experienced vertigo, the most common form called positional vertigo. It happens when particles in the ear that sense gravity get dislodged and end up in spinning sensors....vertigo.  She describes it thus, “You’re rolling over in bed and suddenly you’re hit with this incredible spinning and you see the room going around like you’re in the inside of a washing machine.”

One morning, in treating herself, she came up with her own spin on how to fix vertigo at home. It’s called the “Half Somersault Maneuver.” Patients put their head upside down like they are going to do a somersault. They wait for dizziness to end then raise their head to back level. They then wait again for dizziness to end and then sit back quickly “And that causes the particles to leave the semicircular canal,” Foster said.

A six-month study showed patents preferred the exercise over the one commonly used by doctors. Foster’s recently published research is a breakthrough in the treatment of vertigo and could be life-changing for people who are disabled at times by extreme dizzy spells. “I was surprised at how well it worked,” Foster said.

Hope for migraine sufferers? Epilepsy drug relieves seizure-like symptoms that cause blinding headaches

Lyrica relieves a seizure-like phenomenon believed to be the cause of migraines.  It works by stopping a wave of brain cells, preventing symptoms and was found to boost calcium levels, with low amounts causing headaches.  The findings by a team at the British Columbia University, Canada, were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More evidence ties gum health to stroke risk 

Adults with gum disease may be twice as likely as people with healthy gums to suffer a stroke, new research suggests...."The higher the level of gum disease, the worse the risk."  Floss your teeth and use a water pic.  Regular dental check-ups can spot and treat early gum disease.
Posted by Jill Fallon at February 28, 2017 11:03 AM | Permalink